Subway Elvis, aka Michael McTaggart, was for years a fixture at the Yonge/Bloor subway station until he was wrongly convicted of bank robbery. What follows is one hell of a story and the subject of a CBC documentary, narrated by Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose on legal nightmare was the subject of a Dylan song and a Norman Jewison film The Hurricane. You can watch a clip from the CBC Subway Elvis doc to the right of this post after you open the Read the full article link below. Thanks to Warren Cosford for pointing this incredible story out to us.
Here is a quick rundown:
1970 – Michael begins performing an Elvis act at the Yonge/Bloor subway station and was dubbed “Subway Elvis” by the Toronto Star.
1972 – Subway launches his stage career and tours across Southern Ontario.
Aug. 16 1977 – The real Elvis dies, reviving Subway’s flagging career. He tours the US on revival shows with featured greats like Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Feb. 17, 1986 – While waiting for a train in Toronto’s Kipling station Subway is arrested for armed robbery. In total he’s charged with seven armed robberies, four in Burlington and three in Kitchener. He spends ten months in jail awaiting a trial.
1988 – Two trials are held for the Burlington robberies. In the second Subway is convicted on two of the robberies. The judge sentences him to five years in jail at Millhaven in Kingston. After several weeks he’s out on bail pending an appeal.
1989 – Subway begins performing with a new group called the Slammers. In the meantime the armed robber strikes again in Woodbridge, west of Toronto. “Subway” is arrested two days later at his mother’s house. He spends another eight and a half months in jail.
A jury acquits Elvis on the Woodbridge charges and a new police investigator notices that the heists had continued while Elvis was in jail. The case against him unraveled.
June 1990 – After spending twenty months in prison Subway is exonerated.
October 1990 – Subway forges a series of cheques on his mother’s account and loses almost $30,000 at the Greenwood racetrack. He spends three months in jail for fraud.
1991 – Subway files a lawsuit for 4.25 million in damages for malicious prosecution.
Aug. 11, 1995 – Subway claims that he was trapped in the TTC’s only fatal subway crash. He sues for compensation under a class action suit on behalf of the victims but he has difficulty proving that – this time – he was there.
2000 – During the civil trial evidence surfaces that two bank employees had originally identified another man as the robber. The information comes from a second, hidden set of police notebooks that were never disclosed to the crown or the defence.
Dec. 15, 2000 – Subway receives his judgment from the court on his wrongful conviction and days later holds a press conference with the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted in Toronto. The judge ruled that the Halton police had withheld information from both the Crown and the defence and thus Michael McTaggart did not receive a fair trial.
Feb. 3, 2001 – Subway plays a comeback performance at the Black Swan in Toronto.
July 3, 2001 – Subway signs the settlement agreement and a little over two weeks later receives his cheque for $380,000.
Nov. 4, 2008 – Subway plays a show at the Black Swan on the Danforth in Toronto but following this he has disappeared from sight, or at least there is no update to be found on Google. Anyone care to up-date us on what Subway Elvis is upto today?
Wrongfully convicted of bank robbery, Subway Elvis makes good with the justice systemIn Canada on August 5, 2010 at 09:11