Five months after Patrick Kelly is believed to have sold Lila-Jane Greig's dining room set at his Prince George antiques consignment store, Greig is still waiting for her money.
In April, just before she moved from her home in Fraser Lake to Nova Scotia, Greig received a phone call from Kelly, who had seen her advertisement on Kijiji. She was selling her oak leaf table, six carved wood chairs, a china cabinet and two-piece side board and agreed to allow Kelly to sell it on a three-month consignment agreement that would give her $1,500. Kelly drove to Fraser Lake and picked up the furniture on April 11.
"I spoke to him in June, and he said it had possibly been sold, and that he would phone me in the next couple weeks before he sent the money, so I would know it was coming," said Greig. "After that I never heard from him and I've been trying to get ahold of him ever since.
"I would like to get my money. It's been months, and I've been trying. I thought maybe he changed his number or he was not in business anymore."
After four months with no response from Kelly, Greig found an online Citizen story published in April which featured Kelly's antiques business and two weeks ago she phoned the Citizen to try to track Kelly down. Through a third party, Greig found a contact number posted on the front door of the Antiques on 6th shop, which led her to Paul Kesler, who is helping financial planner Rebecca Sinclair deal with Kelly's business while he's in jail.
Kesler told Greig he expected Kelly to be back in Prince George on Thursday, but that never happened. Kelly was arrested Aug. 5 and has been in custody even since. His parole was revoked in a hearing on Tuesday and he will remain in jail indefinitely.
"Paul said he had a couple of years of invoices he had to go through and couldn't match up the invoices with furniture, and it was just a big mess," said Greig, from her home in Wolfville, N.S.
"I had my invoice and he said to give him a couple of days until Patrick came back. He just told me Patrick was away and should be back on the 22nd of November."
Greig's online search of Kelly turned up details of his past and his first-degree murder conviction in the death of his wife Jeannette. The Ontario court determined that Kelly, a former undercover RCMP officer, pushed her off the 17th floor balcony of their apartment in Toronto. The Crown prosecutor in the trial said Kelly wanted to cash in on his wife's life insurance policy.
Kelly still maintains his innocence. He served 17 years of a 25-year life sentence before being granted full parole in 2010.
Kelly's case became the subject of two books -- " A Master of Deception: Working Undercover for the RCMP," and The Judas Kiss: The Undercover Life of Patrick Kelly," -- and a 1999 TV movie "Murder Most Likely."
"I was surprised by that, but I'm more interested in the way people act now, not in the past, because I'm a firm believer people can change," said Greig. "As long as they don't keep making mistakes and learn from their mistakes, I try not to judge them on their past."
Greig was relieved to learn Sinclair has agreed to return consigned furniture to Kelly's customers or give them the money they are owed.
"He did violate his parole, but he hasn't run away from that and you have to give him that," Greig said. "Kudos for him trying to get himself out of the situation he got into."
Caroline Longhurst, owner of Ohh Chocolat, a restaurant/chocolate shop on George Street across Sixth Avenue from Kelly's store, entered into a business relationship with Kelly when she opened her downtown store in March. Her customers sit at antique tables, chairs, couches and buffet hutches, all of which are consigned items offered by Kelly to help him market those items for sale.
"He was looking for a showroom and I was looking for furniture, so it was basically a match made in heaven," said Longhurst. "It worked for me and it worked for him, and as far as I knew it was all above board."
Kelly has similar display arrangements at Lavender gift shop, Studio 2880 and the Prince George Forestry and Railway Museum.
Longhurst has had conversations with Kesler, who is now staffing Kelly's store, and said she expects to continue using the furniture as long as Kelly's business stays open. Longhurst, a former RCMP officer, was aware of Kelly's murder conviction before she began displaying his furniture. Since his arrest in August, she's been trying to find alternate sources of loaned antique furniture for her customers and for sellers to display in her shop.