ON A RAINY NIGHT in Kingston in October 2003, third-year Royal Military College cadet Joe Grozelle simply vanished.
After three weeks of exhaustive searching on land and sea, Grozelle's lifeless body was finally spotted floating in the shallow waters of Kingston harbour, just feet from campus. Five years later, what happened that night on the campus of the Royal Military College remains a dark and disturbing mystery.
In Shadows of Doubt, the fifth estate explores the circumstances around the disappearance and death of Joe Grozelle and the initial investigation by the Canadian Forces' own National Investigation Service (NIS).
Seven members of the NIS in Ottawa would be dispatched to the military college in Kingston just 24 hours after Joe Grozelle went missing — a remarkable response for what was, at the time, just an AWOL cadet. The NIS is an elite military investigative unit tasked with probing difficult and sensitive matters within the armed forces that ordinary Military Police can't handle.
As the fifth estate reports, the NIS quickly came to the conclusion that Joe Grozelle had killed himself. But for those closest to Joe suicide just didn't make sense. Joe was a Varsity athlete, a top student, he had a girlfriend, as well as supportive friends and family.
"Having that situation doesn't fit with the guy that I know, the Joe that I know," says Joe's father Ron. "Joe wouldn't have done that."
For the past five years Joe's family has pressed authorities to keep investigating for the elusive information that will finally explain their son's sudden disappearance and death. Did the initial tunnel vision of military investigators cause that information to be lost with Joe forever? Tragically, two autopsies, an OPP investigation and a Coroner's Inquest have all failed to find answers.
Drawing from thousands of pages of investigation documents and interviews with dozens of family, friends and military officials, Shadows of Doubt is the story of the suspicious death of a model cadet and a flawed military investigation that has left family, friends and the military with more questions than answers.