It was 1991, a year after Ms. Grenier's strangled and beaten corpse was found murdered near Carman, in southwestern Manitoba. Mr. Unger was working on a small hobby farm.
Two Mounties posing as tourists with a broken motor home approached the farm's unsuspecting owner. "He offered them a place to park the motor home," recalled Mr. Unger. "They played it out that they had to wait a few days for parts."
The two men offered to work around the farm, to pay for their stay. One of the men was particularly friendly. "We got to know each other," said Mr. Unger. They went out drinking and hit it off. Mr. Unger was soon offered a place in their criminal organization.
Soon he was delivering packages that, he believed, contained wads of ill-gotten cash. "The money they were giving me, here and there, just to get me through the day was immense.... They'd say, ‘There's a pizza place across the street, go for supper,' and they'd chuck me 200 bucks.
"They gave me a penthouse suite with a liquor cabinet in there. I was drinking constantly," Mr. Unger recalled.
According to court documents, Mr. Unger insisted to his new associates that he had not murdered Ms. Grenier; the two undercover officers often raised the topic.
After a few weeks he was introduced to Big Larry, the supposed crime boss. Mr. Unger was offered tall cans of beer, which he downed in succession.
"[Another undercover officer] tells me you whacked somebody. That's fine with me," Big Larry said to Mr. Unger, according to court transcripts. "That's, that's f---ing excellent.... That's the kind of person I'm looking for."
Hoping to obtain more work and bigger lumps of cash, Mr. Unger eventually told Big Larry that he had killed Ms. Grenier. He then gave details of the murder that turned out to be incorrect. But the confession still proved powerful and he was convicted by a jury.So, in order to get a confession, the cops gave this man (who doesn't appear to have been particularly wealthy) lots of money, lots of booze and an apartment (stocked with lots of booze). They bring him to meet Big Larry, give him some tall cans and encourage him to admit to a murder that he did not commit. He, not wanting to jump off the gravy train, told them what they wanted to hear.
The cops might want to check this out.
The RCMP found a petty criminal (and he admitted to as much... not while being coerced) and found an easy way to up their conviction rate. Apparently, policing isn't about justice, it's about deadlines.
It's kind of funny that, now, there is some concerns about the legitimacy about the Mr. Big method of catching "murderers", but more so, it's just sad.