Crimes: Murder, Dismemberment
Alexandra Flanagan, a 33-year-old hairdresser from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, was a fun loving sort of person. She loved her cats, her family, and she also loved to party. She was vivacious, pretty and petite, and unfortunately she caught the eye of Andrew Keene, a dyed-in-the-wool hellbeast.
Andrew Keene was infatuated and sexually attracted to Alexandra Flanagan. On July 8, 2007, finding himself alone with his girlfriend away, the creep texted the object of his lust “hi sexy Lexi” and invited her to “hook up”. Andrew Keene texted Flanagan seven times that night, but she didn’t respond to him until around 10 p.m. If only she hadn’t responded!
I gather that Alexandra Flanagan agreed to meet Andrew Keene. At some point that evening she wound at his basement apartment. It is likely that, once there, the poor woman was subjected to a sexual assault by Andrew Keene, and she tried to resist. She was only 90 pounds, so there was no way she could have put up much of a fight.
For whatever reason, sexual assault or otherwise, Andrew Keene had removed the poor woman’s clothing and then he strangled her to death.
I don’t know if that was what he’d intended all along, but Andrew Keene was fully prepared to dispose of the body and the evidence.
Using a hunting knife, the murdering hellbeast dismembered Alexandra Flanagan’s body. He put the torso into a hockey bag and headed for some bushes a few blocks from his home. He hid the torso there and returned home with the empty hockey bag. He then walked 4 to 5 hours around Barrie to distribute the rest of the pieces. He left the head and a couple of limbs in some bushes off Johnson’s Beach and the rest at Lackies Bush on the opposite side of Barrie.
Not done yet, Andrew Keene had to clean up the crime scene. Using dish soap and bleach he removed almost all evidence of blood. Almost all — he’d left a smudge of blood on the hockey bag.
When he was finally finished, Andrew spent the rest of the night drinking heavily at a bar and in his apartment with a couple of friends. “We drank a ridiculous amount,” said one of the men.
Alexandra Flanagan had, to her friends and family, fallen off the face of the earth. When she was first reported missing, the police didn’t show too much concern. She was a partying type of person, they figured, and she’d be home soon enough. Only she wasn’t.
When the family finally convinced police to go with them to check out Alexandra Flanagan’s apartment, they found her two cats were very hungry and thirsty, and food in the kitchen was spoiled. The family’s anxiety level I’m sure shot through the roof. Something was terribly, terribly wrong, and the police knew it too.
In their effort to track down the missing woman, investigators checked her cell phone records. They saw the multiple texts from Andrew Keene and decided to follow up with him.
When Barrie police officers interviewed the hellbeast, he denied having seen Alexandra Flanagan that night. He said he hadn’t seen her for a year, and that she’d never been to his apartment. He suggested that she might have overdosed on drugs, or maybe somebody she’d ripped off had done something to her.
In the hellbeast’s efforts to besmirch his victim’s character, he went on to say that the Alexandra Flanagan had contacted him that night looking for drugs.
The investigators confronted him with the cell phone records. “It looks like you tried to call her, not the other way around,” said the officer. “It sounds like you’re going after her.”
Still the hellbeast denied his involvement in her disappearance.
“I swear on the life of my unborn child I had nothing to do with it,” Andrew Keene told the police. That wasn’t much of an oath considering he also said his girlfriend had just had a miscarriage.
The murderer’s denials weren’t convincing, and the police got a search warrant for his apartment.
Since Andrew Keene had done such a thorough job of cleaning up all traces of the murder, there wasn’t much to find — but the investigators did confiscate the hockey bag. With testing they found it had the victim’s blood on it. This discovery was kept a secret from the killer.
At that point in the investigation, Alexandra Flanagan’s body parts had yet to be discovered. Andrew Keene was placed under police surveillance.
Three months after her disappearance, Alexandra Flanagan’s skull was found. The case was now officially a murder case. Her limbs weren’t discovered for another few months, and her torso was nowhere to be found.
Andrew Keene was kept under police surveillance for three years. Investigators were desperate to make some progress on the case, so they decided to employ undercover officers in a scheme to trick the murderer into confessing. They called the scheme Project Mystic.
The undercover officers posed as criminals in organized crime. They befriended the evil bastard and invited him to join their ranks. They gave him jobs to do — delivering packages of a suspicious nature.
After a year of this hoax, Andrew Keene was introduced to a fictitious crime boss. (I wonder if the guy had a New Jersey accent like you see on TV.) The “boss man” told Andrew Keene that he’d learned from police informants that Alexandra Flanagan’s DNA was on his hockey bag. The “boss man” suggested that he could arrange for somebody else to “take the fall”.
Andrew Keene was happy to let somebody else pay for his crime. “If you can make my problem go away, I will give you my life,” he told the “boss man”. I’ll bet the hellbeast thought that was the best day of his life — as good as winning the lottery.
The “boss man” then told the cowardly killer that the only way he could pull it off would be if he knew the details of the murder. Andrew Keene told him that he was “sort of” in love with Alexandra Flanagan but he’d strangled her, cut up her body and left the pieces in different areas around Barrie to confuse the police.
The “boss man” wanted to know where the body parts were dumped. Andrew Keene happily obliged. He created a map that showed where he’d left Alexandra Flanagan’s body parts, including the torso.
An undercover officer asked the murderous hellbeast about the torso, “Why’d you hide it so close to home?” His answer was, “It was heavy. I have a bad back.”
Police immediately sent out a canine unit to the location indicated on the map. They found the torso and Andrew Keene found himself arrested and charged with murder. Yay! Project Mystic was a success!
The hellbeastly, cowardly asswipe was initially charged with first-degree murder.
The defense objected and brought the case to a higher court. On June 27, 2013 Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst found the case should go to trial on the charge of second-degree murder. She ruled that a sexual attack was mere “speculation”.
“How can such a heinous crime only amount to second-degree murder?” asked the victim’s father, Gerry Flanagan.
If only the prosecution could have proven sexual assault, forcible confinement or premeditation, Andrew Keene would have faced a first-degree murder charge.
Finally, in 2015 — almost 8 years after the murder — Andrew Keene went to trial. Not surprisingly the cowardly killer pled not guilty to the murder charge, although he did admit to dismembering the body.
Andrew Keene’s defense was that he’d been so terribly afraid of the “boss man” that he lied about the murder. He’d been totally drunk that fateful night Alexandra Flanagan died so her death might have been an accident and he just panicked.
Crown attorney Mike Flosman pissed on that defense. “He strangled her. He used a hunting knife, sawing and breaking her into pieces … then did an amazing job of cleaning up … All of that required co-ordination, stamina, dexterity and strength — the things alcohol will rob you of.”
Crown attorney Flosman also pointed out to the court that Andrew Keene had been able to draw a detailed map from memory — another sign he hadn’t been in a drunken stupor when he killed Alexandra Flanagan.
On June 23, 2015, the jury found Andrew Keene guilty of second-degree murder and indignity to a body. The second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence, but parole eligibility ranges from 10 years to 25 years. The defense asked for the minimum and pointed out that Andrew Keene had been beaten up in prison, had been hospitalized and was kept in segregation. Oh, the poor muffin!
On July 2, 2015, Andrew Keene was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 17 years for second-degree murder, and 5 years in prison to be served concurrently for performing an indignity to a body. His parole comes up in October 2028. The victim’s family and friends have vowed to do their best to keep him behind bars.
RIP, Alexandra Flanagan. She was a loving and loved woman, and she deserved far better than what was done to her. I extend my sympathies to her family and friends for their loss.
I truly hope Andrew Keene is kept behind bars without ever being granted parole. We’ve seen what he’s done to someone he “sort of” loved — I’d hate to see what he could do to someone he hated.
Barrie Examiner article – second-degree murder charge
Toronto Sun article – opening statements
Simcoe News article – cell phone records
Barrie Examiner article – drunken defense
Toronto Sun article – torso too heavy
Toronto Sun article – accused lied to crime boss
Toronto Sun article – guilty verdict
Toronto Sun article – what the jury didn’t hear
Barrie CTV News article – sentencing
Simcoe News article – sentencing