Alibi Exposed
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This page focuses on the time of the abduction. Whatever else took place afterwards is somewhat irrelevant in determining who it was that killed Mindy Tran. Were there any other suspects? Was there enough evidence available to convict Murrin if there was intent to do so?

 Murrin's complete version of why it was not him that killed Mindy Tran is available at the website. The following words in black are copied from Murrin's own story and alibi. The words in red are what has been found from other sources. 

Kathy MacDonald writes:

August 17th was a warm, summer evening and many of the Taylor Road and 

Woods Rd witnesses were outdoors enjoying the warm evening yet there were 

no sitings of a man leaving through the front or back door of Shannon's

residence, none who saw the suitcase man on Woods Road at the beginning of 

the theorized route, and none who saw the suitcase man at Mission Creek Park.

Kathy McDonald asks why no one saw Murrin leaving his residence. Good question. Murrin obviously did leave as he was seen at the Holmes residence at 7:00 P.M.  If Murrin was not seen leaving from his known location at 6 PM but was seen at another location at 7 P.M.; then it was only by chance or because Murrin was being evasive that he was not seen. Murrin was a professional life long criminal and would know how to and understand the importance of employing techniques to avoid detection while committing a crime. 

An anniversary celebration was just beginning at a residence next to Murrin's on the evening of the abduction. There was considerably more traffic and vehicles parking on the road in front of Murrin's than was usual at the time. Some additional twenty five people had arrived in the neighborhood. This provided a distraction and cover for the events next to come. Mindy was seen at about 6:30 PM at her home just across the street from Murrin's but had already gone missing by 7:00 P.M. and her bike was found outside of Murrin's residence by Mrs. Tran.  Murrin's residence was the location that Mindy was going to, was last seen at, and where she disappeared from. Murrin was home prior to her abduction. Murrin is seen shortly afterwards at the Holmes residence, but strangely was not seen leaving from his own residence. This also leaves very little time for Mindy to have been abducted any where else and her bike planted back at Murrin's residence, doubling the chances of detection.

Kathy MacDonald asks why there were no on the way to the park witnesses who could
identify Murrin. Initially there were several people from the neighborhood that identified Murrin as the person with the suitcase heading towards the park. These stories were disclosed to reporters at the time. What happened to them is also suspect. One person who witnessed  Murrin crossing the road and going into the park was the driver of the vehicle initially reported as a suspect in the crime. The suitcase being carried was heavy at this time. (approx.7:45 P.M.) This witness was later attacked by people claiming to be the RCMP and threatening his life to not even think of ratting on anyone. There were also more on the way to and back from the park witnesses than have been disclosed by Kathy MacDonald or by the RCMP.

MacDonald writes of Murrin’s alibi witnesses:

There was still no evidence against Shannon Murrin except the alleged Confession Letter. Shannon still had alibi from Alfred Nelson, Charles Olivier, and Richard Billings - but Tidsbury persevered. He contacted Cpl. Graham Hubbs of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for assistance in locating the alleged Confession Letter. He told Hubbs that he would be willing to pay up to $1000 for the letter but Donnie Oliver had no knowledge of a letter and even after a search of his residence and the residence of Wayne Oliver, another friend of Shannon’s, there still was no sign of a letter.

This evidence was found in a court document. Murrin’s alibi witnesses not only claimed that they saw him around 7:00 P.M, but that he had a suitcase with him about one block away from where Mindy was last seen. These people knew Murrin and did not have to guess or speculate as to who it was with the suitcase. These people were listed by Kathy MacDonald as credible alibi witnesses. She seems to have been unaware that Murrin had been identified as the suitcase suspect by these people. It is there-fore questioned whether this information was even disclosed to the jury. Quote taken from the following court document.

[26] Mr. Billings said he saw Mr. Murrin at the Holmes'

residence on the evening of August 17, 1994 and Murrin had a

suitcase with him.  (The Crown's theory is that Mr. Murrin used

the suitcase to transport Mindy Tran's body from the place

where she was killed to her gravesite.)  Paula McLaughlin was

with Richard Billings that evening and gave essentially the same evidence. 

Murrin's alibi then becomes-

The biggest problem however was that if you believed these two witnesses you would have to disbelieve several credible Crown witnesses who testified that Shannon was out searching with Rob Holmes all evening.

* The Three Remaining Alibi Witnesses

Tidsbury and Seversen didn't get around to re-interviewing the remaining alibi witnesses until October 1996. Like Rob Holmes, Ellie Holmes, and Dorothy Shea these witnesses now said that they did not see Shannon at 7PM. Seversen and Tidsbury's efforts to manipulate the witnesses were obvious. But even the new improved times did not help the Crown because if you believed these witnesses then you would have to disbelieve other, more credible Crown witnesses such as Brymer and Stephanie Mugfords and Beverly Eaton. Beverly Eaton owned the duplex at 360 Taylor Road and on the day Mindy went missing was staying in her motorhome parked in the driveway of 360 Taylor Road.

The next witness Alfred Nelson was now dead and did not testify.
[2]  Alfred Nelson testified at the preliminary hearing as a
Crown witness.  It is admitted that his evidence was taken in
the presence of the accused, that the accused had a full
opportunity to examine Mr. Nelson, and that Mr. Nelson is now
dead.  The Crown asks for an order permitting his evidence at
the preliminary hearing to be placed before the jury pursuant
to Criminal Code, s. 715

As a result, an RCMP member testified in his place. This was Constable Severson who admitted to performing illegal acts under Tidsbury's direction. Severson testified in court that the dead witness said that he had seen Murrin on the back of Rob Holmes motorcycle at 7:45 P.M. This was the exact time that Murrin was seen by the new witness crossing the road into the park carrying a suitcase. This is also the time frame when Murrin was seen returning from the park. Severson knew that Holmes himself had contradicted this information and said that Murrin had not returned until after 9:00 P.M. 
see Holmes information in Severson's Warrant

In an interview with Murrin after his acquittal, even he contradicts this story, saying he was drunk and can't remember how he got to the Holmes residence untill about 8:30 PM. There is no mention of having gone to MacDonalds or looking for Mindy on Holmes motorcycle at 7:45.
 Quote "
By 8:30 that evening he'd come to and was sitting in the carport of a friend's place - a burly ex-Newfoundlander named Bob Holmes - having yet another beer. A police cruiser pulled up to the curb and asked if they'd seen a missing girl named Mindy Tran. Murrin knew Mindy. She lived just a few doors down. She sometimes came over to the duplex to play with the daughter of his landlord. Murrin said he hadn't seen her, then set out to help search.
"full interview

What Murrin claimed to be doing at 8:30 is quite true except for a few details. The carport where he was seen drinking beer at was six blocks away from Holmes residence, across from the park where Mindy's body was found.

The first person to come forward with information about a man carrying a suitcase on August 17, 1994 was Randall Red. In another bizarre twist to the story Randall Redl committed suicide in 1995.

What information did Mr. Redl provide to the RCMP prior to his death? Where did he
see the suspect and when? Why did the RCMP not testify in court on his behalf as they did for the other dead witness? There is a missing witness who provided a report of the suspicious vehicle, a jeep to the RCMP. Seeing as this jeep was the first vehicle reported, it stands to reason that one of the first witnesses would have been the person who reported this. The jeep was following closely behind the suitcase suspect so anyone seeing this suspect returning from the park was a likely candidate to have seen the jeep also. The initial news reports of this vehicle have been silenced. What happened to the person providing this information. The story of who Mr. Redl saw, where and when, is yet to be told.

A walking trail led from the vicinity of the Holmes residence towards the park where Mindy was eventually found. Along this route were several more witnesses, including one who did identify Murrin to the press as the person carrying a suitcase towards the direction of the  park. By this time Murrin appears to be attempting to conceal his identity by dressing in heavy clothing with a hood up to cover his features. This witness disappeared from any further mention by the media or RCMP.

References are made about a suspicious vehicle cruising around Mindy’s neighborhood after the abduction. The anonymous call is suspicious as well as the wrong license number. Was this another viable suspect? What was the vehicle description? Why is the description with held? Who called it in? What was the license number?  

This was supplied by Kathy Mac Donald from a freedom of information request!

Forty-five minutes after Mindy disappeared police received an anonymous call about a man in a vehicle cruising around Mindy’s neighborhood trying to entice children with candy. Unfortunately the license number was written down wrong and it wasn’t until days later that police realized they had the wrong license number.

There was a suspicious vehicle known to be cruising this neighborhood at this time but It did not belong to another suspect. Rather it was the witness who was following the suspicious man carrying the suitcase. The person carrying the suitcase had stopped to read the license number on this vehicle before fleeing into the park.

This witness provides information that: the suitcase being carried by the suspect as he was going into the park was heavy. (approx. 7:45 P.M.)  He also claims that it was Shannon Murrin carrying the suitcase.

MacDonald writes:

Nine of the eleven suitcase witnesses who testified were not able to identify Shannon Murrin. All the witnesses gave different descriptions of the suitcase man and the suitcase. There were several problems with the two witnesses that did identify Mr. Murrin. Richard Yakiwchuk and Phyllis Mintram, the two witnesses who identified Shannon Murrin as the man with the suitcase were empty suitcase witnesses. According to the Crown's theory the suitcase man had already buried Mindy and was heading back from the park with the empty suitcase. They testified that they saw Shannon with a light suitcase. None of the on-the-way-to-the-park witnesses identified Shannon Murrin.

This is some of the other information that has been found.

Murrin had initially been asking his associates to provide an alibi for him claiming that he had been drunk and sleeping at the time. Initially they did but became more suspicious of Murrin afterwards. Murrin had been at home and was invited to go out to dinner at 6:00 PM. by his roommates. He declined claiming that he was too drunk. His alibi for the next hour then becomes that he walked to MacDonald’s to get something to eat and then returned. No one saw him doing this. Why he would be returning from MacDonald's carrying a suitcase is very suspect. The MacDonalds alibi would be Murrin's way of explaining why he was approaching the Holmes residence from the opposite direction from where he lived. If he had gone directly to the Holmes residence from his, he would have exposed himself and his cargo to many more witnesses. It is likely that he had circled the block to avoid detection, a route which would have taken him directly past the vacant house on Gaggin Rd, a suspicious house which was of interest to police on the night of the adbuction, but never searched and then destroyed under orders from the RCMP.

At the carport location where Shannon Murrin was seen just before 9:00 P.M. were another three witnesses. Murrin knew that he had been seen and followed to this residence by a person driving a jeep. Shortly after this, he was again seen a short distance away dressed in completely different colored clothing, again carrying a suitcase, but returning from the direction of the park on a completely different street from where he had been seen earlier. A suitcase was reported to have been found on top of a garbage can in this vicinity which later resulted in a portion of the local dump being cordoned off for a search. This explains the different clothing descriptions provided by some of the witnesses. Murrin appears to have been employing alibi and smokescreen techniques not usually seen from the average criminal. His clothing description changed after 9:00 P.M. once he knew that he had been seen and followed to his initial destination. He knew that he had to then dispose of the suitcase in a different location immediately or risk being caught with it.

Shannon Murrin’s main concern later on the night of Mindy’s abduction was selling his station wagon and getting it transferred into someone else’s name during the time that he was supposedly out searching for Mindy. Mr. Hunt, the person that Murrin was trying to sell his car to, died shortly after providing this information to the RCMP.

This station wagon was still Murrin’s prime concern on the morning immediately following Mindy’s abduction as he contacted persons and was now attempting to have his car painted another color. This all the while knowing that Mindy’s bike had just been found on his front lawn and that the girl was still missing.

This station wagon was a beige white Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon, which has an extra tall roof and a roof rack similar to that of a Jeep Wagoneer or Cherokee, the first suspicious vehicle reported.

It was reported that Shannon Murrin had admitted to being familiar with the park where Mindy’s body was found. It was shown on the news that Murrin had previously sent a suitcase full of pinecones gathered from this park, back to Newfoundland. This suitcase resembled the description of the suitcase seen with the suspect on Aug/17/94 except that it appeared smaller. The person seen taking a suitcase to the park on the evening that Mindy disappeared was very familiar with the trails in the area, had a particular route in mind, and has been identified by witnesses both seeing him going in to and returning from the park. This person has been identified as Shannon Murrin by at least as many as five people. Murrin was alone while carrying the suitcase and was attempting to conceal his identity on the way to the park. He was alone as he crossed the road to the park and alone when he returned. No one was accompanying him or forcing him to take the suitcase into the park. Murrin is caught in a lie concerning his whereabouts on that night. He attempted to hide the clothes that he wore that night by burying them. When a murder victim disappears directly from the suspects residence and the suspect is immediately seen going to and returning from where the body is found, usually that would indicate that this same person was involved in the murder. It is unlikely that Mindy’s killer was anyone other than Shannon Murrin. If there were any others involved in the murder of Mindy Tran,  Murrin is still the abductor and partners with, or performing a service for the other. He is involved and is not innocent or wrongly accused. He is responsible for what happened to Mindy Tran. If Murrin did not kill Mindy, he knows who did. It was only the unusual and unexplained actions of the RCMP that have created the suspicions that Murrin may have been an innocent patsy.