Handlen guilty of first-degree murder
By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 18, 2019
Former Minden resident Garry Handlen has been found guilty of first-degree murder by a B.C. Supreme Court jury.
The verdict for Handlen, who was living in Minden at the time of his arrest in the fall of 2014, was issued on Jan. 17, after the judge in the case issued his final instructions to the jury just more than a week prior. The trial for Handlen, who was convicted for the 1978 murder of 12-year-old girl Monica Jack near Merritt, B.C., began in late October.
It centred on a videotape of Handlen taken by undercover police officers where he confesses to grabbing a girl off her bike.
“I just grabbed her,” Global News reported Handlen as saying in the video. “Threw her bike in the lake, grabbed her, took her in the camper and went up the hill.”
A Vancouver Sun story published following the verdict included a number of prior B.C. rape convictions that were withheld from the jurors as to not interfere with their decision. According to that story, Handlen would have been on bail during a rape court proceeding when Jack was murdered. Her body was found by some foresters some 17 years after the crime, in 1995.
Handlen is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 28. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.
Handlen has also been charged with the murder of a second B.C. girl, 11-year-old Kathryn-Mary Herbert, who went missing in 1975, her body found a few months later.