Ray Michalko will be at Books & Co. in Quesnel Saturday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. for a meet and greet as well as signing copies of his recently published book Obstruction of Justice.
A former RCMP officer, now a licensed private investigator in B.C., Michalko has spent the last 10 years investigating the nine missing and murdered women along the 700-km stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert called the Highway of Tears.
Of the nine women, all but one were Aboriginal women and to date, not one case has been solved. Although he’s a working private investigator (PI), Michalko has worked free of charge on the Highway of Tears investigation and in many cases, with the support of victim’s families and the communities that dot the highway.
In writing his book, Michalko hopes to bring attention to the plight of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, how their case’s were investigated, not only in B.C. but across Canada. Second, he wants to promote the RCMP’s excellent computer program, the Violent Crime Linkage Program (VICLAS) which is in use around the world yet here in B.C. they can’t convince their own members and local police forces to use it to its potential.
“I also want people to understand that B.C. is one of the best provinces in Canada to be a criminal,” he said.
“In addition to the lack of VICLAS legislation, B.C. is one of only two provinces that require crown counsel approval for charges to be laid and without substantial expectation of conviction, cases never go to trial.”
He added the RCMP have said they have a number of strong suspects in the Highway of Tears cases but not enough evidence to lay charges.
“The head of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team in B.C. recently said in most cases they know who is responsible and if they were in any other province than B.C. they would be out making arrests and charging criminals.”
While in the north, Michalko, in addition to his book signing tour, will be chasing down some additional leads.
“My role as a PI is to turn over any additional evidence to the RCMP in the hopes of strengthening the case and getting it to trial,” he said.
He admitted he gets calls from all over but his focus is the 700-km stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
Regarding the recently launched federal inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, Michalko said there’s been so many reports already with a lot of non-binding
recommendations which have not been acted on, however, he’s optimistic this government will be more willing to act on recommendations than the last government. Drop by Books and Co. on Reid street between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, pick up a copy of his book and have a chat with Ray Michalko.