OPP secrecy culture keeps lid on info in fridge corpse case

Lack of competence and ineptitude of police officers, policing styles and methods. In other words, what could be adequately explained by stupidity, should not be attributed to malice.

OPP secrecy culture keeps lid on info in fridge corpse case

Postby Thomas » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:10 am

On a stretch of beach at Port Burwell on Lake Erie, they found the fridge.

Inside was a corpse.

Nearly three months later the OPP have not released the departed’s name. If they even have one. Or their sex.

Or whether said departed was murdered (likely.)

Or when. Or if they were young or old.

Nada. Asking for the public’s help?

Take a hike, Sir Robert Peel.

A serial killer lurking in the backyards of the quiet beach town? Unlikely, but don’t ask the OPP. They won’t tell you.

Ontario’s close-mouthed secret police have developed a reputation among citizens, academics and journalists as being more secretive than the Kremlin.

Cops did, however, make a bust. An unlucky 22-year-old from Simcoe named Samuel Waters, charged with committing an indignity to a body.

Described as a “nice guy,” he’s out on bail.

Waters is sans criminal record.

My friend Jane Sims of the London Free Press quoted OPP spokesperson Derek Rogers who said the investigators “have nothing to say at this point.”

Nothing new. Nothing to see here folks.

Port Burwell, meanwhile, as Sims reports is understandably frustrated

University of Western Ontario criminology professor and cold case expert Michael Arntfield said the wall of silence is par for the course for our provincial constabulary.

“It’s gotten to the point where I don’t really know what to say,” Arntfield, a former cop, told the Toronto Sun.

“It triggers wildfire speculation and they get away with it because there’s no media pressure like there is in Toronto.”

Describing the OPP as having a “culture of secrecy and furtiveness,” Arntfield discussed a similar phenomenon in his book on unsolved homicides in London called Murder City.

Arntfield suggested the provincial force’s KGB-like secrecy can likely be traced to the monumentally botched probe into Stephen Truscott.

Truscott was just 14 when he was arrested and charged in the 1959 sex slaying of Lynne Harper in Clinton, Ontario.

He was ultimately sentenced to hang but later exonerated in what was considered a disastrous investigation and a devastating miscarriage of justice.

“It had a multi-generational impact on them trusting the media,” Arntfield said.

As for the Port Burwell investigation…

“They may still be building a case against somebody … maybe not … but getting the fridge down there and over the cliff is definitely a two-person job,” he said.

“If the fridge was already on the beach (and some locals say it wasn’t) it would still be a two-person job based on what we know from looking at hundreds of cases in the U.S.”

He added: “Typically, the bodies are transported and concealed rather than transported and dumped … or simply left at the primary crime scene.”

Of course, a case with a litany of loose ends, a suspect who may be peripheral at best and no apparent victim ID is going to be a hard slog.

But don’t bother asking the public or media for help in identifying the corpse. We have it covered, the OPP seem to say.

Move along. Forget about it.

A police force jealously guarding bare-bones information as if it were the crown jewels is seldom the path to a conviction.

Or answers for the dead.

https://www.simcoereformer.ca/news/prov ... 79c26700e3
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