Although Darcy Allan Sheppard had no violent record and has only been accused and not convicted of cheque fraud, many in the media have portrayed him as someone who may be violent. He had no history of violence and no record of violence –none.
Much of Sheppard’s portrayal is driven by Bryant’s PR efforts with Brian Mulroney’s favourite spinners – Navigator Ltd.
Before Navigator started spinning the facts, the Globe and Mail described Sheppard as “admired by his co-workers for his charisma and adored by his friends and family for his comedy.”
Other media outlets spoke with people who knew him.
“You have to print the truth about him,” said courier Barry Ridley, who has worked as a courier for 39 years.
“Allan would go out of his way to help people. He was one of the nicest guys,” said Mr. Ridley.
“He was more of a fun loving guy,” echoed courier John Baker, adding it would be out of character for Mr. Sheppard to be the aggressor in a dispute with the driver of a vehicle.
What kind of articles would we be seeing if Navigator worked for Darcy Allan Sheppard instead of Michael Bryant?
Like Sheppard, Bryant does not have a violent record but he does have a violent hobby. Since he was 10 years old Bryant has been boxing. He’s been training to punch people and knock them out since he was a child.
In April the Globe and Mail quoted Bryant as saying “I always try to end a bout before the third round.” That means delivering a knockout blow to the other guy before Bryant himself loses steam.
In the heat of battle Bryant is described as “fierce,” … “a far cry from the genial and charming demeanour that has made him such a popular cabinet minister.”
Bryant goes on to describe boxing as a “very primal sport, one where you are given permission to hit someone.”
He emphasized “it also assisted in giving people the wrong impression that they better not mess with me –which, mercifully, was rarely tested.”
And he confesses that he hates to lose, “It’s humiliating to lose.”
Bryant is a self-described man of “serious gusto” who was no longer trapped by the need to watch his behaviour for political reasons. He bragged that outside of politics you didn’t need to keep you road rage in check, “you could give the bird to a neighbour who’s cut you off.”
Acquaintances insisted that his recent political downfall was in part because “he’d finally gone rogue.” And he was “no longer afraid of recrimination.”
His parliamentary assistant, David Zimmer noted that “he becomes very impatient when things bog down – you can see his feet vibrating on the floor when things aren’t moving fast enough.”
Toronto councillor Joe Mihevc, says that Bryant “wears his heart on his sleeve, and he’s a quick actor who knows how to intervene the moment it’s needed.”
When asked how he chooses as training partner Bryant once responded, “I would try and find the biggest chump I could so as to survive the experience.”
Is that how Bryant saw Darcy Allan Sheppard?
Was Bryant’s behaviour so out of control because he is a man of serious gusto who was impatient that he was bogged down in traffic and Sheppard wasn’t moving fast enough? Did Sheppard do something to humiliate him in front of his wife on their twelfth anniversary?
Was Sheppard Bryant’s biggest chump because Bryant thought he could survive the experience and because he was no longer afraid of recrimination?
Did events escalate so quickly that Bryant was trying to knock Sheppard off his car to deliver a knock out blow and end it before the third round?
The only fact that we do know is that Bryant did end it. He ended Darcy Allan Sheppard’s life.