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Updated: Jan 11, 2019
There will be more to say in the days ahead about what has been perhaps the most complex and challenging professional goal I've ever set for myself. Writing a book was never really something to which I gave much thought during more than thirty years as a journalist. Even several years into covering the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's International Airport, I always expected that the story would run its course, as most do. The events surrounding Dziekanski's tragic death seemed relatively straightforward by the time the public inquiry lead by retired appeal court justice Thomas Braidwood concluded in 2010. But the case dragged on. The four RCMP officers involved were charged with perjury. The RCMP's spokesman, who became the focus of horrendous attacks both inside and outside the force, committed suicide. It wasn't until after I was diagnosed with PTSD from years of reporting from global natural disasters and humanitarian crises that I searched for a way back into what I have always loved: storytelling. It was my incomparable physicians who suggested I just start writing about whatever moved me.
I had always been troubled that throughout the multiple investigations conducted into the events of October 14, 2007, many of the people closest to what happened had never been heard from. This was especially true of the Mounties involved in Dziekanski's death. Yes, they had answered questions at the inquiry under subpoena. Lots of questions with "yes" and "no" answers. None of them had ever talked in detail about that fateful call to the airport. None had ever opened up about what would effectively be a life sentence as a 'bad cop'. A liar. A murderer. They were not the only ones to harbour untold details of the long, drawn-out search for justice.
So began what seemed like an impossible task: tell a story most people thought they already knew, but which had played out over so many years that crucial elements had become hidden or obscured. A book is a natural canvas for a story that can only be understood when all of its pieces are laid out and connected. Over the years, I wrote countless stories for radio and TV that had something to do with Robert Dziekanski's death. Blamed and Broken is not a rehash of old news stories. It is a reexamination of events with fresh eyes and new facts never before shared with the public. Until now.