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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The proposed Skaha Lake Road housing project will be modelled after the Burdock House on Winnipeg St., said BC Housing.
BC Housing panel peppered with questions about Skaha housing project

Virtual meeting involved questions about crime, level of supports, timelines

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

Landmark Cinemas Penticton was forced to close down when the provincial government ordered all theatres to close when new COVID-19 restrictions were brought in Nov. 19, 2020. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Despite ‘devastating’ losses the show will eventually go on at Penticton theatre

Landmark Cinemas has been offering movie popcorn since having to close in November

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

This is rendering of what the playground of the new provincially funded child care centre could look like on Edmonton Ave.
Public hearing for childcare centre rezoning Feb. 1

The Edmonton Ave. facility would add 116 more childcare spots

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kelowna mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Most Read