Explosive: The Mikolajewski Report exposes the shoddy work done on the Barbara Stoppel murder investigation and how Winnipeg Chief Jack Ewatski helped block a proper re-investiagtion to protect a retired inspector and the secrets a warranted search of his premises would reveal.
(That is they need to bend the law to purposes other than justice)
Richard Klassen has been pressing the Saskatchewan government to get moving its appeal against Judge Baynton's findings of malice by prosecutor Matt Miazga (right) and government contracted therapist Carol Bunko-Ruys. Last week Klassen received a reply from Quennell who declared that the government was taking great care with this appeal because it had such important implications for the public.
That public would not be the 80% of Saskatchewan citizens who were polled after the judgment came down: it was made clear that we wanted the government to make a fair settlement, and that we wanted accountability from our public officials to ensure this would not happen again. It has been made clear from Quennell and Crawford's extraordinary intervention in the Vopni case that they have no intention of accounting for themselves.
The public to which Quennell is referring are those government officials who need malice as an important part of their investigation and prosecution strategy.
The Memorandum the Saskatchewan government has prepared as part of its application for intervenor status is interesting. I would appear to have been done with a word processor: The writer of the memo has done a search of Judge Baynton's decision and everywhere the word 'malice' occurs, he/she has referred to it as an error of law! I have cross-referenced the memo with the actual judgment so it is easy to see what I'm talking about. (Just roll your mouse over the memo text, click to go to the judgment and use your back-button key to return to the memo.) This would be hilarious were it not so important to the public. Not only have some of our police, prosecutors and social workers abused their offices but our elected officials now seek to further insult our intelliegence with claims tha a judgment which is very much in our interest is not.
I repeat: they need malice! They cannot bring themselves to account for their behavior because we would find out just how important malice is to keep their hearts beating.
This is not an isolated Saskatchewan phenomenon, of course. Eric Cline was cynically right when, as Justice Minister and Attorney General he made the comment that much more malicious acts were occurring south of the border and by comparison, Saskatchewan was in pretty good shape. Corruption is relative and we are relatively less corrupt.
The FBI was forced this year to pay $6.6M to Chicago policemen Steven Manning (right) they had framed twice for murder. The agents who framed him did not have to account for themselves and were praised as excellent employees by the federal prosecutor who acted for them in the civil claim.
Malice is a good thing; getting caught is a bad thing. But being allowed to continue with malicious prosecutions is more important than occasionally getting caught framing innocent people. As things stand getting caught doesn't cost them anything. It all comes from public money which they spend with reckless abandon. Dueck's extravagent spending on the Klassen/Kvello frame up would come to millions in today's economy. What the Saskatoon Police paid to defend him was far more than they paid out in damages.
Frank Quennell needs his malice. And he needs it badly! Because if the Saskatchewan government loses this appeal, it sets precedent for other justice departments to lose their malice. Cops, crowns and social workers across the continent will all have to be more careful about how they prepare the evidence they bring before the judge.
Malice is deliberate deception of the court. It is deliberately using a public office for purposes not consistent with the law. The RCMP 'Mr Big' scenario stings performed by the RCMP and the OPP are malicious.
The withholding of evidence is malicious.
If the Baynton judgment is allowed to stand, honest judges all over the country will be emboldened to call malice for what it is.
The next step in this accountability process must be to make the malicious individuals account for themselves by losing their jobs and/or going to jail.
The Big International Conference planned for Winnipeg in October does not have as part of its agenda just what they will do to halt wrongful convictions once they have thoroughly stroked each others' inquiries and reports and satisfied themselves they know how they happen. In Canada we need a provision in the criminal code whereby prosecutors can be prosecuted and there must be guidelines for stiff sentencing.
In the meantime, Frank Quennell has had plenty of time to prepare his appeal against the Klassens and Kvellos. He had better get on with it. Richard Klassen had already advised him to go directly to the Supreme Court if he wanted clarification. That is probably where the case is going to end up. The strategy of waiting us all out, counting on the public to forget is outworn now that we have the Internet. We got this case into the public eye and we will keep it here.
We want a world that is safe for honest cops, honest prosecutors and honest social workers The only way they can be safe is if we lock up those who make their work so difficult. If Richard Quinney and Matt Miazga had been locked up, Terry Hinz would have felt safe to stop the Klassen Kvello prosecutions before they began. If Brian Dueck and former Chief Dave Scott had been locked up many innocent people would have been spared from wrongful charges. We have now learned that former chief Joe Penkala took the Gail Miller file home. This served to keep David Milgaard in prison while protecting RCMP informant Larry Fisher (right).
The following full 17 page Mikolajewski Report was given to and is addressed to Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski October 16, 2002.
1. Search Warrant for Inspector Ken Bieners Residence
The Barbara Stoppel/Thomas Sophonow re-investigation team was assigned to take a fresh approach to the case with "New eyes". As a result members having no ties with the case or the Homicide unit were selected.
I believe that an external body should have headed the re-investigation. It has been noted that "Outside investigation is required if systemic, organizational, and management failings are to be revealed." (6). Investigators from the service should be assigned in this regard but they should be under the direction of an impartial independent supervisor. The reasoning is self-evident: "Internal investigation is compromised from the outset as self-interest acts to protect the organization from civil Liability. (7)
Due to the fact that this investigation would entail detailed internal scrutiny and eventually a public inquiry, the need for an external control would have been highlighted. As a result public perception may deem our efforts as tainted. An example of such a perception is as follows:
During the course of the Barbara Stoppel Murder re-investigation it was discovered that retired Inspector Ken Biener destroyed numerous exhibits in the case. It was my opinion that Biener had retained some exhibits and that they were still in his possession at his residence. as a result I established what I believed to be grounds for a search warrant.
The importance of obtaining a warrant and retrieving the exhibits cannot be over stressed since they may provide the offenders DNA. Of equal importance failing to obtain these exhibits would result in no charges being laid against a suspect without a confession (reflected in case law and discussions with crown counsel).
As a result I discussed the merits of obtaining a search warrant with Sgt. Vogen on several occasions. He related that this would not be his decision and that it would be up to "Them" (The Executive). I pursued this matter further on March 26, 2000 by speaking to you in person. In response to my desire to obtain a warrant you replied, "We can't do that he's a retired Inspector." This comment was made in front of Sgt. Vogen and Crown Attorney Rick Saull.
On April 7, 2000 I met with Crown attorneys Rick Saull and Dale Schille. We discussed the missing exhibits in the case and again stressed the importance of obtaining them. I advised that I would again recommend a search warrant for Ken Bieners residence that was met with support.
On April 10, 2000 I spoke with Sgt. Vogen again in an effort to obtain a search warrant for Bieners residence. I stressed that an outside agency looking in would criticize us for not being impartial and thorough. My efforts may have been firther complicated by the fact that Sgt. Vogen worked under Inspector Biener in the Youth Division.
On April 17, 2000 I met with Inspector McCaskill and again advised him of all the grounds I had to obtain a warrant. Inspector McCaskill indicated that he did no know al the information before but would take it up with the Executive. I again stressed the importance of obtaining the warrant and retrieving the missing exhibits.
On April 30, 2000 I spoke with Cst. John Birchill. He advised that you had decided that Ken Biener was to be interviewed regarding the destruction of exhibits but this was NOT to be done under charge and caution. Further we were NOT to obtain a search warrant.
I truly believed that somehow the message might have been misinterpreted since it made no sense to me. As a result I contacted Sgt. Vogen at home on May 4, 2000 . He stated that
1. Per Inspector McCaskill there was to be NO search warrant at Bieners residence.
2. Per Inspector McCaskill Biener was NOT to be charge and cautioned even if he brought exhibits to the interview.
I again expressed my dissatisfaction with the decision and advised that the investigation was being jeopardized. However at the time I felt compelled to do as I was told as outlined in section 10.01 "Members shall obey a lawful order or directive issued by a member senior in rank." After much reflection I now do not believe that this was a "Lawful Order."
On May 5, 2000, I contacted retired Inspector Ken Biener and requested that he attend to our office for an interview. I further requested that he bring his notebooks pertaining to the Stoppel case and all exhibits he had in his possession. Biener denied having any exhibitsbut agreed to the interview. I relayed that I knew he had further exhibits and stressed that we required them in order to proceed against the new suspect. Biener later accused me of "Trick Fucking" him into bringing the exhibits. On this charge I am guilty but I had no other recourse available to me.
On May 10, 2000 retired Inspector Ken Biener attended to out office at 850 Empress in possession of his notebooks. After approx 1 hour he admitted destroying most of the exhibits and advised he had some others in his trunk. He then turned over a box of exhibits from the case including the belt Barbara Stoppel was wearing at the time of her Murder, which was never tested at the Crime Lab. Following my orders Ken Biener was not chartered.
On May 11, 2000 Sgt. Vogel and I reported in person to the Executive. Present were you, D/Chief Thompson, Inspector McCaskill, and Police Legal Counsel Inspector Schumacher. After relating the results of the interview I concluded that i did not have any more grounds for a warrant to Bieners residence nor did I believe he would be charged since I had not cautioned him.
Late this date I spoke with Crown Rick Saull and updated him on the incident. At this point Saull now stated that it was a confession case and no charges could be laid against a new suspect.
Some of the more important exhibits still outstanding in the case are:
1. Barbara Stoppels bra.
2. Barbara Stoppels underwear
3. Her shoes and socks
4. A kleenex with mucous believed to be the killers.
I remain perplexed by the decision to to obtain a search warrant. I voiced my displeasure to Sgt. Vogen who simply stated that it was not his decision.
John H. conditt of the FNI wrote: "Citizens bestow great power and authority upon their law enforcement organizations. They expect and deserve accountability from their law enforcement public servants and demand that these organizations display a high degree of Integrity." (8). He states further, ". . . thoroughness is vitally important to the internal investigative process." (9)
It is my opinion that we were not thorough in this case nor did we display a great deal of integrity. I am equally frustrated that I had nowhere to go with my concerns. I addressed my issues with Sgt. Vogen, Inspector McCaskill, other investigators and the Chief of Police. I do not believe that the results/ decision would have been the same had Ken Biener been a retired Constable. In fact if we can obtain a warrant for storn C.D's at the residence of a Constable, why can't we obtain a warrant for exhibits in a murder case at a retired Inspectors residence?
There is a possibility that retired Inspector Biener had the remaining missing exhibits prior to my phone call and may have subsequently destroyed them. If this was the case we lost our only hope of DNA comparison and thereby any chance of a successful conclusion to this case.
It is my opinion that if an independent commission were assigned to this case a warrant would have been executed. I do not believe that I was allowed to do my job. Further, both Barbara Stoppel and her family have not been served well. In fact Rick Stoppel knows that there was no warrant and will be pursuing the matter further. Rob Finlayson advised him of this. It is for this reason as well that I am addressing the issue.
I strongly recommend that future cases of this type be independent and that the persons involved herein be considered for charges of obstruct justice, obstruct peace officer and discreditable conduct if warranted.
2. Delayed interview of Terry Arnold
Terry Samuel Arnold has been defined as a "person of interest" in the Barbara Stoppel Murder investigation. As previously indivated it has become a confession case. In this regard the investigative team determined the timing of a hard interview was crucial in order to have any success. It would also be a psychological battle of will with the suspect. Without going into the details pf the investigation I will simply state that the crucial time for interviewing Arnold was first requested on October 18, 2000. Investigators Robert Legge/Paul Brown and Murray Allan agreed.
On November 6, 2000 d/Sgt Legge submitted a memo addressed to you again requesting an interview with Arnold in early December and outlining the merits of it. These recommendations were turned down.
Due to the fact that Ken Biener had destroyed exhibits, and kept exhibits in his residence and Ken Biener was to testify at the inquiry it was imperative to interview Arnold as soon as possible. If the inquiry revealed this information Terry Arnold (right) would know we had no case and an interview would be fruitless (Unfortunately this was the case and the information was later revealed in the inquiry). In fact even Rick Stoppel brought up this concern with you and requested an early interview.
Our Investigative team repeatedly requested an early interview to supervisors on November 30, 2000 & December 4, 2000 to no avail. Inspector McCaskill later advised me that the media release of Sophows exoneration was put off for several weeks due to negative "press" from the 911 incident. The Interview in turn was put off due to the pressure of the Inquiry. These issues had nothing to do with the murder investigation.
On January 17, 2001 I received information that Arnold had new hope for an appeal and was feeling confident that he would get a new trial. The timing for an interview was now becoming problematic as we feared we were losing momentum. On February 22, 2001 D/Sgt Legge presented a 2 team interview approach which is supported by Crown Rick Saull. It is also suggested to have the interview soon.
In summary we requested an interview with the suspect on October 16, 2000 and were not approved to do so until March 7, 2001 resulting in a five month delay. The main reason given to this team for the delays focused on the inquiry. It may be said that the interests of the City at the time superseded the interests of the Murder investigation. Having an independent commissioner in charge would have eliminated any such possible perception.
3. Chief Ewatski's comments on CJOB April 3, 2002
During the course of this re-investigation I was assigned to act as liaison with the Stoppel family. This involved hundreds of hours of my own time that I found very rewarding. It was with great satisfaction that they received partial disclosure to this tragedy that has caused them over 20 years of pain.
On April 3, 2002 I received a call from Rick Stoppel who was extremely disappointed with what he had heard on CJOB's Adler show from you. I also listened to the comments and found them disturbing. Of particular note are the following (Re the Stoppel case).
"We have really left no stone unturned in this homicide investigation."
"We are continuing to work on it on a daily basis."
"We have put members from out homicide unit other specially trained officers that have skills and abilities that can investigate historical homicides they have been working on fthis for over 2 years now nothing but this file itself."
"I'm optimistic that continuing with the investigation the way we are doing in a very comprehensive manner that one day we will gather enough evidence to lay a charge against the person responsible for the murder of Barbara Stoppel."
Unfortunately our "ongoing" investigation was disbanded approx 1 year earlier and even our phone lines were disconnected. You referred to this "ongoing" investigation on several other occasions earlier prompting me to ask Sgt. Vogen is there was anything ongoing. He replied with laughter and a "No." This was confirmed by other former-members of the unit and Inspector McCaskill.
This has now brought mistrust with the Stoppel family and thereby brought discredit upon the reputation of the Service. Once again I have no venue to address my concerns since there is no independent body. The Stoppels are left to wonder what exactly has changed over the pst 20 years. Moreover provincial victims legislation does not appear to have been followed.
I recommend that an independent body be assigned and discern whether refulatory charges of deceit and discreditable conduct are in order against you.
End of sermonette. Sheila Steele, April 1, 2005, continued > > >