A Deal with the Devil – The Shawn Lamb Confession

Winnipeg Crime Scene (Photo JGJ)

Martin Glazer dropped the equivalent of a nuclear bomb in the Court of Queens Bench today during the sentencing hearing of his infamous client, alleged serial killer Shawn Lamb.

“The Police paid Mr Lamb to confess,” Glazer informed Justice Rick Saull.

Glazer’s stunning revelation sent shock waves through the court room that reverberated on twitter as crime reporters shared the scandalous accusation on social media.  Glazer’s assertion went unchallenged by Senior Crown Attorney Sheila Leinburd who sat mute in her chair at the Prosecutors Bench.  Glazer then proceeded to use the alleged inducement to underpin what many consider to be an extremely controversial joint sentencing recommendation.

Glazer insisted Lambs confession would’ve been ruled inadmissible as a result of what he suggested was a clear inducement by Police to illicit a confession from his client.

“He first told the police that he knew where the bodies were. At that point in time, he stopped talking and then there was some discussion after that that culminated in his confession and you’ve heard the circumstances of that… the police did pay him to confess,” Glazer told reporters outside of court.

“This is the first time in Canada that I found such a case.  The first time in my career as a lawyer for thirty-one years that I encountered such a situation.  The Crown did not take issue with what we said in court today,” Glazer remarked.

Dictionary.com defines an inducement as;

“Something that induces, motivates or persuades or is an incentive.”

In Law Enforcement, even rookie cops know you can’t offer an inducement to entice a suspect to confess to a crime.  Any information provided by an accused person who received an inducement is inadmissible in a Court of Law.

Police Officers are constantly accused of offering suspects inducements during the course of their interrogations.  I’ve personally testified on hundreds of criminal cases and have been accused of offering inducements by dozens of criminal defense attorneys.  Defense attorneys have suggested I’ve induced confessions from their clients by offering them food, water, cigarettes, phone calls and more.  The same lawyers often try to have confessions excluded by accusing me of denying food, water, cigarettes or phone call requests.  It’s all part of the game.

Prior to the time the WPS adopted continuous video taped suspect interrogations I was often accused of using violence, threats of violence and intimidation to extract confessions from suspects.

After the transition to continuos video recordings, criminal defense attorneys were perplexed when the suspect confessions kept rolling in.  Hours of video taped confessions with no sadistic beatings, threats of violence or intimidation.  It’s seems they completely underestimated the skilled interrogators ability to use the powers of persuasion to extract suspect confessions.

Did the investigators who interrogated Shawn Lamb buy his confession as Mr Glazer suggests?

I don’t think so.

Martin Glazer is a skilled criminal defense attorney known for his relentless determination in the defence of his clients.  “Shotgun Marty,” we’d often call him for his broad based wide ranging defense strategies.  I certainly don’t fault Mr Glazer for imposing his will on the Crown, in fact, I respect him for it.

That doesn’t make the scandalous allegations true.

As I understand it, Shawn Lamb, the master manipulator, initiated contact with Police after his initial arrest and detention on an unrelated case.  It was during the unrelated investigation that Lamb took Police on the ride that ended with the discovery of the remains of murder victim Lorna Blacksmith.

After directing Police to Blacksmiths location, Lamb stonewalled investigators and made no admissions regarding her death nor did he implicate any person or persons who may have been responsible for her demise.  He was eventually detained in the Provincial Remand Center on the unrelated charges.

Enter the master manipulator.

Now that he was sitting in the Remand Center, Lamb had a burning desire to reach out to the Homicide interrogators indicating he had further information to share with them. He offered to share the information but demanded Police make a deposit into his prison canteen so he could buy some creature comforts while he was doing his dead time.

Rumour has it Police made a $600 deposit into Lambs account after consulting with a Senior Crown Attorney with Manitoba Justice.

It’s my understanding that Lambs interrogators had no idea what information he might have to offer regarding the death of Lorna Blacksmith.  A number of possibilities existed at the time.  One of those possibilities was that Lamb may have had information regarding the identity of Blacksmiths killer (s).  Lambs knowledge of the location of Blacksmiths body certainly didn’t make him her killer.  At the time Police removed him from custody Lamb signed a form indicating his understanding the canteen payment was not made in exchange for a confession to any crime or crimes under investigation.

The table was set.

WPS investigators were prepared to take a ride with a manipulative killer on a road to destinations unknown.

As the game of cat and mouse played out, the unpredictable sociopath confessed to killing both Blacksmith and Sinclair.

During his confession Lamb provided significant detail in both killings that could have only been known by the killer.  Some of those details resulted in the discovery of Carolyn Sinclairs blood in Lambs bathroom.  DNA test results confirmed a match to Sinclair with an irrefutable probability factor of 1 – 440 billion.

Lamb was also charged with the murder of Tanya Nepinak, whose body was never recovered.

(Those charges remain before the Court but will undoubtedly be stayed by the Crown.)

Contrary to Mr Glazers suggestion that the Police paid for Lambs confession, a strong argument could be made that evidence suggests the canteen payment was anything but an inducement.  The mere definition of the term inducement is in conflict with the facts of this case.  An argument could be made that Lamb manipulated and induced the Police to make the payment knowing he was responsible for multiple killings.  The Police Officers who got on that roller coaster ride had no idea where Lamb was taking them.

It was clear, the Police didn’t induce Lamb to do anything.  It was his game, played by his rules.

To be clear, I’m not blaming the Crown for not fighting the good fight.  I have gone to war with Sheila Leinburd on many murder cases.  She is a fighter, a tactician and a skilled Prosecutor.  The plea bargain was her decision to make and I respect that.

Nor do I disagree with the result of the plea bargain.

In the end, the fact remains, Lamb caught a twenty (20) year sentence.  A sentence thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by Justice Rick Saull, an experienced and respected former Senior Prosecutor with Manitoba Justice.

Having said that, I strongly disagree with Mr Glazers assertion that the Police paid Lamb for his confession.  It just didn’t happen that way.

Lest we forget, if the Police didn’t do the dance with the devil there would be no murder case to dissect.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the glass is half full.

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