Then, suddenly, the rancour between Latouf and Kelsall evaporated. They agreed to contact Inspector Wade Lacroix, a man they both respected, and go with whatever advice he gave them. Formerly a staff sergeant in charge of the London tru, Lacroix had taken a job as chief of security at the Bruce Power nuclear site near Port Elgin, on Lake Huron. At Ipperwash, he had been in charge of the Crowd Management Unit—the “riot squad” ordered to march, batons banging shields, on the unarmed native occupiers. On the verge of retirement, Lacroix had been drafted to the power plant.
On Tuesday, February 10, 2004, Latouf called the team together to discuss a meeting he’d had with Commissioner Gwen Boniface, head of the opp. She’d wanted to know what the Barrie tru might be able to do to help the opp at the upcoming inquiry. Heinemann thought that the team should finally be debriefed on Ipperwash. Critical incident debriefings are an sop for events involving lethal force, and Ipperwash was the one call in Heinemann’s entire career that had never been debriefed. Someone else pointed out that since Ipperwash—and contrary to the commissioner’s highly publicized First Nations initiatives—most Barrie tru members had not received First Nations training. In fact, in the eight years since Ipperwash, Ron Heinemann and his teammates had attended exactly four hours of “sensitivity training.” The session involved having everyone sit in a circle and watch while someone lit sweetgrass and passed it around. Each person was instructed to wave the burning grass in front of them, with little further explanation. The team was scheduled for another session, on warrior societies, but it was cancelled.
Team members come to believe they are the only ones who really understand their work. They close their ears when well-meaning outsiders attempt to point out problems. Management tells itself that no news is good news and continues to ignore the team and its task. Only some kind of external event can break this stalemate.
Driving his wife’s blue compact, Latouf pulled up in front of Heinemann’s house early in the evening on Sunday the fifteenth. Heinemann had no idea, as he folded his six-foot-two inch frame into the passenger seat, that he would eventually find himself testifying about the ensuing events. As Heinemann later told it, Latouf began by saying that he had been talking to someone Heinemann knew, someone much farther up the chain of command. They had decided that Heinemann should write a letter and turn himself in. The letter had to make three points: that no other tru members had any knowledge of the pen marks; that Heinemann knew he did not have to come forward because a psb investigation would likely go nowhere; and finally, that Heinemann’s conscience was bothering him and he was having a difficult time dealing with the guilt. The second and third points were relatively true, but the first was not. After the church meeting, the entire team knew he was responsible. Heinemann pointed this out, but Latouf maintained that he and his anonymous adviser had concluded that this was the only way to proceed.
Heinemann wrote the letter that night. As he later recounted, when he showed it to Latouf the following day, Latouf ordered him to take out all references to Ipperwash and to him. Heinemann protested. tru members all wore the albatross of Dudley George’s death around their necks. Ipperwash and what happened to Ken Deane were a big part of the reason Heinemann had done what he did. Latouf said any reference to Ipperwash would generate more difficulties for Deane. This made absolutely no sense. Deane was long gone, rich, and gainfully employed. Latouf told Heinemann that if he were named in the letter it would be obvious that he had something to do with its composition. The letter had to appear as though it came only from Heinemann.
He rewrote the letter that day. Satisfied, Latouf told him to make copies, then dictated exactly what Heinemann was to write in his police notebook: “Staff Sergeant Latouf appeared shocked to receive my letter.”
They headed for opp headquarters in Orillia. Inspector Tony Cooper, Latouf’s immediate superior, called while they were en route. Latouf said he urgently needed a meeting with Cooper and Cooper’s