Farm Crime

Farm Crime is a true crime documentary series exploring the largely unseen dark side of Canada’s agriculture industry. Each episode examines a case that wouldn’t typically make the front page. Instead of kidnappings, cold cases and serial killers, the series examines the fascinating, lesser-known incidents that unfold in the margins – the fields, farms and unassuming small towns that dot the Canadian countryside. Rare sheep gone missing. Potatoes sabotaged with sewing needles. A multi-million-dollar pigeon breeding Ponzi scheme. These are farm crimes, and they exact a real toll on rural victims who don’t always get their due. Farm Crime approaches these stories with respectful curiosity, focusing on the people at the centre of the incidents, seeking answers, closure and justice.

Select a season

Episodes Season 1

  • 1. Cattle Cops

    Walter Sunjtens’ family has been farming their east-central Alberta ranch since 1927 without incident. But when Walter and his wife returned from a vacation to find 50 of their cattle missing, they turned to a special RCMP unit for help, setting in motion the kind of investigation that requires both contemporary police tactics and old western know-how – a job fit only for the Cattle Cops.

  • 2. Hive Heist

    In Spring 2016, one of Quebec’s largest independent apiaries was robbed of 184 hives – over 5 million bees – valued at $200,000. The brazen crime sent shock waves through the beekeeping community and devastated the Labonté family, who have been producing honey in La Belle Province since 1937. Weaving the perspective of the Labontés, local media and court officials, the episode explores how one of Quebec’s most storied beekeeping families fell victim to the biggest bee theft in Canadian history.

  • 3. George of Green Gables

    Over the course of more than three decades, George and Marlene Dowdle built a thriving family business together – a series of aquaculture leases that produce world-famous PEI oysters. But when Marlene is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, the needs of their operation take a back seat to her treatment. While at her side in the hospital, George is stunned when a concerned friend calls to report a heist in progress on one of their oyster leases. Unwilling to leave Marlene, George alerts the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and enlists an associate to gather photographic evidence of the crime, leading to the first successful prosecution of oyster theft on Prince Edward Island.

  • 4. Pigeon Pincher

    When an award-winning fancy pigeon keeper in B.C.’s Fraser Valley discovers his entire flock missing – over 300 fancy pigeons, cockatiels, canaries, and finches – he goes to the police and learns the region has recently been hit with a number of livestock thefts. Without immediate answers from law enforcement about the fate of his beloved birds, he relies on the old-school detective instincts of a close friend, as well as a more modern approach by a young fancier from his pigeon club, to discover if he’s just another victim in the rash of thefts, or if a rival breeder is behind the pigeon pinching.

  • 5. Black Market Butcher

    A rash of animal thefts targeting the burgeoning free range farming community in Cooks Brook, Nova Scotia is punctuated by a gruesome discovery – stolen pigs butchered in a secluded area of the very farm they were taken from. Meanwhile, a neighbouring farmer grapples with a crime just as brazen – the midnight theft of a quarter of her chicken flock from a barn located a stone’s throw from her sleeping child. With the volume of stolen meat far beyond what one person could consume, the victims reach out over social media. Who could have done this? Their search for justice is met with local support and unexpected results.

  • 6. #BlueberryBandit

    In February 2017, a group of thieves executed one of the biggest produce heists in Canadian history, stealing $100,000 worth of blueberries from a trucking yard in Hamilton. The yard’s owner/operator suffered not only an immediate hit to his bottom line, but was at risk of losing his insurance, and going out of business altogether. All this while facing the dwindling chances of recovering a perishable product that disappears quickly on the streets – a reality the police attempted to address with a new real-time strategy to track down the perpetrators.

Similar to this: