Charges laid in rare' bombing murder
Police called the bombing murder of former Didsbury resident Vicky Shachtay “a rare event in Canada.”
“I’ve never seen, in my experience, this kind of crime,” said RCMP Inspector Garrett Woolsey, operations officer with the serious crimes branch, of his 24 years in his line of work.
Woolsey was speaking during a press conference May 28 at the Innisfail RCMP Detachment on the six-month investigation that lead to the arrest of local resident Brian Malley on May 25.
Malley is facing three charges: first-degree murder, causing an explosion likely to cause serious bodily harm, death or serious damage to property, and sending or delivering to a person an explosive device.
The 23-year-old disabled single mother of one was killed in her ground-level apartment on 51 Ave. Nov. 25, 2011 after opening a package delivered outside of her house that was triggered to explode.
Shachtay lived with her seven-year-old daughter, Destiny who was at school at the time of the explosion, as well as her live-in caregiver who was in an adjoining room when the package was opened.
A vehicle collision in 2004 left Shachtay confined to a wheelchair .
Police descended on 44 Avenue Close early Friday morning to collect evidence from the accused’s home.
RCMP Superintendent Curtis Zablocki said the search resulted in the collection of the necessary evidence but would not give any information on the particulars, or the device used in the bombing, saying it’s now in the hands of the court.
Malley appeared via closed-circuit television at Red Deer provincial court on the morning of May 28. He is being held at Red Deer Remand Centre. His lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, asked for the case to go over until July 9 in order to receive evidence from the Crown. Malley’s bail status will be spoken to at that time.
Zablocki also commented on the rareness of the bombing.
“This crime was unlike any crime in Alberta and perhaps Canada.”
He said the ongoing investigation was “difficult and meticulous” and included 70 investigators from various units such as forensic specialists from Edmonton and Ottawa, RCMP’s Post-Blast National Response Team, Explosive Disposal and Technology Section, Tech Crimes, Special Tactical Operations, Criminal Analysis Section, the Special “I” Surveillance Units and the local RCMP.
“It’s incredibly satisfying,” said Woolsey of bringing the investigation to an arrest. He wouldn’t comment on an alleged motive but said Malley was entrusted with Shachtay’s financial affairs.
Police confirmed Malley had worked as a municipal police officer “some 30 years ago” but would not say where. “His previous experience has no bearing,” said Woolsey of inquiries if Malley’s former training had anything to do with the case.
Police are not currently seeking other suspects but asked if anyone has any more information on the crime to contact the RCMP.
Malley’s next-door neighbour Arthur Hillson said he noticed “the place crawling with police” as early as 8 a.m. May 25. Portions of the close were blocked with multiple RCMP vehicles including RCMP Special Tactical operations, a forensic response and a technical rescue trailer.
While Hillson doesn’t know much about his neighbours, which included the accused, he said they were always good to him.
“Really, I think they keep to themselves very much. I don’t know their names but they shovelled my sidewalk all winter and they’re very nice to me,” Hillson said Friday before charges were announced.
Tara Redmond said she lived next door to Malley for six years before she moved away and was contacted by the Province Monday after charges had been announced.
She said the accused and his wife were quiet and kept to themselves. She said Malley works for Assante Wealth Management and she had money invested with him.
“I was completely fricking shocked,” she said of hearing the news. “It’s quite crazy, you never know your neighbours.”