crime What In The Hell Was Up With Jason Gamache?  

Erin Wisti
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The Jason Gamache case was shocking to the small community of Courtenay, British Columbia. What did Jason Gamache do, you ask? On an otherwise normal October afternoon in 1992, the 15-year-old kidnapped and then brutally raped and murdered his six-year-old neighbor Dawn Shaw. News soon surfaced that Gamache had been previously convicted of sexually assaulting children. The Jason Gamache crimes left the community baffled. 

Residents began asking themselves, "Who was Jason Gamache?" He had been well liked in his community and no on knew of his dark history before he arrived in Courtenay. Shaw's family trusted Gamache and believed he deeply cared for their daughter. Sadly, the lack of knowledge about Gamache's history led to a brutal, unforgettable crime.

There is not a lot of public information on the crimes Gamache committed or the details of Shaw's brutal murder, and some of this may be conjecture. Still, there is no denying what an awful crime Gamache committed - a teenager killing a child - and the scar it left on this small British Columbia town.

He Kidnapped His Victim During Game Of Hide And Seek


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Photo:  Şahzadə/WikiMedia Commons /CC BY-SA 3.0

Jason Gamache was friendly with children and appeared to genuinely enjoy their company. He ended up kidnapping Dawn by tricking her into playing hide and seek with him and a group of neighborhood children. Gamache carried Dawn into the woods during the game, perhaps under the guise they would find a hiding spot together. He went on to rape and murder her in the secluded woods.

Dawn Shaw's Body Was Brutalized


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Photo:  Biography Channel

When Dawn’s body was discovered, it had been absolutely brutalized by Gamache. Several of her ribs were broken, she had severe blows to her thorax and abdomen, and her liver was perforated. It was concluded that she bled out as a result of her wounds, which ultimately caused her death.

Gamache Babysat Another Neighbor's Children While People Were Searching For Dawn


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Photo:  Biography Channel/Killer Kids

Gamache lived in the same townhouse complex as Dawn Shaw. He was, by all accounts, well liked and trusted by other residents. In fact, the man who discovered Dawn’s body trusted Gamache to babysit his two sons the night of Dawn's murder. The man was later shocked and stated it never even occurred to him Gamache could be the murderer.

Gamache Had Previously Been Convicted Of Sexual Assault


Gamache had previously been convicted of sexually assaulting two four-year-old children in the city where he previously lived with his mother. To escape the public stigma, the family moved the family from Namaimo to Courteny, British Columbia. Gamache was attending court ordered sexual assault therapy at the time of the murder.