June 25th, 2024

Verdict next month for admitted Winnipeg serial killer Jeremy Skibicki


By Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

Lawyer Leonard Tailleur, centre, lawyer for accused serial killer Jeremy Skibicki, enters the Manitoba Law Courts for the trial of Skibicki in Winnipeg on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg man who admitted to killing four women but wants a trial to find him not guilty of murder because of mental illness is to learn his fate July 11.

Justice Glenn Joyal set the date after hearing final arguments from Crown and defence lawyers in the case of Jeremy Skibicki.

Skibicki, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the four Indigenous women in 2022.

His lawyers have admitted that he carried out the slayings but argue he should be found not criminally responsible. A forensic psychiatrist for the defence testified Skibicki was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the killings.

“Delusions are driving a lot of what (Skibicki) is doing,” lawyer Leonard Tailleur told the trial Monday.

Court has heard Skibicki told Dr. Sohom Das that he felt compelled to kill the women because he was on a mission from God and heard auditory hallucinations coaxing him to kill.

Das testified that, in his assessment, Skibicki knew what he was doing at the time was legally wrong but lacked the capacity to know it was morally wrong.

Prosecutors argued the opposite, presenting DNA, video surveillance and witness evidence to assert Skibicki had the mental capacity and awareness to commit and cover up the killings.

They characterized the killings as racially motivated and said Skibicki preyed on the women at homeless shelters.

The Crown put forward a court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Chaimowitz.

He told court that he believes Skibicki was driven to kill the women because he suffers from paraphilic, homicidal necrophilia disorder. People with the rare disorder, he said, get aroused by having sex with someone they’ve killed.

Chaimowitz also said Skibicki knew the killings were wrong.

Prosecutor Renee Lagimodiere said Skibicki’s desire for power and control were intertwined in all four killings.

“This is an individual that doesn’t have schizophrenia. That’s the end of it,” said Lagimodiere.

Skibicki is charged in the deaths of Rebecca Contois, 24; Morgan Harris, 39; Marcedes Myran, 26; and an unidentified woman an Indigenous grassroots community has named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.

The killings came to light after the partial remains of Contois were found in a garbage bin in Skibicki’s neighbourhood in May 2022. More of her remains were discovered at a city-run landfill the following month.

The remains of Harris and Myran are believed to be at a different landfill. It’s not known where Buffalo Woman’s remains are located.

Court heard Skibicki’s computer included online searches for garbage pickup times and other forensic information.

There was also a computer search for “definition of a serial killer.”

Prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft told court he has an answer.

“The answer, Mr. Skibicki, is you.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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