“Justice is like a river,” Justice Richard Danyliuk wrote at the beginning of his decision earlier this month convicting Joseph (David) Caissie of the 2011 murder of a Newfoundland woman in Saskatchewan.
Carol King was 40 when she was abducted from her home in Herschel, Sask., by Caissie, her one-time boyfriend, on Aug. 6, 2011.
Caissie, 55, then killed King, who was originally from the small Bay St. George community of Mattis Point, and disposed of her body in some bush on an abandoned farmyard not far from her home.
Her body was discovered three weeks later.
Danyliuk delivered his verdict in the case in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon on Jan. 4. Cassie was convicted of the two counts against him — first-degree murder and offering an indignity to the human remains of King by disposing of her body in a treed area.
“Not all rivers are the same,” Danyliuk continued in his written decision. “Some, flushed with fresh runoff from the mountains, thunder and roar quickly and directly to their conclusion. Others take time, a long time to travel, winding to their ultimate destination with many twists and bends. But every such river eventually comes to the same destination: a place where justice is delivered.”
Danyliuk said this case has taken a long time to reach this destination, noting King had been killed more than seven years ago.
He said it’s no one’s fault that it has taken so long, but that day has finally arrived.
“For Mr. David Caissie, and for Ms. Carol King, it is judgment day.”
Caissie had been viewed by police as a person of interest from the outset, and as suspicions grew he was dealt with on numerous occasions by numerous officers.
He provided statements in August, September, October and December 2011 and in March 2012.
Danyliuk said the original investigation into King’s murder had gone cold by 2012. As a result, in late 2015 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police employed the major crimes investigative technique sometimes called a “Mr. Big” operation.
That operation resulted in statements, some of which amounted to confessions, being made by Caissie. He was arrested on July 19, 2016.
In October 2018, following a voir dire on the matter, Danyliuk ruled those statements would be admissible in the trial.
In those confessions, Caissie said he drove from Alberta to Saskatchewan with the intention to kill King. He went to her home and when she came out he grabbed her and tied her up. He put her in the back of her vehicle and drove to the abandoned farmyard. It’s there that he killed her and dumped her body. He then drove her vehicle into a slough and returned to his own vehicle. While driving back to Alberta, he stopped to burn the clothes he was wearing at the time of the murder.
Caissie said he had thought about killing King for weeks, that he knew she was going to go to the police and file a complaint about him, and that “she was trying to ruin me.”
Caissie has been sentenced to life imprisonment, with no eligibility for parole for 25 years from the date of his arrest. His parole eligibility date is July 19, 2041. After 15 years he can apply to have the number of years until his parole eligibility reduced.
Caissie was also sentenced to five years in jail on the charge of offering an indignity to a body. That is to be served concurrent to the life sentence.
He is subject to a firearms prohibition for life and must comply with a DNA order.