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After shooting her estranged husband six times, Dorothy Joudrie left the chairman of Canadian Tire Corp. and Algoma Steel lying in a pool of his own blood on the garage floor of her Calgary home while she went back inside to have another drink of her favourite beverage, a double Seagram's VO on the rocks. She then reappeared with a freshened drink.

Her badly wounded husband, Earl Joudrie, begged her to call 911, but she ignored his pleas until he promised not to press charges against her for trying to kill him.

The dramatic picture of the 1995 incident was painted yesterday hours after Mr. Joudrie died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma at his home in Fenelon Falls, Ont. He was 72.

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His good friend, Martha Billes, the majority shareholder of Canadian Tire, said in an interview that while she had not been witness to the socialite's shooting of her husband, she had warned Mr. Joudrie about visiting his estranged wife, whom Ms. Billes described as being well known as a nasty drunk.

"I knew he was headed to Calgary and going to have the meeting with Dorothy [about divorcing her]and I told him: 'Don't go alone. Have somebody go with you,' " Ms. Billes said yesterday.

"By that I meant take a third party, not a family member. Take a strong person with you. Take one of us."

Mr. Joudrie ignored Ms. Billes's warnings. "He was kind hearted and he didn't believe what we believed and he went alone," she said.

"Apparently, he bargained with her. She left him bleeding on the garage floor and went away and had a drink and came back and said, 'aren't you dead yet?' Then she would go away and have another drink," Ms. Billes said. "And so he made the bargain with the devil to call 911 that he would not say anything against her and he would do everything in his power not to cause her grief.

"He would keep a bargain, even if it was to his own detriment," she said. "So many people would bargain in an instant of fire and relent because it was under duress. He would not take that course because his morals were so high that the under-duress promise was a promise that he would keep."

Ms. Joudrie was charged with attempted murder, but was found not guilty in May of 1996 after presenting a defence of temporary insanity and arguing that her husband had beaten her severely in the first two decades of their nearly 40-year marriage.

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She died of liver and kidney failure at 66 in 2002.

Mr. Joudrie was called as a witness in the trial. Their son Colin Joudrie said yesterday from Turkey that the relationship between his parents was very intense, but he admitted that "my mom hit my dad and my dad hit my mom in the late 1970s, but that was the first and the last time."

He said that there was "no way" his mother could have gotten off without his father's co-operation. His mother had committed a "heinous" act in shooting his father and his father "if he had decided to, as sole and primary witness, she would have died in jail."

Earl Joudrie didn't provide damning evidence against her "because he chose very deliberately not to submit Mom to that."

As for Mr. Joudrie, he told the Edmonton Journal before the verdict was handed down: "Dorothy wasn't on trial at all: I was. You get yourself shot and some bastard's gonna want to know why. Well, it takes two to get in a fight."

The couple divorced in the summer of 1995 and he subsequently married Lynn Manning, a Toronto businesswoman and a distant cousin of Ms. Joudrie. Mr. Joudrie carried four bullets in his body for the rest of his life.

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