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Chad Davis murder trial: working backwards

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It's always fascinating after a major murder case concludes to go back in time and try to unravel the investigative work and thought processes.  

We know now that Corey Tymchyshyn and Kristopher Brincheski were found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Chad Davis, on Feb. 6, 2008.

Through the lengthy jury trial that just ended, those following learned what a curious, yet completely cold-blooded, case it indeed was.

It's pretty clear — at least to me — that the two text messages shared between Tymchyshyn and Brincheski: 'We will be in soon,' and, 'He's wearing a hat don't miss' were at the heart of the police and prosecution's case that this was a premediated murder.

It appears the jury found the same thing.   

But what did RCMP investigators actually know before they uncovered those texts? What did they suspect? What led them there other than rote investigative techniques? 

Thanks to a little sleuthing this and last week, I was able to find out at least some of the answer to this, through the judicially-authorized Information to Obtain (ITO) that RCMP used to access Tymchyshyn's cellphone records, and therefore, those damning texts. 

What one sees by reading it is how consistent much of the Crown's case stayed throughout the years.

One also gets more of a glimpse of how the Winnipeg police missing persons investigation into Davis's bizarre disappearance gave their federal collegues something of a major head start in terms of who to consult. 

This case must have been a daunting task to crack. A body simply washes up in a barrel on a Manitoba lake.

Where does one begin to try and unravel that? 

Through the ITO, we get at least a few answers to that question.

Mostly, it seems, getting to the bottom of things involves arguably what is any homicide cop's number one strategy and skill: talking to people — and getting them to talk to you. 

Another thing becomes clear though this document: Tymchyshyn (at least insofar as what he had to say about where Chad Davis had vanished to) was regarded with a healthy dose of skepticism by Davis's friends.

I guess they were justified to feel that way. 

[FYI: Certain names have been redacted out of the ITO, as they weren't called as witnesses at the trial proper.]

Tymchyshyn, Warrant Production Order Redacted Copy, 11 August, 2008 by James Turner

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About James Turner

James Turner rejoined the Free Press as a justice-beat reporter in August 2013 after a number of years away working at other media outlets, including the Winnipeg Sun and CBC Manitoba.

A reporter in Winnipeg since 2005, he got his first taste of the justice beat as a former Free Press intern, then as the newspaper's police reporter from 2008-09.

Among the topics he's eager to cover are youth crime, street gangs, child-welfare and how the mental health and justice systems intersect.

An avid blogger and early adopter of Twitter, James (@heyjturner) loves to write long, much to the frustration of his editors.

He despises animal cruelty. He loves 80s music and his tubby labrador retriever.

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