“He hasn’t hurt me but he has a gun to my head.”


Clifford David Maltby had been serving a prison sentence for fraud, in 1986, in Ottawa, Canada. He was given early release for good behaviour on March 16th, 1986. Just a few, short weeks after walking free from jail, Maltby decided to stage a protest over the conditions of homeless people in Canada.

On Wednesday, 2nd April 1986, posing as a delivery courier, Maltby entered the Bahamian Embassy in Ottawa and took the Vice Consul, Janet Rahming hostage.

Maltby made demands after claiming to have a bomb and vial of acid. He demanded that an unused Ottawa firehall be turned over to the homeless and that an inmate at the Kingston, Ontario penitentiary be released. He demanded that the two of them be taken to a wooded area and released to live freely.

(The Montana Standard, Wednesday April 2, 1986)

After a 15 hour long standoff between the gunman and Ottawa police, Maltby finally decided to surrender. Bahamian Vice-Consul Janet Rahming 33, was released unharmed at 7:13 a.m. Thursday, April 3, 1986.

(The Montana Standard, Thursday April 3, 1986)

The Ottawa hostage crisis was over, but many asked why the Bahamian embassy of all places. The Bahamas doesn’t have any influence on internal Canadian affairs, so why target that particular office. As it turned out, Clifford Maltby said he originally hoped to get the Canadian Liberal Leader John Turner. He may only have wandered into the Bahamian embassy by mistake.

Maltby was arrested on charges of kidnapping, hostage taking, threatening a diplomat and attacking diplomatic premises.