RCMP: "Crime Stoppers no longer makes re-enactments"

From LMY Wiki
“How could a Crime Stoppers spot hurt?”
—Don Young (Lisa's father)
May 29, 2003


Summary

RCMP told Lisa's father (and a journalist) that "Crime Stoppers doesn't make re-enactment videos anymore". This was a blatant lie.

Crime Stoppers later told a different reporter that they never stopped making re-enactments. RCMP only needed to send Crime Stoppers some basic information about the case.

Several years later, they did, however most of the information provided was incorrect.

Details

When sadness turns to anger
Nanaimo Daily News, May 29, 2003 (Paul Walton)[1]
Young said he's not heard from the police in three months, and that they have no interest in his suggestion of a Crime Stoppers spot. How could a Crime Stoppers spot hurt? he asked… Eubank also said that Crime Stoppers no longer does re-enactments of crimes.
Nanaimo Daily News, May 29, 2003 (Paul Walton)[1]

"When sadness turns to anger"

Of the hundreds of news articles published about Lisa's disappearance, one of the most important was written by Paul Walton, published in the Nanaimo Daily News on May 29, 2003, entitled "When sadness turns to anger".[1]

The article provides examples of some of the reasons that Don Young (Lisa's father) had become frustrated with the RCMP's apparent lack of interest in the investigation into his daughter's disappearance. Negligence, apathy, lack of communication spanning several months at a time, and even blatant deception.[1]

At the time, Crime Stoppers' video re-enactments of crimes were commonplace, re-tracing a victim's last step before a crime was committed. First conceived by a Canadian-born cop in Texas, the re-enactment videos would be aired between TV commercials, offered along with guaranteed anonymity for those providing information, plus a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Statistics for Crime Stoppers Canada
Crime Stoppers Canada, Statistics, January 31, 2001[2]

The program was hugely successful: as of 2021, the program was responsible for over 200,000 arrests in Canada alone. It's not surprising that many people, including Lisa's parents, wanted to see about having a video produced about Lisa's disappearance.[2]

Don had repeatedly asked RCMP about working with Crime Stoppers to produce a video, but they kept avoiding direct answers. Don said in an interview with reporter Paul Walton, "How could a Crime Stoppers spot hurt?"[1]

Jossee Smith: Crime Stoppers never stopped making videos. Just (always) need information from the investigator.
Ha-Shilth-Sa, August 14, 2003 (Ruth Olgilvie)[3]

Paul later followed up with the RCMP. Nanaimo RCMP's official spokesman Jack Eubank told Paul that "Crime Stoppers no longer does re-enactments of crimes".[1]

This seemed unfortunate, but nobody considered the possibility that an RCMP would be lying about something so east to verify.

Nobody, that is, except for Ruth Olgilvie of Ha-Shilth-Sa ("Canada's oldest First Nations newspaper"). Ruth contacted Crime Stoppers' Constable Jossee Smith, who told her that Crime Stoppers never stopped making video re-enactments.[3] All that was needed in order for a video to be produced about Lisa's disappearance would be for an investigator to send Crime Stoppers some basic information about the case.[1]

This was not the last time members of the RCMP acted manipulatively with the result of impeding Crime Stoppers' ability to raise awareness about the case.[4] It also was not the last blatant lie told by an RCMP officer related to Lisa's case.[5]

Even with this shocking example of deception now documented, it still took another 7 years before Nanaimo RCMP got around to providing Crime Stoppers with the small amount of information they needed to produce a video.[6][7] Unfortunately the information provided by RCMP was mostly wrong.[8]

House of Commons

On October 8, 2020, at the House of Commons at Parliament in Ottawa, MP Paul Manly stated: The RCMP did not interview anybody from the nightclub this young woman was at. They did not interview some of her friends. They did not do a Crime Stoppers video until 2009. The family had been asking for a Crime Stoppers video about Lisa's disappearance, and they did not go through with that until 2009. ... They botched that.[9]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Paul Walton, Nanaimo Daily News (May 29, 2003), When sadness turns to anger ndn20030529
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crime Stoppers (Jan 1, 2021), About Us cs20210101
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ruth Olgilvie, Ha-Shilth-Sa (Aug 14, 2003), Investigation for missing woman frustrates family hss20030814
  4. Cyndy Hall on behalf of Cpl. Muntener, Facebook (Feb 3, 2021), "Lisa Marie Young - Cyndy Hall photos" fb20210203
  5. Darron Kloster, Times Colonist (June 26, 2021), Police using new witness statements to search for Nanaimo woman who vanished in 2002 tc20210626
  6. Nanaimo Daily News (May 6, 2009), Still unsolved ndn20090506
  7. Crime Stoppers (May 15, 2009), Lisa Marie Young - re-enactment (video) yt20090515
  8. Denise Titian, Ha-Shilth-Sa (June 18, 2009), Lisa Marie disappearance remains a mystery still hss20090618
  9. MP Paul Manly, Parliament, Ottawa (Oct 8, 2020), House of Commons Debate #12 - October 8, 2020 (43-2) at 1525 hoc20201008