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It was, in the words of Sault Ste. Marie Police Chief Robert Keetch, “one of the most important and horrific” murder cases in recent memory.
Five years after the shocking murder of 29-year-old Wesley Hallam, the curious case still continues to surprise. This time around, it was because of reports that Hallam’s mother received the last of her son’s remains after five years of waiting.
On 8 January 2011, Hallam was brutally stabbed in a drug-fuelled party in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. His body was then decapitated and dismembered in the Cold Water Creek. Two months later, the police discovered Hallam’s head and feet in a garbage dump in the US state of Michigan.
Hallam’s remains continued to be crucial pieces of police evidence long after the rest of his body was cremated. And it took the police five years to release the remains to the mother of the victim, Sandra Hallam.
She still cannot believe it.
“It just seems more surreal now,” she said in an interview. “Before I could put it off, saying maybe this isn’t really happening, but now it’s real.”
But this is not the only surprising feature of the case. The three perpetrators of the crime—Ronald Mitchell, Eric Mearow, and Dylan Jocko—had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and indignity to human body.
But, even before their trial was about to begin, they reached a plea deal, causing outrage among many citizens. But no one else was more furious than Keetch. And he had every right to be so. The police had made their best efforts to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.
They had taken months to search for Hallam’s remains. They made efforts to go through tons of garbage. It cost them around a million dollars just to find Hallam’s head and feet. After working so hard and building a solid case against the suspects, the murderers are being let go.
What kind of justice is that?