Bushman Bail Hearing
Just for fun, I sat in on the Bushman's bail hearing. I was suprised to hear Crown Counsel volunteer that Bjornstrom only took supplies for survival, other than he stole what the crown compiled into a very long list of fire-arms, a lot of which he had returned, later. Wonder why he'd do that - put guns back? He was found to be in posession of an AK 47 w/ ammo and claims to have found an Uzzy and a large cash of ammo, hidden behind a false wall in the basement of a cabin that belongs to a BC provincial court judge. Neither the Uzzy or the AK made the prosecutor's very long list that he read into the record.It was estblished that day that John Bjornstrom never stood to enrich his personal life in any way by his conduct during the time in question. It was established that day that John Bjornstrom never once displayed any act of aggression and that he placed himself at greater risk of capture, choosing pepper spray at close range over any one of his arsenal of fire-arms, always at hand. He pepper-sprayed an officer and a K9 member to avoid capture. None-the-less, the learned judge went with the crown's submission that the Bushman would be a flight-risk. John Bjornstrom has spent the last 2 years in a remand cell (much worse than convicted time) awaiting trial for a crime that might only carry a sentence of 1 year in jail. Convicted prisoners have rights - there are no rights in remand. He certainly did have an uncanny ability to outsmart all those who were looking for him. Then consider the extent of the fraud that was perpetrated by the Mounties who orchestrated the "sting" to catch him - misrepresenting themselves to his sister to get her co-operation, then putting her, literally, between them and the Bushman without her knowledge or consent. Anyone who saw the footage would agree that she was severely traumatized by the incident. She has a very good legal case to pursue against them for what amounts to no less than a breach of trust. And if she sues (& wins), her award comes out of the public purse & not out of the pockets of the perpetrators, leaving no deterrent - a growing problem in today's society. Look to our legislators who re-write & add to protect their own asses; ie: the freedom of information & privacy act. Legislation at work to protect the REAL CRIMINALS. Many cottage owners were fearful when the Bushman was at large. They had every right to be unnerved over the Bushman's activity but they've been short-changed on the facts to make any reasonable judgment about him. Mr. Bjornstrom contacted the media and the R.C.M.P. on several occassions. He even produced a video for them, further documenting his serious allegations that involve child pornography, murder and satanic rituals. He even left messages in some of the cottages that he gained entry to. The media made a sensation out of John. A song was even written about him but the information that he went to such great lengths to pass along was spun into a tale, designed to make him appear to be a bit of a nutter. His very serious allegations that he has proof of henious crimes committed, has not even been considered, much less investigated. At the bail hearing, crown counsel went so far as to say that there is absolutely no contradiction between Mr. Bjornstrom's behaviour in question and his explanation for same. John Bjornstrom was a private investigator out of Calgary Alberta, prior to his "taking up residence", here in B.C. He claims that he came out here investigating a ring of child/snuff pornographers. His prison escape with very little time left to serve was the first event that launched his claim to fame, eluding our finest for a good 2 years before his capture.
What was he serving time for the 1st time? Breaking into cabins in the Shuswap (& hiding from Tommy Suharto & the Bre-x gang).
How do we know that John Bjornstrom, "Bushman of the Shuswap" was really hiding out from a paid assassin? In a brief, on-camara interview with Global Television, Mr. Bjornstrom's lawyer, Don Campbell told us that the police in Indonesia provided a document that they had recovered during raids conducted in the course of their investigations. He also disclosed that he was not allowed to use it in John's defence, due to concerns about "national security" In a surprise move, John Bjornstrom waives his right to a ??speedy?? trial, opting to plead guilty to various charges and take his chances in a sentencing hearing, hoping for a verdict of "time served" (2 years in an isolated remand cell). There'll be no trial, speedy or otherwise.
In a brief, on-camara interview with Global Television, Mr. Bjornstrom's lawyer, Don Campbell told us that the police in Indonesia provided a document that they had recovered during raids conducted in the course of their investigations. He also disclosed that he was not allowed to use it in John's defence, due to concerns about "national security"
In a surprise move, John Bjornstrom waives his right to a ??speedy?? trial, opting to plead guilty to various charges and take his chances in a sentencing hearing, hoping for a verdict of "time served" (2 years in an isolated remand cell). There'll be no trial, speedy or otherwise.Back to the top.
Bjornstrom Inquisition - Day 2
I decided to take in the afternoon of day 2 of the "Bushman" trial. It began with the crown launching a series of questions about John's reference of himself as "fugitive of the Shuswap". He left several messages, referring to himself as such. Crown fired several questions at Bjornstrom, becoming insistent that this was indeed the case, as if to drag a confession out of John.
The prosecutor moved on to Bjornstrom's ability to evade the cops, back-country survival skills, psychic abilities. Did John not admit in psych evaluation reports that he might like to become a guide or to teach survival techniques? That John harboured "aspirations". Crown counsel moved to establish that Mr. Bjornstrom's "aspirations" were unusual. John replied that he'd a lot of experience to share.
Questioning moved on to John's ability to recall dates. Significant dates? Specific dates? Bjornstrom's reply was that significant events helped to establish dates, what happened, when.
Arrived in Shuswap, Feb. '97, best recollection. Came from Calgary, returned, came back, went to Langley, got busted (we later learned). Had returned to Calgary to work to earn enough to buy a decent computer, finance further research. He got a job unloading quarters of beef. Also went back to gather more info from street kids, Missing Children's office. The prosecutor pursued a line of questioning around addresses, what did the building look like, testing and challenging the Bushman's credibility.
A query about Bjornstrom's concern for Bre-x retaliation and Bjornstrom's return to Calgary. Would it not be unsafe there? Returned anyway to gather more info and raise money.
Returned to the Shuswap, fall of '97 for 2-3 weeks, then went to Langley where he was arrested.
Questioning on Bjornstrom's propensity for targeting certain cabins repeatedly. Only repaired damage on a few cabins, not all. Not the cabin where he held ransom, certain files, to the tune of seventy-five hundred dollars. John wanted to buy a computer. He went to Calgary with the money.
The prosecutor wanted to know why John returned to the Ansey Arm location - 4 Mile Creek. Crown then tried to establish that John was lazy and returned because he was already established there, knew the area, intimately. John insisted that the location is away from roads and is a good surveilance point.
Crown moved on to schmooze John, using words like resourceful, creative; asked him if he knew how to use a computer. "Yes, I do." He'd purchased a computer in Calgary and to this date, it hasn't been recovered. Another computer that he procured from a cabin, had a faulty harddrive.
Questioning moved onto John's tree-forts, establishing that they were constructed for observation, to keep food off the ground, safe from animals, obscurity. Reference to John's video that he submitted to the media, crown was again insistent that he had help from someone. John explained how he climbed the tree and roped up and hauled it all up, "one stick at a time". He said he was interested in observing people - looking for things "out of the ordinary".
From John's background in farming and ranching the prosecuter drew the inference that John thought himself a cowboy - a hero. Did he like to pretend? John admitted to taking on false identies to conceal his and protect the integrity of his investigations. He pretended to have an associate in the video that he produced for the media. Crown counsel insisted that Bjornstrom ranked himself as important, needs to feel important, in the lime-light, dwells on media interest. Bjornstrom maintained over repeated assertions by the crown, that he had merely attemped to inject a bit of humour into the video production, adding a fictitional character and employing a parallel to the Jim Stafford song, Wildwood Weed
Bjornstrom asserted that we all consider ourselves "important" exposing child porn is important - is an important message to get out to the media.
On to the media deal how much is the contract worth? One dollar - so much for establishing that ultimately, Bjornstom is out to enrich himself. Crown already admitted at an earlier bail hearing that Bjornstroms story is consistant with his actions and that there is no evidence to suggest that he has, in any way, enriched himself by his actions.
Queries about Bjornstrom's claims of psychic ability. Just feelings, intuition, John explained. "It's difficult to explain something when you don't even know how it works." Question about John's prediction to a reporter named Dale, a conversation that took place on September 10, 2001, about 2 planes crashing, the next day.
Did he not tell the psychiatrist that he made a styrofoam cup move, when he was first locked up in remand? Could he do it today? John said no, that he'd tried earlier but after more than two years in remand, the negativity... No, he could not.
Questions surrounding contact that Bjornstrom made with CSIS, through his sister and a cell phone the people from "Real T.V." had given him through his sister. (Cops, actually, impersonating documentary journalists.) A CSIS operative, Gerald Colture, returned John's initial call, requesting Bjornstrom's assistance in locating Bin Ladin. Area code? "604" Phone number? 528-7600 - "Vancouver" - "Got the number out of a phone book, probably."
More questions about Bjornstom's training as a psychic. Washington. D.C. Colonel Herald D. (or is it "E.") Philips. Onyx Building. Across from the Pentagon. Twelve stories. Applied, took tests. Expenses paid, no wages. Private home. Government owned. Variety of people, young and old. No names. Six weeks. A variety of programs. Wires attached, testing energy omitted. Map tests, pictures, people, boats and planes to locate. Travelled by bus, went to Phillidelphia. Clinic in the country like a retirement home. Nurses, doctors, scientists, white smocks. Guinea-pig, wired, filmed sleeping. Pictures, items. Wanted out. Left running. Had credit cards, cash, was paid an expence allowance for incidentals.
Crown counsel tried to establish a family history of mental illness. Mother? Not to John's knowledge. Crown repeatedly, assertively attempting to establish a psychiatric disability, drawing attention to Bjornstrom's teenage past - "Anybody ever refer to your imagination as "vivid"? Do you think you imagine things? John responded, bringing up his belief in God. There's no picture of God but he still believes in God.
You were arrested as a teenager for breaking into a number of homes? Just one, replied Bjornstrom. He said that a three ton truck he was riding in broke down and he broke into a home to use the phone. Temptation got the better of him. I assume he stole something. Difficulty with temptation? No, he made a mistake. He's made lots of mistakes. Crown continued to assert that he had a propensity for stealing for no particular reason. Why did he steal the 357 magnum? There was no reason; he'd just take. "No," John asserted, "there was a reason.
The prosecutor went to great lengths to portray John Bjornstrom as a common thief and extortionist. A careless, thoughtless, dangerous psychotic with a propensity for guns and stealing, who without concience has left cashes of firearms, ammunition and explosives for criminals and children to stumble upon, resulting in any number of horrible tragedies. A "boogey-man" deriving enjoyment from his actions.
This, the crown claims, is further evidenced by Bjornstrom's refusal to co-operate and divulge the where-abouts to the RCMP. His allegations of child porn and murder all in his imagination, including the two cases that turned up in Calgary, one body unearthed in the north-west section of that city during excavation for construction. If John really cares about children, he would have been happy to co-operate with the police.
As John has consistently maintained, he has "trust issues" regarding the RCMP; frankly, so do I.
As day two of this carnival winds to an end, another scene starts to develop. Seargent Forgues indicated that he wished to speak with me at the conclusion of today's proceedings. "Sure." I have no secrets...
He wanted to impress upon me (he was a homicide investigator for (?) umpteen dozen years), John just refuses to co-operate and how many other children are at risk. I wanted to know what he wanted with the tapes that John was unwilling to disclose the location of, if not for evidentary purposes (see www.rwnicholson.com, on his "Bushman" page, the scanned excerpt of the interview that Seargant Forgues conducted with John), what was/is his interest. Forgues told me that his interest in the tapes concerned "another" investigation.
I asked Seargent Forgues why the mounties would have washed Mindy Tran's clothes. He replied that they had "made a mistake". I told him that I had "trust issues" with the RCMP, also. He replied that he was not interested. Really??? How does he expect me to co-operate with him when he refuses to even discuss, let alone acknowledge my trust issues, much less abate them!
*** In a personal conversation that I had with the
Bushman, he told me of an outdoor marijuana grow operation on the peninsula of
Ansey Arm, back in 1996. There were no arrests made but the cops were zealously
burning the entire plantation - a substantial one, it was... John also revealed
to me that one of the reasons that he frequented specific cabins was due to
other outdoor operations that he discovered in the area, that he attribited to
some of those specific cabin-owners. Anyone who was benefiting from such
operations could easily afford to contribute to the ongoing research that John
has been committed to conducting and, quite fittingly, should.
John also divulged to me that one of the cabin-owners, who said in her victim impact statement and also testified to on day 1, that she was so tramatized by Bjornstrom's activities, she was afraid to return with her children and that she eventually sold her cabin, as a result. What she failed to mention, John informed me, is that she sold her cabin, after his apprehension and that she sold her cabin to one of her children...Back to the top.
Bushman Inquisition - Day 3January 15, 2004. By: David Thomson email@example.com
Day 3 consisted largely of testimony from two psychiatrists. I arrived for the afternoon so I missed the psychiatrist that defence counsel, Don Campbell supoenaed. I did get to witness crown counsel, Koturbash examine the psychiatrist that he'd supoenaed.
Koturbash did his best to get the witness to describe Bushman as psychotic, sociopathic, a risk to re-offend. He went on to try and establish with the doctor that Bjornstrom's success at refraining to re-offend would be negatively impacted by John's possible inability to find work, inciting a mini-debate over the availability of jobs around William lake. He tried to get the doc to say that the proposed movie production could stir desires to return to his old ways.
Questions about the 20 points contained in a personality test, a H.C.R. - 20, used to evaluate a subjects likelihood to re-offend where the subject is prone to violent offences. Repeatedly, the psychiatrist said that John's character and the nature of the crimes he's pleaded guilty to are not suited to the test. In attempts to answer many of these questions, the doc replied, making reference to a need to "warp the test to suit the situation" or "warp the situation", even. Still, Koturbash continued, touching on each of the 20 points, trying to establish a statement suggesting any likelihood to re-offend - a "risk to the community", even if it meant having to "warp the test" or even the facts, for that matter.
Koturbash began more than one question with the word, "suppose", creating imaginary scenarios from which the doctor was to speculate and predict the outcome. A propensity to re-offend - a risk to the community was what the crown kept fishing for. The doctor would not accommodate him, scenario after scenario. At one point Justice Metzler interjected, "Counsel, you said you would be about forty-five minutes; you've been an hour and a half. How many more questions do you have left?"
Crown even asked, "What if the Bre-x story were a blatant and concious lie?" The doctor then voiced his own concerns for what led to the disasterous plunge that the geologist, Goozman took. Still, Kotubash insisted, "what if".
Mr. Koturbash's zeal for creating imaginary situations displays an astounding hipocracy; on the one hand attempting to label Bjornstrom as a wing-nut, based on his alleged imagination; on the other hand, dwelling all afternoon on questions that require the witness to imagine one scenario after the other. Mr. Koturbash displayed quite a vivid imagination of his own.
Monday night on Global news, Don Campbell told the camaras that the Indonesian police had recovered a list and turned it over. I imagine that list is a matter of record, it being, according to the Indonesian Police, a hit-list with John Bjornstrom's name on it. In light of this significant piece of hard evidence, the "What if" question was entirely objectionable.
In light of this significant piece of hard evidence, this entire sentencing hearing is objectionable. In fact, this one significant piece of hard evidence should call out for much more rigorous scrutiny of all of the claims that Mr. Bjornstrom has alleged.
In light of this one indisputable document, crown should be cooperating with Bjornstrom, not the other way around. John has voiced "trust issues" with the RCMP; even Judge Metzler concurred. Supply John with the private investigators that he has repeatedly requested and even include media as an unbiased third party who would also record the locations and exhibits as John has also repeatedly requested.
John Bjornstrom has spent more that two years in remand while awaiting a trial, all the while, attempting to negotiate a satisfactory circumstance through which to cooperate; simply address his "trust issues" - his concern that members of the RCMP are enriching their lives through the production, distribution and proceeds of child pornography, including the production of "snuff" porn. The only solution that would satisfy that "trust issues" would be to isolate the RCMP from the investigative process. Nothing else meets the test.
In a surprise move, Bjornstrom pleaded guilty to a variety of the charges, waiving his right to a speedy, fair and impartial trial; a trial that he waited in remand for over two years for. Instead, we get a sentencing hearing that appears to be no more than a loosely rehearsed play. No trial; no opportunity for some unexpected evidence to surface that might lend further credence to his allegations of child snuff pornography. It also appears as though everybody got a script but John.
I feel an aura coming on - a psychic revelation. Im going to attempt a prediction. I may be wrong but I get the feeling that John is going to receive "time served", a lengthy probationary period, filled with community hours, psychiatric counselling/monitoring and restrictions as to his where-abouts, specifically, the Shuswap and restrictions on his associations with certain individuals, specifically, anyone involved with child protection.
I get the feeling that John cut a deal.Back to the top
Even more on the Bushman at www.rwnicholson.com
Even more on the Bushman at www.rwnicholson.com
Email Your Senator