(Final arguments continue in B.C. Supreme Court for the Garry Taylor Handlen, the man accused of killing 12-year-old Monica Jack in 1978, near Merritt.)
The defence lawyer for a man charged with murdering a 12-year-old girl in near Merritt over four decades says his client lied when he confessed to the crime during a so-called Mr. Big operation because he was afraid to lose his job.
In final arguments to a B.C. Supreme Court jury, Patrick Angly says Garry Handlen told multiple lies throughout the nearly nine-month undercover operation to police officers, not because he was boasting as the Crown suggested but because “he is a liar.”
Angly says Handlen’s lies stretched from saying he had been a member of the British Army’s Special Air Service, to saying he smuggled goods across international lines as a scuba diver and had studied for a pilot’s licence.
He added none what Handlen said was true, but it was in his client’s best interest to carry on with his deception and even confess to murder as he felt he could lose his dreams of being involved in a close-knit organized crime group.
Handlen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Monica Jack, who was last seen on May 6, 1978, as she rode her bike at Quilchena.
RCMP undercover officers befriended Handlen in early 2014 in Minden, Ont., and paid him nearly $12,000 to do jobs such as smuggling cigarettes, loan sharking and repossessing vehicles.
more to come
January has been designated Crime Stoppers Month in Canada and the local chapter in Merritt will be doing its part to get the community engaged with what the group does in the local area.
Crime Stoppers is a non-profit, charitable organization that comes together with a threefold relationship between the local police services, the media and the community in the fight against crime.
In an interview with Q101 News, Marlene Jones, the City of Merritt’s Community Policing Office Co-ordinator, said the local society’s objective during the month is to increase public knowledge of the benefits of having Crime Stoppers in the city.
“We (Crime Stoppers) are very excited about this being Crime Stoppers month,” said Jones. “All month long our society will be out educating the community about what it is we do and how they can get involved.”
Most commonly associated with policing services, Jones noted that many other agencies use the information gathered to help with on-going investigations in their departments.
“When you call Crime Stoppers, your call goes to a call-centre and from there the information is passed along to the appropriate departments,” Jones added. “Many agencies benefit from tips given to Crime Stoppers service such as Canada Revenue Agency, Social Services and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.”
Established in 1976, Crime Stoppers is an international program with agencies in 23 countries worldwide and to date is responsible for more than 425,000 crimes being solved and over $8 billion worth of stolen property and narcotics being seized through tips sent in to the organizations hot-line.
Jones added that the reason this program has had as much success over the years is that fact that all calls are completely confidential.
“I think the confidentiality factor is huge for many people because many people are fearful of retaliation,” she noted. “A caller’s privacy is very important to everyone at Crime Stoppers.”
Many calls over the years have garnered cash rewards for those providing the tips that have led to an arrest and conviction. Jones said the more information you can provide in your tip is better.
“It is very important that you provide as much information as possible to help with the investigation,” Jones said. “If you see a suspicious vehicle for example, get the make, model, color and if possible the licence plate of the vehicle in question.”
For more information on how you can get involved with the local chapter of Crime Stoppers visit the Community Policing Office on Granite Ave.
If you have information on unsolved crimes in the area call the toll-free number 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
A defence lawyer for a man who was recorded confessing to the murder of a 12-year-old Nicola Valley girl more than 40 years ago says he was a victim of a ``very sophisticated, very focused psychological manipulation'' by police.
Patrick Angly told jurors in closing arguments Friday in B-C Supreme Court that a police officer posing as an organized crime boss provided and promised inducement to Garry Handlen during a so-called Mister Big operation.
Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack, who disappeared in 1978 while riding her bike near Quilchena.
However, the Crown has argued that Handlen was not a ``yes man'' who would have admitted to a ``horrible crime'' that he didn't commit, and he didn't depend on the supposed criminal organization for money or companionship.
Jack was last scene on May 6th, 1978 when she riding her bike along Hwy 5A. Despite an intense search, Jack's body was not discovered for another 17 years.
more to come
(Closing arguements continue today in the murder trial of Garry Handlen accused of killing 12-year-old Monica Jack (pictured) in 1978.)
Closing arguments will continue today in B.C. Supreme Court in the murder trial of Garry Handlen who is accused of killing 12-year-old Monica Jack near Merritt back in 1978.
Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge despite confessing to a police officer who posed as a crime boss in 2014 that he grabbed Monica Jack while she was riding her bike near Merritt.
Jack was last scene on May 6th, 1978 when she riding her bike along Hwy 5A. Her bike was found later by police however Jack's body was not discovered for another 17 years.
Yesterday, Crown lawyer Gordon Matei said Handlen was not a "yes man" who would have admitted to a "horrible crime" that he didn't commit.
Matei also stated that the police officer posing as the crime boss during the videotaped confession did not coerce him to admit that he abducted, sexually abused and murdered Jack.
more to come
( One of the many placards used in the first Yellow Vest Movement protest held in Merritt in December: contributed photo)
The local chapter of the Yellow Vest Movement is hoping their second protest in the city will give residents insight to what their organization is all about and ultimately garner support on a grassroots level.
The Merritt Yellow Vest protest will gather at Merritt City Hall on Friday in hopes of gathering more interest from the community as well as get their mantra heard.
“The bottom line is we want to take our country back and restructure how we are governed in Canada,” Greg Vanosch said in an interview with Q101 News. “The Trudeau government or any government for that matter is not working for Canadians right now and things have got to change.”
The Yellow Vest Movement started in Paris, France in 2018 to protest taxes and fuel prices in that country. But unlike their counterparts in Europe, Vanosch added their protest will be peaceful.
“This will be a non-violent protest,” he noted. “Yes, we want our voices heard but will not go that route.”
At least eight people have died during the protests held in France since the Yellow Vest demonstrations began.
While the current membership of the local Yellow Vest movement is in its infancy, Vanosch points to issues such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Canada’s dependence on foreign oil as sticking points with area residents, that could increase their support.
“Right now, our group is small, but we are hoping more people will get involved this time around,” said Vanosch. “The reality is we need to let our voices be heard that “enough is enough”.
In recent weeks, similar protests have been held across Canada including Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
The protest will be Friday morning at 10 a.m. at Merritt City Hall.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt