February 8 2021 – The problem with the RCMP’s hit list denial By Paul Palango
Of the many curious things the RCMP did on the weekend of April 18 and 19thin responding to Gabriel Wortman’s murderous spree was both the selection and actions of the officer who was appointed to head up the investigation.
Sgt. W.M.J. (Bill) Raaymakers was stationed in New Minas and was called to the crime scene in Portapique sometime around 3 a.m. It was around that time that the RCMP first examined the bodies of Lisa McCully and Corrie Ellisonwho were found lying dead on either side of the road near 135 and 136 Orchard Beach Drive. The timing was confirmed in communications between RCMP members at the crime scene that were discovered by Frank Magazine last month archived under the Pictou County Public Safety Channel on the U.S.website Broadcastify.
Raaymakers, a respected, veteran investigator at the time, did not respond to a written request for an interview that was mailed to his home. He is now retired. That is one of the suspicious things about the RCMP choosing him to be the original lead investigator – Raaymakers was scheduled to retire from the force at the end of that month – April 30, 2020.
Why was he of all the Mountie investigators in Nova Scotia chosen for what obviously was going to be a lengthy investigation? It’s a question, like so many about the murders, that the RCMP refuses to answer.The force has taken the position that it will wait until a public inquiry is held into the matter. Six managers of the inquiry were recently appointed. Three panelists were appointed last year.
Raaymakers, as it turns out, is the primary source for the sensational story that Wortman had a hit list which, Globe and Mail reporter Greg Mercer originally reported on April 22, was recovered from one of Wortman’s burned out properties. The story didn’t make much sense at the time because both Wortman’s house at 200 Portapique Beach Road and his warehouse/man den at 136 Orchard Beach Drive were both totally destroyed by fire. The odds of finding a hit list there would by astronomical.
The next day the RCMP denied such a list existed. It said the notion of a list came from verbal comments made by Wortman’s common-law wife, Lisa Banfield, after she emerged from hiding at 6:30 a.m. that Sunday morning.
A Deal With The Devil – February 16 2021
The latest was Global TV’s ongoing podcast 13 HOURS. It appears that the show, hosted by Sarah Ritchie, has bought into the earliest narratives by the RCMP and the government that the main issue in this matter is domestic violence. That being the case anything contrary to that thesis is viewed with disdain. In a recent episode Ritchie interviewed Joudrey and, once again, his version of events regarding Banfield didn’t make it to air. A number of viewers on social media directly questioned Global about it.
March 3 2021 – SO MANY WORDS ABOUT LISA BANFIELD’S INJURIES … EXCEPT ONE By Paul Palango
At a court hearing Monday, the high-priced Toronto lawyers acting for Lisa Banfield, the common-law wife of mass murderer Gabriel Wortman, pushed back against an assertion that they are seeking to keep information about the case secret simply because it makes their client uncomfortable.
For the better part of a year, several media outlets have spent a king’s ransom trying to remove copious amounts of black ink from the RCMP’s infamous information to obtain search warrant documents (ITO’s).
On this day, Jessica Zita of Lockyer Campbell is arguing via teleconference before N.S. Provincial Court Judge Laurie Halfpenny-MacQuarrie that her client is clearly not concerned about saving face.
“You’ll see Miss Banfield has taken no issue with the publication of plenty of uncomfortable evidence, more specifically her history of abuse with Mr. Wortman, what happened to her that very night. There’s all kinds of information that no self-respecting human would want to be made public… that’s now for public consumption”.
Although Zita asks the judge to keep in mind that her client is “just as much a victim as she is an accused in these proceedings,” her main concern lies in revealing information that could jeopardize her fair trial rights, concerning the charge that she provided ammunition to Wortman.
Lawyer for the media consortium David Coles says that argument is meritless, considering the relatively minor criminal charge would be heard by a judge, who presumably isn’t interested in deciding cases according to what’s being reported in the Globe and Mail.
For those familiar with how the prevailing narrative of what happened to Lisa Banfield that night has been spun, it’s hardly a surprise that her side welcomes the airing of details about the extent to which Lisa Banfield was allegedly victimized by Gabriel Wortman. And as for any detail that calls that narrative into question?
Well, I’ll let you be the judge.
March 22 2021 – Inside the rcmp whatever happened to the sheriff of stouffville By Paul Palango
The first time most Nova Scotians ever saw Chief Superintendent Chris Leather was when he showed up in front of cameras early in the evening of April 19, 2020 to tell the world what had just happened that weekend.
Etched into memories is the stunning performances of the monolithic Leather and his boss, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman. To use the overworked but absolutely appropriate metaphor, the two of them looked like deer caught in the headlights.
Bergerman barely said a word and the few words that she did speak were more about the loss of Constable Heidi Stevenson and the victimhood of the RCMP rather than the fact that 21 other innocent citizens had been murdered by denturist turned spree killer Gabriel Wortman.
The flush-faced Leather did three press briefings in four days, each of them more disturbing than the other. He was number two Mountie in Nova Scotia. He was the Criminal Operations officer (CROPs officer) which means he had the full powers of the RCMP at his fingertips. You would think he would know everything that there was to know.
Nevertheless, he appeared to be stunned, in distress and entirely unfamiliar with the details of the case. For example, during his second press briefing on April 20, which he was forced to handle alone, Leather was asked why the force did not put out a public alert on the Sunday morning that Wortman was running loose and killing nine people, including Constable Stevenson. Before he responded he leaned over to the much shorter Corporal Lisa Croteau and in a barely audible voice said: “I believe there was an Amber Alert that went out at some point.”
WHEN POLICE LIES GO UNCHECKED DIFFICULT QUESTIONS ARISE. CLINTON ELLISON HAS ONE FOR THE RCMP
By Paul Palango – July 7 2021
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.