News that Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jim Brown (aka the “Kilted Knight”) posted graphic photos of himself holding a knife to a woman’s throat on a website devoted to sadomachism has prompted significant public concern. Although this appears to be just another black eye for the nation’s police force, there is potentially a much bigger issue here.
Cpl. Jim Brown isn’t just a police officer who is a sexual deviant on his own time and who likes to connect with other like-minded individuals to share their twisted experiences. He is the RCMP member who produced informant Ross Caldwell in mid-July, 1999, almost three years before the RCMP accidentally discovered evidence that Robert Willy Pickton had been disposing of women’s bodies on the Port Coquitlam property he shared with his brother David. Caldwell was an acquaintance of the Picktons who reported that Willy Pickton had been seen skinning a woman in the barn, that he kept handcuffs under his bed and that he owned night-vision equipment, a semi-automatic rifle and wigs that he wore when he went trolling downtown.
Xtra and Dan Savage have weighed in on Twitter, claiming that CBC news coverage about RCMP Cpl. Brown is an invasion of his privacy and that his personal sexual preferences should not be a public concern.
Given his close connection to the Pickton investigation - and that someone in the fairly tightly-knit and protective BDSM community found his photo re-enactment of actual crime scenes where women were tortured, murdered, dismembered and fed to pigs, disturbing - Brown's professional deportment should be scrutinized.
During the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, a number of police officers who worked on the investigation that eventually led to the trial of Willy Pickton were exempted from examination.
Willy Pickton didn’t kill up to 49 women by himself, not according to the jury who convicted him of six counts of second degree murder. The women whose remains were found at the pig farm were likely the victims of a group of sexual sadists and torturers, who likely included convicted murderer Willy Pickton himself.
How did Cpl. Jim Brown meet informant Ross Caldwell? Was Cpl. Jim Brown one of the sexual sadists frequenting Piggy’s Palace? Why didn’t the RCMP act on the important information he brought forward? Were the RCMP monitoring the gang activities, including the Angels’ visits to Piggy’s Palace? Why did the RCMP seemingly ignore a ten year string of serial murders? Did they have bigger fish to fry? How many murderers remain at large?
All of these questions should have been answered by the just-concluded Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. We tried our best to pry the lid off and get the evidence out, but our attempts to have Cpl. Brown, Ross Caldwell, Bev Hyacinthe and David Pickton testify (among others) were rejected, as were our attempts to get access to the records of the Organized Crime Agency of BC that would reveal the nature and extent of police surveillance and gang infiltration activities involving Piggy’s Palace.
The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry is patently incomplete. Now it has been revealed that the Coquitlam RCMP had a sexual sadist in their ranks who was sufficiently connected to the Picktons to produce a key informant, someone who tipped the police what Willy Pickton was up to three years before he was arrested. The Commission hearings must be re-opened. If it does not re-open the hearings, it will be perpetuating a police cover-up of the circumstances surrounding Canada’s worst serial killing case.
Instead, the Commission targeted a number of minor players, including this police clerk. It was a travesty of justice miscarried in order to protect Pickton's buddies-in-crime.
The RCMP has become emblematic of the worst examples of male sexual entitlement and privilege.
Added: Rabble has a long screed regarding Brown: "Private fantasy, Public Reality". It's not that great. The author is clearly not familiar with the premise of 'safe, sane and consensual' activities that informs ethical practitioners of BDSM. As well, she misrepresents Terri-Jean Bedford who is a professional dominatrix - not someone who currently experiences abuse, exception made for the violence of a "justice" system that criminalizes sex trade workers to "protect" them.
Competent research, precise knowledge of legal questions, including the criticism directed at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry and a better understanding of boundary issues would have been highly helpful to Meghan Murphy and it would have made her rant referral-worthy.