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Undercover Calgary police officer buddied up with accused killer

During a one year period, CPS set up 83 different undercover scenarios with Allan Shyback

Lisa Mitchell's body was found hidden in a plastic container and buried in a makeshift cement tomb in the basement of the home she shared with Shyback nearly two years after she went missing.

Metro File

Lisa Mitchell's body was found hidden in a plastic container and buried in a makeshift cement tomb in the basement of the home she shared with Shyback nearly two years after she went missing.

An undercover police officer became “good friends” with a Calgary man accused of strangling his common-law wife to death and hiding her body in the basement, in order to gain his trust.

Allan Shyback, 40, is charged with second-degree murder and improperly interfering with human remains in the 2012 death of his common-law partner and mother of two, Lisa Mitchell.

Police launched an undercover operation dubbed “Operation Aurora” in 2013 that, according to the Crown, ultimately resulted in the confession and arrest of Shyback.

None of the undercover officers involved in Operation Aurora can be named.

Court heard Thursday morning, that over the course of a year Calgary Police Service undercover police officers set up 83 different scenarios with Shyback where they built personal and business relationships with the accused, ultimately pulling him into a “Mr. Big” sting operation.

The officer who took the stand Thursday morning detailed a budding friendship with the accused in which he built “commonality” by sharing stories and difficulties he’d had with his fake ex—in one instance he even hires Shyback along with a number of undercover officers to do surveillance on his ex in Saskatoon.

The officer told Shyback he’d been paying his ex child support in cash, but she was now lying and suing him for more money.

“I perceivably learned my ex was doing drugs and spending money on alcohol and at the bar and neglecting our child,” said the officer. “I was going to have surveillance done on my ex to prove she was taking part in those activities so I could get out of paying her.” 

Over a year Shyback was introduced to a number of other undercover officers involved in Operation Aurora who were introduced to him as associates of the officer he’d become friends with.

He became involved in jobs the officers were supposedly doing including the surveillance job and building secret compartments in cars.

One undercover officer posing as the other’s girlfriend even took care of Shyback’s two young children on a number of occasions.

As a way to show Shyback trust was important amongst this group of people, they set up a scenario in which one officer would be caught lying.

“We go to a pub and begin to socialize. During that part of the scenario it comes to light that constable Z was lying about something that occurred in Saskatoon trip involved in surveillance of my perceived ex,” said the officer, adding that the lie was that Shyback had somehow messed up in the surveillance operation.

 “Const. Z was confronted verbally by all of us and ultimately he is fired from the group.”

The officer said the only time he saw Shyback angry was when he was falsely accused of lying.

At one point the officer confided in Shyback that he believed his fake ex was participating in prostitution.

“Talked about our exes and that mine was getting paid for sex and he makes a statement that at least mine was getting paid cause his wasn’t,” he said.

The officer also said Shyback had told him he was comfortable and candid with him, and told him he’d known Mitchell and cheated on him, didn’t desire a family life, had denied counseling requests and he thought she had two personalities.

“Sort of a Jeckle and Hyde?” asked defence lawyer Balfour Der.

“Yes that’s how he described it,” said the officer.

On the day Shyback was arrested he was with many of the undercover officers on business in Winnipeg.

After receiving a phone call from Det. David Sweet, who testified Tuesday, Shyback called his undercover officer friend—who had previously told him he had access to fake identification—and asked him to have the “girlfriend” pickup his children and help him acquire fake identification for him and his children.

The officer also told court he’d witnessed Shyback drinking or drunk on numerous occasions, but that he appeared to do everything he did to make a good life for his children.

He said Shyback had never tried to “pull the wool” over his eyes, but had expressed knowledge of computers and the dark web.

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