When police finally brought the curtain down on a four-month undercover sting created to solve an 18-year-old Manitoba girl’s murder (Erin Chorney), the naive suspect was left more than a little bewildered as he realized the extent of the ruse.
A videotaped confession played for jurors Monday shows Michael Bradley Bridges looking directly into a hidden camera in a Winnipeg hotel room, stunned and suddenly sheepish, as police handcuff him and read him his rights.
He sits staring alternately straight ahead and out the window, mumbling to the officers that he understands their words, but is left trying to process the fact he has just spent the last 90 minutes meticulously outlining for an undercover Mountie how he killed his former girlfriend and buried her in someone else’s grave.
For four months, the officer known only as Agent X posed as Bridges’ friend and recruiter for a powerful national criminal syndicate.
Convinced by the officer that the only way to climb up the ladder was to confess to past crimes in great detail to an all-knowing “Boss,” Bridges gave his confession on Feb. 12, 2004, to his friend under the guise that it was a dress rehearsal for a pending meeting that morning with the shadowy leader.
No detail was left out and Bridges never expressed suspicion as the questions became more and more specific about how he killed Erin Chorney in Brandon, Man.
He chose a white flat, not fitted, bedsheet to wrap her in.
He buried her face up, centred in the grave, after carefully measuring her body and making last-minute adjustments to the size of the hole.
He used a metal shovel with a wooden handle to dig the hole.
He repeatedly walked by the grave long after the murder, “just to check up on it . . . just to make sure the dirt’s all good, like nothing was bothered.”
As he was being handcuffed and led away following his arrest, Bridges’ first words were of his new friend’s betrayal.
“Just tell me one thing, is (Agent X) a cop?” Bridges asked two arresting officers. “Just tell me that. Is (he) a cop?”