“It increases the odds of (the target individual) making a false confession,” said York University doctoral candidate Karina Gagnier. Her thesis is on Mr. Big, in which undercover cops posing as crime figures tell their targets they must confess to crimes to be accepted into the crime underworld. They’re then arrested and charged with those offenses, up to and including first degree murder.
Asked if Guelph Police Service is involved in such stings, spokesperson Sgt. Doug Pflug said by email, “we will not comment on covert police operations in the interest of officer and public safety.”
The Ring Café crowd heard by telephone from Patrick Fischer, a British Columbia inmate convicted of murder in 2001 after confessing in a Mr. Big RCMP sting.
“I’d never heard of anything like this before,” Fischer said, urging the crowd to join other Canadians in making clear to politicians “there’s strong opposition” to such stings.