By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 18 2019
Former Minden resident Garry Handlen hasbeen found guilty of first-degree murder by a B.C. Supreme Court jury.
The verdict for Handlen who was living inMinden at the time of his arrest in the fall of 2014 was issued on Jan. 17after the judge in the case issued his final instructions to the jury just morethan a week prior. The trial for Handlen who was convicted for the 1978 murderof 12-year-old girl Monica Jack near Merritt B.C. began in late October.
It centred on a videotape of Handlen takenby undercover police officers where he confesses to grabbing a girl off herbike.
“I just grabbed her” Global News reported Handlen as saying in the video. “Threw her bike in thelake grabbed her took her in the camper and went up the hill.”
A Vancouver Sun story published following the verdict included a number ofprior B.C. rape convictions that were withheld from the jurors as to notinterfere with their decision. According to that story Handlen would have beenon bail during a rape court proceeding when Jack was murdered. Her body wasfound by some foresters some 17 years after the crime in 1995.
Handlen is scheduled to be sentenced onJan. 28. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentencewith no eligibility of parole for 25 years.
Handlen has also been charged with themurder of a second B.C. girl 11-year-old Kathryn-Mary Herbert who wentmissing in 1975 her body found a few months later.