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At the time of Mindy's abduction, Shannon Murrin was living where Mindy had last been seen and where her bike was found. Sgt. Tidsbury knew Murrin from the past and knew that he had  been involved in the previous 1981 disappearance of a Kelowna girl. Gary Tidsbury had personally been involved with a superior in the cover up of that crime.

Shannon Murrin had been a resident of Edmonton when a little girl had been abducted and murdered in 1992. Murrin was a suspect in that crime and in several other sexual assaults resulting from his stay in Edmonton. 

Several people had reported seeing a person who they identified as Shannon Murrin with a suitcase on the night of Mindy Tran's disappearance. This suspicious person was not reported to the public nor witnesses sought until months later after Murin's arrest. This was after over a dozen reports about this person had come from the Tran neighborhood. 

The suitcase carrying suspect Murrin should have become the prime suspect and immediate focus of the RCMP investigation. The driver of the jeep should have been the focus of a public search as a witness. The public search for both was immediately silenced and the public investigation sidetracked into looking for a white van.
see vehicle search

It appears that the police were initially claiming that there were several  suspects. Murrin was apparently using his associates as his alibi for where he was at the time. Later, two of his associates appear to have not gone along with the alibi story. They claim that Murrin had asked them to provide an alibi for him because of his criminal record. As friends and associates, they did so at first until it became apparent that Murrin was likely the killer and had no other alibi for most of the time period in question. 

The RCMP had quickly broadened the vehicle search and investigation away from Kelowna but this opened up the possibility of the killer being from else where and therefore, he may be involved in similar crimes else where. This focused the attention of outside police departments with similar unsolved crimes back on Kelowna. A police conference was organized to discuss the possibility of a serial killer operating in Western Canada.
serial killer

Mindy's body was found only blocks away from her house during the week that these other police forces were in town. Sgt. Tidsbury at first claimed that a psychic helped direct him to where to find Mindy’s body. A search and rescue member was instructed by Gary Tidsbury where to look in the park and subsequently found some red flagging material attached to a tree under which Mindy's body was found at 10:30 A.M. on Oct/11/95. This demonstrates that Sgt. Tidsbury had prior knowledge of where to find the body.  The RCMP then attempt to downplay this suspicious event to eliminate the possibility that the killer himself was the psychic or supplier of this information. This led to having to come up with another story to avoid the implications of the "psychic" information having been provided by the killer. Thus the "magic divining rod" to explain how the body was found. Tidsbury knew where to find Mindy's body and the killer would have been able to provide this information. Shannon Murrin was Tidsbury's informant. Some -one not likely the psychic, had left the red flagging at the location where Sgt. Tidsbury was directing the searchers to.

Despite RCMP claims that this "body finding tool" found Mindy Tran, it has never found any other body or worked anywhere else.
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Someday this may become an actual tool but it is still years away in the development process.,12543,405519-2,00.html

None of the technically advanced profiling services were ever employed to flesh out this case. In a wide ranging critique of other cases, well respected geographic profiler Kim Rossmo notes the unusual circumstances of the Tran investigation. In his final wrap-up he jokingly states that members of his profession would be out of business if all investigations were conducted like this. 
see Rossmo's comment

The beating administered to Murrin's face on the night prior to his arranged arrest removed him from the prospect of eyewitness identification. Murrin was taken to the crime scene for the beating thus contaminating the crime scene for any further evidence gathering. The RCMP want you to believe that the motive for this beating was to get a confession from Murrin. This beating put in doubt whether there was any real evidence against Murrin or not. Why would you attempt to beat a confession from a suspect if you had DNA, eye witnesses, etc. An attorney associated with this case claimed that it had been previously arranged that after Murrin was taken in, interviewed, and released, that he was going to be formally arrested and charged with murder on the following day. I was told by this attorney that he believed that Tidsbury, out of pride, and wanting the glory of solving the case, and not another undercover detective, had arranged to beat the confession from Murrin on the night before this arranged arrest. This motive was apparently well advertised all over Rutland prior to the beating and the entire shift of detectives listened from their car radios as it happened. As a result of this beating, which disguised Murrin's face, no one was able to identify Murrin as the suitcase suspect when he was arrested. I believe that this was the true purpose for the beating. As Sgt. Tidsbury said, why would he beat a confession from a suspect when this would not have been admissible in court anyway. It was years before Murrin would be seen again without sporting a full beard. This beating has always been coupled to the motive of being done for the purpose of  extracting a confession. This beating saved Murrin from being identified in a timely fashion and of being convicted as a result. This same end result is the only plausible motive for the beating which is consistent with the rest of the evidence. The manner in which this was conducted turned six well meaning cops into witnesses for Murrin's defense and aided in his acquittal.
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There was a CHBC news clip showing Murrin with a moustache on the evening news just before his beating, wearing a distinctive fisherman type cap. The suspect with the suitcase did not have a heavy moustache like this. Did Murrin grow a moustache between the time that the crime was committed and his arrest? The photo released by the RCMP following the arrest of Murrin was not a completely accurate portrayal of what Murrin looked like at the time of the crime. The mustache gives his mouth the appearance of being much narrower than it is. This photo is some what deceptive compared to what Murrin actually looked like at the time. 

Murrin photo 2000                           Murrin photo released 1995


 Sgt. Tidsbury instigated the events that led to two of Murrin's associates attempting to beat a confession from Murrin in front of Sgt. Tidsbury? Why would Tidsbury instigate two of his most valuable witnesses into committing a criminal act, then charge them with the assault and call them liars in court. Is this standard RCMP witness development procedure? 

The RCMP then washed the nuclear DNA evidence from Mindy's clothes. This was after a very thorough and painstaking effort on the part of the forensic team who had collected every possible piece of evidence available. In 1994-1999, DNA was not that unknown and these were experienced officers working the case. They were involved with cutting edge DNA technology in the form of MTDNA. It is incomprehensible to wash the confirming nuclear DNA evidence from a murder victims clothes without the evidence being preserved and confirmed. There is no acceptable explanation possible. There were several differing DNA sequences originally found on Mindy's clothes. The mitricondrial DNA results showed a 97% match to Shannon Murrin. What happened to the other sequences is unknown. This put in doubt the integrity or accuracy of any of the DNA results and made it appear that the RCMP were falsifying results to convict Murrin. Again, RCMP agent Shannon Murrin was the beneficiary of this action. 

Sgt. Tidsbury coached and used a jailhouse informant in Murrin’s trial, a man who was known to have previously perjured himself in the Thomas Sophonow case. The DNA evidence from that case proved that this informant had perjured himself then, a fact that both the crown and Murrin’s defense were aware of as was demonstrated in the trial. The implications of what the RCMP were found to be doing and the type of informants that they were using,  tainted the jury and would likely have been foundational for a retrial had Murrin been convicted. The fifth estate questioned why B.C. prosecutors would use this individual when the Sophonow information was known. Again the RCMP motive was the need for a confession.

The informant "Doug Martin" even claimed that the RCMP wanted him to lie and was being paid to do so.

The search for the white van that was never found left open the suspicion that the real killer had not been found. This van appears to have no real involvement or purpose other than to throw doubt on the RCMP having got the right man. If Mindy was just abducted in a distinctive van, would the person then drive her only a few blocks away in a neighborhood which would surely be looking for her and where more people are likely to notice you? It appears more likely that Mindy was found close to her home because there was no vehicle involved as the getaway vehicle. It is unlikely that Murrin would have then been able to hide this van on his own with all the public scrutiny. Who else could be or would want to be concealing this specific highly publicized white van? 

As a result of Murrin's trial, a great deal of information became available. The RCMP were forced to investigate their own members and provide some answers. The court case against Murrin was determined to have been lost in part due to the actions of Sgt. Tidsbury. The RCMP investigation determined that "a few" of the RCMP brass in Kelowna were responsible for non RCMP like conduct
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The following are the newspaper stories of the events as they unfolded.

 Murder Investigation :

Kelowna becomes the focus of extreme attention.




























A Psychic Tip Leads To The Body!
























The Psychic is Downplayed!











Red Flagging Attracts The Searchers Attention!
















The Police Now Claim That It Was A Body Finding Device That Found Mindy Tran. It Has Not Worked Any Where Else!















Neither the Crown nor the Defense Question How The Body Was Found!


Testimony from the Murrin trial.

On Wednesday, the diminutive Fitz-Gerald, who at times had trouble hearing questions put to him, told jurors about his "personal energy loss" and "upset energies" as he used the divining rod to look for the girl. Neither Crown nor defense lawyers probed the credibility or intricacies of his method.

Police had called him in because he has done more than 500 searches in a 46-year career that has even seen him train some of the officers involved in Mindy's case. A friend suggested he use his divining rod - also known as dowsing rods - which are generally used for finding water. His is a metre-long telescoping rod with a stainless-steel coating.

Police loaned Fitz-Gerald a strand of Mindy's hair, obtained from a hairband she had left behind. Fitz-Gerald said he put the hair against the rod to provide focus. It led him, he said, to an area where he found some red cloth. 


 Murrin voir dire:

The Task Force finds that the present probability of coincidental matches between mtDNA control region sequences is no more than a few percent.  Once sequences from 500 members of a population have been determined, precise statements about the chance of a false association of a set of remains with a family will be able to be made.

The Crown proposes to lead the opinion of Mr. Wilson or Dr. Budowle, or both, that a standard statistical analysis of the one observation in 1,219 caucasians from the TWGDAM data base, employing a 95% confidence level, suggests that 99.76% of the general caucasian population are excluded from the group that could have deposited the questioned sample.  Approaching the estimate another way, this means that 24 people in a population of 10,000, or 240 in a population of 100,000, could have left the three hairs at the crime scene 

  The analysis was performed by Mr. John Bark, the leader of the mtDNA team at the FSS Laboratory.  Mr. Bark has concluded that all three hairs have the same mtDNA sequence and that it matches the sequence in the known blood samples taken from Mr. Murrin.  He has also concluded (from an analysis of blood samples taken from Mindy Tran's parents) that the sequence could not be that of Mindy Tran.




























Sgt Tidsbury was involved in Murrin's beating!



























Sgt Tidsbury Is Involved With The Prison Informant!










CBC Radio One reporter wins Jack Webster
Law Society of B.C. legal journalism award

VANCOUVER – The 2000 Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Legal Journalism, sponsored by the Law Society of B.C., has been given to CBC Radio One news reporter Yvette Brend for Father Confession — a series of news reports that gave listeners a chilling look at a jail house informant who was a key witness in the Shannon Murrin murder trial.

Life-long criminal Daniel Martin claimed cellmate Shannon Murrin confessed to the 1996 killing of Mindy Tran. But Murrin was acquitted and Martin's testimony raised more questions than it answered. CBC Radio's Yvette Brend tried to answer some of those questions by tracking down Martin. The career criminal, whose past convictions include perjury, claimed jail mates confessed to him in several murder trials, earning him the nickname "Father Confession." Brend also revealed that Martin was now alleging the RCMP fed him evidence in the Murrin case and gave him cash to testify. After the stories aired on CBC Radio, the RCMP seized Brend's tapes and began investigating Martin's claims.






































































The RCMP Investigate Themselves!























Senior Management was responsible for  Tidsbury's Continuing Involvement!




























The Beating Was Conducted in a Manner That  Advertised Sgt. Tidsbury's  Involvment in Attempting To Beat A Confession From a Suspect!



























































































RCMP Investigation Reports Outlining The Early Stages Of The Investigation (the first 72 hours) Are With held.


















































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