Thursday, December 12, 1996, was a cold and rainy day in Moffat, a small Canadian village near Guelph, Ontario. On his way to fill up his truck, 21-year-old Justin Greavette checked the family’s mailbox. There was mail and a package addressed to Wayne Grevette, his father. When he returned home, Justin gave the package to Wayne.
Wayne disassembled the package. There were newspaper flyers used as packing material, a letter, and a flashlight contained within. As Wayne read the letter, Justin attempted to turn on the flashlight, but nothing happened. The flashlight was then given to Wayne, who attempted to turn it on while seated on the sofa. This time, an event did occur.
The flashlight exploded in Wayne’s hands upon pressing the button. Justin, who was sitting next to him, and Diane, Wayne’s wife, who was in the same room at the time of the explosion, were both showered with shrapnel, but luckily, they only sustained minor injuries. Justin immediately dialed 911 and yelled in a panic, “There’s a bomb, and my father just exploded!” By the time emergency services arrived at the Greavettes’ home, it was too late to save Wayne’s life. He had passed away almost instantly.
Who was Wayne Greavette?
The majority of Wayne Greavette’s 42-year career was spent in the beverage packaging industry. He met his future wife Diane when they were both 15 years old. They wed when Diane was 17 years old and had two children, Danielle and Justin Grevett.
At the time of his passing, he and Diane were planning to establish a spring water bottling facility on their expansive Moffat farm. Wayne was mechanically gifted, so he was responsible for the facility’s machinery while Diane handled the logistics.
This section will be divided into three subsections, each of which will discuss relevant evidence, namely the package box, the flashlight bomb, and the letter.
The wrapping paper covering the package was white on the outside and hunter green on the inside. Inside was a Domaine D’or Cabarnet-labeled box that once contained a bottle of red wine. On the top of the box, a rectangular cutout had been made. Detectives suspected this was done to dispose of the barcode and UPC, which could be used to trace the wine back to the store where it was purchased.
In addition to the flashlight and letter (which will be discussed shortly), numerous flyers were used to pack the wine box. The majority of these flyers were widely distributed throughout Southern Ontario. However, one stood out: a flyer advertising Copeland Lumber, a building centrally located at 700 Main Street East, Milton, approximately 20 kilometres from Moffat (that address is now a Habitat for Humanity ReStore) and recently distributed in the Milton region, indicating that the mailer may be local.
Two strands of hair were found in the debris. As a result of not having their roots attached, no nuclear DNA profile could be generated. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) enlisted the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to develop a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) profile, but no progress has been made.
In the CBC podcast Someone Knows Something, the postwoman’s mother (who was riding along with her grandson as the postwoman made her rounds) stated that the package delivered to the Greavette mailbox that day had a beautiful ribbon on it and was not particularly heavy, as her grandson was able to carry it.
Similar to this, the bomb-containing flashlight was a Duracell Floating Lantern approximately 23 cm long and 15 cm tall. According to Justin, the flashlight was possibly glued shut because he was unable to open it when attempting to turn it on. The bomb utilised a mining explosive emulsion known as Superfrac. According to detective Paul Johnson, between 0.5 and 0.7 kilogrammes of Superfrac may have been used.
He added that Superfrac could be purchased without a license directly from the manufacturer, but that it was also likely obtained through theft. A single-cell AA battery was used to power the bomb, which was packed with roofing nails to maximize its destructive power.
The Letter and Typewriter
The business invitation letter enclosed in the package was written by “William J. French.” In the letter, the author stated that he and his business partner were planning to launch “Acton Home Products” in the new year (1997), and he requested a quote from Greavette for equipment repair. The author also stated that he had previously met and collaborated with Greavette.
The writer concluded the letter by expressing his eagerness for a response from Greavette. Here you will find the entire letter. The two names “Lisa” and “Joe” mentioned in the letter were real people that Wayne knew. “Lisa” was played by Leesa Ervin, and “Joe” was played by Giuseppe “Joe” Zottich. Both had worked at SERGE Beverage Equipment with Wayne.
Leesa was a secretary, whereas Joe was a deliveryman. When the letter was initially made public, their names were redacted. Based on their analysis, investigators concluded that the letter was typed on a similar Smith-Corona electric typewriter. The letter was typed with all capital letters, using the font Script 10/12, and the daisy wheel contained the number 59543.
Investigators observed a peculiar anomaly within the letter. Possibly due to a bent arm in the daisy wheel, every period in the letter was followed by a vertical slash. Additional examination of the letter revealed that some of the information was forged. The letter was written in a casual and cordial manner, as if the author knew Wayne personally. Despite this, no one in the Greavette family was familiar with “William J. French.”
Also, no business was ever established under the name “Acton Home Product,” and the purported business address (RR #1 Unit #6, Acton, Ontario) did not exist. The Marywood Meadows postal code (L7G 2N1) was assigned in Georgetown, approximately 10 kilometers from Acton.
However, one thing was chillingly clear: the letter’s postscript implied that the author knew exactly what would occur when Wayne turned on the flashlight. Did not realize you had relocated. Had some difficulty locating you. Merry Christmas and may you never need to purchase another flashlight!”
In November of 1996, two men visited the Acton Post Office. And asked two distinct individuals about the Greavettes’ new address (the Greavettes had shifted from Acton to Moffat in June). The OPP drew a caricature of the two suspects and released it to the public. However, neither of the men were recognized. Ed Galick was another person of interest in the investigation. Ed owned SERGE Beverage Equipments, where Wayne previously worked. And would entrust Wayne with the care of SERGE whenever he went on vacation.
Ed was so close with the Greavette family that the Greavette children referred to him as “Uncle Ed.” Nevertheless, according to Ed in Someone Knows Something, Wayne treated the SERGE employees “like dirt,” causing some of them to leave. Also, Diane once worked for SERGE, but Ed deemed her unfit for the company and requested that she be let go. Ed also claimed that Wayne began stealing money from him (which Wayne denied), and that he began acting strangely around him, which Ed assumed was due to Wayne’s use of hard drugs.
This, along with other factors, caused Ed and Wayne to fall out roughly three years before the murder. Ed also stated that Wayne’s alleged theft continued after he was fired from SERGE, which may have been the reason he was targeted, and that his estranged son, Ed Jr., may have been responsible for Wayne’s death.
Conclusion and personal thoughts
Today (Tuesday, 12 December 2022) marks the exact 26th anniversary of Wayne Greavette’s brutal murder in his own home. There are numerous unanswered questions surrounding this case. Who desired Wayne’s death so much that they would construct a bomb to kill him? What did Wayne do to deserve this person’s desire to exterminate him? Why should the letter be mailed? Why not just deliver it to his home? I hope with all my heart that Diane, Justin, and Danielle can find peace. And that one day, evidence will emerge that definitively answers the question, “Who murdered Wayne Greavette?