A day in court with Matthew Ward-Jackson and his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar

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Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top righthand corner?

Matthew Ward-Jackson’s head tattoos include a man with a blacked-out eye.

On Friday September 12th, I went to Old City Hall to attend a court session for Matthew Ward-Jackson aka Krucifix14 aka Big Iisho. He currently has three sets of charges pending against him, including having supplied Dellen Millard with the gun he allegedly used to kill his father Wayne, who is reported to have been shot in the eye. But Friday was not about that. It was about an earlier drug possession and intent to traffic case. (Ward-Jackson has pleaded not guilty to all three sets of charges against him.)

Things were supposed to get underway at 10 a.m. but, because judges operate in a parallel time universe, at 10:30 we were still all sitting around waiting for her honour to arrive. There was the accused, Matthew Ward-Jackson; the co-accused; the co-accused’s mother; the two defence lawyers, making (minimum) $300 an hour small talk; the wife and paralegal of one of the defence lawyers; the Crown; the court clerk; the court reporter; me; and the Toronto police constable guarding the prisoner and fixing her wonky chair.

When the door finally opened, we were all expecting the judge, but no, not yet. Instead it was a 50-something down-on-his-luck looking guy with long thinning brown hair, a leather Harley Davidson jacket, torn jeans, and some very well worn cowboy boots.

“Hey MJ,” he said to Ward-Jackson in the prisoner’s box.”How’re you doing? I put some money in the canteen for you. It’s only 20 bucks.”

“Thanks for coming,” Ward Jackson replied graciously. It was the second occasion I’ve seen him in person and he’s lost weight over the past two months. He’s also better dressed than he was last time, wearing what looks like a brand new Roots Maple Leafs jacket, a blue plaid shirt, dark wash jeans and navy sneaker-type shoes, all fresh and clean. He has enough hair growth on his shaven head that I can’t clearly make out the tattoos underneath, including the one I’d really like to see of the man with his eye blacked out.

MJ’s buddy sits down next to me while the police constable guarding the prisoner gives him the once over. “I know you,” she says. “You’re Butch. We went to high school together.”

Butch does a double take. “You’re the boxer,” he says. “You still box?”

Their conversation gets cut short as the judge finally makes her entrance. Apologetically, she tells us all she’d like to take care of the other case on her agenda, a brief sentencing, before hearing the further evidence in the Ward-Jackson case.   She says it will take half an hour so we all clear out of the courtroom. By now, it’s almost 11.

I ask Butch if he has time to talk. And he tells me I can join him for his smoke break. On the courthouse steps, he explains that he was Ward-Jackson’s cellmate at the Toronto South Detention Center from the Canada Day long weekend until a few days ago when he was released. He was there for violating probation for an assault charge. He’d run into his lawyer in the courthouse halls earlier and she’d asked him what in hell he was doing here. Just showing support for a friend, he had explained much to her relief.

I told Butch I was interested in Ward-Jackson because of the gun trafficking charges related to the Millard case. “Whaaat?” he asked “Who?” I gave him a primer on Tim Bosma, Wayne Millard, Laura Babcock, etc. Butch only knew the vaguest of outlines. He said that prisoners don’t talk to each other about stuff like that.

He also emphasized that Matthew was a good guy, not dumb, and not guilty. That’s why he’d come to court to support him.

“At the very least he did some dumb things,” I suggested.

“Who hasn’t?” said Butch. “That’s why pencils have erasers.”

I kind of liked Butch. If you’ve got to have a cellmate, he seemed like just about the best you could have. Putting $20 in the canteen for MJ was a generous move.

We headed back inside and up to the courtroom where I spotted some familiar faces. There was a young blonde woman who looked like one of the Gotass Girls from Big Iisho’s various videos. And the guy with her was definitely Blanco Oro, a rapper and music producer.

“You’re Blanco Oro, right?” I said as I introduced myself. He looked simultaneously worried and disappointed. No doubt when he’d imagined people recognizing him from his videos, it was young fangirls not nosy reporters old enough to be his mother.

Like Butch, Blanco said he knew nothing Millard-related. He just wanted to see Matthew — who he described as an “up and coming artist” — get back to making music. I gave him my business card and a high five and sat down to wait for the judge. The sentencing was taking way longer than half an hour.

Butch was now talking to Blanco who had taken him aside to show him something on his phone. I assume it was my National Post article on Matthew Ward-Jackson and his ties to the Millard case because after that Butch stopped speaking to me. At noon when we eventually filed back in to the court room, no one wanted to sit beside me. Given that the kickboxing police woman was now chatting and joking with Ward-Jackson as she escorted him in and out, I felt it was unjust that I was the most feared and unpopular person in the room.

According to the dockets, we were there for a further evidence session, which began with the crown summing up the evidence against the accused. In a nutshell, some $50,000 worth of cocaine and $13,000 in in cash had been found in an apartment allegedly occupied by Ward-Jackson and his co-accused, who was his ex-GF. In my laywoman’s opinion, the crown made some good points but it was hardly an airtight case.

I was especially puzzled by the crown’s reference to marijuana supposedly found in the apartment between the mattresses.The crown said veteran drug squad officers recognized it as marijuana and not, for example, oregano, which would have been in the kitchen not the bedroom.

WTF?! I thought. This all seems very vague. Why didn’t they just test it? You don’t need to be CSI to tell oregano from marijuana. As it turned out, this was a subject the defence would later address although not the oregano angle.

Ward-Jackson’s lawyer for these charges is Deepak Paradkar, who is also Dellen Millard’s lawyer, defending him against all three charges of first degree murder. Along with wanting to talk to people who knew Ward-Jackson, Paradkar was the other reason I’d come to court. I wanted to see him in action.

As the crown wrapped up and we were about to break for lunch, he asked the judge if he could have two minutes. One of the points he raised was the marijuana issue. “If these officers are so veteran, why didn’t they seize it and inventory it?” he asked. “I have serious concerns.”

After lunch, both Paradkar and the co-accused’s lawyer made their case for a directed verdict. Paradkar is an impressive and forceful speaker, with a sarcastic streak when it comes to the cops. He was out to show the crown needed more proof his client had lived in the apartment where the cocaine was found. “Where is the lease, cable records, Bell records?” he asked. “Police college 101.”

“My friend,” he said, referring to the Crown, “emphasized that these were veteran officers, but that can be to their detriment.” Paradkar went on to cite a kidnapping case where 25-year veterans hadn’t followed the basic rules of evidence collection or performed what should be standard due diligence.

Amused, at one point, by his turn of phrase, I LOLled, which caused Butch to turn around and give me the stink eye. I wanted to explain I wasn’t laughing at his friend’s lawyer, I was laughing with him. But it was too late. I’d lost Butch.

As court wrapped up, Ward-Jackson thanked the judge for everything including her order that he receive a meal. Is he flirting with her? I wondered. Earlier, he’d called out cheekily to his co-accused as she walked by the prisoner’s box, plus there was all that chitchat with the kickboxing constable. Ward-Jackson appeared to think — not necessarily incorrectly — that he had a way with the ladies. Or maybe he was just genuinely grateful to be getting a non-prison meal. Butch had told me earlier that the food at Toronto South sucked and, as the old joke goes, there wasn’t enough of it.

The judge’s ruling is scheduled to be delivered on October 29 at 10 a.m. Ontario standard judge time. I promise to let you know what happens.

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What happened to Jeffrey Boucher? Read my new e-book on the case of the missing runner

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Read my new e-book: The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher

You can buy it on Amazon

It’s an account of the events surrounding the disappearance of the Whitby dad and my theory on what happened to Jeffrey Boucher.

Buy The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher (or read the free sample)

Matthew Ward-Jackson: Believed to have sold Dellen Millard the gun used to kill his father, Wayne Millard

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Matthew Ward-Jackson

Matthew Ward-Jackson, not as he appeared in Toronto court via video earlier today

Full story tomorrow. Here’s some background in the meantime.

Update June 10: My story is now up at the National Post. The first two paragraphs are below and here’s another photo of Matthew Ward-Jackson.

Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top righthand corner?

Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top lefthand corner?

The active social media life of a man believed to have sold a gun to accused triple murderer Dellen Millard has added another layer of mystery to what was already a bizarre case.

Matthew Ward-Jackson, charged with weapons trafficking in April, has almost no web presence  under his own name. Instead, the 27-year old with a tattooed face and body uses  the online aliases @Krucifix14, Krucifix North and @BIGiisho to document his life as an aspiring gangsta-style rapper. Instagram photos, YouTube videos and Facebook posts show him pouring champagne over women’s thong-clad backsides, literally throwing money around, driving classic cars and, more incongruously, taking bubble baths in a heart-shaped red tub.

Read the whole thing at the Post.

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Accused murderer Mark Smich lived at home of Wayne and Dellen Millard

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Accused Murderer Mark Smich

Houseguest Mark Smich (above) and his host Dellen Millard are charged with the murders of Tim Bosma and Laura Babcock. Dellen Millard is also accused of murdering his father Wayne. (Photo: Facebook)

Since I wrote my Grid article on the Toronto Police investigations into the murders of Wayne Millard and Laura Babcock, a number of facts have come to my attention.

Mark Smich and his girlfriend, whose name cannot be printed due to a publication ban, were living in the basement of Wayne MIllard’s Etobicoke home for several weeks (at least) before he was allegedly murdered. They were not in a separate apartment, but right in the same house.

In the past, Dellen had had other friends live in the basement, and although his father was not happy with this communal living situation, he never kicked anyone out. Instead, Wayne used tactics like not stocking the fridge in the hopes that this would make the basement a less attractive crash pad.

After Wayne MIllard was allegedly murdered, Dellen; his mother, Madeleine Burns; and his ex-fiancee were all present as police investigated the death that night. Smich was not there.

The Hamilton Spectator reported last month that Wayne was killed with a trafficked gun.

At the time of Wayne’s death in November 2012, basement resident Mark Smich had  two convictions from drug possession charges, two fail to comply convictions and one conviction for impaired driving. The previous month, he had been charged with mischief under $5,000 for spray-painting an Oakville overpass.

Smich and Dellen Millard are charged with the first degree murders of Tim Bosma and Laura Babcock. Millard is also charged with the first degree murder of his father Wayne. Both men have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.

If you have more information, please contact me at ann.brocklehurst@gmail.com.

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Relax, dog lovers, Popper cheats death in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

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If you are, like me, a dog, book and movie lover, you will feel a sense of dread when reading Donna Tartt’s new book, The Goldfinch. This is because it features a small white fluffster of a Maltese dog — called variously Popper, Popchik and Popchyk — who appears doomed from the moment he makes his entry into the novel, greeting with desperate shrieks the evil owner who has left him home all alone for almost two weeks.

Luckily for Popper, things change for the better thanks to Theo, the new teenage addition to his household,  and Theo’s bad-guy buddy, Boris. These two drug and booze-addled dudes let the little dog hang out with them, ending his life of isolation. The downside  is that their activities don’t exactly provide a safe and secure environment for the family pet, provoking many anxieties that he will go missing forever in a deserted Las Vegas subdivision.

Worse yet, when Theo and Boris encounter a mobster, it seems predestined that Popper will get what happens to so many movie dogs and end up lifeless on the front door stoop or kitchen counter with a threatening note attached to his collar.

Any half-serious movie goer knows just how often the loyal family dog meets a gruesome death, enough that there exists an entire website — www.DoesTheDogDie.com — devoted to answering this “most important movie question” and mentally preparing dog-loving movie goers for what’s to come.

That there is no literary equivalent to  www.DoesTheDogDie.com can be seen as a good thing  in as much as it  shows that tear-jerking pet death  has never been as big an issue for books as it is for movies. On the other hand, it also means there’s no quick reference guide to turn to if a reader does start to worry about a fictional dog’s future.

Therefore in the interests of calming the nerves of dog and literary fiction lovers reading The Goldfinch, I am hereby informing you that Popper survives this almost 800-page novel unharmed despite his many brushes with danger and long absences from the narrative.

And no, I did not forget the spoiler warning. The only thing this knowledge will spoil is a sadistic ride on the roller coaster of fear for an innocent little Maltese dog. Knowing Popper’s fate does not in any way affect the outcome of the rest of The Goldfinch.

Rest reassured dear Reader, Popper lives to a ripe old age.

Fed leak rumours shine spotlight on bigger problems with ‘media’ lock-ups

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Government never intended to become part of the high-speed trading infrastructure, but it can’t extricate itself without alienating Wall Street

Lock-ups, like the one the Fed is now investigating for a leak, make no sense in the age of the internet. The Fed and other agencies that announce potentially market-moving data could far more easily release it on the web, as Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt argues they should in this interview. But this is unlikely to happen anytime soon due to the simple fact that lock-ups have, over the past few years, become part of the infrastructure for so-called high frequency trading or HFT as its known.

Wall Street, a major donor to both U.S. political parties, would go ballistic if it no longer had access to the lock-ups through special fibre optic lines and, as of late, microwave networks. Instead of the data travelling straight to the Street via so-called machine readable feeds that allow profitable trades to take place in milliseconds, hedge funds and traders would have to figure out a way to get the data from the internet so they could then trade on it. It might take seconds like it did in the past and this is something, the masters of the universe wouldn’t be prepared to live with.

As a result of this most recent Fed leak investigation, several other leak and lock-up stories this year, and various ongoing SEC and FBI investigations, we’re likely to see two things happen in the very near (but far longer than milliseconds away) future. One, expect to hear more and more that lock-ups — originally conceived  to ensure the public received clear information in a timely fashion — have become obsolete in this era of global communications. And two, prepare for Wall Street to push back and tell us there will be market chaos if lock-ups are done away with. Financiers will argue that such a change would make the system unfair and susceptible to the horrible vagaries of regular old internet connections.

Access to lock-ups is so important to the HFT crowd that over the past decade, several trading companies have set up their own “news agencies” (yes, those are scare quotes) to gain the coveted entry key. Chicago’s JED Capital funded Need to Know News and then sold it to the Deutsche Börse. The Montreal-based proprietary trader Vigilant Global (formerly Vigilant Futures) founded the now-defunct Canadian Economic Press (CEP News) and, as a result, received direct feeds from lock-ups in Ottawa, Washington, London and Frankfurt. A Slovakian firm, World Business Press Online, cropped up in Bratislava, and started attending lock-ups around the world. Then came Econolive, also know as Empire News, which appears to be an Israeli firm, but this can’t be confirmed because no one there will return phone calls and their reporters don’t have the foggiest idea who owns the company. And last but not least there’s Buffalo-based RTTNews which — unlike many of the aforementioned new players — has been around since early internet days. In recent years, it’s had a makeover, however, and it too is now an active lock-up attendee.

All this activity eventually attracted the interest of the FBI, but failed to result in any arrests or prosecutions. Apart from the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to kick Need to Know News and RTTNews out of its lock-ups in the spring of 2012, everyone’s still attending Washington’s other lock-ups and many go to similar lock-ups in the UK, Germany and Canada.

According to anonymous but proven-to-be reliable sources, it was never clear that there was indeed any illegal leaking by the new “news agencies.” Despite the suspicion and investigations, no evidence of malfeasance was ever found. Multiple insiders, who did not want to give their names, said the new “news agencies” profited simply because they were both more nimble and more sophisticated than bigger, better established news operations, which made them significantly faster in the age of HFT.

“While I can’t say if any of these (new) news companies were cheating, I can say they were light years ahead technology wise over DJ, Reuters, Bloomberg, AP, etc,” said one source in an email.  “They built highly optimized networks to transfer this data through ultra low latency switches and lines that the other guys never thought of.  They also were optimized to this single rifle shot of data through a network where the big legacy guys were using systems/networks optimized for throughput and continuously publishing hundreds or thousands of stories simultaneously and continuously.”

Since the invasion of the small news agencies beginning in 2005,  the big players have mostly caught up and just about everyone now offers machine readable feeds (you program your computer with algorithms that allow trades to be carried out in the blink of an eye) and low latency (ultra high-speed) services.

Many of the traders associated with new “news agencies” are said to have their own microwave networks, which are supposedly faster than even the newest fibre optic lines. In a study released after reports of the September 18 Fed leak, the large trading firm Virtu Financial confirmed that certain companies receive their data via microwave radio signals, a topic that traders usually don’t mention in public.

In August of 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported:

These microwave networks require a dish every 30 miles or so and Federal Communications Commission approval. High-speed traders, however, try to cloak their routes in secrecy. FCC filings do not list the traders themselves but limited liability companies with such nondescript names as Webline Holdings.

For this reason, it was unusual to see Montreal’s Vigilant Global publicly named when it requested antennae permits in both the U.S. and Great Britain. According to a source, Vigilant, Virtu and Jump Trading are confirmed to have their own microwave networks. Other firms who may own them are Allston Trading, Tower Trading Group, which owns the mysterious Latour Trading, and Final, an Israeli company that is a top volume player on the CME.

While some traders have said that they think the ongoing investment in proprietary millisecond-shaving networks is a costly war of diminishing returns, others are not yet ready to lay down arms. Jump is supposed to have “bought a de-commisioned NATO telco tower in Belgium to secure the fastest London-to-Frankfurt route,” said the source.

The source added that any one of these trading companies might own and/or be (exclusive) clients of the smaller news agencies accessing lock-ups. This conflict-of-interest situation is a huge annoyance to the legacy news agencies, who don’t make multi-million dollar trades on the side and must earn their profits solely by providing news. They’ve tried on many occasions to have the new players booted out of the lock-ups and their press passes revoked, but these efforts have been foiled partly due to governmental bureaucratic inertia and partly due to haphazard media accreditation systems devised by press gallery members themselves.

The whole situation is further complicated by the fact that it’s not just Wall Street that would be in trouble if lock-ups were abolished; Bloomberg,Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones would be cut right out of their profitable middleman role, which would undermine their entire business model. Last year, when Statistics Canada attempted to put information on the web before it was released from lock-ups, it was immediately forced to back down. Reuters reported that it and other news organizations had made “strenuous representations” to StatsCan and the minister in charge to block the change.  StatsCan was supposed to come up with an alternative proposal shortly, but there’s been radio silence ever since.

As much as the internet makes it possible to do away with lock-ups, powerful vested interests won’t let go of the keys to the money-making chambers without a fight.

Dellen Millard’s letter from jail

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Here is the full text of the letter Dellen Millard, accused murderer of Tim Bosma, wrote from prison to one of his fans, a 31-year-old woman from the Kitchener area. For details on how it was authenticated see these two earlier posts:

If you have information on the Dellen Millard, please contact me at ann.brocklehurst@gmail.com.

Text of the letter

Dee,

The prisoners here call me ‘Big D.’ So I kind of feel like I’m writing to someone who has highjacked (sic) my nickname. I’m going to take it as a meanningful (sic) coincidence. Pleased to make your aquaintance (sic)!

I’ve never before found myself in prison. It’s been an uncomfortable experience so far. One of the worst parts has been that everyone seems to think I am a murderer. (Which I’m not, I go out of my not to step on ants.) I always suspected the news papers (sic) were full of shit, but until recently I had no idea! Another surprise was how the police conduct themselves. They formed their theory, and then went about making it a reality. I’m somewhat horrified at imagining how many innocent people might be imprisoned right now. Police corruption is nothing like Hollywood portrayed, truth really is stranger than fiction.

My closest friends and family stand by my side, which is really all I need. But I must say it is uplifting to get your letter! That someone out there who has not known me cant still see what’s being said about me just doesn’t addup, gives me confidence a jury can see it too.

continued…

I’d like very much to continue to write to you; to have your support and to have a proper conversation once I make bail.

(Which I hope will happen in September).

But for that to happen, I’m going to have to meet you first.

I get two twenty minute visits per week. Because I only get two, you can bet one will be taken every week by family.

I invite you to drop by :

tuesday 9am – 11am 6pm – 8pm

I look forward to meeting you Dee!

-Dellen -(BigD)

H.W.D.C.
2B left
cell 7
165 Barton St E
Hamilton On
L8L 2W8

Dee Letter page 1

Dee Letter page 2

Thoughts on Toronto and Rob Ford

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I have an article on Toronto’s travails in Chatham House’s The World Today magazine. It carries on where my La Presse piece from three years ago left off.

Here’s the start of my new article:

Toronto is a city that knows its place, or at least it did until recently. It had earned its nickname ‘Toronto the Good’, and was used to compliments from visitors who praised it for being ‘so clean’ and ‘so safe’.

Although Toronto overtook Montreal to become Canada’s largest city in the mid-Sixties, it always accepted it lacked that certain je ne sais quoi. Torontonians were content to forgo glamour and a home-grown independence movement for their booming job market and rising house prices.

It has helped, too, that over the decades Toronto, once seen as an uptight anglophile enclave, has succeeded in rebranding itself as the world’s most multicultural city – more than half of its inhabitants were born outside Canada. Toronto has gained enough confidence to ignore the barbed comments from the rest of the country.

Read the whole thing and see the very apt Rob Ford picture the editors chose to accompany the article.

Vigilant Global builds new wireless network in Europe, North America

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Vigilant Global builds new wireless network in Europe, North America

Planning applications are underway in both the U.S. and U.K.

Earlier this month, city councillors in Castle Point, England, a town 30 miles east of central London, turned down a proposal from Vigilant Global, the secretive Montreal-based proprietary trading company, to add two new dish antennae to the local water tower.

The plans called for 60cm and 1.2m dishes – the latter of which would have been the biggest antennae on the building so far.

The failed application appears to be one of several Vigilant Global has made over the past 12 to 18 months including one in London’s Crystal Palace ward and another in Westmont, Illinois, just west of Chicago where Michael Bieniek of Lora, Chanthadouangsy & Castellanos, LLC, requested a permit to place more than three antennas on a structure on behalf of his client.

A Minstead Parish council report for another application states:

The dishes would aid the business of Vigilant Global, a company which serves the electronic finance sector. They are currently in the process of designing and implementing a wireless network to replace their existing fibre infrastructure.

The application further notes:

Vigilant Global is a Montreal-based R&D and IT firm that designs and deploys high-performance systems for the world of electronic finance. Vigilant Global operates a proprietary communication network across the UK for the transfer of information between various sites. They are currently in the process of designing and implementing a wireless network to provide redundancy to their existing fibre infrastructure. As such, they need several links and sites in order to establish a connection. The dishes at this site are essential to allow them to use this location as an intermediary, but network critical, link for the overall end to end connection.

The scheme merely seeks to install 2 new dishes, onto the existing mast, and one which is already populated with a significant amount of telecommunications equipment.

The most interesting information about the network, however, can be found in a statement  submitted on behalf of Arqiva and Vigilant Global in support of an application for full planning permission at a site off Cuckoo Lane, Bulbarrow Hill, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 0HQ. This existing electronic communications site is controlled and managed by Arqiva, which is “a radio site management company which provides much of the infrastructure behind television, radio and wireless communications in the UK and has a growing presence in Ireland, mainland Europe and the USA.”

I’ve linked to a cached version of the statement, which appears to have been removed from the website where I found it 10 days ago (cached versions are temporary so this link may die too). Below I’ve picked out some of the juicy bits — or at least what I found to be the juicy bits.

From Section 1, INTRODUCTION:

1.4 As explained in more detail in the accompanying Economic Statement, the transmission dishes (point to point radio links often known as ‘microwave’ links),will form part of a wider network of low latency dish backhaul solutions for Vigilant Global, a company providing network solutions for clients operating within the London and global financial securities and trading markets.

From Section 2, LOW LATENCY DISH COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK:

2.1 As set out in greater detail within the supporting Economic Statement, within the financial securities markets there is an ever increasing demand for faster trading speeds through advanced communications technology. In particular, high frequency computer-based trading (HFT) has grown in recent years to represent about 30% of equity trading in the UK and possibly over 60% in the USA.

2.2 The key factor in high-frequency trading is ‘latency’, a term used by trading firms to define delays that occur in transmitting buy and sell orders. The “millisecond environment” in which today’s financial markets operate mean that computers respond to each other at a speed 100 times faster than it would take for a human trader to blink. This is extremely important. The US TABB Group estimates that a five millisecond delay in transmitting an automatic trade can cost a broker 1% of its flow; which could be worth £2.6m in revenues per millisecond.

2.3 One of the major restrictions to latency is the use of fixed line fibre optic networks. This is now leading to significant investment in the UK to improve trading speeds through the use of low latency wireless dish communicationnetworks.

2.4 The proposed development will form part of larger network of ultra high speed (low latency) wireless dish communications sites which will support the UK financial services industry. The low latency network being developed will be very high speed and is critical to enable competitive trading undertaken on an automated basis. The value of such trading runs into the millions each day and without such networks, City based financial institutions would find themselves at a disadvantage compared to other world financial centres. At best this would result in reduced profits, but at worst could mean financial institutions relocating from the UK.

2.5 The proposed new communications dishes at the existing communications site at Bulbarrow Hill is absolutely critical to meeting this low latency microwave networkand ensuring that London remains the world’s leading financial centre and hence a major contributor to the UK GDP. It is for this reason that achieving sustainable growth in the UK Financial sector and embracing new infrastructure requirements such as low latency communication networks is embodied in the former and present Governments UK growth agenda.

From Section 3, OPERATIONAL NEED – BULBARROW HILL:

3.3 The height of the mast, at 70m, and its geographical and topographical position on Bulbarrow Hill, make it an ideal technical solution for Vigilant’s requirements as it provides a direct and unobstructed path towards suitable other communication tower locations in the low latency network. These links form part of a transatlantic route that will run overland from Cornwall, Devon and Dorset (to/from the US) to the City of London and thereafter to routes across theChannel into Continental Europe, linking with financial centres there, particularly Frankfurt.

3.6 This is an important financial and operational benefit, as it executes the principle that the smallest number of radio sites connected by dish links will ensure lowest latency times due to shorter travel time for trading information. In the millisecond trading environment, this is very important to the successful operation of these low latency networks in the UK and will ensure that the UK securities and trading markets and wider Digital Economy remains highly efficient and globally competitive.

From Section 7, SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS:

7.1 In summary, the application seeks full planning permission for the installation of additional electronic communications apparatus that will form a critical role in Vigilant Global’s low latency network. This network, which supports the UK’s financial services industry, provides a nationally important communications infrastructure route linking the UK to USA and Europe.

These quotes strike me as especially interesting given that the FBI has now reopened its investigation into how media companies transmit government data to investors. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that one of the reasons the multi-year investigation had finally been shut down was because the government had concerns about whether it could prove in court that a time advantage for a trader of a sliver of a second—as little as a few thousandths—was enough to conduct profitable trades on confidential information.

Seems like someone should get hold of a copy of the Arqiva document not to mention the TABB Group’s estimates.

Despite its multi-year investigation, the FBI has never found any wrong-doing and no charges have been laid against anyone. There is no indication at all that anything illegal has ever taken place.

Based on my research, certain players in media lock-ups had a completely legal speed advantage.

Dellen Millard: Four articles that shed light on Dellen Millard, accused murderer of Tim Bosma

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Here are four articles that provide insights into the character and motivations of Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old man accused of murdering Tim Bosma.

Suspect in Tim Bosma’s death was always ‘a little different’ and did ‘odd stuff’ at private school, classmate says

And one of the odd things he did was to seek attention by eating dog biscuits straight out of the box. This is a great Dellen MIllard profile from the National Post. Read all

Whoever killed Bosma is abusive, exploitive and a risk-taker: profiler

James Van Allen, former head of the OPP’s criminal profiling unit, tells the Spectator:

(Tim Bosma’s) killer is someone who is exploitive, abusive, lacks any empathy and is a risk-taker.

The murder deviates from what is typically seen in the car theft racket, he said, where excessive violence is not the norm.

“This is too elaborate to steal one truck; to have these allegations of multiple people involved, multiple attempts to access a truck.”

What doesn’t add up, he said, is why anyone would murder for a truck. And “is the crime incongruent with the person charged?”

Read all

Tim Bosma’s murder may have been “thrill kill”: source

The Sun has someone in the police leaking information to them. This article appeared early on in the investigation:

Police are looking into a small, “close-knit group of friends” that hung around together.

Dellen Millard, charged with first-degree murder, was part of that group.

“Social media was a big part of their activities,” the source said…

…On one hand, this murder had the look and feel of something out of the movie Fargo, but a police source said a new TV show , The Following, may be closer to it.

The show depicts a number of people following a leader involved in nefarious activities, including homicide.

Read all

Declining Dynasty: More about Dellen Millard and his father Wayne

This is my article from the National Post dealing with, among other things, the mysterious death of Wayne Millard

In his role as a business development consultant to Millardair’s new Waterloo airport venture, Al Sharif was happy to have only limited contact with Dellen Millard, the boss’s son and the guy in charge of hangar construction. As far as Mr. Sharif and other executives at the company were concerned, Dellen and his red mohawk spelled trouble.

“I thought he was just a spoilt little brat who had his way all his life and didn’t appreciate what his father was doing for him,” said Mr. Sharif. “He was an impediment to the hangar operation” who didn’t meet his deadlines, almost never arrived at work before noon, and refused to clear his collection of cars, jeeps, hot rods, jet skis and personal airplanes from the business premises.

Read all

Declining Dynasty: The Family of Accused Killer Dellen Millard

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Wayne Millard with young Dellen Millard

Wayne Millard with young Dellen Millard

I have a story on the Millard family and Millardair’s new Waterloo business venture in today’s National Post. It doesn’t seem to be online yet, but I’m sure it will go up eventually. Here’s the link.

The story focuses on Wayne Millard and his mysterious death.

If you have any information on any of the different angles relating to this story and Tim Bosma’s horrific murder, I would like very much to hear from you. You can reach me at ann.brocklehurst@gmail.com or @AnnB03 on Twitter.

In the meantime, here are the first two paragraphs from my article:

In his role as a business development consultant to Millardair’s new Waterloo airport venture, Al Sharif was happy to have only limited contact with Dellen Millard, the boss’s son and the guy in charge of hangar construction. As far as Mr. Sharif and other executives at the company were concerned, Dellen and his red mohawk spelled trouble.

“I thought he was just a spoilt little brat who had his way all his life and didn’t appreciate what his father was doing for him,” said Mr. Sharif. “He was an impediment to the hangar operation” who didn’t meet his deadlines, almost never arrived at work before noon, and refused to clear his collection of cars, jeeps, hot rods, jet skis and personal airplanes from the business premises.

CSIS hacking story appears in National Post

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The Post picked up my story on the CSIS hacking.

I’m still perplexed by the comment from Tahera Mufti, a media liaison officer at CSIS, who said the websites are fine, when they clearly aren’t. I can only think of two explanations:

  1. The charitable explanation: CSIS fixed the sites after I first posted about the problem here and the search engines just haven’t caught up.
  2. The non-charitable explanation: CSIS really does not understand the nature of the problem and didn’t see they had been hacked.

I also learned on the weekend that developer Sean Walberg had noticed the Viagra spam as far back as January. He took a screenshot of the hacking that shows it differently from my examples.

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 2.58.02 PM

Sean Walberg’s screenshot of the CSIS hacking

On Friday, you could still see this kind of result by viewing the Google cached versions of the infected www.csiscareers.ca pages but now those pages show a 404 message, which indicates to me that CSIS is actively clearing this up. As of this afternoon, Yahoo cached pages still show the infection, which makes sense since Yahoo (which is powered by Bing) doesn’t crawl as often and is slower to take account of changes.

Wattpad, What Pad, WTF Pad???!!!

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Wattpad is a bit of a tech darling as of late. Not only does it have the venture capital crowd on its side, it’s also got Margaret Atwood. In fact, credit where credit’s due, Atwood’s the one who coined the name “what pad,” which inspired WTF pad, whch sounds a lot like making reading and writing social, which is what Wattpad’s supposedly about. Or one of the things Wattpad might be about.

Except nothing about Wattpad, beyond the fact that it seems to have some very solid traffic and useage stats, makes much sense. If you don’t believe me, just go to their site and see if you can figure it out. I can’t and I’ve been dropping in once a year for a while now.

Although he makes a valiant attempt, this interviewer (I believe it’s Michael Healy)  seems equally perplexed by Wattpad. It’s almost as if he should have subtitles that read, “I don’t get it.”

In an attempt to get its story across, Wattpad often describes itself as wanting to do for writing what YouTube does for video. But that analogy doesn’t work for me for a number of reasons that I’ll only go into if someone asks.

Publicly at least, the Wattpad business model seems to be if we keep building it and they keep coming, we’ll find a way to monetize it. Think Twitter and Facebook. Fair enough, but we’re all still thinking about Twitter and Facebook, wondering if the former’s even profitable and if the latter’s ever going to live up to the hype.

Wattpad CEO Allen Lau is on the record for being a fan of  free and freemium (see video for just one example) and for talking — not all that clearly — about transactional relationships (the old way) versus gifting (the new way). Although at one point in his video interview he seems to advocate the write-for-free, sell-the-t-shirt-and-souvenir-book model, during the question period, he says he doesn’t want to get into the shrinking paper book market. It’s confusing if not contradictory.

For a company that’s all about story sharing, Wattpad either doesn’t have a very good story to tell, or they do but they’re not about to share it, which is kind of strange given that they’re hiring a PR manager when they’re not ready to divulge the plot.

In the past, I’ve called BS on some bizarre internet media companies — including Geosign which may have suckered U.S. venture capitalists out of a large chunk of the $160 million they invested — and I’ve turned out to be right. But I have a tendency to be overly sceptical and not see what I don’t know — like how Google was going to make a profit. Cough, cough.

In the case of Wattpad, I do think there’s a potentially viable business and this quote from the video (approximately 26 minutes in) is a clue, or one clue at least , to what the business model that Lau declines to talk about, might be.

A lot of people believe that on the internet we are going to get rid of all the middle men. I don’t think so. If you look at YouTube they are still a middleman, but the role of the middleman is quite different from the traditional world. (With the old model) the middleman is basically the gatekeeper, they would control the flow from the content creation side to the end user side. But for digital or for internet companies that role is changing. We are no longer the gatekeeper. We are the facilitator.We want to remove and reduce the friction between content creation and content consumption.

Lau also puts a lot of emphasis on being first and how one mega-player often reigns supreme on the internet in industries where competition used to be more vibrant. He cites Amazon and book-selling as an example.

My theory is that Lau wants to turn Wattpad into some kind of publishing marketplace where writers can use the social network as a focus group, get cover art, hire an agent, get publicity, find translators and much more.  Wattpad would collect commissions and fees from freemium users all along the publishing chain including present partners like Smashwords and Lulu.

Instead of helping writers monetize, which Lau says he doesn’t want to do, writers would help Wattpad monetize by paying for the freemium services they need. While only a handful are ever likely to break even or break out, they’re the ones who’ll provide the bulk of the revenues.

Wattpad has recently been asking published writers to put previously published works on line for free. Those who give it a whirl, like Jon Evans, have access to information about how readers read that they never had before.

Wattpad provides data

Lau  emphasizes the importance of data multiple times throughout the video. He also says on his blog that “the current ebook ecosystem is quite clearly just another bridge product” like Microsft’s Encarta encyclopedia on DVD. “Except for the output, the way ebook is written, edited, published and sold are more or less the same as the old traditional publishing system,” he writes.

That indicates to me that he’s aiming to make Wattpad the new ecosystem. I would be very surprised, however, if Amazon doesn’t understand all this just as well. Not only does Amazon likely have stats on how readers read every single ebook it sells, it’s also got its own publishing house and employs people who understand both traditional and “bridge” publishing models. It’s hard to believe that they wouldn’t understand that “the book” is evolving and that the future will be different.

As for the community aspect, Kindle Direct Publishing could build that out pretty fast and the big social reading sites have strong communities that are older and wiser than Wattpad’s mostly teen audience. They could move into the “new ecosystem” pretty fast if they wanted to.

End of Chapter One. I can now see if anyone’s interested and, if they are,  move on to Chapter Two in the Wattpad saga.

Latest on Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, accused murderers of Laura Babcock, Tim Bosma

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich will appear by video in Toronto court Friday Sept. 26 for a short session related to the murder of Laura Babcock. These monthly appearances typically last only two or three minutes while the defence lawyers and crown attorneys update each other (or don’t, as often happens) on the status of the case.

The murder case of Millard’s father Wayne is also on the agenda tomorrow. Millard is accused of killing his father without an accomplice while both he and his friend Smich are charged with murdering Laura Babcock. All matters related to the Babcock and Millard murders are heard in Toronto.

Millard and Smich — who have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them — are also accused of killing Tim Bosma. That case is being heard in Hamilton.

Alleged gun traffickers in Millard-related case share love of tattoos, rap music

Matthew Jackson Wawrykiewycz is one of three men accused of trafficking Dellen Millard the gun allegedly used to kill his father, Wayne. Since they are all called Matthew, and two have Jackson in their name (no, they’re not related), it can get a bit confusing at times.

Yet another complicating factor is that, like his co-accused Matthew Ward-Jackson, Wawrykiewycz also aspires to work in the rap music business and is fond of full-body tattoos.

Wawrykiewycz uses the online identities Dubs Banger and Callmeinkywriteonme while Ward-Jackson goes by Big Iisho and Krucifix14. (Update: Unfortunately after this post appeared, those Twitter and Instagram accounts were closed.)

Matthew Wawrykiewycz aka Dubs Banger

Matthew Wawrykiewycz’s next court date for the weapons trafficking charge against him is September 22

Wawrykiewycz can be seen with Ward-Jackson in this Facebook video on the top left.

The third co-accused is another Matthew — Matthew Odlum, who also has no online presence in his real name.

All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and none of the allegations have been proven in court. Matthew Ward-Jackson is in jail at the Toronto South Detention Centre while the two other Matthews are under house arrest. (Dellen Millard has also pleaded not guilty to the murder of his father, which was originally deemed a suicide by Toronto police.)

All three Matthews are scheduled to appear in Toronto court on September 22.

Update, Saturday August 13: Read about another court case involving Matthew Ward-Jackson, which took place yesterday.

Some upcoming court dates for Dellen Millard, Mark Smich, Matthew Ward-Jackson and the two other Matthews

Last time Matthew Ward-Jackson was in court for something interesting, I had to choose between seeing him at Old City Hall in Toronto, where he’s up on a drug charge, and attending Christina Noudga’s bail hearing ruling in Hamilton. I chose the latter, but later stopped by the Ward-Jackson courtroom to see if he was still there.

No luck. The judge was hearing a completely different case.

This Friday, however, Ward-Jackson aka Big Iisho aka Krucifix14 is returning to Old City Hall for what the court documents describe as “further evidence.” Yesterday he appeared by video at the Jane and Finch courthouse for what I presume were the January drugs and weapons charges, but I decided to give it a miss. I’m waiting for his pre-trial which is scheduled for November 13.

Meanwhile, Ward-Jackson and the two other Mattthews — Odlum and Wawrykiewycz –have their monthly remand sessions coming up on September 22. They are all facing weapons charges, including supplying Dellen Millard with the gun he allegedly used to kill his father Wayne.

Speaking of Millard, he and Mark Smich will be back on September 26 in Toronto for the Wayne Millard and Laura Babcock charges. Millard is charged with the first degree murder of both his father and Babcock. Smich is charged with the first degree murder of Babcock. Both are also charged with the murder of Tim Bosma in Hamilton where they will make short video appearances on September 19.

Every single person mentioned here has pleaded NOT GUILTY to all the charges against them. None of the allegations have yet been proven in court.

Update: One of Millard’s lawyers (I’m not sure which one) told CHCH Tv that the murder trial for Tim Bosma would likely take place in the fall of 2015.

Coming Up: New ebook on Dellen Millard

I’m working on a new ebook about Dellen Millard and the murders of Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard, which I hope to publish next month. More like an e-very-long-magazine-article than a book, it will be the story of Dellen Millard so far. There is a lot that remains unknown to the public about the accused triple murderer and his alleged accomplice and friend, Mark Smich. Many of the key facts won’t start to come to light or, for legal reasons, can’t be published until the pair’s first trial, for the murder of Tim Bosma, gets underway. And due to the inexplicable slowness of the Canadian legal system that likely won’t happen until 2015.

Yet, at the same time, there is a lot that we do know already about Millard and Smich, and that hasn’t ever been brought together in one place. On top of that, in the year and a half I’ve spent reporting on the murders of Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard, I have uncovered quite a bit of new information that I haven’t had the right opportunity to publish until now. Mostly, I would find a snippet here, a snippet there, never quite enough for an entire article, but all interesting pieces to the Dellen Millard puzzle.

More recently, I had the chance to read a batch of jailhouse letters, written by Millard to family and friends over a period ranging from June 2013 to March of this year when the correspondence seems to have abruptly stopped. I think the letters offer genuine insights into the mind of Dellen Millard and, for the first time, I really understood why people who know Millard don’t believe he can be guilty.

A lot of the time, he seems calm and resigned to his situation, but on other occasions, he flares up in anger. He writes about prison life and, often — maybe, too often — about death. He also discusses topics like fashion, his battles to stay trim, and what he’s reading in jail. He can come across as a major narcissist and shockingly naive about the trouble he’s in. Yet on other occasions, he seems like an empathetic friend.

In the excerpt below, you can see that, apart from the terrible spelling, Millard’s a much better writer in his letters than he was in the strange and stilted obit he wrote when his father Wayne died:

Obama was in south (sic) Africa recently. There was a photo of him standing in Nelson Mandela’s cell. It looked awfly (sic) familiar…

Yea I do yoga in the cell. I’m locked in twenty three and a half hours a day. I’m let out only to meet with my lawyer, or take a shower. It’s a little bigger than Mandela’s; about five by eleven, top and bottom bunk, steel toilet and sink, door on one end, windows on the other. Yoga’s very
well suited to the narrow space. I also jump and run in place as my ‘cardio’. Some of the other prisoners joke there’s a kangaroo in here with me. This entire range is on constant lockup, so we never interact, just yell at one another from behind cell doors. It’s not especially noisy, but sound trickles in from other parts of the jail. A guard on the phone, a movie being played on a far away range, the quick rush of footsteps followed by dull thuds as someone gets beat up on another floor, there’s a fire alarm almost every day. Still there’s plenty of calm to read and draw during the day. At night someone is often upset about something and will yell and bang as retalliation (sic). The expression is ‘Oh yea?! Well noone’s sleeping tonight!’ The first few nights were especially difficult, but now I barely notice.

And what of Mark Smich, Millard’s homely sidekick whose story has gotten only a fraction of the attention paid to his friend’s? A petty criminal who liked to dress in gangsta style before switching to an orange jumpsuit, Smich has a devoted coterie of friends who consistently and somewhat curiously use the exact same word to describe him — “sweet.” Also, in what’s probably an unintentional homage to Breaking Bad, these friends often mention how Smich was a great “family” guy. It’s hard sometimes, when listening to them, not to feel that they’re reading from the script of what they think they’re supposed to say when their buddy gets arrested.

At this point, I want to emphasize that both Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them, and none of the allegations have been proven in court. Their respective attorneys have stated repeatedly that they will vigorously defend their clients. Before the law, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich are absolutely 100% innocent until proven guilty.

In the not-so-distant, pre-internet past, it would not have been possible to write a book like this. I would have had to sit on much of this information and then publish it post-trial, but the advent of the ebook makes it possible — with certain legal constraints — to tell you the story so far and to update you as new developments emerge.

If you’re interested, I would also love it if you would join in the ongoing discussion and contribute your thoughts on my website www.annrbrocklehurst.com where I continue to follow and report on the murders of Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard. If you prefer you can subscribe to my newsletter and receive updates when news breaks. Or you can do both.

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Batshit crazy TV parents that get a pass from critics

Paige and Elizabeth from The Americans

Mommy Dearest goes undetected by the critics

One thing that continually amazes me — both in life and in pop culture — is how badly people treat children and think it’s okay to treat children even in our childcentric era.

Let me be clear, I have no time for spoilt brats or their parental enablers, but every once in a while I’m gobsmacked by what seemingly sensible people seem to think is okay.

Recently, I’ve been watching The Americans Season 2, which I like but don’t love. Phillip and Elizabeth have been having various problems with their kids this season. In the last episode I watched, Martial Eagle, Elizabeth hauls her daughter Paige, who’s not in any way a brat or teenage horror, out of bed in the middle of the night and orders her to clean the fridge and mop the floor.

Paige’s ostensible crime is giving $600 of her own money to her church. Elizabeth tells her:

You want to be a grown-up? You want to spend money the way you want? Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do all the time. It means working when you are exhausted, and almost never getting what you want when you want it.

Huh? It’s Paige’s money. Why does Elizabeth think she can tell her daughter how to spend it? Being an adult means finding out that if you spend your money on the wrong things, it’s all gone. It doesn’t mean that the people you love and depend on will pull you out of bed on a school night and force you to mop the floor because you haven’t done what they want.

Elizabeth was acting batshit psycho crazy. And here’s the critical reaction.

From Sarah Miller at the New York Times:

Knowing about Elizabeth’s hardscrabble past, we can understand her anger a little, (AB: Wrong!! Speak for yourself) and on some level she’s trying to protect Paige from something she thinks is truly evil. That said, she is also being cruel (AB: Right, keep going with this. Cruel, say it again. Cruel.) and justifying it by insisting that the cruelty done to her, and her dislike of religion, gives her license to fight fire with fire.

Elizabeth’s speech to Paige, however, seemed strangely reasonable (AB: WTF???!!! Make up your mind. Reasonable or cruel?): “You want to be a grown-up? You want to spend money the way you want? Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do. All the time. It means working when you are exhausted and almost never getting what you want when you want it.”

Elizabeth’s speech was powerful and resonant, but also reminds us what the show is really about. It’s not about people telling themselves that killing people is O.K. It’s more about life being hard and things not going the way you want. (AB: As in Elizabeth not getting what she wants — a daughter that thinks like her in every single way.)

 From Brent Taylor at the Houston Chronicle:

Elizabeth decides to teach Paige a lesson by having her clean the fridge, mop the floors, and put away laundry in the middle of the night. Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do them. Don’t I know it! Preach it, Elizabeth! (AB: Yeah, sure hauling kids out of beds in the middle of night isn’t abusive at all. Would it be okay for a husband to do this to his wife because they’re, you know adults and that’s how adults behave?)

From Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post:

Her punishment for Paige is a kind of catechism, a reinforcement of why she believes, and why her work feels worth it. (AB: Catechism? Really?)

From Pilot Viruet on Flavorwire:

Meanwhile, later in the episode, Elizabeth approaches the Paige situation in a different, slightly more rational way. (AB: Talk to me about how rational this is next time you get pulled out of bed in the middle of the night to clean the fridge and mop the floor. I think the word you were looking for is abusive). If Paige wants to act like an adult, then she will be treated like an adult. She wakes her up in the middle of the night and orders Paige to clean the refrigerator and mop the floor. Elizabeth also views Paige’s actions as an act of disrespect, but in a different way. Elizabeth and Philip had a bad childhood and have made sure that Paige and Henry don’t (sure, this is part of their cover, but it’s also just what parents do) and Paige doesn’t respect the hard work that her parents do.

From Melissa Maerz of Entertainment  Weekly:

When Elizabeth discovers that Paige has been donating money to the minister, she calls her daughter out of bed and makes her scrub down the kitchen, which might seem like a harsh punishment on a school night. But Elizabeth’s rationale for why Paige should do this is actually pretty reasonable: (AB: Maybe if I called this “bullying” you and the others would see it for what it actually is.) “You want to be a grown-up? You want to spend money the way you want? Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do. All the time. It means working when you are exhausted and almost never getting what you want when you want it.” That’s the truth, not just for many moms, but especially for a female KGB operative who has so little power, her best bargaining tool is sex.

I’ll say it again. Batshit psycho crazy. Fiction or not.

Bail decision for Christina Noudga on Friday August 8

Update: Bail was granted on Friday August 8 and set at $100,000. Noudga is under house arrest and must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. She can leave her parents’ Etobicoke home to go to school or work. Otherwise, she can only go out in the company of her mother or father, who are acting as her sureties.


Although I missed the first morning, I attended all three days of the Christina Noudga bail hearing held last week at Hamilton’s John Sopinka courthouse.  A standard publication ban prevents me and all the other journalists in attendance from reporting on the evidence disclosed in the courtroom as well as some other details related to the hearing.

Given these strict limitations, things like Noudga’s outfit got a seemingly inordinate amount of coverage. For the record and on the off chance you haven’t read this already, she wore a white fitted, sleeveless blouse with black collar, skinny black jeans, brown ankle boots and shackles. She has large, pronounced features which are extremely photogenic and she doesn’t look nearly as good in person as in her photos. Four months in jail likely haven’t done much for her appearance either. Neither her skin nor her hair was in great shape.

Christina Noudga with Dellen Millard

Noudga’s former Facebook profile photo was an interesting choice. It showed her boyfriend Millard’s face but not hers.

Noudga’s family and friends showed up to support the accused, who marked her 22nd birthday in jail, and has pleaded not guilty to acting as an accessory after the fact in the murder of Tim Bosma. Noudga began dating Millard in 2011 shortly after he broke off his engagement to another Toronto woman.

She appeared confident and in control throughout the hearing and did not shy away from looking around the courtroom. (Noudga was arrested on April 10th of this year almost a year after charges of first degree murder were laid against her boyfriend, Dellen Millard, and his buddy, Mark Smich in the death of Tim Bosma.)

Also in the courtroom were Detective Sergeant Matt Kavanagh of the Hamilton police homicide unit, who headed up the investigation into Tim Bosma’s murder. He was almost always seated with one to three other police officers at the back of the room.

Ravin Pillay, part of the legal team defending Dellen Millard, attended all three days of the hearing, usually in the company of one or two young lawyers or law students.

Tim Bosma’s father Hank was present on the first day but did not return for days two and three. Tim’s widow Sharlene did not attend at the request of the crown. Bosma family friends were present on all three days along with representatives from victim services.

Justice Thomas Lofchik’s ruling on whether or not to grant bail will come down next Friday August 8th at 10 a.m.

That’s the same a day as Big Iisho aka Matthew Ward Jackson aka Krucifix14, who’s accused of providing Dellen Millard with the gun used to kill his father Wayne, begins trial in Toronto on a separate narcotics charge.

Matthew Ward-Jackson

Matthew Ward Jackson faces three separate sets of charges so he’s going to need that cash to pay his lawyer bills. A narcotics trial is scheduled to get underway in Toronto Friday.

Ward Jackson’s attorney up until at least April was Deepak Paradkar, Millard’s Number one lawyer and a guy I really want to see perform in court. It seems to me as if defending both Ward Jackson and Millard would be a conflict of interest, but Paradkar, who’s usually fairly forthcoming, hasn’t answered emails or phone calls about his tattooed client. I suspect it will be another lawyer acting on Ward Jackson’s behalf on Friday.

Still on the subject of upcoming court dates, both Dellen Millard and Mark Smich are scheduled to put in video appearances in Toronto Monday August 11 for the murder of Laura Babcock and, additionally in Millard’s case, for the murder of his father. They’ve pleaded not guilty on all counts just as they’re pleading not guilty to killing Tim Bosma.

On the same day, at the same courthouse at 2201 Finch West, Matthew Wawrykiewycz and Matthew Odlum will have their monthly remand sessions for the weapons trafficking charges against them. Unlike their co-accused, Ward Jackson, the other two Matthews are not in jail. They will likely be represented by their lawyers as they usually are. All three Matthews have pleaded not guilty.

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Direct indictment in Tim Bosma case: What happens next?

I was in Hamilton court last Friday to see the accused, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, make their first video appearances since the Attorney General approved a direct indictment for the Tim Bosma murder trial. Millard’s appearance was sort of interesting because he was on camera for quite a bit longer than usual although I didn’t get as good a look at him as I usually do in Toronto court due to the fact the video screen was at about a 75 degree angle to me.

Sometimes at these sessions, where prisoner after prisoner comes up for a quick case update, I’m surprised by how polite everyone is. “Yes Your Honour.” “No Your Worship.” “Thank you very much.” One time I was sitting with a TV producer who’s spent decades covering courts and crime. He turned to me and said wistfully: “If only they could be this polite before they’re in prison.”

But I digress. My point was that in Hamilton on Friday, a few of the prisoners were really, unusually rude so Millard looked polite in comparison. He went out of his way to call the Judge, “Your Worship,” which was a mistake as a judge is “Your Honour” and a justice of the peace is “Your Worship.” Still, the point is he was trying to come across as he knew you should. Smich, in contrast, was monosyllabic and dispensed with the honourifics altogether.

After Justice James Turnbull told Millard that the 515 order, preventing him from communicating with a list of potential witnesses, was still in effect, he added that he could speak to his counsel if he had further questions. “I will do that,” Millard replied with an air of authority. Then, when he was told his appearance was over, he said, “Good day.”

I’ve noticed Millard has a tendency to use anachronistic expressions — good day instead of goodbye, for example — which I suspect is his way of trying to sound erudite. Both he and his lawyer seem to be pushing the educated intellectual story line. From the very beginning, Deepak Paradkar has described his client as “a bit of a philosopher.”

Millard told the Toronto Star he was reading not John Grisham but the 19th century classic, On War by Carl von Clausewitz. In that same interview, he also said that he had dropped out of Toronto French School before getting his high school diploma because “there were only a couple of teachers I found interesting,” which is, in my opinion, another way of saying he was too smart for those losers.

For someone who’s spent a lot of the past year in solitary confinement, Millard sounded much more chipper Friday than the last few times I’ve seen him via video in Toronto courts, where he looked terrible. Both Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty.

 

Outside the court room, before the session, the Bosma family gathered, laughing and smiling. It might sound incongruous if you weren’t there, but it wasn’t. They were simply happy that the direct indictment had been granted earlier that week and, as always, they were there to represent the family member taken from them and to make their presence felt.

Tim’s widow, Sharlene, joined them later in the court room, watching both the accused from the corner of her eye. No one in the family talked to the press.

 

A judicial pre-trial date was set for September 9 and a video remand date for September 19. The judge said he hoped by then, counsel would be able to set dates for pre-trial motions and, possibly, the trial itself.

The court sessions scheduled for August 7 for Millard and Smich have been cancelled although Millard’s girlfriend Christina Noudga, who has been charged as an accessory to murder after the fact, is still set to show up via video on that day. She remains in jail and has not yet applied for bail.

The direct indictment does away with the preliminary hearing so in theory it should speed things up, but in practice that’s not necessarily the case. Pre-trial motions could slow everything down to a crawl. We’ll have to wait until September to get a better idea of which way things are going to go.

Meanwhile in Toronto, proceedings continue in the Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard murder cases. Both Millard and Smich are charged with killing Laura Babcock while Millard is also charged with the murder of his father, Wayne. The accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges. They will appear again by video on August 11.


 

The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher by Ann Brocklehurst

Click photo to buy it on Amazon or read free sample

On another subject, I have just published a short ebook called, in a very self explanatory way, The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher. This was a case that had major media coverage at the beginning and then just slipped off the news agenda. The public was left hanging about what actually happened. My ebook, which is about the length of a long magazine article, attempts to provide some answers.

Buy The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher on Amazon (or read free sample)

 

Tim Bosma Direct Indictment: An Update, plus new Jeffrey Boucher ebook

July 16 Update: Late last night the Star reported that there will be a direct indictment for Dellen Millard and Mark Smich and (some of) the details will be addressed in a court appearance in Hamilton this coming Friday.


 

I’ve received a few questions from readers lately about the direct indictment in the Tim Bosma murder case. This story in The Mississauga News — reporting that the attorney general would make a decision by June 30 on whether the accused murderers, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, would go straight to trial — had a lot of people waiting expectantly for answers. But then June 30 came and went, and there was nothing. And now it’s July 15 and no one is yet any the wiser.

Well, here’s the thing — all the information about the direct indictment has come from leaks. The Attorney General has said nothing, zip, nada on the subject. The AG never said publicly, “We’ll have a decision for you June 30.” They’ve never even said that the Crown has requested to proceed by direct indictment.

The initial report on direct indictment came from a reporter and columnist at the Hamilton Spectator with excellent sources. I have no reason to doubt that it was completely correct. The article with the June 30 date came from a reporter I don’t know, who has since removed his tweet on the subject, and who appears not to have had a very reliable source.

I’m also not optimistic that a direct indictment will speed the process up very much. I’ll be surprised if a trial date is set before 2015, which means that even with a supposedly “fast tracked” trial, it will take about two years before everyone gets their day in court. That’s just ridiculous, in my opinion, but such is the sorry state of the Ontario justice system, which desperately needs an overhaul.

The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher by Ann Brocklehurst

Click photo to buy it on Amazon or read free sample

On another subject, I have just published a short ebook called, in a very self explanatory way, The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher. This was a case that had major media coverage at the beginning and then just slipped off the news agenda. The public was left hanging about what actually happened. My ebook, which is about the length of a long magazine article, attempts to provide some answers.

Buy The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher on Amazon (or read free sample)