Blue Line

BOOK REVIEW – Crime Seen

March 11, 2015  By Morley Lymburner

TITLE: Crime Seen

AUTHOR: Kate Lines

PUBLISHER: Random House Canada

REVIEWER: Morley Lymburner


Kate Lines’ new book “Crime Seen” must be seen to be believed. As I was turning the pages I was trying to come to terms with how to write a review on a book with such a large panorama of police work. It is like standing on a mountain top and trying to describe the view in detail.

Well where do you start? It was interesting to read about Kate’s rustic roots. When one peels back the current knowledge of her as Canada’s second trained criminal profiler and her much heralded and awarded career you are warmed by the real Kate and her human life experiences. Her early confessions of stealing candy as a child and college era experimentation with pot puts a human touch which leads the reader to the solid foundation of the whirlwind police career which followed.

For Kate Lines, it started humbly, patrolling highways in the greater Toronto area. She learned quickly that the best way to thrive was to keep calm, carry on and never lose her sense of humour. This last attribute would prove to be the most helpful in what would be the first of many dramatic turns in her career. In the mid 80’s Kate traded in her uniform for a tight miniskirt and a leather jacket, becoming one of the OPP’s first female undercover officers specializing in biker gangs.

In 1990 there came the opportunity of a lifetime. After being promoted to corporal she was chosen as the second Canadian in an elite program at Quantico, Virginia in what was then the emerging field of criminal profiling. After ten months of an intensive education in the intricacies of violent crime, Kate’s new skills made her much in demand back home.

Over the years Kate was involved in a number of high-profile cases, such as the abduction and murder of Kristen French in St.Catherines, Tori Stafford in Woodstock and the disappearance of Michael Dunahee in Victoria B.C. This book takes the reader through the entire investigative process as well as the dramatic impact on both the victim families and the investigators.

Kate was an early proponent of ViCLAS — the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, and when she took charge of the new and massive Behavioural Sciences Division of the Ontario Provincial Police in Orillia, she turned the department into a dynamic hub of innovation. She gathered the best minds and technological advances into the new section and helped hone and refine its capabilities. In short order the world came knocking and they continue to knock to this day.

Kate attained the rank of Chief Superintendent with the OPP and was appointed a member of the Governor General’s Order of Merit of the Police Forces recognizing her exceptional service and performance of duty. In 2003 the Canadian Police Leadership Foundation (currently known as the Blue Line Police Leadership Award) named her Police Leader of the Year.

Kate is an unsung, groundbreaking Canadian woman, one of a kind in this country, with a unique, inspiring and intriguing story to share. I was fascinated to read of her pioneering spirit, her pride in not only her work but also those who worked with her. An excellent book telling untold stories in a clear and concise fashion.

Print this page


Stories continue below