SHAWN LAMB – Master Manipulator

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The case of alleged serial killer Shawn Lamb has taken on a life of its own.

Shawn Lamb, alleged serial killer now turned “media whore” with awareness issues.

Lamb recently started a media feeding frenzy with suggestions the Police have been ignoring his generous offer to provide information that could lead to the resolution of up to five (5) more murder cases. The story dominated every major news media outlet and created a buzz like nothing we’ve recently experienced here in murder City.

Interview after interview, Mike McIntyre (WFP), Caroline Barghout (CTV), Shaneen Robinson (APTN) and Lorraine Nickel (Global) to name but a few.

In a not so surprising twist of events, Lamb quickly disavowed himself from the true nature of the report originally splashed in the press by Mike McIntyre.

“I’m not saying I had anything to do with these five.  I’m saying I have information.  I’m denying any involvement with anything,” he said.

If credibility was currency, Shawn Lamb wouldn’t have enough cash to make a phone call.

Crime reporters beware.

Reporting on Lamb comes with a certain degree of risk.

Risk associated to giving a voice to an alleged serial killer who may have significant mental health issues or whose true intent may be self-serving or complex beyond your ability to comprehend.

Risk associated to your reputation after being called a liar by an alleged serial killer who took you for a ride on his emotional roller coaster, speeding down the tracks of ownership & responsibility only to take a sudden unexpected left turn at criminal culpability.

Risk associated to gratifying the needs of a killer who may get off on his ability to use the media to re-victimize surviving family members by playing mind games and elevating their levels of anxiety.

Risk associated to becoming compellable witnesses in a trial where you may be required to provide testimony regarding Lambs credibility.  Your evidence may assist the defence in persuading jurors that any word that comes from Lambs mouth simply cannot be trusted.  That conclusion could significantly degrade the weight a jury might be willing to place on Lamb’s Police confession.

Crime reporters beware.

Take good notes, retain them and prepare to use them once your subpoena arrives.  Mr Martin Glazer BA, LLB is a very skilled and relentless defense attorney who is well-known for using the “shotgun approach” in the defense of his clients.  Trust me, everything will be an issue.

Crime reporters beware.

Any contact with Shawn Lamb is an invitation to play Russian Roulette.

Crime reporters beware.

Sensational news media reports can and likely will have an impact on Lambs trial.  From contaminating the jury pool, to influencing jury selection, to questions regarding the accused’s mental health and credibility. Your reporting may have an impact on all these things.

These are the very reasons why I’ve respectfully declined a plethora of interview requests from a variety of news media outlets.  I‘m simply not interested in dissecting the investigation or trying to get into the mind of the killer.  I have no interest in contaminating the jury pool or helping the defense.

The issue tackled in my post “Serial Killer Meltdown” strictly related to events concerning the WPS Executives unethical manipulation of the 2011 transfer process and their inability to separate ego from responsible business decisions.

Ill considered, poorly executed “business decisions” that significantly reduced the supervisory experience quotient in the Homicide Unit.

It was the experience quotient that was missing when Shawn Lamb originally reached out to the Police to allegedly clear his conscience regarding the murders of several additional women.  By the time someone had the courage to make a decision, Lamb apparently cooled off.

It’s conceivable that all the recent media fodder could have been avoided if Lambs original request to speak to investigators could have been handled in a much more expeditious manner.

Ultimately, if Shawn Lamb truly wanted to cooperate with the Police he would have already done so.  My experience in law enforcement taught me that telling the truth is the most uncomplicated thing any one of us can ever do.  “The truth is the truth, and the truth never changes.”

The only thing that complicates the truth is manipulation, deception and prevarication.  All highly skilled elements of the Shawn Lamb skill set.

It’s abundantly clear that Lamb has now entered into the world of denial and mind games.  These are games that can only benefit one player, Shawn Lamb.

Crime reporters tread cautiously.

My advice to the family of the murdered or missing; don’t pin any hopes of “closure” on the rantings of an alleged serial killer who is clearly playing mind games with the media and law enforcement.

In a case that is sure to be high-profile, hotly contested & controversial, it’s my hope the Police are sitting on some dynamite DNA evidence that will help take the guess-work out of the juries onerous decision.

In the mean time, I hope Shawn Lamb takes Mr Glazers advice and has a big cup of “shut the —- up!”

RCMP RAPISTS – Or Maybe Not?

RCMP rapists, child abusers and violators of Aboriginal woman and girls in British Columbia.

If you didn’t read the story, you should.

If you read it you are undoubtedly experiencing feelings of shock and disgust for Canada’s longest serving Police agency.

According to the report the allegations were levelled by “respected” New York human rights watchdog “Human Rights Watch.”

Allegations that an Aboriginal woman was raped by four (4) RCMP Officers and threatened with death if she reported the incident.  Allegations of excessive force that include assault on a seventeen year old girl, assaults with pepper spray, tasers and an “attack” with a K9.

“In five of the ten towns Human Rights Watch visited in the north, we heard of allegations of rape or sexual assault by police officers,” the report says.

If these shocking allegations are true we should all be outraged.

The problem is, the “respected human rights watchdog” failed to disclose any of the identities of the women making the accusations.

It makes me question the motivation behind the press release.

In fact, it makes me question the motivation for the entire exercise.

A five-week investigation, ten (10) northern British Columbia Towns visited, eight-seven (87) interviews conducted with forty-two (42) indigenous women and eight (8) indigenous girls, all for what?

To compile an anonymous report so Human Rights Watch could make a media splash?

If you want to find people who’ll make complaints of excessive force against Police Officers they’re not all that difficult to find.  The Provincial Remand Center, Headingley Correctional Institute, Stoney Mountain Penitentiary and Portage La Prairie Correctional Institute for women are full of potential candidates.  I doubt you’ll ever meet anyone who was punched by a cop, pepper sprayed or tasered who has the awareness to arrive at the conclusion their behaviour had something to do with the event in question.

Allegations of rape, sexual assault or child abuse take these complaints to another level.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper correctly “called out” Human Rights Watch by urging them to share the required information with the Police so the allegations can be properly investigated.  He apparently doubled down by asking the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to investigate.

The problem with the release of the report is the material is anonymous and untested.

Complaints of this nature merit a serious, professional and thorough investigation.  An investigation that ought to be conducted by experienced, professional investigators.  Professional investigators are skilled seekers of the truth.

Any professional investigator will tell you allegations of any description carry little weight when they’re made under the cloak of anonymity.  Anonymous allegations made by a group of people who’ve had a historically antagonistic relationship with law enforcement officers requires even greater scrutiny.

After conducting hundreds of victim and witness interviews during high-profile criminal investigations I’m never surprised by the depths of deception people sink to when reporting information to the Police.  Witness accounts often morph considerably when the reporting person is asked to sign their name to a sworn witness declaration form under the threat of prosecution for providing false testimony.

Professional interviewers are aware of the fact that witness accounts must not be accepted at face value.  Keen intuition, critical thinking and probing questions often reveal a much different reality than original versions of events.

When it comes to allegations of sexual assault or child abuse, people in the court of public opinion often default to verdict of guilty as charged.

If Human Rights Watch was really interested in doing a public service then they should have had a plan for the meaningful disclosure of their investigative findings before they ever entered into such a high-profile undertaking.  Anything less is simply irresponsible and reckless.  Truth and justice are always sacrificed when sensationalism and special interest are primary considerations.

I, for one, will keep an open mind until the RCMP accusers decide to make legitimate formal complaints to a professional investigative body.

It’s time to “put up or shut up.”

ABORIGINAL APOCALYPSE – The Randy Turner Story

I just experienced journalistic blunt force trauma.

An assault on the truth and a journey down a venomous path rife with fatalistic racist ideas that have to be confronted.

It’s a story that will undoubtedly be lauded by many people from the Aboriginal Community who buy into the endless victimization and racist rhetoric.   It will also impress a large number of gullible politically correct people who believe everything they read.

If you haven’t read the story, please do, it’s a must read for people who strive to be socially aware.  Be forewarned, it is more like a short story than a newspaper article, as is my rebuttal.

The title; “On the front lines of the missing and murdered women tragedy, pain never fades” written by Randy Turner Winnipeg Free Press.

I would like to add some balance to the story, confront the racist conjecture and challenge people to do some critical thinking.

The focal point of the story is Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women, the Canadian tragedy.

The article so rife with racist lies and biased perceptions that I feel compelled to stand up and be counted for the silent majority that will undoubtedly be offended by the content.

I will start by pointing out the lies and then I will do my best to confront them.

THE LIE:

The report suggests reasons driving the tragedy; “Perhaps because the women who are never seen alive again are invariably the victims of a perfect storm of hurt; gender inequality, overt racism and social injustice. Poor Aboriginal Women.”

THE TRUTH:

On July 13th, 2012, Project Devote, the RCMP – WPS task force investigating Missing & Murdered Women in Manitoba, released statistics related to their findings.

In all, twenty (20) homicides and eight (8) missing person cases were linked by one factor, the individuals were all at a high risk of becoming victims of violent crime due to high risk, dangerous lifestyle choices such as: substance abuse, transient life style, involvement in the sex trade or participation in hitchhiking. Mental Health issues were also cited as a factor.

These causation factors are tangible results painstakingly extracted from volumes of files contained in cold case binders while the suggestions of gender inequality, overt racism and social injustice are based on perceptions.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak reported that at least eighteen (18) of the twenty-eight (28) cases the task force is investigating involve Aboriginal Women.

So what conclusions can we draw from the seemingly forgotten thirty-six (36%) percent of non-Aboriginal women that have been reported murdered or missing.  Does gender inequality, social injustice and overt racism apply to these cases, or do we just accept the fact that they were killed largely because they lived a high risk lifestyle?  The reality is that this isn’t just happening to Aboriginal women, a factor that waters down the suggestion that racism is a primary contributing factor.

I certainly do not deny that societal racism towards Aboriginal People exists, and that gender inequality and social injustice are factors that contribute to the central issue.  However, the suggestion that Aboriginal Women are going missing and being murdered simply because of racism, gender inequality and social injustice completely ignores the realities discovered by the research conducted by Project Devote.

This is NOT about victim blaming, it’s about REALITY, and the reality is that high risk lifestyles are one of the most important causation factors that contribute to the numbers of Missing & Murder Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Women.

Focusing blame on racism, gender inequality and social injustice distorts the reality and removes responsibility for people to make safe, healthy life style choices.

Blaming these societal ills absolves our social services for their failure to erect effective social safety nets and to develop programs that would help to keep Aboriginal & Non-Aboriginal women off the streets and out of the crack houses where they are exposed to so much danger.

Blame is a negative, unproductive pursuit.

THE LIE:

Leslie Spillet, executive director of Ka Ni Kanichihk, a community based services center that has developed a program for families of Missing & Murdered Women provides us with a “clinical, fundamental history lesson” and her interpretation of the current state of affairs.

“Fast-forward through generations of reserves, relocation and residential schools, and go figure that nobody cares if another dirty squaw goes missing. She was probably just another whore looking for crack.”

THE TRUTH:

The suggestion that nobody cares if another “dirty squaw” goes missing is purely outrageous racist rhetoric.

I have lived my entire adult life in middle class Winnipeg suburbia and have never heard the term “dirty squaw” and have never been exposed to the sentiments expressed by Spillet.  Not in my community, not in my work place, not in my family, not anywhere.

THE LIE:

Kim Anderson, Aboriginal author & researcher states “”If native women are constructed as ‘easy squaws’ and are locked into this imagery through the behavior of individuals, they will continue to be rendered worthless in public institutions such as courtrooms or hospitals.”

THE TRUTH:

More racist rhetoric now directed at the Courts and Medical Professionals.

My experience in Manitoba Courts tells me that Justice can be elusive for people of all races.  Sentencing for the ultimate crime is often grossly inadequate, the value of all human life sadly reflective of a desensitized legal system.

In reality, male and female Aboriginal offenders receive extraordinary considerations in our Courts by virtue of the need for Judges to apply the Gladue Report when arriving at a “fair” sentence.  (R vs Gladue – 1999 Supreme Court of Canada)

Many people feel that Gladue is a racist decision that further promotes societal racism and division, sentiments expressed by Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck on April 12, 2102.

You can find the story here; http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/04/12/the-law-is-racist-brodbeck

When it comes to Manitoba Medical Professionals, I have to say that the notion that Doctors and Nurses in our Province perceive Aboriginal Women as “easy squaws” or “worthless” is a blatantly false, racist and inflammatory accusation.

I have three (3) medical professionals in my immediate family.  One Doctor and two registered nurses, all of them caring committed professional care givers who have extensive experience treating Aboriginal people.

In fact, for over a decade, one of them has opted to exclusively work with Aboriginal people in Northern Manitoba.  She does so because she cares about the people and respects & enjoys Aboriginal culture.

I don’t have the facts and figures but I feel confident that the Manitoba Government spends significant dollars on Aboriginal Health Care in the Province of Manitoba.

THE LIE:

Anderson continues; “If we treat native women as easy or drunken squaws in the court system, we feed negative stereotypes that will further enable individuals to abuse native females, and so on. Native female images are part of a vicious cycle that deeply influences the lives of contemporary native women. We need to get rid of the images, the systems that support them and the abusive practices carried out by individuals.

THE TRUTH:

I spent over twenty-five years enforcing the law in the City of Winnipeg.  A significant amount of that time was spent providing evidence during literally hundreds of trials at our Law Courts.

Not once did I ever witness a case where an Aboriginal woman was treated as a “easy or drunken squaw.”

I would admit that the Courts don’t place much value on evidence provided by sex trade workers when it comes to prosecutions, many of these prosecutions are related to their victimization for sexual assaults or other offences.

The Courts seem to judge these victims harshly and often focus on credibility issues that arise from addiction issues or prior criminal history.

Race was never the issue, not overtly or covertly.

THE LIE:

Leslie Spillet asserts; “We know that every morning, a man in south Winnipeg wakes up and drives to the North End to rape children.”

THE TRUTH:

The reference to “south Winnipeg”, a predominately white community, can only mean one thing.

Interpretation; “Every morning, a “white man” in South Winnipeg wakes up and drives to the North End to rape children.”

Another inflammatory, racist, divisive statement that is simply not true.

The fact is that men from all races, religions and creeds patronize sex trade workers.  That is true today and it has always been true.  The sex trade thrives in almost every major City in every Country across the entire planet.

The fact that Spillet harbors these racist beliefs is disconcerting, especially when you consider the fact that she has a leadership role as the executive director in a Government funded Aboriginal Organization.

I’m not sure how her racist rhetoric meshes with her mandate to elevate Aboriginal people.

THE LIE:

Chickadee Richard, a longtime activist and outreach community worker tells us about an incident when she was walking her ten (10) year old daughter to school when a car pulled up and the man offered her $10 for oral sex.

“That traumatized me.  What right do you have? I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. Because I’m native and walking down the street you have the right to do that? When is it going to end? You’ve been beaten down so much you don’t want to get up. You lose faith in humanity.”

THE TRUTH:

After tens years of marriage with someone who struggled with alcohol addiction I was forced to take a hard look at myself and examine my deepest feelings.

Part of this process included taking an intensive program at AFM that focused on healthy feelings and relationships.  One of the most important messages I learned during this process was that we all have the power to choose how we feel.

A message that I would like to share with Chickadee Richard.

The fact that you blame the entire incident on your ethnicity shows a limited understanding of the encounter.

You were walking in an area that is frequented by a high number of Aboriginal female sex trade workers.  As an activist and community outreach worker you should not have been surprised that you were propositioned.

The fact that you internalized the incident is unfortunate.  The expression of loss of spirit and faith in humanity is incredibly sad.  You could have processed the incident in a much different fashion that didn’t include the need for you to be traumatized by the encounter.  It wasn’t your fault that you were propositioned.

You were propositioned by a flawed human being who undoubtedly suffers from some form of serious dysfunction, be it emotional, sexual, addiction, mental health or a combination thereof.

THE LIE:

Randy Turner continues;

“But back to the “drunken sluts” who are their own worst enemies, who by choice expose themselves to the deadly risks of the unforgiving street. Without question, that is a prevailing attitude that has for so long muted the voices of the families of murdered and missing women — at least to the ears of the general public, police and legislators.”

THE TRUTH:

With a sweeping brush Turner demonizes the Police, general public and our legislators by placing his own sensational interpretation of our feelings towards Aboriginal Women.

Having worked on dozens of murder cases involving Aboriginal Women & Men, the vast majority of which were solved, I find that Turners suggestion is not only offensive, but it is not true, it’s racist and it’s inflammatory.

Over eight (8) years of Homicide investigation, over two hundred (200) cases worked, and not once did the race of a victim play any part or influence the mindset of the investigators who worked with dogged determination to solve every case.

You don’t solve 90% of Homicides over a twelve (12) year period if you couldn’t care less about the “drunken sluts” who got murdered.

The entire suggestion is pure unadulterated bullshit.

THE LIE:

Nahanni Fontaine, longtime activist and special advisor on the file of missing & murdered women for the Provincial Government weighs in; “If you have somebody that has all this rage, who better to take it out on than someone who’s considered dispensable or less-than?”

THE TRUTH:

Herein lies one of the biggest problems regarding the issue of missing and murdered women.  The people in positions of power lack a practical understanding of the problem.

It really isn’t so much that these women are “dispensable or less than.”

Its more about the fact that they are “available” and easily accessible targets.

These women are not being abducted from the safety of their homes.

The majority of them have substance abuse issues or are involved in the sex trade and as a result, are exposed to elevated risks inherent with frequenting crack houses or plying their trade on the dangerous streets of Winnipeg.

Many of these women are also exposed to significant risk from Aboriginal street gangs who ensure they have an endless supply of crack cocaine, but also ensure that crack debts are collected with ruthless brutality.

I’ve personally met hundreds of these women and can tell you that they don’t care about themselves, their safety or anything else.  ”Rock” is their only friend and its all that they care about.  They are trapped in a deadly 24/7 cycle that revolves around their need to turn tricks, get cash for crack, use crack and do it all  again.  They don’t stop for food or rest and they rarely bother to check in with family or those that care about them.

They are victims in the truest sense of the word, slave to their addictions and all the danger it brings, not in the state of mind required to make healthy choices, all in need of interventions, none of them ever wanted to end up this way.

THE LIE:

Turner cites the 1995 case of two white men who beat and killed an Aboriginal prostitute just outside of Regina.  Although originally charged with 1st degree murder the two men, one the son of a former cabinet minister, the other a sone of a university professor, were convicted of Manslaughter and received sentences of six and a half years in prison.

The spin; that the ruling had racial undertones and favoured the white  defendants.

THE TRUTH:

Mr Turner should read his own newspaper.

Specifically Crime Reporter Mike McIntyre’s story “Getting away with Murder – Plea bargaining down to manslaughter is often distasteful but a necessary evil to prevent killers from walking, frustrated justice officials say.”

You can find the story here http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/getting-away-with-murder-159286705.html

The truth is that the racist insinuations suggested in this part of the story are completely baseless.

As reported in Mr McIntyre’s story, plea bargains from 1st degree murder to manslaughter are the “rule” and not the exception.

I have participated in dozens of plea bargain conversations with Manitoba Crown Attorneys and not once did we ever discuss the color of a defendants or the victims skin when we tried to arrive at a consensus regarding the appropriate resolution of a murder case.

If Mr Turner did his research he would find out that a six and a half-year sentence for manslaughter is a mid range sentence.

THE LIE:

The story highlights the pain and suffering of Brenda Osborne, an Aboriginal Women too familiar with the devastation caused by senseless killings.  Her cousins Helen Betty Osborne and Felicia Solomon both tragically murdered. Her daughter Claudette vanished in July 2008.

“My mother told me a long time ago that we (aboriginal women) are nothing better than the dirt white people walk on,” Osborne said. “That hasn’t changed. If you’re at a certain place, they see you as easy pickings.”

THE TRUTH:

I grew up in an extraordinarily violent household, son to a father who often inflicted random vicious beatings on his children.  His use and abuse of alcohol contributed to the senseless violence.

Much like Brenda Osborne, my father also gave me messages that were capable of the destruction of ones self-esteem.

“You are a piece of shit, you’re a bum, you’ll never amount to anything” were all messages I constantly received from the time I was a young child.

I rejected those messages and respectfully suggest that Brenda Osborne could have done the same.

The message Brenda Osborne received from her mother was racist, unbalanced and categorically untrue.

Not all white people are racist and not all white people have the same degrading perception of Aboriginal women that her mother suggested.  The idea that all white people subscribe to such a belief is biased and stereotypical.

Even though I experienced several racist incidents as a young boy, one of which included a confrontation with a white man who called my brothers and I “niggers” ,  I never once believed that all white people shared the same ignorant perspective and that the entire white race should be painted with the same ugly brush.

It’s sad that Brenda did not enjoy a more balanced perspective as a child as it has clearly influenced her perception of the world as an adult.

THE LIE:

“Sally” a woman speaking under a pseudonym shares her story.  A forty-three (43) year old drug addicted sex trade worker described as a connoisseur of the “pills, alcohol and crack.”

“A lot of us have disappeared, I have no clue what’s going on. These are my sisters who are missing, who are dead. It scares me, but I work because of my drug problem. I’m still at rock bottom. It’s a bad, bad life, to say the least.”

THE TRUTH:

“Sally” is lying to us and to herself.

She knows exactly whats going on, as does virtually every other sex trade worker standing on those cold street corners.  “Bad tricks” are a reality for sex trade workers.  They know that they are exposing themselves to inordinate risk by continuing to chase their addictions.  “Sally” knows it whether she wants to continue playing the role of the clueless addict or not.

If you didn’t catch it, “Sally” makes it clear that the fear of being murdered is not enough to conquer her addiction and keep her off those streets.

Herein lies one of the most significant contributing factors to the central issue.  Drug addicted sex trade workers that fully know the dangers and are still prepared to sacrifice themselves to chase their next high.

THE LIE:

The story enters into the realm of the serial killer.

Sean Lamb, adopted by a white family from an Ontario reserve as a toddler is exposed to sexual and physical abuse during his childhood.  He started abusing alcohol by age nine (9) and used heroin at age sixteen (16).

Nahanni Fontaine met with Lamb at the Remand Center a few years ago during the time she worked as an advocate for the Southern Chiefs Organization.  Fontaine quickly came to the conclusion that the Southern Chiefs Organization could not help Lamb.

THE TRUTH:

I’m not really sure what the message was supposed to be in this section of the story.  The fact that Turner felt it necessary to mention that Lamb was adopted by a “white” family appears to be an intentional attempt to keep the racist thread flowing in his story.

Are we to blame the white people for what Lamb did.

Maybe we should blame Nahanni Fontaine and the Southern Chiefs Organization for not helping Lamb when he reached out to them.

In my mind Shaun Lamb should take responsibility for the things that Shaun Lamb did.  It doesn’t matter if his adopted family was Asian, Hispanic, Black or White.

Shaun Lamb made the choice to use crack and become an addict who killed people, and that’s on him.

THE LIE:

The story and people interviewed in the story are critical of Aboriginal men and the Aboriginal Leadership.

Brenda Osborne is quoted as saying, “Write that we don’t hear from our leaders.  Write that down. Come and sit with us and share our pain. They’re the ones who are in power. They’re supposed to be our voices. We’re not taken seriously. And we don’t want our leaders to be behind us. We want our leaders to be beside us or in front of us.”

Shannon Buck, program coordinator for the Red Road to Healing is quoted as saying, “No one wants to talk about the uncomfortable things.  In our community, sexual abuse, violence and addiction are huge. Our leadership in a lot of ways is unhealthy. Part of it is that men don’t know how to help. They’ve lost their role as protectors and providers. They’ve lost a part of themselves.”

After highlighting the inadequacies of Aboriginal men and Aboriginal Leadership,  Spillet promptly blamed these shortcomings on “colonialism”.

THE TRUTH:

I’ve been to some of the rallies and saw dozens of Aboriginal men in attendance offering their support.  Can Aboriginal men do more, of course they can, but as the story suggests, they may be caught between a rock and a hard place.

As Buck states, “There’s a lot of angry women who won’t let them get involved. They shut them out. They still view all men as predators. They’re not able to allow men to come beside them.”

Aboriginal men criticized for lack of leadership and assessed blame by Shannon Buck who expresses archaic, sexist ideals of the dominant male playing the role of the “protector and provider” for the powerless weaker sex.

I also heard from the Aboriginal Leadership.  Their message primarily focused on calls for a National Enquiry.

Although I personally disagree with the need for a National Enquiry, I believe that Grand Chief Nepinak has the best interest of his people at heart.

He is quoted as saying, “I’m a leader who is committed to finding an answer. Are we truly living up to that responsibility? We have to awake the warrior spirit in our people. The men have to take that role once again.”

I don’t see how blaming Aboriginal Men and the Aboriginal Leadership advances the cause.  This is just another example of the divisive nature of the article.

THE LIE:

Spillet continues to ramp up the racist rhetoric as the story starts to wind down.

The freaking army would be digging up every inch of that garbage dump to find a white child. We know it. We see it. It just tells us who we are.”

“Do you think if a bunch of kids from River Heights started killing themselves or each other that something wouldn’t be done?”

Turner writes “Spillet doesn’t wait for an answer. The question was rhetorical.”

THE TRUTH:

In an unprecedented departure from a scientific approach from a Homicide Investigation, and with commendable cultural sensitivity, the Winnipeg Police Service launched a search for the remains of murder victim Tanya Nepinak at the Brady Land Fill site.

The decision criticized by former Deputy Chief Menno Zacharias in a story he wrote on his blog called “The Search for Tanya Nepinaks Body – An Exercise in “Relationship Building”: Gone Awry.”

Find the story here; http://mennozacharias.com/2012/10/20/the-search-for-tanya-nepinaks-body-an-exercise-in-relationship-building-gone-awry/

Many people speculate, myself included, that the Police may never even have attempted to conduct the search if Tanya Nepinak had been a caucasian women.

It was clearly a Political decision motivated by a desire to demonstrate extraordinary cultural sensitivity to Tanya’s family and the Aboriginal Community.

Spillets racist comments are not only completely ridiculous, they are also highly inflammatory, divisive and offensive.

She should really be ashamed that such garbage flows from her mouth.

THE LIE:

The story morphs to Shawna Ferris, assistant professor in women and gender studies at the University of Manitoba.

“Who is attacking these women? It’s not just these lone, monster, serial guys,” said Ferris. “They get all the media attention. It’s males, mostly white, relatively educated and young.”

The exact demographic is difficult to determine, Ferris added, “Because there are a lot of people that don’t get caught. Often it isn’t any direct motive. It just happens: ‘She pissed me off so I hit her.’”

THE TRUTH:

Consistent with the need to continue the racist tones of the article, Ferris lays the blame on white men, with the caveat that the exact demographic is difficult to determine.

It seems to me that Ferris is relatively clueless.   Does she refer to any studies or statistics that could be shared with us.  If she has these kind of stats, Turner should have included them in his story.

The one thing we do know is that the last serial killer to be arrested in Manitoba was Shaun Lamb, an aboriginal offender who is alleged to be responsible for the killing of three innocent Aboriginal women.

Ferris’ apparent understanding of the murders in question is clearly scant.

I doubt that she has met many substance addicted sex trade workers or has had much involvement in Homicide investigations.  Nevertheless, she speculates regarding motive; “Often it isn’t any direct motive. It just happens: ‘She pissed me off so I hit her.”

A simplistic conclusion that I assume was based on speculation.

I have worked on a large number of Homicide cases and can tell you that there are many known motives and factors that contribute to these killings.

Known motives for men who commit these crimes are Sexual Assault, Sexual Addiction, Sexual Dysfunction, Anger & Control or Mental Health Issues.

Often times, men who frequent sex trade workers refuse to pay for services rendered, this scenario often creates extremely violent conflict.

I know from practical experience that a great number of sex trade workers carry edged weapons to defend themselves from bad dates.  When it comes to physical conflict, these women can be  disarmed with potentially deadly consequences.

Drug addicted sex trade workers can also be very dangerous individuals.  Many of them have mental health issues that increase their potential to use violence against their customers.  When these women are chasing their next high they often resort to drastic measures like Theft, Robbery or Homicide.   I’ve personally witnessed all of these scenarios playing out in the Winnipeg crime scene.

THE LIE:

The story ends with an inspiring message from Nahanni Fontaine;

“I’m always amazed by the resilience and strength of our people,” Fontaine concluded. “I am in awe of the mothers who continue to go to the vigils, continue to speak out. It’s the courage of our women and our girls that is the beautiful piece of this story. Not that we’re less-than, not that we’re savages. We’re not whores, we’re not prostitutes. Our bodies are not there to absorb every bit of violence. We’re there to shed the light.”

THE TRUTH:

The truth is, Aboriginal women are involved in prostitution, so are white women, asian women, black women…..

It’s their involvement in the sex trade that places them in jeopardy.

It’s a central factor related to causation in the majority of these cases, yet no one wants to acknowledge that factor, not even someone who has a leadership role as a special advisor on the file of Missing & Murdered Women for the Provincial Government.

The unpleasant truth must be accepted.

The divisive, racist, blame game has to end.

THE END GAME:

Racist sensationalism has no place in legitimate journalism.

Mr Turners story is an inflammatory, inaccurate, unbalanced work that is sure to inflame racists attitudes on both side of the fence.

The transparent use of words or phrases for shock value such as “drunken sluts”, “dirty squaws”, “easy squaws” and “drunken squaws” should be seen for what it is.

If the goal in writing the story was to divide our community then I think it may be deemed a success.

Not exactly a piece of responsible journalism in my humble opinion.

I’m all for having a conversation, but lets keep it real.

Could it be that we are all facing an Aboriginal Apocalypse.

Could it be that all Aboriginal people are filled with the same blind racist attitudes and perceptions as the Aboriginal activists and Aboriginal “leaders” who are quoted in this story.

Could it be that the fall out from colonialism will eventually destroy our Aboriginal people.

False accusations of racism, hostility, division, blaming and a culture of victimization will not take us to the promise land.

Leadership, ownership, truth, inclusivity & forgiveness might.

I believe in our Aboriginal people.

FOOTNOTE:

I find it ironic that the majority of the activists and leaders who spewed racist rhetoric in Turners article enjoy Government funded employment that is largely financed by the “racist” white middle class taxpayers so loathed in the article.

Poor white men.

RELATED LINKS:

http://www.kanikanichihk.ca

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/risky-lifestyle-links-28-victims-162452206.html

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/11/03/all-victims-equal-regardless-of-race

PATRICK BRAZEAU – Putting the “Dip” back in “Dipstick”

If stupidity was currency…..Patrick Brazeau would be a very rich man.

Brazeau recently made headlines in the WFP after he made a comparison between the Missing & Murdered Women epidemic and an inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River in British Columbia.

“If we can have a national inquiry on fish, I’m sure we can give the respect to aboriginal peoples and offer an inquiry” he said according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

His rationale frightens me.

His cavalier attitude regarding inquiries frightens me.

His absolute lack of analytical thinking and common sense frightens me.

The connection between a study on sockeye salmon and the need to have an inquiry into the Missing & Murdered Women crisis is irrelevant, reckless and offensive.

I wonder what kind of analysis Mr Brazeau undertook to arrive at his conclusion that the Government should “offer” an inquiry into this issue.

In fact, I am somewhat perplexed by his suggestion given the fact that an article he wrote on his blog titled “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women” seems to applaud the Conservative Government for their plan to deal with the issue.

In my analysis, two options exist……Inquiry or Task Force……both have pros & cons;

INQUIRY:

PROS:

  • Will appease affected Communities demands
  • May identify previously unknown issues
  • May propose potential solutions

CONS:

  • Duration – may take up to five or more years to complete
  • Expense – cost will be astronomical
  • Scope – often tends to take on life of its own
  • May or may not have an inclusive approach
  • No authority to implement potential solutions
  • Public Support – sparse
  • Logistics – extremely complex
  • Cause & effects are already widely known

TASK FORCE:

PROS:

  • Duration – potential for immediate action
  • Cost – minuscule in comparison to Inquiry
  • Scope – focused
  • Authority to implement potential solutions
  • Approach – inclusive for all stake holders
  • Higher probability of impact and success
  • Public Support – much wider

CONS:

  • Will not appease affected community

For those who many not know, Brazeau is an Aboriginal Conservative Senator who earns a living compliments of the Canadian tax paying public.

His competence is often questioned, in fact, reports indicate that Brazeau has the poorest performance record of any member of the Senate.

Between June 2011 & April 2012 Brazeau missed 25% of the Senate seatings, was absent from 31% of the meetings of the Standing Committee on Human Rights of which he is the deputy chair, and also missed an astounding 65% of the meetings at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

Brazeau earns north of $130,000 per year excluding “allowances” and is the youngest Senator in the current Senate.  As such, he can hold his seat in the Senate until he reaches age 75, that takes us to around the year 2049.

He recently called Ottawa based reporter Jennifer Ditchburn a “bitch” on Twitter after she reported on his poor performance record.

The conflict forever captured on the internet…..

It’s a real shame that the Canadian Tax Payers are on the hook for paying the salary of someone as unprofessional, incompetent and irresponsible as Patrick Brazeau.

Brazeau aside, I remain encouraged by the efforts of people in our Aboriginal Community who recently attended the National Aboriginal Woman’s Summit held at the Thunderbird House in Winnipeg.  The main focus of the conference was to discuss Missing & Murdered Aboriginal women.

My hope for a resolution elevated by the temperate words uttered by Eric Robinson, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs who is quoted as saying “What’s a national inquiry going to produce? It’s going to cost a lot of money for one thing.”  ”I’m not saying I’m opposed to that. I’ve got to hear from the other provinces as to what they feel about that. A national task force, would that make more sense?  Is that more feasible?”

The conference was adjourned with a commitment to reconvene at a later date to continue the discussion.

Change always starts with a conversation.

Urban Dictionary:

Dipstick:

  • One who has the intelligence of an oil dipstick in a car.  Usually the oil is dirty and “not to bright” much like the person being described
  • A slang term for a person who is dumb
  • Used as a substitute for “dipshit” whenever that particular word would be deemed inappropriate

UPDATE:

FEB 7 2013 LINK: BRAZEAU IN HOT WATER!

LINKS:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/if-fish-deserve-inquiry-so-do-missing-women-senator-177604001.html

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/missing-women-focus-of-meeting-176724931.html

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/missing-aboriginal-women-a-tragedy-176914611.html

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/no-unity-on-plan-for-slain-missing-177072961.html

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/11/02/missing-and-murdered-women-not-the-only-issue-at-summit/

Brazeau blog  http://senatorpatrickbrazeau.blogspot.ca/2010/11/missing-and-murdered-aboriginal-women.html

ABORIGINAL WOMEN – A Statistical Nightmare

As an eternally optimistic member of this melting pot that we call Winnipeg, I have a dream…..a dream of a safe, utopian society where every citizen is a valued, vibrant, productive contributor to a culturally diverse & rich community.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we live in a City that has earned the title “Murder & Violent Crime Capital of Canada.”

As dismal as that might be, I personally do not believe that this has to be the reality for Winnipeg.

Optimistic despite a recent article published in the WFP on October 12th, 2012 titled “Female Native Inmates on Rise” written by reporter Alexandra Paul.

The story reports on results of a study called “Marginalized, the Aboriginal Women’s Experience in Federal Prisons.” The results of the study contained in a sixty-eight (68) page in-depth report penned by Mandy Wesley, LLB.

The topics are vast and include;

  • Aboriginal Women – a history of dislocation & isolation
  • Criminogenic Factors
  • Programming
  • Self Injury & Mental Health Issues
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Gladue & Corrections
  • Parole

The highlights quoted from the study report the following;

  • Aboriginal peoples account for 4% of the Canadian population; however, within the federal corrections population, Aboriginal peoples comprise 20% of the total incarcerated offender population.
  • The current state of over-representation of Aboriginal women in Federal Corrections is nothing short of a crisis.
  • The over-representation is even more pronounced in terms of Aboriginal women incarceration rates: As of April 2010, Aboriginal women accounted for 32.6% of the total female offender population, this means that one out of every three women federally incarcerated is of Aboriginal descent.
  • Over the past 10 years, the representation of Aboriginal women in Federal Corrections has increased by nearly 90% as such they represent the fastest growing offender population.
  • Moreover, there is no indication of any anticipated decline.

The study provides information regarding some of the impacts of historical Governmental policies that have contributed to the current state of affairs.  It also looks at current rehabilitative programs in Federal Institutions.

As in-depth as the report is…..it primarily focuses on causation and offender resources.

Prevention and/or a proactive approach to avoid or reduce criminality was obviously beyond the purview of the study.

Of further interest……the WFP report provides information regarding “typical profiles” of offenders…of note:

  • The average aboriginal female prisoner is younger than non-aboriginal female prisoners and she’s serving from two to five years behind bars.
  • She is serving time for a serious offence, typically a violent offence. She has an extensive criminal history, a low-level of employment experience and low education.

In other words…..we are not talking about petty theft and mischief here…..these are serious offences, typically violent…offenses that have netted Federal Penitentiary terms.

The prediction in the study is ominous…..”there is no indication of any anticipated decline.”

As I read the study I couldn’t help but think of the statistics related to another crisis…….Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women.  Is there any possible expectation that these numbers might decline?

A conversation I overheard the other day does not provide much in the way of optimism.  I was doing some research for an article regarding Downtown safety….specifically Portage Place.  As I stood in a bus shelter across the street from the Mall I overheard a young Aboriginal women speaking to someone on her cell phone.

She was distressed about her missing sister who she had not seen or heard from in almost two weeks.  From the conversation it was clear that she had absolutely no idea who her sisters friends were or who her sister associated with.  What was clear is that her sister liked to “party all over the place.”  No one in the family had any idea where she was…..another lost Aboriginal girl…..gone without a trace.

It made me wonder…..was she a victim…..had she been killed and dumped in a ditch somewhere.  Is there a Homicide Supervisor out there whose cell phone is going to ring at any moment….the trail already helplessly cold…..no leads…..no witnesses…..the odds of solving the case as small as the suspect pool is large.

Incarcerated Aboriginal Women……Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women…..two categories that present unacceptable statistical nightmares for our Canadian society.

As the study reports……the vast majority of incarcerated Aboriginal Women are doing time for committing a violent criminal offence.  My experience in law enforcement tells me that the vast majority of violent crime is fueled by alcohol.

Recent data released by Project Devote indicates that alcohol and drugs are significant contributing causation factors regarding Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women.

The role that alcohol and drugs plays in these tragic numbers cannot be minimized.

I fully recognize the complexity of the problem and realize that drug and alcohol addiction treatment, in isolation, will not work.  Only a multi-disciplined inclusive approach can work for a problem of this magnitude.

Dreams of a utopian society fade in the wake of our stark reality……but I still believe there is hope.

Hope that the incarcerated Aboriginal Women find the path to a peaceful, crime free way of life….

Hope that the Missing Aboriginal Women are found…

Hope that the unsolved murders will be solved…..

Hope that the “right” people get motivated to do the “right” thing so that these ugly trends might be reversed….

Hope that we can all wake up from this statistical nightmare!

 

For the study authored by Mandy Wesley go here;

http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/cor/apc/apc-33-eng.aspx

For the WFP story “Female Native Inmates on Rise” go here http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/female-native-inmates-on-rise-173844901.html