Authors: Claude Bouchard
of you may, or may not, remember Sylvie
although I hope you do. I had mentioned her in some detail when describing my
encounter with Mathieu Masson on February 20, 1996. Sylvie was the young
mother-to-be of twins and the innocent victim who took two stray bullets in a
failed drive-by shooting. Mathieu was the driver of the shooter’s car on that
fateful day in August, 1995. A missing element remained to be dealt with in
order to close the chapter on this atrocity. The shooter, as confirmed by my
, when we had discussed it less than
three months ago, was Rick Bourque, aka Birks.
headed a gang, albeit not a very big or highly organized one, but good enough
to generate revenues sufficient to keep him in a decent apartment on the
outskirts of Montreal’s St-Leonard district with a running car, food and so on.
Unfortunately, unless something went wrong with my plans, all of that was going
to end for him before the evening was over.
the crime which Birks had gotten away with was shooting a semi-automatic weapon
on a busy, public boulevard in broad daylight, I figured he was someone who
might be armed and, maybe, dangerous. I would have to be even more cautious
with this one because getting shot just didn’t sit well with me.
with my other prospects, I had been keeping tabs on Birks and, like many of his
kind, he wasn’t as bright or careful as he should have been. With relative
ease, after a few surveillance outings, I had managed to establish enough of
his routine, at least that which worked with my schedule, to fix a day and time
for our encounter.
had also had the opportunity to visit his apartment on a couple of occasions and
had determined that he did not have a stash of firearms hidden away somewhere.
In fact, he had nothing which could be considered an illegal weapon of any kind.
Worst case scenario was that he carried a piece and it certainly wouldn’t be a
semi-automatic rifle. I would deal with that as required because it was either
him, or me.
I was taking no chances, I doubted Birks was packing lately, believing that he
was being very careful with firearms since the
killing. In addition, Thursday nights were poker nights with his top guys in a
back room at
, a tavern-like affair with loose
ties to Birks’ crew in the nearby Montreal North district. Any guns required in
case of any sudden trouble would likely already be on location.
of year was on my side since the sun had set somewhere around a quarter after
eight so it had been plenty dark at eight-forty when I had gained access to Birks’
car parked on the quiet, residential street. His ride was a 1993 Chrysler
Concorde, which suited me fine with its large, roomy interior, particularly in
the back where I was spending a bit of time waiting for him.
for me, he was rather punctual and at a couple of minutes past nine, Birks
showed up, unlocked the door and slid into the driver’s seat, completely
oblivious of my presence in the car. I used the instant when he pulled the door
shut to sit upright, not worried that he’d see me because I had displaced the
rear view mirror to reflect the ceiling.
for your timeliness,” I said as he inserted the key in the ignition, pressing
the muzzle of my revolver to the side of his neck. It was a
CO2 .177 calibre pellet gun but he didn’t know that. Anyhow, it would hurt,
maybe even kill him if I had to shoot. “Raise your hands up where I can see
stiffened and his eyes went to the rear view mirror by reflex which gave him,
you guessed it, an eyeful of ceiling and maybe the dome light.
this about?” he asked, his tone surprisingly calm as he obeyed my command. In
his defense, he did have a rather risky lifestyle.
will be plenty of time for explanations later,” I replied. “Right now, I want
to get things set up to make sure nobody gets hurt, okay?”
shrugged as he answered, “You’re the boss. What’s next?”
over the console to the passenger seat, slowly, and keep your hands up.”
do that?” he complained.
carefully,” I replied. “Your life depends on it.”
made his way over the console well enough and was soon on the passenger side.
The gun’s muzzle maintained contact throughout his journey.
back behind the headrest, fingers intertwined,” I ordered, “And lean your head
had to put the gun down because I needed both hands but I was confident he’d
regret it if he tried anything stupid. As it was, he didn’t. With my friendly
roll of duct tape, I did a good if unstylish job of binding his hands together
from the wrists to his intertwined fingers. Next, I secured his whole hand
assembly to the back of the headrest with several more feet of tape wrapped
around over and under from front to back. Finally, after having him lean his
head back again, I did a couple more rounds of tape around his head and the
headrest. I wanted to make sure his movement was restricted.
isn’t very comfortable,” he commented when I was done.
I replied. “It’s just a necessary precaution to avoid a car crash once we get
are we going?” he asked, for the first time, a trace of fear in his tone.
a surprise,” I answered before affixing a strip of tape across his mouth. “Now,
I’m going to get out, go on your side and open your door to secure your feet.
Be stupid and you’ll be dead.”
holstered the gun, got out of the car and walked around to the passenger side
while casually looking around for any potential witnesses. The street and
sidewalks remained deserted, one of the benefits of quiet residential
the passenger door, I said, “Bend your knees and put your feet a foot apart.”
stared at me but did what he was told and I got busy making duct tape shackles
which is easier than one might think. I started by wrapping the tape around his
right ankle two or three times then unrolled enough to get to his left ankle,
wrapping it a few times as well before starting to alternate from one ankle to
the other in a figure eight pattern. Within moments, his ankles were bound
together but a foot apart with multiple tape strands crisscrossing from one
ankle to the other. Crude but effective, this would allow for some limited
mobility later but there was no way he could suddenly sprint away if he had the
shackles complete, I pulled his right foot close to the seat and taped it to a
support bracket underneath. He wouldn’t be swinging his feet up to kick me
while I’d be driving. After fastening his seatbelt around his waist, for safety’s
sake, I reclined his seat as far as it would go and shut the door. Out of
sight, out of mind.
wishing to overstay my welcome in the neighbourhood, I hurried to the driver’s
seat, knowing the key awaited me in the ignition and, seconds later, we were
off. I felt the ride would be a good time to chat so when I reached the first
stop sign, I leaned over and yanked the tape from his mouth.
that hurt, you motherfucker,” Birks bellowed as we resumed our drive.
I replied, “And watch your mouth, asshole. You don’t want to piss me off.”
the fuck is this all about?” he demanded.
backhanded him with my right as I held the steering wheel with my left. “I told
you to watch your mouth. Don’t make me warn you again.”
okay,” he muttered, “But I’m
pissed off myself
brought it on to yourself,” I replied, “So deal with it.”
did I do to you?” he asked. “I don’t know you. I
ever even seen you before.”
not anything you did to me,” I said, “But it’s certainly something you did.”
mind sharing what that was?” he asked, his tone mocking.
really not in a position to have an attitude, my friend,” I said. “That’s more annoying
than you swearing at me.”
sighed. “Alright, I’m sorry. I just want to know why you’re doing this.”
17th last year,” I said. “An innocent woman died. She was twenty-three and
about to give birth for the first time in her life. She, and her unborn twins,
died because of you.”
he exclaimed. “You got the wrong man
me. No way.”
full of crap, Birks,” I said. “It was you.”
do you know my name?” he asked, surprised and concerned.
mutual acquaintance shared it with me,” I replied. “You remember Mathieu
Masson, don’t you? He told me your name was Rick Bourque, known as Birks on the
dead, man,” said Birks. “He couldn’t tell you
laughed. “Of course,
dead. I killed him, you
moron. He told me about you before he died. He told me he had been driving the
car and that you were the shooter. Why the hell do you think I’m here?”
?” he said. “Why?”
you paying attention?” I asked. “He was driving, knowing full well you would be
shooting a semi-automatic weapon out in public, putting the lives of countless
innocent people at risk. Sylvie
twins are gone because of
, and because of you,
–” he started to say.
nothing,” I interrupted. “Don’t try to deny it because
told me everything. Telling me you didn’t do it will piss me off even more than
your swearing or your
was silent for a moment then said, “It was an accident, man. We weren’t gunning
I agreed, “But she’s still dead, right? You still shot her with an illegal
weapon on a busy street in broad daylight, right?”
fuck man,” he whined, “So now you’re
I want some information from you,” I replied.
kind of information?” he asked, a hint of hope in his tone.
gun you used,” I said, “Where is it?”
got rid of it,” Birks replied. “I couldn’t take no chance of the cops finding
it. I didn’t think
would crack when they talked
to him but, just in case, I tossed the gun in the river.”
river?” I asked, to see if he was lying.
he answered immediately, “From the Jacques-Cartier Bridge on the walking path
at three in the morning same night I’d used it.”
did you get it?” was my next question.
bought it off some guy,” he replied.
Birks?” I asked, showing some frustration. “Give me a damned name.”
guy could get in real trouble, man,” Birks argued. “I gave him my word.”
stupid are you?” I snapped. “I killed
and you know that because he’s dead and he was the only one who could tie you
into this. Now, you’re concerned because some guy who sold you a gun could get
in trouble? Look at yourself, you idiot.
are in trouble. Give me his damned name.”
Jesus, man,” Birks whined again. “Alright, his name is Greg O’Shea. He works
for some company that make guns and stuff for the army.”
this gun you had,” I asked, “It was from where this Greg works?”
yeah,” said Birks. “He’s a manager or something and he figured out some way to
get guns out without nobody noticing. Some guy I know hooked me up with him and
I bought a piece. That’s all. Just the one gun we talked about.”
Greg sell a lot of guns like that?” I asked.
guess,” said Birks. “He had a bunch of different guns he showed me to choose
from and he told me to let him know if I needed anything else.”
to know,” I said, memorizing O’Shea’s name for later. “Thanks, Birks. You did
rode along in silence for a minute or two until Birks spoke up. “Where are you
you like golf?” I asked in response.
he repeated. “Like, the game?”
golf,” I confirmed.
never played,” he said. “Only went to drive some balls a couple of times and,
you know, mini-putt
taking you to a golf course,” I said. “It’s not finished yet, still under
construction. We’re almost there.”
are we going there for?” he asked.