Garry Taylor Handlen entered a plea of not guilty to the first-degree murder of the 12-year-old Monica Jack (pictured). (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

Jurors in the trial of a man charged with killing a 12-year-old British Columbia girl have heard an audio recording of the accused being fired for lying to the head of a supposed crime group as police conduct an undercover operation.

Garry Handlen is heard repeatedly apologizing to the “boss” as he is confronted at a bar in Quebec in front of other members of the fictitious organization.

Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

A Crown attorney has told the B.C. Supreme Court trial that the girl was riding her bike on a highway near Merritt and Handlen confessed to an undercover officer that he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled her.

The court has heard that witnesses saw a truck and camper and a bike near a pullout on the highway where a girl was heard crying out the day Jack disappeared.

Her skull and some bones were found 17 years later and linked to her through dental records.

READ MORE: Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

In May 2014, the trial heard the RCMP began an undercover operation targeting Handlen while he was living in Minden, Ont., where he was lured by a group whose boss demanded honesty “no matter what.”

The scenario heard in court Tuesday involves the supposed boss firing Handlen for saying he’d completed the task of meeting a particular woman in Quebec even though he hadn’t gone there.

“Let me explain,” Handlen is heard saying in a recording at the bar on Oct. 16, 2014.

“I already know the truth, I already know what happened,” says the boss, an undercover officer who testified about his role in the sting.

“I’m sorry,” Handlen says, sounding increasingly rattled at the boss’s angry outburst.

“You lied to my face!” he tells Handlen, who says he’d had a few drinks and hit a deer in the fog on the way to his assigned job.

“I wanted to do it,” he says, his voice cracking.

“Everybody, go to your phones, delete his numbers,” the boss tells the other group members, all undercover officers.

“Let that be a lesson to any who need it,” the boss says. “He’s finished!”

The boss tells the others not to contact Handlen, who is told to turn in his cellphone and the keys to a vehicle.

“The only thing that keeps everything tight is if we all tell the truth,” the boss says.

“Get out of here!” he yells at Handlen.

However, the trial heard that the boss accepted Handlen back into the group a week later after he’d stepped up “for one of the brothers” in another task for the organization.

The boss tells Handlen in the audio that he could have opted out, but Handlen says he wanted to do what was asked of him.

“I knew you were a straight up guy and I like that,” Handlen says to the boss at a restaurant in Thornhill, Ont., where the two have dinner with other undercover officers also pretending to be group members.

Handlen is then told in a recording that his elevated role in the organization will require a deeper background check on him.

The supposed boss told the trial the next stage of the sting involved a covert interview of Handlen, which would involve trying to convince the suspect that police were investigating him.

“There’s still a lot of heat, police interest and public interest into that homicide and that concerned me,” the “boss” told court about what he wanted to convey to Handlen

He said before the interview, set for Nov. 14, 2014, he reviewed some “props” he’d be using: a fake RCMP memo about DNA analysis in Jack’s murder and a letter from the supposed Houston-based company that would be doing further analysis to prove a 99 per cent match between the crime scene and Handlen’s DNA.

The court has heard Handlen was arrested and charged in November 2014 after confessing to the “boss” about his involvement in Jack’s murder.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

Between 180 and 200 people will be affected by the curtailment for at least four weeks

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

Union pulls back on job action at Interior and northern mills

Legal strikes will discontinue for now as union is optimistic, vice president says

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read