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27 April 2013

Christine White (1949 - ) construction boss, bank robber

Anatoli Misura was born in Belgium to Ukrainian refugees, who later ran a dairy farm in Mont St. Grégoire, Quebec. By age 18 Anatoli was reading about and identifying with transsexuals. He trained as a mechanical designer and worked as a manager of a construction crew, and was married for seven years.

She transitioned as Christine White in 1993, reportedly spending $60,000. She had genital surgery with Dr Michel Seghers in Brussels, a nose job, breast implants and three operations on her vocal cords. She was then unable to obtain work in the construction industry. She worked a little in Edmonton, Alberta as an escort and manicurist.

However she felt that she was entitled to recompense. She robbed 31 banks across Canada taking an estimated total of $80,000 between May 1997 in Edmonton and November 1998 when she held up the Scotiabank in the Quinte Mall, Belleville, Ontario, and was pursued in a high-speed chase.

Her initial approach was to disguise as a man, and pass the teller a note from a day-timer book. Sometimes she had a fake bomb. The robber was described as an effeminate man, or a masculine woman in men's clothes: the Toronto Police referred to her as the Unisex Bandit. However the police had been looking for a man, and she was living as a woman.

After a protracted trial during which White successively fired five lawyers, she pleaded guilty in 2002 and was sentenced to eleven years minus three for pre-trial custody. In Burnaby prison and then Joliette prison outside Montréal, psychological counselling brought out her feelings of persecution. She studied computers and construction health and safety. She also sued her arresting officers for assault, the doctors who initially treated her after her arrest, and Legal Aid Ontario when it refused to finance her suits. She befriended notorious killer Karla Homolka.

She was granted parole in 2007.

*Not the racing commissioner, nor the actor, nor the anthropologist.
  • Don Campbell. "Transvestite arrested in robbery rampage: Gender-bender allegedly looted 31 banks in two years". The Ottawa Citizen, 20 Nov 1998.
  • "Unisex robber pleads guilty in bank heist". Kingston Whig-Standard, 18 Sep 1999.

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