LONDON, Ont. – Threats over outstanding debts, ominous hints about a predicament, and idle chatter concerning prescription drugs and fast food were intercepted by police in the days and hours before eight bodies were found in rural southwestern Ontario, court heard Tuesday.
The jury at the trial of six men charged in Ontario’s largest ever mass slaying — the alleged first-degree murders of eight people connected to the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle club — heard from wiretap evidence spanning 28 phone calls.
The intercepts, dubbed “the victims’ trip to the farm for a meeting” by the Crown, document a sequence that began days before April 8, 2006, when police found the bodies stuffed in four vehicles in a farmer’s field near Shedden, Ont.
The Crown alleges the victims were lured to Wayne Kellestine’s farm before they died.
None of the six accused — including Kellestine — had their lines tapped, but two of the victims did, as did others associated with the Bandidos.
Caught numerous times on tape was victim Paul Sinopoli, who complains in several calls of stomach pain and tries to talk his way out of going to “church.”
“We just call it that because we meet once a week,” he says of the farm in one of the intercepted calls.
When Sinopoli told fellow victim Jamie Flanz that he planned to stay home on April 7, 2006 the response was a long silence.
Flanz finally let out a troubled, “ooohh,” and suggested that maybe Sinopoli should go out and also see a Tragically Hip cover band that was playing that night.
But Sinopoli insisted he couldn’t go.
“I can’t move, bro,” he said.
He also asked Flanz to feel out the anger of another victim, John (Boxer) Muscedere, who was apparently tiring of his complaints.
In less than two hours, Sinopoli would receive a call telling him that Muscedere was “freaking out” and that his attendance at the farm was mandatory.
“You’re on your last legs here, almost out the door,” said Frank (Bam Bam) Salerno, who also warned Sinopoli to bring money he owed to the meeting.
“Don’t come crying to me after, I’m telling you bro,” said Salerno, who would soon be dead in the alleged slaughter as well.
In another call to a woman only identified as Stephanie, Sinopoli tells of his need to go the farm and a meeting she will soon have.
“These people aren’t going to beat me up are they?” she says said with a nervous laugh.
He assured her they wouldn’t.
The wiretaps end with a call around 10:18 p.m. as Flanz arrives at his destination and the meeting is presumably about to begin.
The explosive evidence came as a result of another investigation into the December 2005 death of drug dealer Shawn Douse, which resulted in penitentiary terms for four men connected to the Bandidos.
Police sought taps on the phones of 14 primary and 15 secondary targets for that investigation, but ended up catching clues about the eight murders, which the Crown has characterized as an internal cleansing of the Bandidos.
The jury was back in court Tuesday after a week off, and Justice Thomas Heeney gave jurors further instructions based on the Crown’s opening statement.
Heeney reminded the jury that the opening was not evidence and only a set of allegations.
He also said the jury should come to its decision without prejudice or sympathy for any of the accused.