Man under RCMP protection tells Edmonton murder trial he saw Travis Vader driving SUV similar to missing couple’s vehicle


Travis Vader’s former drug buddy told court Thursday about the accused killer showing up in an SUV that looked like the one belonging to a missing St. Albert couple.

David Olson, known as Bandana Dave, is under RCMP protection. He testified at Vader’s first-degree murder trial that he used to frequently smoke crystal methamphetamine with Vader at his trailer home in the hamlet of Peers, west of Edmonton.

On July 3, 2010, Olson said Vader came by in the early afternoon driving a pickup truck and returned a few hours later in a green Hyundai SUV, and in an “extremely agitated” state.

Olson told court he later read a front-page Edmonton Sun story about vanished couple Lyle and Marie McCann, their burnt-out motorhome and their missing SUV, and put the two together.

“I kind of figured it was the same SUV I seen Travis in. I wasn’t sure, but it sounded pretty close,” said Olson, adding the colour, make and model were the same as the SUV described in the news story.

He also described the SUV Vader was driving as light green, “really clean,” and looked new.

Olson testified Vader did not appear to be under the influence of drugs at the time.

“He seemed agitated, upset about something,” said Olson, adding Vader kept talking about his ex-girlfriend Amber Williams and how he “really wanted” to reach her by telephone.

Olson testified Vader told him he was broke when he first saw him that day, but said he had a small roll of bills in his pocket when he returned in the SUV and gave him $50 to go to the nearby store and buy a $25 phone card and a case of Boxer beer.

A police security detail accompanied Olson to the courtroom. Two court sheriffs stood behind him as he testified from the witness box.

Vader, 44, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Lyle McCann, 78, and Marie McCann, 77.

The couple last seen July 3, 2010, leaving a Superstore in St. Albert.

Two days later, their motorhome was found ablaze and abandoned at a campground by Minnow Lake, near Edson. Peers is north of Edmonton.

The Hyundai SUV they were towing was found July 16, 2010, in the woods on a rural property just off of Highway 16 east of Edson.

The trial has heard police found Vader’s DNA, blood and fingerprints in the SUV as well as blood spatter from the McCanns.

Their bodies have not been found.

Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Brian Beresh suggested to Olson heavy drug use had taken control of Olson’s life and memory.

He denied his memory was affected.

“That’s what you would like to believe,” Beresh said.

“No, that’s what you would like to believe,” Olson replied.

Under cross-examination, Olson admitted the RCMP paid him $24,000, saying the money went toward relocation, food and lodging.

Olson was later asked by Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson why he came to court to testify.

“Because it was the right thing to do,” Olson said.

“They could have been anybody’s grandparents.”


One thought on “Man under RCMP protection tells Edmonton murder trial he saw Travis Vader driving SUV similar to missing couple’s vehicle

  1. Augusto de Arruda Botelho

    It’s difficult to find experienced people for this subject, however,
    you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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