Canada’s Bookworm Bandit

Want to learn more about Canada’s bookworm bandit? Read on for facts and info on this unique bank robbing character of Canada…

A spate of bank robberies started in Canada in 1997 that had the police all over the country confounded as to the identity (and sex) of the robber. The bandit would hit branches that had light security and would scribble demands on a receipt book before handing them over to the bank tellers. Toronto police called the suspect The Unisex Bandit because after a holdup of a Bank of Nova Scotia branch in 1997 they could not ascertain from the witnesses whether the robber was male or female. Witnesses from other robberies described a bookish looking man with effeminate facial features. Hence, the robber came to be known as The Bookworm Bandit.

The Back Story

Anatoli Misura was born in Quebec in 1950. He grew up to be a mechanical designer and worked in the construction industry for twenty years. After spending four decades of his life as a man, Misura decided that he had been born wrong and would like to be a woman. He spent $60,000 on a sex change operation and became Christine White in 1993. Unfortunately, Christine White found out that it was difficult for a woman, especially one who had previously been a man, to get and keep a job in the construction industry. Other employment options seemed limited as well since the operation had left Christine White with a very masculine voice.

White felt that her decision had rendered her ostracized and isolated from society and felt herself persecuted and unable to find employment. She says this led to her decision to reclaim what she felt were compensations for her unemployment and alienation from society. Naturally, she went on a nationwide bank-robbing spree in order to right all society’s wrongs. Thirty-one banks across the country were hit between May 1997 and November 1998 by The Bookworm Bandit. The spree finally ended with her arrest after robbing a branch in Belleville.

The Prison Years

After a protracted trial, White was sentenced to eleven years in prison by a Canadian court in 2002. This sentence was later reduced to eight years to mitigate for time served in custody. Psychological counseling during Christine’s imprisonment brought forth her reasoning for a persecution complex and has assisted her in planning a successful return to society after her release.

During her stay in prison, Christine White also studied computer science and construction health and safety. She planned to return to society and seek a job in the construction industry but has decided that other employment sectors should be tried also. Christine became eligible for parole in 2007 and the National Parole Board recommended her parole and release to a half-way house when space would become available. She plans to join a transsexual support group to continue the advances that her psychologists say she has made.

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