Shadows of doubt as questions linger over Dennis Oland trial

Ted Daigle auditorium was packed on Oct. 13 for the launch of CBC reporter Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon’s new book: Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland.

The launch and author’s talk began with a brief introduction from MacKinnon, who has covered the Oland case since the beginning.

St. Thomas journalism professor Jan Wong then dove into a discussion of the book with MacKinnon, jokingly starting with the question “So do you think he did it?”

MacKinnon laughed and said “no comment,” but did recall the moment the guilty verdict was announced in the courtroom, reading an excerpt from her book.

““Oh God, oh my god, my children.” Miller rushed to the side of his client, the father of three and stepfather of one to try and comfort him, but Oland was inconsolable. He clung to Miller and buried his face in his long black robe, howling like a wounded wild animal,” MacKinnon read.

A brief question and answer session was held after the talk where many audience members asked MacKinnon about her personal thoughts on the case.

MacKinnon’s response was that as an objective journalist she could not comment on her own opinions as the case is still ongoing.

Dennis Oland’s appeal for conviction was scheduled for Oct. 18 through Oct. 20.

After the talk audience members lined up to have MacKinnon sign their copies of her book.

Kelsey Pye is a former St. Thomas journalism student. She said she has followed the case closely and is very excited to read MacKinnon’s book.

“I don’t think it’s bad that it is coming out before the appeal process, everything that is in the book was presented in the trial, it happened. I haven’t read the book so I don’t know if she did any hinting at what might’ve happened. It was all presented so I am assuming it was all factual,”Pye said.

Jeremy Hanna is a former CBC web developer who now works web communications for NB Power. He said he thought the book is a great opportunity for readers to see the whole story in a continuous narrative.

“The way that a story like this rolls out in the media is just the daily kind of highlights, and I mean it’s hard enough for a journalist to connect the dots, let alone the public, right? So a book like this is really interesting and important because it has the whole story laid out,” he said.

With the appeal for conviction currently underway in Fredericton, MacKinnon’s book has garnered mush interest among New Brunswickers.