Margaret Lee Cole

Margaret Cole
Crimes: Arson, Murder

I know it’s not always possible for people to care for their elderly family members themselves. It’s a tough, heart-wrenching situation, and very often the best solution is to employ a caregiver.

I know that the vast majority of caregivers are diligent, respectful and professional. Many go above and beyond for their elderly clients. But then there are those like Margaret Lee Cole of Washago, Ontario, Canada. She is an absolute nightmare of a caregiver who used her position of trust to enrich herself no matter what it took.

Richard HumbleThe unfortunate elderly man who put himself at the mercy of Margaret Lee Cole was 82-year-old Richard Humble. Mr. Humble was a proud, sprightly and independent man, according to his nephew. He’d worked as a marine engineer on navy ships in his younger years, and travelled round the world. He eventually moved from England to Canada, and worked on the fire boats in Toronto for 22 years. When he retired, he moved to Washago where he could enjoy the great outdoors.

Mr. Humble’s independent lifestyle took a hit when he had surgery on his knee. Margaret Cole, whom he considered a friend, began helping him out with household chores and shopping for groceries.

Probably Mr. Humble didn’t know it, but Margaret Cole was desperate for money. Her own house had burned down to the ground, and although she was suspected of arson, she had received a payout of $500,000 from the insurance company. That money didn’t last long — two years later she was desperate for more. Instead of looking for a job like a decent human being, the hellbeast looked for a victim. She found Richard Humble.

Poor Mr. Humble trusted his new friend, Margaret Cole, to help him out for a little while as he recovered from surgery. He had no idea she was an evil hellbitch who had befriended him with the sole purpose of getting his money and possessions.

Within five or six weeks of befriending Mr. Humble, Margaret Cole had managed to access his files, discover he had $400,000 in the bank, and put a truly evil scheme into motion.

In early April 2011, Margaret Cole forged Mr. Humble’s signature on cheques. She deposited $18,000 in cash and $65,000 in forged cheques into her own account. Obviously Mr. Humble would figure out easily who stole his money, so Margaret Cole decided that he needed to be killed. And damn if she didn’t plan to make money off the murder too.

Margaret Cole got busy on her computer and made a brand new will for Richard Humble. She falsified documents that made her his beneficiary, his executor and his estate trustee, and gave her power of attorney.

In the forged will, Margaret Cole named herself and her son as beneficiaries of Mr.Humble’s vehicle and half of the sale of his home. His sister, Joyce, in England was to get the rest. How generous of her.

All that was left was to dispose of her victim. How to do it?

Margaret Cole chose to drug Richard Humble, and let him die of an “accidental” overdose. On April 9, 2011 she slipped him her own anti-anxiety medication. She left the house, fully expecting that Mr. Humble would be dead on her return.

Unfortunately for Mr. Humble, the medication didn’t kill him but it made him sleep. He was unaware of Margaret Cole entering his house and checking on him. He was also unaware of what the hellbitch did next.

Margaret Cole, I’m sure, was completely disgusted that her victim was still alive. She decided to resort to what worked for her before — arson.

OMFG, I cannot imagine how absolutely lacking in humanity one must be to even consider burning somebody to death. And that’s precisely what Margaret Cole considered and then did. She left the helpless, sleeping man in a burning house.

Humble houseA neighbour spotted smoke pouring from Mr. Humble’s home. She called 911 immediately. Neighbour Janice Lovering — the kind of neighbour we all wish we had — rushed to the burning house. She heard Mr. Humble’s feeble cries of “help me, help me” and took action.

Janice Lovering, bless her, actually went inside the burning house and found the poor man on the floor. The awesomely brave woman tried to drag him out, but he was too heavy for her. She made her way through the smoke back to the door, but the door was locked! She began screaming for help, and mercifully her cries were heard. Two men came to her rescue, kicked the door open, and freed her. One of those men then ran through the flames and managed to drag Mr. Humble out of the house.

Richard Humble was still alive, heaven help him, and somewhat conscious. He’d been burned all over his body, from his head to his toes. He could only moan in pain, and hours later he died of his injuries. This trusting, friendly, elderly man died a horrible, horrible death.

Janice Lovering actually spoke to the killer the day of the murder. “She said she had power of attorney and the authority to sell the house. She said she would like to rebuild the house so she could sell it and she offered my husband the opportunity to rebuild it.”

Wow, Margaret Cole didn’t waste time. The day of the murder she was making plans! Not surprisingly, the hellbitch mailed the forged will to her victim’s lawyer right away.

Margaret Cole had to call her doctor for a new prescription of her anti-anxiety drugs. She told him that her meds were lost in the fire.

Too bad for Margaret Cole the police were onto her from the start. Witnesses had spotted her at the house in the moments before the fire began.

Interrogation of Margaret ColeTwo weeks after Mr. Humble’s death, the detectives of the Ontario Provincial Police brought the murdering bitch in for questioning. She tried to convince them she was all torn up about her friend’s demise, and even talked about seeing his burned body in the hospital. “I have nightmares about it,” she said.

When asked about her being the beneficiary of his will, Margaret Cole said, “It’s what he wanted. He thought of me as a daughter.”

The heartless killer went on to say that two friends had witnessed Mr. Humble signing the will. Detective Scott Johnston knew better.

“I already know the power of attorney and will was signed after his death, your witnesses have given it up,” the detective told Margaret Cole. He also informed her that her friends had admitted that she had offered them $10,000 to lie. The hellbitch finally admitted that she’d lied about the signing of the will, not about the forgery.

Cole Interrogation“We re-did the will and he signed it and had no witnesses and we should have gone into the lawyer and he didn’t want to go and have it notarized,” Margaret Cole said. Riiight, like that happened.

The thing that Detective Johnston noticed all through the interview was that Margaret Cole never cried for her dead friend. “I have not seen a single tear from you,” said Detective Johnston. “When you go to sleep at night, you think of his burned body and remember — you’re responsible.”

“Ya, well, I’m not a murderer,” answered the callous killer.

Margaret Cole, 48, was charged with 1st-degree murder. She pled not guilty. Her trial began in January 2015.

Crown attorney Mike Flosman said, “This trial is about pieces of paper. It is the last will and testimony of Richard Humble that is at the heart of this case.”

“Margaret Lee Cole, in desperate financial straits, befriended Mr. Humble to get access to his money,” Crown attorney Flosman said. “She set out to kill him — first drugging him and then, when she found him still alive … she set fire to his house.”

The prosecution produced experts who testified about the forgeries. They had the neighbours who tried to save Mr. Humble as witnesses, as well as the coroner who testified about the anti-anxiety drugs in the victim’s system.

The defense lawyers argued that there was no murder. “This case is about a man dying in a house fire… the experts were unable to conclude it was arson.” They argued that if Margaret Cole had wanted to set the house on fire she wouldn’t have done it in broad daylight. But you know and I know the fatal fire was not her original plan.

Defense attorney John Dennis told the jury that there was no evidence that the victim hadn’t taken the anti-anxiety drugs himself. But I ask you, how and why would Mr. Humble have done that?

The defense also insisted that even though she had forged the will, Margaret Cole was simply not capable of murder. Really? So why did she make a will? Her victim was elderly but healthy — certainly not on death’s door.

And after stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the man, she was really willing to let him call the police and get her ass thrown in jail?

The jury was spared the ordeal of looking at the photos of Mr. Humble’s burned body. Thank gawd for that.

After two days of deliberation, the jury came back with a verdict of guilty. Yay!

At sentencing on March 24, 2015, Justice Di Tomaso called the murder “shocking and appalling”. Damn straight it was.

“Most gruesome and repugnant is the manner in which Mr. Humble died,” the judge said. “He did not die quickly. He suffered horribly from burns, from head to foot”.

The court was presented with a letter from Mr. Humble’s sister in England. “My brother was my best friend,” she wrote. “When I first heard about his death I was devastated, but when I learned how he died, I was heartbroken.”

Margaret Lee Cole, 50, was sentenced to life in prison. Hopefully Canada’s “faint hope clause”, which has recently been removed from the Criminal Code, won’t apply in her case. That clause would allow the hellbitch to apply for parole in 15 years. If it doesn’t apply, she’ll be 75 before she can apply.

RIP, Richard Humble. He was loved and admired, and I’m sure he’s much missed by his family in England and his friends in Canada. To those people I extend my heartfelt sympathies.

To the brave people who ran into a burning house to try to save a life I offer my unstinting admiration. Awesome people!

I wish upon Margaret Lee Cole many, many years of nightmares and regrets. She may not have had money in the bank, but she had her son and the friendship of a good man. Now she’s got precisely nothing except what the prison system lets her have.

The Barrie Examiner article – charges
Orillia Packet article – trial
St Catherine’s Standard article – testimony
Barrie CTV News article – closing arguments
Toronto Sun article – verdict
Barrie CTV News article – sentencing

11 Responses to Margaret Lee Cole

  1. moodymagic says:

    Burn in hell Margaret. You are one sick bitch.

    • AussieGal says:

      Hell is too good for people like her! Disgusting!!

      • Angel says:

        I was in jail with her I had the misfortune of being her cell partner she was plain evil she told all is inmates she was in jail for supposedly being on a plane and her husband charged her with kidnapping none of us believed her she always took her papers to another room to go over her case we read them and got the just of she killed a man for his $ and this wasn’t the first time she also said she had a lil boy who knows if that’s true. Shes sick and I’m glad I never went back to jail you never know what the person next to you really is in for..i am happy Shes got life well deserved crazy freak

  2. Bulldoggy says:

    That’s one evil bitch. Too bad he turned to her instead of one of his selfless neighbours after his surgery. He picked the worst possible person to help him, poor fellow.

  3. Nnygem says:

    Im new to this site, hello! I feel so terrible for this poor man’s family. Hearing such stories really strengthen my choice to care for my mother myself should she require it. I couldn’t take the chance, you know?

    • Philosophizer4Truth says:

      Could not agree w/ you more, @NNYGEM! Though, this situation might be unique (sister in England; though curious if he had children, & if so, had they moved away), more & more we are hearing of our elderly- the generation right before ours, being placed into ‘Retirement Homes/ Communities’, ‘Nursing Facilities’, & for those fortunate enough to maintain independent living into their more advanced yrs of wisdom, but due to an injury (such as Mr. Humble) requires some outside help during recovery- must seek that help from a stranger, though he or she has grown children w/in a reasonable distance

  4. Bengalpuss says:

    Greedy bitch she is. Mr humble would’ve lent her the money if she asked, but she didn’t want to pay it back so she murdered him. I’m glad she is a thick criminal otherwise she may have gotten away with it. Fancy drugging him with her own medication, killing him days after forging his will, and cashing bent cheques in her own name, canada’s stupidest criminal pops up in my mind.

  5. 2cute says:

    It would be karma if her mattress caught on fire one night in her cell, and she couldn’t be rescued until she was burned from top to bottom. She put that nice man through the agonies of hell without a second thought. She deserves to burn.

    • Angel says:

      I was in jail with her I had the misfortune of being her cell partner she was plain evil she told all is inmates she was in jail for supposedly being on a plane and her husband charged her with kidnapping none of us believed her she always took her papers to another room to go over her case we read them and got the just of she killed a man for his $ and this wasn’t the first time she also said she had a lil boy who knows if that’s true. Shes sick and I’m glad I never went back to jail you never know what the person next to you really is in for..i am happy Shes got life well deserved crazy freak we would of beaten her ect if we knew what she was in for i would have they let a girl who rapped her kids had part in it and noone did anything to her ….

  6. JT says:

    We knew the family. Mr. Cole was a wonderfully generous man. Lee was spoiled rotten…got away with things as a kid…and her mom covered for her trauncies at school. We are very saddened by this.

  7. killpedos says:

    What an evil bitch. It just goes to show how far some people will go to get their hands on a bit of money. I looked after people with Alzheimer’s and dementia and various other disabilities for ten years. NEVER once in my life did it enter my mind to hurt them in any shape or form. And I know sometimes as a caregiver you need to take a breather as it can be a complex and frustrating thing at times. I would never call caregiving a job as it is something you can only do with your heart.
    I hope she’s treated with the same decency in jail as she treated this poor man.
    My heart goes out to him and his family. RIP..

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