Graphic details emerge at triple murder trial
CALGARY — Computer searches about killing, dismembered bodies and adult diapering were on a hard drive found hidden at the residence of an Alberta man charged with murder of a Calgary couple and their five-year-old grandson.
Douglas Garland, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the June 30, 2014, disappearance of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and Nathan O’Brien.
The jury was shown graphic evidence Monday and heard testimony from the police forensic expert who went through the hard drive.
Const. Doug Kraan testified that the 200-gigabyte hard drive was about 63 per cent full of videos, photos and documents.
Some of the files contained information on adult baby diapering, ADHD, fingerprinting and hypnosis. Kraan briefly showed some of the photos which depicted both men and women, restrained and wearing diapers, and in one case, wearing a straitjacket.
One file dealt with weapons such as blackjacks, brass knuckles and batons; another showed how to use a garrotte to strangle a person.
“There were a number of documents about killing that were found on this hard drive,” he said. “They weren’t the only documents on this subject.”
Kraan seemed disturbed by a folder entitled “Gore.”
“The ‘Gore’ folder contained, I believe 87 pictures, that depicted dead or dismembered individuals or mutilated persons. It was very graphic,” said Kraan.
Books on autopsies, another described as the complete “how to kill” book, information on how to destroy DNA evidence and several guides on the Schlage BE365 door lock were also found. The lock is the same type broken into at the Liknes home.
Kraan recovered several files in the hard drive’s recycling bin, including two photos of Kathy Liknes and a third of her and her husband.
Justice David Gates cautioned the jurors before the afternoon evidence was shown.
No matter how “unpleasant or distasteful” they found the information, simply believing “he is a person of bad character therefore he must have done that” isn’t enough, the judge told them.
Gates said the evidence may only assist in identity, murderous intent and planning and deliberation.
Earlier testimony from Det. Scott Guterson heard police searched the Garland farm in early July looking for any evidence on where to find the three missing people.
“We were also very much aware and alive to the fact we still had three missing people at that point and anything else that we could have found to either help us locate them or further their abduction investigation.”
“Det. Guterson, at any time was a suicide note ever recovered?” asked Crown prosecutor Shane Parker.
“No sir it was not.”
“Was there ever a ransom demand?” Parker asked.
“No, there was not.”
Guterson said he and another officer flew to Mexico in August 2014 to investigate the condo owned by the missing couple.
“We found that most of the appliances, except for a fan, were unplugged. We found the patio doors in the condominium were sealed shut with tape. There were no toiletries in the bathroom. There was a barbecue that was actually inside the living room of the condominium,” said Guterson.
“I spoke to the staff … and they told us the staff did not recall seeing the Likneses at the condominium since January of that year.”
The trial has already heard that the passports for the Likneses and Nathan were found at home in Calgary.
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By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press