Richard Oland warrants detail his killing

The day Richard Oland was killed, a man downstairs heard six or seven "exceptionally loud, quick pounding thumps" coming from his second-floor office, search warrant documents released by the courts Friday reveal.

Neighbour heard 6 or 7 'exceptionally loud, quick pounding thumps'

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

The day Richard Oland was killed, a man downstairs heard six or seven "exceptionally loud, quick pounding thumps" coming from his second-floor office, search warrant documents released by the courts Friday reveal.

Anthony Shaw, who was working on some computers at Printing Plus on July 6, 2011, described the noise to police as being similar to banging on a wall.

John Ainsworth, Oland's landlord and the owner of Printing Plus, also heard noises coming from Oland’s office — Far End Corporation — the night before Oland's body was discovered.

Ainsworth told police the sound seemed to emanate from one area and described it as "shuffling," according to the documents.

The length of time the noise continued is one of the details that remain redacted from the warrants, based on an order by provincial court Chief Judge R. Leslie Jackson.

The following morning, Oland’s secretary of 30 years arrived at work and found his body.

Last week, Jackson ruled that additional details from seven search warrant documents related to the 15-month-old murder investigation should be made public. His decision followed a lengthy legal battle by CBC News and the Telegraph-Journal newspaper to have the documents unsealed.

The judge said there was "no legal basis" to keep much of the information contained in the documents secret, and that police "had not demonstrated a serious and specific risk to the investigative integrity of the investigation."

But the judge ruled some key information should remain sealed, such as the condition of Oland's body and his office. The names of the individuals searched are also subject to a publication ban, along with any information that would identify them.

Intimate details about Oland's life

The released documents do not say how Oland, 69, died or whether any weapon was involved.

But there were "several types of blood stain patterns at the scene," according to Sgt. Mark Smith, who is considered an expert in blood stain patterns.

And while the documents do not disclose any motive, they do appear to focus on Oland’s strained personal relationships as well as his financial dealings.

They also seem to suggest that the reason the prominent businessman’s body was not discovered until the following day may have been his eight-year affair with local real estate agent Diana Sedlacek.

Oland’s wife of 46 years and mother of his three children, Constance Oland, told police it was not uncommon for her husband not to return to their residence at night.

She only learned of his death after his mistress, whom she described as Oland’s "friend," called to ask why police were outside his office on Canterbury Street.

Constance then called Oland’s friend and employee Bob McFadden, who informed her Oland had passed away, the documents show.

Constance described Oland as controlling. He was also verbally and emotionally abusive, she told police.

He hadn’t been the same since he left Moosehead Breweries in the 1980s, she said.

Other people told police Oland was "not the easiest guy to get along with."

Some people were also deeply financially indebted to Oland, the court documents show.

Suspect 'on the edge financially'

The search warrants also indicate that lead investigator Const. Stephen Davidson has a prime suspect in mind.

The man, whose name is subject to a publication ban, was "on the edge financially" and deeply financially indebted to Oland, owing him more than $500,000, the documents show.

When questioned by police about what happened on July 6, the last day Oland was seen alive, the man replied: "Until I went over to his [Richard Oland’s] office, it was a very typical day."

The documents also show Davidson believes the man lied to police about what clothing he was wearing that day.

The man said he was wearing khaki dress pants, dark brown dress shoes, a blue and white collared dress shirt with a navy blazer.

But an eyewitness tells a different story. William (Bill) Adamson said he saw someone matching the man’s description entering the building wearing a dark brown sports coat with lighter coloured pants.

The man was carrying a red bag similar to the environmentally friendly grocery shopping bags, which was "not empty, but not overly full or heavy," Adamson told police.

Video surveillance of the man at a different location earlier that day supports the witness’s account.

It shows the man wearing a dark brown blazer, collared shirt and khaki pants.

The man’s wife told police she did not see him when he arrived home that night. He had gone straight upstairs and got changed, she said.

The couple had a conversation about where the man had gone after work.

He told his wife he had met with Oland and described the meeting as being "really nice."

The couple went to a drug store, to a market to get some bananas, and then watched some television together.

The man also did a bit of garden work before going to bed, according to the documents.

The man’s car was subsequently searched by police and tested for blood evidence.

His home was also searched and several items were seized.