CrimeFirst NationsMario Wesley Murder Investigation

Timmins Cochrane CrimeStoppers refused request to feature Mario Wesley Murder

CrimeStoppers features property crimes but not unsolved murder

By Frank Giorno

Go to the Cochrane Timmins crimestopper page and you will see notices dealing with stolen heavy equipment, thefts, break and enters,Crimestoppers still has not posted anything to do with getting the public to help solve the now four-year old mystery of who killed Mario Wesley.

There is a posts that deals with a brazen breakin and theft at the South Porcupine LCBO.

Two years ago Amanda Blueboy, the daughter of Mario Wesley, an Aboriginal man murdered in Timmins on Windsor Ave on July 28, 2014 asked Marc Depatie, the coordinator of Crimestoppers in the Timmins Cochrane area to do a crime stopper to help solve the still unsolved murder.

“I called a few times left messages and haven’t heard nothing from Crime Stoppers,” Amanda Blueboy, Mario Wesley’s daughter said. “They never returned my calls.”

“And when I called Timmins Police, I just got tired of always calling and getting the same answer – ” the case is still on going and we’re working on it” –  same story I get every time I would call Constable Yee the investigating officer,” Ms. Blueboy added.

“My dad was well known in the community everyone loved him, ” she recalls. “He was a kind, gentle heart, he was caring man, who wanted to help others out when he can even if it was his last dollar, he would still give. It was the man he was. What I loved about him his generous heart.”

Purple Ribbon
A purple ribbon still flutters in the wind by the house on Windsor Ave where Mario Wesley was murdered a year after it was tied to a pipe-railing by an Indigenous Elder in honour of Mario Wesley. Frank Giorno for The ONE.
Mario's soapstone loon
Mario was a talented musician and sculptor – this soapstone carving of a loon was created in 2011. Frank Giorno for The ONE

If you visit the CrimeStopper website or its Facebook page you will notice many listing of crimes that are still under investigation, but as part of the investigation CrimeStopper pays a reward for example a break in 2017 at the South Porcupine LCBO or stolen equipment from a mining site. There is even a posting on a brutal fire set during a home invasion in Iroquois Falls in 2015 that left two elderly people seriously injured.




But when it comes to offering a reward for information leading to the solving of the so far unsolved murder of Mario Wesley, CrimeStoppers appears to have turned a deaf ear to Amanda Blueboy’s request that they feature a spot dealing with the murder of Mario Wesley

Worst, CrimeStoppers did not even return her phone calls and acknowledging her request.

Marc Depatie, now the communications coordinator for the Timmins Police, still serves as the CrimeStopper Coordinator for Timmins Cochrane.

On May 4th both Marc Depatie, the CrimeStopper coordinator for Timmins Cochrane and Mayor Steven Black the chair of Timmins Police Services Board were asked to explain why the Mario Wesley case was not accepted for CrimeStopper.

Neither Depatie nor Mayor Steve Black responded to The ONE’s request to give their side of the story and reasons why a case that is approaching 4 years without a solution in sight was not featured on CrimeStoppers.

CrimeStoppers promotes itself as the anonymous tip line for crimes that need a helping hand from members of the public. The reward system works to entice members to speak up on the condition of anonymity

It works well for property, but in Timmins it seems not so much for a murder which TPS is letting slip away into cold case status.

There are about 6 cold cases of murdered aboriginal women from Timmins. In one case, the murder of Therese L’Abbe, the OPP, not Timmins Police, placed large billboards asking people to come forward with information.

Therese L’Abbe was murdered in 1989. Mario Wesley in 2014. Why did you not do the same thing for Mario?

Mario had a very hard life. He was a survivor of a residential school and was scheduled to sign for a settlement with the Federal government, but never got a chance to because he was murdered before he had an opportunity to meet with his lawyer.

The police at first appeared to focus on a theory that it was someone who knew Mario and they travelled to Attawapiskat to interview people up there, especially those who were in Timmins on the day of the murder and then returned home to Attawapiskat.

What is clear is that as much as the police have now been spinning their wheels for four years, CrimeStoppers the much praised anonymous way for seeking tips form the public to solve crimes, has failed to seek any leads from the public on who murdered Mario Wesley.


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Frank Giorno

Frank Giorno Frank Giorno lives in Timmins, Ontario. He is a graduate of York University (Honors B.A Political Science) and Ryerson School of Journalism (B.A. Journalism). Frank has worked as a city hall reporter for the Brandon Sun; freelanced for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. He is the past editor of and the newsletter of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers. Frank has also worked as Research Director for the Canadian Environmental Law Association; Senior Communications Advisor on Water Quality Issues for the Ministry of the Environment; Public Affairs Associate for Region of Peel Public Works; and Media Relations Officer for Toronto Public Health. In Timmins, he served as the Communications Manager for Mushkegowuk Environmental Research Centre/Five Nations Energy Project on Energy Conservation. He freelanced for Frank is a published author of essays on the internment of Italian-Canadians during World War 2, “Internee 328: Camp Petawawa” co-written with James McCreath appears in “Beyond Barbed Wire” (Guernica Editions 2012). He has published four books of poetry, My Nation is a Train...Wreck (2017, Northern Voices Publications), MoPoPoMo (2016, Northern Voices Publications), “Elvis in America,” and “Arrivederci! Plastic Covered Couch ( 2006, 2008 Lyricalmyrical Press)”.

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