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The hunters and the haunted

For retired cops, there is always one case that still keeps them up at night.

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James Jewell says it was the toughest call he ever had to make.

It was November 1998 and an angry Daniel Younger had just kidnapped his girlfriend’s two-year-old son, Randy Grisdale.

Younger was in custody. But the smug, defiant young man was refusing to tell Jewell where he’d hidden the boy.

"It was a gun-wrenching paradox. Do I beat (Younger) to get information that could potentially save a child’s life or go by the book to ensure (Younger) is held accountable for his crime?" Jewell recalls.

"In the end I know I did the right thing and can live with the decision, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t occasionally struggled with varying degrees of doubt."

Jewell played it straight. And by the time other officers eventually found Randy sitting in a parked van wearing only a diaper and shirt, he had succumbed to the frigid temperatures. Younger was eventually convicted of murder and given a life sentence.

"This was the remorseless killing of an innocent child," says Jewell, who spent 26 years with Winnipeg police before retiring in 2012. Eight of those years were spent in homicide, where Jewell worked over 200 cases. This one continues to stand out, although he now finds himself in retirement often going through every facet of many investigations.

"To be successful in homicide investigation you have to be prepared to commit an extraordinary amount of time and energy to the job. That means sacrificing what most people would call a normal life," says Jewell.

"When you are ‘in the game,’ family time is the first casualty. Retirement for me meant putting things back in perspective and re-focusing that energy on my wife and children."

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