For retired cops, there is always one case that still keeps them up at night.
It was Christmas morning, 1987. Bill VanderGraaf was enjoying quality time with his giddy two young children when the phone rang.
Agnes Kirk-Kirton, her five-year-old daughter Sarah and 18-month-old son Evan had been gunned down inside their townhouse hours earlier. An execution of three innocents.
VanderGraaf called in to offer help with the manhunt for the two killers, believed to be collecting a drug debt from Kirk-Kirton’s husband — who managed to duck out a window and escape.
Eventually the two accused were caught and VanderGraaf was assigned to interrogate the suspected gunman, Larry Fisher. It proved to be a gruelling 10-hour ordeal, the most challenging of a 29-year career that ended in 2001.
"When you have a man accused repeatedly in various fashions, that he is a woman and baby killer, and he remains completely silent and emotionless for that length of time, you know he is cold blooded," says VanderGraaf.
He spent several days submerging himself in Winnipeg’s shadowy drug sub-culture convincing several witnesses to co-operate with the investigation, which ultimately paved the way for murder convictions against both accused.
"One would think that in the drug underworld, the police would be stymied in conducting interview," says VanderGraaf. "Quite the contrary in this case, such people were equally outraged and more then helpful."
VanderGraaf says it was this case, more than any other, that changed his views on drugs. He now serves as a speaker and director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
"This case and many many others since on our streets, are not the result of illegal drug use but the prohibition of drugs. That should be changed to proper social health policies, with control and regulation to stop this kind of slaughter," says VanderGraaf.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
City can't afford rival's promises: Wasylycia-Leis
Bowman says voting for him is only way to stop Judy W-L
Ouellette says disaffected aboriginal and young people have helped increase his support
Body found in river identified as man missing since August
Drop by News Café on election night
U-Haul staff find deceased infants inside "delinquent storage locker"
Alcohol may be a factor in crash on Trans-Canada Highway near Oak Lake
One of two officers acquitted of attempted murder staying with WPS
KE kids returning to school Wednesday
St. Boniface selected as finalist in Great Places in Canada contest
Door-to-door mail ends quietly
Warm again today, chance of showers Wednesday
Father-killer seeks freedom
Investigated cop suing police, fellow officer
Poll could be bad for Bowman
Reader shares positive story about city police officers
Mayoral Race Roundup
Unfazed by poll dip: Judy W-L
Vision: n. ability to plan or form policy in a far-sighted way
Body parts scattered around city
Rights case on reserves' child care nearing end
Murray's exit not payback: Glover
HSC shows off special isolation rooms
Brandon priest under investigation for alleged fraudulent purchases