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
Former MPI CEO's $50-K contract an 'insurance policy': Guimond
Refugee health care changes complex: feds
School division proposes e-cigarette ban
Steeves' claims on North Dakota road repair incorrect
Ebola 'risk to Canadians is very low'
Bomber QB looking forward to Friday's game against Redblacks
Manitoba job numbers flawed: two economists
Anti-bullying program will save lives: mother
Deep discount lures buyer for Revel casino
Found Franklin ship identified as the captain's ship
Tories to overhaul vets' benefits again
Players file lawsuit in Canada over World Cup turf
Winnipeg chef wins Young Chef Scholarship
RCMP revokes support for anti-terrorist handbook
Minister orders probe into agencies dealing with at-risk kids
Jets send five to IceCaps
Snyder, Toews make Writers' Trust short list
Shoppers flock to Polo Park for a look at expansion, new stores
Kids who had contact with Ebola patient monitored
Public input sought on long-term plan for airport
Tories overturn RCMP move to toss fur hats
Missing man, 61, believed headed to Kenora when last seen
Showers expected this afternoon
Man sought in connection with two bank robberies
Taliban suicide bombers kill 7 in Kabul, wound 21
Big battle to stay in Winnipeg
Dalí exhibit sets record at the WAG
HBC hands over historic murals for museum display
NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized
Even title is off-putting in distressing procedural
Hunger can hit all sorts of homes
'Sexist' baby PJs Target of Twitter outcry
Make room for mushrooms
Biotech industry blooming in Manitoba
Ford adds 1,000 jobs in Oakville, Ont.,