Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jamie Bouman: Canada; "Prison cell death, cremation questions linger for Jamie Bouman’s family." A disturbing story by Toronto Star reporter Peter Edwards. (In aftermath of Ashley Smith's tragic prison cell death, Canada's Correctional Service is in the spotlight once again. Must Read. HL).

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: (Editorial):  Two years have passed and the mandatory inquest required when a prisoner dies in a federal prison in Canada has still not been called. The reasons for the  Canadian Correctional Service's reluctance to call the inquest appear to be self-evident when one examines  the questions raised by Jamie Bouman's father about his son's prison cell death, as detailed by my  Toronto Star colleague Peter Edwards in today's paper. After two years, the official explanation that the delay has been caused by scheduling problems doesn't hold water. Considering the desperate attempt the Canadian Correctional Service made to block an inquest into the death of inmate Ashley Smith from considering key evidence shedding light on the disturbing actions - or inactions  - of the service and its employees, it is  reasonable to wonder what the Correctional Service wants to cover up in this case. Only a full,  fearless, probing inquest - like the second inquest ordered into Ashley Smith's death - can dispel the inference that the Canadian government has something very dark and disturbing to hide - and tell us if there is anything to be learned from Jamie Bouman's death which may save the lives of others.

Harold Levy. Publisher. The Charles Smith Blog.

STORY: "Prison cell death, cremation questions linger for Jamie Bouman's family: Father says he’s still waiting after two years for an explanation as to how his son died in his cell at Millhaven Penitentiary in Kingston," by reporter Peter Edwards, published by the Toronto Star on February 13, 2013.

PHOTO CAPTIONS: "Ed Bouman, 59, wants answers to many questions about why his son died, an apparent suicide, at Millhaven, and the body was cremated before the family had a chance to see it. There appears to be no video, Inquests are mandatory for all deaths in custody that are deemed not natural, Jennifer Kerr, a spokesperson for the Coroner’s Office, said. There is no deadline for when such inquests must be held and a date hasn’t yet been announced for Jamie Bouman’s inquest. no explanation and no date set for a mandatory inquest, though it's been two years."

GIST:  "It was two years ago, on Family Day 2011, that Ed Bouman got the telephone call from the prison chaplain at Millhaven Penitentiary, informing him that his only son, Jamie, was dead. “Mr. Bouman, I’m sorry to inform you but your son has passed away,” Bouman recalls the prison chaplain saying. That call took about three minutes, he recalls. Since then, Bouman, 59, has learned little more about the morning his 32-year-old son apparently suffocated himself with a plastic bag after going off his antidepressants. “I’m not getting answers,” the grandfather of six said in an interview in his eastern Ontario cottage. “I was told in the first week that there would be a coroner’s inquest within the first year. Nobody called me.”........Bouman says he has plenty of unanswered questions that demand answers: Why was his son allowed to go off antidepressants? Why was a depressed prisoner allowed to have a plastic bag in his cell? Shouldn’t there be video of his son’s final hours? Why wasn’t he able to see his son’s remains one last time before he was cremated? Why wasn’t the family given a heads-up that Jamie’s ashes would be arriving at their home in a courier van? What happened to a last letter he supposedly wrote?"

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.