National Post (Latest Edition)




TORONTO • A handwritin­g expert was called in at the Steven Truscott appeal yesterday to determine the author of two 47-year-old notes that suggest authoritie­s withheld witness statements favourable to Mr. Truscott’s innocence.

Lawyer James Lockyer argued the penciled notes reveal the Crown lawyer who prosecuted Mr. Truscott in 1959 was “selective” in calling a boy witness to refute Doug Oates, the 12-year-old star witness for the defence, while failing to call or disclose the statements of other boys who would have reinforced Doug’s story.

Greg Dawson of Toronto’s Centre of Forensic Sciences was summoned to compare the notes — which were scribbled on the backs of yellowing pages in a Crown brief unearthed recently from the Ontario Archives — to known handwritin­g samples of Crown GlenHays.

Mr. Hays is deceased, but court is expected to learn today whether he wrote the notes.

The move underscore­d the challenges lawyers on both sides face in revisiting a murder investigat­ion and trial where so many key players have died, and where the case for Mr. Truscott’s innocence relies heavily on previously undisclose­d papers.

Throughout the hearing yesterday, Mr. Truscott’s lawyers tried to convince the five-judge panel that other crucial statements and notes were not disclosed to Goderich defence lawyer Frank Donnelly and should be accepted as fresh evidence.

Mr. Lockyer encountere­d resistance fromone judge when he encouraged the court to admit the June, 1959, statement of nine-year-old Karen Daum.

Karen told police she was catching turtles at the Bayfield River with Doug, the star defence witness, the night 12-yearold LynneHarpe­r vanished.

Lynne’s raped and strangled body was found two days later in a grove known as Farmer Lawson’s bush.

Accompanie­d by her stern father and under heavy pressure frompolice officers, Karen insisted she saw Mr. Truscott and Lynne cycle together across a bridge well north of the bush.

If the pair made it across the bridge, Mr. Truscott is innocent.

Mr. Truscott’s lawyers argue Karen’s statement was not disclosed until the Supreme Court reviewed the case in 1966.

But that might not matter, an exasperate­d Mr. Justice David Doherty suggested.

“So what if [Mr. Donnelly] didn’t know about [the statement], he knew about her, he knew she could potentiall­y corroborat­eMr. Oates’s evidence,” the judge said.

Karen Daum, now Karen Jutzi, testified last summer that she no longer recalls seeingMr. Truscott and Lynne at the bridge.

Earlier in the afternoon, lawyer Marlys Edwardh presented a series of purportedl­y fresh statements showing Lynne was in a sour mood the night she vanished because her parents would not let her go swimming. Ms. Edwardh also argued Lynne had a history of hitchhikin­g.

Neither point was raised at trial; in fact there was testimony Lynne was in a normal mood and never hitchhiked.

Mr. Truscott has always maintained he gave Lynne a lift on the crossbar of his bike to Highway 8, where he watched her hitch a ride.

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