In respect of our ongoing and protracted attempts to get our hands on a copy of the 320 page book that Vancouver Police Department Det. Cst. Lori Shenher wrote about her experience with the missing women investigation, John Boddie has advised us as follows:

“Commission staff have received the Shenher manuscript from Mr. Crossin with the redactions he has proposed for privacy.  He have [sic] forwarded that to the VPD for the usual redaction.  It contains info about Vic 97, etc. In the event you want further redactions we invite you to read this current version for your preparation and you can deal with the small amount of remaining redactions when the hearing resumes. ”

Mr. Boddie is the Executive Director of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry and a former 16 year veteran of the VPD.  Despite his written advice, the Commission is still refusing to deliver a copy of the manuscript/book to us. The statement reproduced above is a microcosmic example of the difficulties we have experienced in getting access to the records that we consider relevant to the Commission’s mandate.  Every piece of paper has been scrutinized by the police and their lawyers, then scrutinized again, then redacted and re-redacted on a wide variety of grounds that we were never consulted about, before finally being submitted to the Commission for inclusion in its unwieldy cloud-based document database….


For anyone interested in the Shenher book odyssey, here’s the relevant timeline so far:

April 23, 2003: The Globe and Mail reports that Shenher, a former journalist, has secured a deal to publish a book on the missing women case.

April 24, 2003:  The Province reports that VPD spokesperson Anne Drennan has denied that Shenher has written or is writing a book…”there is no book”, says Drennan.

August 2010: VPD Deputy Chief LePard publishes the Missing Women Investigation Review, a 407 page document that fails to mention that Shenher in fact wrote a book about her experience with the investigation.

October 2010:  The Attorney General announces the formation of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the conduct of the investigations and submit its report by December 31, 2011.

December 2010: Our clients, the families of the missing and murdered women, are granted participant status.

May 2011: We are given access to the document database and learn that the VPD and RCMP lawyers have been vetting and redacting documents prior to disclosure.

October 7, 2011: Evidentiary hearings begin.

November 2011:  We ask the Commission “to obtain all records related to Shenher’s negotiations in respect of a potential book contract…”, but receive nothing in response.

January 31, 2012: Under cross-examination, Shenher confirms that she wrote a book that was scheduled for publication in September of 2003 by McClelland & Stewart.  We immediately apply for a copy.

March 7, 2012: Commissioner Oppal orders that the book be disclosed once Shenher’s counsel, David Crossin Q.C., has vetted it for “privacy” reasons.

March 14: 2012:  Still waiting….