SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The suspect in Richard Oland’s homicide was “experiencing financial hardships” and owed the prominent New Brunswick businessman more than $500,000, say documents made public Friday.
A judge released portions of search warrants and supporting documents that were used in the investigation into the death of Oland, 69.
The documents show that police have a suspect who they say had a financial motive to kill Oland. But that person’s name is protected by a publication ban.
The documents also say the owner of the building where Oland worked told investigators he was working directly below Oland’s office on July 6, 2011, when he heard six or seven “exceptionally loud quick pounding thumps” emanating from upstairs.
Oland’s body was found in his office the next day.
Saint John police Sgt. Mark Smith, an expert in bloodstain patterns, examined the crime scene that day.
“He observed that there were several types of bloodstain patterns present at the scene,” the documents say.
Police have not charged anyone in the case.
The documents also say that Oland was distant from his family.
Constance Oland, Richard’s wife of 46 years, describes her husband in the documents “as controlling, as well as verbally and emotionally abusive.”
“Since Richard Oland left Moosehead Breweries in the 1980s, he has never been the same with his kids and does not have much to do with them.”
The documents say Richard Oland was having an eight-year affair with a woman named Diana Sedlacek, and that she believed most of the family was aware of it.
Constance Oland told police it was not uncommon for her husband not to return home at night.
She said Sedlacek, who she described as “a friend” of her husband’s, called her on July 7, 2011, informing her that police were outside Richard Oland’s office.
“As a result of the telephone call from Diana Sedlacek, Mrs. Oland contacted Bob McFadden, a friend and employee of 30-plus years of Richard Oland, and he informed her that Richard Oland had passed away,” the documents say.
Police interviewed the suspect, who they believe was the last person to see Richard Oland alive. The suspect told them he met Richard at his office on July 6, 2011.
Chief Judge R. Leslie Jackson of the provincial court ordered the documents to be released after the CBC and New Brunswick Telegraph Journal mounted a legal battle to have them unsealed.
In his written decision last week, Jackson said the Saint John police did not prove that the release of the information would compromise their investigation. But he said other information — such as the condition of Oland’s body when it was found and the identities of people who were the subject of search warrants — would continue under a publication ban.
In August, seven search warrants and related documents were released. They were largely redacted, but they show that police believe Oland was murdered.
Those documents also show that police seized 57 items from a home in the Saint John suburb of Rothesay. Those items include legal papers, bank statements, garbage bags, bedding, clothing, a purple purse and a “note in a purse.”
Property records show that the home is owned by the suspect.
The records also reveal that police searched a 7.6-metre yacht, which was docked at the Royal Kennebecasis Yacht Club in Saint John. The record says “genealogy papers/books/documents” were sought.
The Crown kept DNA swabs that were taken of ignition keys, cabin doors, gas cans, scrub brushes, sinks, a red stain on the sink and other parts of the boat, the documents say.
Oland was a member of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries Ltd., but left the company in the 1980s.
He also worked in the trucking business, at the Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., and as a director of several firms, including Eastern Provincial Airways, Newfoundland Capital Corp., and Ganong Bros.