Why people get away with murder in HRM

In The Coast, Steve Kimber interviews retired Halifax homicide detective Tom Martin on the reasons behind the dismal record closing murder cases in HRM, where 48 killings remain unsolved since 1955. Martin blames the department’s top brass

Martin pins much of the blame for that on his former department’s senior managers who, he says, lack the training and experience to effectively manage major criminal investigations.

The department’s own website, in fact, touts [Chief] Frank Beazley’s most significant career accomplishment prior to becoming chief in 2003 as serving for six years as officer in charge of human resources and training. His deputy, [Chris] McNeil—the man who shut down the [Jason] McCullough investigation—is a law school graduate with what the website describes as “a broad range of policing experience in operations, communication and automation, and administration.”

“Chris McNeil is a smart man,” Martin says, “but he’s book smart. He’s not investigative smart. There’s a difference.” He pauses, considers, points. “Talking to him that day was like talking to that plant over there.”