Insights Into Curtis Dagenais Case - Convicted RCMP Killer - Guest Blog Post
When Curt Dagenias was first arrested, I commented on a blog that he deserved a fair trial. Apparently Dagenias read this and felt that I was defending his actions, which I was not, nor am I doing so now.
Mr. Dagenias sent me a letter in March of 2007. That letter sat on my desk, unread, for almost two years. When his trial began I finally decided that I had to read it. While containing some very interesting information that I was surprised never made it into court, the letter basically rambles. And while also angry, the letter definitely has an overall tone of regret. Parts of the letter are available on this blog; some parts have been withheld to protect the names of people who have no involvement.
When talking to people about the Dagenias trail and the verdict I have found that while everyone agrees what Dagenias did was wrong, no one could bring themselves to completely absolve the RCMP of blame. In an e-mail correspondence with the writer of this blog I came to a conclusion in my own mind as to what bothered me so much about this tragedy and he agreed with me. I was then asked to guest blog and share my views, to which I agreed. Following are my thoughts on the Curtis Dagenias affair.
Through out my working life I have been primarily involved in construction and trucking. When ever an accident happens on a construction site or on the highway an investigation takes place and the conclusions are almost always the same; a series of small mistakes, over sites or events lead to one big screw up with tragic results. The focus of the investigation then moves to whether or not everyone involved did all they possibly could to prevent the accident; simply being with in the law or with in ones rights is not enough, you must be proven to have taken every possible step to have prevented the accident.
When this standard is applied to the Dagenias case I have to conclude that not everyone did all that they could to prevent the tragic result. While the guilt for the crime of murder belongs solely to Curtis Dagenias, as he was the person pulled the trigger, the RCMP officers involved disobeyed an order from their Sergeant not to arrest Dagenias and instead proceeded to charge in on Dagenias like a pack of wild dogs going after a rabbit. It is clear that neither Curt Dagenias nor the RCMP officers were thinking rationally that evening, but the RCMP officers are trained to deal with irrational people; doing so is a large portion of their job, and therefore they are to be held to a higher standard than the generally public.
It is very difficult to raise this point without appearing to defend Curt Dagenias, which I do not, but I do think this entire fiasco has to be examined impartially so that it never happens again. There are so many questions about how things were handled, but now is not the time to ask them. In time the public will demand that this case be looked at openly and honestly, but for now those involved should be allowed to be angry and to grieve.
Excerpts from the letter to my guest blogger from Curtis Dagenais appear below. Some of the names have been deleted at this time - but may appear here in the future along with the full transcript of the letter, IF Justice Gerald Allbright approves an application from CBC to release the actual tape of the RCMP radio transmission of the police chase prior to the shooting: (Spelling errors are as they appear in the original letter from Dagenais)
"So after numerours run-ins with mostly 1 DOT (Dept. of Transportation) officer "________" I was sitting at the Husky Truck Stop in Lloydminister ALBERTA and I was aproached by a bunch of Sask D.O.T. & R.C.M.P. pulled from my PETE & the shit kicked out of me by 3 R.C.M.P. while another stood and watched. You might know the main asshole as he was sent to Buffalo Narrows till things cooled off (like about 4 yrs (________ HYWAY patrol) sent complaints to commission in Ottawa & waited 4 yrs for reply. Now commission is denying to C.B.C. reporters that they ever heard of us (myself & Dad) but have proof otherwise." [...]
"Have a witness that has contacted me & wants to help. This person is from a small town near "OUR HOMETOWN" and owns a scanner and is willing to testify. I do not know this person & have never met just from written correspondence. Says radio communication overheard from Seargent _____ of Spiritwood detachment were to "SHOOT ME" this was heard before the chase occured. As there was no assault (I AM NOT A WOMAN BEATER) just an excuse to come after me because of accusations against R.C.M.P. Now the town of Spiritwood is held hostage by this Seargent ________ as there is all new officers except himself & one __________ that lives in Rabbit Lake. I've heard from a few different sources that between $20-30,000 dollars was paid out to the "CAFE'S" not so much for info but in case someone was to hear something. Lots of people in the R.M. are sure not happy with the R.C.M.P. as a lot of "HOMESTEAD BUILDINGS" & HERITAGE BUIDINGS were damaged for no reason while seaching for myself, windows smshed -doors that wore padlocks from the outside smashed down, door frames ruined. All kinds of farmers mad but scared to complain. Our house at the farm (NELSON HOME PACKAGE) was built in '76 and I can't remember ever locking the doors, both doors were unlocked yet the R.C.'s smashed out the front picture window to get inside! With no warrant Dad's (Art) charges are bullshit as he was no where near where the cops said he was, everyone who lives down that road were still at home just an excuse to get him out of the way."