Canadian man incurs 14 new murder charges over online sodium nitrite sales

Kenneth Law is also under investigation for 88 deaths in the UK

  • Canadian police on Tuesday announced 14 second-degree murder charges against Kenneth Law.
  • Law, 57, of the Toronto metropolitan area, is accused of selling deadly sodium nitrite online to people at risk of committing suicide. 
  • Law is accused of selling the substance to buyers in over 40 countries.

Canadian police said Tuesday they are charging a man with 14 counts of second-degree murder along with the previously announced 14 charges of aiding suicide for allegedly selling lethal substances on the internet to people at risk of self harm.

An international investigation is underway following the arrest in Canada earlier this year of Kenneth Law, who was initially charged with two counts of counseling and aiding suicide.

Canadian police say Law, from the Toronto area, used a series of websites to market and sell sodium nitrite, a substance commonly used to cure meats that can be deadly if ingested. He is accused of shipping them to people in more than 40 countries.


British police said they are investigating the deaths of 88 people in the U.K. linked to the websites. Authorities in the United States, Italy, Australia and New Zealand also have launched investigations.

Poison substance investigation

Kenneth Law, a 57-year-old resident of Ontario, has claimed to have sold a poisonous substance to hundreds of people. (Peel Regional Police)

York Regional Police Inspector Simon James announced the new charges against Law, and said all charges that he faces relate to the same 14 victims in the Canadian province of Ontario, who were between the ages of 16 and 36. More than one victim is below the age of 18. Police declined to name the victims.

"We are aware of other of police investigations in other jurisdictions outside of the province of Ontario and we are aware of other police investigations in other countries outside Canada," James said.


Britain’s National Crime Agency has previously said it has identified 232 people in the United Kingdom who bought products from the websites in the two years up to April, 88 of whom died. The agency said it was investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the U.K.

Law is in custody in Canada and is next court date is Dec. 19. His lawyer said his client will be pleading not guilty to the new murder charges.

"One of the challenges that we face is that a number of these sites are located in other countries where Canadian law does not apply," James said.

It is against the law in Canada for someone to recommend suicide, although assisted suicide has been legal since 2016 for people aged at least 18. Any adult with a serious illness, disease or disability may seek help in dying, but they must ask for that assistance from a physician.

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