CASE FILE CS110991
Wrongly accused. Wrongly convicted.
Regina vs McLeod et al, 1979
See also Regina vs. McLeod et al in the context of Regina vs.
This is the synopsis of a many-years-after
investigation into the famous killing of a Port Hope man.
I expect you are reading this because you have a
special interest in the matter and therefore are somewhat
informed. If not, you should take the time to read the fairly
detailed but short account of the October 18,
1979 death of Bill Matiyek before digging into the investigative
If Bill Matiyek was murdered, it was not by any
of the eight persons who were tried in the matter, six of whom
were initially convicted and given life sentences.
Matiyek's killer never faced trial.
No court has ever adjudicated the real events of
that night, so this is just our interpretation: Mr. William
Matiyek was shot in defence of a third person. The man who shot
Matiyek to death did so because it was told to him that the life
of another was in immediate peril -- Matiyek apparently was about
to shoot a man named Richard Sauve. The shooter confirmed for
himself the imminent threat -- eyeballed the scene himself.
Matiyek made an action to present his firearm to a shooting
position -- he drew first. (This is supported by witness
statements and by forensics. Read on.) And by extension, the only
other (confirmed) armed person in the place shot Matiyek as a
defensive act to save the life of Sauve. How the Court would deal
with the real shooter of Mr. Matiyek is a matter of shear
speculation. It will never happen.
That is the summary effect of every statement
taken from the witnesses, including the accused. (Note: the
failure of the accused to give evidence at their own trial is
paramount in the entire case; another very significant
contributor to the miscarriage of justice. Certainly there's a
time to shut-up but also there is a time to speak-up. This
failure is one that any person who ever comes before the criminal
justice system should take note of. The Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms and the Commonwealth legal system provides
the opportunity to speak in one's own defence. Frivolously
discard that right at your own peril: a jury needs to hear the
sincere denial of guilt to make an acquittal. A jury needs to
hear you say you didn't do it and decide on your truthfulness
weighed with the presented facts. The wrong-mindedness of the
accused in this was not shared by their legal counsel in general.
It was their own collaborative decision.)
Our data comprises a dozen legal-size file boxes.
After all this time, having failed over the years to mobilize a
move to rectify the injustice of the case, we release that part
of our information files which are easily convertible to internet
format, in summary form. My personal notebook can be found here. I warn you that the
file is nearly half a megabyte and there is no logical reason for
parsing it. Further, it is password protected. If you have a good
reason... drop me a note and I will email back the password.
Click here to apply. Ok?
Larry's, Ted's and Jason's notes are paper records
One of the most compelling and disheartening cases
in my 20 years of sleuthing as a journalist and private detective
is this matter of the Port Hope 8. We took on the investigation
at the request of an acquaintance and one of the accused who
(most sadly) passed away years ago now in a motorcycling
accident. He died proud in the wind at the fork of a road. May he
some day rest in peace.
We spent six frustrating years on the matter.
Interviewed over 200 witnesses, some repeatedly; traveled
considerably; did dangerous undercover work; tolerated countless
liars, some very crazy and some very dangerous people; penetrated
the biker world; the cop world; the bar's scene; and Port Hope
itself. There are a few hundred stories to tell. None belong
When we first looked at the matter, the accused
had already exhausted their appeals including an application to
then Minister of Justice Kim Campbell (who saw no political
currency in this) for a parliamentary hearing of the matter. All
their efforts were rejected.
Six of the eight accused men were convicted of
murder. Six lifers, three of whom didn't even know there was a
firearm in the building, let alone shoot someone; and one of whom
was hundreds of miles away. Some of these men to this day don't
know all of what happened that night, just heard a bang per
The police investigation was incompetent and
farcical. Two of the accused were acquitted after a year in
prison awaiting trial. That's so hard to explain with reason. A
third had his verdict fixed four and a half years later after
pleading to accessory after the fact because he arranged 'medical
attention' for the surviving shooting victim, Gary Comeau. (About
the plea, what would you do given the choice between "go along
with this crap or spend another 5.5 years in jail"?) Two of the
three were nowhere near the bar nor the event's players that
night. Five innocent persons became lifers.
Two of the convicted persons are first degree
murder convicts. Evidence of pre-meditation and planning of the
event was fabricated by a conspiracy of police officers, one of
whom contrived and cajoled testimonial evidence, and others who
by either overt act or incompetence covered up exculpatory
evidence. In so doing, at least two of these individuals later
received compensation of a kind. The system failed miserably and
the players within look like skunks under any scrutiny.
There was no planning and deliberation for murder.
Perhaps a hazing. For example, the telephone conversations
between Richard Sauve from his home and Gary Comeau at the
Toronto club house make it clear there was no pre-planning of a
crime. Just happenstance. Comeau had even been reluctant to leave
his comfortable roost that night.
Certainly, at this time before the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms existed, there was an argument to
be brought that there was criminal behaviour on the part of these
individuals. In the thinking of the day, they should have
reasonably known that a crime might be committed. With today's
thinking, that is arcane practice.
For all eight of the accused, there is no remedy,
save perhaps that insulated central institution of dwindling
significance, the Canadian Parliament which made the nation's
Criminal Code and it's awkward set of capital crime laws in the
first place and has the right and the responsibility to remedy
The unmistakable horror
of Regina vs. McLeod et al
is that because of the accused' affiliations,
they are lesser human beings being less worthy of their human
rights as promised by the general principles of law of that day
recognized by the community of nations; and certainly by the
subsequent Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, i.e.: s.
11 "[Any person charged with an offence has the
right] (d) to be presumed
innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and
public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal."
This should mean that anyone accused of breaking
the law is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
It should mean that the prosecution must prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that the person(s) did commit the
offence before he/she/they can be found guilty. The trial must
also be conducted fairly before a court which is unbiased and
independent of political or any other influence (s. 11(d)).
(i.e.: No political imperatives should have been issued by Roy
McMurtry, then Attorney General of Ontario, to get a major
'biker' conviction at any cost. Consider just how potent and
outcome altering is this intervention by one of the politicians
who appoints judges.) A fair trial should ensure that the rights
of the accused are properly protected and that all persons
accused before the Court are treated equally in fairness. This
certainly did not happen. The defence, the prosecution, the
judge, the politician(s) -- all being lawyers and principle
players in the judicial process -- all share the blame. You can
apportion it any way you want.
Some convoluted argument suggests that the
"Charter" didn't exist so then 'anything goes', but the reality
remains as we know today that 'anything goes' was NOT the general
principle of law recognized by the community of nations in the
late 1970's but in fact to the contrary. The principles of law
and the manner of society's thinking of that day spawned what we
know as the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Regardless, the utmost
significance of Regina vs. McLeod et
alis that the six persons sent to
jail are categorically innocent of the crime they were convicted
- Gary Comeau convicted of 1st degree murder Life/25
- Rick Sauve convicted of 1st degree murder Life/25
- Jeff McLeod convicted of 2nd degree murder/10 years
- Larry Hurren convicted of 2nd degree/10 years
- Armand Sanguigni found not guilty
- Gordon Van Harlem found not guilty
- (Murray) Merv Blaker convicted of 2nd degree/10 year
- David Hoffman "Tee Hee" convicted of 2nd degree/10 year,
overturned and released after 4.5 years
THE SHOOTING DEATH OF BILL MATIYEK:
Some time around 10:50 P.M. on October 18, 1978, the
soon-to-be-deceased William (Bill) Matiyek sat at a small table
in a bar gesturing one of his two loaded guns at a local kid
named Richard Sauve while a hood from Toronto named Gary Comeau
sat along side trying to talk Matiyek out of blowing them both
away. As the three sat there in the bar/lounge of the Queen's
Hotel in Port Hope, Ontario, others watched intently.
Matiyek was drunk and stoned on pot and amphetamine drugs. He
was also fuming from a long day of getting himself hopped up on
hot conversation with the locals plus some heavy duty talk with
visiting members of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club. His head was
Owing to happenstance and the mischief of a certain Brian Brideau
-- a local yuk Matiyek had pissed-off earlier in the day with his
abusiveness -- these three characters sat together at The Queen's
Hotel in Port Hope, Ontario. There was nothing inevitable about
it: a tragic fluke. Matiyek, hot under the collar; Sauve scared;
and Comeau a little more subdued than his usual
Matiyek had been in the bar all day, Comeau and Sauve had
arrived along with associates from their motorcycle club (the
Satan's Choice Motorcycle Club) which at one time in previous
history, rivaled the club Matiyek claimed he belonged to, the
Golden Hawks. (Most people at the time regarded the Golden Hawks
as being disbanded. Regardless, none of these boys were very
There was a history of bad blood between them. Matiyek knew he
was going to get hurt. He had confided to a gal pal (Helen
Mitchell) earlier that day that he knew some of his recent
rivalous actions had brought this on. He was plenty paranoid as
many 'speed' abusers are. Very much pumped up.
Meanwhile, in a series of lies, exaggerations, incompetence
and mischief, the word that Sauve, Comeau and a dozen or so pals
had got was that a huge ambush awaited them at the Queen's Hotel.
The Queen's Hotel was always filled with Satan's Choice rivals.
That was nothing new. But the story was that a) members of the
hated Outlaws Motorcycle Club had joined forces with the
(theretofore disbanded) Golden Hawks, b) they were present at the
bar in hordes, and C) were about to set upon the homes and lives
of local area Satan's Choice members, then and forever after. It
was something along those lines.
Sauve, a junior recruit of the Port Hope area Satan's Choice
club got wind of all this from Brideau who gave the story some
fairly illustrious twists. Sauve, now burdened with this
allegedly red hot intelligence needed to unburden himself. He was
just a junior guy and would be knee-deep if he didn't get this
thing right. From his home, he called anybody and everybody he
could get hold of.
The sometimes gregarious Gary Comeau got wind of the alleged
Outlaw/Hawk conspiracy while watching some TV at the Toronto
clubhouse. Again happenstance, there was a large gaggle of club
members present. So after a hard time getting anyone interested,
Gary Comeau finally convinced enough people and gathered up a
posse and headed for Port Hope. Tragically, Comeau must have been
bored that night.
Some of the Toronto group met Sauve at his home. Others
proceeded to the bar. A few caucused at Sauve's place and then
headed for the bar where they found no hordes of Outlaws but
instead a fat, drunken Bill Matiyek and a couple of bewildered
Outlaws doing their own thing.
After paying courtesies to each other, and once the company at
Matiyek's' table left, Sauve approached Matiyek joined him at a
lone, small, round table to find out just what these 'messages'
were all about. Matiyek got into it fast and did a shade more
than tell Sauve he had a gun and was prepared to use it.
Next, Comeau came bouncing along to see how the talks were
progressing. It got worse from there.
Well, that's how it came to pass that these folks with
opposing interests, armed with gross misinformation, arrived at
the Queen's Hotel that night.
Not just Sauve and Comeau, but a certain Mr. Lorne Campbell,
friend of Comeau and Sauve, also in the bar, knew Matiyek was
armed. As a matter of foresight or malice, who knows, Campbell
had already taken possession of a .38 calibre hand gun. (Holding
9mm re-loads done by a certain Bill Lavoie, the hand gun was the
property of Gordon Van Harlem, a boarder at Sauve's place who
was off gallivanting around Peterborough at the time he was
unknowingly relieved by his landlord of his junky firearm. The
gun, never found by police, is not far from the investigation
scene where Campbell tossed it that night.)
had wanted to carry the piece but Campbell reluctantly stepped in
and said "no". A few others had insisted "no" to Comeau, a guy
known to be a hot head. The job defaulted to Campbell who was the
level-headed one and would be cool if things got out of hand.
Cool enough to use lethal force if needed and avoid it if not
needed. They were going to thump Matiyek and run the Outlaws out
of Satan's Choice territory if that was needed. That was all.
At around 11:00 P.M. that night, the armed Campbell was tipped
off that things had gone seriously awry. A buddy told him a
face-off was happening at the tense table in the dingy bar. His
mates were being held at gun point he was told. Rick Sauve was
about to lose his life to the angry, drunken Matiyek. Campbell
says he believes one or both Sauve and Comeau were about to be
killed by Matiyek. Campbell sent someone, or maybe that someone
independently went over to the table to check it out. That person
we spoke with confirmed that Matiyek was holding a gun on Sauve
and Comeau. Someone else was again sent to the table to attempt
to subdue the situation.
Michael Everett was capable of using substantial physical
force, but upon walking to the table and surveying the situation
he made an abort decision and turned, swing to his left and
without much fuss, indicated to Campbell he couldn't win.
Campbell made a move. It was a cold autumn night. He pulled his
toque over much of his face, straightened his coat as if about to
leave, then marched directly toward the door he had entered by,
passing the threesome sitting at the table.
Campbell was at least the third person to come toward the
table. A spooked Matiyek began to withdraw his weapon from its
semi-concealed position in his left hand jacket pocket. He raised
his arm, elbow even with his shoulder. His gun was tangled,
snagged in the upper left lower breast jack-shirt pocket. He
never fired a shot. From a position close to Matiyek and close to
the exit door, Campbell, in an independent and spontaneous action
shot three times toward Matiyek's head and quickly proceeded past
the table and out the side door of the bar.
Comeau was wounded in the chest-shoulder area from behind by
the first shot which grazed Matiyek's raised arm and neck;
Matiyek, who couldn't get his gun into position fast enough, was
killed instantly by the second shot which pierced his skull and
ricochet one inch back from the other side of his cranium.
Meanwhile the kid Sauve was stunned and scared out of his
The place emptied save for a gaggle of Matiyek's local allies,
foes and opportunists. Matiyek had been carrying hordes of dope.
That was gathered up. So were his two firearms.
A rough plan of action was formed by these witnesses who then
hustled off to the home of the bar's head drink slinger and
social centrepiece, Dave Hills.
Next the local cops came on scene and from there the
buffoonery of that night got worse. The crime scene was not
secured and by the time the evidence man was called in, the place
was a total forensic disaster.
We learned that the body of the deceased was not accompanied
by a police officer, nor was proper security provided for this
evidence from the time the body of the deceased was transported
by ambulance from The Queen's Hotel at 11:14 P.M. on October 18,
1978, to the time of an autopsy done in Peterborough by Dr. John
Whiteside on October 19, 1978 at or about 10:00 A.M. The body was
accessed by civilians, (not the least of which were Rod Stewart -
a local big-mouth; Gilispie, Peart and Metro Matiyek who
recovered the keys to his son's truck enabling him to proceed to
the Walton and recover the vehicle from the rear parking lot
around 2:30 A.M.) for the removal of pills, dope and guns, keys,
and later surreptitiously accessed by certain police to replace
one of the guns. Read on.
No effort such as road blocks or other means were done on the
night of October 18, 1978 to apprehend the killer.
The Port Hope Police Department refused to notify proper
authorities, namely the Criminal Investigation Branch of the
Ontario Provincial Police, until the late morning of October 19,
1978, after an autopsy had begun, even though a certain police
officer, namely O.P.P. Corporal Dennis Moore (who had been called
in by a baffled local evidence man named Bill Wakely who was
cursed with this forensic disaster from the start) advised Samuel
McReelis (who headed the Port Hope Police Department's
investigation) that he should make this notification.
The investigation was poorly done. Every copper we spoke to asked
us who killed Matiyek. After the conviction in November of 1979,
police officers still did not know who shot Matiyek and a certain
police officer, O.P.P. Corporal Terry Hall asked accused Larry
Hurren what in fact had really happened at The Queen's Hotel on
October 18, 1978. If Hurren would tell, Hall promised a reduced
sentence. Hall was an experienced O.P.P. investigator. He must
have realized that the thing was botched from the start, partly
Observations and Conclusions:
1) There was planning and deliberation for at least assault by
at least one of the accused.
2) Things got out of hand and Matiyek was shot in
3) The accused are only partially willing to cooperate in
overturning the original verdict and inadvertently behave in a
manner consistent with guilt. (i.e..: We have caught Comeau and
Sauve in fairly significant lies and Comeau did his utmost to
prevent us from seeking out and interviewing certain witnesses
while vigorously directing us to others.)
4) The defence team was uninformed and thus incompetent. There
was no single, outcome-altering illegal practice by the
authorities to incorrectly form the jury's decision, only
pervasive incompetence and numerous smaller misconducts by police
in the pursuit of their investigation.
5) The accused did not testify and thus closed the door
forever on their evidence unless all their peers who were in
attendance would be willing to give statements.
6) The police investigation fabricated its 'planning and
deliberation' evidence and because of police bungling on a huge
scale caused a fictitious version of the crime scene to be
presented to the jury.
7) The PHPD covered-up their bungling and in so doing
rearranged the alleged facts to completely obscure the actions of
Matiyek that night.
8) Police used a large number of witnesses, particularly
persons employed by Leo Powell, owner of the Queen's, thus
limiting appeal opportunities.
9) The "Queens" was a Golden Hawks bar where patrons and
employees alike where opposed as a "team" against the Satan's
Choice or persons aligned to the Satan's Choice. They were all
willing to exaggerate or lie. Most admit same.
10) The most crucial witnesses whose
testimony was schooled were:
- Bill Goodwin (premeditation and planning for the first
degree argument of the Crown) Testimony was shaped by a lie he
told Julie Powell and by interviews with Sam McReelis and Gary
- David Gillispie (premeditation and planning for the
first degree argument of the Crown) Gillispie's evidence is
packed with lies, moreover, he played a significant role, with
Douglas Peart, in obstructing evidence, including but not limited
to gathering up drugs and firearms, possessions of the
- Roger Davey was used to show planning and deliberation
after the fact. He lied. He did not receive the phone call from
Rick Sauve and could not possibly have heard what he claims to
have heard over the telephone. He gave false evidence under
threat of being charged with accessory after the fact.
- Lawrence Leoen was and is today loyal to the (fantasy)
Golden Hawks and is an avowed enemy of the Satan's Choice
organization. At trial he was willing to say anything he was
asked to say in order to convict those he believes conspired to
kill Bill Matiyek. We have interviewed Mr. Leoen undercover and
acknowledge that this man actually believes that Matiyek was
murdered with planning and deliberation. He has admitted that he
said and did everything he was told to say and do to cause the
- Helen Mitchell who named Satan's Choice members she
knew, not those she saw, and whose evidence could have confirmed
a gun in Matiyek's boot casting doubt on the Crown's evidence.
She changed her statement four times based on coaching by "Sammy"
(which is how she knows Sam McReelis).
- Jamie Hanna, Susan Foote, Gayle Thompson, and Julie
Joncas were coached witnesses whose real evidence supports an
argument of either self-defence or murder. Kathy Cotgrave's
evidence was coached and bought for $10,000 we are told by her
confidant Gail Doyle. The evidence of Davey, Goodwin, Gillispie,
Fertile, Koehler and Leoen converted the women's account to 1st
and 2nd degree murder.
Interviewees from Port Hope Police Department
- Const. (retired) Douglas H. Shortreed
- told us that PHPD did anything and everything to convict the
- every trick in the book
- denied detail with Const. Dave Kelly
- says there are rumours about Gary's jacket being in Sam's
- we believe he knows more than he has told us
- Const. William Harry Wakely
- a straight, honest cop who admits botching the investigation,
though our research suggested forensic evidentiary botching was
inevitable considering the facts that a) Wakely was cut out of
the loop by McReelis; b) unbeknownst to Wakely, the crime scene
had been seriously tampered with by civilians in concert with
members of the PHPD; and c) that Wakely was used as a dupe by
McReelis and some peers. Notably, just like among the bikers
where the quietest and most civil took the 'fall', Wakely, a
decent man, is a fall guy among the cops, criticized by upper
echelons for the forensic work. Our investigation, however,
proved the contrary. Wakely's efforts to bring in the O.P.P.'s
forensic resources, although thwarted by McReelis at first,
eventually paid off in as much as they could with a tampered and
corrupted environment. It is hard to imagine what would have
transpired if Wakely had not been a voice for the straight and
- admits that there is something peculiar about the way in which
he eventually found Matiyek's gun
- says no police were present at hospital guarding evidence when
he arrived in the earlier hours of Oct. 19
- says there are rumours about Gary's jacket being in the
possession of Sam McReelis
- Const. Kenneth Wilson
- says he was ordered away from crime scene by Sam who arrived 3
min. after he did
- says it was he who laid charges against Bill Goodwin
- believes investigation was botched deliberately and that is why
he was kept out of it
- Const. (retired) Tom Holdaway
- left force in 1979 after the trial
- knew investigation was seriously ("fucked up".. his words)
botched and that there was a major cover-up
- was a former O.P.P with lots of experience yet was kept out of
investigation along with other members
- says Sam kept Matiyek investigation close to the chest
- lived down the street from Chief's home and observed Crown
Attorney's car, and Sam's car at the chief's home constantly
during the investigation
Detective Inspector Robert Adams
- conducted investigation responding to a complaint under Police
- confirmed a widespread belief among police that the
investigation was done poorly re: road blocks, photo line-ups
- believes that Sam McReelis is incompetent but not crooked
- says Wakely and others are also incompetent
- knows little about the case
- was shocked to learn that actual killer was never charged
- does not like the idea of Ontario having its own "Milguard" but
will not interfere in our investigation in exchange for our
promise that we will report any criminal activities of Coppers,
both PHPD and O.P.P.
Crown Witnesses Who Taint The Original Verdict
- Helen Mitchell
- was in fact at the bar but was outside at time of
- had been drinking heavily during the day with Bill Matiyek, two
Outlaws and Jamie Hanna
- was buying Matiyek some drinks before Outlaws arrived
- is absolutely certain that Matiyek had a gun in his boot
- Matiyek had pulled up his pant leg and shown off the
- she observed the gun on several occasions during the time they
- believes that accused got a raw deal strictly because they were
Choice in a Hawks' bar
- was attended to personally by Sam McReelis who drove to St.
Catherines where she was living, picked her up and drove her to
London for the trial
- our interview was surreptitiously taped using body-wire (tape
has not been played)
Will say that he perjured himself because he was threatened by
May be convinced to admit truth about "Fat Fucker" Statement and
explain what happened to the pills, guns, and witnesses at Dave
Can be discredited on the basis of a statement given to her
friend Gail Doyle in which she said that her testimony was styled
by police to convict the accused and that her motive for
cooperating was payment of money.
Confirms that the Queen's was a Hawks' bar and that patrons and
employees were loyal to the Hawks and Matiyek and that the SCMC
members were all guilty because they were trespassing, and that
all employees of the bar felt that they should do whatever they
could to help convict all of the SCMC members there -- and that
this affected their testimony.
1) Kenneth Wilson has told us that he attended at the Port Hope
Police Station to take a statement from Douglas Peart and David
Gillispie. Wakely confirmed this. Doug Peart has told us that he
and Gillispie went to the Police Station to give a statement. In
Gillispie's testimony under cross examination he clearly stated
on several occasions that he gave a statement to Dave Kelly and
Was Gillispie referring to a meeting with Kelly at Dave Hills'
home? Did Kelly drive Gillispie and Peart to the Police
D.W. Gillispie - cr-ex. (Kerbel)
Q. And who was or who were the police officers that you spoke to
A. I believe it was Constable Kelly.
Q. Constable Kelly, and was he with the Port Hope Police?
Q. And what about Sergeant McReelis, did you speak with
A. Yes, I did have words with Sergeant McReelis that evening, I
2) The Dave Hills' meeting of witnesses on October 18 resulted
in a statement given to police that police never brought forward.
What was it?
3) Sam McReelis perjured himself regarding Gary's jacket and
not knowing that Gary had been shot. (i.e..: Depose Betty King
for the record.)
4) Toronto club house wire taps. (Metropolitan Toronto Police
Intelligence Branch.) We filed an Freedom Of Information appeal
to the ruling denying our obtaining this evidence, and in part,
won. We did not get all the wire taps we wanted. In some
circumstances, specific single page documents were removed from
the thousands we received; and our request for the wires of the
Markham Rd. Clubhouse for Oct 18, 1979 got buried. It is our
belief the wires were done improperly in the first place hence
part of the resistance, and secondly the information contained
therein we were told by a bureaucrat is exculpatory. As a
consequence, it is also our belief that the Crown, at the time of
the trial in London Ontario 1979 had knowledge of exculpatory
5) New witnesses. At least three but preferably all living
members of the SCMC who were not identified. Plus Doyle, Racicot,
6) Further interviews, direct and not by ruse or
surreptitiously under cover, with Dave Hills, David Gillispie,
Bill Goodwin (2), Doug Peart (2), Tim Austin, Dr. Tesluk, Fred
Jones and Sonny Bronson.
7) Depose these witnesses to verify on the record the extent
of crime scene tampering; physical evidence corruption;
particularly with respect to the Chain of possession of Matiyek's
weapons. Details follow.
THE CHAIN OF POSSESSION OF
According to ambulance records, Matiyek's body left Queen's hotel
It went to Port Hope Hospital via ambulance and later to the Port
Hope Morgue. From there it went to Civic Hospital in
Peterborough. Later in the morning at or about 10:00am of October
19, Bill Wakely examined upper body cloths of Bill Matiyek who
was naked from the waist. His blue shirt and red plaid bush
jacket were piled on his stretched-out body which lay upon a
wheeled gurney. Wakely discovered the small, .32 calibre semi-
automatic Deutchewerke "Ortgies Special" in Matiyek's upper,
left, breast pocket of the red plaid jack-shirt.
Three witnesses (Sauve, Comeau and Michael
Everett) say the gun was in Matiyek's left hand prior to the
shooting. Two Choice members walked over and examined the
situation, were told to get lost by Matiyek and then presumably
reported all this to the shooter who then proceeded to Matiyek's
table shooting three shots at his head.
According to the analysis we got from the Centre
for Forensic Studies, the first shot grooved Matiyek's upper arm
and penetrated flesh at the lower mandible, deflected down,
traveled through soft tissue to the Adam's apple and then
deflected off small bones to exit horizontally through the lower
neck. Upon exit it entered Gary Comeau at his upper, rear, arm
from the top. The trajectory indicates that Matiyek's upper left
arm was raised to horizontal. No witness saw the gun come from
his pocket but according to the three witnesses who saw a gun
being held on Rick Sauve, the gun had to have been in his left
hand, concealed partially within the pocket, withdrawn clumsily
from time to time by Matiyek to show Sauve he meant business.
Simulations with an exact replica of both the firearm and the
jacket showed us what the witnesses described. Read on.
The second bullet was lethal, entering the cranium
in front of and at the centre of
Matiyek's left ear. It drove through the brain causing a
cessation of motor and sensory functions, striking the inside of
the right cranium wall and deflected, without fracturing the
cranium, bouncing back about one inch.
The third missile smashed through the back of
Matiyek's skull as he fell forward and to his right side,
crashing through bone and fragmenting as it went.
Matiyek fell to the floor, presumably with a gun
still in his hand, or falling from his hand onto the floor.
Shortly after this time Rod Stewart attended
Matiyek and he immediately rolled him over onto his back,
possibly, admits Stewart, on top of the gun.
10:50pm -- Matiyek talks on phone to Patrick
Ghaney and as he walks back to his table passing Rick Sauve on
the way he says, "Com'ere Rick for a second".
10:55 -- Matiyek threatens Rick Sauve with a
10:55+ -- A certain (two) individuals approach
Matiyek to survey situation.
11:00pm -- Matiyek is shot three times.
Eight minutes elapse....
11:08 P.C.s Kenneth Wilson and David MacDonald arrive finding 12
to 15 people of whom Jamie Hanna, Gayle Thompson, Sue Foote,
Peter Murdoch, Peter LaBrash, Kathy Cotgrave were noted. Seven
people surrounded the deceased while Rod Stewart allegedly gave
First Aid to Matiyek. According to Gayle Thompson who was running
from the washroom toward Matiyek, Stewart told her and everyone
else to stay away from Matiyek as he was kneeling at the
11:10 Sgt. Sam McReelis arrived and according to
Wilson, instructed Wilson to leave scene and interview witnesses,
thus losing integrity of the crime scene.
11:14 Matiyek's body was removed by ambulance,
taken to Port Hope Hospital.
11:40 Bill Wakely arrives, orders Wilson to
preserve crime scene but it is too late.
11:45 Patrick Ghaney arrived at Hotel.
01:00 (at or about) Douglas Shortreed and David
Kelly arrive at north entrance.
1:05 Kenneth Wilson leaves Queen's hotel
01:15 Oct. 19 Corp. James Moore arrives.
2:05 Peart and Gillispie are at Police Station
with Wilson and McReelis
2:30 Dorris and Metro Matiyek are behind the
Queen's somehow having possession of Matiyek's keys and other
paraphernalia from his pockets. Doris drives Matiyek's truck
home, Metro drives the family truck.
3:40 Wakely attends Port Hope Hospital where he
finds deceased unguarded.
10:00 Wakely and Moore find gun in Matiyek's
inside left pocket of his jacket which is folded and laid on his
belly. Wakely finds NO OTHER OBJECTS in the pockets!!
Gun is never fingerprinted.
Shortreed lied to us on March 25 at Heroes in Port
Hope. He said he was not at the scene. He was. He also lied about
not saying anything to "Kenny" Wilson about Dave Hills or knowing
anything about the name Dave Hills being mentioned to Wilson.
Wilson's evidence makes this very clear. Shortreed did in fact
make such a statement, or at least his partner David Kelly did in
During the cross examination of P.C. Wilson -- who
with his partner MacDonald were first on the scene at 11:08pm --
one of the defence counsel took Wilson's notebook from him and
observed a notation "David Hills". Subsequent questioning drew
only evasive responses one of which indicated that someone had
taken a statement from Dave Hills.
Shortreed and Kelly were at David Hills' home
where a gathering of witnesses began to amass immediately after
the shooting. Shortreed and Kelly later reported a statement made
by Hills and about some of the goings on at Hills' home. The
gathering continued into the wee hours. Jamie Hanna admits to
being at the gathering for an hour. She said people came and
went. It was dragged out of her at the trial during
cross-examination. Something happened at Hills' place that Port
Hope Police -- including Wilson and Shortreed -- want hushed.
In fact, after the shooting, most of the witnesses
were at the home of Dave Hills. That included at least, Jamie
Hanna, Peart, Gillispie, Sue Foote, Kathy Cotgrave and Hills
himself. Hills was a bartender at the Queen's Hotel lounge.
KEY EVIDENCE TO QUASH
Regina vs. McLeod et al, 1979
1. BRIBED AND COERCED WITNESSES.
a) Helen Mitchell
Helen Mitchell changed her statement four times based on coaching
by Sam McReelis. Her evidence could have confirmed a gun in Bill
Matiyek's boot, which would have cast doubt on the Crown's
evidence. She was personally attended to by Sam McReelis, who
picked her up in St. Catherine's and drove her to London for the
In naming Choice members, Helen named those she
knew, not those she saw on October 18, 1978 at the Queen's
TRIAL TRANSCRIPT, p.p. 852-853
Helen Mitchell, for Crown, in-chief
Q. Now, Miss Mitchell, can you tell us whether you
were in the Queens Hotel on the evening that Bill Matiyek
A. Yes, I was.
Q. And can you tell me whether you know any of the
accused men who are seated before the court?
Q. Now I don't want to know how you came to know
them, just that you know them and could you indicate to us please
which of the accused before the court you knew before October
A. Not saying that they were in --
Q. Just that you --
A. Knew them before?
Q. I want you to tell us all those that you knew
before October 18th -- okay? -- before you came into the hotel on
A. Merv Blaker.
Q. That's the gentleman who is the first one from
A. Yes, the one on the far end. Gord Van Harlem,
whatever, if that's how you pronounce it.
Q. Which one is he?
A. The one sitting second from the end.
A. Rick Sauve.
Q. Is that the fifth from your right? Yes?
A. Yes. And Larry Hurren.
Q. Is that the man next to Rick Sauve?
A. And none others.
Yet, Helen Mitchell referred to David Hoffman as
Tee-Hee, even though she didn't know him.
Helen Mitchell, for Crown, cr-ex Martin.
Q. Miss Mitchell, you told us you saw some men
come in and you gave us three names and then you said "Tee-Hee, I
didn't know him then." Is that right?
A. That's right, yes.
Q. So on October 18th the man you say is Tee-Hee
was a stranger to you?
Q. Is that right? You had never seen him
Q. And neither did you know the nickname Tee-Hee
or any other name for him. Is that right?
A. That's right, yes.
Our information: Helen didn't know Tee-Hee; she
saw someone with white on his feet. But she did not say that the
man she saw who looked like Hoffman was wearing running shoes. In
cr-ex by Martin, she said there was something white on his feet,
"It was shoes or if he was just wearing socks I don't know, but
there was white." (p.p. 872). Having told the police this, it
seems obvious that her testimony was fed to her. She didn't know
Hoffman beforehand, and therefore could not have known that he
liked wearing running shoes. The police knewthat Hoffman was in
Kitchener that night and could not possibly have been at the
Queen's Hotel at the time Bill Matiyek was killed, but with Helen
Mitchell able to say that someone had white on his feet they were
able to say that he was there.
b) Kathy Cotgrave
Kathy Cotgrave can be discredited on the basis that she was paid
$10,000.00 for phrasing her testimony a certain way. She was
bribed by police, which can be argued based on the statement of
c) Bill Goodwin
His testimony was shaped by a lie he told Julie Joncas and
interviews he had with Sam McReelis and Gary Woods. Larry Sauve
can say that Bill Goodwin lied in his testimony.
d) Roger Davey
Police had the phone records and knew that a call had been placed
from David Hoffman's house to the Davey residence early in the
morning of October 19, 1978. He was threatened with being charged
with accessory after the fact if he didn't testify. Because of
this, Roger perjured himself, giving testimony that he took the
call from Rick Sauve, which he didn't. He also said that it
sounded like a party was going on in the background, something he
couldn't possibly have heard since he did not answer the
2. PERJURY AT TRIAL.
a) Roger Davey lied when he said that he
answered a call from Rick Sauve the night Bill Matiyek was
b) Bill Goodwin lied when he said he had a conversation
with Rick Sauve in which something happening to Matiyek was
threatened by Sauve.
c) Sam McReelis lied when he said he knew nothing of Gary
being shot. Betty King, Gary's mother, did not know that Gary had
been shot until Sam McReelis said to her, "lots of
young fellas go out at night and don't tell their
parents what they do but we think Gary was shot that night." Both
McReelis and Cousins were in her house at the time, but later in
court the police denied having told her anything like that.
3. WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE.
a) The Kitchener clubhouse was wiretapped. The
police introduced these wiretaps to the lawyers prior to a day in
court, but they were not complete. They did not continue to the
time of the raid on the Kitchener clubhouse (attended by Terry
Hall and others) on the night of October 18, 1978. The police had
continued knowledge of Hoffman's whereabouts until about 10:30 pm
that night, when he left the clubhouse to go home.
b) A meeting (conspiracy) of witnesses took place after Bill
Matiyek's death at Dave Hills' place. Something happened at
Hills' house that police want hushed up, including Shortreed and
Wilson. Doug Shortreed made a statement, or at least his partner
David Kelly did in his presence, about Dave Hills to Wilson.
Wilson's testimony makes that very clear. Shortreed and Kelly
were probably at Hills' home and later reported a statement made
by Hills which was never brought forward. What was it?
c) What happened to Comeau's jacket?
4. CRIME SCENE TAMPERING
AND THE CHAIN OF POSSESSION OF MATIYEK'S GUN
a) The body was moved and was never marked
b) No photographs were taken of the crime scene, according to
c) Tables and chairs were righted; persons attending to the body
moved chairs to access.
d) Testimonial evidence suggests that Matiyek was in the
possession of drugs and that his weapon had nine cartridges.
Helen Mitchell had also seen a gun in Matiyek's boot. This was
not found and is now in the possession of Lawrence Leoen. The gun
Matiyek had in his hand was not discovered until around 10:00 the
following morning. Matiyek's body left the Queen's Hotel at 11:14
pm and went to the Port Hope hospital via ambulance -- no police
accompanied the body. From there, it went to the Port Hope morgue
and then to Civic Hospital in Peterborough. At or about 10:00 am,
October 19, 1978, Bill Wakely discovered the small .32 calibre
semi-automatic the upper, left, inside breast pocket of Matiyek's
jacket. (Matiyek's clothes were piled on his chest as his body
lay on a guernsey.) Three witnesses, Comeau, Sauve and
say the gun was in Matiyek's left hand prior to
the shooting. When he was shot he fell to the floor, presumably
with the gun still in his hand or falling from his hand to the
floor. Bill Wakely did not discover anything in
Matiyek's boot. How did the gun get from Matiyek's hand at the
time of the shooting to his inside pocket the following
f) No police were present at the hospital guarding the
5. THE INVESTIGATION.
a) The crime scene wasn't dusted for prints. It
was claimed that there was nothing there except greasy and porous
material from which prints can't be lifted very easily. But there
were glasses and pieces of broken glass on the floor which could
have been dusted.
b) Matiyek's gun was not dusted for prints.
c) The photo identification was done by Constable Don Denis,
someone with no prior experience in photo identification and no
one to inform him of proper procedures. Some photographs had more
attention drawn to them by way of a red dot placed on them (to
indicate more pictures underneath). At one point, two witnesses
viewed the array together. Denis' instructions to witnesses
included not only to select pictures of those people that were
there, but also to identify those thought to possibly have been
there. At least, that was the case with Gayle Thompson:
TRIAL TRANSCRIPT, p.p. 613-614
Gayle Thompson, for Crown, cr-ex Kerbel
Q. I believe the officer who was in charge of the
line-up, the array, Constable Denis, told you why you were
A. Yes, what the purpose --
Q. What were his instructions?
A. To take my time, look over all the pictures; if
I saw anyone that I knew for certain or I thought possibly had
been there the night that Bill was shot.
Q. Let's just stop there a moment. I want you to
go back over that. He told you to take your time?
Q. Look at all the pictures?
Q. And to indicate anybody who was there or who you thought might
possibly be there?
...Further down on p.p. 614
Q. Let's try to be a little more specific, Miss
Thompson. Let's go back. He told you to take your time to look at
all the photographs and then what did he tell you to do?
A. To instruct him when I saw someone I recognized
as being there that night.
Q. Or who might possibly have been there that
The pictures were placed in folders marked "SCMC"
and "OUTLAWS". During the preliminary hearing, Kathy Cotgrave
talked about the markings on the front of the folders:
TRIAL TRANSCRIPT, p.p. 1342-1343
Kathy Cotgrave, for Crown, cr-ex Cugelman
Q. Perhaps I might refer you to your evidence
given at the preliminary hearing in Port Hope on February the
I will put to you certain questions and answers and I will ask
you if you can recall having been asked the questions and giving
Q. Beginning at Page 192 at line 8, and we were
previously discussing your identification of my client at the
"Q. And were there more than one photograph of him in these
"A. I believe so, yes.
"A. Yes, I think so.
"Q. And the folders, I think you have already indicated were
marked "with "Satan's Choice", or whatever?
"A. Well, yeah, they were all opened out on a
table; before you "opened them up they were marked like
TRIAL TRANSCRIPT, p.p. 649
Gayle Thompson, for Crown, cr-ex Kerbel
Q. And I take it that the Port Hope and Cobourg
area being a relatively small community you had occasion to see
Miss Cotgrave and Miss Foote and Miss Hanna after the 18th of
A. That's correct.
Q. And I suggest to you that it would have been
natural for the, for several of you to talk about that evening,
to recall the death of Mr. Matiyek?
A. That's correct.
Q. He was a friend of all of you. You did do
A. Yes, we spoke about it.
Our information: Kathy Cotgrave, Jamie Hanna and
David Gillispie all testified to discussions among witnesses.
Under cross-examination by Grossman, Jamie Hanna clearly sets out
that "We were together the night of the murder", "about an hour"
at Dave Hills' home. (p.p. 1454-1455). Hanna was very evasive,
but Grossman didn't pursue it long.
David Gillispie in his testimony implied that his
statements were influenced by others. Gillispie gave three
statements to the police -- October 19, November 28 and December
29. The last one contains a very substantial change:
TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS, p.p. 1517-1520
David Gillispie, for Crown, cr-ex Kerbel
Q. All right, and I take it that by the time you
gave your statement on the 29th of December, 1978, you were aware
of some of the details of what other people had said that they
...Halfway down page 1518
Q. I would like you to look at your statement
which is exhibit No. 74C, dated December the 29th, 1978, and it's
headed "David William Gillispie, 104 Walton Street, Port Hope.",
and it reads as follows:
"Since your last statement and as a result of further
investigation I "would like to clarify the following
"#1. With reference to the first sentence of your statement that
you "and Douglas Peart wanted to be in the Queen's Hotel by 11:00
"Q. Why did you want to be there at that
"A. We were going to pick up Kathy Cotgrave, she was to be done
work "at 11:00 P.M. then we were going to go and party.
"#2. Question. You stated in your statement that you and Doug
Peart "arrived at about twenty to twelve..."
HIS LORDSHIP: "Eleven".
KERBEL: "Eleven", sorry:
"twenty to eleven. You went into the back room and
met Sue Foote and "Gayle Thompson. Sue Foote believes you came in
about ten to eleven. "She and Peart started playing shuffle
board. At this point she "stated that about eight Satan's Choice
members walked in by the back "door. Do you recall seeing eight
members coming into the lounge? "Were they in addition to the
members such as Murray Blaker, Rick "Sauve, Fred Jones and a few
others whose names you did not know.
"Answer. In my previous statement it was wrote down wrong. When
"Douglas Peart and I arrived, Murray Blaker and Ric. Sauve
arrived a "few minutes after we did..."
Q. So I take it, that the first time you tell the
police that these men arrived after you were there, is in this
statement of December 29th, 1978 when Sergeant McReelis tells you
what Sue Foote said happened. Is that correct?
A. That's correct.
e) Someone on the police force was aware of the
meeting at Dave Hills' place. P.C. Kenneth Wilson, for Crown,
cr-ex Kerbel. Kerbel had been questioning Wilson about seven
people he observed around Matiyek's body. Jamie Hanna, Gayle
Thompson, Sue Foote, Peter Murdoch, Rod Stewart, Peter LaBrash,
Kathy Cotgrave. There were 12-15 there when Wilson arrived but by
the time he got around to taking names, only seven remained. He
named theseven, "and the deceased"...
Q. And the deceased. Constable you have been making reference
to your notes. May I see them please?
Q. Thank you, sir. Perhaps you could indicate
where they begin and where they end?
A. Page 72 and they end at 76.
Q. Thank you, sir. I am sorry, I can't make out
A. David Hills.
Q. David Hills. Thank you sir...(goes on to
question about seven people around deceased). Not Hills nor
Douglas Shortreed nor David Kelly were ever called.
...p.p. 143 (Wilson for Crown, cr-ex Kerbel)
Q. May I see your notes again please, sir?
Q. What about Mr. Hills, did he provide you with
an identification, description, or name of a man he believed shot
A. Not me, no.
Q. Not you. But you have -- were you present when
Mr. Hills made some statement?
Q. Well, it appears there is some notation in your
notebook, is there not, with respect to Mr. Hills?
A. Yes, there is. It is information which was
hearsay evidence which I wrote there which was passed on to me by
the twelve till eight shift.
Q. Who in the twelve till eight shift gave you
A. One of the two constables mentioned here. I
don't know which one.
Q. What are their names please?
A. Constable Kelly and Shortreed.
Q. Kelly and Shortreed.
f) The crime scene wasn't preserved.
g) Fraudulent evidence was put before the jurists
by way of obstruction, perjury and corruption to prove mens
a) Kenneth Wilson said that he attended at the
Port Hope police station to take a statement from David Gillispie
and Douglas Peart; Wakely confirmed this. In Gillispie's
testimony, under cross-examination, he clearly stated on several
occasions that he gave a statement to Dave Kelly and Sam
McReelis. Was Gillispie referring to a meeting with Kelly at Dave
Hills' house? Did Kelly drive Gillispie and Peart to the police
c) Rod Stewart contradicts himself in his
TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS, p.p. 1639-1641
Rod Stewart, for Crown, in-chief
Q. All right, let's talk about the large group of
people that came in then, how did they arrive?
A. Together. We were sitting at the bar, talking,
and without any real noticing that anybody had come in, we
realized that there were about fifteen people around us, so they
came in together and just seemed to be there all of a sudden.
...p.p. 1641, bottom of the page
THE WITNESS: I saw them come in as a
7. OUR KEY WITNESSES
a) Roger Davey swore a statement saying that he
perjured himself at the trial. He was threatened with being
charged with accessory after the fact.
b) Diane Davey answered the call from Rick Sauve.
She has sworn a statement to this effect.
c) Michael Everett was a witness at the Queen's
Hotel the night Bill Matiyek was killed. He saw the gun in
Matiyek's hand as he approached the table.
d) Gail Doyle can give evidence that Kathy
Cotgrave was paid $10,000.00 to phrase her testimony a certain
way. Kathy told her this around 1981, in thepresence of Brian
Babcock and Faith Doyle. Kathy also told Gail that other
witnesses were paid varying amounts of money in consideration for
phrasing their testimony a certain way.
e) Daniel Racicot was in the Queen's the night of
the murder. He saw two men in green Ontario Hydro parkas, one on
either side of another man who appeared to be holding a revolver.
Racicot was seated at a table next to the Matiyek table, on the
south side. He saw Gary Comeau seated beside Bill Matiyek and has
sworn a statement saying that Gary Comeau was definitely not the
f) Larry Sauve can say that Bill Goodwin lied in
his testimony. When Goodwin went to see Larry about borrowing his
truck, two of Matiyek's cousins were there as well as Rick Sauve.
Larry says that the conversation Goodwin testified to did not
take place. With Matiyek's cousins there, it would seem highly
unlikely that a conversation of that nature would be had in their
8. NEW PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.
a) We obtained and have the Toronto clubhouse
Regina vs. McLeod et
al in the context of Regina vs. Starr
The Fall 2000 Supreme Court of
Canada ruling on Regina vs. Starr, and its jury charge
commentary says (paraphrased) juries in criminal cases must have
heard evidence to indicate a high degree of guilt before
convicting; and judges in criminal matters are responsible for
delivering that message to juries. Moreover the Supreme Court of
Canada suggests there have been previous failures on the part of
judges when doing their charge to juries in major criminal
There is more than a reasonable likelihood the jury in McLeod
et al applied the wrong standard of proof--astoundingly so.
In all my work I would like to believe that juries would
interpret evidence I gather and assign guilt within the context
of clearly defined "reasonable doubt", but typically juries make
decisions heavily weighted on whether they like the accused and
their lawyers, or not. One has to bear that in mind before ever
entering the court room. And that is the sharpest issue for
McLeod et al. The accused and their lawyers were virtual
pariahs in the eyes of an authorities-led societal mindset; and
remain so today.
A hoped-for decision of parliament favouring relief for the
convicted/accused needs not only a sophisticated legal argument
to convince parliament that the original trial's outcome was
unfair and unjust, but a prevailing belief must be instilled
among sufficient lawmakers that the public would find a re-trial
or other relief palatable, and further, Members of Parliament
would need to first believe relief would be consistent with the
prevailing common thoughts pertaining to so-called 'biker crime'.
A re-trial is not too likely in other words.
Nevertheless, in all this it occurs to me that in advance of a
plea to parliament for relief (which thus far is the only venue
available to McLeod's accused), a campaign should be
prepared by the defence team to inform the public that the
deceased Bill Matiyek was not a hapless and helpless victim to be
pined over as such by his community but was in fact a rogue of no
less infamy than the accused; moreover he brought on his own
demise with his own brand of malfeasance. This should be
approached seriously. Failing to mold favourable public opinion
certainly contributed to the defence's failure in McLeod et
al and was a case-fatal error on the part of the defence
team in the Kinsella matter, as another example.
The form of the pre-Charter McLeod et al trial could not
re-occur today or within the environment of the post-Charter era
- (I would hope), but with the new thinking as regards to
so-called organized crime; victim impact evaluation; **balance of
probability favoured over requisite reasonable doubt in biker
club-related matters; and the prevailing contempt for organized
motorcyclists; a 'fairer' trial could not be had either! It will
never be heard tabula rasa (with objectivity) in today's
As outrageously unjust as is the outcome of Regina vs. McLeod
et al in 1979, (e.g. Satan's Choice MC members accused in
McLeod et al were associates to the killer within a cult
environment favouring crime over lawfulness, a fortiori
all associates are guilty as well.) it is nevertheless a sample
of things to come in the new millennium. In other words,
unfairness in the treatment of such types of matters is seemingly
welcomed by at least the current law-enforcers and lawmakers; and
whereas no supporting model is needed to nourish this unreasoned
mindset, Regina vs. McLeod is enjoyed as such a model by
the current authorities. Had the accused mounted a proper defence
at the time, the prevailing winds might blow differently. Perhaps
not. We'll never know.
The upshot of this, from my viewpoint, is that a blow is struck
to the principals of liberty and justice allegedly enshrined in
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when government leads society
in branding as a pariah a certain large-scale subset of society
and chooses to treat that group unfairly, wholesale. This is a
mindset characterized by ignorance and crudity reminiscent of
history's darkest lessons.
Micheal J. O'Brien
"Balance of probability" favoured over "reasonable doubt" in
biker club-related matters.
Enough is enough. This is way over the line! Advocates of this
grotesque imitation or misrepresentation of what justice really
is about represent a greater evil to Canadian society than the
yahoos they claim to be protecting society from. Certainly this
flies in the face of the adage "that it is better that ten guilty
go free than one innocent goes to jail", a saying that sets forth
a general truth about the foundation of our criminal justice
Fear for your liberty; and fear all lawmakers and law-enforcers
should this come to pass as a prevailing criteria for any court
to adjudicate criminal matters. That any lawmaker would suggest
such a thing is an astoundingly sorry statement about the quality
of human intelligence attracted to and elected for public
policy-making in the current era of Canadian federal
The Supreme Court of Canada, in late 2000, demonstrated foresight
and wisdom and is a light in the storm in the Regina vs.
Starr matter. This has less to do with any particular case
and more to do with the current whimsical pursuit within Canadian
federal parliament for ransacking the criminal justice system
seeking a means to tougher legislation for dealing with so-called
'biker-related crimes'. Society would be better off to tolerate
tenfold biker annoyances than enduring a trashing of its right to
objective jurisprudence.It would serve society better if the law
enforcement community would get off its collective duff, drop its
collective donut and crying towel and do its collective job
properly instead of whining about how difficult the work is and
assigning blame elsewhere for all its collective