The Millionaire Serial Killer
In 2013, a rich boy and his friend committed the worst crime, but it wasn’t their first foray into murder.
Dellen Millard via BBC / court exhibit
Sharlene Bosma paced the living room of the home she shared with her husband and daughter in the town of Ancaster in Hamilton, Ontario. Tim had been gone over an hour and her panic was beginning to rise. He’d taken two men out in the Dodge Ram truck they were trying to sell via an online advert, and the trio still hadn’t returned from the test drive.
The whole situation was strange. The pair had told Sharlene they’d been dropped off by a friend but there was no sign of the friend’s car. Now, Sharlene’s calls to Tim’s mobile were going straight to voicemail and her texts were going unanswered.
When Tim still hadn’t arrived home later that night, Sharlene called the police to report her husband missing.
The search for the 32-year-old began quickly, with Hamilton police citing the case as a “missing persons investigation with unusual circumstances”. Canine units were deployed, and the search and rescue team, along with most of Ancaster’s small community, began their hunt.
A press conference took place, urging Tim’s captors to deliver him home safe, with Sharlene pleading with his abductors, “It was just a truck, a stupid truck. You do not need him but I do. Our daughter needs her daddy.”
Three days later, Tim’s phone was found near Brantford on an industrial site around a 20-minute drive from Ancaster, but there was no sign of Tim or the truck.
The investigation turned to the phone number that had been used to contact Tim. Police quickly discovered that it was a burner phone, but Tim wasn’t the only person contacted using that number.
Police spoke to Israeli army veteran, Igor Tumanenko, who was also selling a Dodge Ram. He told them that he’d taken two men on a test drive just two days before Tim went missing, but he returned from the trip, unlike Tim.
He was able to give investigators a description of the two men, detailing that one carried a small satchel and had a strange tattoo on his wrist that read ‘Ambition’.
During another press conference, the descriptions of the two men were given and within a few days, officers from Peel and Toronto agencies had called in, stating they knew exactly who Hamilton police were looking for.
Born in 1985 to Wayne and Madeleine, Dellen Millard was the heir to the multi-million Canadian airline MillardAir. At the time, the 27-year-old owned several properties, including two condos, a farm and a mansion in Etobicoke. He had a fleet of luxury vehicles and was a record holder as the youngest soloist Canadian to fly a helicopter and plane on the same day.
His parents had divorced when he was young and just a few months before, his father had committed suicide, making him the beneficiary of the family fortune.
Millard hosted parties and had a playboy persona, with multiple girlfriends. He let friends stay at his numerous properties and moved around so often that some of his house staff had never even met him.
On the 11th of May, four days after Tim had gone missing, Millard was arrested by Hamilton police. The search warrant was granted quickly and the next day, Tim’s Dodge Ram was found in a huge trailer on the driveway of Millard’s mother’s home.
The truck had been stripped, but luminol tests showed evidence of blood and that a clean-up had taken place. Tim’s car keys were also found on Millard’s key chain.
Police searched his other properties and were told by Chaz Main, a dirtbike rider who often rode around the land of Millard’s farm, that there were strange objects scattered around the property, including an industrial-sized incinerator.
The Eliminator via nationalpost.com / court exhibit
Crudely stencilled onto the side of the ten-foot furnace was “The Eliminator”, and inside forensics found small bone fragments, including remains of human teeth. Because of the fire damage, it was near impossible to collect DNA from the remains, however, it was believed that the bone fragments found in the incinerator were Tim’s and on the 14th of May, police publicly confirmed that Tim Bosma was dead.
Hamilton police had Millard in custody, charged with first-degree murder, but there was still an accomplice to find.
A high school dropout, Mark Smich sold drugs to fund his lifestyle. He’d been in trouble with the law because of the drugs but also had a rap sheet of smaller offences such as driving impaired and general mischief.
Mark Smich via CBC.ca / Court exhibit
He and Millard met in 2006 and within a few years were going on nighttime ‘missions’ to steal cars and other vehicles, for excitement rather than profit, often burning the evidence at the side of the road.
After a week of surveillance, Mark Smich was arrested on the 22nd of May and charged with first-degree murder, the same day of Tim’s funeral.
The community of Hamilton was devastated. It now looked like Tim was just a victim of thrill-seeking that went too far. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only victim of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.
By the time the arrests had been made for Tim Bosma’s death, Laura Babcock had been missing for nearly a year. The 23-year-old began dating Dellen Millard in 2008, but their relationship was more of a ‘friends with benefits’ situation and soon Laura started dating other people. She met Shawn Lerner in 2010 but the relationship ended after 18 months though they stayed close.
In 2011, Laura’s life had begun to spiral out of control, and she suffered from anxiety and depression. She’d started harming herself and self-medicating and was working for an escort service to pay for her habit.
In June 2012, Shawn Lerner began to help Laura get her life back on track. He loaned her an iPad to look for jobs and apartments and was paying for a motel for her to stay in. Meanwhile, Laura was sleeping with Dellen again, despite him having a girlfriend, Christina.
The girlfriend found out from Laura that the pair were still having sex and Millard told her that he’d take care of Laura, saying in a text; “first im going to hurt her. Then I’ll make her leave. I will remove her from our lives.”
On the 3rd of July 2012, Millard picked Laura up from the station and the pair drove to his house in Etobicoke. Her phone stopped pinging cell masts, but his mobile phone continued to do so, showing his clear movements that day. Mark Smich later received a text from Millard reading, “I’m on a mission, back in 1 hr”.
An image, taken with Millard’s mobile phone that same day, said enough.
An object wrapped in tarp taken on Dellen Millard’s phone via CBC.ca / Court exhibit
A few days before Laura went missing, Millard purchased a .32 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver and two days after, “The Eliminator” arrived at the property. A Google search on Millard’s computer asked what temperature cremation needed to be effective, and a text message sent to Smich read, “Bbq has run its warm up, it’s ready for meat”, a few weeks later.
On the 14th of July, Laura’s family and Shawn Lerner reported her missing to police, but they were convinced she would show up, seemingly unconcerned about the young woman’s disappearance, given her mental health and profession.
Laura’s case went cold, but Shawn Lerner didn’t give up hope. When he heard that Dellen Millard had been arrested for murder, he quickly joined the dots and contacted Laura’s family who then spoke to Hamilton police. Investigators were very interested in their story.
After his arrest, a search of Mark Smich’s property in Oakville found the iPad Shawn Lerner gave Laura to search for apartments and jobs. They also found Laura’s duffel bag at the property.
A series of images showing the incinerator being used were found, with Mark Smich posing in front of it. A recording of Smich rapping was also discovered, with the lyrics stating; “The bitch started off all skin and bone, now the bitch lay on some ashy stone, last time I saw her outside the home and if you go swimming you can find her phone.”
Along with the mounting evidence against the pair, Dellen had written 65 letters to his ex-girlfriend Christina from prison, stating that they needed to ensure their stories matched. He told her to say that she was with him that night and that Laura had overdosed on drugs. He also told Christina to destroy the letters but she didn’t.
The case against both Dellen Millard and Mark Smich for the murders of Laura Babcock and Tim Bosma was strong, but there was still one more surprise to come.
Wayne had died from a single gunshot wound through his left eye, which was ruled a suicide early on. His death was investigated and the case was closed, but with what police now knew about Dellen, they wanted to have another look at the facts.
Speaking to family and colleagues, police found out that Wayne was threatening to stop funding his son’s lifestyle. Dellen was spending huge amounts of money and wasn’t interested in the family business. Wayne didn’t want his son to ruin the hard work that generations of his family had built and was about to cut his son off financially, but before he could take action, he died.
Fortunately, there was still physical evidence from Wayne’s death, which investigators could forensically test. The .32 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver used in the death had been bought by Dellen just before Laura Babcock went missing, and it had his DNA all over it. There was also no gunshot residue on Wayne’s clothing or hands.
Throughout the trials, each man blamed the other for the murders, but in the end, justice was handed to both of them.
On the 17th of June 2016, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich were convicted for the murder of Tim Bosma and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. In December 2017, they were convicted of the murder of Laura Babcock and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
On the 18th of December 2018, Dellen Millard was convicted of the murder of his father, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. Smich will serve a minimum of 50 years in prison and Millard will serve a minimum of 75 years in prison.
Millard’s girlfriend, Christina Noudga, pleaded guilty to her involvement in the coverup of Tim Bosma’s death. She admitted to moving the vehicle trailer and the incinerator, and destroying evidence. The 24-year-old received a reduced charge due to her testimony in Millard’s trial and was given three months in prison. According to Reddit, she now lives in Poland and is attending medical school.
The remains of Laura and Tim have never been identified but their remnants likely are those found in “The Eliminator”.
Dellen Millard threw away his seemingly perfect life because Laura Babcock and his father were standing in his way. We may never know why he killed Tim Bosma, but all signs point to boredom and the audacity that the millionaire thought he and his friend could get away with anything, even murder.
Sources and further reading
Dellen Millard: Fun-loving heir whose killings stunned Canada — BBC The Israeli army vet who escaped Tim Bosma’s fate — The Star Tim Bosma case: Remains found in incinerator could not be ID’d — CBC Christina Noudga pleads guilty for her role in Tim Bosma murder case — CBC Babcock, Millard, and Bosma Murders : Timeline of Events — Google Docs “My Sweet Serial Killer,” wrote Dellen Millard’s girlfriend — Ann Brocklehurst In jailhouse interview, Dellen Millard admits for first time he had a part in Tim Bosma’s murder — National Post SERIAL KILLER: Dellen Millard — Crime Junkie (podcast)