Authors: Kate Lines
PUBLISHED BY RANDOM HOUSE CANADA
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Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Lines, Kate, 1956—, author
Crime seen : from patrol cop to profiler, my stories from behind the yellow tape / Kate Lines.
Includes bibliographical references.
eBook ISBN 978-0-307-36315-2
1. Lines, Kate, 1956—. 2. Criminal profilers—Ontario—Biography.
3. Policewomen—Ontario—Biography. 4. Criminal behavior, Prediction of—Ontario. 5. Murder—Ontario. 6. Ontario Provincial Police—Biography.
HV7911.L56A3 2015 363.2092 C2014-906387-3
, courtesy Ken MacPherson;
, left, courtesy Crystal Dunahee;
, right, courtesy National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;
Orillia Packet and Times
, courtesy Sgt Joanne Stoeckl, Rideau Hall © Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (2003).
Cover images: (bokeh background) © Artish, (fingerprint) © Andy Brown, both
; (yellow tape) © Henry Steadman, Getty Images
To those who
stood in front of me, beside me and behind me.
I am forever grateful.
A LOT OF WHAT I KNOW
about how criminals think and behave I learned underground. During a pivotal and life-changing ten months of my career in the early 90s, my daily routine was to take leave of daylight, fresh air and windows and descend two storeys to the sub-basement of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. It was there that an ace team of Behavioral Sciences Unit agents taught criminal personality profiling to police officers from around the world.
Going to work underground conjures up notions of secrets and clandestine operations and, in some ways, that wasn’t too far from the truth. I was surprised to learn that not so long before my time there, the workings of the unit were kept under wraps from legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who regarded the emerging field as highly suspect. It was not until his death, in 1972, that the unit was able to reveal what it was up to.
I didn’t share Hoover’s disregard for the potential of the soft sciences in helping solve crimes. I had been with the Ontario Provincial Police for thirteen years and already had some pretty varied experiences under my belt. Since working my first sexual assault case I’d known I wanted to focus my career on investigating violent crime. If I could tough it out with the FBI, I would go home with skills and knowledge that were cutting edge, and that would help me make a difference in how we tackled the toughest of crimes. With a payoff like that, I could live without daylight for a while. It was the perfect place for me to be.
Each morning my six classmates and I would gather around the large table in our boardroom office to meet with our instructors. In an era when the pressures of police work were rarely talked about, we were first armed with stress management techniques—such as eating well, getting lots of rest, staying fit, keeping in touch with family and friends, and pursuing activities away from the academy—to help ensure our bodies and minds were healthy and ready for what we would be taught. What followed was a crash course in all manner of violent crimes, working on cases that involved bizarre and gruesome behaviours beyond what I could ever have imagined. Some days were like having a front-row seat to the gamut of human misery.
And what we covered wasn’t based on dated textbook theory—part of our day-to-day was working on real-time cases that needed every bit of ingenuity and experience we could muster. Our boardroom was often taken over by BSU agents meeting with detectives to discuss their unsolved cases. There were never any easy ones. They wouldn’t have come knocking on the FBI’s door if they were.
The first few hours of the meetings were usually spent getting all of the details of the case—listening to the officers tell the story of the crime; what evidence had been collected; the results of forensic tests; what witnesses saw or heard; and, of course, what the victim had to say. In most cases though, the victim wasn’t alive to tell their side of the story. This is when crime-scene reconstruction kicked in and our search for behavioural clues started. What could the scene tell us about what went on between the victim and their killer? Why this victim? What was the motive?
Sometimes guests were invited to sit in on these consultations, experts such as forensic psychiatrists, coroners, pathologists and even an entomologist who was also an FBI agent. Everyone around the table had different backgrounds that contributed to the discussion, while the BSU agents had the benefit of their research on all types of violent crimes and had interviewed rapists, killers and other violent offenders. Adding that to the foundation of all of the investigative information and personal experiences shared, a profile of the likely characteristics of the unknown offender would emerge along with suggested strategies to move their investigation forward.
I was still getting my footing in the program when a Canadian case came in: a four-year-old little boy named Michael Dunahee, who had been missing for three weeks. The crucial first forty-eight hours had come and gone in this case and my Canadian brothers, experienced as they were, had become tired, frustrated and were desperate for help. They wanted to know what type of person would take a child like this and if there was something more they could possibly do to bring the little boy home. We may have been deep underground, but where we were was definitely the real world, where trying to understand the criminal mind could be a matter of life or death.
A KID FROM ENNISMORE
“You can be anything you want to be. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. Now go and clean up your room.”
—Jean Cavanagh, my mom
I ALWAYS LOOKED FORWARD TO SUNDAY
mornings when Dad and Mom loaded the three of us kids into Dad’s ’57 Pontiac. It was peacock blue, just like my favourite colour in the twelve-pack of Laurentien pencil crayons. Dad drove us five kilometres to attend eight o’clock mass at St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church. The church was near the top of the hill in the hamlet of Ennismore, Ontario. We sat in the same wooden church pew every week, ten rows up on the left, and right across from the stained glass window of St. Peter. My older sister, Barb, and I were never allowed to sit beside one another. We got into less trouble that way. My brother, Gerry, was an altar boy, so got to do all the fun stuff: carrying candles, fetching water and wine, holding towels, ringing bells and burning incense.
Each Sunday my parents prayed for the sick or the dead or rain for their crops or whatever the need was at the time. I don’t remember what I prayed for, except most likely for mass to hurry up and end while I stood, kneeled and sat as required. The best part of the service was the basket collection of the offertory envelopes, because that signalled Barb and I would soon be running down the hill to the four corners of Ennismore to spend our twenty-five-cent allowances. My sister and I were never given our big payout until mass was over so we wouldn’t lose it down the heating grate near our pew. Gerry got his money before church because he had pockets in his pants. He’d be down the hill shortly after us. Dad and Mom would talk with other parishioners out front after church and then drive down to pick us up.
There were two small stores to shop in at “the Cross,” as they called the four corners. Crough’s included the township post office and the older folk usually went there. We younger ones went to Sullivan’s as they had a better selection of candy and other treats. Both sold pretty much anything that adults could possibly want. Farmers could buy their overalls and the big blue salt blocks for their cattle; fishermen their fresh minnows and worms; and cottagers and campers all the things they forgot back home. Joe Sullivan ran his store with his wife, Marcella, and often with the extra help of one of the oldest of their fifteen children. That family alone constituted a significant portion of the hamlet’s population.
The only items I was ever interested in buying were pop, ice cream and candy. I’d start with a glass bottle of Coke or Orange Crush, drink it all down in a few gulps and be ready with a loud belch to greet any of the church ladies just arriving through the door. Ten cents down, fifteen to go.
Next I went to the back of the store to the ice cream freezer to select my flavour of Mello-Roll ice cream cone: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. While eating my cone I would peruse what was always the last and most time-consuming stop, the candy shelves, where I usually opted to spend my last nickel on Dubble Bubble gum. Once when I was probably about four years old I had come to Sullivan’s one afternoon with my dad. He and Joe Sullivan were catching up on the township gossip up front by the cash register. I was back a few rows of shelving out of their sight and stuffing my mouth with as many Dubble Bubble as I could get into it, all the while shoving the empty paper wrappers out of sight. Then Dad called for me to come back up to the front because he was ready to go home. I didn’t want to get caught with the stolen gum so swallowed pieces of it all the way home. I don’t know how I didn’t choke to death. When I was old enough to go to confession for the first time, I told Father O’Donoghue about my early childhood crime spree. I got off lightly: one Our Father and one Hail Mary.
The Cavanaghs and Twomeys owned neighbouring farms in the north end of the township. Joe Cavanagh, my dad, was the youngest of five kids and my mom, Jean Twomey, was the oldest of six. Dad brought Mom to live on his three-hundred-acre farm right after they were married in 1949. He was fifteen years her senior. Mom once told me that he seemed like a good man and hard-working and therefore she married him when he asked her. She said she fell in love with him in the years that followed. Dad worked the farm every day from dawn until dusk, rarely taking a day off. Mom was a part-time schoolteacher, staying home when we kids came along. Gerry arrived in 1950, Barb followed in 1952 and then me in 1956.
I don’t have any recollection of playing indoors as a kid. Along with our cousin Carolyn, who lived at the farm next door, we rode horses and even calves and pigs occasionally. We swam in Pigeon Lake in the summer and skated on it in the winter. We’d slide down a large snow-covered hill in one of our farm fields on old waxy cardboard vegetable boxes. One of my favourite activities was walking and rolling across the backyard for hours on top of one of Dad’s empty forty-five-gallon oil drums. Trees, haystacks, snow, ice and discarded farm supplies were our playground equipment. We were expected to be at home for dinner at noon and supper at six o’clock. No exceptions. Parental interaction was required only to tend to injuries or to intercede in skirmishes. (My sister and I never fought with just words. My worst injury was a broken finger whereas my sister had several trips to the doctor for stitches.)