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Edmonton Journal from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada • 69

Edmonton Journali
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
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rpST COPY AVAILABLE ii i i tti fiitrA I. BooksG4 CareersG6 EDITOR: Bob Bell, 429-5209 i 'f I -d JD' 7 4 i i ty. i 0 IS II I irtl i Ii I i I A 1M i 4 i wi nn i Rick MacWilham The Journal 4uard towers and wire fences surround the maximum security Edmonton Institution northeast ol the city '11 ml 3UiJLiLr Why did it take so long to get at the truth in the Gingras case? this whole sad story," says Liberal Justice critic and leadership candidate. TOM BARRETT Journal Staff Writer Zf SPECIAL A REPORT 1 1 Journal reporter Tom Barrett has been reporting on the Gingras case since its beginning. failure to involve the community parole office in planning the pass and to send the National Parole Board complete security information about Gingras before his outing to West Edmonton Mall was approved.

It was nearly two-and-a-half years before the public learned from an independent investigator that the evaluation of Gingras on which the pass was based was riddled with errors, that numerous prison regulations were violated, that damning documents had disappeared or been destroyed and vital files weren't translated into English. Even then the truth was only revealed after then new Solicitor General Pierre Blais was "dragged kicking and screaming" into appointing investigator John Weir, according to Edmonton Conservative MP David Kilgour. "Politics has played a major role in They also missed or ignored documentation about Gingras' history as an informant and evidence indicating the pass was likely a reward for services rendered. Despite tough talk in September 1987 by Solicitor General James Kelleher about disciplinary action and continuing investigations, corrections officials say the internal probe was completed two months earlier and nothing further was done to get at the truth. When The Journal obtained the report through an Access to Information request in March 1988, large parts of the report, its recommendations and findings were blacked out by government censors on privacy or security grounds.

The only negative information to escape the censor's pen was the prison's John Nunziata. "I think it's clear at this point that there was a deliberate attempt to mislead and cover up gross negligence on the part of Corrections Canada." Weir's highly critical but heav ily censored report was released Dec. 21, 1989. The full story was not told until The Journal obtained an uncensored copy and published details two weeks later. Blais, Corrections Commissioner Ole Ingstrup, Deputy Commissioner John Duggan and other senior officials have refused to discuss the Weir Report or explain why they and their predecessors did not find or reveal the most embarrassing details about the Gingras affair for so long.

Please see PrisonG2 Edmonton Some call it incompetence and others call jt a coverup, but critics of Canada's prison system agree it's a scandal that he truth about the Daniel Gingras affair look so long to surface. I The 38-year-old convicted killer overpowered an unarmed escort on a birth-fay shopping pass from Edmonton Institution June 29, 1987, and murdered two more people before being captured. The Journal has uncovered irregularities in the Correctional Services of Canada's internal inquiry into the granting of the pass, and its general handling of the incident. The Journal found prison investigators missed crucial information in 1987 by not interviewing key figures involved in the decision. They only interviewed four prison officials and either missed or did not report widespread evidence that Gingras received privileged treatment at the penitentiary.

death of British Columbia nurse still a mystery I I More than 90 threats and attacks recorded Police maintain 4 it was a suicide Southam News I 4 Jm KEN MacOUEEN JJoutham News .0 I i 1 Bumaby, B.C Chronicle of a death foretold: The coroners office has pieced together more than 90 threats and attacks against Richmond B.C. nurse Cindy James. Were they the work of a night stalker or the product of her imagination? Among the incidents: July 1982. Cindy and Dr. Roy Makepeace separate after more than 16 years of marriage.

She rents a house in east Vancouver. October 1982. The start of a continuous series of threatening, obscene and "no-talk calls' and threatening notes; a break-in where her pillow is slashed with a knife. Jan. 27, 1983.

She is apparently attacked at her home. She was cut repeatedly with a sharp object and found with a stocking knotted tightly around her throat She fails two polygraph tests. October-November 1983. Three dead cats are found. One with a rope around its neck in the garden, one between the doors, one near the garage.

Jan. 30. 1984. Apparent attack. She is struck on the head, a stocking tied tightly around her neck and a threatening note pinned to the back of her hand with a paring knife.

A polygraph test is inconclusive. June 18. 1984. Her dog is almost strangled with a string. A threatening and sexual note is found in the house.

June 23. 1984. A dead cat strangled with string, is found at the basement stairwell of her house. July 23. 1984.

She says she is attacked during an evening walk with her dog and apparently forcibly injected with drugs. Again, a stocking is tightly knotted around her neck. She is again rushed to hospital June 1985. She is admitted Bumaby, B.C. Cindy James is receiving in death what her family feels she was denied during the last seven years of her life.

She is being taken seriously. Dead seriously. Each day in this Vancouver suburb, her parents, brothers, sisters and inlaws fill the front eight seats at a remarkable inquest They want to make sense out of the bi-jfirre life and mysterious death of the 44-year-old nurse. She was found dead June 8 in an empty lot in suburban Rich-ttiond. injected with a lethal dose Of sedative, hands and legs hogtied 6ehmd her.

Police called it an elaborate suicide. Friends and family say police (feiled to protect her from a night Stalker who had tortured her men-fcillrand physically for seven years liefore ending his hunt with her 4 Either way, the final years of Cindy James, born Cynthia Hack, were a ghoulish horror one now being replayed in tie Sterile theatre of a Coroners tourt "During an inquest expected to than a month. Coroner fald D. Tilley and the five-mem-ler'jury are sifting the physical wreckage of a life: outgoing daughter, the SHtpetent nurse-administrator; Jbel -attractive young bride whose Biartiage to an older doctor disintegrated; finally, the depressed, suicidal victim who was either a Chronic, attention-seeking liar or a terrorized human quarry. Coroners office investigators lave drafted a log of more than 90 incidents," starting just after her Chris Helgren yamcomrer Son The body of Cindy James is removed from the site where it was found Cindy James to hospital, depressed and suicidal, after several more months of threatening letters and cut telephone lines.

Dec. 11. 1983. She is found in a ditch at the University of British Columbia a stocking around her neck, cuts and bruises on her face and legs and a needle mark on her arm. April 1986.

An arson fire at her new home in Richmond causes considerable damage. Police suspect she set it October-November 1986. She moves, and legally changes her name to Cindy James. She is fired from her job as coordinator of a treatment program for disturbed children. Oct 26.

1988. She arrived home from work at Richmond General Hospital and is apparently attacked in her carport. She is found unconscious, nude from the waist down. A nylon is tied around her throat and fcer arms and legs are hogtied with a second stocking. June 8.

1989. Her body is found in a Richmond lot. hogtied. She had been injected with a lethal dose of sedatives. of her family and married life.

Part Three: her medical history. Part Four: the death scene, the pathology reports and police investigation. Part One is a brutal and compelling introduction. Already, the jury has learned that friends and co-workers suspected she had been beaten during her 16-year marriage to Dr. Roy Makepeace, a South African-born doctor almost 20 years her senior, whom she married within months of graduating as a nurse.

They have learned that her estranged husband was considered, then eliminated, as a suspect in some of the attacks and threats. Please see WomanG2 Many, however, long suspected she was responsible. The prevailing view was shared by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Tony Marcus, a police consultant who met James after one attack. He speculated after her death that she had been "engaged in a play," casting herself as victim in a fantastic plot of her own creation.

If that is so, she would probably appreciate her inquest, which is playing to a packed house. It has been arranged like a screenplay, or a Stephen King novel, that builds steadily to its climax. Currently, the jury is working its way through Part One, a detailed examination of each of 16 of the worst incidents. Part Two will be an examination separation from husband Dr. Roy Makepeace in July 1982.

They include: dozens of harassing telephone calls and threatening notes, cut telephone lines, the dumping of four dead cats on her property, break-ins and vandalism, arson and at least four serious attacks before her final disappearance from a Richmond shopping plaza. James's partly decomposed body was found a week later in a lot about a kilometre away. An investigation by the Richmond RCMP concluded that her death was an elaborate suicide. Police in Vancouver and Richmond, where she moved in 1986, invested thousands of hours investigating her reports of harassment.

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