Gabriel Wortman, the man behind the vicious mass shooting in Nova Scotia, apparently withdrew $475,000 in cash just 19 days before the shooting.
According to a bombshell new report in Maclean's by Paul Palango, Stephen Maher, and Shannon Gormley, the money was withdrawn from 19 Ilsley Ave. in Dartmouth, N.S., on March 30, as revealed on security footage. He was also driving one of his decommissioned white police cruisers.
Speculation is growing as to the relationship of the now-deceased mass killer to the RCMP and questions are being asked about the RCMP's lack of transparency surrounding the case.
“People are always surprised by how much money like that takes up so little space.” said one Brink's employee who works at the Dartmouth location.
Wortman declared about $700,000 in assessed properties in a 2011 will and testament. In addition to that, he also declared around $500,00 in personal property, RRSPs and insurance policies. Still no one know what Wortman did with the $475,000 he withdrew weeks for the shooting.
It is presumed that the money may have been retrieved by RCMP. The victim's families have acquired a lawyer to sue the estate of Wortman, “I assume the public trustee has it,” said Robert Pineo, the lawyer suing the estate. “The goal is to liquidate his entire estate and have it made available to the family members,” said Pineo.
On May 25, the common-law spouse of Wortman filed a court document renouncing any claim on the estate.
Pineo also filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the RCMP and Nova Scotia, alleging that the force was unable to “protect the safety and security of the public.” Nova Scotian RCMP have not responded on the matter nor about what became of the $475,000. They also were unable to confirm whether or not Wortman had any ties to organized crime investigations.
Sgt. Angela Hawryluk was the first officer who swore the RCMP's search warrants for Wortman's house, she is a specialists in outlaw biker gangs and drug trafficking and a 28-year veteran of the RCMP.
Rumours that perhaps Wortman had some sort of connection to the RCMP were stamped out by Superintendent Darren Campbell during a press briefing on June 4 where Campell said, “The gunman was never associated to the RCMP as a volunteer or auxiliary police officer, nor did the RCMP ever have any special relationship with the gunman of any kind,”
One law-enforcement source did confirm however that Wortman often spent time with the Hells Angels and had one associate who was in fact linked to organized crime named Peter Alan Griffon, his neighbour in Portapique. Griffon is linked to a Mexican drug cartel and there is a source who says Griffon supplied Wortman with the decals for his replica RCMP cruiser that was used in the shooting.
Griffon was arrested for drug trafficking and weapons possession in 2014 in Edmonton as part of a bust on the Mexican cartel La Familia and MS-13. He pled guilty and served seven years in prison. Griffon returned to Nova Scotia and began working in a print shop, where it is believed he printed the decals without the permission of the shop owner. He no longer works there. Griffon was also first cousins with one of the victims who Wortman murdered.
The RCMP is being criticized for their handling of the event, such as failing to contain Wortman by blocking off link to highways leading to Truro and Halifax and not issuing a provincial alert.
Brenda Forbes, a neighbour of Wortman also told the RCMP in 2013 that he had a stash of illegal weapons and that she had heard and seen Wortman, strangling and hitting his common-law wife, along with three other witnesses however none wanted to come forward which prevented RCMP from pressing charges.
A former neighbour of Wortman has expressed frustration that the RCMP did not act earlier. Brenda Forbes, a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, told the RCMP in 2013 that he had a stash of illegal weapons, and that she had heard three male witnesses had seen Wortman strangling and hitting his common-law wife. Forbes said the RCMP abandoned their investigation because witnesses were unwilling to come forward. The RCMP have said that privacy law prevents them from commenting on complaints that do not result in charges.
“There’s zero tolerance, if we get called in to a domestic, somebody’s got to go, if there’s enough evidence,” the officer said. “It’s a simple 487, a search warrant to go get those guns. I would have wrote it off the statement from the two military people.” said one RCMP officer speaking off the record, since they are not allowed to discuss the case.
Many RCMP officers both active and retired are starting to believe that perhaps Wortman was an informant and that is why he was able to evade prosecution for the numerous complaints about him from neighbours and people who knew him.
Wortman was issued a speeding ticket at 5:58 p.m. on February 12, 2020, on Portapique Beach Road and some officers are calling the timing of it all suspicious. At that same time, the RCMP were undertaking multiple arrests of Hells Angesl and their associate in both Halifax and New Brunswick. Some feel the speeding ticket was merely an opportunity to meet up and exchange information or that perhaps his cover had been blown as an informant.
“The ticket stinks” said one current RCMP member. “At 6 o’clock at night in February in rural Nova Scotia nobody is doing radar. But it’s a standard trick used to pass messages to informants or create cover to prove to the targets that the informant and the police are on opposite teams.”
So far all calls for a public inquiry into the matter have been deflected at both the provincial and federal governmental levels, despite it being the worst shooting in Canadian history.
The victim's families are becoming angry with the lack of transparency from RCMP and the government.
Darcy Dobson, the daughter of Heather O’Brien, who was murdered by Wortman, recently posted on Facebook, “If this is the worst massacre in Canadian history why are we not trying to learn from it? What’s the hold up in the inquiry? Why hasn’t this happened yet? Where are we in the investigation? Was someone else involved? Why can’t we get any answers at all 40 days in?! The fact that anyone of us has to ask these questions is all very concerning and only makes everyone feel inadequate, unimportant and unsafe.”
RCMP continue to investigate just where and how Wortman acquired the illegal guns he used in the shooting however no information has been released to the public.
“In those forms the RCMP will speak freely about what happened,” said one RCMP officer. “You have to get your hands on them. That’s where the real story can be found.”
“They’re closing shit off as fast as they can. They don’t want to open up everything else.” said another RCMP officer, who is not authorized to speak about the case.