London, Ont., cops already had cold-case TV show details

Mike Arntfield, a London police officer and Western University professor, hosts To Catch a Killer...

Mike Arntfield, a London police officer and Western University professor, hosts To Catch a Killer on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Jane Sims, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Not only did the OPP know a reality TV show was sniffing around a 1969 cold case London murder, but they were suspcious how the celebrity sleuth -- a part-time London police officer -- was getting his goods on the case.

In a letter to London police Chief Brad Duncan last fall, OPP Det.-Insp. Tracy Dobbin said she was "unsettled" how London Const. Mike Arntfield, the brainchild of the series To Catch a Killer, was able to tell the sister of Jackie English three "accurate" names of persons of interest in the case involving the 15-year-old.

In the Oct. 30 letter, Dobbin -- the OPP's case manager manager for the homicide -- also wrote she was "interested in obtaining the information and making an assessment of its value."

She requested "appropriate action."

Arntfield, who doubles as a Western University professor, over the weekend broke a new theory on his show on the Oprah Winfrey Network pointing to a convicted killer named "David" as the likely suspect for the 1969 slaying of English, a case still under OPP investigation.

The show's conclusions followed a review of personal memoirs found in the basement of a late OPP officer who probed the English and other unsolved murders, information that should already be in OPP files, and through modern investigative techniques applied to old clues.

The head of the OPP's criminal investigation branch, Det. Supt Dave Truax, has maintained Arntfield never contacted the OPP about his findings in the case, nor did the show's production company.

Monday, Arntfield said the OPP not only know of his team's findings, but "their initial response was to get their backs up and in the same amount of time it would take to test (the suspect's) DNA, composed a letter to the chief in London that I was hijacking their case."

London police confirm the force received Dobbin's letter, but because of privacy laws "we cannot disclose details of personnel issues," said Const. Ken Steeves.

Truax wouldn't comment on the letter, either, referring questions to London police.

"I'm not going to comment on the conduct of a London police officer," he said. Truax reiterated what he's said before -- that the OPP wasn't given a report of the show's findings, only "an outline of their show."

"The major case manager of this investigation has not received any report from Ocean Entertainment or Mike Arntfield," he said.

"The major case manager of the investigation has received no such report."

That's not what Arntfield and the producers of To Catch A Killer say happened in early February when they sent the 16-page report to the investigators.

The first page gives background on the series. The rest goes into detail and ultimately identifies a convicted murderer as the prime suspect in three unsolved London-area homicides, including English's, and suggests there was a serial sex killer with an erotic attraction to corpses.

The show identified the man as "David," obscuring other details for legal reasons.

It suggested Lynda White, 19, who vanished in 1968 and whose remains were found in 1973, and Soraya O'Connell, who disappeared in 1979 and whose body was found in 1974, were killed by the same person.

jane.sims@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress


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