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Standing up to abusive authority

No one, not even the Mounties, are above the law!

EDITORIAL July 2005

Accused wants evidence reported

Back in early June, I posted a stylized photo of an undercover operative of RCMP E Division who was the chief operative (undercover agent Justin Harris) in gaining the confidence of Wilf Hathway which eventually led to an elaborately staged confession scenario in which Wilf is lured by promises of large sums of money to the Fairmont Hotel; to meet Mr. C, the boss who is so big he can be referred to only as a letter.

Hathway had previously been made aware of the importance of Mr. C after a staged "almost meeting" had been set up at Hi's Steakhouse. He went there with Martin for a steak, and was abruptly turned around and ushered out. They couldn't go in because Mr. C. was there, and once you have seen him we have to either secure your loyalty forever or kill you, Martin told Hathway, acting out a B-movie script from the days of Jimmy Cagney.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's go back a few years to when Denver Bruce Crawford was murdered in Saskatoon. Crawford was Hathway's landlord and Hathway had stumbled home dead drunk in May, 1998 to discover the brutally murdered body of this 80 year old man, called 911, was investigated by Saskatoon police and eventually released.

Of course there is more to this and it will come out in court that Hathway was a hopeless drunk, addict and petty criminal who stole from his own mother to maintain his disreputable lifestyle.

Never mind.

By 2003 Hathway had turned his life around. He had gone through a complete detoxification program where, after a year of being clean and sober he had been given an experimental treatment for Hep C. The treatment worked. He became a student at Kamloops College and was close to receiving a degree. He had married and fathered a daughter, Shayla, for whom he devoted his life. He was working as a janitor at the college and transporting Shayla to daycare, living on a limited budget as he waited to take exams for his degree when Saskatoon Police and RCMP "E" Division began their carefully orchestrated sting.

Before this could begin, they had done a careful study of Hathway and Saskatoon had cut a cheque to the mounties for $25,000, the required down payment before the profile could be completed.

How did they approach Hathway? Well they couldn't meet him in a bar. He didn't go there any more. What to do with a reformed alcoholic who is putting back together a shattered life?

A female under-cover knocked at his door. She had car trouble and could he help? Well, of course he could. This led to an introduction to her boyfriend, undercover agent Martin, and this led to tempting Wilfred Hathway with those things their profile had revealed would be most effective.

Most of the early "bonding" took place in bars and strip joints. Once Wilf was off the wagon, he was off.

He was gradually sucked into activities he was aware were criminal -- taking a suitcase on the bus to Edmonton where he met with different operatives. Al Haslett, who was one of the main operatives in setting up Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns was a bit player in one of the petty scenes.

Martin must have been pretty certain Hathway would go along with anything he suggested -- after all, he seemed grateful for small cash rewards and clothes he had been provided -- and then there was a surprise. They asked Hathway to go across the border to get some guns and he refused so they had to do it themselves. Shortly afterwards they sprung the big one on him -- the offer of $25k to drive a truck to Montreal, with the implication that it was loaded with illegal weapons. This in 2004, three years after 9/11.

Martin has told the Saskatoon police, who have in turn told crown prosecutors, that Hathway confessed several times to the murder of Denver Crawford. It was simply their misfortune that the recording equipment they had set up suddenly malfunctioned during every one of these alleged confessions.

The one they finally extract from him is full of false details which do not in any way correspond to the details of the initial investigation.

As we unfolded this story, we were able to interest the media in it. All three major networks are interested in this story and have spoken with Hathway.

I expect this is the reason I got the call from a polite sergeant named Brian in Vancouver who was concerned that Martin' identity had been revealed on the website. He asked me to take down a certain photo and I took it down.

He then told me that the names of Haslett and Shinkaruk were subject to a publication ban in both Canada and the United States. Actually her asked me if I knew. How could I possibly know? I had picked their names up from the Seattle newspapers which reported that they had testified at the trials of Rafay and Burns. They felt free to tell lies in an American court and traded on the stellar reputation of the RCMP to get onto the record material which was gained by means which are absolutely illegal in the United States.

I have now been warned about the court-ordered publication bans and I believe that the courts were deceived in issuing them. Not only do I feel no obligation to respect these orders; as a citizen I feel it is my duty to expose them. If the court has made such orders then it is the court which will have to decide whether the orders were properly obtained. We expect that this will play out as the Crown continues to press its illegal case against Wilf Hathway.

We would remind them all that in the Clayton Mentuck case in 2001, the mounties were granted a degree of latitude in that the operatives were given one year to get into another line of police work before their identities and names were protected from publication.

Martin and the other mounties who went after Wilfred Hathway have had their year. And a few weeks' grace.

--Sheila Steele, July 19, 2001


RCMP is visiting us

This regards our success in informing the public about illegal actions of their under-cover operatives. Full sermonette to follow shortly. (The graphic is from the little tracker and was made this morning before noon.)

Again today

July 19 Hathway letter tracker

Yesterday

RCMP Hathway sting

They still are. 2011-2018