MAn sAys Ar­rest in dAd’s 2009 killing ‘Bit­ter viC­tory’

Ar­rest in cold case brings ‘bit­ter vic­tory’ for fam­ily re­lieved to get sense of closure

Ottawa Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - ANDREW DUFFY

The son of homi­cide vic­tim Ray­mond Col­li­son has called the lon­gawaited ar­rest of a sus­pect in the case “a bit­ter vic­tory.”

Tim Col­li­son said his fa­ther’s vi­o­lent death — one in a string of un­solved homi­cides in and around the small town of More­wood — has caused him enormous pain.

“I miss my dad with all my heart and soul, and the fact that my son never got the chance to meet his grandpa hurts deeply,” Col­li­son, of Cornwall, said in an email ex­change with this news­pa­per.

“My dad was a friendly and kind per­son who tried to be friends with most peo­ple he met. He was al­ways the happy-go-lucky type.”

Ray­mond Col­li­son, 59, a Winch­ester Springs handy­man, was re­ported miss­ing in Sep­tem­ber 2009, three weeks after he was last seen get­ting on his bi­cy­cle out­side the McCloskey Ho­tel in Ch­ester­ville, south of Ot­tawa. His body wasn’t dis­cov­ered un­til April 2014 when two peo­ple out for an evening walk came across a hu­man skull in a drainage ditch in More­wood.

DNA testing was re­quired to iden­tify the body.

On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors have never re­vealed Col­li­son’s cause of death, but their find­ings trig­gered a thor­ough re­ex­am­i­na­tion of Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry’s large archive of cold cases.

Late last month, four years into their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, OPP in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested James Henry “Jimmy” Wise at a nurs­ing home in Winch­ester. The 75-year-old was charged with first-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with Col­li­son’s death.

Wise, 75, ap­peared by video link in a Cornwall court on Mon­day when his case was re­manded to late June. A re­tired me­chanic, Wise is in poor health — he suf­fered a stroke sev­eral years ago — and is be­ing held in the health unit of the Ot­tawa-Car­leton De­ten­tion Cen­tre. His defence lawyers, Jon Doody and Ian Carter, have in­di­cated that their client in­tends to plead not guilty in the case.

Tim Col­li­son said his fa­ther might have known Wise, but did not speak about him. “At first it felt like a bit­ter vic­tory as my dad is gone but the ac­cused still draws breath,” Col­li­son said. But the ar­rest, he said, has brought him a sense of closure for the first time since his fa­ther’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

Other fam­i­lies in Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry are still hop­ing to find that kind of closure.

Randy Rankin’s broth­ers have waited more than 11 years for an ar­rest in his case. Rankin, 46, of More­wood, was shot in the back of the head as he sat at a com­puter in his base­ment at 5 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2007.

“I’d like to see the guy who did it get nailed,” Gary Rankin said Tues­day. “We think about Randy a lot.”

“Who­ever killed him should burn in hell,” said his brother Jim Rankin.

Randy Rankin, a chil­dren’s clown, har­ness rac­ing afi­cionado, and one-time may­oral can­di­date in North Dun­das Town­ship, lived less than two kilo­me­tres from the site where Col­li­son’s body was found, on the same sparsely pop­u­lated ru­ral road.

Dur­ing their cold case in­ves­ti­ga­tion, OPP de­tec­tives pro­duced a crime map that plot­ted five un­solved homi­cides clus­tered around More­wood, along with more than 50 un­solved ar­sons and sus­pi­cious fires.

Ray­mond Col­li­son

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