NEWS

Dennis Oland's behaviour night of murder unnerving, woman says

09/06/2013 12:07 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST
Dennis Oland was behaving strangely the night his father, Richard Oland, was murdered, newly released court documents suggest.

A woman told Saint John police she and her husband were in their van at Renforth wharf on July 6, 2011, when she noticed a well-dressed man, later identified as Dennis, walking "very briskly" towards the wharf.

Barbara Murray said the man stopped at the beginning of the wharf and picked something up, went to the end of the wharf and sat down.

He then took something red out of a bag he was carrying, wrapped the object he had picked up, put it in the bag, then walked briskly back.

“I knew it wasn’t right,” Murray told police. The way he was walking made her nervous, she said. “There was a purpose to what he was doing, a real purpose."

Murray identified the man she saw at the wharf by watching a video of Oland's funeral, according to the redacted documents, released on Friday, following a petition by CBC News and Brunswick News.

She picked out a pallbearer, saying he looked like the man she saw. Lead investigator Stephen Davidson recognized the man as being Dennis, the documents state.

Oland, 69, a prominent businessman, was found dead in his uptown Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

No charges have been laid, although Police Chief Bill Reid has said he expects charges to be laid this year.

The documents suggest a possible financial motive. They describe Dennis as being "on the edge financially" and in debt to his father by more than $500,000.

The latest documents, a search warrant and two production orders issued last fall, also reveal police are conducting a forensic audit of Dennis' finances, with the help of a forensic accountant with Government Services Canada.

Police say the accountant required Dennis' financial records for the six years prior to Oland's murder, as well as all of his financial records since that date.

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