Monday, 9 April 2007

Karla capers

It could have been a coincidence, but Karla Homolka made the front page of the Toronto Sun on the day friends and former colleagues of Al Cairns were gathering for a sendoff for the ace investigative reporter.

Al, who got a lot of mileage from the schoolgirl killer, from her arrest to her taking up residence in Montreal after her release from prison, resigned a couple of weeks ago.

As a Sun Letter to the Editor writer said, the woman in the parka on the front page of Thursday's Sun could have been anyone. The story was written by a Sun Media reporter out of Montreal. Nothing much new, so the timing was peculiar.

Was the latest Karla front page a message that Sun Media can track Karla without Al Cairns in the hunt? You never know.

But nobody did it better than Al.

Friends and former colleagues gathered at the Upfront Bar and Grill around the corner from the Sun on Thursday to raise a glass or two for Al, Valerie Gibson and Len Fortune.

Formerly known as Crooks, the bar, in better times, was the Sun's unofficial press club, especially Thursday nights before the Saturday Sun was launched on Sept. 13, 1986. The bar has seen far too many Sun farewell parties in the past few years.

We received this e-mail from one of the Al/Val/Len sendoff guests:

"I saw the gang Thursday at the sendoff and it was bittersweet indeed to be back at the bar formerly known as Crooks on a Thursday night - just like the good old days before the Saturday Sun began. Len, Val and Al were all pretty upbeat and positive about what's next for them.

"I saw so many old friends and that was the sweet part, but knowing the Sun was continuing to break up on the rocks was anything but. And your (TSF) news that Red's (the Sun cafeteria) was putting up its shutters only adds to that."

Thank you for the update.

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