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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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They spent much of their lives dealing with some of the worst society has to offer.

Grisly murder scenes, horrific child abuse, violent gang members and dangerous domestic situations were among their daily challenges.

It’s no secret being a police officer means dealing with plenty of emotional baggage that can’t simply be unloaded at the end of a shift.

Or even a career, as it turns out.

The Free Press caught up with four well-known former Winnipeg cops to ask one simple question: "What was the case that stayed on your mind and kept you awake?"

Not surprisingly, turning in your badge doesn’t mean turning off the memories. And it’s clear the sleepless nights have continued well into retirement — especially when it comes to cases that dealt with society’s most vulnerable.

"Sleepless nights are the life of any police officer and maybe even more so when retired and constantly reminded that nothing much has changed in regards to violent crime," says Bill VanderGraaf.

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