Hamilton serial killer Sukhwinder Dhillon
Ranjit Singh Khela was having dinner with his wife at his home in Hamilton, Canada. 25-year-old Ranjith hails from Punjab. Married not long ago. His wife is a homeopathic doctor.
It was meeting Canada-based Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon (age 46) that transplanted his life from a small village in Punjab to modern urban life in Canada.
That was two years ago.
Dhillon, who was on leave from Canada, was visited by Ranjit Singh and asked him to fix a job. Dhillon arranged a visa for Ranjith, a graduate, to Canada and enlisted him as an assistant in his business. Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon
Dhillon owned a used car business in Hamilton. Dhillon soon roped in the enthusiastic Ranjith as a partner. Soon Ranjith got married and brought his wife to Canada. Their lives were happy, except for one thing. Ranjith was a failure in the bedroom. Reluctance to say it was simmering between them.
Ranjith’s wife was washing dishes in the kitchen. A sudden shout from the dining room, it’s Ranjith’s!. They ran away.
He is writhing on the ground. The body is bent like a bow with excruciating pain. Eyes are pushed out. Stunned, she quickly tried to lift him up, but could not. They quickly ran away and called the emergency number and asked for an ambulance.
In the midst of a sound sleep, Dhillon opened his eyes to the constant ringing of the phone. He picked up the phone awkwardly. Shocking news reached his ears. His business partner Ranjit Singh Khela has passed away. It was a big shock. He immediately reached the hospital.
The condition of Ranjith’s body was terrible. The body bends like a bow and freezes. The eyes are staring. He died in great pain. But the doctors had no idea how he died. There are no fatal injuries on the body. There are no signs of ingestion. They ruled that the cause of death could be a sudden heart attack or something else.
Ranjith’s wife was not interested in going into the ropes of law. They came to Canada from Punjab not long ago. Without Ranjith, it will be difficult to continue here. So they wanted to return home with Ranjith’s body. Dhillon also agreed on that. After the post-mortem, the police released the body.
Cliff Elliot is a claims investigator at the Canadian Life Insurance Company’s Hamilton branch. He is a senior officer. His job is to investigate and submit a report on the death of policy holders. Allow the claim amount as per that report.
On that morning in 1996, he had to investigate Ranjit Singh Khela’s life insurance claim. He examined the relevant papers. It is a policy taken a year ago. The policy amount is one lakh dollars. Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon, Ranjith’s business partner, had the right to claim. There was nothing special about it because Dhillon also had a policy of Rs 100,000. Its heir was Ranjit. The death of one of the partners may be a precaution to prevent the business from collapsing.
Eliot arrives at Dhillon’s residence in the suburbs of Hamilton. Dhillon was waiting there. He invited Eliot into the house. Proudham is Dhillon’s house. A beautiful painting in the hall.
That image sparked something in Elliot’s brain. He has seen this picture before..! A feeling that says “deja vu”. He closed his eyes and put his hand on his forehead and thought for a moment. Then asked Dhillon:
“Who is this person in that picture? Very impressive!“
“This is the founder of our religion. Guru Nanak..” Dhillon solemnly announced.
“Is this a close-up painting?” Elliot asked.
“No. I brought it when I settled in Canada. Done by an artist from Punjab.”
“Have you lived here for a while?”
“No, it’s only been a year.” Dhillon said.
Then Elliott remembered that he had seen this picture earlier, at Dhillon’s old house. Exactly one and a half years ago..!
But what surprised Elliott was something else. He had come for the same thing that day too, to inquire about the insurance claim in the name of Dhillon’s wife..!
Clifton Elliott rushed to his office after making the necessary inquiries regarding the claim. Tap old files. Soon he found what he was looking for.
His wife died in 1995. As per the then claim, Dhillon was awarded $2,15,000. He also wrote off a loan of $18,000 in his wife’s name.
After further investigation, Elliott decided that the new claim should be allowed.
Clifton informed the Hamilton police the same day. Two mysterious deaths within a year and a half. Both insurance claims are for the same person. He wanted a detailed investigation in this regard.
Hamilton Police Detective Sergeant Warren Korol took over the investigation. He decided to investigate the death of Dhillon’s wife Parvesh Kaur in detail.
In 1981, Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon, a native of Ludhiana, Punjab, came to Canada. After doing small businesses, he married Parvesh Kaur in 1983 and brought her to Canada. She died in January 1995 at the age of thirty-six.
The detective examined hospital records and the coroner’s report. Parvesh was brought to the hospital in a state of sudden collapse. Their faces were contorted with pain. The whole body was frozen. Doctors could not find the cause of death. They wrote the report as some sudden illness.
Detective Korol learned that Dhillon had submitted a claim for the insurance amount the very next business day after his wife’s death. Hamilton police decided to investigate more about Dhillon. For that, the investigation should be extended to India.
Detective Kevin Dhinsa, an Indian-origin detective with the Hamilton Police, was assigned to assist Korol. They reached Ludhiana in Punjab.
In 1995, they discovered that Dhillon had visited Punjab after getting insurance money in his wife’s name. Even after that he has visited Punjab many times. They should have known about these things. The Hamilton Police sought the assistance of the Punjab Police. Thus, a detailed investigation was conducted in Punjab about Dhillon.
Some surprising things were found in the investigation. What Dhillon did when he came to Punjab after Parvesh’s death was to get married immediately. Sarabjit Kaur Brar was the new bride. A good amount was received as dowry. Dhillon returned to Canada promising to take Sarabjit too soon. The wife’s family started trying to get her passport and other things right.
Meanwhile, Dhillon came to Punjab again without informing Sarabjit. He had another marriage from an area far inland from Ludhiana. Kushwinder Preet Kaur Thur was the bride this time. There too a good amount of dowry was received. Dhillon said that he would take Kushwinder to Canada and get the documents right and went back.
Months passed. Meanwhile, Dhillon gets a message from Sarabjit Kaur’s house that she has given birth to twins. Dhillon came to Punjab to meet the children. She was in the hospital. Children have certain health problems and are treated. Dhillon was accompanied by his wife and children. All their medical affairs were looked after with care. A few days passed. One day suddenly both children died. There was no further investigation due to health problems. After their funeral, a grief-stricken Dhillon informed his wife that he was going to his home in Ludhiana.
He went to his third wife. If they are, Dhillon’s arrival is also expected for the trip to Canada. Dhillon took his wife for a medical check-up for the visa requirement. He came back after the checkup. Dhillon returned to Ludhiana that same day.
At night he got a call that Kushwinder Preet had passed away. He quickly reached there. Kushwinder suddenly fell ill in the evening. His face was distorted with pain and his body was like a stick. Doctors could not find the cause of death. They ruled that it was an unknown disease. The body was cremated the next day.
All these very strange events put Detective Korol and Dhinsa together to make a fire. Five mysterious deaths. Dhillon was on one side of all this. He gets some benefit with every death. There is every possibility that these are very cleverly planned murders. The first thing to know is how these deaths happened.
Doctors found a chemical substance in Ranjit Singh Khela’s body through modern forensic tests conducted on his body samples. It was a substance called STRYCHNINE. It is a toxic substance extracted from the seeds of the wormwood tree. It was not available in Canada. Wormwood does not grow in Canada. So there is only one possibility, it must have been brought from India. This tree is abundant in India.
Detective Korol and Dhinsa are back in Punjab. With the help of the Punjab Police, they exhumed the bodies of the dead twins and collected forensic samples. As the body of deceased Kushwinder Kaur was cremated, nothing more could be done in that regard.
A forensic examination of the child’s body found traces of STRYCHNINE.
The doctors testified that there was no presence of such an object anywhere in their treatment. The deaths of the children took place during the days when Dhillon was present.
The police also traveled the same route as Dhillon.
The streets of Ludhiana are lined with small shops selling single herbs and herbal poisons. “Kunchila” poison used against vermin like rats was also available in shops here. The police collected it. Lab tests confirmed that it contained STRYCHNINE. The peculiarity of this toxin is that its presence cannot be detected in normal tests when administered to humans. Death will be very painful. Death will happen suddenly. Dhillon somehow realized this and collected this material from here.
In October 1997, Dhillon was arrested by Hamilton police.
After detailed investigations, the police prepared a charge sheet. Dhillon was charged with the murders of Parvesh Kaur and Ranjit Singh Khela. The deaths of the twins and Kushwinder Kaur were dropped from the chargesheet as they took place in India. But the details of the above murders and the persons involved were included in the witness list to prove Dhillon’s guilt. Witnesses from India were brought to Canada and their statements were recorded in court.
Dhillon denied the charges, but that was worthless in the face of solid evidence, testimony and forensic reports. The case was that he killed his first wife Parvesh and his business partner Ranjit Singh by poisoning them with STRYCHNINE to extort insurance money.
His wife testified in court that Ranjit Singh had told her that Dhillon uncle had given her a pill to take to cure sexual impotence. The pill was mixed with STRYCHNINE. They didn’t tell anyone else that day because they didn’t have the slightest doubt about Dhillon. He remembered this later when the police came to investigate.
In 2001, after a lengthy trial, a Montreal court sentenced Dhillon to 25 years in prison without parole.
Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon died of cancer in Warkworth Prison on 16 November 2013.
Cast of characters
- Sukhwinder Singh Dhillon, the killer.
- Parvesh Kaur Dhillon, his first wife and victim.
- Sarabjit Kaur Brar, Dhillon’s second wife.
- Gurmeet and Gurwinder, newborn twin sons of Dhillon and Sarabjit.
- Uncle Iqbal, Sarabjit’s uncle.
- Kushpreet Kaur Toor, Dhillon’s third wife.
- Rai Singh Toor, Kushpreet’s father.
- Jagdev and Iqbal Mundi, Kushpreet’s aunt and uncle.
- Surinder Kaur Dhillon, Dhillon’s sister-in-law.
- Sukhwinder Kaur Grewal, Dhillon’s fourth wife.
- Ranjit Khela, friend and protégé of Dhillon.
- Lakhwinder Kaur Sekhon, Ranjit’s wife.
- Cliff Elliot, a life insurance claims investigator.