Paul Palango is a Nova Scotian – chapter five

June 2 2021 – EXCLUSIVE: Portapique 911 calls reveal what RCMP knew from the start – By Paul Palango

In a 25-minute span on April 18, 2020, near the beginning of Gabriel Wortman’s murderous rampage in which he killed 22 people, three people called 911 for help. One was a desperate Jamie Blair, who had less than two minutes left in her life. Another was her 12-year-old son, who calmly and heroically, tried to tell the operator what was happening. The third was from Andrew MacDonald who, along with his wife, Katie, was ambushed by Wortman.

All three said the shooter lived in the neighbourhood. One called the shooter “Gabe”. Another said he was a denturist. All three told the 911 operators that the shooter was driving a police car.

The RCMP has said from the outset that it didn’t know that Wortman was driving a marked cruiser until told so by his common-law wife Lisa Banfield, who purportedly had emerged from a night of hiding in the nearby woods. The information is contained in 911 audio tapes provided to Frank Magazine by a confidential informant we are calling True Blue.

The time-stamped tapes are heart-wrenching and disturbing to hear but each one contains valuable information about what the RCMP knew at the time and strongly suggests that the force has been attempting to cover up that fact for reasons that are currently unknown. Frank has decided to both report on the tapes and publish them online because it deems that the content contained in them to be in the public interest.

June 6 2021 – Mounties ‘covering their backside when they should be cleaning house’: retired RCMP Sergeant – By Paul Palango 

Tom Juby can only shake his head in disgust while reading about the reaction from the Mounties to the leaked Portapique 911 tapes, reported this week by Paul Palango in Frank Magazine. A serious case is being made, he says, for dismantling the RCMP. 

“Again, the Force is covering their backside when they should be cleaning house – in the attic where all the old cronies and old boys’ club reside,” he writes in the email. 

“It makes me sick to think that I was once part of this organization.  When you have been on the inside and have seen how they screwed things up continuously for decades, it really makes you think seriously about defunding the RCMP.  I question the ability of the leadership to actually conduct police-work, and the quality of many of the lower ranks is also very poor.”

June 8 2021 – Did the RCMP execute Gabriel Wortman? Leaked gas station security tapes cast doubt on SIRT report – By Paul Palango

Security tapes from two service stations obtained by Frank Magazine that depict the last few minutes of Gabriel Wortman’s life and his shooting by two RCMP officers appear to contradict findings made by the police oversight body known by its acronym SIRT. Copies of the tapes were provided to Frank by a source we’ve dubbed True Blue.

In the first tape, Wortman is seen standing beside a Mazda 3 next to a gas pump at the Petro Canada station, on the west side of Exit 8 on Highway 102. Wortman had stolen the vehicle after murdering Gina Goulet, his 22nd and last victim minutes earlier at her home/office on Highway 224 in Shubenacadie.

After killing fellow denturist Goulet, Wortman loaded the guns, ammunitions and other items into the backseat of Goulet’s car. When he drove away, however, he must have noticed that her car was running on empty. Goulet was notorious for driving her car down to the fumes before adding more gas.

A security tape shows Gabriel Wortman and an unidentified RCMP ERT member. (credit: True Blue) When he arrived at the Petro Canada station, Wortman pulled into the wrong service lane. He is shown unsuccessfully trying to stretch the filling hose over the car to reach the fuel door. 

A black RCMP vehicle is at the bay right next to Wortman. We can’t see him yet, but an RCMP officer is standing on the other side of the pump, fuelling up just a few feet away from Wortman. 

Wortman wasn’t wearing the same clothing or driving a Chevy Tracker as described in the most recent RCMP Tweets from that morning.  In fact, he was never driving a Chevy Tracker, but rather a Ford Escape. The erroneous description was given to the RCMP by a witness at the cloverleaf traffic circle in Shubenacadie, where Constable Heidi Stevenson and Good Samaritan Joey Webber had been killed by Wortman. Wortman escaped in Webber’s Ford Escape.

According to True Blue, Wortman drove for about one kilometre to Goulet’s house, broke through a glass door window and cut his arm in the process. He shot Goulet’s protective German Shepherd, Ginger, twice. Wortman dripped blood through the house before smashing down a bathroom door and shooting Goulet. He changed out of the RCMP clothing that he had been wearing into pants and a white t-shirt. Back at the Petro Canada station in Elmsdale, a Mountie dressed in tactical gear appears at the rear of the RCMP vehicle, just as Wortman places the gas nozzle back on the pump and gets back in the car. The Mountie was obviously curious about Wortman, who had a contusion on his forehead, likely as a result of the crash with Stevenson. 

Wortman then wheels away to a pump in the next bay, where he pulls up and sits in the car for a few seconds. By now, he may or may not have realized that the pumps had been shut down by the police at the gas stations on either side of the highway as part of a lockdown. In a few frames of the video, the two tennis balls impaled on the rear roof antenna of Goulet’s car are evident. Meanwhile, the curious Mountie was still eyeballing Wortman while turning to talk to his partner, who we now have a partial view of as well. As for the other Mountie who is clearly in view, his attention is clearly trained on the bald man in the Mazda 3. During the final few seconds of the 28 second clip, we have a partial view of a third Mountie standing near the front of the RCMP vehicle. 

Without getting out of the Mazda 3, Wortman drove away and headed back into the southbound lanes of Highway 103.

‘I was right behind them’

Halifax Chronicle Herald photographer Tim Krochak was close on the tail of RCMP vehicles that followed Wortman to Enfield. “I was near Stewiacke, and I hear on the radio that Wortman was last seen in the Brookfield area. That’s, like, the next exit. Right then over in the southbound lane I can see a convoy of eight RCMP cars and an armoured car heading south toward Halifax. I turned around and started following them as fast as I could.”

Krochak then got another call from another photographer: “Dude, it’s going down in Shubenacadie.” “As we got near Shubie, there was a fire call for two RCMP cars burning. I could see a tall thing of smoke from the highway, but the convoy didn’t go that way. They drove right past Shubie and they all got off at Exit 8 in Elmsdale. They pulled up at the Superstore (near the Petro Canada station). I was right behind them. A couple of them got out of the car and started talking. I couldn’t see what was going on at the pumps. Then they ran back to their vehicles. I got the sense that they thought they had gone to the wrong place. They got back on the highway and headed toward Halifax.” 

The Irving Big Stop at Enfield was 7.7 kilometres away, about a four-minute drive at normal speeds. The convoy was right behind Wortman. They had him in their sights. Early on in the investigation a blurry photo was released purportedly showing Wortman passing a government of Nova Scotia inspection station. The RCMP said the time was 11:23 a.m., although the clock read otherwise. From that location, it would have taken Wortman at least 90 seconds to get to the Big Stop and pull up to the pump. 

The first security camera video clip from the Big Stop shows a cream-coloured, RCMP Chevrolet Suburban pull up on the other side of the pump where Wortman is sitting inside his vehicle. The driver, dressed in tactical gear, opens the door almost immediately, takes a shooting position and opens fire on Wortman through the front-passenger glass, causing the glass to explode. We also see a second officer taking a position near the front of the car.

In the second and third Big Stop clips – different security camera angles — Wortman can be seeing leaning across the seats and possibly into the back seat, where rifles were laying under a crocheted blanket. It’s not clear whether Wortman was reaching for a gun or ducking for cover. In all there were 10 bullets holes in the windshield – all on the passenger side of the car. The time stamp of the overhead security camera view reads 11:25 when the shooting starts.

An accompanying photo provided by True Blue showed ammunition scattered on the front passenger seat of the car and a plastic jug of milk, less than half-full. A synopsis of the autopsy, also provided by True Blue, showed that Wortman had bullet wounds to the head, arms, neck and torso. A total number of shots is not recorded. The report also said that Wortman had blunt injuries to the head, various bruises and abrasions, had an enlarged heart and a spot on his lung.

‘They just executed him’

Two highly experienced police officers who reviewed the shootings each voiced their concerns about what exactly happened. “It appears that the Mounties made no attempt to arrest him,” said a former high-ranking Mountie. “They appeared to know exactly who he was when they pulled up and they simply executed him. You can see why they don’t want people to see that. It raises all kinds of questions about what was really going on.” The second policeman said that in his view this was what police manuals refer to as “a barricaded suspect.”

“They had overwhelming numbers at the scene,” the former officer said. “It would have been no problem for them to box him in. He was going nowhere. They made no attempt to negotiate. There is an entire protocol for barricaded suspects. They didn’t do that. They just executed him. That might have made a lot of people happy, but it wasn’t right. It’s as if they had a do not apprehend, shoot-on-sight order.” The information contained in the videos confirms what eyewitnesses saw and posted on social media at the time of Wortman’s shooting.

Witness Glen Hines was driving by the Big Stop with his wife and was one of the first witnesses to go before television cameras. “I just happened to drive by the Irving and I seen this Swat team come in and park beside the pumps and the fellow got out of the passenger side and he just went right out in front of the car with his gun and just opened up right through the windshield of the car. All I could hear was gunshots,” Hines told CTV News.

Halifax resident Alex Fox was there, too. He posted this on his Facebook page: 

… By the time I got to the Big Stop in Enfield I was still pretty cold. I decided to stop there and use the ATM to get cash out in order to pay for the work I was having done. After I used the ATM I stopped near the front doors to warm my hands up for a minute and put away my wallet. When I walked out the front door the parking lot and pumps were mostly deserted. There was only a small silver car at the pumps across from my motorcycle. As I’m walking along the sidewalk to my bike, a white truck pulls up at high speed to the opposite side of the gas pump from the car and two men in green tactical gear (thought they were soldiers at the time) got out and aim assault rifles at the car. They shout something like “Show us your hands!” There’s a brief pause before they both open fire on the vehicle from close range. (I later read they shot ten times which I would believe). I am roughly parallel to this entire event and about 60’ away according to Google Earth. 

The investigation by SIRT, the Serious Incident Response Team, was supposed to take three months but Director Felix Cacchione did not deliver a report until December 15, 2020. As you shall see, Cacchione makes no mention of most of this, including the eyewitnesses. The following paragraphs are taken directly from Cacchione’s thin final report. I have substituted Wortman for the acronym AP (Affected Person) used by Cacchione. Compare the video information and other reporting above to what Cacchione wrote:

“… Wortman then set fire to both the RCMP officer’s police vehicle and the mock police vehicle he had been driving and drove away in the civilian’s Chevrolet Tracker. Unbeknown to the police, Wortman then drove a short distance to the residence of an acquaintance where he entered the residence and killed the acquaintance. Wortman then changed out of the RCMP clothing he had been wearing and into civilian clothes. Wortman then drove away in his latest victim’s grey Mazda 3 vehicle leaving behind the Chevrolet Tracker and the discarded RCMP clothing. 

Wortman was headed toward Halifax-Dartmouth when he stopped for gas at the Irving Big Stop in Enfield. SO1 (1st Mountie) and SO2 (2nd Mountie) were travelling together and unaware that Wortman was no longer driving the Chevrolet vehicle when they pulled in to refuel at the same Irving Big Stop. SO1 was driving the police vehicle and stopped at a pump adjacent to a pump where a grey Mazda 3 vehicle was parked. SO1 exited the vehicle to begin re-fueling and as he looked across to the adjoining pump he observed a male with a noticeable hematoma and some blood on his forehead. SO1 recognized this person as Wortman from photographs he had seen at the command post. SO1 drew his service weapon and alerted S02 that the AP was in the vehicle parked next to theirs. SO2, a member of the Emergency Response Team, left the vehicle and moved across the front of the police vehicle. The AP then raised the pistol he had stolen from the RCMP officer he killed approximately 30 minutes earlier. SO1 and SO2 then began firing their service weapons. The AP died at the scene.”

Cacchione’s eight-month long “investigation” failed to detect the incident at the Petro Canada station in Elmsdale and appears to misrepresents what we see on the tapes. 

Frank sent a list of questions to SIRT before this article went to press:

1. Did you have access to security tapes to the Petro Canada in Elmsdale?

2. Did you interview RCMP ERT members who gathered in Elmsdale shortly after Wortman left about what they saw?

3. Security tapes at the Irving Big Stop in Enfield show that within five seconds of 

SO1 and SO2  pulling up to the pump, they were firing on Wortman, as he sat in the Mazda 3. Please explain why you chose to believe S01 and SO2, when they said they didn’t know Wortman was in the Mazda 3. Please also explain why you either didn’t interview several eyewitnesses on the scene, or chose to discount their evidence. 

4. Officers we’ve talked to, who have viewed the tapes, believe that Gabriel Wortman was unlawfully executed by the RCMP. Do you agree that’s what it looks like on the Enfield Big Stop tapes? Please share with us what evidence you had that led you to believe this was a lawful take down, and not a calculated execution.  

5. If you had access to the security tapes at the Petro Canada in Elmsdale, did you purposely conflate the encounters in Elmsdale and Enfield for the purposes of your report? If so, why? SIRT did not respond to those questions before this article was published on frankmagazine.ca.

RCMP spin team leaks ‘the inside story’… 

When the SIRT report hit the streets, the RCMP spin team then went into action, “accidentally” leaving the name of dog handler Constable Craig Hubley uncovered long enough for Halifax Chronicle Herald reporter Chris Lambie to stumble into, as the headline put it: “The inside story of how an RCMP dog handler shot N.S. mass murderer.” Lambie quoted an unidentified “police source” as describing Hubley as a “hard worker, diligent, tactically sound, committed and probably one of the best dog handlers that I know.”

Lambie went on to write:

Hubley recognized the mass killer, who was exhibiting “the 1,000-yard stare” as he gassed up within a few metres of the Mounties at the Irving Big Stop, said the source. “He stops to get fuel in his dog truck and he has the wherewithal to be standing there watching his surroundings and he sees the guy,” said the police source. “They spotted him and their training immediately kicked in and they challenged the guy. And boom, they’re heroes. They stopped the man who killed 22 people, including one of their own….” 

The mass murderer appeared to be “making a threatening move,” when the two officers shot him, said the source. “They were concerned for their safety.” Hubley’s observation skills are unique, said the source. “A lot of people wouldn’t have spotted him, and he would have slipped away and gone on killing,” the source said of the dog handler’s observational skills.  

“That alone speaks volumes to the kind of officer he is. He’s smart. He’s just switched on, to use one of our phrases. He’s just squared away. He’s got a big police brain.” The gas station tapes, once again, show that the RCMP, the Crown and governments have been playing fast and loose with the facts since last April.

A final note: In January of this year, Goulet’s bullet riddled car was towed to Andrew MacDonald’s Maritime Auto Salvage in Glenholme and destroyed. MacDonald, as you may recall, was wounded by Wortman outside Frank and Dawn Gulenchyn’s burning house that fateful Saturday night. 

paulpalango@protonmail.com

https://www.frankmagazine.ca/leakedsecurityvideo

Portapique Files – Gas Station Footage

June 25 2021 – THE COVERUP: RCMP CREDIBILITY IS HANGING BY A SHOELACE By Paul Palango

The RCMP would like us to believe that it and its members are paragons of virtue, honour and truth, but all that has become a matter of debate considering the force’s actions and stunning inaction before, during and after the Nova Scotia massacres.

A new source has emerged from within the confines of law enforcement to shed even more light on the curious and disturbing RCMP behaviour. We are calling this source Big Stop.

After Wortman was shot, his body was dragged out of the car and positioned face down on the pavement, his chin holding up his head. His hands were bound behind his back. Everyone looking at the grainy photo assumed that Wortman had been handcuffed, even though he was very dead. That’s a normal police procedure.

“He wasn’t handcuffed,” Big Stop said. “They used a shoelace.”

“Why a shoelace?” I asked a number of former detectives.

“Each handcuff has a serial number on it that is linked to a specific officer,” said one.  “My serial number was _ _ _ _ _ _. I always remembered that.”

July 27 2021 – WHEN POLICE LIES GO UNCHECKED DIFFICULT QUESTIONS ARISE. CLINTON ELLISON HAS ONE FOR THE RCMP – By Paul Palango

No one who saw it on television could likely ever forget the interview by the CBC’s Brett Ruskin with Clinton Ellison conducted at the top of Portapique Beach Road, a few days after the dual massacres that left 22 Nova Scotians dead on the weekend of April 18 and 19, 2020.

The teary eyed and grieving Ellison talked about how he had stumbled upon the body of his dead brother, Corrie, ran from what he thought was gunman Gabriel Wortman and hid in the woods for almost four hours cowering in fear for his life.Months later, Ellison went on Facebook and laid out his pain for everyone to see, apologizing abjectly to the RCMP for any suggestion that he might have said something critical about them.

He believed in the police, he said, and later added that he had faith in the Mass Casualty Commission to get to the truth when it finally begins hearings sometime in the fall. Ellison does not talk to the media and has not responded to my efforts to contact him. Now, there is another twist which has sent Ellison into a tortured spin again.It arrived in a sworn affidavit by RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell as part of the force’s statement of defense to a class-action claim mounted by lawyers Robert Pineo and Sandra McCulloch on behalf of the families of the 22 murder victims.

The RCMP were forced by a judge to produce the statement of defense, which it did on June 3. The Mounties appeared to have been ragging the puck, as it were, perhaps hoping that everyone would forget what the RCMP did and didn’t do that terrible weekend.In his affidavit, which was made public on June 15, Campbell attempts to lay out a series of scenarios which appear to show that the RCMP was much more proactive in Portapique that night than it or anyone else had indicated in the intervening 14 months.

For example, Campbell said, first Mounties arrived in Portapique at 10:26 p.m. Two eventually made their way on foot into the community “pursuant to their Immediate Action Rapid Deployment training,” and were soon joined by a third. Campbell didn’t describe precisely where the officers went other to say that at 10:41 p.m. they discovered a burning white Ford Taurus decommissioned police car next to a burning building. He doesn’t say whether the building was Wortman’s cottage at 200 Portapique Beach Road or his warehouse/man den at 136 Orchard Beach Drive.

By 10:45 p.m., Campbell said that there were five Mounties at Portapique Beach, and seven more en route, but not there yet.In paragraphs 17 and 18 of the statement of defense, Campbell stated: “At about 10:49 p.m., the RCMP members who had formed the IARD team discovered a deceased victim on Orchard Beach Drive in Portapique. Shortly thereafter the IARD RCMP members saw someone approaching in the darkness carrying a flashlight. When the RCMP members prepared to engage the individual, who they suspected might have been responsible for the fires and gunshots, the individual turned off the light and ran into the woods. A second deceased victim was located shortly afterward.” The first body the Mounties said they found was that of 42-year-old Corrie Ellison. Corrie and Clinton had been visiting their father, Richard, who owned a property several hundred metres south of Wortman’s property at 136 Orchard Beach Drive. Corrie had gone up the road to check out the source of flames, which were emanating from the warehouse. He was taking photographs of the fire when he was shot.When Clinton went to investigate why Corrie had not come home, he found his brother’s body. He said that as he ran back toward his father’s place, someone with a flashlight was behind him, presumably Wortman.

He ended up hiding in the woods off Orchard Beach Drive for four hours until rescued by RCMP ERT members just before 3 a.m.The second body found was that of elementary school teacher Lisa McCully who was shot dead on her front lawn across the road from where Ellison was killed. In the basement of her house, her 12-year-old daughter and the 12-year-old son of murder victim Greg and Jamie Blair were hiding in the basement on the phone with the RCMP. According to 911 calls obtained by Frank, about a half hour earlier they had told the Mounties that they feared for their two 10-year-old brothers who had left the house and were outside somewhere.

Campbell’s claim, as reported by Nicole Munro in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, that the Mounties had found Corrie Ellison at 10:49 p.m. caught Clinton Ellison’s attention and raised his suspicions. He has always wanted to believe the Mounties, but their claim that they were there at 10:49 p.m. didn’t seem right to him. He posted this on social media: Did the RCMP kill my brother? That’s a seriously loaded question. Ellison’s suspicion, as difficult as it might be for some to accept, has a solid foundation and is worthy of a deeper investigation.On the surface the RCMP version of events meshes with Ellison’s original story. He thought he was being chased by Gabriel Wortman and ended up hiding in the woods until he was rescued shortly after 2:30 a.m. If Campbell is to be believed, then it was the Mounties who were stalking Ellison with a flashlight.

Really?Why would they be doing that when the flashlight would make them targets for the very gunman they were trying to find?Another potential problem for the RCMP story can be found in the communications from the Pictou County Public Safety Channel archived on Broadcastify. Staff Sgt. Andy O’Brien was captured saying this: “Clinton Ellison called us at 22:59 or the father called us at 22:59 indicating that his other son, Corrie Ellison was shot…. We’re trying to related back to where the other son is. We understand that he could be in the woods hiding out somewhere.”Clinton said in his post: “My brother wasn’t gone long enough… Minutes. Gabriel and the RCMP would have had to have been there at the same time.”Ellison’s timing issue is one that demands closer examination. Clinton left his father Richard’s place and walked up the dirt and stone road several hundred metres toward Wortman’s burning warehouse.

That would have taken him several minutes. If the RCMP found Corrie Ellison’s body at 10:49 p.m. or 22:49, one would expect that they would linger in place for a few minutes at least. The Mounties said they saw someone approaching with a flashlight whom they suspected was the killer. If so, why didn’t they confront him?Ellison managed to get to where his brother lay dead and identify him before running away back to the south. It would have taken him a couple of minutes to find a hiding place. He was reluctant to make any noise but eventually called his father, told him what was happening and asked him to call 911, which Richard Ellison did at 22:59.What were the Mounties supposedly doing during those 10 minutes? Campbell said that the Mounties then discovered the body of McCully.

The Mounties knew that the children were in the basement and that two 10-year olds were running around the property. They did not go into the house or appear to have searched for the children. Instead, they retreated. That’s not normal police procedure.Did all of this happen as Campbell stated? It might have, but there’s a further problem – communications records from the Pictou County Tapes, as we’ve taken to calling them, the contents of which were first reported by Frank in January.After the children in McCully’s basement were finally rescued at around 1 a.m., some Mounties were left to “hunker down” around the property, waiting for a ride out from the RCMP ERT to the highway, At 1:50 a.m., another Mountie did an initial, quick examination of a body believed to be Corrie Ellison’s.

“Hotel One to risk manager.”“Go Hotel One,” said risk manager Staff Sgt. Brian Rehill who was located at the makeshift command centre at the Great Village firehall, about a seven minute drive away.“The father of these two (garbled) … they approached (garbled) to check out the fire…. He shot one of them in the head. It’s a 40-calibre Smith and Wesson.”According to the Pictou County Safety Channel recordings, RCMP ERT members reported finding the bodies of Ellison and McCully shortly after 3 a.m. – more than four hours after Campbell said that happened.“Oscar Charlie, Hotel One… We’ve just stopped here on the road, ah, we’re going to do a quick vitals on this deceased person on the side of the road just to make sure he’s deceased and not still alive.”It was more than four and a half hours after RCMP received the first call that something was amiss in Portapique.

The ERT officer, going by the callsign Hotel One, is addressing Staff-Sgt. Jeff West (Oscar Charlie), the long time head of traffic services for the RCMP in N.S. who was in command on the scene. “Yah, confirmed, deceased,” the Mountie said of Corrie Ellison, 34 seconds later. “What road was that on, Jim,” a Mountie believed to be West asked. Jim didn’t know. There are only three main roads in the survey and a couple of side roads but the Mounties were having extreme difficulty finding their way throughout the night. Since he couldn’t describe where the body was, the Mountie marked it with GPS co-ordinates.“N 45.397153,” Jim said. ”W 063.703527.”The Mountie then walked across the road to where Lisa McCully’s body was lying on the front lawn.

In earlier conversations the ERT members acknowledged that the first call to 911 came from “the teacher’s house” which they were now standing in front of. At 3:04 a.m., the Mountie reported to control: “Going to do a second vital on a second body out by the fence … over by the other body.” “Okay,” the supervisor said. “Oscar Charlie copy.” Thirty-six seconds later, the Mountie announced the coordinates “for the second body”. Uncomfortable questions. Around 9:30 a.m., Judy and Doug Myers left their property on Orchard Beach Road and came across Ellison and McCully’s bodies lying under yellow tarps. There were no Mounties to be seen.In light of Campbell’s affidavit, uncomfortable questions abound about what really transpired between 10:49 p.m. and 10:59 p.m. or so on Orchard Beach Drive during the previous night.

Normally, the word of the police would never be questioned on something like this, but as we all know this is long past a normal situation.The Mounties have been caught lying so many times that their credibility is shredded, but like Donald Trump they continue to charge on, gaslighting the public.The list of RCMP lies and deceptions on the Portapique file is staggering.Original reports said there was a party that went sour and that an aggrieved Wortman came back to the party house and killed a bunch of people. There were reports of bodies strewn around a house and in the yard. There was no such party or scene.The RCMP said there was a virtual party with an unnamed couple from Maine, who made an innocuous comment which set off Wortman and his common law wife Lisa Banfield.

The RCMP’s own court documents quote an FBI agent as saying on April 21 that he could find no evidence of such a party.The RCMP said Lisa Banfield spent the night in the woods, barefoot and without winter clothes, snuggled up in a tree root system. She never got herself dirty and she didn’t lose any fingers or toes. Science says that likely didn’t happen. Furthermore, the RCMP’s own court documents stated that Banfield’s injuries were “minor.”In his affidavit Campbell said the RCMP called the Department of National Defense to borrow a helicopter. Didn’t happen, the DND told Global News.Next is the curious evacuations of Alan and Joanne Griffon and their ex-con drug trafficker son, Peter, between 11:30 p.m. and midnight from their house at the bottom of Portapique Beach Road. They were among the handful of residents evacuated. Most were not.

Early reports said they were escorted out of the community, which suggested that they drove their own vehicles. A new source says that’s not the case.“They were taken out in a police vehicle and dropped off where someone they knew could pick them up,” said the source.Like so many people involved on all sides of this story, the Griffons are not talking to the media.This new information about how the Griffons got out of Portapique seems to mesh with what previously were described as “wild rumours.” In those so-called rumours, the Griffons were not alone in the vehicle. Another passenger was reported to be Wortman’s common law wife Lisa Banfield, but no one will confirm that one, either. Then there are the big ones that were revealed by our secret source, True Blue.

On the day before Campbell swore his affidavit, Frank released 911 tapes from three callers at Portapique each of whom described Wortman, dressed as a Mountie and driving a RCMP cruiser while killing people. The RCMP spent 14 months promoting the narrative that it did not know Wortman was dressed as a Mountie and had a replica police car until they were told by Lisa Banfield after she came out of the woods at 6:34 a.m. that morning. True Blue also provided Frank with video tape which disputed the version of events as earlier described by both the RCMP and by Felix Cacchione, director of the Serious Incident Response Team. The videos clearly show that Wortman was first seen by Mounties at the Petro Canada station in Elmsdale, before being shot by two ERT members at the Irving Big Stop about five minutes later.

As you might remember, two highly experienced police officers who viewed the tapes told Frank the shooting of Wortman looked like an execution to them. The two officers who shot at and missed a RCMP officer and Emergency Measures Organization worker at the Onslow-Belmont firehall acted as if they were carrying out a shoot-on-sight order. They made no attempt to identify their target. Cacchione declared that it was all above board.We could go on – and will, eventually – but the point is that Clinton Ellison is right to question Supt. Campbell’s narrative. If there was a shoot-on-sight order issued by someone in the RCMP, when did that happen? Was it before the Irving Big Stop? Was it before the Onslow-Belmont firehall incident? Or was it ordered soon after the first calls came in to 911 at 10 p.m., 10:16 p.m. and 10:26 p.m. from Jamie Blair, her son, and Andrew MacDonald.

These are important details that can’t be ignored.The RCMP have called in the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the 911 leaks on which the Mounties were caught lying about what they knew and when they knew it. The RCMP can’t be trusted to investigate themselves any longer. We need an independent police investigation to get to the bottom of all this. Call in the OPP to do that. The Surête du Quêbec. Toronto Police. Someone honest. Please.The big proven problem, however, is that Nova Scotia and federal politicians, bureaucrats, most journalists and the Felix Cacchiones of the world seem transfixed by the perpetual musical ride that the dysfunctional and treacherous RCMP is taking us on, rather than deal with substantive issues like truth, integrity, justice and accountability.

paulpalango@protonmail.com

A nightmare through hell – Victim’s brother recalls night of mass shooting

August 12 2021 – SOURCES: RCMP, FEDS ’STONEWALLING’ MASS CASUALTY COMMISSION

The RCMP is stalling the release of as many as 50,000 documents or pieces of evidence pertaining to the Nova Scotia massacres that are being sought by the Mass Casualty Commission, according to various sources close to the Commission. 

Although public hearings are slated to begin in October, it appears that the RCMP, backed by federal government lawyers, is deliberately balking at being anywhere close to transparent about the role its members played before, during and after the massacres in which 22 people were killed on April 18 and 19, 2020.

“There is frustration inside the Commission over the obvious stonewalling by the RCMP,” said one source familiar with the internal operations of the MCC, which is technically a creature of both the federal and provincial governments. “The province is finding that it can’t get answers to anything,” another source said. “The feds are controlling everything.”

These new sources confirm and expand upon what another source, dubbed True Blue, has previously told Frank Magazine about what the RCMP is and has been doing. All the sources have sought anonymity out of fear of retaliation by the RCMP and/or the federal and provincial governments.

In June, True Blue described to Frank Magazine how there are approximately 60 lawyers and investigators operating on behalf of the RCMP and the federal government. At that time, he said that the Commission’s investigators have had difficulty obtaining key evidence which the RCMP is refusing to disclose.

Up to that point, for example, True Blue said the Commission had virtually no information about killer Gabriel Wortman’s common-law wife, Lisa Banfield, other than her driver’s license and vehicle registration. 

“Banfield was apparently the last person to be with him before he began his rampage,” one source put it. “She is the most important witness and the RCMP won’t tell the Commission anything about her.” It is not known if the Commission has received more information about Banfield since that point. 

The 50,000 documents being sought by the Commission fall into a wide range of categories, including old case files and RCMP procedures, but among the most sensitive would be the encrypted conversations between Mounties on April 18th and 19th as well as any information about whether Wortman or someone in his circle of friends and acquaintances was a RCMP informant or agent, as sources have suggested may have been the case.

Early on, the RCMP pushed the story that Wortman’s 13.5 hour killing spree was sparked by a domestic violence incident involving Banfield that was sparked by an innocuous comment during a virtual party. Subsequent evidence has thrown that scenario into doubt. For example, the RCMP’s own court documents state that an FBI agent in Maine could find no evidence of such a party and that, contrary to what the RCMP had first stated, Banfield suffered “minor injuries” at the worst.

Furthermore, 911 tapes from April 18th and video of Wortman being shot and killed on April 19th show that the RCMP lied to the public about when it first discovered that Wortman was dressed as a Mountie and that he was driving what appeared to be an RCMP cruiser. Normally, one would expect such obvious indiscretions to be investigated and cited by the Serious Incident Response Team headed by former judge Felix Cacchione. However, Cacchione’s two official reports to date not only failed to detect problems with the RCMP narratives, but also found no reason to challenge the force, in spite of apparently incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

Destruction order not carried out

The RCMP’s encrypted communications records seem to be one thing the force is adamant about not releasing. True Blue revealed to Frank recently that the force ordered the encrypted tapes to be destroyed last fall under the guise of it being “a normal housekeeping matter.” The destruction order was not carried out, but only by happenstance, True Blue said. Copies of the communications were being stored on hard drives at two locations. One was at the fortress-like Bell Aliant building on North Street, just south of Robie Street.

Another set of communications was being kept at a similar building in downtown Saint John, NB. “The RCMP and CSIS have space in those buildings,” True Blue said. “The order was to destroy the hard drives, but an employee botched the job and instead put the hard drives on a shelf.” Two events happened last fall which appear to relate to the hard drives and their contents.

On October 15, 2020, the RCMP quietly announced a “Moratorium on the destruction of information involving Gabriel Wortman ….

When the existence of the moratorium was leaked to the podcast Little Grey Cells and then Frank magazine in November, the RCMP described the ongoing destruction as something normal – nothing for the public to worry about. But, True Blue says, this was anything but true. “They are particularly worried about what is on the encrypted communications,” the source said. On November 13, 2020, the city of Saint John was hit by a massive cyber attack that shut down many operations in the downtown core.

“The Mounties and, maybe, CSIS, used that attack as an excuse to seize the hard drives in New Brunswick,” True Blue said. “No one is sure where they are now.” The determination by the Mounties to resist any form of accountability, be it from governments, the Mass Casualty Commission or the general public has been readily apparent from the outset. The RCMP held four paltry press briefings shortly after the massacres. It described at various times how it was withholding information to protect a supposedly massive ongoing investigation, the results of which, if it actually existed, have never been disclosed.

The RCMP attempted to insinuate the husbands of Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman and Chief Superintendent Janis Gray as gatekeepers between the force and the Commission. After the appointments of the two men, Chief Superintendent John Robin and former Mountie Mike Butcher were first revealed in Frank and later elsewhere, and Bergerman announced her retirement would take effect just before the Commission begins its hearings.

The RCMP then announced that the appointments of Robin and Butcher had been rescinded. We don’t know what is on the encrypted communication logs, but the public has a hint of what might be there after the disclosure of similar information was found eight months ago on the archived records of the Pictou County Public Safety Channel. Those recordings, also from the early morning hours of April 19th, provided much information about RCMP personnel at the original scene and what they were doing there, much of which contradicted what the RCMP has been saying. 

The RCMP and the federal and provincial governments want the public to believe everything is moving along as expected as the inquiry approaches, but every indication suggests that Commission investigators are becoming disgruntled about the way things are unfolding. “The mood there is foul,” said a source close to the commission. Meanwhile, a provincial election campaign is well underway and not a word about all this has been spoken by any of the leaders.

paulpalango@protonmail.com

Will NDAs force the Portapique inquiry even further into the shadows?

By Paul Palango – Published in Frank Magazine – April 27 2022

Rumours are often the seedlings of stories. Sometimes they fail to germinate. Sometimes they evolve into wild conspiracy theories like pedophiles in the basement of a pizza parlor. Many times, though, rumours are the stalking horse of the truth, all of which brings us to a couple of rumours, unconfirmed and all but unconfirmable, that have been floating around.

The story goes that the federal and provincial governments have set aside $20-million as a settlement to the immediate surviving family members of the 22 people killed in the Nova Scotia massacres of April 18 and 19, 2020. The family members would also be given a brief synopsis of what investigators think really happened, potentially including details which wouldn’t otherwise be made public.

The family members, in case you hadn’t guessed, would be bound by non-disclosure agreements. “I’m getting a million dollars,” one of the supposedly lucky recipients told a friend who passed it on. “I just can’t talk about it.” Another one was quoted by an acquaintance as talking about the $20-million pot and the NDAs.
This is all coming before the Mass Casualty Commission sits down to “investigate” the entire matter and make recommendations about how to make the world a better place.

Why all the subterfuge and secrecy?

If true, the proposed settlements would serve the interests of governments and the RCMP well by giving them a big stick to deal with possible unseemly behaviour by emotional family members who might act up during the Mass Casualty Commission sittings. For the families it would give them closure of a sort without a lot of sensitive and, possibly, slightly soiled linen being aired in public.The public would be provided with the air of transparency without much of the substance. It’s the Nova Scotia way. The Westray Inquiry. The Desmond Inquiry. The Gerald Regan trial and so on.

As for the issue of NDAs, Prince Edward Island and a number of U.S. states are working on legislation to ban them if they are being used to obscure information that should be disclosed as a matter of public interest. About time that happens here, don’t you think?

Paul Palango is a Nova Scotian

Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP

The Last Guardians: The Crisis in the RCMP

Above The Law: The Crooks, the Politicians, the Mounties, and Rod Stamler

22 Murders

The Eagle’s Nest – Part 1

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