1981-xx Update



Archive - 1981

Homicide #1981-xx

Date - 1981-08-17

Victim - Clear, Paul Thomas (??)
Accused - Nielsen, Barry (??), Stolar, Jerry (??)
Charge - 1st Degree Murder

In 1981 several officers were facing criminal charges when it was discovered that a number of break and enters were actually being done by police officers. These break-ins also lead to a brutal murder being committed by two police officers, Jerry Stolar and Barry Neilson. The murdered man, Paul Thomas Clear, was Neilson's brother-in-law and they suspected he was a police informant.

Shortly after 11:30pm on August 17th, 1981, Mr. Clear was beaten to death at the intersection of Keewatin Street just south of Inkster Boulevard, where a curb-cut had been made for the yet-to-be-constructed Kinver Avenue. Clear had left his home in his red Volkswagen sedan on his way to work at the Labatt's Brewery, his shift was starting at midnight.

When Clear did not show up for his shift, the foreman called his wife at 12:30am to inquire on his whereabouts. Mrs. Clear inquired at hospitals and telephoned her brother, Dennis Haliuk. Haliuk and Mrs. Clear retraced his steps but did not initially find the Volkswagen. Finally they spotted the sedan parked behind Keewatin Ceramics, not far from Labatt's. Clear's lunchbox and thermos were still in the car and the lights were off, as if someone just parked the vehicle and left.

Subsequent investigation by police revealed the scene of a struggle at Keewatin and Kinver. Clear's body was not found until some weeks later.

Nielsen and Stolar had waylaid Clear enroute to work, beat him to death, and then moved his body to another vehicle. His body was driven out into the countryside, some 40 miles or so from where the murder occured. His body was buried in a shallow grave which had probably been dug in advance.

The following comes directly from court transcripts:

The body of Paul Clear was not discovered until September 7, 1981, three weeks after he was killed. A man and his young son were out hunting for hazel-nuts in a wooded uncultivated area, approximately 30 miles west of Winnipeg. They were south of the Trans-Canada Highway, which runs in a general east-west direction. Parallel to the highway, but a few hundred metres south of the highway, there is a gas pipeline, and the bush is cleared in the area of the pipeline. The man and his son were following along the pipeline. Some 50 ft. from their path the man spotted something unusual. The surface of the ground had been freshly dug and a branch from a tree had been stuck vertically into the loose soil. It was obvious that it was the work of man, not nature.

The R.C.M.P. was called, and Constable Paulicelli attended. The constable began to dig, and after approximately an hour and a half, and at a depth of two feet, they came upon something wrapped in canvas. It was, of course, the body of Paul Clear. Additional help was brought to the scene. Knowing that a body had been discovered the digging thereafter was done carefully, with a hand-trowel, for several hours on September 7th and several more hours on the following day. Those involved indicated that the digging was difficult because of the presence of good-sized rocks, six to twelve inches in diameter intermingled with the dirt and sandy material. The gravesite was about a metre in depth. It obviously would take considerable time and effort to dig the grave in the first instance. The gravesite is in an area where there is no artificial lighting. It is a virtual certainty that the gravesite was pre-dug for Paul Clear.

When Paul Clear left for work on the night of August 17th, he was wearing a green work uniform, and he also wore a ring, a Seiko watch, and he had his wallet in his pocket. When the body was discovered the uniform was still on, but the ring, watch and wallet had been removed. Examination revealed that his skull had been bashed in by heavy blows inflicted by a blunt instrument.

It was not until April 14, 1982, that the accused, Nielsen, was arrested and charged with the murder of Paul Clear. It was some three months after that that the accused, Stolar, became a co-accused. However, shortly after Paul Clear's disappearance on the evening of August 17th, Nielsen was the major suspect and the police investigation focused upon him, and to a lesser extent, the co-accused, Stolar.

Nielsen was a brother-in-law of the victim, their respective wives, Diana Nielsen and Barbara Clear, being sisters.

Nielsen and Stolar were police officers, and for a period of time they had been partners on cruiser-car duty. During the time they worked together they were involved in criminal activity.

In May, 1981, some three months prior to the death of Paul Clear, the accused, Nielsen, was charged with possession of stolen property, specifically, two snowmobiles and a snowmobile double trailer belonging to Guertin Implements Ltd. Nielsen was arrested and suspended from the police force. That charge came to trial in February, 1982, and as a result Nielsen was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail.

On July 15, 1982, after he had been arrested on the charge of murdering Paul Clear, further criminal charges were laid against Nielsen for crimes allegedly having taken place in March, 1981. On August 17, 1982, yet another series of charges were laid against him for possession of stolen property.

Evidence was tendered at trial indicating that Nielsen may have believed that his brother-in-law, Paul Clear, was a police informer who was responsible for the initial charge leading to his suspension from the police force.

Stolar was also charged as a co-accused on July 15, 1982, of break, enter and theft of one establishment, and break, enter with intent, of a second establishment. In addition, he was separately charged with several counts of possession of goods obtained by crime. There was, then, an association between Nielsen and Stolar as police officers involved together in criminal activities.

Prior to the murder Nielsen had been charged with a criminal offence which constituted a flagrant abuse of his police duties. Evidence subsequently came to light that Nielsen and Stolar together were involved in additional criminal activity resulting in criminal charges. If Nielsen had a motive to kill his brother-in-law, Paul Clear, then it is not unreasonable that Stolar might share in the motivation, And so the criminal investigation concentrated upon them.


Had it not been for the for the lucky break with both discovery of the murder scene and the later discovery of the body, this murder may never have been solved.