Milgaard Inquiry

Sunday, August 28, 2005

More on Karst

Betty Ann Adam of the Star Phoenix wrote that Eddy Karst doubted Albert Cadrain's statements when he began to embellish his story. At first, Cadrain's allegation that Milgaard had blood on his clothes seemed plausible. But later on, Cadrain said that Milgaard was a member of the Mafia and that David had asked Albert to kill Ron and Nicole because they "knew too much." In fact, the Mafia comments seemed so strange to Karst -- and rightly so! -- that he did not incorporate them into any written documents until a month after David had been charged with murder.

At the same time that Albert "Shorty" Cadrain was making such nonsensical claims, Ron Wilson and Nichol John continued to maintain that Milgaard had never been out of their sight long enough to have committed a murder. These two key pieces of information should have been enough to have created doubt in Karst's mind; however, Karst chose to believe Shorty's remark about the blood on David's clothes and to dismiss the crazy comments about the Mob.

Karst also indicated that Shorty's allegation was confirmed by his five-year-old brother Kenneth, but this does not appear to be on record anywhere. Moreover, as we all know now, Shorty not only collected $2000 reward money for providing the police with info about his "friend", but he was also institutionalized for hallucinations and mental illness not long after the trial.

Lastly, Joyce Milgaard broke down and cried during the Inquiry because she thought that finally one of the detectives was admitting responsibility, but in fact, Karst conceded some degree of responsibility and quickly denied it, steadfastly refusing to apologize or accept blame for David's incarceration. Karst said that he couldn't remember meeting with Larry Fisher, although Karst was sent from Saskatoon to Winnipeg to interview Fisher and Fisher confessed to him about having raped women in Saskatoon. He also said that he did not recall that Fisher's ex-wife, Linda, approached police on her own in 1980 to tell them that she suspected that her husband had murdered Gail Miller.

The seemingly endless number of mistakes and denials continues.

Sigrid Macdonald

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Week in Review

There was a lot of activity this week. I'm going to break it down into a couple of posts.

Predictably, the police denied having made any association between Larry Fisher's serial rapes and the Miller rape and murder. Jack Wood, who was third in command in the Saskatoon police force at the time of the investigation, could not adequately explain why Fisher was tried in Regina when his assaults occurred in Saskatoon. Betty Ann Adam of the Star Phoenix reported that Wood claimed that he had never heard of Larry Fisher nor was he told that Fisher had confessed to a series of rapes in Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

Former police detective Eddy Karst of Saskatoon heard Fisher's confession yet never connected it with the Miller murder although Gail's file mentioned a serial rapist, and Fisher stated that his sex crimes occurred close to the Miller rape location. This information about Fisher was available at the time of David's first appeal. If Karst had informed his superiors about Fisher's activities, David may have won his case and could have been spared almost two decades of misery.

Everyone passed the buck. Karst said that he thought that Charles Short had been the supervisor, and Wood had been officially in charge of the investigation. Wood said that Detective Sergeant's Ray Mackie and George Reid were in charge. Sounds very Clintonesque. (E.g. "I've never been involved with that Lewinsky woman.")

Fisher's actual confession can no longer be found. It is not on record, so we don't know what he actually said.

Sigrid Macdonald

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Milgaard is back!

All of you people who have been suffering through my posts on unrelated topics will be glad to know that the Milgaard Inquiry has resumed. In fact, it will be going on much longer than anticipated.

Originally, the Inquiry was supposed to finish this year and to cost approximately $2 million. However, according to the Globe and Mail, the Inquiry will now extend well into 2006 and may cost an estimated $7.7 million.

I have no idea how much money it cost to keep David behind bars for almost 23 years nor do I know what it cost in legal fees to take his case up to the Supreme Court. All I know is how much misery the family endured and how devastating it was for Dave to lose the better part of his life and youth.

Mistakes are costly. Let's hope that the results of the hearings are influential and persuade politicians to vote for an independent judicial panel. It would also help to train police officers to think with more of an open mind about a case. We know that the Paul Bernardo case was completely sidetracked by police chief Bevan's insistence on following one particular lead about the type of car that the attacker was supposedly driving. Turned out that Bernardo was driving an entirely different model of car; thousands of dollars and hours were wasted.

No one is perfect. We understand that cops, lawyers and judges will make mistakes. That's why it's so important to have a check and balance system to minimize the chance of that occurring and to allow the falsely accused other options for appeal.

Sigrid Macdonald

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