RCMP Informant in Kinky Corporal Affair: Villain or Victim?

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October 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm  •  Posted in Corporal Jim Brown by  •  4 Comments

October 31: Grant Wakefield is a man on a mission, except nobody other than Wakefield seems to know exactly what that mission is.

Perhaps it’s a vendetta against RCMP Corporal Jim Brown, whom Wakefield has continually outted for his involvement in BDSM and kinky sex.

Perhaps he’s working to reveal what he views as the failures of the RCMP, his claimed motivation in assisting members and former members of the force to set up the Re-sergeance Alliance blog online, to air their concerns. But that blog eventually included criticism of Corporal Brown, and of the force and those elements within it that it characterized as protecting Brown.

Perhaps Wakefield simply wants to be viewed as the hero, or as he so often depicts himself, the victim in a rather sordid story.

Wakefield is currently under investigation for criminal libel. It’s an investigation that many have taken issue with; it’s pointed out by critics of the RCMP’s handling of this matter that libel claims are usually civil matters, not criminal ones. The BC Civil Liberties Association has demanded an investigation into the RCMP for seizing the computers of Grant Wakefield, who claims that the seizure was because he had helped unhappy RCMP members create the Re-sergeance Alliance blog this past summer.

“We’re asked to believe the RCMP used the resources of their major crime section, computer forensics team, the Federal Department of Justice, and a search warrant, to investigate what amounts to conspiracy theories posted in the comment section of an erotic blog and a Twitter account with thirteen followers,” said David Eby, executive director of the BCCLA. “Defamatory comments are made every day on the internet, and the RCMP doesn’t send their major crime team to investigate. What makes this case unique is that the man who had his computers taken away by the police was using those computers to help unhappy RCMP members publish their concerns online.”

Eby is correct—if this case merely involved a post in Erotic Vancouver Magazine’s comments section and the claims made in a barely read twitter account, the RCMP actions would be overkill. But Wakefield’s claims against Corporal Brown reach far wider and go much further back.

Erotic Vancouver has learned from Dr. Michael Webster, former RCMP psychologist, a frequent critic of the force, and the moderator of the new Re-Seargence.net website that has taken the place of the Re-Sergeance Alliance Blog, that Grant Wakefield was a source of information to Lawyer Cameron Ward during the Missing Women’s Inquiry. Ward repeatedly tried to raise questions, both during the inquiry and afterwards, about Corporal Brown’s involvement in the Pickton investigation, and suggested that the police investigation into Pickton may have been hindered or stalled because of Brown’s and other officers’ involvement in parties at Piggy’s Palace, the illegal after hours bar run by the Pickton brothers.

Among the questions raised by Ward was how Jim Brown had come to be approached in July of 1999 by Ross Caldwell with information about Pickton. Ward has since gone on to characterize Brown as Caldwell’s handler, and has argued this suggests a link between Corporal Brown and Piggy’s Palace. Among other respondents, Lawyer Daniel Reid of the law firm Harper Grey, which represents Brown, has told Erotic Vancouver that Jim Brown was simply on duty when Caldwell was in custody in the cells and offered to provide information on Pickton.

In an email to the Missing Women’s Inquiry Counsel dated July 16, 2012, Ward stated “I have received information of unknown reliability that Cpl. Brown appears in a threesome with David Pickton and a woman in at least one of the images in the possession of the RCMP.”

It is reasonable to assume that Grant Wakefield is the source of much and possibly all of Mr Ward’s information of “unknown reliability”.

Ward still believes that there are possibly secrets being kept by the Coquitlam RCMP, ones that didn’t come out at the Inquiry, and which Wakefield may be a key to uncovering. “Even if Wakefield was on an ill founded personal vendetta,” he said when reached for comment, “nonetheless it seems he has exposed something in the RCMP that doesn’t look quite right, vis a vis the RCMP and the Pickton file.”

Ward points to paragraph 57 of the Information To Obtain (ITO) a search warrant, which begins “On July 12, 2012 Staff Sergeant Stan SZELAGIEWICZ of the Coquitlam RCMP contacted Corporal Brown’s supervisor Kathcy Dickson to request she locate and return a DVD which had been provided to Corporal BROWN containing documents and information relating to the PICKTON investigation.”

“Given that Brown wasn’t a witness at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, given that we’re talking 2012 and Brown’s involvement in the case was 1999, what is Brown doing with a sensitive DVD of Pickton information, and what is on that DVD?” Ward asks. He has yet to be provided with a copy of the DVD, despite first asking for it in his July 16 email.

Still, raising a few reasonable questions hardly explains Wakefield’s methods, or the desire of so many to cast him as the good man despite them.

In March, Wakefield contacted the Coquitlam RCMP detachment with allegations about Corporal Brown and his BDSM involvement. A code of conduct inquiry was initiated on Corporal Brown. Ultimately it concluded that there was no grounds for censure; some of the claims put forth regarding Corporal Brown were proven wrong, others, specifically the pictures of Corporal Brown engaged in BDSM activities, had previously been looked into by the RCMP and, while they were deemed “questionable” by some, it was ultimately decided that they were an aspect of his private life that did not affect his job or warrant a finding of misconduct.

While in May the RCMP closed the book on the code of conduct investigation of Corporal Brown that had begun in March, the CBC started an investigation of their own. The impetus of that investigation, the BDSM photos of Brown that had already been provided to the RCMP which would eventually be part of the photo package given to the Vancouver Sun, suggests that Wakefield was the CBC’s source. In late May, after a month or more of pursuing the story, reporter Natalie Clancy decided not to proceed with it based on the RCMP’s decision that there were no grounds for discipline of Corporal Brown.

Many might have given up at this point but Grant Wakefield was on a mission. Next he contacted reporter Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun. How he contacted Mulgrew is unclear; when asked, Mulgrew initially stated that he had simply received an envelope of pictures from an unknown source. The package of pictures contained pictures of Corporal Brown engaged in BDSM activity, as well as pictures of another man who bore some resemblance to Corporal Brown engaged in what appeared to be a fantasy role play scenario of an abduction at knife point. On July 5th the Vancouver Sun ran a story about Corporal Brown, focusing in large part on the abduction sequence of photos, and suggesting that they were a re-creation of the crimes of Robert Pickton. The Sun reporter would describe the photos thus: “In some of the graphic pictures obtained by The Vancouver Sun, Coquitlam Cpl. Jim Brown appears to wear only his regulation-issue Mountie boots and an erection as he wields a huge knife and a bound naked woman cringes in terror.” To date no such picture has been produced. In fact the description appears to be a composite, incorporating elements of the actual Corporal Brown photos (boots, an erection) and elements of the knife photos which depict another man. When asked how he could have mistakenly described a hard-copy that had to be in his possession given his claim that his only contact with his source had been a single anonymously delivered envelope, Mulgrew changed his story. The description was now of an image he had only seen on a computer screen, shown to him by an anonymous source he had met and shown him pictures, and who had then suggested that someone else could send the reporter more.

Less than a day later Erotic Vancouver was the first to reveal that the knife abduction sequence of photos did not depict Corporal Brown. While Erotic Vancouver had reached this conclusion having recognized the photos’ subject and gotten confirmation from him, this was something that should have been evident to anyone conducting a responsible investigation. Photos of Corporal Brown show him having a Maple Leaf Tattoo on his chest, and no other readily visible tattoos. Photos of the so-called knife-abduction sequence show a man with a Celtic armband tattoo. While he wears a vest in the photos, in some it is open enough that the area of chest where Brown has his Maple Leaf is visible and there is no tattoo. The RCMP had earlier concluded that the pictures were of two different men based largely on the tattoos; Ian Mulgrew did not take the time or effort to make that determination.

Following the Sun story on Corporal Brown a short-lived media firestorm began. The CBC ran their own story containing the information they had obtained during their investigation, but relied on the Vancouver Sun’s identification of Brown as the man in the knife photos. Other media outlets also ran stories about the kinky Mountie, although as word spread that the knife photos did not depict Brown clarifications were added to those reports and the story wasn’t followed up.

The matter might have ended there, but Grant Wakefield was still on a mission. He contacted two blogs which had written about the Brown affair, Erotic Vancouver Magazine and Haifischgeweint. Erotic Vancouver’s stories on the Brown matter had been critical of the media’s coverage of the Brown matter, particularly with regards to the Vancouver Sun. The Haifischgeweint blog on the other hand took issue with Corporal Brown, and the author wrote about what he perceived to be improper actions taken by Brown that he personally knew of.

Wakefield contacted Erotic Vancouver under the pseudonym Daniel de Fawkes, and represented himself as a police officer. He contacted Haifischgeweint as Samuel Steele, and at various times represented himself as either a current or former police officer. In both correspondences he made allegations about a cover up of the Pickton investigation involving Brown and other officers at the Coquitlam RCMP detachment. He also heaped praise on the motivations and skills of the blogs authors. Only one letter was received by Erotic Vancouver, perhaps because instead of sharing the contents of the letter with the magazine’s readers, a lawyer with the Missing Women’s Inquiry was contacted with the allegations. The correspondence between the Haifischgeweint blog and Samuel Steele was an ongoing one, although one that would eventually elicit increasing skepticism from the blog’s author as he came to question Steele’s claims and motivation.

Later, similar letters were received by members of the media, heaping praise, calling them guardians of the truth and the like, and hoping to persuade them to Wakefield’s way of thinking, under whatever name they had been written.

In mid-August the Brown case again received some attention. A blog briefly appeared online–the Re-sergeance Alliance–which purported to represent 500 or more current and past RCMP members, and which raised questions about the direction of the force. It also contained a post criticizing the force’s handling of the Brown matter. Erotic Vancouver has spoken to Dr. Mike Webster and learned that Grant Wakefield was indeed contacted to be the technical expert for the Re-sergeance Alliance. It appears Wakefield utilized his position to insert the Brown issue onto their agenda. As a result of that misdirection, and the unwanted attention it garnered, some of the members whom Webster categorized as the principals of the Re-sergeance Alliance left the organization, choosing to re-branded themselves as simply “The Re-sergeance” to distance themselves from the postings of the former “Alliance.”

Not long afterwards, the police searched Grant Wakefield’s house. Grant Wakefield would have you believe that the search was unjustified, that he’s the victim of a conspiracy here. But he’s not.

The victims are many. One is Corporal Brown, who found himself the subject of unsubstantiated and outrageous allegations.

Others are the individuals in the photos, the woman actually depicted with Corporal Brown, and the man and woman in the knife photos, who, even when it became clear that the photos did not depict Brown, face accusations that these photos were a recreation of the Pickton crimes. All of those individuals feared outing of their kinks, and given the sensational nature of the coverage, those fears were more than justified.

The victims are their families, Brown’s and all the other photo subjects, who have borne the stigma such revelations still unfortunately bear.

And most of all the victims are the Missing Women themselves, their families, and everyone else associated with the Missing Women’s Inquiry, who hoped to see some justice come of it.

Grant Wakefield attempted to lead the RCMP, lawyers for the inquiry, and the media on a goose chase, and to some degree he succeeded. Moreover at a time when we should be discussing the systematic failures that allowed women to go missing for so long while police denied there was a serial killer at work, instead the discussion turned to wild conspiracy theories of police involvement in an active cover up.

In the days and months ahead Grant Wakefield is going to face many questions. He will face questions from the RCMP. He will face questions from lawyers from Harper Grey representing Corporal Brown in pending legal action against the Vancouver Sun. He will face questions from family and friends wondering what set him on his mission. He will face questions from the great many good people to whom he has sold a bad story.

Grant Wakefield is a man on a mission. The question is why?

Grant Wakefield’s lawyer Mike McCubbin repeatedly refused to comment for this article.

 

Related Articles on Erotic Vancouver

Oct. 31: The Kinky Corporal – A Timeline

Sept. 22 Vancouver Sun Misrepresents Erotic Vancouver’s Role in RCMP Criminal Libel Case

July 9: Where were the  trail bosses? Responsible journalism failed: Jim Brown & the media

July 6: Sun Reporter answers questions re: possible fabricated description of photo & more

July 6: Spotlight on the media: Abduction scene photos are not of RCMP Corporal Brown

July 5: Vancouver Sun reports on lack of code of conduct inquiry into RCMP Officer’s sexually explicit photos on the web

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Joe B / October 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm / Reply

    You left out the part where you gave the RCMP his IP address, as stated in the unsealed court document. Can you explain why you provided an IP which identified this person?

    • Reive / October 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm / Reply

      Hi Joe B,

      I’m certainly not trying to hide the fact that I provided the IP address to the police. The individual who contacted me did not do so as a source and was not offered anonymity. In fact I didn’t contact the police with the information I had – I contacted first a lawyer from the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry, and then Corporal Brown’s lawyer. It was Corporal Brown’s lawyer who passed on the info I had to the police.

      The email I received alleged criminal activity related to the Pickton investigation—to my mind on the chance that there was any truth to those allegations it would have been irresponsible not to have passed it along.

  2. Jamie Lee Hamilton / November 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm / Reply

    Reive what doesn’t make sense here is that any reasonable person would determine that the information you were receiving alleges criminal activities and you even state this fact. Why would you not first seek out your own legal counsel and leave it up to them to then act on your behalf. Instead it seems strange that you would contact first the Missing Women’s Inquiry and then the lawyer representing the RCMP officer with the information you had.

  3. Ssmith / November 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm / Reply

    Most of the reporting on this issue have been sickeningly one-sided. I can’t wait till Wakefield’s past comes unravelling in public. The embarrassment that all those who have backed him in his claims will be palpable…

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