Man who claims he witnessed Dana Bradley murder reacts to RCMP statement

Tara Bradbury and Glen Whiffen
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RCMP says witness account not supported by facts; others say investigation didn’t go far enough

The RCMP issued a statement Thursday saying information about the Dana Bradley murder investigation reported in a recent Telegram series is not supported by the facts of the case.

In the series, which began March 15, a man told The Telegram he had witnessed the murder of Dana Bradley as a boy, that he was in the back seat of the car that picked her up on Dec. 14, 1981.

The man — identified as “Robert” in The Telegram, to protect his identity — described the murder and where the body was placed before it was found four days later.

Dana Bradley disappeared on Dec. 14, 1981. Her body was found in woods along a lane off Maddox Cove Road on Dec. 18, 1981. — Submitted photo

The RCMP says the information provided by the man has been investigated thoroughly by police, as well as independently investigated by credible sources with full access to police evidence.

“The information provided simply did not match the physical evidence,” the release states.

Robert said the RCMP will never find new evidence if it doesn’t look for it.

“My parents owned a two-door Dodge Dart and a four-door Plymouth Valiant. It appears both those cars are buried beneath about a foot of gravel,” Robert said Thursday.

“You could almost uncover them with a shovel. Why don’t they dig up the cars and at least check them?”

The RCMP said, as with all serious investigations, it is unable to discuss specifics of the Dana Bradley murder investigation as it does not want to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.

The RCMP said it has been vigilant in collecting and protecting key evidence relating directly to Dana’s death, and that while there is considerable medical, physical, witness-based and circumstantial evidence, it cannot be shared with the public or specific witnesses who come forward with information.

“The known facts surrounding the murder of Dana Bradley provide investigators with the ability to assess new information as it arises. Through critical analysis of information, and comparison against the known evidence and facts, investigators are able to determine the validity of the information,” the police statement said.

Robert said his memories are from the viewpoint of being six years old. The type of things the RCMP may know about the case would not necessarily be what a child would observe, he said.

“Even though I was a child, I’m confident I know more about what happened to Dana than they do,” Robert said. “I wonder how they would have interviewed me in 1981 had the opportunity been there?”

The RCMP said over 32 years, investigators have worked with many witnesses and partners, and continue to make every effort to solve the murder.

The RCMP assured the public that when information is brought forward, it is thoroughly investigated and compared against the known facts of the case.

Robert said his information is not the only instance where he believes the RCMP didn’t look deep enough. He also complained to the RCMP that the person he says killed Dana Bradley had sexually abused him in the years around the murder.

“Did the Major Crime Unit direct the local detachment to stop investigating my complaint? Because I know for a fact it wasn’t investigated thoroughly,” Robert said.

His father agrees.

The man Robert describes had been a close friend of his parents’ in the early 1980s and spent a lot of time at their home. In the 1990s, the man was convicted of sexually abusing children and served time in prison.

Robert’s father said though the police say they exhausted all avenues related to the sexual abuse complaint, no RCMP officers ever questioned him or his wife about the possibility the sexual assaults could have occurred.

“You would think we’d be among the first to be approached to find out how often he was at our home, if our children were at his house, if we left our children in his care, and how close he was to our children,” he said.

Robert’s father said there are photographs of the man with his children up in his arms.

“There was all kinds of opportunity for the abuse to take place,” he said.

“There were sleepovers. We can both remember me dropping (Robert) off at his house.”

He said once when his wife was in hospital, the man helped care for Robert and his siblings while he was visiting his wife.

“He was a pedophile, but that was unknown to us at the time, and we were giving him our youngsters,” he said, shaking his head.

Anyone with information on the Dana Bradley murder is urged to contact the RCMP at 709-772-5400, anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or contact any police detachment.

gwhiffen@thetelegram.com

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

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Recent comments

  • frances
    October 15, 2014 - 10:47

    I can't believe how everyone failed Dana. The killer should have been caught by now.Why not dig up those cars and at least rule them out. This is what you police gets paid for.Maybe not all his details don't match up because he was six but come on if he's telling you about where the cars are at least rule it out. Everyone wants answers to what happened to this poor child so what's stopping you guys from ruling this out afraid you might be wrong and this guy is telling the truth?

  • Donna Glynn
    October 15, 2014 - 02:41

    Another case of RCMP screwin things up.

  • Pam Brown
    September 11, 2014 - 11:28

    All leads should be looked at and those cars should be dug up. I cant see a person making up stories, what kind of sick would you be.

  • Meldup
    July 01, 2014 - 19:21

    Has there been any more progress?

  • Susie
    April 08, 2014 - 10:47

    Please dig up the car and see if it's the car in the Dana Bradley murder. Than charge the guy u did murder Dana. Give him jail for life and than throw the book at him. Everyone knows who the murder is and I'm sure the police do to. Why not charge him. The people in that town should come together and get this fella charged.

  • Kim Hennessey
    April 04, 2014 - 20:32

    I can not even comprehend a reason why they would not dig up them cars. Beyond me why they just ignored this. They protecting someone or what???

  • DIG UP THAT CAR!
    March 25, 2014 - 17:38

    Please Robert take this to what ever media will listen. Please go national. If the RCMP wont dig up the car, find someone who cares enough to investigate all avenues. If you believe in your cause to solve this, don't ever give up. please bring enough attention to the media to find some investigators in forensics to DIG UP THE CAR!!! For what is right and to bring justice to who ever did this horrendous murder.

  • Justme
    March 25, 2014 - 10:24

    There were two children in the back seat of the car when this happened. This CHILD probably blocked this out for all these years. But of course the RCMP is disregarding his information, because THEY HAVE DONE SO MUCH TO SOLVE HER MURDER!!

  • About Dana
    March 23, 2014 - 11:55

    Has anyone used a metal detector at the location where the cars are buried?

  • Volunteer
    March 22, 2014 - 21:42

    Have they used a metal detector?

  • JUDITH HARROWER
    March 22, 2014 - 11:37

    From an outsider's point of view this case has generated lots of publicity. One would give the RCMP the benefit of doubt if on the other side of the country there were not hundreds of missing/murdered First Nations women. In these cases there has been no resolution, no culprits brought to justice thus perception is that officers have failed to act let alone solve any of the HUNDREDs of missing/murdered women. One asks why no males? Could there be link this case being a very early one then those in BC/lberta. I trust the officers have considered that there may be one serial killer with deadly instincts. Perhaps this cse may never be solved or in 10 years to come if we believe that this genertion of officers have the motivation to search/investigate. Currently the RCMP have failed our natives in so many aspects that this is a major Human Rights issue extending into all provinces - this week Via rail blocked in Kingston, ON. - frustrating anger hostilities runth over! The Mounties need to resolve these issues or could it be not only an ingrained culture that these victims are not worth it or that officers have been involved themselves?

  • JUDITH HARROWER
    March 22, 2014 - 11:33

    From an outsider's point of view this case has generated lots of publicity. One would give the RCMP the benefit of doubt if on the other side of the country there were not hundreds of missing/murdered First Nations women. In these cases there has been no resolution, no culprits brought to justice thus perception is that officers have failed to act let alone solve any of the HUNDREDs of missing/murdered women. One asks why no males? Could there be link this case being a very early one then those in BC/lberta. I trust the officers have considered that there may be one serial killer with deadly instincts. Perhaps this cse may never be solved or in 10 years to come if we believe that this genertion of officers have the motivation to search/investigate. Currently the RCMP have failed our natives in so many aspects that this is a major Human Rights issue extending into all provinces - this week Via rail blocked in Kingston, ON. - frustrating anger hostilities runth over! The Mounties need to resolve these issues or could it be not only an ingrained culture that these victims are not worth it or that officers have been involved themselves?

  • Do it
    March 22, 2014 - 04:29

    I can remember the police having all of Robin Bay dug up to find the car used. They spent a lot of time and money. How come they can't dig another foot? What's going on here? Don't know about the RNC, but the RCMP are not to be trusted. I am law abiding and supportive of police, but I do not trust the RCMP one little bit. I'd like to see an outside police force come in and investigate this and dig up those cars.

  • Dee
    March 21, 2014 - 20:36

    I believe this person we will call Robert. He is trying to conceal his identity and is not trying to gain any fame from this story, he is successful with a family of his own. All of this happened a long time ago and it WAS from a childs petspective. Realistically though unless they have taken samples from Dana and samples from the accused noone will ever know the truth. I want the police to tell us if this has or has not been done??? Also yes dig up the car and test for DNA. Once this is done and police admit this has been done I will be satisfied.

  • what a joke
    March 21, 2014 - 16:46

    Just when we think things cant get any worse when it comes to the RCMP, it do. We went from a ten day stand off with a house surrounded 24 hours and the man escapes to now, a man comes forward with information about a murder. Only for it to fall on deaf ears!! If I were Robert, I would have those two cars dug up myself and then contact the telegram,W5 and every other media you can think of. Maybe then when the heat is on our RCMP(who are there to PROTECT) just might need to do their job. Robert don't back down, you can get justice for Dana, you and all your families. You have more support than you can only imagine. Stay strong!!

  • maria
    March 21, 2014 - 15:22

    This doesn't make since ! Dig up the cars !!!! and why isn't the sketch of killer not upgraded to 32 years ?????? RCMP is protecting someone and we ppl of Nl need to make a stand for justice for Dana !!

  • Seriously!!
    March 21, 2014 - 12:50

    My God, just dig up the car and check for DNA. If it's a dead end, so be it. It wouldn't be the first one. But what if it isn't a dead end!!! What if it is as Robert says it is!!! Dana's family could finally get some justice!!! Just the possibility of that alone should be enough reason to dig it up!!

  • Dick B.
    March 21, 2014 - 12:24

    correct me if i am wrong but wasn't all regestered cars fitting that discription of the suspects car investaged in the first few days of the investigation? thought i read that over two thousand cars or regestered owners were investigated .how did they miss these two in the general area.

    • beleiver
      March 21, 2014 - 14:07

      The accussed didn't own the car, it was the Robert's fathers car. so that could have side tracted the investigation, especially where they checked so many and never had it narrowed down at the time.

  • newsflash
    March 21, 2014 - 11:22

    Here we go... a steady stream of weekday evening whodunit sleuths ready to rip the RC's a new one. Each one of these comments has at least one sentence where you can see they have no idea what they are talking about. The Telegram should be sued by the Bradley family for pursuing this like a gossip magazine for pain and suffering. If ever there was anyone to complain about the investigation it would be the Bradley family... but they haven't, know why? Because they are satisfied with it and know everything is being done.

  • sam
    March 21, 2014 - 11:21

    I think this case needs a new set of eyes and a new approach

  • sam
    March 21, 2014 - 11:20

    I think this case needs a new set of eyes and a new approach

  • Tee a
    March 21, 2014 - 10:07

    I don't understand how the RCMP can spend countless hours and thousands of dollars watching a empty house but yet can not did up a car and check for DNA. Maybe we need a new police service to look into this. New eyes and ears could help. This story told by Robert could not be made up!!!!!

    • newsflash
      March 21, 2014 - 11:34

      It couldn't be? Why couldn't it be? My 5 year old is able to spin some pretty believable yarns about a lot things. I wonder how many of these comments are coming from "Robert". Sounds to me like he was abused, didn't get the result he wanted, and is now coming up with another attention seeking story.

  • hmmmmm
    March 21, 2014 - 09:54

    Dig up the cars......

  • Jack
    March 21, 2014 - 09:41

    "The RCMP said, as with all serious investigations, it is unable to discuss specifics of the Dana Bradley murder investigation as it does not want to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation".....lol. The lads with the stripey yellow pants have gone bumkiss nowhere with this investigatio in 33 years.I highly doubt any integrity remains to be jeopardized. This one will never be solved unfortunately.

  • santo
    March 21, 2014 - 08:48

    I am sure the police have DNA evidence from the Dana Bradley case, given that the accused was in jail in the '90s for sexual abuse, then his DNA is on file as well, a simple match up would prove or disprove the allegation. As for the police being specific, that would be a very stupid thing to do. I am sure they have information that only the killer would know...ya, tell the general public that!? Why on earth would they do that. This is an open active case, do you really think that anyone who is fitting the possible age of the killer, who is sent to jail for sexual abuse isn't screened for being a possible suspect. In the age of the computer data bases we have, it wouldn't take long to cross check DNA samples for a match anywhere in the country. I think some people in the general public watch too much crime drama, and consider themselves better detectives then the trained ones that are looking after this case. I am willing to bet that there isn't one officer out there who wouldn't want to be the one who solved this case. I have no doubt that Robert was traumatized by this man as a child, and was being abused the same time that Dana was murdered which was a huge news story and talked about and discussed at length everywhere. Perhaps he related to this story on a different level, perhaps his memory is leaving out important details if he did indeed witness this. I am sure he believes what he says, but PTSD does strange things to the mind. The bottom line is, what the police KNOW to be true, don't add up to what Robert told them. Give the police a bit of credit. They know a lot more than we do.

    • McLovin
      March 21, 2014 - 09:56

      I'm not sure how common collecting DNA evidence was in the early 80's. I'm pretty sure that wasn't a common thing until sometime in the early 1990's.

  • Winston Adams
    March 21, 2014 - 08:37

    It is outrageous that the RCMP did not contact this family in the 1990s as part of their investigation about this pedophile. So how many victims were there and what time did he serve. How many more victims did not come forward due to police incompetence. And they expect people to trust them. They have revictimized Robert by dismissing his story as false memories. They do not wish to dig up the car. The pay a forensic doctor who believes in false memories. The Mounties..... real professionals. Good to see Robert getting the support from his father in this story. He sure is not getting it from the police.

    • make u wonder
      October 14, 2014 - 21:44

      robert and his family packed up and moved not too long after this time and reappeared many years later.make you wonder did they know something then and not speak ??

  • David
    March 21, 2014 - 08:08

    It's time for the RCMP to stop speaking in generalities and address specific questions and concerns. Not discussing specifics in fear of jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation just doesn't cut it 32 years in. It's difficult for the public to accept a "trust us, we know what we are doing" approach for another 32 years from a police force that brought us the "give yourself up Leo, we have your house partially surrounded" fiasco. For the RCMP to maintain credibility, it's time for them to shake up the whole box of marbles and try an entirely new approach, show their workings on the table, and assure us that they are indeed doing everything possible.

    • Private eye
      March 21, 2014 - 19:41

      This tely series was a pile of garbage by a paper heading into big subscriber loss.

    • marie
      March 22, 2014 - 06:40

      i think robert said his parents owned the cars ,so did this man have his parents car?i think they should be questioned about it.dig up the cars and check to see if these were checked previously .if robert can give this vivid info about the case ,it seems to me more questions should be asked ask the person he is accusing some questions as well if this person is a suspect give him a polygraph nothing to lose more time was spent on leo crockwell,s empty house.