At least two RCMP analysts concluded that Glen Assoun didn’t kill Brenda Way.
Since documents relating to Assoun’s wrongful murder conviction were released on July 12, the role of retired RCMP Const. Dave Moore has been widely reported.
It was Moore, using the RCMP’s Violent Crimes Analysis Linkage System, or ViCLAS, who first identified serial killer Michael McGray as a more likely suspect.
Moore’s information was not passed on to Assoun’s defence team. When he returned from a two-week vacation, Moore had been transferred out of the ViCLAS unit and his files were destroyed.
Fellow retired Mountie Giles Blinn, who supported some of Moore’s conclusions, finds that extremely unusual.
“Only people with certain rights can delete worksheets,” Blinn said Thursday. “It could only be a supervisor or someone else working on the file.”
Following the release of the Assoun files, the RCMP acknowledged that information had been deleted.
“The deletions were contrary to policy and shouldn’t have happened,” an RCMP statement issued on July 12 read.
“They were not done, however, with malicious intent,” the statement added.
RCMP says policy has been changed
In response to an inquiry from CBC, the RCMP issued a further statement on July 15, which said a policy change means one ViCLAS user can no longer delete another user’s files.
“It falls somewhat short of explaining what actually happened,” Blinn said from his home in New Brunswick.
He retired last year with the rank of staff sergeant after 31 years in the RCMP.
In the early 2000s, Blinn was a ViCLAS analyst in New Brunswick. He reviewed Moore’s work.
“I looked at what he did because I could see his worksheets and I thought it was pretty sound,” Blinn said. “It was good.”
Blinn did his own analysis of McGray’s cases and found a possible link to the Way murder. But Blinn didn’t pursue it further.
He said ViCLAS analysts didn’t always hear what police forces did with the information they provided.
ViCLAS was created in the aftermath of the case of Paul Bernardo, the notorious murderer and serial rapist who preyed on women in southern Ontario. He was eventually declared a dangerous offender and is locked up indefinitely.
Moore praised for going beyond the basics
But police at the time recognized that they didn’t always see similarities or connections in cases. ViCLAS was meant to fill that gap with analysts in every part of the country.
Blinn said Moore was very good at his job and would go beyond the basic work of an analyst. Blinn said he would do that as well, but he said there was one critical difference. “I had the support of my superiors.”
It is no secret that Moore clashed with others in the RCMP.
In February 1989, while he was stationed in Prince Edward Island, Moore was charged with forcible confinement for his treatment of an accused man.
He hired famed defence attorney Edward Greenspan to represent him. Greenspan described the charge as “BS” and “a joke” and said he had the sense that if Moore had offered to resign, the charge would have been withdrawn.
Moore also faced internal disciplinary charges but was found not guilty. The criminal charge against him was eventually stayed.
By then, he had transferred to Nova Scotia, where he initially received glowing performance assessments for his work. But, in 1998, Moore clashed with a superior officer, accusing him of failing to assist in an arrest and even concealing evidence.
Blinn backs ex-colleague’s work
Moore said by the time he was examining the Assoun file, he believed others in the RCMP were out to get him.
Blinn acknowledged that his friend and former colleague was outspoken, but he said his work in this case was correct.
Moore’s research on the Assoun case was done in 2004. It never made it to Assoun’s lawyer, who in 2006 was unsuccessful in appealing the murder conviction.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Assoun was released on strict bail conditions while an investigator from the federal Justice Department reviewed his case. He was only exonerated in March of this year.
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