Some thoughts on the Toronto Star’s jailhouse interview with Dellen Millard

My immediate reaction, as a reporter following this story,was that the quotes from Dellen Millard confirm much of what I know and believe about his character. There was some new and very revealing information in the interview. But my number two reaction was that the piece was terribly edited and could have been far stronger.

Dellen Millard Jailhouse Interview

The article should have clarified that Dellen Millard spoke without consulting his lawyer Deepak Paradkar. That’s a pretty dumb thing to do and shows that the accused murderer of Tim Bosma doesn’t listen to his handpicked and highly paid legal counsel, who said in an email to me that he had not approved any interviews. Deciding to ignore your lawyer and talk to the press is the action of someone who thinks he knows best and can’t be told what to do, even in an extremely serious situation.

This is very similar to Millard’s behaviour when he wrote to a jailhouse groupie last summer. At the time Jim Van Allen, former manager of the OPP’s Criminal Profile Unit, described the decision to write the letter as “impulsive and somewhat reckless.”

“This type of personality is a nightmare for a lawyer. You can’t control them,” he said. “They are individuals who often don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

Both incidents raise the obvious question of just how far out of his way the accused murderer will go to challenge and flout authority of any kind.

I’m also surprised at the Star‘s description of Millard as doe-eyed, which is not just Fifty Shades of Grey-style prose, it’s also wrong.  While it’s true that Millard looks very different in person than he does in his best-known party-boy photos, he is not, by any stretch of even a chick-lit-fueled imagination, doe-eyed. It’s a particularly bizarre characterization given that it seems designed to evoke innocence and, as a result, sympathy.

As for the “I shop at Costco” and I’m reading On War by Carl von Clausewitz stuff, all that is highly calculated to portray a certain persona. Millard is a complete control freak about his image and anything to do with himself. For example, he called the web developer to personally select the colour of the single-page Millardair website, he chose and orchestrated every detail for his engagement photo shoot, and he personally hacked up, with a kitchen carving knife,  the jeans he wore to get the distressed look exactly right.

Given the terrible, ungrammatical prose in the strange obituary that Millard wrote for his father — who, among other things, didn’t read and write five languages, as his son maintained — it’s also striking to see the Star describe Dellen Millard as “articulate” and, all the more so given that nothing in quotation marks reflects that choice of adjective.

But since I wasn’t there, I’ll just let that one go and raise my eyebrows — for now.

29 thoughts on “Some thoughts on the Toronto Star’s jailhouse interview with Dellen Millard

  1. How do you know that Millard looks different in person than in photos, Ann? Seems like there might be an interesting story behind comment.

    • I know because I’ve seen him in court. I’ve also spoken to several people who knew him in real life, before he was arrested, and said the photos shown most often in the media didn’t look at all like the Dellen Millard they knew.

      I think it’s fair to say he was something of a chameleon.

      In court, he wore wrinkled janitor-style clothing and had a bad haircut. He looked like a guy you wouldn’t notice walking down the street. But he was clearly the same person in the photos, just with a completely different look.

  2. We have no idea if Deepak was present or not, just because the reporter did not say he was there does not mean he was not. That said, this post (which came hours after a discussion on how you would feel about the “scoop”) is dripping with envy, not nearly up to the standard of your previous blogs on this case.

    Sorry Ann, two thumbs down on this one.

    • Of course, I’m envious they got an interview. And of course I wish I had, but that doesn’t mean I’m frothing at-the-mouth crazy jealous and have lost all perspective.

      A really good story would have dealt with the lawyer issue. This one didn’t so I emailed Paradkar who told me, as I wrote, that he had not approved of any interviews.

      The doe-eyed thing is just bizarre as is the failure to explain Wayne Millard’s death, which was originally classified as a suicide.

      While I found this story had some great info and was a terrific scoop, it aen’t going to win any prizes. Too many cooks, I suspect.

      • While I am not surprised Deepak was not present, nor approved this interview, I am not privy to any email from him stating that he was in fact not.

        I do agree with your assessment of Dellen being an out of control client.

        The only bizarre thing I find is, how he describes his fathers manner/cause of death, we all know it was shot gun wound to the head, not the more technical/medical term of “a sudden bleed in his brain”. That is THE most telling statement of the whole article.

        How much more denial could one person actually be in??

        I love most of your stuff Ann, this blog post just leaves a , sour taste in my mouth, for the reason I stated above.

        However I continue to be a fan.

  3. I kind of find this boring and un informative…must say Ann, it sounded like a doe eyed girl wrote it. I did find the tattoos interesting. I never knew what they said. But now I want to know why he got that songs lyrics on him and when. Only because tattoos are personal things and have different meaning from one person to another.

  4. It’s interesting that he shopped at Costco. The question is: which Costco? Was it the one in Brantford? Did he ever meet an elderly lady who shopped at Costco and drove a Camaro (prior to December 27, 2010)? Thinking “young and close”.

      • Tenuous, you say? Tim Bosma, Millard’s alleged victim, was allegedly murdered for his truck. If you consider that an elderly woman from Ancaster who shopped at Costco, and drove a Camaro, ended up murdered, it starts to look like a geographic pattern. She lived on an acreage in Ancaster, too. Her murder is unsolved.

        Has anyone considered looking at Costco’s records of membership transactions to determine if Millard was in any of the Costco stores while any of the area murder victims were there? Did any of the area victims get auto maintenance, tire installations, etc. at a Costco garage when Millard was shopping there? Did any of the alleged accomplices work at Costco?

        Could it be that Millard is taunting the police with this tidbit of information?

        • You’re not the first to make this connection. For what it’s worth, Millard’s mother was also into horses and he used to ride.

          What I would say is this. Whenever you start really digging into a person’s background, you do turn up all sorts of coincidences, most of which which would normally go unnoticed and are ultimately meaningless.

          Also, the only people who can access the info you’re interested in are the police and I’m sure they will be very interested in this interview, which was not authorized by his lawyer
          .

          • I think that the police might also have an idea if Tim Bosma was subjected to any kind of mutilation before or after his death. This would be relevant because the unsolved Ancaster woman’s death involved some sort of mutilation, hinted at in news coverage. This sort of coincidence is not meaningless. If you look back into Mohawk history, you’ll understand what I mean. I suppose it’s mere coincidence that Joseph Brant had a red Mohawk, too. However, we’re straying from the content of the interview.

  5. Am I to understand, then, that In your opinion Millard is a “complete control freak” because he chose the colour for his own website’s background? You feel this disorder is further underscored because he chose to be fully involved in orchestrating the design of his own engagement photographs? Dammit, but who could not agree with you that these are bold indicators of latent murderous tendancies, and a very large number of people could be in serious danger! Hopefully the public will heed your warning and not pay attention to the irresponsible efforts of reckless editors like Michael Cooke or accept the devil-may-care ramblings of multi-award winning journalists like Cribb, Casey and Pagliaro. Of course, blatant absurdity aside, if anyone wished to draw something truly useful, overridingly important information from this interview, it could be that this prisoner is clearly succumbing to the effects of solitary confinement. He is hallucinating. He’s seeing movies in his mind. Again we have evidently decided, as a society, to drive an innocent man mad rather than promptly assemble the evidence against him and bring him to trial so that his possible guilt may be determined. In this case, as in a growing list of others, we are collectively allowing the police judicial system practice to make a mockery of due process and that, I suggest, is of far greater importance than whether a prisoner prefers one website backgound colour over another.

    • Interesting how you’ve declared Millard an “innocent man.”

      I do agree that the delays in the justice system are out of control. As usual, I disagree with just about everything else you have to say though whether as Bea, Carlina or Carlita.

      • Of course he’s an innocent man and, like every other Canadian charged with a crime, will remain so until he’s proven guilty.

        How very spooky to have such diligence attached to teasing out commentator’s ids. Feels like a thinly veiled threat of some kind. Well, it’s certainly scared me off. Feel free to talk among yourself.

        • Farewell Can Cel, Bea Strong, Carlina, Carlita. The web is a big place. Maybe next year you can find somewhere that shares your fondness for faux outrage and conspiracy theories as well as your concerns for the civil rights and tender emotions of sock puppets, as opposed to, say, the real-life victims of actual crime, for whom you show no empathy at all.

  6. The explanation of his fathers death, in my mind, was him just trying to let everyone know (or trying to make everyone think) he was not there or even the person who found him. I will agree that the article was very strange in how it was written. Sounds like either a “fan” wrote it or someone who was paid off to make millard sound good to the public. I am not a “writer” by any means but it was poorly written.
    But Ann, your reply to the interview, although correct, does sound a bit envious lol 😉 with that being said I think you would’ve been the better choice as you know more about this whole case then anyone I’m sure 🙂

    • Cc, you think someone paid off not one but three TorStar reporters and an editor? Wow they must not really care about their reputations or integrity at all!
      Seriously, that’s an absurd accusation.

      I have to say that I moderately agree with what Bea Strong said above, the comment was fair enough. Not sure why it was shot down so and why anybody who entertains the idea of D not murdering Mr.Bosma is treated like a deluded psych. patient. Judging by your other work you seem like a talented enough writer but this story may be bringing out a highschooler in you.

      E.

      • I don’t believe for one second that anyone was paid off or otherwise incentivized to go soft on Dellen Millard. I think what happened is there were too many cooks in the kitchen and, as a result, the story did not get edited properly. It’s a mess in many ways.

        The reason most of the people entertaining Dellen Millard’s innocence are treated as if they’re deluded is because that’s how they sound. They keep coming up with whacky conspiracy theories and characterizing a guy who’s essentially a wealthy loser, who’s never accomplished anything and lived off family money, as a business genius and wonderful human being.

        Take a look at the common characteristics of real-life wrongful prosecution and wrongful conviction cases. They tend to be cases with jailhouse snitches, one eyewitness and no other evidence, and crooked cops. Or they’re cases like that of Susan Nelles and the people convicted on the basis of coroner Charles Smith’s half-baked testimony, where complicated medical and scientific evidence is twisted.

        They are not cases like the Tim Bosma murder where there are many witnesses and piles of evidence leading to the suspects, who dare not even ask for bail due to the strength of the case against them. From what we know of this case, it has none of the hallmarks of a wrongful prosecution. Not to mention the fact that the defendant can afford the best legal team available.

        And just FYI, I’ve been working on a story since this summer, which may be a wrongful prosecution, and, if it is, you’ll be hearing about it.

        • Thanks. I think this story has its unique characteristics that raise questions about the accuseds’ involvement but obviously not everyone sees this.

          Which story are you working on, if I may ask? I’m always interested in these types of cases.

          Thx.

          • Since, as you say, not everyone sees them, why don’t you explain what exactly those “unique characteristics that raise questions about the accuseds’ involvement” are. I’m one of those not seeing any and I’m told the police have stacks of evidence above and beyond the highly damning stuff that’s already been made public. If you have contradictory information, feel free to send it to me in confidence at ann.brocklehurst@gmail.com.

            Re the other possible story I’m working on, I’m not at liberty to say just yet due to where the case is at in the legal system.

      • “Sounds like either a “fan” wrote it or someone who was paid off to make millard sound good to the public”

        I never said someone was indeed paid off to do it. I said it “sounds like” because of how it is poorly written.

        Thank you
        Cc

  7. Great post, Ann. The “doe-eyed” statement was one of the first things that struck me, too. The article about the interview was one creepy, obsequious piece.

  8. WOW … Ann …. for a minute there it sounded like some folks were almost ready to pin the whole murder on YOU … yikes … !!

    Actually if DM was giving interviews I wish it could have been you …. you have a knack for looking under the surface to search for the hidden and not so obvious.

    To me , the interview was not written by a “reporter” …. it read more like PR spin from a friend .

    You should mail DM a copy of your NP article from last year and request an interview …. and it will either scare him off … OR … he will agree because he thinks he is clever and figures he can control you …

    Pull his levers Ann … it might work … it would be an interesting interview .

    If he fires you afterward you will know you did a good job.

    • Aw, thanks, Arnie. DM’s lawyer will likely have him on a very short leash after this escapade. I think the Star crew were smart to go in there at holiday time when defences are down. Timing is everything in some cases. And the moral of the story is keep trying. so your advice on contacting him is sound.

Tell us what you really think