Shortly after his 2007 arrest for the murder of Chelsey Acorn of Abbotsford, Jesse Blue West told investigators that he could give them information about three other bodies.
In exchange, he had a “wish list” that included visiting the gravesites of the victims alone so he could “get closure” for the crimes, as well as downgrading the first-degree murder charges for his co-accused son, Dustin Moir of Abbotsford.
The first part of the four-hour interview tape was shown at West’s first-degree murder trial on Tuesday afternoon in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.
Investigator Brian Kwak, then an Abbotsford Police detective working with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, testified that the interview was conducted at West’s request.
West, a former Surrey resident, was arrested in March 2007 after an undercover police “Mr. Big” operation that also targeted his son, and he had already been interrogated about his role in the murder of 14-year-old Acorn.
Her remains had been found in a shallow grave in a wooded area outside of Hope in April 2006, and she was believed to have been murdered the previous fall.
Kwak said West, now 61, asked to talk to investigators about other homicides. The interview was conducted April 3, 2007 at a room in North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam.
Joining Kwak was Bob Page, a police constable at the time.
The video shows West, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, confirming to Kwak that he is meeting with them voluntarily, but with a caveat.
“If you guys start pressuring me, this is the end of this conversation,” he says.
Kwak assures West they will not pressure him and are there to listen.
“The reason why we’re here is because we believe you want to get this behind you and move forward with your life,” Kwak says.
Several minutes into the conversation, West tells the pair, “…I can give you three bodies,” but before providing the details wants assurances that certain conditions be met.
He says he wants to be released on three weeks’ bail so that he can locate the “gravesites” of the victims without police accompaniment. He says he also wants to visit Acorn’s gravesite and “spend the afternoon,” and these visits will help bring him “closure.”
West says he will need a GPS, camcorder and tape recorder to detail and explain the scenes for investigators.
“There is a little bit of a reason for why everything happens,” he says.
Kwak tells West that he will only be permitted to visit the sites with police.
“It can’t happen by yourself … You have to understand we’re not going to be able to let you run free out there.”
West also requests that police offer him suggestions on how to handle his ex-wife’s questions about their son’s involvement in Acorn’s murder.
“He doesn’t need to go down for murder 1 either,” he adds, referring to Moir’s first-degree murder charge.
Kwak emphasizes several times that police can’t offer any concessions to West, and Page encourages him to share the information so that the families of the victims can have a proper burial.
“I just don’t know how we’re going to work this out so I’m satisfied,” West says at one point.
He does not reveal the names of the supposed victims or the locations of the “gravesites” during the first portion of the tape. The second part was scheduled to be shown Wednesday.
West was never charged with any additional murders.
Moir, now 26, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Acorn in February 2010, and is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.