Shadow of Doubt
The Trial of Dennis OlandBook - 2016
In late 2015, four and a half years after Richard Oland, one of the wealthiest businessmen in New Brunswick, was bludgeoned to death in his office, his only son, Dennis Oland, was tried and convicted of the crime. During the sentencing hearing for Dennis Oland, the trial judge remarked that the case was "a family tragedy of Shakespearean proportion." Yet doubts remain as to the justice of that conviction. Was Richard Oland's murder a case of brutal patricide or was an innocent man wrongfully convicted of murder?
Through meticulous research and incisive reporting, Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon takes the reader into the history of the often-fractious Oland family to explore the motives alleged by the Crown prosecutors: the strained relationship between the mild-mannered son and the demanding and sometimes volatile father; Dennis's financial difficulties; and Richard's marital infidelity. She also guides us step by step through the evidence presented at trial — including evidence that was never shown to the jurors — explaining in clear and objective detail the Crown’s case against Dennis Oland and the defence's case against the prosecution. Along the way, she raises questions about the thoroughness and competence of the police investigation, the plausibility of the alleged motives, and the contradictory and ambiguous nature of some of the evidence. In the end, the only direct physical evidence connecting Dennis to the crime was a sports jacket which bore traces of his father's blood. While many consider justice to have been served in this case, others, including most notably the Oland family, have stood united in support of Dennis's claim of innocence. This book makes it clear that the jury convicted him on largely circumstantial evidence. Was the case against him really "beyond a reasonable doubt," as the jury is charged to decide? Or does a shadow of doubt remain?- 20160729