Something got lost in the shit storm that erupted after Hurricane Martin Glazer told Justice Rick Saull the WPS Homicide Unit bought and paid for serial killer Shawn Lambs Police confession.
That something came to me in an email yesterday from a source that shall remain anonymous;
Re: Shawn Lamb
Unfortunately the entire Lamb investigation has been overshadowed by a few comments by Martin Glazer. Since then there’s been a lot of speculation, commentary and criticism. I’m confident that the individual who made the case possible in the first place will not be recognized by the organization for the key role he played. Thane made a connection with Lamb that very few Investigators ever could have made. His incredible ability to communicate and develop rapport, even with a sociopathic manipulator like Lamb, is really what made any of this happen in the first place. All of the legal wrangling aside, two families can take some small comfort in the fact that one very good police officer was working the day Lamb took them to the body of Lorna Blacksmith. Hopefully one day he receives a little credit.”
After getting lost in the controversy the email was a great reminder for me and everyone else who was touched by the case.
Historically, the people in the trenches of the WPS seldom receive praise or recognition for their dedication, commitment or extraordinary efforts to resolve crime in the City of Winnipeg. In my experience, the Police Service is much more inclined to celebrate the accomplishments of Police Officers who are assigned to areas where the impact of their work is more obvious. Areas like Community Relations and School Resources where Police Officers have the opportunity to engage the public and impact the community. Their work is sanitized and transparent with tangible results.
Criminal Investigations on the other hand are often covert and cloaked in secrecy. The work is dirty. Dealing with informants who live in the underbelly of society is dirty work that comes with all sorts of risk. Dealing with manipulative offenders like Shawn Lamb sets Police Officers up to have their character, ethics and morality attacked by defense lawyers, crime reporters and the members of the public who are influenced by inflammatory media accounts.
True crime fighters learn to shrug it all off. After all, true crime fighters are simply not driven by recognition, awards or glorified accounts of their work. They thrive on the intrinsic rewards that come from their high jeopardy work. It’s the opportunity to impact the community by locking up the rabid dogs that prey on the innocents we swore to serve and protect.
The “Thane” referred to in the email is Detective Sergeant Thane Chartrand, a member of the WPS Homicide Unit. Thane was the guy Shawn Lamb reached out to after he was locked up in the Remand Center. Thane was the guy Lamb tried to manipulate in his attempts to broker a deal to infuse his prison canteen with a $600 cash deposit. Thane was the guy who danced with the devil.
At the end of the day, Thane Chartrand is the guy who had to listen to the Monday morning quarterbacks criticize the Police Service for making a deal to pay Shawn Lamb for an opportunity to get inside his head.
The results of that deal solved the senseless murders of three (3) innocent Aboriginal women.
The results of that deal enabled wounded families to answer questions and turn a painful page in their grieving process.
The results of that deal will see Shawn Lamb serve a Manslaughter sentence until he reaches the ripe old age of seventy-two (72) years.
A result Thane Chartrand can live with.
I ask you, who played who?
That’s a question Shawn Lamb might be asking himself when his meagre canteen credit runs out.