The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Full House: two Danny's, one Cox, one Krista, and a pair of Lazarenkos


The Driskell Inquiry has decided it doesn't need to hear from Ray Zanidean, the key witness whose testimony convicted Jim Driskell of murder.

Harumph, he has nothing to add, declared Commission attorney Michael Code.

Lawyers at the Inquiry freely called Zanidean a liar and a perjurer for weeks, and Code doesn't think he should get a chance to respond?

Are they afraid he might contradict the carefully orchestrated "evidence"? Or that he might repeat the evidence he gave the jury, and nobody, but nobody, may suggest that the jury delivered a proper verdict.

It's interesting to see that mainstream journalists like Winnipeg Free Press reporter Dan Lett have abandoned any pretence of impartiality towards the Inquiry. He's taken to calling anyone who challenges the evidence or the fairness of the Inquiry pawns of the police force.

Of course he doesn't bother to refute any of the criticism. He's not into anything like a point-by-point analysis of the issues raised. That's beneath his lofty perch as an "award-winning journalist."

And yet, there's one---and only one---point, he must respond to.

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2006, the Winnipeg Free Press carried on its front page a direct quote from the Driskell Inquiry.

The direct quote purported to be an exchange between Commission counsel Michael Code and George Dangerfield, the crown attorney at James Drisell's 1991 murder trial.

Dangerfield is one of the targets of the Inquiry, and the Free Press blazoned the headline across the top of the page: Crown knew key witness lied.

The exchange the Free Press relies on as the basis of this story is extremely short:

Code: "You must have known this evidence was false?"

Dangerfield: "Yes."

The question Lett must answer is equally simple.

Is this quote accurate?

Is this exactly what was said at the Inquiry---as the quotation marks say it was?

Or is this quote a fabrication?

The answer will tell readers everything they need to know about the Free Press, the reporters covering the inquiry and the credibility of the Inquiry.

One point. One question. We await one answer.


Anyone watching television news has seen the weekly auditions for CBC's own Idol competition---who will replace Krista Erickson.

Krista, meanwhile, has made an impression on Ottawa viewers.

One new fan posted this comment on Frank Magazine's message board:

bingocallerPosts: 4017

She's been reporting from Ottawa on The National lately and yesterday, she was doing the lame phone interview visual, maybe just to display one of the giantest engagement rings I have ever seen.Who has that kind of money in Winnipeg?

The response left us humbled.

tutitam Posts: 98Erickson

Bob Morrison is the rock donor. So who/what is blackrod?

This seems a popular question lately. One poster recently offered a $100 bounty on The Black Rod.

We were suitably insulted as our Blogshare value has gone up 50 percent in just the last month.


The recent amusing clarification by Winnipeg Free Press editor Bob Cox ( brought an equally amusing e-mail from a loyal reader.

He wrote to us:

"on the same day Cox writes this....

FINALLY, Trudy Turner, a candidate in Daniel McIntyre ward, is running as an independent and she is not presenting herself as having a close association with Sam Katz. The mayor has not campaigned for Turner, as he has for some candidates.

Mary Agnes writes on Page 8 in the same paper...

Turner, the head of the West End BIZ, enjoys the backing of many area businesses and the quiet support of Mayor Sam Katz, while Smith has the backing of the area's NDP machine.

Does anyone actually read this paper before it goes to print?"

We've asked that question ourselves, over and over and over again.


And, speaking of elections, we're pretty sure Harry Lazarenko, the incumbent running for another term in Mynarski ward, isn't looking to his kinfolk in the Old Country for pointers.

His distant cousin Pavlo Lazarenko was Prime Minister of Ukraine from 1996 to 1997. He's now serving a nine-year prison sentence in the U.S. for extortion, money-laundering and fraud. He's also facing a $10 million fine.US authorities charged him with laundering $114m through American banks, money he allegedly stole while in office in Ukraine.

In June 2000, a court in Geneva found him guilty in absentia of laundering $6.6m U.S. through Swiss banks. And in Ukraine he's facing charges of ordering the 1996 killing of a prominent politician, and two failed assassination attempts on high-ranking officials.


And finally, bravo to Danny Schur, musician, composer, historian and now theatre empresario,whose slimmed-down, revised musical Strike got a rave review from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix,

Persephone Theatre Offers Polished Musical [ 4 Stars }

Cam Fuller Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Choosing to book-end its season with musicals, Persephone Theatre has exceeded expectations with an unlikely underdog. One can't help wonder if Evita will impress as much come April as Strike! The Musical did at Saturday's opening.

The show, by Danny Schur and Rick Chafe and directed by Ann Hodges, gives you everything you want: a love story, a suspenseful plot, a collection of good songs and a history lesson that teaches you something about yourself.

Read the rest at:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Update: Reconstructing the Dawson College shooting moment by moment

More information has been trickling in about what happened at Dawson College the day of Kimveer Gill's murderous rampage.

A lot of it is found on blogs, message boards, and internet forums which provide fascinating details of what went on.

Here, then, is an update to our previous post Reconstructing the Dawson College Shooting Moment by Moment.

Reading them together will give you the clearest account of what happened that terrible day.

1. Kimveer Gill parked his car in front of the school on de Maissoneuve Blvd., two or three car lengths from Wood Avenue. We had thought he parked on Wood because that's where the first witnesses were walking.

The day of the shooting, Tip-C, one of four young men who walked past Gill as he was taking his guns out of the trunk of his car, posted what he saw on montrealracing:

I saw the actual shooter!!!I think i was one of the first ppl to see him
so heres my story...
im walking with 3 of my friends down the maisonneuve going west!
as were walking, we see this goth guy coming out a black 2 door sunfire!
he opens the trunk and pulls out a HUGE RIFLE!!!
like 2 and a half feet long!!
then i look at the ppl im with, wondering wtf is this guy doing!!!
then as we pass by him, thinking like is this some kind of joke or something.

AND THEN......

We walk like 4-5 feet past him and turn arround and see the guy ****ing POINTING THAT RIFFLE AT US....LOOKING TROUGHT THE SCOPE AS IF HES ABOUT TO SHOT.....

I dont know what went trought his head but he descided not to shoot and went the other way twards dawson!then me and my friends turn the corner and go up wood street!and were like wtf was that all about....i was freaken out, i didint know if it was real or not that we keep walking and like 3 min after, we get calls on our phones that there was a shooting...

i started to flip the **** out!!!!!!!!!!
i couldent believe how close i came to getting shot....the guy was 3-4 meters away from us....about to shoot!!!!!!!!

I STILL CANT BELIEVE IT!!!so thats my story!!!

Tip-C, it turns out, is Marco Zampino, the son of Montreal's executive committee chairman.

2. Other students also noticed the six-one Gill, who, in trench coat, mohawk haircut, and huge black boots, dressed to be noticed. Tamara Ohnona and Alexis Roditi noticed him before enterring the campus.

Roditi thought the gun was a movie prop. Ohnona wasn't taking chances. She raced to alert campus security. When she got to the office she found two other students had the same idea and beat her there.

3. Gill timed his arrival better than we thought.

He was still early, but not as much as we surmised. The first shots were reported at 12:41 p.m. Noon-hour classes end at 12:45. If the halls hadn't been cleared by panicky students raising the alarm, they would have been filled with unsuspecting targets for Gill's bullets.

4. Earwitnesses say they heard Gill fire about 10 shots before entering Dawson College. We can account for eight shots.

Two hit Meaghan Henneghan, in the right buttock and right forearm.

Two hit Catalin Romano, in the chest and abdomen. One his brother Mihai in the buttocks as he ran into the bushes. And three shots hit Hayder Kadhim, in the head, the neck and the left calf.

Kadhim managed to run almost a block before his leg gave out on him and he collapsed.

Kadhim is out of hospital and recovering at his parent's apartment. He was in a coma for 20 hours and the doctors say there's more danger trying to remove the bullets from his head and neck than leaving them in. The bullet in his neck is touching his spine.

By sheer coincident, Kahdim was bringing a CD for Anastasia DeSousa, the girl murdered by Gill only minutes later.

5. The two policeman who were parked across the street from Dawson College reacted immediately to hearing shots.

Theo Workman posted this on flickr:
I go on a private message board, and a former student got some of these comments/stories from friends who currently attend:

Three of my friends were outside the main entrance where the shooter walked in shooting (this is still where my first friend was shot). One ran away and the other two dove on the ground. One of my friends dropped down right next to the guy that was shot in the neck. My friends said the cops were already there at the time (incredible luck, they were there on unrelated business), and with their guns drawn telling the suspect to drop his weapon and freeze. They said the cops could have shot him right there. The suspect walked in calmly, detached from the reality around him.

6. As we inferred, this wasn't Gill's first time inside Dawson College.

Jess at forums:

The shooter had no affiliation to Dawson college, but he was spotted at the school a week or so before everything happened and some people say they saw him in August. He was obviously checking the school out and what he was going to do. There are still so many rumours going around, but apparently he attended another college in the area for one semester years ago, Vanier college.

7. It's proving almost impossible to determine how many people Gill shot in the hallway as he approached the atrium, and how many he wounded in the atrium itself. Names of the wounded keep floating up through the blogosphere.

My good friend Domanic was there, he attends that college and I'm very afriad for him. His sister called me earlier and he had been shot, hes not dead thank god but hes very ingured. He was shot in the leg and needs reconstuctive surgery.

And this one:

Cait was downstairs at her locker. she didn't know what was happening until the third or fourth gunshot broke through the sounds of her music.

she ran when she saw someone fall so close to her.

Mandi wasn't so lucky. she was shot in the leg. thankfully not fatal but enough to leave her scarred.

swear, i thought everything was alright. i thought everyone that i knew got out alright. apparently not. oh dear god, please.joel's apparently fine. he got shot in the arm. his gf though, was shot in teh stomach.

( FURTHER UPDATE: Catherine Mandilares suffered a gunshot in the leg. Joel Kornek was shot in the left arm. And his girlfriend Jessica Albert was wounded in the chest and abdomen. Kornek was hit in the left arm, with the bullet passing through his chest and coming out through his right arm. Albert was shot point blank in the chest from about three feet away. The bullet went through her diaphragm, liver, intestines at two points, spleen and pancreas. All three have since been released from hospital. )

We repeated the story of film prof Dipti Gupta who sheltered a girl shot in the leg.

Two of his students posted their own stories. Sophie at -13

I was in class at the time, on the fourth floor. It was Experimental Film class, and the teacher was about to put a movie on. We heard shots outside, and the sound of people running and yelling. Some kid went outside to investigate, then came back in saying to our teacher, "Miss, I think we should get the fuck out of here. I think there's some actual shooting going on." We were all about to leave before our teacher called us back inside, telling us to barricade the door.

Some kids ran into our room. One girl was shot in the leg and she was carried inside by two guys and laid on the teacher's desk. She was screaming and crying and wanted to talk to her mother. Her leg was going numb, she kept saying. We tried to keep her quiet, so she wouldn't attract the gunman's attention. Some of the kids went over to hold her hand, while the rest of us huddled in corners.

Another student, who requested not to be identified or linked to, said this in an internet post:

Alex had just walked me to class, I sat down, made myself comfortable and concentrated on watching a confusing experimental black-and white-film. The guy behind me had fallen asleep, I'd exchanged a few meaningful glances with the girl beside me, everything was as it should be. I was thinking about the break, I was craving Vanilla Coffee from the cafeteria, I wanted to invite the girl beside me. We might've been friends.

Then, we heard what we assumed were firecrackers outside. For a moment, we exchanged worried glances, then smiled and returned to the movie. It must be the theater students, or a joke, or some event. Dawson has over 10 000 students, thus you can always expect someone pranking their classmates.

When the sound subsided, we heard screams in the hall and what sounded like a stampede. A chubby guy from the front of the class decided to check it out. He poked his head out from the door with an expectant grin, I think he felt excited, just like the rest of us. Never would it have occured to us that something serious might be happening. He swung the door open while we all fidgeted in our seats. The firecrackers went on again and more screams were heard. Suddenly, it wasn't a game anymore. We all bolted from our seats when we saw the expression with which he turned back to the class: panic.

I looked around, some paced the class, others sat in their seats, stunned. "There's a gunman..." the guy confirmed our worries.

The next thing I knew I was huddled under a table with 2 girls I'd never met, all 3 of us in tears. A few moments later, a girl was carried into our classroom screaming. I didn't see her but she was crying out that she couldnt feel her leg. I later found out her name is Charlene and she graduated from high school with me.

8. Yves Morin, the carpenter shot in the shoulder by Gill, was probably the last person to be wounded. He had taken refuge when he spotted a female student passing by. She was crying and panic-stricken. She was headed to the atrium to hide.

«Elle a ouvert la porte et j'ai vu le gars en noir. Je lui ai dit : Couche-toi et en même temps, j'ai pris sa main pour la coucher par terre», raconte-t-il. «J'ai soudainement été projeté par terre. J'ai senti une douleur à mon épaule et il y avait du sang. J'ai dit : Tabarnouche, il m'a tiré» (Le Journal de Montreal)

9. It appears that lots of students headed to the atrium to find safety from the shooter.
Folksvagen (
My GF was at the Atrium, suddenly she saw all these kids running into the Cafe from the outside, crying and screaming (the kids who saw the first shooting - outside), but noone would tell what was going on !!!... My gf finally understood what was happening when she saw the gunner walk in... if kids would have told the others what was going on, maybe the Atrium kids could have ran away...

10. The blogged accounts of what happened inside the atrium are chilling.

Six of my friends were in the main cafeteria where the shooting occured. One was playing cards, dropped to the ground and took cover. My friends sister was in the caf across the hall, she escaped through a back door.

The other four were sitting at a table right next to the shooter. The killer told one of my friends to hold his bag of ammunition. He shot a girl that was sitting at his table, who happened to be his girlfriend. The shooter grabbed my friend by the arm, "Is your girlfriend dead?! Is she dead?!". "I don't know!" My friend screamed. The suspect shot her in the head. "Well now she is." (Theo Workman's former student)

It's clear this is an account of the shooting of Anastasia DeSousa, although the student with her was not her boyfriend. The post continues...

One of those four at the table was shot twice in the head, but survived. As of last night, the doctors had removed one bullet from his brain, but swelling prevented them from removing the second.

This was Leslie Markofsky, 22, a student at Concordia University who was visiting a friend. He remains in a coma.

DeSousa and Markofsky sat at the same table and were shot one after another.

The other students in the atrium hit the deck. But before Gill could continue his killing, a police officer burst in and fired a shot at him.

Gill backed into an alcove holding vending machines. It was enclosed by walls on three sides.

A female student told CBC Montreal News at Six:

"He was yelling out like, ˜Come get me, motherfuckers, gimme your best fucking shot. Who do you think you are?"

Police and Gill exchanged volleys of shots. Whenever there was an interval, boys would make a run for safety in ones and twos.

At one lull in the shooting , Dawson College security guard Vincent Pascale, a military reservist, crawled along the floor of the atrium and got about 40 students to crawl back en masse and out of the line of fire.

That left only about ten terrified students in the atrium with Gill.

One of them was Josh Perl who was protecting a girl who had been shot in the leg. Perl stirred up some controversy when he said his hopes of rescue were dashed when a police officer spoke with Gill---and left

According to Perl, at one point, a police officer entered the room, aimed his gun directly at Gill and ordered him to drop his weapon. [Gill] said: 'I'm not dropping my weapon,' and the policeman turned and left.
Perl and the girl were shot after this, and Perl said he doesn't understand why the police left. (Canadian Jewish News)

The girl beside him was partially hidden behind a table and he was shielding her head with his left arm. Gill shot him in the arm near the elbow.

Bleeding profusely, Perl waited for another break in the shooting, and ran to the back of the room to safety.

He posted this message on montrealracing.

If you read today's Gazette it might give you some insight into my story. MR, it's tearing me apart that I still don't know the identity of the girl that was with me on the caf floor. It was just us left covering for our lives as police ran in and didn't take him down. I witnessed her taking shots to the legs and screaming. I covered her head and got shot myself. Please, if anyone could help me with who the girl is send me a PM...

The girl Josh protected was Lisa Mezzacapa, who survived.

New details of the final moments of the standoff are in the Internet exchanges.

My sisters friend was held hostage, and was asked if he wanted to die, shortly after the gunman shot him self

I said what happened before at like 2pmHe had 2 hostages with him, asked one if he wanted to die, teased him. He then said thats hes gonna die today and was laughing. He got shot by the cops, and turned the gun on himself.And before that he killed the girl , im not gonna say her name..But no one believed me and said i was full of shit...

the cops shot him but he didnt die, he then turned the gun to himself, but before he pulled the trigger, he made fun of one of the suspects pants , laughed and pulled the trigger

the guy went around and put his arm around a random person and was like, "Yo man, im gonna die today, i cant wait i wonder what its gonna feel like, im so exited, im gonna die today"..

A story in the St. Petersburg Times puts in the final piece of the puzzle.

When Dawson officially reopened on Monday, students flocked to the cafeteria, where the bullet holes in columns had been repaired and a wall of shattered glass doors had been covered in plywood. Everybody wanted to look. A white-haired couple wandered in with a video camera.

Vincent Pascale, a Dawson security supervisor who helped dozens of students escape on the day of the shooting, pointed out the place where Gill had fallen after being shot by a police officer on a balcony one floor up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Winnipeg Free Press: Oops, we did it again, and again, and again

Just one day after The Black Rod revealed that the Winnipeg Free Press used a made-up quote as the basis for a front-page story villifying retired Crown Attorney George Dangerfield at the Driskell Inquiry, the newspaper "clarified " three stories written about Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.

Free Press Editor Bob Cox admitted the newspaper ran an erroneous headline over one story, used a twisted interpretation of Katz's answers to a barrage of questions in another, and allowed a reporter's opinionated slant into a news story about election candidates.

In an unprecedented column, Cox acknowledged the errors. A headline saying Katz was eyeing a tax hike was blatantly wrong, said Cox. The story by Bartley Kives clearly said the opposite.

A story by reporter Carol Sanders that said Katz was willing to forgive $100,000 in back taxes owed on Thunderbird House was also wrong. Katz was being asked questions at the same time by a radio reporter and Mary Agnes Welch, the Winnipeg Free Press city hall reporter, and there was confusion over which question he was answering, Cox claimed.

And finally, Cox wrote what a one paragraph introduction to Trudy Turner, candidate for city counsel, would look like without the editorializing Mary Agnes Welch engaged in when she wrote it.

Here's what Welch wrote:
"And Trudy Turner, executive director of the West End Biz and a candidate in Daniel McIntyre, is widely seen as the mayor's favorite in the ward. She insists she's not part of Katz's slate, but recently attended the mayor's campaign event at Central Park"...
"Katz has not yet stumped for other candidates that his office is openly supporting."

Here's what her boss wrote:
"Trudy Turner, a candidate in Daniel McIntyre ward, is running as an independent and she is not presenting herself as having a close association with Sam Katz. The mayor has not campaigned for Turner, as he has for some candidates."

Cox does not address the obvious. Of four candidates for mayor, errors were made only in stories about one--Sam Katz.

Given the persistent anti-Katz campaign by columnists Gordon Sinclair and Lindor Reynolds, and the two previous smear attacks by the Winnipeg Free Press on Katz, one cannot escape the obvious conclusion --- the bias against him has become endemic.

Mary Agnes Welch was involved in two of the three "clarifications" delivered by editor Bob Cox. Welch and Dan Lett were also the writers of the story a year ago where they claimed that Coun. Harvey Smith had, or was going to that day, request that the city auditor investigate Katz for conflict of interest.

Before Cox's column appeared, The Black Rod was just about to ask whatever happened to that alleged investigation? We're in an election campaign, and you'd think someone would raise the question--- if indeed Katz had been accused of conflict of interest. Or was still being investigated. Or had been investigated in the past.

Instead, there's been only silence.

And we can only deduce that that's because there never was any approach to the city auditor as reported by Welch and Lett. In other words, that story, too, was phoney.

Which means that now we've got a pattern of questionable stories about Sam Katz. And one reporter keeps popping up in almost all of them.

Mary Agnes Welch.

It seems obvious that any newspaper editor concerned about accuracy and fairness would pull Welch from covering the civic election until he could be sure her stories about Sam Katz could not be attacked for bias.

Given Cox's rewriting of her opinion-filled profile of Trudy Turner, it's obvious that confidence is not there.

And restoring confidence in its credibility is something the Winnipeg Free Press sorely needs to do these days. The record of the past year is scandalous:

* Election coverage so slanted that the editor has to step in and apologize for it.

*The shocking use of a made-up quote to enhance a story about the Driskell Inquiry where the newspaper has a vested interest in the outcome.

*A false report that the Mayor was about to be investigated for conflict of interest.

* A grovelling apology to the Asper family and Lloyd Axworthy over a story that had Axworthy repeating the old canard of Jews having too much control of the news media. The FP blamed reporter Paul Samyn for confusing a reference to "diasporas" with "the Aspers".

The paper has refused to release a transcript of the taped interview, leaving confusion as to whether (a) Samyn is a bad reporter or (b) a reporter thrown under the train to salve the feelings of important people.

We lean to (b) ourselves.

But be that as it may, readers have been asking themselves, what's become of the Winnipeg Free Press?

The answer lies at the feet of new Publisher Andrew Richie who made no bones when he arrived that he knew nothing about journalism and cared less. He was in the business of selling ads and making the paper profitable. And his negligence shows.

A real publisher would have shaken up the newsroom long before the shoddy reporting and editing had become standard, before direct quotes in the newspaper couldn't be trusted, and before apologies began sounding lame and insincere.

The Winnipeg Free Press wants you to know that it is still superior to the Blogosphere.

Its reporters don't write in their pyjamas.

They can't write biased stories, because, you know, they're professionals.

And they have editors.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

True but False: Driskell Inquiry like Alice in Wonderland

The Driskell Inquiry has reconvened to parse the English language to come up with a solution to how a man convicted of murder by a duly empanelled jury of 12 citizens can be declared "innocent."

The Inquiry has taken on an Alice In Wonderland quality where words have the opposite meaning. The press says nothing about the Stalin-show-trial aspect of Manitoba judicial inquiries because they have a stake in the predetermined outcomes. In the Soviet Union, Uncle Joe pinned a medal on your chest; in Manitoba, you vie for journalism awards.

But the MSM are humiliating themselves just as surely as CBS Faker Dan Rather did two years ago.

Rather used forged documents to manufacture a big story. When exposed by the Blogosphere, he created a new journalistic standard for news---fake, but accurate.

Far from repudiating him, the news media has adopted 'fake, but accurate' as a valid tool. We saw it in Lebanon when, once again, bloggers easily exposed an AP photographer's Photoshopped pictures which had been used by newspapers around the world --- without a single photo editor challenging them.

Fake but accurate. What's a little enhancement if needed to tell the bigger story, eh?

The Driskell Inquiry loved the idea so much, that it's doing the same thing, only with a twist. Here the inquiry is proceeding under the test of 'true, but false.'

There was something obstructing the Inquiry from reaching the predetermined outcome---facts.

So, they decided to simply rewrite the meaning of truth. Now, nothing is true -- unless it supports the premise of the inqury, that James Driskell was railroaded.

Look how carefully they crafted their terms of reference, to cover every conceivable angle, and still leave room for the Commissioner to apply his "discretion" to find the witnesses with a bullseye on their chests guilty of misconduct.

The third area of factual inquiry is whether Zanidean's sworn testimony at the trial, especially on those first two issues, but not exclusively on those first two issues, was that sworn testimony materially false, incomplete, or misleading in such a way that there was an ethical obligation on Crown Counsel to correct the false, incomplete, or misleading evidence.

Although the main focus here is on the first two issues, the financial benefits and the charge immunity benefits, we want to stress that the focus is not exclusively on those areas. For example, Zanidean's testimony about the Swift Current arson itself is relevant to the third aspect of the inquiry.

Inquiry counsel Michael Code, armed with the best weapon he could have, the exclusive definition of "truth", came gunning for retired Crown Attorney George Dangerfield.

You see, a commission set up to find that James Driskell was not given a fair trial, can't be successful unless you can impugn the prosecutor whose job it was to see that he got that fair trial, can it?

But before examining the travesty of Dangerfield's examination, a little background is needed.

* In July, 1990, Reath (Ray) Zanidean came to the Winnipeg homicide division to say he had some information they could use to prosecute James Driskell for the murder of Perry Dean Harder.

Zanidean was to become the chief witness in a case built on mainly circumstantial evidence.

During one of the earliest interviews with detectives, he told them he would have a problem if they put him on the stand.

* He had, he said, been involved in an arson in Swift Current earlier in the month. He had a beef against his sister, and had set fire to her house, knowing she had no insurance.

The police and the Crown did everything they could think of to make sure that the evidence against Driskell was not tainted. At this stage, the detectives immediately told Zanidean: tough luck. They couldn't help him with his arson matter, and they would be telling Swift Current RCMP what he told them.

They told him that the only thing they could promise him was protection.

And Zanidean wanted that. By everyone's account, he was terrified of James Driskell.

* Police put a 24-hour guard around Zanidean. But in December, he complained that his house had been visited by associates of Driskell and a threatening letter had been left on his car windshield. Police moved him to a safehouse in Calgary.

* In the meantime, Winnipeg police asked their fellow policemen in the RCMP in Swift Current for a favour. Could they hold off on investigating Zanidean for the arson until after the trial?

The RCMP agreed. It wasn't a hard decision.

He wasn't their main suspect; they wanted to nail his sister for arson fraud and had built up a good circumstantial case which only lacked a final piece of evidence, like a confession. They had no evidence against Zanidean other than his own words to Winnipeg detectives.

* But Zanidean was a handful. He was high strung and got into fights with his police handlers. They knew this wasn't going to work. So by March a decision was taken to get him into the official national Witness Protection Program.

In an excess of caution, the Manitoba prosecutions branch decided that all negotiations to get Zanidean into the Witness Protection Program would be conducted without prosecutor George Dangerfield's input, to isolate him from any suggestion that he helped pay off Zanidean for his evidence.

Crown Attorney Bruce Miller (now deceased and thus an easy target) handled most of the negotiations, with final approval needed from Deputy Justice Minister Stu Whitley.

* The program is run by the RCMP. And a problem cropped up right away.

The Witness Protection Program won't be used to hide criminals from prosecution. So Zanidean wasn't eligible because he was a suspect in the Swift Current arson.

Once again, Winnipeg police turned to their RCMP colleagues in Saskatchewan. They had promised Zanidean protection and this seemed the only way to deliver. They asked Swift Current to consider waiving any further investigation of Zanidean so he could get into Witness Protection.

The RCMP, knowing how hard it is to get criminals to testify against one another, and recognizing that solving a property crime like an arson is less important than putting a murderer away, agreed, but with some provisos.

One, Zanidean had to enter the formal Witness Protection Program, and two, they would wait until after he testified to give the final okay.

* Zanidean had acquired a lawyer to negotiate the Witness Protection deal and he, the lawyer, was turning into a real drama queen with lists of demands, ultimatums, and threats.

George Dangerfield was kept out of the loop so he could concentrate on the trial. A big part of trial preparations was the process of disclosing to the defence what evidence the Crown had and planned to use.

* When defence attorney Greg Brodsky entered the case in April, 1991, he had a list of questions he wanted answered as part of the disclosure process, which continued until the trial in June. What he was looking for can be boiled down into three main categories.

1. He wanted to know what outstanding charges were dropped and/or what "favourable considerations" were given to witnesses where police did not press charges. And if there were "other matters that would influence them to testify in a particular fashion."
2. He wanted to know the details of the Witness Protection Programs for witnesses.
3. And he wanted to know what the Winnipeg police had in their files on the arson in Swift Current.

Brodsky knew the case against Driskell was circumstantial and he had a good chance of an aquittal if he could discredit the chief witness, Ray Zanidean. He figured the answers to his queries would give him the ammo he needed.

But he didn't like what he got.

* Dangerfield told him that no charges were dropped in connection with Zanidean, no deals were made not to level charges, and Zanidean wasn't being promised anything to sway his testimony.

This was all true.

Zanidean came on his own to police and offered testimony against Driskell so nothing was swaying his testimony.

There were no outstanding charges against Zanidean to drop.

And there were no deals not to charge him with anything in Manitoba.

* The Winnipeg police had no authority to influence any decisions in other provinces.

Yet even in Saskatchewan he was not facing any charges.
Nor were police holding off charging him in exchange for his testimony.
They agreed not to question him for the arson only if he entered the Witness Protection Program.

All true.

But to the Driskell Inquiry, true but false.

* Dangerfield was attacked for not telling Brodsky how Zanidean could confess to arson and not be charged. Brodsky was convinced there had to be some quid-pro-quo and despite evidence to the contrary, the Inquiry is designed to leave the impression there was.

Dangerfield told Brodsky that witness protection for Zanidean involved providing him with money to support him while he was being protected and constant surveillance over him.

Again, true.

The Crown wanted him in the RCMP-run Witness Protection Program but negotiations were complicated and there was no accepted deal until after the trial.

But to the Commission, Dangerfield's response to Brodsky was true, but false.

* According to the Commission counsel, Dangerfield should have kept Brodsky abreast of every development, each give and take of the negotiations, up to, during and after the trial.

It's a wonder Code didn't suggest Brodsky be asked to join the negotiations.

Of course, the final report hasn't been written yet.

* Brodsky especially wanted to know what was happening in regard to the arson in Swift Current. Brodsky needed to know why Zanidean wasn't being charged before the trial.

You see, Brodsky knew all about the Saskatchewan arson from Day One.

His client, Jim Driskell, told him everything. Driskell had been Zanidean's partner. He even drove him to Swift Current to set the fire. Brodsky didn't need to be told Zanidean set the fire. He wanted something more.

He wanted paper.
He wanted something on official police stationary.
He wanted a charge or a promise not to lay a charge, anything as long as it was an official police report that he could wave around in front of a jury.
So he kept pressing.

Except George Dangerfield was driving him crazy.

* Dangerfield never produced any paper. He verbally informed Brodsky that Zanidean had confessed to setting the fire, and that the RCMP in Saskatchewan had decided to do nothing with the information.

Arrrrggghhhh. How could this be? Brodsky had gone so far as to manufacture a case for the Swift Current RCMP. He had offered them James Driskell as a witness (with the proper immunity from prosecution for Driskell, of course.)

One conspirator testifying against another. What the hell more did they want?

Zanidean confessed. True.
The RCMP were not pursuing the case. True.

But, according to the Inquiry, true but false.

Dangerfield should have told Brodsky the police had a note in a notebook that Zanidean confessed. (Ahh, paper at last.) It wasn't fair to tell Brodsky only what he already knew, and without giving him paper.

Dangerfield should have breached the separation wall and forced himself into the Witness Protection negotiations to find out more details to tell Brodsky, said Inquiry counsel Michael Code.

How could Brodsky win an acquittal if the Crown doesn't give him the ammunition he needs?

* Since the inquiry is about why Driskell got wrongfully convicted, then surely you need to blame someone. And you can't blame the defence attorney, so you have to blame the Crown attorney for not doing the defence attorney's job.

The Inquiry says the Crown had to tell Brodsky what hadn't happened, and what, it would turn out, never happened. As long as they talked about it, he had to know all the details of what they were asking for, even if they were turned down.

When Zanidean testified, he didn't know he wouldn't be charged with arson.
The Winnipeg police decided not to tell him until after he gave his evidence.
You know, so nobody could say his testimony was bought by special favours.
Ha ha.

Only after he was excused from the stand, did they give him the news. Even then, the police believed he was going into the Witness Protection Program, which was the only way it would happen.

* Except he never did. Which actually came as no surprise to the RCMP and lawyers involved in the negotiations. Because everyone knew he was a terrible candidate who would blow his new identify in no time.

So they negotiated a compromise. It would cost $30,000 to settle Zanidean and his wife in another city. Give him $20,000 cash and he'll disappear on his own, his lawyer said. No ties. No watchdogs. Deal done. Finally. After the trial was over.

(Surprisingly, it appears Ray Zanidean did disappear successfully. Who knew?)


The examination of George Dangerfield achieved its purpose. It destroyed the reputation of a respected Crown attorney in the cause of a false fairness.

Instrumental in this character assassination was the Winnipeg Free Press.

The newspaper splashed a banner headline across Page One:

Crown Knew Key Witness Lied.

On the left, a photo of Commission Counsel Michael Code.
Under him the quote: "You must have known this evidence was false."
Immediately to the right, a photo of George Dangerfield.
Under him, the quote:

The sub-head read:
George Dangerfield admitted yesterday he was aware of a deal with Ray Zanidean, but let him commit perjury on witness stand/ A4, A5.

On Page A5, another stark headline:
"Crown did nothing as witness lied"
over a story by Nick Martin, who wrote:

George Dangerfield admitted to the Driskell Inquiry yesterday that he sat by and did nothing while key witness Ray Zanidean lied at Driskell's murder trial about a deal in return for his testimony.
"You must have known this evidence was false, commission counsel Michael Code put to Dangerfield, Crown attorney at the 1991 trial.
"Yes," Dangerfield said quietly.

Would it surprise you to know the quotation is false?

Compare how the exchange really went:

Q. So again, you must have known this evidence was false?
A. He had already talked about going to the program, I believe, hadn't he? I can't remember his examination in chief.
Q. No, he says they are going to relocate him. You don't deal with it.
A. Okay.
Q. All he says is they are going to relocate him. You see at line 14, he says: "I engaged a lawyer to take care of the Witness Protection program."
A. Yes.

There was a time you risked getting fired if you faked a quote.

In the newspapers of today, there's another name for the practice.

Fake, but accurate.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Man-bashing Cerilli sets her sights on Sam

Oh boy, the race for Mayor is on.

At first glance, what have we got?

In one corner is Sam Katz, a well-respected entrepreneur with two year's experience as Mayor.

In the other corner there's:
* an unemployed gay activist
* an unemployed, pretending to be self-employed, publicity hound, and
* a men-are-the-enemy radical feminist who quit the NDP government -- because it was too right-wing for her taste.

Is this shaping up as one for the books, or what?

Sam Katz stepped up to the plate when Glen Murray quit in the middle of his term-after, of course, saying he had no intentions of quitting. Mayor Sam made no bones of the fact he was not a politician.

His detractors can't get around that fact.

Sam Katz is a Winnipeg businessman and he's does business at City Hall the same way that business is done in this city--- quietly, behind closed doors, building a team, under the radar, without grandstanding.

It was his reputation as a man who gets things done, that led him to a crushing victory over Glen Murray's anointed successor, mediocre boxer turned mediocre politician Dan Vandal.

His enemies (read The Winnipeg Free Press) proclaim that Sam Katz has no "vision" for Winnipeg.

Unlike his predecessor, that urban visionary Glen Murray, who was always mesmerized by the grand vision staring back at him from his hand mirror.

Murray, who never completed a single project he undertook, wasted millions chasing windmills and extolled living and working in Winnipeg, even as he packed his bags and moved to Toronto.

His final project was the new Provencher Bridge that included a restaurant and a million dollar toilet.

He was long gone before the bridge was completed at a cost $6 million over budget, and he wasn't here to see the restaurant sit empty for a year until Sam Katz found a tenant, a Sal's---over the vociferous objections of the "visionary" crowd who wanted something upscale or nothing at all, damn the expense.

Katz's election platform is decidedly unsexy----a city that works.

Clearing snow quickly in winter, filling potholes promptly in the spring, eliminating mosquitoes in summer, and providing safe and secure streets all year round. Keep business taxes low to encourage the creation of more businesses which will hire more employees who will live, work and play in the city creating more opportunities for young people.

Booo-rrrring, says Kaj Hasselriis, who, being "between jobs", has lots of time to think about things.

Kaj (pronounced K-eye) abandoned a promising career as a fringe festival performer for politics.

Who can forget his tour-de-force performance in 2004, described in the program here :

2Gay Productions
Hey Hetero!-WCD Studio
Hey Hetero! Come to Venue 9 and get a taste of the high-flying homosexual lifestyle.
Winnipeg's all-new, queer comedy duo, Clare Lawlor and Kaj Hasselriis, will take you behind the pink curtain of the homo world and reveal all the dirty little secrets of gay life. We'll stake out the royal family, crash J. Lo's latest wedding, and audition to be the first gay Canadian idols. Featuring a special appearance by Clay "In or out?" Aiken!

Kaj's degree in women's studies (yes, you read that right) from the University of Manitoba would surely be an invaluable asset at city hall.

And it appears his political bent has mellowed a younger visceral instinct to insult those who disagreed with his lifestyle, and even some who didn't.

From Eye magazine (June 26, 1997)
Marching into the mainstream
Once upon a less liberal time, there was an annual event that could scare the masses even more than Halloween. It was called the Gay Pride parade, and it was always successful at ruining the refined sensibilities of Ma and Pa Bigot.

Sadly, those days are all but over. Some of the Bigots are still clutching their Bibles and condemning our souls, but it's a lot harder than it used to be to spook their kids and threaten their ignorance. It's not easy to shock people with public displays of lesbianism when they can watch it every Wednesday night on Ellen.

Being a fag at this year's parade isn't easy, either. How are we supposed to distinguish ourselves from all the bleeding-heart breeders at the march, when they're trying to look like us?

There are only two groups at this Sunday's parade who can save us from the mainstream: the drag queens and the dominatrixes. Pray the Bigots will be offended. -- KAJ HASSELRIIS

The older Kaj released a party platform last week to distinguish himself from Sam Katz (as if the above didn't).

Among his promises:
Work to eliminate poverty. ( "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" Sam Katz )
Bring Winnipeg's downtown and inner-city back to life. ( "Oww. He's killing me." Sam Katz )
Attract diverse businesses to Winnipeg. ( "Shoot, I'm screwed." Sam Katz )

Candidate No. 3, sixty-two year old Ronnie Pollock, is carrying on a family tradition by running for mayor. His sister Natalie ran three times, last in 2004.

Pollock's expertise is in filing lawsuits. His latest is against the condo board where he lives. Since his condo fees go to pay the expenses of the board, he is effectively suing himself.

The term "poetic irony" comes to mind.

Speaking of which, Gordon Warren lives downtown. His campaign slogan was Spirited Energy. He wanted to run for mayor and bulldoze the North End but he couldn't get enough signatures. We are not making this up.

The newest mayoral candidate is former NDP MLA Marianne Cerelli. She's a reluctant warrior.

She said she's running because there were no Progressives in the race. (Progressive---see moonbats, tin foil, Nick Ternette circa 2006 - ed.)

Cerilli quit the NDP government in a huff because, she said, she couldn't stand how it "embraced fiscal conservatism, a neo-liberal agenda and the media-created cult of Doer popularity."

She comes into the campaign with a chip a mile wide on her shoulder. Her problem is Men, first, and the Media, second.

While an MLA, to protest "the predominance and privilege of men in politics" she attacked the Manitoba Tories as "a bunch of old white guys."

"I got the shit kicked out of me by the media", she told the Uniter, the University of Winnipeg student newspaper this past March. " I was treated badly not just because I'm a woman but because I'm an eco-feminist."

"Women in politics are rewarded for de-gendering themselves and doing politics according to male rules. When women in politics comply they are rewarded for being good girls with a sliver of privilege and some power over other women. When women name this or refuse to align themselves in this way, to "know her place", then murder by media is one sure-fire way to bring her down," she expanded in a letter to the editor.

Since leaving provincial politics, Cerilli has been busy spreading her men-are-bad message.

She teaches part-time at the University of Winnipeg, where the same anti-male brand of feminism that's turned off a generation of girls is still strong.
Of course, her classes have Gender in the title.

Just this past August she gave a workshop at something called the Youth Activist Retreat.
Here's how they pitched her appearance.

Workshop Information
Marianne Cerilli and Suzanne Bouclin
Introduction to Feminism
1. Some general definitions of terms: Feminism, backlash, patriarchy, etc
2. Activity to explore Penility: The mind set of patriarchy
3. Discuss how this applies in various social institutions: political,family, economic, media ...
4. 4 stages of empowerment with case studies
5. Waves and Currents of feminism
6. Feminist principles and social change: Levels of truth

We don't know about you, but we had to look up the definition of "penility."

The on-line Urban Dictionary says:

Penility :
Humiliation felt as a result of exposure of one's miniscule penis.

The bio provided by the Youth Activist Retreat says this about Cerilli:
Her history of activism covers a diverse range of issues and campaigns, "because when you see the connections it is all one big paradigm shift out of patriarchy". Her workshop is a primer in feminist politics.

The local press acknowledges she's left-wing in the political spectrum.

That's like saying absinthe is a refreshing beverage.

When the NDP cut taxes a sliver in their last budget, Cerilli protested.

"This is another budget that increases disparity in Manitoba, offering people with higher incomes additional tax cuts and there's not a lot for lower-income people," she said."We have the money to offer them more programs and services."

Okay, you can bet tax cuts are not in her mayoral platform.

When the hard-core socialist anti-American left created the New Politics Initiative to pressure the NDP into moving as far away from the moderate centre as possible, Marianne Cerilli was front and centre with her ideas.

She's released a few planks from her platform, like:
Work to end poverty. ("I said it first, bitch." Kaj Hasselriis)

The pundits say they'll wait and see what other ideas Cerilli brings to the race to be Mayor.

Why wait when you can read them in The Black Rod now?

Cerilli was an active member of the United Nations Platform for Action Committee Manitoba, a women's organization born out of the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing.

In 2004 UNPAC sent Manitoba finance minister Greg Selinger 129 suggestions for a Gender Budget.

We bet some of them will make their way into her promises to Winnipeg voters, like, maybe

26. Implement programs to educate men on the importance of supporting women.
32. Before becoming law, all legislation should be subject to a feminist analysis and input.
41. Add new courses to the public school curriculum including problem solving, economic literacy, parenting, and educating men and boys on feminist issues.
08. Free vacations for families headed by single moms at government operated cabins at Hecla and Camp Morton

Or how about these:

43. Make public transit free
57. Provide more money for inner-city housing as opposed to new suburb developments that benefit corporations and individual wealth.
71. Work towards alternatives to public-private partnerships. Too often these partnerships privatize profit and socialize risk. In many such agreements private companies have made a large profit but have not given back to the community. Often taxpayers have been forced to cover the costs if something goes wrong. An alternative is public-public partnerships i.e. using money from Hydro or a pension plan to invest in future returns.
(A new stadium? - ed.)

110. Reverse corporate income-tax cuts and end the tax gifts to corporations. Let them move to 'greener' pastures. (Bye bye Olywest - ed.)
111. Implement green taxes such as a Kyoto tax, a plastic bag tax, commuter distance taxes, a tax on vehicles in which there is only one person
114. Decriminalize prostitution and tax it.
124. Retain and strengthen our crown corporations - Do not forfeit this opportunity for revenue. In fact, create more crown corporations.

You get the picture. Cerilli has a "vision" for Winnipeg, alright.
It's called Cuba.

And speaking of Cuba, did you notice the interesting similarities between her and a certain somebody? A far left-wing lean, the University of Winnipeg, inspiring "activist" youth...
If she were a man, she would be Lloyd Axworthy.

Maybe Gordon Sinclair found a surrogate Axworthy to run against Sam Katz ? A sacrificial ewe, so to speak.

The coming mayoral election finds current office holder Sam Katz crowding the middle and right.
To his left, Kaj Hasselriis attracts the gay liberal fringe that still takes the bus (4 percent). To his left, Marianne Cerilli plays to the rabid socialist hardcore (14 percent). To her left, Ronnie Pollock defines the lunatic fringe (the reason mathematicians invented negative numbers).

You do the math...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Reconstructing the Dawson College Shooting Moment by Moment

Enough information has now come out about Wednesday's shootings at Dawson College in Montreal that we can reconstruct what happened step by step.

And the evidence indicates that Kimveer Gill was a more determined, and more depraved, killer than heretofore suspected.


Dawson College is bordered by Sherbrooke Street to the north, Maisonneuve Blvd. to the south, Wood Avenue to the west and Atwater Ave. to the east.

About twenty minutes to 1 in the afternoon, Gill drove up to the CEGEP and parked his Pontiac Sunfire on Wood Avenue.

He was early.

The evidence suggests he was timing his arrival with the end of noon-hour classes about ten minutes later.

Maybe he caught the lights just right. Or he built-in time to find a parking spot.

Whatever the reason, he arrived too soon. Another ten minutes and the halls would have been filled with students changing classes. And the carnage could have been unmeasureable.

Gill got out of his car.Andrew Temple, 19, was walking along de Maioneuve Blvd. with his friend Adam Peters, also 19. Temple was on his way to apply to Dawson College, but first they were meeting a friend from the school for lunch. They saw a man dressed all in black taking a gun from the trunk of his car. Thinking it was a theatre prop, they kept walking, into the school cafeteria.

A group of boys passed Gill's car and noticed he had a rifle in his hands. After they passed him, one boy looked back and, to his horror, saw Gill staring down the gunsight directly at the boy. The teen turned and kept walking, praying that it was a joke. But the boys were walking down Wood Avenue, and Gill wasn't about to give away his plans that early, so he held his fire.

He finished loading up. By the time he left his car, he was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, a 9mm. handgun and a 12 guage shotgun. He was also carrying a large, heavy bag over his shoulder.

He walked along de Maissoneuve Blvd. toward the front entrance to Dawson College where students lounged smoking cigarette.

"There must have been some 50 people," said Cyrielle Vincent, 21, a social sciences student. "We noticed him right away -- he stood out with his black coat and Mohawk."

It wasn't his "mohawk", which one witness called "retarded hair." From pictures on his blog, Gill's haircut was less a tall spiky punk mohawk and more a shaved-sides, Travis Bickel look.

But the six foot one Gill cut a striking figure in his long trenchcoat.
And in the gun he carried.

He came closer. And started shooting.

BAM. BAM. Meaghan Hennegan, 18, went down, shot in the right hip and right forearm.
BAM. Catalin Romano, 18, was hit in the guts.
BAM. His brother Mihai Romano, 19, was hit in the buttocks as he ran.
BAM. BAM. Hayder Kadhim, 18, was shot in the leg and in the head just above the right ear.

"The guy was acting normal. He didn't run. He wasn't nervous. He was just relaxed." said student Hernat Monawar. "At first we thought it was fake."

But reality set in with the screams and the blood. Panicked students started running into Dawson, and Gill followed at his measured pace.

What he didn't know yet was that his plans had already started to fall apart.

Mathieu Dominique, 17, recounted what he saw:
" I was having a cigarette outside near the sidewalk. I see a cop car pulling up in front of me, with no sirens. So I'm thinking, 'Okay maybe this has something to do with the new smoking laws.' Then I hear a sound like a firecracker."


Even before the first shot was fired, a police car, Cruiser 12-1, had pulled up across the street. Called to the area by Dawson College security guard Vincent Pascale, the officers arrive to investigate a drug matter.

"I didn't spot the gunman right away, but as soon as I turned my head, about four or five feet away from me, there's a guy in a black trench coat and a Mohawk," said Dominique. "When I saw his face, he looked really mad.... He was really into shooting... It was like, bullet after bullet. It was like a burst - like at least six shots in two seconds."

Alerted by the gunfire and the screams of students, the police saw Gill enter the college. They immediately radioed for help.

They ran over to the wounded students lying on the ground, leaving his partner to wait for the ambulances, Officer Alain Diallo, a rookie on the force barely one month, pulled his gun and went after Gill.

Marie Vigouroux, 18, and Fehr Marouf, 20, were just leaving school when they saw Gill. He was 12 feet away. "He was holding a long gun with both hands at waist level, sweeping the weapon from side to side Rambo-style" was the way the Globe and Mail described Marouf's account.

"I saw the gun and thought 'We have to run'," said Vigouroux. She pulled Marouf back into Dawson College.

"We ran back into Dawson and through the atrium telling people to leave," he said. "There was chaos. Just chaos."

And into this chaos stepped Kimveer Gill.

He may have missed class changeover. But he had a Plan B.

He didn't act like someone who had never stepped foot in Dawson College. A student who came face-to-face with Gill described how he gracefully stepped past her, almost as if he was dancing, she said.

He knew where he was going.
The atrium on the second-floor.
Where he would find the most students in one place.
A perfect killing ground.

But in the meantime there were targets of opportunity.


As he made his way to the atrium, Gill shot at people at random. The first 911 call came in at 12:42 p.m. "Shots fired inside Dawson College."

Elizabeth Gagnon, 17, just left a class when she heard two shots. A girl ran down the hall toward her. "She had blood all over her. She was covering her face," said Gagnon. "She was leaving a trail of blood."

Alexander Matthew, 19, had also just left class. Four or five girls burst into the stairwell. "I've been shot," one said. He thought they were joking until he noticed she was bleeding at the waist.

Simon Davies, who teaches film studies, said he had heard a student shouting about a shooting in a hallway and then saw him run past with a bloodied face.

"I went out to the hallway, I went around the corner and saw a policeman run by with his gun drawn and heard more gunshots" he said.

Dipti Gupta, a teacher at Dawson College, sheltered terrified students in her classroom, including one who thought she sprained her leg running for her life. Then the others noticed blood; the girl had been grazed by a bullet.

"Her leg was getting numb and she was scared she would lose her leg," said Gupta. When she wanted to scream in pain, another student offered her his arm to bite to muffle her cries.

School carpenter Yves Morin, 48, heard a commotion and went to see what it was. He threw himself in front of a girl in the hallway who was trying to get away from Gill. He was shot in the shoulder.

"He was dragged in and he was in terrible pain, and we couldn't do a damned thing," said Greta Nemiroff, co-ordinator of creative arts, language and literature, who was in the photocopy centre when the shooting occurred.

Ken Fogel, chairperson of computer science department, said, "Just after that, the police arrived and he ran out with us."

For the police were hot on the gunman's heels.

Officer Diallo followed Gill all the way to the atrium. Andrew Temple and Adam Peters, the students we met at the very beginning, heard shots and left the cafeteria. They had seen Gill turn a corner headed for the atrium and they pointed police in his direction. By 12:50 dozens of police officers had swarmed the school and its grounds.

Kimveer Gill was still on a rampage but his time to manoeuvre was running out fast.

Gill stepped through the doors of the atrium, hot in the flush of his blood lust, There were about 70 students socializing in the room. They hadn't heard the shots that terrorized the school.

Gill began firing at his 9mm. before anyone could give the alarm.

BAM. BAM. Leslie Markofsky, 22, a student at Concordia University visiting a friend, took two bullets in the head.

James Santos, 17, was listening to Anastasia De Sousa, 18, when he saw Gill open fire. He instantly dropped to the ground, just as almost everyone else in the atrium did. De Sousa rose up and turned to see what Santos was reacting to.

BAM. Gill shot her and she fell beside Santos.

But it appears that's when Gill's luck ran out.

Andrea Barone, 17, said a police officer popped up and fired a shot at Gill, but missed. This had to be Officer Diallo.

Gill took cover behind some vending machines. And kept shooting at students.

Nikola Guidi was on the ground when bullets hit his girlfriend, Lisa Mezzacapa in the leg and arm.
"We were crawling to get away and she got shot right beside me. I couldn't believe it. I had to drag her away."

Guidi tried to staunch her bleeding by using his belt. Seconds after she was hit, two policemen entered the atrium and ordered Gill to drop his gun, said Guidi.

"Get the fuck away from here," was Gill's reply. "Stay the fuck back."

The third and final Act had begun.


Trapped by police, Gill kept up a steady outpouring of gunfire.

Alex Zannis saw Gill drop his handgun and pull his rifle from his coat. He emptied it several times, at the wall that police were hiding behind and at students.

During one lull in the gunfire, Devansh Srivastava, 18, ran up the stairs to the third floor for safety. Feeling brave, he then tried to take Gill's picture with his cellphone, but Gill responded by shooting at him.

The bullets missed Srivastava, but may have been the ones that hit Kaloyan Gueorguiev, 19, who had just got off an escalator on the third floor. One bullet hit him above his left eye and another in his left forearm.

"I think (I was hit by) ricochet bullets," he said Saturday. Doctors told him that the bullet would have gone right into his brain if it hadn't been stopped by his browbone.

Another student took a shot in the arm trying to run.

Linda Dydyk, an English teacher, said: "The shooter pointed the gun at him---he froze. The police said to run and he ducked. His arm had a flesh wound but it wouldn't stop bleeding."

Josh Perl, 18, thought he was safe when he saw the police come into the atrium. He was trying to protect a girl and had his arm over her. He was frustrated to listen to the police talking to the shooter. His elbow was in the air when Gill fired at the girl, sending a bullet through his arm.

The police were doing more than talking. They were exchanging gunfire with Gill. Student Alex Zannis said that every 30 seconds the police fired a volley of single shots in the direction of the vending machines. Gill responded with rifle fire, he said.

One shot almost hit a policeman in the head. Police estimate up to 50 shots were fired in the 20 minutes gunfight. Before the end, they were planning to use rifles to shoot through the wall where Gill was hiding to kill him.

But before that could happen, Gill decided on his last move.


James Santos was trying to pull Anastasia De Sousa to the safety of a wall behind which about eight people were hiding. She was still alive but in a state of shock, moaning and incoherent.

Gill pointed his rifle at Santos and told him to stand between him and the police. Santos was 8-10 feet away from Gill, who kept asking him where the police were.

Then he asked about Anastasia. "Is she dead?"

Santos said he didn't know. "Let me take her. Don't do anything," he begged.

Gill wasn't listening.

He stepped up to the wounded girl and shot her again four times in cold blood.

"Now, she's dead," he said.

He resumed shooting at the police.

Then he told Santos that today was the day he, Gill, would die.

He ordered Santos to pick up his heavy bag, which was full of ammunition and other weapons. He pointed his gun at another student lying near De Sousa's body.

"Do you want to die," he asked. The terrified boy answered," No, no, no, no."

"Come with me," Gill ordered. The boy picked up the bag with Santos.

Gill took no more than five steps towards them and just as he reached their side, he fell to the ground, holding his knee.

He had been shot by Police veteran Constable Denis Cote.

Witnesses heard a volley of six shots. The autopsy showed that Gill had been hit in the arm as well.

Realizing he was done, Gill put the handgun under his chin and sent a bullet into his brain.

The police rushed to him, grabbed his body and dragged it outside.

They handcuffed him before letting medical personnel see if they could save his life.

The demon was dead.

The ordeal, however, was not over. For two hours police went from room to room, sending students and staff who were holed up there, outside to their families, and searching for any other possible gunmen.

Paramedics treated the wounded and got them to ambulances and then to hospitals as quickly as possible.

The body of Anastasia De Sousa was not removed until 6 a.m. the next day.

- Leslie Markofsky is in hospital in an induced coma. One bullet has been removed from his brain. Doctors don't know whether to risk removing the other.

For a photo of Markofsky and some background, go to:

- Catalin Romano is still in the intensive care ward.

He and his brother Mihai had been sitting on a bench outside Dawson College when the shooting began. When he saw Gill aiming at him, Mihai ran into the hedges to hide. When it was all clear, he went to the subway.

He didn't know he had been shot until his jeans turned red with blood.

By then he had to wait for an ambulance because they were all being sent to Dawson.

- Meaghan Hannegan, the first to get shot, had been standing on the sidewalk with her mother. They were going to a medical appointment for her, but were early. They were about to go to the atrium to see who was there. When Meaghan fell after being shot in the hip and hand, her mother fell on top of her to protect her from any more shots.

- Hayder Kadhim had been talking to a girl when he was shot. He was knocked down by the bullets that hit him, but got up, grabbed his bag and ran until he realized how badly he was bleeding. Then he passed out.

- Catalin Romano, Meaghan Hannegan and Hayder Kadhim were seriously hurt, but, by a stroke of luck, received immediate medical help which may have saved their lives.

Paramedic Jean-Marie Dufresne had just finished giving a class on cardiopulmonary rescusitation and was having lunch with a fellow paramedic, Patrice Grenier, at Alexis Nihon Plaza, the shopping centre beside Dawson College. They heard a commotion, saw the police beside a bleeding person, and ran over.

Dufresne and Grenier worked to stop Meaghan's bleeding, then turned to Kadhim.

- A physical education teacher was on the phone with another teacher when he heard them say, ‘Oh my God, there’s somebody shot outside.’

He looked out the office window and saw a body by the doors of the college. He grabbed his first aid kit and rushed down the two floors to help. He found Kadhim bleeding profusely from the back of his head.

Until that moment, Tony Proudfoot was best known as a former Canadian Football League defensive back, whose claim to fame was grabbing a staple gun before the 1977 Grey Cup championship game against Edmonton, and convincing his Montreal teammates that their best chance on the icy field was to fire staples into their broomball shoes for traction. The Alouettes won 41-7 and Proudfoot still has the staple gun.

On Wednesday, while ambulances were forbidden from attending to the wounded because of the danger of more sniper fire or stray bullets, Tony Proudfoot crouched behind a cop car that parked as a shield, heroically trying to save Kadhim's life, reassuring him.

A bullet had passed through his head and out through his neck.

Proudfoot applied pressure to stop his bleeding, until the paramedics arrived with a stretcher and hustled the victim to an ambulance. Then they worked on Catalin, who remains in critical condition.

Kadhim is still in intensive care, but is already joking with his friends.

- Hannegan went home the day after being shot, "very sore".

Her mother said that when she learned that Gill was dead,

"I'm not going to deny it, I was doing a little happy dance. That was just the mom in me."