Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cabbie's killer has had help: police; Investigators await tests on two knives

From the Kingston Whig-Standard website

Rob Tripp
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Local News
- Police say an accomplice or accomplices have helped the killer of a Kingston cab driver elude capture for more than five weeks.

"I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar that someone's helped this guy," Det. Sgt. Bill Kennedy said, in an interview yesterday.

Taxi driver David Krick, 50, was left bleeding on a sidewalk on Durham Street early on the morning of June 17, after picking up a male passenger on Wright Crescent, near the YMCA.

Krick was stabbed in the chest several times. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

His attacker stole his taxi and abandoned the blood-smeared car in the parking lot of the An Clachan apartment complex on MacPherson Avenue, just off Van Order Drive.

The killer fled on foot and evaded police who arrived soon after he parked the stolen taxi.

"This guy just disappears into thin air when we're chasing him, so somebody there knows," Kennedy said.

He said he has other information that leads him to believe this.

"There is, but there's nothing I'm going to say about that, that's for sure," Kennedy said.

Investigators remain hopeful that someone will come forward.

"I'm confident that there's people out there who know who the bad guy is, but they're just either, for fear, or lack of a sense of humanity, they just aren't contacting us," he said.

Kennedy also disclosed that police are awaiting forensic tests on two knives.

The Whig revealed last month that a knife was found in the grass of the apartment complex where Krick's taxi was abandoned. Children playing outside made the discovery three days after the killing.

The knife was found near a main entrance to the apartment complex, roughly 100 metres from the spot where the cab was left .

Another knife was found on the front lawn of a house several doors away from the spot on Durham Street where Krick was found on Father's Day morning.

Kennedy said the second discovery was made about a week after the killing, when long grass that hadn't been cut for some time was mowed.

"When they cut the grass, they found this knife," he said.

He could not say why investigators did not find the knife after they cleared the scene.

"I know that we had been [there] and searched that street and other streets, but you know what, who knows, somebody may have thrown it there the day before they cut the grass," he said.

Kennedy said no determination has been made about whether either knife is the weapon used in the fatal stabbing.

"I have no idea," he said. "Not until the testing comes back from the Centre of Forensic Sciences are we going to know."

Testing might not be conclusive, he cautioned, since the knives could have been exposed to rain and dew for days, degrading evidence.

Kennedy said he has a call in to a scientist at the centre, Ontario's central forensic laboratory, to get an update on the work. So far, the centre has not provided any reports.

"That applies to everything that we've got there," he said. "I haven't had word back on any of this stuff.

"It's possible that some of it has been analysed but normally what happens is, they'll send back one report covering all the items we've sent."

Krick is believed to be the first Kingston cabbie killed by a passenger.

His mother, Shirley Krick, is not impatient with the police probe.

"They can only do so much and they're doing the best they can," she said, in an interview yesterday.

"I feel the same way as I did when he got killed," she said. "It's hard to lose a son."

Krick said she still has nightmares about her son's violent death.

"I just wish he was here."

Police have said that they believe the killing was random, since the caller who asked for an Amey's taxi that morning did not request Krick.

Krick activated a silent alarm button at 6:45 a.m., nine minutes after he picked up the fare.

The precise movements of his car were tracked because all of the company's cars are equipped with global positioning units, a form of satellite tracking technology.

A committee of 12 people met yesterday behind closed doors to consider measures that would improve safety for taxi drivers. Ideas ranging from the installation of cameras and partitions to more education for drivers are being considered.

The proposals are expected to be considered by the area's taxi commission in late August.

Taxi driving is the most dangerous legal occupation in Canada, according to Statistics Canada figures.