For retired cops, there is always one case that still keeps them up at night.
Like many ex-cops, Bob Marshall can’t stop thinking about the one that got away. In this case, the heartless killer of a young boy and the toll the case has taken on so many people.
Marshall says he has "second-guessed himself" more times than he cares to remember about his handling of the Jason McQuaker homicide.
Jason had just celebrated his 12th birthday in June 1988 when he vanished from Thunder Bay. Much of the suspicion fell on the boy’s father, Barry, who was well-known to police for several petty offences and was in the middle of a separation with his wife.
But there was no evidence — and no body — and the trail grew cold.
Marshall got involved in the case in 1991 when he arrested Barry in Winnipeg following a crime spree which included bank robberies in B.C., Alberta and Manitoba. In an interview, Barry made a stunning confession.
"I buried him. My son, he’s not missing. I buried him. I didn’t kill him. I found him dead. I didn’t know what to do. I took him and buried him out of town."
Marshall, his partner and Barry McQuaker jumped on a plane to Thunder Bay, where he led them to a remote location in the bush where the boy’s remains were unearthed.
Barry would ultimately be charged with obstructing justice and interfering with a dead body, but was never charged with the homicide. He swore up and down he only found the boy, already dead and sexually assaulted, and buried him so his wife wouldn’t find out what happened.
No arrest has ever been made. The cold case remains unsolved.
"The term closure is often over-used and may be inappropriate, but a full and proper conclusion would at least bring some small measure of justice for an innocent boy who was taken forever a quarter century ago this month," says Marshall, who ended his 27 year policing career in 2004.
"I think about the case a lot, weekly, and how nobody’s been held to account for the death of a young boy and the tremendous toll the death has taken on so many other innocent people, especially his mother and family members who were so close to him."
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Number of mayoral candidates drops to seven
Manitoba Hydro's retained earnings hit record $2.72B
News Café to host mayoral forum on urban planning Wednesday
Man who killed 4 women gets 25 years before parole
U.S. Steel Canada files for CCAA protection
Developer proposes dumping inert lime at Brady landfill
Kil-Cona Park, Harbour View complex seeking $25-million redevelopment
Wyatt back to running for council seat
Jets announce training schedule
New HudBay mines expected to create hundreds of jobs
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?
Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's voice NFL disapproval
Canada: America's sweetheart, survey suggests
GWL given extension to repair home on Balmoral Street
Imminent delivery brings excitement to law courts
Wynne to speak at Manitoba Liberals dinner
Award-winning writer, co-founder of Turnstone Press dies
A new peace? Six-year deal for B.C. teachers
Tax agency sets up snitch line for own staff
Next title: Elizabeth, Queen of Scots?
Barrier-free washroom creates headaches for business owner, city
First five jurors chosen in Magnotta murder trial
Harvard-educated architect talks City Beautiful at News Café Tuesday
Tories seek museum content
Stretch of Aberdeen Avenue to be known as Honorary Taras Shevchenko Way.
Web filter lifts block on gay sites
No acclamations in city school trustee races
Other Opinion: Personal freedoms suffer in pursuit of safety
Rally to raise Ebola awareness to be held at legislature Wednesday
Wasylycia-Leis would create urban ideas centre to spur innovation
NY: Wal-Mart levied fictional 'sugar tax' on soda
Afghanistan Memorial Vigil on display at legislature
Correction: Music-U2-iTunes story
Emergency crews at scene of serious crash
Giller Prize doubles award purse to $100,000
Harper could be Duffy trial witness
Wheels of justice turn slowly: a case for the ages
CMHR receives $500-K donation from Temerty Family Foundation
Don't be reckless, this time see Adams