Former police officer tells civil trial that Hamilton police didn’t bungle Perrin case

News Apr 14, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

An expert in murder investigations has praised the way Hamilton police tracked down the suspected killers of Beverley Perrin.

Douglas Grady, a retired Toronto Police Service inspector, told a civil trial Thursday the probe into Perrin's abduction and murder covered all the proper bases despite the web of lies woven by its chief witnesses.

"This was a difficult investigation but in my opinion it came up with the four people who were involved in this incident," Grady said. "This investigation was carried out in a reasonably competent fashion for 1990."

Grady was the chief witness for the defence in a civil suit launched by two of the men charged with that killing. Chris McCullough and Nick Nossey are seeking $10 million for malicious prosecution and violation of their charter rights.

Grady, who spent 15 years investigating murders in Toronto, was offered as an expert in murder investigations in 1989 and the early 1990s — days before DNA evidence when senior officers sneered at emerging techniques such as audio and video recordings of interviews with suspects in favour of handwritten notes and statements.

"I had many senior officers then tell me 'That's not the way it's done, do your notes,'" Grady said.

The Hamilton probe, he said, was made especially difficult by the kind of people local detectives had to deal with.

"This was a nefarious group of people that wasn't going to be co-operative with police," Grady said. "Police weren't dealing with people who are open and honest and wanted to get it off their chests."

That group included Terry Pearce, and Steve Clarke — who both pled guilty to reduced charges in the case and served prison terms — and Pearce's 16-year-old girlfriend Tammy Waltham. More information was developed from a group of Hamilton jail inmates who offered to inform on McCullough in exchange for reduced sentences or other compensation.

Grady said the prison tattlers were an important source of information, especially against McCullough.

"Chris McCullough was careful about what he said outside of custody, but when he was inside he seemed to talk to everybody," he said.

Police also wiretapped the telephones of suspects and then teased them with information in the hope they would make unguarded remarks. In one example, Terry Pearce, the man who eventually admitted to driving Perrin's car, was told his fingerprint had been found in the vehicle.

Such tactics, Grady said, are sometimes all that's available to police.

"I know it sounds bad, but sometimes you have to do things like that in order to find out other stuff," he said. "If you have nothing else, that's a calculated risk and I would take it, but you wouldn't use that as your sole point to make an arrest."

Through those wiretaps, and repeated interviews, police uncovered the names of four people they believed kidnapped, raped and murdered the 55-year-old teacher — Pearce, Clarke, McCullough and Nossey.

Critically for the defence in the suit, Grady said Hamilton detectives had reasonable grounds when they arrested both McCullough and Nossey, despite their being identified by people who had consistently lied to implicate innocent men in the case while deflecting blame from themselves.

Perrin, who taught elementary grades at Tapleytown School, disappeared from the parking lot of an east Hamilton grocery store on Feb. 13, 1989. Her body was found two days later in a field in Stoney Creek.

McCullough served nine years in prison before his conviction was overturned on appeal. Nossey was acquitted at trial but served 19 months in jail waiting for that decision.

The trial continues Friday.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

Former police officer tells civil trial that Hamilton police didn’t bungle Perrin case

News Apr 14, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

An expert in murder investigations has praised the way Hamilton police tracked down the suspected killers of Beverley Perrin.

Douglas Grady, a retired Toronto Police Service inspector, told a civil trial Thursday the probe into Perrin's abduction and murder covered all the proper bases despite the web of lies woven by its chief witnesses.

"This was a difficult investigation but in my opinion it came up with the four people who were involved in this incident," Grady said. "This investigation was carried out in a reasonably competent fashion for 1990."

Grady was the chief witness for the defence in a civil suit launched by two of the men charged with that killing. Chris McCullough and Nick Nossey are seeking $10 million for malicious prosecution and violation of their charter rights.

Grady, who spent 15 years investigating murders in Toronto, was offered as an expert in murder investigations in 1989 and the early 1990s — days before DNA evidence when senior officers sneered at emerging techniques such as audio and video recordings of interviews with suspects in favour of handwritten notes and statements.

"I had many senior officers then tell me 'That's not the way it's done, do your notes,'" Grady said.

The Hamilton probe, he said, was made especially difficult by the kind of people local detectives had to deal with.

"This was a nefarious group of people that wasn't going to be co-operative with police," Grady said. "Police weren't dealing with people who are open and honest and wanted to get it off their chests."

That group included Terry Pearce, and Steve Clarke — who both pled guilty to reduced charges in the case and served prison terms — and Pearce's 16-year-old girlfriend Tammy Waltham. More information was developed from a group of Hamilton jail inmates who offered to inform on McCullough in exchange for reduced sentences or other compensation.

Grady said the prison tattlers were an important source of information, especially against McCullough.

"Chris McCullough was careful about what he said outside of custody, but when he was inside he seemed to talk to everybody," he said.

Police also wiretapped the telephones of suspects and then teased them with information in the hope they would make unguarded remarks. In one example, Terry Pearce, the man who eventually admitted to driving Perrin's car, was told his fingerprint had been found in the vehicle.

Such tactics, Grady said, are sometimes all that's available to police.

"I know it sounds bad, but sometimes you have to do things like that in order to find out other stuff," he said. "If you have nothing else, that's a calculated risk and I would take it, but you wouldn't use that as your sole point to make an arrest."

Through those wiretaps, and repeated interviews, police uncovered the names of four people they believed kidnapped, raped and murdered the 55-year-old teacher — Pearce, Clarke, McCullough and Nossey.

Critically for the defence in the suit, Grady said Hamilton detectives had reasonable grounds when they arrested both McCullough and Nossey, despite their being identified by people who had consistently lied to implicate innocent men in the case while deflecting blame from themselves.

Perrin, who taught elementary grades at Tapleytown School, disappeared from the parking lot of an east Hamilton grocery store on Feb. 13, 1989. Her body was found two days later in a field in Stoney Creek.

McCullough served nine years in prison before his conviction was overturned on appeal. Nossey was acquitted at trial but served 19 months in jail waiting for that decision.

The trial continues Friday.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

Former police officer tells civil trial that Hamilton police didn’t bungle Perrin case

News Apr 14, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

An expert in murder investigations has praised the way Hamilton police tracked down the suspected killers of Beverley Perrin.

Douglas Grady, a retired Toronto Police Service inspector, told a civil trial Thursday the probe into Perrin's abduction and murder covered all the proper bases despite the web of lies woven by its chief witnesses.

"This was a difficult investigation but in my opinion it came up with the four people who were involved in this incident," Grady said. "This investigation was carried out in a reasonably competent fashion for 1990."

Grady was the chief witness for the defence in a civil suit launched by two of the men charged with that killing. Chris McCullough and Nick Nossey are seeking $10 million for malicious prosecution and violation of their charter rights.

Grady, who spent 15 years investigating murders in Toronto, was offered as an expert in murder investigations in 1989 and the early 1990s — days before DNA evidence when senior officers sneered at emerging techniques such as audio and video recordings of interviews with suspects in favour of handwritten notes and statements.

"I had many senior officers then tell me 'That's not the way it's done, do your notes,'" Grady said.

The Hamilton probe, he said, was made especially difficult by the kind of people local detectives had to deal with.

"This was a nefarious group of people that wasn't going to be co-operative with police," Grady said. "Police weren't dealing with people who are open and honest and wanted to get it off their chests."

That group included Terry Pearce, and Steve Clarke — who both pled guilty to reduced charges in the case and served prison terms — and Pearce's 16-year-old girlfriend Tammy Waltham. More information was developed from a group of Hamilton jail inmates who offered to inform on McCullough in exchange for reduced sentences or other compensation.

Grady said the prison tattlers were an important source of information, especially against McCullough.

"Chris McCullough was careful about what he said outside of custody, but when he was inside he seemed to talk to everybody," he said.

Police also wiretapped the telephones of suspects and then teased them with information in the hope they would make unguarded remarks. In one example, Terry Pearce, the man who eventually admitted to driving Perrin's car, was told his fingerprint had been found in the vehicle.

Such tactics, Grady said, are sometimes all that's available to police.

"I know it sounds bad, but sometimes you have to do things like that in order to find out other stuff," he said. "If you have nothing else, that's a calculated risk and I would take it, but you wouldn't use that as your sole point to make an arrest."

Through those wiretaps, and repeated interviews, police uncovered the names of four people they believed kidnapped, raped and murdered the 55-year-old teacher — Pearce, Clarke, McCullough and Nossey.

Critically for the defence in the suit, Grady said Hamilton detectives had reasonable grounds when they arrested both McCullough and Nossey, despite their being identified by people who had consistently lied to implicate innocent men in the case while deflecting blame from themselves.

Perrin, who taught elementary grades at Tapleytown School, disappeared from the parking lot of an east Hamilton grocery store on Feb. 13, 1989. Her body was found two days later in a field in Stoney Creek.

McCullough served nine years in prison before his conviction was overturned on appeal. Nossey was acquitted at trial but served 19 months in jail waiting for that decision.

The trial continues Friday.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec