Remember, this conversation took place in October 1993,
Richard Klassen was speaking to the Head of Social Services, expressing concern that Michael might still be raping his sisters.
As it turned out, he was right. Michael was not removed from the Thompson home for a full three months after this conversation took place.
This is what made it the Scandal of the Century.
Dueck has been promoted all the way to top Superintendent. Carol Bunko-Ruys is still working as a counsellor as well as with an outfit which trains other counsellors! Sheila Gagne is still head of Saskatchewan Social Services. The Minister in charge has changed several times.
TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATION WITH SHEILA GAGNE AND RICHARD KLASSEN DATED OCTOBER 14th, 1993
This conversation was transcribed by Borden/Holgate Law Office on April 23/2002. Edited by Sheila Steele
Richard Klassen: Hello
Sheila Gagne: Mr. Klassen
Richard Klassen: Speaking...
Sheila Gagne: Sheila Gagne from Social Services.
Richard Klassen: Yes.
Sheila Gagne: Hi!
Richard Klassen: Hi...I talked to, I believe it was Anita Gross, I think it was yesterday and she told me to talk to you.
Sheila Gagne: Ok
Richard Klassen: Now it's regarding the foster child, foster parent trials . . .
Sheila Gagne: Yes
Richard Klassen: . . .back in 1991. O.K. I was one of the accused, along with my wife Now we're in the process of clearing our names it's not always an easy go, but I think in this case it's, it's clear cut. One of the main concerns, now I just spoke to our lawyer today, and we're in the process of laying a lawsuit O.K.
Now, one of our main concerns in everything and in all, never mind what happened to us, or how it came about, or I don't even care why. But the fact of the matter is that through recent information that I got, in the Marilyn Thompson [she had written some handwritten] notes, O.K. and I've had them authenticated as well, all right, the information in there leads to the fact that we were right all along, is that Michael himself is an abuser, and he needs help, O.K. I think that both the Department of Social Services along with ah, the Saskatoon Police Department, meaning Brian Dueck mainly, along with some others didn't see to it that he got that help. Along with the fact that his sisters were being abused it's clear and that Marilyn Thompson knew that this was happening, and in the Social services reports that we have it also indicated that. These were handed over to Carol Bunko-Ruys, in turn Carol Bunko-Ruys handed them over to The Department of Social Services along with Brian Dueck, O.K. All this information was clear to everyone that it was happening, in the house , at the time and right up until they stayed our charges. O.K. but these papers go from October I believe of 1991 (I'd have to look them up) .
Now, my main concern is there are three children other than his two sisters, I mean it's bad enough as it is, I believe allowed after all this time, I mean this, this kid's a sex offender, in my opinion, after reading these papers. He should have been removed, immediately, at minimum from his two sisters and put in a safe place where he couldn't do this anymore, or wouldn't be allowed to do this anymore. I have recent information that they still could be together, . . . I see that now I understand that they are still seeing Carol Bunko-Ruys and whatever and I understand that, but that to me is not therapy after reading these papers, I mean this, this kid is , needs some serious help, he needs, I think an institution, he needs to be charged under the young offenders act for what this kid is doing to these girls, let alone school children in Warman. Now in these papers, I don't know if you have copies of the papers or not um, but in these papers it clearly states the names of the children, in Warmen, the first names, and it states the school which they are attending. They've been sexually assaulted by him, Why isn't anything being done?
Sheila Gagne: O.K. I guess to begin with um, I feel that the workers at the department that have dealt with the situation have done and continue to do the case planning for these children, as is necessary. The second thing that I have to say Mr. Klassen is that I really am not at liberty to discuss any of this with you because for reasons of confidentiality I cannot discuss cases within our department.
Richard Klassen: Well I understand that, no I, I certainly understand.
Sheila Gagne: I am certainly hard pressed to make comments about this -- you are saying to me that a police person has this information...
Richard Klassen: Had...
Sheila Gagne: but charges are only laid when police and prosecutors feel that they have evidence sufficient to lay charges. If there was any information that Mr. Dueck or any other police officer had that felt was sufficient to lay charges, they would likely be laying charges.
Richard Klassen: O.K. so Michael I'm talking about...
Sheila Gagne: the information that you are talking about,- - we would certainly have that information here because we are the, the parents of these children, the legal parents of these children, um, the police certainly have infromation, it is not our job to press charges against anybody.
Richard Klassen: no, I understand that.
Sheila Gagne: It is the police's job.
Richard Klassen: Yeah.
Sheila Gagne: the police's job. I am not sure why you are asking me to have charges pressed.
Richard Klassen: I'm not asking you, what I am saying is the Department of Social Services, the police department the ah, the prosecutors in this case, knowingly, they knew all along that Michael was abusing these girls, they wanted to keep the three children together in order to keep there manufactured evidence alive. Now we have proof of that, there's no doubt about it, but that's not, I don't care about that anymore, the fact of the matter is...
Sheila Gagne: what I am telling you is that the police department nor the prosecutors office tell us where to place children. We place children through this department, where we feel is the most suitable placement for them at that particular time.
Richard Klassen: O.K. then answer me this then, very clear, that...did you know that a child is dangerous to his own sisters, insist, dangerous, you have it on documentation...is it a safe place to put them?
Sheila Gagne: I'm not going to answer that question because to me every situation is different, and I can't generalize on that...
Richard Klassen: O.K., I understand that, but that's not...
Sheila Gagne: ...specific situation and I would not make that decision alone, we would be consulting with numerous people around any kind of situation like that, including consulting amongst our own staff here who are working directly with that particular case.
Richard Klassen: Mmm Hmm, like I just feel like if these were my kids, or any other children, I can't see, I mean I read these papers they were ah, his sisters, one sister in particular was violently raped by him a number of times, five times, as a matter of fact in a three-day period, that Marilyn Thompson took note of in some incidences caught him, you have a serious situation on your hands, a very serious situation there's no doubt about it.
Sheila Gagne: Now I will certainly record the information that you have, and I will grant very seriously, look into the situation um, and, and, ah, discuss that information within our office. But I think if you have questions around charges, I think you need to be talking to people in Department of Justice or the Police Service.
Richard Klassen: Oh, for sure and that's what we're doing, I mean we're demanding that Michael Ross be charged under the young offenders act for, - - because he was twelve years old on some of these rapes, and at twelve years old he can be charged under the young offenders act. We're demanding that he be charged, for his crimes and also, like, the thing is we've launched a lawsuit here as of today and we're going to take this thing all the way.
Now, like I said, my main concern in all of this is never mind what happened to my wife and I and why the hell we got mentioned or, or, or, what we went through because we're going to have to live with that probably for the rest of our lives anyway, but those two girls, especially Kathy should not have had to live with what happened to her. That is wrong its, its, the most disgusting thing I've ever heard of , that it should ever happen to any child, yet there are people that know that it is happening to her and saying well, O.K. but maybe we can control this kid, maybe we can, I don't know they put beepers on his door, they did everything in their power, whatever. But they can see clearly, this isn't stopping him, this kid is, is, is, is for some reason sexually abusing everything that walks, including animals, I mean this dog Pansy for example, their own dog. She strictly say's in there, ah, how hw had sex with it. The dog is bleeding, um, that's disgusting , that's, that's horrifying...you know. These things, ah, I don't know, I can't live with that.
I mean the fact that we were charged or whatever, but that's going to someday be cleared up. And ah, I have no doubt in being able to clear our names, no doubt at all. These, these things weren't true and everyone knew they weren't true I mean, ah, the kids say that they, ah, kids were buried at 310 Strebb Crescent, ah, we dug up the information on 310 Strebb Crescent, ah, Michael wasn't even born yet. 8th street address he was only two years old, the girls weren't born yet, I mean these are things that were fed to the children, there's, there's, no doubt now. I'm not saying that it's, it's the Department of Social Services or the therapist or whatever. I believe it's a combination of a therapist and the police officer involved. I believe they got their information wrong and they fed it to the kid, and he fed it back to his, you know, but whatever happened this kid is deviant, and dangerous, a dangerous sex offender, and I'm in the process by the way, of also being in Warman passing out information on, on, on this sex offender. Because I think that the children of Warman need to be warned or, or, or, the people of Warman need to be warned, warned, that this child exists and is living in their town. Now I've been told by ah, Anita Gross why you shouldn't, you can't do that, I don't even think that it was Anita Gross, I think it was her, the person that took over for her the other day. That you know, that you could hurt Michael by this, but how could I hurt a sex offender? When he's doing these things he's accountable for it, and he is of the age where he is accountable for it. And I don't think that he should be going to any school without that school being warned and, and, and, living in any town, without that town knowing that this kid is doing this. Under I don't care, ah, I don't think that you can even have a parental ah, ah, supervision. He should be in jail. 24 hour guard, the way I get these Thompson papers...
Sheila Gagne: Mr. Klassen, you have your opinion, you know there are certainly other opinion out there...
Richard Klassen: Oh, for sure...
Sheila Gagne: If you are really feeling, I certainly do not want to comment on the things that your, your saying I have made not of the information both Anita and her cover up worker from the other day have got the information that you have discussed with them to me, um, I am taking it seriously , um we certainly will, will discuss it further here um, but I..............that I can't comment on what is your opinion at this point and time.
Richard Klassen: O.K. well that's, that's fine. As long as your taking it seriously at this point...
Sheila Gagne: We take any calls that we get, from any of the public seriously.
Richard Klassen: All right, because it's a serious matter, There is a girl that is in danger. And there are other children that are in danger with this boy.
Sheila Gagne: I agree with you that sexual assault is a very serous matter...
Richard Klassen: A very serious matter . And if, ah. I in no way believed, don't ever get me wrong in thinking because I'm, my wife and I are out there on T.V. whatever, right now, that we ever condone or believe that sexual assault doesn't happen because we know it happens. It happens regularly with many, many children and it has to be stopped. But there, there are also cases that it, that are being charged, there are people that have been charged or are being charged. The system has to be changed, not everyone is guilty here. You know I think you're innocent until proven guilty and I think you have to...there are therapist that are giving out information, that are handling these things wrong ah, possibly for motives of money whatever, I mean things are going to get cleaned up in this, in this province. And, I mean you can't have therapists that are, that are misinformed, badly trained talking to five, six, seven year old children about such things, that's damaging in itself . If something didn't happen and you put memories in a child's mind, that's very damaging. That's abuse in its self. Cause that child has to live with that and , I mean things are starting to get turned around here and ah, I want the safety of those girls, the first priority in anyone's mind. And I want it clear that that's what I'm after. Never mind anything else those that should have never allowed to be happened. I know that I'm not even supposed to be in possession of these Marilyn Thompson ah, papers O.K. um, but we got them because they were hidden from court they didn't want to put them put in as evidence you know...But ah, if they had put them in for evidence Judge Finley would never have even held us over to stand a trial. He would have dropped this whole thing right there it would have been disgusting I could put this in front of any jury, any jury, and it would have...if I'd have known this it would have been that whole case would have been blown away long before it ever started. Marilyn Thompson even made one statement in court that if she would have known that these papers would have ever have been able to be read by someone else she would have never wrote them. It's disgusting what's in there. Totally and thoroughly disgusting, and it has to be stopped and I'm glad that you're in agreement with that. That you take it seriously.
Sheila Gagne: I'm just saying that I take what anybody phones in as a concern very seriously, and I certainly will discuss it further with the staff here.
Richard Klassen: All right, I appreciate your call.
Sheila Gagne: O.K.
Richard Klassen: Thank You, bye.