News Item: Internal police file found in apartment of accused
(Category: General News)
Posted by MJF
Thursday 01 June 2006 - 11:33:01

Ottawa Citizen

Published: Thursday, June 01, 2006

Days after the January 2004 firebombing that killed young Chelsea and Cole Rodgers, homicide detectives raided the apartment of one of the accused in the murders, only to find what appeared to be an internal police intelligence file, a court heard yesterday.

The police report, which was entered yesterday as Exhibit No. 59 at the first-degree murder trial of Randy Parish, Tom McDowell and Gus Salah, details some inside information about the infiltration of outlaw biker gangs using secret informants managed by the RCMP.

The typed, one-page document, which names RCMP officers and mentions an attempted murder by Hells Angels associates, was found in a stack of handwritten notes of basic information about biker gangs.

They were found in the apartment of Mr. Parish, the man police accuse of plotting the firebombing. The Crown contends Mr. Parish hired enforcers for $7,000 each to kill Cindy Rodgers because he was afraid she'd expose him as a pedophile. Instead, her children, Chelsea, 10, and Cole, 7, died in the Jan. 30, 2004, firebombing of their rowhouse on Penny Drive, near Bayshore.

Ms. Rodgers testified earlier in the trial that she met Mr. Parish in the summer of 2003, and while she felt comfortable enough to let Cole sleep at his apartment three times, she told court there was something about his stories that made her suspicious.

One time, she testified, he told her he was in so tight with the police that he was "untouchable."

Sgt. Dave Shea, a top outlaw biker detective, testified yesterday that most of the information contained in the stack of handwritten pages seized from Mr. Parish's Vanier apartment, including the address of a well-known Hells Angels clubhouse in Ottawa and the name of its president, Paul "Sasquatch" Porter, can be found on the Internet -- except the police report.

The eight-man, four-woman jury has previously heard evidence from witnesses that Mr. Parish wanted to launch his own biker gang, going so far as to pay $2,500 for 25 gang-colour patches. The crest, featuring a menacing, devil-like face and the word "Ottawa," has also been entered as evidence.

One witness, whose identity is shielded by law, told court that he gave up his day job in the hopes of making fast cash doing night-time "jobs" for Mr. Parish's "gang," called Satan's Republic.

But as Sgt. Shea testified yesterday, the gang, which was to be modelled after the Hells Angels, would have had a severe problem even wearing their colours around town, notably from established motorcycle gangs.

Previous witnesses indicated that Mr. Parish was afraid to wear his colours, so much so that the only time he actually wore them was on Halloween as if it were a costume.

The police intelligence file is the latest turn in the sensational double-homicide trial, which has revealed a variety of stories about Mr. Parish.

Several witnesses testified previously that Mr. Parish alernately told them he was the son of a highly placed Italian mobster and an accountant for CFLers, or that he was wealthy despite working as a security guard.

Also yesterday, the jury was shown the rest of a videotaped interview between police and Mr. Salah, part of which they had seen the day before.

Although one witness, who cannot be named, testified that Mr. Salah was part of the plot -- showing the others how to make Molotov cocktails and acting as a lookout on Richmond Road the night of the firebombing -- Mr. Salah denied any involvement when he was interviewed by police on Feb. 1, 2004.

Sgt. Shea, the detective conducting that interview, apparently decided that Mr. Salah was not telling the truth. He pressed hard, suggesting that Mr. Salah was caught on videotape at a Tim Hortons where the accused allegedly met to iron out the plot.

Sgt. Shea acknowledged yesterday on the stand that it was merely a tactic to get anything he could out of Mr. Salah.

In the taped interview, Mr. Salah agreed that he was at the Tim Hortons meeting, but if the others at the table were talking about a firebombing, he wasn't paying attention.

Mr. Salah also asked the detective if the tape had audio, and kept saying he had absolutely nothing to do with the crime.

Mr. Salah was released unconditionally after that interview and arrested on April 15, 2004, a day after police were told a bogus story about Mr. Salah's involvement in the plot.

The tipster, who cannot be named, testified that he told the story at the behest of Mr. Parish, who wanted to pin the blame on Mr. Salah.

The trial resumes today in Room No. 35 at the Elgin Street courthouse with Justice Roydon Kealey presiding.


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