The Back Story Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:22:00 GMT More than a victim Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:22:00 GMT <p> I couldn't believe it when I woke up yesterday morning to a stack of emails about an alleged serial killer. For years, there has been rampant speculation about a serial killer in Winnipeg. What has been a highly sensitive issue for policing -- in the constant roller-coaster of First Nation/policing relations -- had shown up at the forefront, at last.</p> <p> I suspect -- for reasons I haven't verified yet -- there will be more yet on how this came to public attention.</p> <p> But for today, I wanted to post a letter from the family of victim Lorna Blacksmith. (I have heard some rampant speculation on the subject of serial killers from families -- some totally baseless, some potentially useful)</p> <p> In this case, I thought it best the family put it in their own words -- from Lorna's aunt...</p> <p> "I just want to clarify some things that are being said in the paper about my niece. The WFP is stating that my niece worked in the city's sex-trade industry. I would like to know where this information is coming from because it is not the truth. I want to set the record straight.</p> <p> My niece was NOT a prostitute.  Every time one of our women, our Aboriginal women go missing they are continually classified as someone who worked the streets.  Every time the media makes such a statement, it further perpetuates our women as the continuing stereotype of sex trade workers who are less than human, expendable, of no value to society with others quick to judge and blaming them for the choices they may or may not have made....</p> <p> This is who Lorna Blacksmith was and you tell me if this was just another prostitute.</p> <p> Lorna was an amazing, upbeat, caring, healthy young woman. She had goals, ambitions, values, and beliefs. She was an academic achiever in school, her goal in life was to become a successful, independent woman.  She was a beautiful aboriginal woman with a whole future ahead of her. Like any 18 year old,  she made mistakes, struggled, endured challenges, had weaknesses, made misjudgments; she was a teenager who needed guidance, direction, in her life like most 18 year olds in this life.</p> <p> Instead of focusing on the human being she was, your paper has chosen instead to focus on "the sex trade worker" label. As her aunt, I loved her. We all loved her, and cared for her. She didn't need to die that young. I don't appreciate the negative images your paper are perpetuating about our women. We are a targeted people, and we will continue to suffer as a people when stories  regarding aboriginal woman continue in the light your paper has chosen to paint us. </p> <p> Lorna will always be remembered as a beautiful young woman, whose life was cut short. You need to focus on the fact that she is a human being and to be treated with dignity and respect."</p> Blog:684a77a8-afe2-4b2e-89e1-c04082a6f083Post:724cb946-50ca-471c-9ef4-15e04fc4fa3f Extradition insight on kidnapping Thu, 31 May 2012 16:02:00 GMT <p> One of the beauties of the web is extended space.</p> <p> A story that ran <a href="">yesterday</a>  on the extradition of Kevin Maryk, the father of Abby and Dominic Maryk, said it could be delayed for months.</p> <p> There’s also a possibility that Maryk’s friend Robert Groen could be deported, not extradited, said police.</p> <p> Regardless, B.C. legal expert Gary Botting provided a LOT of legal insight on the matter, not all of which ran in the print version of our story.</p> <p> I include it below for all the legal eagles who want to check it out. What do you think? And...I wonder, what does Emily Cablek think?</p> <p> (One emailer already expressed his opinion, saying: “(Let) that SOB rot in a Mexican jail”)</p> <p> This is from Botting:</p> <p> “An ordinary extradition process typically takes about a year, but this is not an ordinary case. The timeline may be affected by a number of variables, including the fact that they are likely to be held in comparatively sleazy accommodation in Mexico, learning to share accommodation with other less than savoury prisoners, often several to a cell. This might motivate the accused to opt to return to Canada more quickly, where they are more likely to be able to avail themselves of the rights and freedoms that we take for granted, including (if they are Canadians with roots here) the right to bail. They could always waive the right to an extradition hearing. If we were dealing with an straight extradition case, the time may be very short indeed.  On the other hand, they may qualify for bail down in Mexico while the extradition is proceeding, in which case they could drag out the extradition process for a year or two.” </p> <p> “This case will be further complicated by the fact that Mexican authorities (ALLEGEDLY – GABRIELLE’S ADD) found illicit drugs and pornography on the property.  These constitute criminal activities in Mexico, and Mexico is likely to want to prosecute those first before considering extraditing for charges such as abduction.  The investigation there may be far more complex than meets the eye: what has happened to the children since they disappeared?....”</p> <p> “While Mexico can extradite the person sought, Article XIV of the Canada-Mexico Extradition Treaty allows Mexico to postpone surrender of the person ‘when the person sought is being proceeded against or is serving a sentence within the territory of the Requested Party for an offence other than that for which extradition is requested ... until the conclusion of the proceedings or the service of any sentence that may have been proposed.’ That could be a long time in the future.</p> <p> Also, if the accused happen to be Mexican nationals (even if they are also Canadian citizens), under Article III, Mexico does not have to send them back for prosecution. However, if Mexico opts not to extradite, it must prosecute. Given that much if not most of the evidence is in Mexico (i.e., what happened to the girls since their arrival there), Mexico may well to choose prosecution over extradition. Faced with this prospect, the accused (of they have dual citizenship) may decide that Canada is not such a bad place after all, and decide that they are not Mexican but Canadian. In any case, under Article XI of the Treaty they may waive the extradition proceedings to get ‘home’ to Canada more quickly to face the music.  This would seem to be the best option for everyone.”</p> Blog:684a77a8-afe2-4b2e-89e1-c04082a6f083Post:60b256f0-52ea-4a59-9ef2-da0177f060b0