Biker bust reveals truth

The arrest on the Friday of Hells Angel Villy Roy Lynnerup, 41, at Vancouver International Airport is yet another example that the bikers are anything but good ol' boys who like to party hard and ride Harleys. Allegedly, Lynnerup was inexplicably carrying a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage right next to his colours depicting him as a full-patch member of the White Rock chapter of the world's biggest biker gang when he was trying to board a plane to Edmonton. How he thought he'd get the gun through airport security is a whole other question.But Lynnerup is not just another biker. Police believe he is the Sergeant at Arms, a senior position in every Hells Angel chapter, for the White Rock chapter. Sources say he was carrying notes from Hells Angels officers meetings in the bag as well, leading them to speculate that he was heading to a high level meeting with other senior members of the club.The Hells Angels have long maintained they are not a criminal organization. Their propaganda machine fuelled by their charitable toy runs and the like. But, even though the police have had only limited success in breaking up their criminal networks, taking a gun to a high level meeting certainly seems to tell a different story.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.com

Cops do it right despite criticism

In the week since Graham McMynn was abducted the Vancouver Police threw every resource possible at the investigation. The stated “24” investigators working on the case cited in the media reports was thrown out by police as a number, but was no indicator of the actual police resources utilized in this very challenging investigation.A hint of what really went on came on Wednesday morning when over 100 officers mustered in a Vancouver armoury to get briefed on the plan to rescue the young man.During that week as well, the police were hampered in their efforts by some elements of the broadcast news media who simply would not do as they were asked and refused to “blackout” the story so the police could do their job. With a kidnap victim’s life hanging in the balance, one has to question the judgment in those newsrooms.But the story that really stuck in my craw was the piece done by CTV’s Lisa Rossington when she “tracked down” the rental car used by the kidnappers to abduct McMynn. Rossington spoke to someone in the car lot office who said the police had not contacted them, implying that somehow the police were incompetent. Given that the girlfriend of the victim was present at the time of the abduction and was the one who gave them the information about the vehicle, did Rossington really believe that the police wouldn’t have followed up on their only solid lead from the get-go? It strains credulity...

Irresponsible media hamper police investigation

The media attention on the kidnapping case of a young Vancouver man has been like nothing I’ve ever seen in this type of case. It may also have harmed the police investigation and made it much more difficult for the police to bring about a safe, successful resolution.Late Tuesday morning, Graham McMynn, 23, a UBC student, was snatched off a street in broad daylight by armed Asian gunmen, leaving his distraught girlfriend screaming for help on the street. By early afternoon CTV news had a microwave truck positioned outside the McMynn home. A news crew from Global was on the scene as well, but they chose to be much more discreet.In short order radio station CKNW were broadcasting news of the kidnapping, admittedly with few details.Police asked that the media sit on the story knowing full-well that in kidnapping cases their ability to control the information known to those responsible is critical. That evening, the debate raged in newsrooms throughout Vancouver, whether to go with the story or not. Responsible newsrooms like BCTV on Global, CBC and The Province made the right decision. CITY TV decided not to go with the story on their six o’clock broadcast, but had a reporter ready to do a “live hit” if the other stations went with it. CTV ignored the pleas from the police and led with the story so CITY did their live hit ten minutes into the newscast. With the actions...

When is an investigation not an investigation

So, what’s with the RCMP saying they are investigating the sinking of the Queen of the North one day and then getting all wussy about it the next?Yesterday, The Province reported they had begun an investigation into the sinking. Reporter Matthew Ramsay quoted Sgt. Ken Burton saying, “The RCMP is running a parallel and concurrent investigation. We are exploring all the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event.”Sounds pretty unequivocal to me. But then the day the story appears, BC Ferries boss David Hahn denies any such thing and calls the story “reckless” and RCMP media flak Sgt. John Ward says they are only at the stage of determining whether they will do an investigation.But, when asked if the Province story was wrong, Ward had this to say: “I don’t think you were wrong. I don’t think Burton was wrong.”So, which is it? Is the RCMP back-pedalling because Hahn didn’t like the inference that someone at Ferries had done something criminal that led to the ferry sinking and the apparent loss of two lives?While we can’t discount the possibility of some type of equipment failure, it seems pretty clear to me that the tragedy was likely the result of either human error or human misconduct. The first would not be criminal, the second would. With a boat on the bottom and two people missing and presumed drowned, if there is a possibility of criminal behaviour being the cause, the RCMP are duty-bound to investigate regardless of...

Justice denied for innocent cop

The case of former RCMP Constable John Hudak is more than a little troubling. Hudak’s story, called Branded for Life was told on CTV’s  W5 . Hudak was a small-town cop, a Mountie involved in his community who was accused of sexual assault by a local nurse, Mildred Johnson, 58. By all accounts it would appear as though the investigation was botched early on and in reality, it should have clearly determined that the complainant was either wrong, or more accurately, deliberate in a false accusation of a man who had spurned her attentions.Hell hath no fury and all that, but this case literally screams out that the man in this case is clearly not the predator and the woman clearly is. Unfortunately, all too often the system is too politically correct to get its head around that concept. Any allegation of a sex assault should be treated seriously. But, as any investigator of sex crimes will tell you, the majority of complaints they get are unfounded or vindictive. That’s not a popular statement but it is very accurate.As much as the ultra-feminist movement would have us believe that men are evil predators, the reality is that women are by far and away, more dangerous in the way they use the public perception to gain either an advantage or vengeance. While this certainly doesn’t pretend that some men aren’t sexual predators, it also doesn’t automatically assume the woman making the complaint is telling the truth. In point of fact, as...

Harper’s bold moves show promise

Despite the incessant whining from the lib/left, and I include the bulk of the mainstream media in this, I think newly-minted Prime Minister Stephen Harper is off to a pretty good start.He made some moves in the wake of the election of his minority government that will serve to unite the centre-right of the country politically and at least give his Conservatives the chance to be more than a political flash-in-the-pan.Harper knows that the Liberals need to re-invent themselves after ten years of Martinite/Chretienite blood-letting. Without seats among the tongue-clucking classes in the three major urban areas of the country, he addressed these gaps by appointing Michael Fortier and David Emerson to cabinet posts.Fortier is a major Tory political force in Quebec and Emerson is a well-respected businessman first recruited by Paul Martin in one of his infrequent moments of clarity.The floor-crossing of Emerson has created an outcry from the lefty/unionist types in the blue collar riding of Vancouver-Kingsway, but really, I fail to see why it should be still on anyone’s radar screen this long after the appointment.Yes, Emerson was elected as a Liberal. But frankly, Emerson is far from a Grit true-believer. He is still the same man the riding elected only now he has a seat at the cabinet table. If the trendy lefties in Vancouver Kingsway are so worried that the “scary Harper” might unleash his “hidden agenda” upon an unsuspecting population, aren’t they in a much better position to monitor that with a member...

‘Skids’ clean up needs support

I'm more than a little heartened to see Vancouver Police Inspector Bob Rolls talking tough about cleaning up the world's largest open air drug bazaar, the Downtown Eastside. Or, as it was known when I walked a beat on its mean streets, " The Skids." But talk is cheap. And the real test of this is whether the courts, the Crown and the Department itself, will withstand the inevitable pressure they will face as they proceed with their stated "zero tolerance" policy. When I first set foot on the "beat" in the Skids it was a different job. In those days, in the early '80s, the beat was a coveted job. It was only given to those officers who had proven themselves in patrol cars to have the right stuff. In those days, the beat squad in the Skids was totally self-driven in terms of the work that was done. We weren't responsible for radio calls and our work as part of the 12 man crew was totally self-generated. We went out and found the bad guys and put them in jail. In some ways it was a much more simple life. Within hours of a new guy arriving on the beat he was challenged. Not in the way the word is used today, but in the manner of the Wild, Wild West. To see how tough you were. One of the local street thugs would throw down the gauntlet and you either picked it up and hit him...

Move on please

Is it just me, or is the media making a mountain out of a molehill on the David Emerson defection to the Tories?And then there was the comments by the gone but not missed, former Prime Minister Paul Martin yesterday. He's astonished apparently, that someone he plucked out of the private sector with promises of a cabinet post would have been plucked from the Liberal backbences by the promise of a cabinet post. Why he would wait more than ten days to tell a disinterested country that he's "astonished" is anyone's guess. But frankly, Martin is yesterday's man and few, if any, are interested in his opinion on anything. And today NDP leader Jack Layton is swanning into Vancovuer to "make sure the matter doesn't die." Give us a break Jack. Everyone in the country, with the exception of the liberal media and the looney left has come to grips with why it was done and, agree or not, has moved on. There's nothing left to be gained in trying to engage the nation this extended period of political flagellation. Move on. For God's sake, move on.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.com

Is the Chief Justice afraid of change?

It was interesting to see the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada trying to cling on the last vestige of Liberal domination on the Canadian political scene by chiding Prime Minister Designate Stephen Harper not to "politicize" the appointing of a new Justice to the top court.It is hard to imagine the process being any more political given the appointment is at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister. And, as evidenced by more than a decade of very liberal Liberal appointees, the PM will appoint someone who has a similar vision to that of the person doing the appointing.Madame Justice Beverly McLachlin seems to think that the status quo is just ducky and is evidently afraid that Harper will appoint someone who doesn't share their soft on crime view of the country.Let's be realistic, the decisions of the SCOC are the reason crime is running rampant across this country. A couple of cases readily come to mind like R v Feeney and R v Stintchcombe. These are glaring examples where the SCOC came to conclusions that have not only defied the logic of the average person, but dramatically hampered the prosecution of criminals and altered forever the ability of the police to do their job.In her "advice" to Harper, Madam Justice McLachlin said, "And I think in order to preserve the public confidence in the impartiality of the courts, we should avoid politicizing it," McLachlin said.Well that's certianly interesting. Does the...

Election thoughts

As I write this it seems as though the country in going to have a change in government. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have not been given a majority government but a minority of some twenty or so seats. How, given the corruption, cronyism and blatent disregard for democracy, has the Liberal party managed to retain over 100 seats in Parliament? However, it is not all bad news in this deranged Dominion. Convicted jewel thief Svend Robinson seems like he has been given the bum's rush in Vancouver Centre. May he never darken our doorstep again. And speaking of that, from a personal point of view, I won't miss the Prime Minister Paul Martin either. There was a time when he seemed to hold the future of this country in his hands. But, his thirst for power nearly destroyed the Liberal party from within. And frankly, that thirst for power overshadowed whatever merits he may have had for the job of Prime Minister. And so farewell and adieu.The Tories have had a major breakthrough in Quebec. Gille Duceppe and the Bloc have lost a few seats. And with that, a small glimmer of hope appears in the fight for national unity.It is also inconceivable to me that Don Bell has been re-elected in North Vancouver. Albeit, Cindy Silver is a political neophyte with virtually no profile, it seems bizarre to me that a man who personifes everything that is wrong with the Liberal party could attract enough voters to regain his...