For the first time in six years, Douglas Hales came face-to-face Tuesday with the retired RCMP inspector he believed to be a crime boss.
Hales is accused of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of Daleen Bosse.
He gazed intently at the screens as an undercover video played in court, watching himself giving a blow-by-blow description of how he killed the 25-year old Saskatoon mother.
"She didn't do what I wanted her to do," Hales is heard saying on the video. "I drove her to the bush. I choked her and after she was unconscious or dead I dragged her out into a pile and I ah, I started her on fire."
Hales was last person seen with Bosse
The night Bosse disappeared, she and Hales left a Saskatoon nightclub in her car. In the video, Hales told the undercover inspector Bosse was so intoxicated she spilled her purse on the ground, then passed out in her own car. He said he kept her keys, then got into her car after finishing his shift as a doorman.
He went on to tell the RCMP officer he bought Bosse cigarettes and alcohol before driving around the city with her.
At one point, the pair stopped at the trailer park in Sutherland where Hales was living. His then-roommate Sam Kerr told court it was the first and only time he'd ever seen his shy, quiet roommate bring home a woman.
"She wasn't stumbling or slurring her speech or anything," noted Kerr, describing Bosse as "happy and energetic."
Kerr told court he asked Hales and Bosse to leave the trailer, after he suspected they were smoking marijuana outside.
"I wasn't taking her back"
Hales and Bosse then drove north of Saskatoon. At that point, the accused told the undercover officer he realized there would be no sex.
"She told me to take her home and then she passed out," Hales told him in the video. "I made up my mind that I wasn't taking her back so I drove her out to the spot in the field."
In the video, Hales appeared matter-of-fact as he described choking Bosse, dragging her from the car, and stomping on her. He then described lighting the victim's body on fire and tipping an old refrigerator on top of her.
"They can't pin none of these other native murders on you though, hey?" asked the undercover inspector a few minutes later.
"Ah no," replied Hales. "I only did that one."
Defence alleges undercover officers encouraged Hales to exaggerate
Defence lawyer Bob Hrycan contends the undercover inspector used techniques involving confrontation and minimization to elicit a confession from Hales.
"You said you didn't give two f--ks if he'd killed someone," said defence lawyer Bob Hrycan during cross-examination. "That's not minimization?"
"No," replied the now-retired RCMP inspector, defending his approach.
Hales' defence lawyer has characterized his client as a socially inept, withdrawn individual, who could bond very powerfully to an authority figure. He consistently questioned the undercover agents' "Mr. Big" techniques, noting agents frequently swore and made disparaging remarks about women during the three-month operation.
Hrycan noted in the days ahead he plans to call an expert toxicologist, along with a psychologist who specializes in admissions made to police.