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Four RCMP officers killed in Mayerthorpe, Alta.

He's a strong, brave, honest, horseback-riding Canadian in a red tunic who always gets his man. At least, that's the clichéd image of a Mountie. But with a history stretching back to 1873, the real Royal Canadian Mounted Police have always been more complex than their squeaky-clean, steely stereotype.

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The nation is still in shock. Yesterday, four RCMP officers were killed during a raid on a farm in Mayerthorpe, Alta. "This has been a day of many questions, and very few answers," says host Allison Smith in this March 4, 2005 clip from The National. This report takes an in-depth look at the officers killed, the impact the shooting has had on the small town of Mayerthorpe, and the suspected shooter, James Roszko - a man whose own father describes as the devil.
• James Roszko shot and killed himself after shooting the four RCMP officers. For more background on Roszko and his criminal background, see the CBCNews.ca backgrounder The Suspect: Jim Roszko.
  • For more information on all the officers killed, see the CBCNews.ca backgrounder RCMP officers killed in Rochfort Bridge.

• Although Roszko, the shooter, was dead, two men were charged in 2007 as accessories to the murders. Shawn Hennessey and Dennis Cheeseman admitted they gave Roszko a rifle and drove him to his farm in the early hours of March 3, 2005. In January 2009, Hennessey and Cheeseman were sentenced to 15 years and 12 years in prison, respectively. But because the judge gave the men credit for pleading guilty and for time already spent in custody, Cheeseman's sentence was reduced to seven years and two months, and Hennessey's was reduced to 10 years and four months.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 4, 2005
Guest(s): Marty Cheliak, Tracy Eisert, Wayne Oakes, William Roszko
Host: Alison Smith
Reporter: Rick Boguski
Duration: 12:50

Last updated: June 5, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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