Natasha Moar homicide: An accounting and some questions

(Natasha Linda Moar/Facebook)
(Natasha Linda Moar/Facebook)

“See this girl she was treated like a nobody noone came to help her fight in court,not one person came forward to say hey i seen him abuse her.where was everyone fat mouths when she needed help today.there was no fucken justice today not even a fair trial…56 months for taking a life so brutally.” — Relative of Natasha Moar

And in the end, When it came to investigating Natasha Linda Moar’s homicide, RCMP and the Crown were ultimately left with two stories: The one told by her living, breathing killer and his family, and another told by her lifeless, battered body.

What follows I’m presenting for two reasons. One, I believe there has to be some complete record of what was put on the record about this case. A 400 word newspaper story, while adequate for many reports, fails here. And the initial RCMP press release obviously is useless to come to any understanding.

(And that release could be considered forthcoming by today’s standard of police to-public disclosure of most criminal events).

Two: I completely understand the need for plea deals in the criminal justice system. I’m just not sure I fully comprehend the one that saw Leslie Grant McDonald, 27, receive an effective sentence of five years for manslaughter in connection with her death, with 56 months left to serve going forward.

It bears remembering at the outset: Moar was pronounced dead in hospital on July 12, 2009, nearly four years ago. The case came to a sudden conclusion Monday after McDonald elected to plead guilty on the day his trial was set to begin. His preliminary hearing concluded in May 2011, two years ago.

Here’s how things proceeded Monday in the Dauphin Court of Queen’s Bench, with senior Crown attorney Dale Harvey representing the state, and veteran defence lawyer Roberta Campbell acting for McDonald. Justice Robert Cummings is the presiding judge.

The case begins with McDonald freely and voluntarily pleading guilty to manslaughter for his former common-law’s death. The plea is accepted by Cummings, with the usual caution that the judge is not bound by any joint-recommendation presented to the court and can impose any sentence he feels is fit.

Harvey begins by explaining the matter was set for trial, and that no pre-sentencing or Gladue report examining McDonald’s background will be presented. Cummings is told McDonald has been in touch with an elder in his home community of Crane River — and it’s possible arrangements will be made for him to apply to go to a Correctional Service of Canada “healing lodge” after he gets to Stony Mountain.

Harvey explains the joint-recommendation which the court will hear about factors in the relevant Gladue factors which apply to McDonald’s case, and the sentence being sought [which isn’t revealed at the outset] has been adjusted “downward” from what the Crown would ordinarily seek in similar circumstances based on that consideration.

There are no victim impact statements filed. The Crown explains one of the sides of Moar’s family have what was termed an “acrimonious” relationship with justice officials due to their “lack of faith in the justice system to do its job properly.”

Harvey then begins relaying the facts of the case for Cummings.

The morning of July 12, 2009: McDonald’s mom’s common-law calls RCMP to say Moar was unconscious and not breathing “due to cardiac arrest.” “That’s how it was reported,” Harvey says. The caller relays that Moar was “cold and stiff” and CPR was not being initiated.

RCMP Const. St. Cyr of the Ste. Rose du Lac detachment — located 72 kilometres from Crane River, is dispatched to a suite at the Crane River “elderly person’s home.”

The community is some distance away from the detachment, about 70 k.m.

At 12:37 p.m., two rural paramedics went to the suite — getting there before St. Cyr — and radios that Moar “was breathing” and would be taken to the Ste. Rose hospital for treatment.

RCMP are told no police attendance is required.

“That’s still confusing from the Crown’s perspective,” Harvey says. “As it was clear that Ms. Moar had been dead for some time.”

Around 1:52 p.m. St. Cyr and his partner are then at the hospital on an unrelated matter when the partner is approached by the on-call ER doctor. Moar was pronounced dead, the cop is told, and the doctor believed the death “was suspicious” as she had a number of bruises on her face and legs.

The partner tells St. Cyr this and he takes off to Crane River. The partner then looks at Moar in the exam room and noted she has “obvious signs of trauma” and bruising on her face and body.

2:43 p.m. — St. Cyr arrives in Crane River, and finds the local band constable there securing the crime scene. The band constable says when he arrived there, there were people inside the suite attending to Moar. He took photos of the scene and spoke with a number of people. “Quite frankly, he did his best to keep people out of the actual crime scene in and of itself,” Harvey says.

The photos are given to the RCMP. The band cop “did a remarkable job in the circumstances,” with limited training, court is told. He “had enough common sense to try and preserve the scene as much as possible,” says Harvey.

St. Cyr then begins the interview process. He first speaks to the man who called the RCMP earlier and McDonald’s mother. They were sitting at a picnic table just outside the residence. St. Cyr noted it appeared there had been a party of sorts at the table the evening before.

At 2:47, the investigation takes a major turn when St. Cyr arrests Leslie McDonald for second-degree murder and assault causing bodily harm. Asked if he understood his rights, McDonald replied: “I had a fight with her last night — we were drinking.”

At 3 p.m. he’s again told the RCMP warning of his rights and police caution. McDonald says he understands. “Yeah, but can I make a statement?,” he asks.

At 3:14, McDonald and St. Cyr start talking. The cop only has his notebook and is recording the comments as best he can on the fly.

“About the murder, man, I don’t know. I agree that I assaulted her but after we were done fighting we blacked out. We came to later, we had sex. She wanted me out of the room. I went in the living room, watched TV, fell asleep. I got up, looked outside, it was daylight. I could hear her gurgling in the bedroom. At that time I didn’t think nothing of it. I fell asleep again. I got up around 10-10:30, went to the washroom. Then went to the bedroom to check up on her. She had brown puke coming out of her mouth, out of her nose. I started to shake her, to wake her up. I tried to get an answer from her. I put my hand on her stomach to see if she was breathing. I checked her pulse. She had no pulse. I know CPR. I started it, opened her mouth, removed the brown stuff. I tried to make her gag. I panicked, yelled at her. I tried calling my mom four or five times. I got in my car, went to my mum’s … told her what was going on. She came back with me to the house. My mom tried calling people as [her common-law] called the ambulance…”

“I just stayed back and waited outside with my mother,” St. Cyr recorded McDonald as saying.

At 3:23, another cop comes to relieve St. Cyr and he drives McDonald back to the Ste. Rose detachment.

At 5:00, McDonald spoke with a lawyer who calls back at 6:17. They talk till 6:40 p.m.

Meanwhile, an RCMP forensic specialist examines Moar at the hospital. He notes there’s some blood on her face and ear, bruising on face, a slap mark on her cheek, bruising on her right wrist and a discolouration below her knees.

(The remoteness of Crane River, located on the right of this map)
(The remoteness of Crane River, located on the right of this map)

That afternoon, McDonald’s mom’s common-law also gives a statement. Says he was at home that morning when Leslie “arrived screaming and yelling that Natasha was not breathing and he wanted his mom to help.” He went to the old folks home 25 minutes later after being called to the scene as well. He says he went in and found Moar on the bed, no pulse. He says he called the hospital and spoke to a clerk who told him to call for an ambulance. He tells police McDonald, Moar and two others — including McDonald’s dad — were drinking at the residence the night before. He says McDonald told him the two other men left there and McDonald said he went to bed around 3:30 a.m. He also said McDonald disclosed fighting with Moar but said they made up.

Leslie McDonald’s mom told police a similar story, saying her son came to her home yelling and screaming, that Moar wasn’t breathing and had a cold forehead.

The next day, an RCMP corporal with the Serious Crime Unit comes to interview McDonald on video. McDonald discloses he and Moar had been drinking beer and whiskey, smoking hash and doing some cocaine for most of July 11, the day before she died. An argument they had led to a fight, he says. “He admitted to slapping her many times” with “full force” as well as knocking her down at least three or four times. He denied using any weapons, a closed fist or kicking Moar. After their fight, she calmed down somewhat and asked him to get her something cold.”

He told RCMP he brought her two packs of frozen meat to put on her swollen face and “at that point realized he had gone too far.”

The meat was exchanged for a bag of frozen French fries. He says they had sex at 12 a.m. and afterwards he left the room to watch TV. He woke up around 3 a.m. and says he could hear her gurgling “like she was having trouble breathing but thought it was nothing out of the ordinary.” McDonald continued to watch TV until her fell asleep again. At 10 a.m he says he awoke and found her lying in bad with her hands up by her head — saw vomit, cleared it away and tried to induce more vomiting and CPR. “He knew then that she was gone,” Cummings was told of his statement.

McDonald admitted at one point in the fight, he had pushed Moar down and she fell onto a coffee mug which broke beneath her. She had also hit her head on a “fabric covered recliner” in the bedroom. “He was unsure if she has hit her head on anything else.”

McDonald then admitted to using a dish towel to snap at her in the face — a blow he knew had hurt her. He also says he noted blood by her head and her pillow. There was another blood pool of blood seen, but McDonald says it was his.

This same day, Dr. Charles Littman conducts the autopsy on Moar, with RCMP in attendance. More on this below.

July 14: RCMP execute two search warrants — two days after Moar’s death. One is for the crime scene and another for a vehicle outside the old folks home.

McDonald’s dad also gives a statement. It was his home where Moar died. He says he had been sitting outside with the couple and others as they drank rye and Labatt’s Lite beer. While McDonald and Moar were outside, they appeared to be fine, not fighting. He says Moar went inside first, followed by McDonald. “It was still daylight,” when they went in, he says.

Another man present at the table also says the couple “seemed to be fine.” He says he, a woman and another man left around 9 p.m. on July 11.

Harvey tells the court: As in so many violent cases, the description of the crime scene has varied widely. “It has been the source of several unfortunate rumours throughout the community as to people having cleaned up the scene. It’s obvious, I think, from the photographs taken by the community constable and the police that very little, if anything was done to clean up the scene and there’s significant evidence of a fight and trauma apparent from the photographs.”

He then tells court a database check shows McDonald had been charged with assault with a weapon in 2008 with respect to a suspected attack on Moar. “Ultimately that allegation went nowhere as she declined to testify. So no conviction arising from that.” The allegation was McDonald had hit Moar with a bottle in the head. At the time of her death, he was also wanted in Calgary where he was charged for mischief but skipped out on court. He has no convictions whatsoever, Harvey tells Cummings.

Harvey then moves on to the findings of Dr. Littman’s autopsy.

Littman found “multiple layers of trauma all over the entire body, primarily the head and face.”

  • 27 areas of trauma to her head
  • 18 to her torso
  • 11 to her upper limbs
  • 14 to her lower limbs
  • 14 to her hands, with some described as “offensive” wounds from her fighting back.

The degree of force, Littman found, was at the “severe” end — missing the mark on the “extreme” end of the spectrum because her skull wasn’t fractured.

Her head injuries were consistent of being struck with fists or the open heels of hands. She also has “linear abrasions” on her body “suggestive of dragging of the body,” Harvey says. Her liver had a small laceration.

She had sustained a large “acute” subdural haemorrhage which was attributed as the cause of death. It’s possible a hit in the head with the heel of the hand caused it. The pathologist also found a prior subdural haemorrhage which had “resolved naturally.”

A toxicology report found significant levels of alcohol consumption and traces of cocaine and marijuana in Moar’s blood.

Having presented the autopsy findings, Harvey then moves to the point: “We know there has been previous incidents of violence,” he says, telling Cummings that several people RCMP spoke to in the investigation recalled seeing Moar in the community showing “signs of trauma” and sometimes seeking shelter “briefly.”

“All of which of course — the nature of the relationship begs the question as how someone could do this to someone they supposedly love is beyond comprehension to most people. In our society … and I’m sure the court would agree — this is unfortunately an all too common event that leads to tragic results.” Their dysfunctional relationship and substance abuse fuelled the tragedy, Harvey said.

He then moved on to talk about the Criminal Code sentencing objective as set out in 718 [e]:

“To provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community.”

This was unlikely to happen here in this case, Harvey suggested.

“There is nothing that will happen here today that will make up for the sense of loss ….”

He then presented the aggravating factors of the case: Spousal abuse being the first and most concerning. He pointed to 718.2 [ii] as a statutory aggravating factor:

“(ii) evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused the offender’s spouse or common-law partner,”

He then pointed to factors in mitigation for McDonald, restating his lack of prior criminal record and the fact he pleaded guilty.

The Crown then went on to talk about the “extreme distrust” and “animosity” Moar’s family has of the system, noting how an altercation at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing required extra security to be brought in for the cancelled trial and sentencing.

They may not recognize the criminal justice system is a “place of last resort,” Hervey said.

“We deal with events after they have happened and that the criminal justice system cannot undo what has been done. And that the prevention of similar tragedies begins in the home as well as society generally. Where and when it works, there’s no need for the criminal justice system,” he said.

Still, he told Cummings, we must still try to do what’s possible within the law. He then relays the joint recommendation of five years, saying it’s within the range of sentences when Gladue factors are accounted for.

THE DEFENCE

Lawyer Roberta Campbell noted McDonald had only elected to have a trial given the nature of the abusive relationship he and Moar shared.

It wasn’t just a “one-sided” volatility — “but in fact bent both ways,” she said. Campbell noted how McDonald had once had one of his tattoos bitten off by Moar in a fight and also had been attacked by her to the point he needed stitches on his head and legs.

“It was just an incredibly volatile, violent and unfortunately, (a) relationship based around substance abuse … it really is a tragedy, a really great tragedy.”

McDonald’s version of their final fight was again put forward: He says the fight began as verbal, he tried to leave and she held on to him and a fistfight broke out. “this was a fight, a brawl .. initially he was trying to extract himself from the situation and it deteriorated.”

After making up, they were getting along again. Campbell noted how he ran for help, didn’t run from and co-operated with police. “He didn’t run away. He was completely forthright about what happened,” she said. McDonald wanted to plead guilty “immediately” he felt so bad — but agreed not to on legal advice to wait until the medical reports were in and what the cause of death was.

“It was obviously one of the slaps (that killed her), it was hard,” she says.

Campbell reiterated how he was just 23 when it happened. McDonald, born and raised in Crane River, was granted bail and was released to the Teen Challenge program for 18 months. His troubles with alcohol led him back to the streets — where in Winnipeg he was stabbed in the face, and needed 40 stitches. McDonald also faced bail breach charges, which he was set to deal with after the manslaughter sentencing was over.

“When he does mess up, it’s always with alcohol,” Campbell said.

Offered a chance to speak, McDonald indicated he was at a loss for words. He said he was happy the matter was getting dealt with.

“I’ve waited a long time for this time to come,” he said.

———

We know what the court decided, so I won’t repeat it.

I want to be clear: None of this is meant as a criticism of the Crown, the court or the other players involved in resolving this case. It bears repeating Harvey’s comment from above, because I agree with him. I’m also not presenting it to play up the horrific violence Moar was subjected to.

“We deal with events after they have happened and that the criminal justice system cannot undo what has been done. And that the prevention of similar tragedies begins in the home as well as society generally. Where and when it works, there’s no need for the criminal justice system.”

But I’m honestly trying to consider the evidence as presented to determine how five years was arrived at. I don’t know what to think about it. It’s clear Moar’s family isn’t happy with the result, and others too are questioning what message the sentence sends.

But aside from that, there’s other important questions here too.

Such as: What intervention and resources were available to Moar given the remote and tiny — and clearly tight-knit — community in which she and McDonald lived? If others saw her bruised and battered time and again, was there something they should or could have done? This isn’t the first domestic homicide case in recent memory where a paucity of resources was a factor to consider.

As well, there’s obvious questions about the remoteness of RCMP from this community, which may have played a role in the evidence-gathering and investigative process. How is a band constable with limited training supposed to handle a homicide scene in a community where he’s likely to be slammed for playing the heavy, if he/she should do that?

Members of Moar’s family have an “acrimonious” view of the justice system and no faith it would fulfil its purpose Why is that? What can be done to fix it, if anything?

These are just a few of the questions which this case brings to mind for me.

Maybe they’re ones Manitoba’s Domestic Violence Death Review Committee might undertake to examine.

Nigel Dixon homicide; the atmosphere in which it happened

(Police search for clues to catch Nigel Dixon's killer)
(Police search for clues to catch Nigel Dixon’s killer)

Why?

It’s the question which routinely gnaws at most acts of horrific violence anywhere, and one police investigators and prosecutors often foist themselves on while trying to resolve cases, make arrests and bring criminals to justice.

The callous April 2 broad-daylight murder of Nigel Dixon, 20, in the 500 block of Langside Street is no different. A woman he was with was also shot, but thankfully survived.

Police have said the two were approached and shot after being approached by a group of gang members and asked what gang affiliation they had. When they denied any gang ties, they were shot, and Dixon killed.

Again: In broad daylight, not far from a busy street (Ellice). It’s beyond chilling. It’s absolutely reprehensible.

While I’m tempted to get into a diatribe — a useless one, no doubt — about how there’s been little to no public condemnation of such a horrific act from our political leaders in the wake of the shootings, I’ve learned by now it will simply fall on deaf ears.

A rant put down to more whinging about a problem many in power in this province simply can’t publicly admit even exists.

But I can offer maybe a glimmer of information about the atmosphere in the immediate inner-city/Spence neighbourhood/West End area in the weeks prior to Dixon’s death.

There’s a bona fide street gang war going on over drug turf. And it’s not sticks and stones being used to fight it.

And the gangsters behind it are nervous and on edge.

Here’s one theory why:

Tuesday, a 23-year-old “entrenched” Manitoba Warriors member was denied bail on several weapons charges.

He’s been in since Feb. 19, when police in the Street Crimes Unit nabbed him while near a home in the 500 block of Furby — pretty much right near where Dixon was shot weeks later, just a block and a half over.

He’s accused of transporting a sawed-off shotgun (and several shells of ammo) in a duffel bag to that home, described as a “well-known” “crack shack.”

The crack house used to belong to the Mad Cowz street gang, but around the time of the arrest cops got some interesting, and no doubt concerning, information: “The Manitoba Warriors has taken control over this crack shack and would be arming themselves to prevent retaliation from the Mad Cowz,” the Crown told court.

When arresting the MW member (he’s only accused and not convicted so I won’t name him here), he told police the gun “was for protection against rival gang members,” Judge Judith Elliott was told.

Hmmm.

A few weeks later, Dixon, an innocent (and his female friend) are shot by gangsters suspicious about their affiliation a block over. It’s entirely probable one of the two gangs — scared at potentially losing more crack turf to the other — is out conducting “sweeps” in the area in hopes of either gaining or not losing more ground.

Ask yourself why Phil Haiart, another innocent, was shot and killed years back, along with a man he was out walking at the time, not far from where the most recent shootings took place.

It was Jeff Cansanay and Corey Spence of the African Mafia firing rounds off at then-rival Mad Cowz gangsters near their McGee St. crack house after several other attacks on the place in the days and hours prior.

Today, a source was telling me there’s been several other “Who you reppin?” — style incidents in the West End, ones where people are approached by a pack and questioned about affiliations.

The animals are restless and nervous, folks. Hope it doesn’t get worse as the weather heats up. Because the temperature in the West End (as usual?) is already pretty hot right now.

Kines heading back for new murder trial: The Court of Appeal’s reasons

Manitoba’s top court issued reasons Wednesday on why it sent accused killer Jason Allen Kines back to trial on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and sexual interference in connection to the death of Venecia Audy, 3, in August 2006.

Justice Brian Midwinter acquitted Kines after weeks of evidence being put forward at a Dauphin jury trial earlier this year.

The Court of Appeal ruled last week that Midwinter was wrong to take the case out of the hands of the jury after ruling bite-mark evidence put forward by the Crown though a dental expert didn’t go far enough to prove Kines was the biter “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Below are excerpts of the appeals court panel’s reasons. A new trial date for Kines is pending and he remains free on bail in Saskatoon. He is presumed innocent.

[Reasons authored by Justice Richard Chartier, on behalf of Barbara Hamilton, Marc Monnin and himself.]

“The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was multiple blunt-force trauma resulting from non-accidental trauma. The victim had a combination of lacerations, bruises and human bite marks all over her body. Her vagina had been torn and bite marks were found just above her vagina.”

“A forensic odontologist testified that [Kines] had a “very highly unusual” dentition that lined up with most of the bite marks on the body. He definitively excluded the other member of the household as being the biter for all but one bite mark. The expert testified that the accused was “most likely” the biter. He also said that he was “very confident” in his identification of the accused and explained that “probable” identification was as definite a designation as his discipline allowed, except in rare circumstances.”

Midwinter’s principal reason he took the case from jury, Chartier said,  was “his conclusion that the evidence identifying the accused as the biter did “not give rise at law to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” Because it was only “probable,” that led him to conclude there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction.

“The judge in this case appears to have failed to differentiate the question of whether the Crown met its burden on a directed verdict test (the evidentiary burden) with whether the Crown met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt (the burden of proof).”

Evidentiary Burden = determines whether an issue should be left with trier of fact. 

Burden of Proof = “determines how the issue should be decided.”

“The first is for the judge; the second is for the jury.” “Moreover, the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard” has no direct application on a judge’s consideration of a directed verdict motion.”

“The judge’s conflation of the evidentiary burden with the ultimate burden of proof caused him to engage, to an impermissible degree, in a weighing of the evidence, to the point of determining questions which fell within the jury’s purview. We also agree with the Crown that the judge failed to consider the circumstantial evidence in its totality. Given that we are ordering a new trial, we will simply state that there was other contextual evidence which the judge did not seem to consider. In our view, the Crown’s suggested inferences fall within a range of inferences a jury could reasonably draw. As such, there was some evidence that the person accused of the offences was the perpetrator of the offences.”

“… In the end, the judge’s conclusion that the identification evidence in this case does not meet the test on a directed verdict motion cannot be allowed to stand. Whether the evidence adduced but he Crown will ultimately be sufficient to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable count will be for the jury to decide.”

-30-

Answers needed in Malcolm domestic-violence murder case

(Sandi-Lynn Malcolm/Facebook)

The provincial government, Justice Minister Andrew Swan and those sitting on the provincial domestic violence Death Review Committee must turn their minds to investigating what happened to Sandi-Lynn Malcolm.

Nothing short of a full and frank examination into how a young aboriginal girl can be serially abused by her ex-partner on a small reserve — only to end up brutally killed by his hands, will suffice.

It’s my view the public should be protesting — as Malcolm’s family and friends have done — to bring attention to her case in hopes of rooting out others like it before it’s too late.

What happened to this girl should not have happened and we should be sickened by it. 

After sitting with the facts of Malcolm’s killing for only a short time now, I believe she was failed on a fundamental level, for a number of reasons:

She lived in an isolated environment that had few resources or opportunities for intervention.

Warning signs — including those expressed through her own words to police — that something awful was going to happen weren’t heeded to the degree they should have.

And, (I suppose it goes without saying) Malcolm suffered a fatal consequence in her continued association with a violent human being who urged her to “trust him.”

He repaid her undeserved trust with unspeakable violence.

She was only 17 years old, though. A kid. We can’t lose sight of this.

Answers must be sought.

Here’s why.

“There. I done what had to be done.” — Ronald Racette Jr.

On the night of Jan. 30, 2010 RCMP who police the Ebb and Flow community got a call from Malcolm’s mother, saying her teen daughter was covered with cuts and had black eyes.

Sandi-Lynn gives an official statement, in which she alleges her ex-boyfriend, Ronald Racette Jr., 19, had brutally assaulted her at his father’s home. He punched her, hit her with a lamp, whipped her with the lamp’s cord and then tried to choke her with it.

A check of Racette’s record on CPIC would have alerted police to the fact of his prior domestic-abuse history.

“I should just kill you,” she reported Racette Jr. as telling her. There were no other witnesses, she told police, who photographed her bruises and cuts.

Less than two weeks later, on Feb. 8, Sandi-Lynn picks up the phone wanting to report the violence Racette Jr. put her through a day prior .

She gives another statement: Sandi-Lynn, covered in bruises, tells RCMP that her vow to stay away from Racette Jr. collapsed when he phoned her, pitifully saying he hadn’t eaten in two days.

“She said she had a soft heart and felt sorry for him,” court was told. “He told her to trust him … she did.”

Sandi-Lynn brings Racette Jr. something to eat. They were “getting along fine,” she said.

But when she said she had to go to work on her resume — she hoped to get a job as a cashier in a store — he grew angry.

While out for a walk, Sandi-Lynn was made to run through deep snow, was knocked down and kicked and pummelled while being accused of being unfaithful while he was in jail.

“She told him she didn’t want to die like that.”

Sandi-Lynn’s next words to police were alarmingly prophetic:

“Everybody had told her not to take him back because the next time, he’ll kill you, but she didn’t listen,” court heard of her police statement.

A raging Racette Jr. continually asked her if “she wanted to die.”

“I should just kill you and kill myself,” he said. They were near a creek in the community. He threatened to just throw her in there, “where no-one would find her.”

Sandi-Lynn’s survival skills kicked in. She offset his volatility by “pretending to love him” — putting on a “big front” in hopes of getting away from him alive.

He kept beating her, and made her stay outside, shoeless, in the freezing cold. “She said she felt like she was being kept hostage or something,” RCMP heard.

Racette Jr. wasn’t drinking, Sandi-Lynn said.

After giving her statement, RCMP set out to look for him. At the second community home they came to, Racette Jr. is seen fleeing into some bushes.

Cops chased him on foot but couldn’t catch up. A warrant issues but he’s not caught.

He’d re-emerge just over two weeks later for his last night of freedom.

A recounting of Sandi-Lynn’s last hours were presented to the court through witness testimony from people who were around Sandi-Lynn in her last hours and minutes.

On the evening of Feb. 26, Sandi-Lynn and a group of girlfriends scored a 30-pack of beer, but didn’t set about drinking heavily. She used the phone at one point, and reported the party was happening at Racette Jr.’s dad’s home.

It’s believed she was talking to Racette Jr. in this call. He turned up not long after.

Before he came to get the girls and their remaining 24 cans of beer, Sandi-Lynn asked her friends to “watch over her and not let him be alone with her.”

He picked them up in a nondescript “black car.”

Instead of driving directly to the party, Racette Jr. took a route past a local cemetery and stopped the vehicle.

“This is where we are all going to end up,” he said.

A ‘trail of knives’

Once at the party, it didn’t take long for Racette Jr. to become irate. Sandi-Lynn refused him a request to go alone with him to another room.

Not long after, Sandi-Lynn and another friend were horsing around, just being girls. “She’s my girl now,” the friend joked to Racette Jr.

Racette Jr. responds by punching the friend in the face four times, an assault only stopped after others intervened to pull him off.

He goes outside for a few moments. Returns. Another request of Sandi-Lynn is made for the two to be alone. Another refusal from her.

This. The last straw. He tosses an ashtray in her direction and begins grabbing knives.

“A number of people went and hid in Ronald Sr.’s bedroom because they feared something terrible was going to happen,” Justice Midwinter was told.

They had no idea how awful it was going to get. Sandi-Lynn and another woman who had come to collect her young son from the home fled to a bathroom.

Another witness reported seeing a “trail of knives” leading to the bathroom door.

‘The cops are coming’

I won’t recount what happens next, other than to say a jealous and enraged Racette Jr. committed acts of such brutal and extreme violence on Sandi-Lynn that hearing the extent of her injuries was truly jarring.

47 stab wounds don’t even amount to half of the total number of injuries a pathologist totalled up. Dr. Charles Littman noted 105 “incidents of trauma” on her.

One of Sandi-Lynn’s friends tried to stop the attack by stabbing Racette Jr. in the back as he murdered the teen. It only served to anger him more.

“He looks at her with an evil look and went charging after her.”

He made his way to his father’s bedroom — they unlocked the door to let him in — where people cowered in fear. Children had to be out out the window for fear of their safety.

“Why did you do that? You killed that girl,” his dad told him. “You better get out of here, the cops are coming.”

Racette Jr. didn’t reply. He went back to the bathroom where Sandi-Lynn was and turned on the shower.

A witness says he left the house shortly after, leaving these haunting words in the gloom:

“There. I done what had to be done.”

Efforts to revive Sandi-Lynn didn’t work. It took 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Police caught up with Racette Jr. at his aunt’s home, where he was wrapped in a blanket, being comforted by a relative.

 ‘Our little reserve is not a war zone’

There was little defence lawyer Todd Bourcier could say in defence of what Racette Jr. did — acts the now 21-year-old pleaded guilty to doing.

But Bourcier raised some credible points about the lack of intervention and other resources in the community for domestic abusers and abuse victims alike.

The nearest women’s shelter from Ebb and Flow (on-reserve population of 1,200 or so) is in Dauphin, a distance of 50 kilometres away.

Options for counselling for men is limited, even to address what he termed the “surface concerns” for offenders with histories of abusing their partners.

And certainly nothing to address Racette Jr.’s specific needs as an angry, jealous, ill-educated, booze-and-drug abusing violent offender of a horrible background, now convicted murderer.

There’s one band constable on reserve, and the nearest RCMP detachment is in St. Rose du Lac, about 35 or 40 kilometres away, according to an online description of the band’s operations.

Despite the small number of people living in the community, between December, January and February, cops responded to 465 service calls, 78 of them regarding violence, Bourcier said.

It goes without saying Sandi-Lynn’s family and friends have been wrecked by not just her death, but also how she died. She was just weeks away from her 18th birthday.

I was there at the Manitoba Legislature a few days after Racette Jr. was charged with her murder when Sandi-Lynn’s relatives and friends travelled the 300 k.m. into the city to hold a candlelit vigil and peaceful protest to condemn domestic violence.

(Malcolm’s family and friends hold candlelight vigil at the legislature)

“Our little reserve is not a war zone. Things like this should not happen,” her dad, Kingsley Malcolm, told me at the time.

They did the same thing in 2011, this time, her cousin calling for more attention to be paid to what happened:

“At the time of Sandi’s death the Olympics were closing, so there was not much coverage about her. We needed to bring it to the public’s attention,” she said. “I felt I needed to do this so we could honour her and bring people together to support one another. (from missingmanitobawomen.blogspot.ca published Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011)

Racette Jr.’s sentencing judge, Justice Brian Midwinter, was clearly aggrieved at the underlying circumstances informing Sandi-Lynn’s death, telling the gallery:

 There were no resources in the community for Mr. Racette to access … and I have to deal with a vicious attack unprovoked by anything the victim did.

Would it be too much of a stretch to believe that the simply sad domestic-violence resource situation in Ebb and Flow is markedly different from countless other isolated Manitoba communities out there?

Today, using the only tiny power I have — this forum — I’m calling on the Manitoba government to task its domestic violence Death Review Committee to investigate Sandi-Lynn’s murder, the circumstances that led up to it and issue a public report on its findings. 

Further reading:

Father of slain teen condemns domestic abuse

Missing and Murdered Manitoba Women on the Malcolm case

Sandi-Lynn Malcolm Obituary

Domestic violence on the docket

Domestic violence: Province of Manitoba

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (Free Press, update article in 2011)

Province announces Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (2010)

Time to end the ‘superjuice’ scourge

(It’s no joke/WinnipegCat)

“A lot of the violence up here is attributed to superjuice. A lot of (people) are drunk when they are fighting each other, especially the gangs.”  — Edwin Wood, an Island Lake probation officer, 2009 ( Winnipeg Sun link)

To my mind, there’s little better indicator of a damaged society than any where so-called “superjuice” is allowed to exist and be sold by the 2-litre.

Slammed and damned for years now given its havoc-wreaking influence on so-called “dry” communities (typically isolated ones) in Manitoba, little has been (or can be) done, apparently, to stem the tide of violence superjuice causes.

I wrote about the alarming influence of superjuice on the Garden Hill First Nation today as part of a sentencing hearing for two kids who bashed a guy to death while hopped up on the homebrew.

[As an aside, note lawyer John Corona has been sounding the same alarm about superjuice now for years.]

It probably won’t surprise any that calls regarding the harm superjuice causes has been ongoing for many years. (link also describes how it’s made and the immense profits from selling it).

It appears nothing has changed in all that time.

A report recently written for the court still describes high prevalence of superjuice in Garden Hill.

Aside from the fact it reinforces my “Manitoba has a drinking problem” beliefs, I’m simply shocked more can’t be done to stem the smuggling of superjuice yeast into northern communities.

They’re not that big. Garden Hill is about 3,300 people.

Until this problem gets dealt with, we’ll continue to see the cycle of extreme violence in communities. And to me, that’s just wrong.

I wonder if the province made interdiction of superjuice a priority when penning the newest municipal policing contract with the RCMP? (It’s in effect for two decades).

Should the aboriginal groups contesting the issuing of the contract without their input win their case, will they?

There are things we can do about out horrific crime issues that don’t require groveling to Ottawa for permission.

Eradicating superjuice would be but one of them.

FURTHER READING:

(Unsurprisingly, I can find no government reports, stats or anything beyond media reports about the superjuice issue)

Reserves plagued by potent superjuice (Toronto Star)

Superjuice linked to Garden Hill First Nation death (CBC)

Aboriginal leaders in Manitoba call for ban on sale of yeast

Leaders brew up law to fight superjuice (WFP)

Shawn Lamb: the record, for the record

(Chris Procaylo/Winnipeg Sun/QMI)


In recent days, many have requested the publication of accused Winnipeg serial killer Shawn Lamb’s extensive record of criminal court convictions in full, given his case has raised so many questions about chronic offending.

I present it here, in full, for the public record.

Entries listed note the court centre where the convictions were entered, the charge and the resulting sentence imposed.

Background on what you’re about to read below can be found here, here, here, and here. And here.

  • 1976/08/18 Toronto

Attempt Fraud

Conditional Discharge, 1 yr probation

  • 1976/11/02 Barrie 

Theft over $200

Theft under $200

Breach probation

Break, enter and commit offence

6 months jail on the theft over, with lesser periods noted concurrent on other charges.

  • 1979/04/13 Barrie

Break, enter and theft

18 months jail, the sentence was appealed and reduced to 9 months

  • 1979/05/30 Barrie

Break, enter and theft

6 months jail consecutive to sentence already being served

  • 1979/09/25 Barrie

Possession of a narcotic

15 days jail

  • 1979/11/27 Guelph

Escape lawful custody

9 months consecutive to sentence already being served, later appealed down to time in custody.

  • 1979/12/14 Port Hope

Mischief

30 days concurrent with sentence already being served

  • 1980/07/07 Barrie

Drug possession

Possess for the purpose of trafficking x2

9 months and probation on possession, 2 years on the trafficking counts.

  • 1980/12/21 Winnipeg 

Armed robbery

Assault peace officer x2

2 years on the robbery, 6 months on each of the assault PO counts (consecutive)

  • 1984-04-18 Winnipeg

Assault causing bodily harm

5 months jail

  • 1984-11-29 Winnipeg

Theft under $200

1 month jail

  • 1985-02-28 Winnipeg

Assault cause bodily harm

Mischief

6 months on the assault, 1 month concurrent on mischief. Assault sentence was hiked on appeal to 12 months to be followed by 18 months of probation.

  • 1987-03-11 Barrie

Assault x2

Assault

Fail comply with bail conditions

6 months consecutive on the first two assaults, 3 months each on the other assault and bail breach, consecutive.

  • 1987-08-20 Guelph

Attempted obstruction of justice

Assault

Fail comply with bail conditions

Fail attend court (in Calgary, Alberta)

Theft over $1,000

Fail comply with probation order

5 months less a day on each charge, concurrent

  • 1988-06-06 Chilliwack, British Columbia

Assault

30 days and 2 years of probation

  • 1988-08-05 Vancouver

Care and control of a vehicle while over .08

$600 fine and 40 days time in custody noted

  • 1989-04-19 Edmonton

Mischief

$250 fine and 10 days time in custody noted

  • 1989-11-15 Edmonton

Utter threats

Possession of a weapon

1 day jail on each charge.

  • 1990-01-29 Edmonton

Uttering a forged document

30 days jail

  • 1990-07-12 Edmonton

Theft under $1,000

Obstruct peace officer

$200 and 15 days time served on the theft; $50 and three days time served on the obstruct

  • 1990-07-16 Edmonton

Theft over $1,000

3 months

  • 1991-02-21 Edmonton (RCMP High Prairie arrest)

Theft under $1,000 x2

Fail to appear

Fail to attend court

Fail bail condition

$200 fine on thefts plus 20 days jail, $100 fine on fail appear plus 10 days, $100 fine plus 10 days on attend court breach, $200 plus 20 days on bail breach

  • 1991-03-13 Slave Lake

Assault

5 months jail 

  • 1991-08-01 Edmonton

Theft under $1,000

$50 fine and 10 days TIC

  • 1992-02-06 Slave Lake (Slave Lake RCMP arrest)

Sexual assault

4 years prison plus a 5 year firearms prohibition

  • 1992-06-08 Innisfail 

Fail to comply with probation order

30 days concurrent with prison sentence

1993-06-17

PAROLED

1994-06-29

PAROLE VIOLATION, RECOMMITTED TO PRISON

1995-11-28

STATUTORY RELEASE

1995-11-28

STAT RELEASE VIOLATION, RECOMMITTED TO PRISON

  • 1996-07-05 Edmonton

Assault

9 months

  • 1997-07-09 Edmonton

Fail to appear

Theft under $5,000

1 day on fail to appear, $150 fine and three days TIC on theft

  • 1997-12-19 Edmonton

Break, enter and theft

4 month conditional sentence and 1 year probation

  • 1998-09-17 Winnipeg

Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000

Public mischief

3 months on each charge consecutive plus two years of probation

  • 1999-06-23 Winnipeg

Utter forged document

Possession of property obtained by crime

30 days jail and a restitution order

  • 2000-01-14 Winnipeg

Utter forged document

Possess property obtained by crime over $5,000

Utter forged document

Possess property obtained by crime under $5,000

Fail to comply with bail condition

45-day intermittent sentence on first 2 charges, 30-days intermittent on next two, 1 day on the bail breach

  • 2000-04-06 Winnipeg

Unlawfully at large

30 days consecutive to sentence already being served

  • 2000-09-11 Winnipeg

Unlawfully in a dwelling house

Assault cause bodily harm

Fail to comply with probation order

2 years jail and two years of probation

  • 2001-09-11 Winnipeg

Possess property obtained by crime under $5,000

Fraud over $5,000

1 year jail on each charge concurrent

2001-09-22 Winnipeg

Possess property obtained by crime under $5,000

Fraud over $5,000

1 year concurrent with sentence already running

  • 2002-03-26 Winnipeg

Utter threats

Time served of 68 days

  • 2003-04-25 Winnipeg

Theft under $5,000

Utter threats

Assault peace officer

Time served of 6 months and 7 days

  • 2004-12-24 Winnipeg

Fail to comply with bail order x2

Fail to appear

Time served of 45 days on each charge concurrent

  • 2005-06-30 Winnipeg

Utter forged document

Break, enter and theft

Theft under $5,000

Theft over $5,000

Posess. property obtained by crime under $5,000

12 months jail with 11 months TIC noted and 3 years probation

  • 2006-08-31 Winnipeg

Assault peace officer

Possess property obtained by crime under $5,000

Time served of 115 days

  • 2007-09-07 Winnipeg

Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Theft under $5,000

Posession of stolen credit card

6 months jail and 274 days of pre-sentence custody noted

  • 2008-11-07 Winnipeg

Carry concealed weapon

Possess property obtained by crime

Time served of 205 days

  • 2009-01-16 Winnipeg

Attempted Robbery

18 months conditional sentence, 3 years probation, supervised

  • 2010-05-26 Winnipeg

Possession of property obtained by crime — motor vehicle

Forgery x9

Theft under $5,000

Robbery with violence x2

13.5 months at double credit (27 months) noted, 19 months going forward AND the resumption of the 2009 conditional sentence order and the 3 years supervised probation.

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Accused serial killer Shawn Lamb and ‘the pain of being a rabbit’

(Shawn Lamb is arrested by Winnipeg police/Chris Procaylo/Winnipeg Sun/QMI)

Accused serial killer Shawn Lamb didn’t want to talk to me today, instead referring me to his lawyer, Evan Roitenberg through a very polite officer at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Roitenberg, always a gentleman, politely declined to discuss the triple second-degree murder case, in which Lamb is presumed innocent. He said he had little information and was awaiting disclosure from the Crown via police.

But that doesn’t mean Lamb, a career criminal with more than 100 convictions on his record, doesn’t have things to say.

Below, is a verbatim reprint of a handwritten piece of his original musings submitted to Judge Linda Giesbrecht on May 26, 2010 — the day where Giesbrecht sentenced him to serve 19 more months and Lamb ended up serving 13, despite his record.

“I’m just a coward pretending not to be afraid, sounding confident powerful, looking bold and fearsome as I could rip off the heads of my opponents.

But in my belly the wee bottom of my little belly is a boy still afraid, feeling alone, unknown if what he has will be enough to win to survive.

Hoping only hoping in its place I could feel the anger slowly filling up my empty belly and I loved the anger. It killed fear. It was easier to attack than to run.

It felt better to be lion not a rabbit. Oh, the pain of being a rabbit.

Once upon a time there was born a baby boy, a lovely indian boy as sweet and fat cheeked and gifted by the crater as any baby anywhere.

Except for the slightly darker hair and skin, he would have looked like your little boy and like your little boy he was born innocent, as innocent as a puppy.

Now take a puppy, when he comes up to you, tail wagging, you pick him up and love him, if you kick that innocent puppy instead “just kick him” and when he’s hungry you throw him out in the cold without food, and when he wants to be warm and safe you let the vicious neighbourhood dogs rip and tear at him, well, what about that, puppy?

How will that innocent puppy grow up?

A baby doesn’t choose where or to whom he is born, nor nationality, think, the nationality of an innocent baby is judged, treated.

An innocent baby deserves not to be torn apart from its mother, well the baby is the wrong nationality, expendable, send the child away, damn the damage this may cause.

The innocent child’s mind can not understand, “who are these strangers?” “WHY?” Why do they tease and torment and hurt this child body and soul?

The child’s psyche tortured, and with the innocent wonder of a child he can’t understand why the rights that even a puppy understands were taken from him, why as a member of this human species on the face of the earth he was do despised when he was so innocent.

He has only loved his mother, he had only done no wrong, but he was so despised and he felt the horrid heat of hate against him — why did they stomp out the last tiny vestiges of self-worth from this child? What wrong had he committed? Why was he kicked and beaten, raped and abused in both mind and body? Why?

The pain, the shame, the guilt, the confusion, this lost soul of a child (illegible word).

A path of anger, stealing, living on the streets, never enough drugs to escape the pain, dull the memories, the nightmares. A young boy in a man prison, a lost young man in prison, a middle-aged man in prison throughout all, a dim light, glimmer of hope a feeling of worth.

Ask for help unload the shame.

I’m wanting and worthy of a better life!”

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Why was Shawn Lamb out of jail?

 

(Carolyn Sinclair)

Looking at the math, either I’m missing something about the recent release date of accused serial killer Shawn Lamb, or we need to seriously re-examine the early-release provisions regarding career criminals.

Today, Lamb is facing three second-degree murder charges in connection to the deaths of:

Tanya Nepinak (on Sept. 13, 2011)

Carolyn Sinclair (Dec. 18, 2011)

Lorna Blacksmith (Jan. 11, 2012)

On May 26, 2010, Lamb was sentenced by Judge Linda Giesbrecht (now retired) to the following after admitting guilt to 16 charges, including two violent robberies of innocent people.

27 months at double credit (his charges pre-dated the legislative amendment forbidding granting this to him) for time served on the robberies.

PLUS 19 months going forward of real jail for possession of property obtained by crime and forgery and theft, fraud and utter forged documents.

ONLY after this period of jail was served would the many months remaining on a Conditional Sentence he was given in Jan. 2009 for attempted robbery then begin to resume (to be followed by three years of supervised probation — court heard the sentence handed down in May 2010 would ultimately mean he’d be supervised in various forms for six years).

The Crown attorney was very specific in how she wanted the sentence structured.

If he was sentenced to 19 months real jail, that takes us to December 2011 before that in-custody period expired.

Looking at the offence dates police say the women were killed, that raises an issue. It would appear, on the surface, that Lamb was released many months prior to when he was supposed to be from a provincial jail.

I can accept in some cases early-release provisions apply for both federal and provincial inmates.

But in Lamb’s case, I can’t. This is an accused person with more than 100 prior convictions, many of them for violent acts and court order breaches — along with parole and statutory release violations.

How it was determined that he be granted early release — given his prior history — needs to be examined in detail.

Homicide and violence reduction

(James Turner)

It’s official. Winnipeg has broken its annual record for total number of homicides following the death of a man in the downtown Saturday.

That makes 35 ‘officially tallied’ killings (Criminal negligence causing death, dangerous driving causing death and impaired drive cause death cases aren’t counted.)

Now, it bears mentioning that five killings happened in once instance, during an alleged firebombing in Point Douglas this summer.

Nevertheless, here we are. A sad marker for our city, one that nobody likes to see.

On a positive note, I present here a few — a few — examples of what other cities with high rates of violent crime have tried to do to address the issue.

It’s interesting stuff all around.

1] Chicago:

Chicago’s CeaseFire program evaluation

2] Jacksonville, FLA.

Reducing Murder: A community response

3] District of Columbia

Homicide Reduction Strategy

4] Richmond, Virginia

Intelligence Led Policing

5] TAVIS Toronto (link)

The Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy

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Winnipeg’s deadliest day of the week (So far)

(James Turner)

With 29 homicides [not counting the criminal negligence cases that police don’t officially tally as such] so far this year in Winnipeg, we’re slowly getting to Edmonton levels with four months left to go in the year.

And while culpable killings, naturally, are difficult to predict, one trend stands out.

There’s 2 to 1 odds if someone’s going to kill you, it will happen on a Saturday. 

Of the killing events [not the total number of deaths in the case of multiple victims such as the 5 for 1 arson at the rooming house earlier this summer], seven took place on a Saturday.

The events break down as follows (with one case undetermined as to time of death, so not included in the tally)…

  • Monday: 3
  • Tuesday: 2
  • Wednesday: 3
  • Thursday: 2
  • Friday: 3
  • Saturday: 7
  • Sunday: 3

I can’t say if the Saturday likelihood of violent death speaks to any trend in particular [except for the fact past years follow suit, largely], Many of the deaths happen on a day where people are raring to relax after a long week, perhaps have funds to purchase booze or drugs, and get right ornery when they consume too much as the majority of the circumstances of the killings appear to suggest.

I’m not sure if there’s some policies that could be altered to acknowledge this and perhaps bring some calm to the deadliest day of the year so far: Saturday, but it may be worth a look.

Also, I’d like to point out that the bulk of the homicides are currently cleared by police in terms of their charging of the suspect. At my count, it stands at about 85-90 per cent — a high number and one to be proud of the WPS for.

On the flip side, we’re seeing no reaction from either the city or the WPS regarding plans to combat the violence as was the recent case in Edmonton. 

Should Winnipeg hit 35 homicides this year, it would be a record number — the highest since 2004.

Chief Keith McCaskill said months ago violent-crime reduction targets for the city would be announced as part of a strategic plan the service has been working on — and said recently there have been (unspecified) delays in that plan — but as yet, there’s been no official public announcement about reduction targets. However, to be fair, police can’t predict homicides by and large, so maybe those targets will have no impact on same.

Updated List of homicides, victims and charges

1] Jan 6 (Thursday): Darryl John SINCLAIR, 45, stabbed. Robert Carl PRINCE, 44 charged with 2nd-degree murder.

2] Jan 16 (Sunday): Zenon Sylvester BOZYNSKI, 48 injured, perhaps beaten outside a Redwood Avenue apartment block. Jamie Jossens MORRISSEAU, 27 years of Winnipeg and Gamielle William Harry COURCHENE, 25 years of Fort Alexander, Manitoba have both been charged with 2nd Degree Murder.

3] Jan 28 (Friday): A 16-year-old male stabbed on Allegheny Drive. 28-year-old Matthew Craig KRASNY of Winnipeg has been arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Murder as a result of his alleged involvement.

4 and 5] Feb 5 (Saturday): Darren Joey SWAMPY, 19 years of age and Lee Brady SPENCE, 22 shot on Elgin Avenue. Randy Murray WILLIAMS, 27 years of age was arrested and subsequently charged with 2nd Degree Murder x 2 as a result of his alleged involvement.

6] A 22-year-old man arrested in connection to a criminal negligence cause death case where a man was killed in a snowmobile crash on Jan. 13 (Thursday).

7] Feb 18 (Friday): Casandra Lydia KNOTT, 27 is arrested for the homicide of Orzias Joram KNOTT, 34.

8] Feb 24 (Undetermined): Senior citizen Elizabeth Lafantasie is found dead, stuffed in her trunk. A few days later Thomas Brine is arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

9] March 16 (Wednesday), Abdul Rahim Mah JEMEI 22 is stabbed to death downtown. A 16 year old male is arrested soon after, and Ramsey SWAIN, 24 is charged March 29.

10] March 28 (Monday): Frank Alexander dies after an alleged assault at Parkview Place. Joe McLeod, an alzheimer’s patient, is charged with manslaughter.

11]April 13 (Wednesday): Joanna Storm died crossing Henderson Highway. An 18-year-old man is charged with criminal negligence cause death.

12] April 20 (Wednesday), 42-year-old Sheila Fontaine is killed outside the Merchant’s Hotel on Selkirk. The arrest of Teya Wynter SPENCE, 18 is announced a few days later. She and three other teen girls face manslaughter charges.

13] April 29 (Friday): 20-year-old Trevor Harper is shot in the 500 block of Portage. 15 year old male youth was located and arrested in the area of Pembina Highway and Plaza Drive on May 4 .

14] May 10 (Tuesday): Solomon Joseph Andrew TURNER found dead — stabbed — in his home. The next day, Lloyd Alfred Lindsay is charged with second-degree murder. Wanda Lisa RAHMAN (Bruce), 32 is charged with the same crime May 27.

15] May 14 (Saturday): Gina Swanson, 33 is found dead in her Edderton Avenue home. Schuyler Vanwissen [sometimes van Wissen] Charged with first-degree murder after being arrested in Toronto Aug. 12.

16] IRIS HEALD (GALLANT) dies May 16 (Monday) after hitting her head after an attack in the West End. Cynthia Elaine Thomas, 35, is charged.

17] May 16 (Monday): Gerald Crayford, 54, dies after an apparent assault at a Pizza Hotline outlet. A 15-year-old is charged with second-degree murder. Byron Charlie Bushie, 18 is arrested and charged with the same crime a few days later.

18] May 21 (Saturday): Leslie Alex OKEMOW, 29 is found dead at the St. Regis. Arnold Harper turns himself in to face a manslaughter charge on May 21.

19] June 26 (Sunday): Steven Kyle DODGE, 26, found stabbed on Arlington. Same day: Nathan Allan BRICKLIN, 18 years of age is charged with second-degree murder.

20, 21, 22, 23 and 24] Lulonda Lynn Flett is charged with five counts of second degree murder for the July 16 (Saturday) arson-related deaths of Norman Darius ANDERSON, 22 years Maureen Claire HARPER, 54 years, Kenneth Bradley MONKMAN, 49 years, Dean James STRANDEN, 44 years, and Robert Curtis LAFORTE, 56 years. She also faces three attempted murder charges.

25] Cara Lynn HIEBERT, 31 is found dead in her home July 19 (Tuesday) and her death is considered a homicide. Case as-yet unsolved. Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call investigators at 986-6508 or CrimeStoppers at 786- TIPS (8477).

26] Aug. 5 (Friday), Baljinder Singh Sidhu killed after an incident in Osborne Village. Case still unsolved. Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call investigators at 986-6508 or CrimeStoppers at 786- TIPS (8477).

27] Aug. 20. (Saturday) Marcel Murdock dies after being hit by a vehicle after a street brawl on Garfield Street North. A 17-year-old girl is initally charged with manslaughter, but charges are later upgraded to first-degree murder.

28] Aug. 21 (Sunday), Tim Koostachin dies after hitting his head after a fight. 19 year old Ray Vaughn MUNRO has been charged with Manslaughter due to his alleged involvement.

29] Aug. 27 (Saturday) Robert Rourke, 22, dies after a stabbing a week earlier after a party. Gregory Troy Govereau faces a second-degree murder charge.

30] Aug. 27 (Saturday) April Hornbrook, 24, is found dead on a dirt path near the Main Street train overpass. No arrests yet made.

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