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Admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki was at Winnipeg homeless shelter to ‘stalk his victims,’ witness testifies

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Warning: This article contains details that may be disturbing to readers. Discretion is advised.

A worker at a homeless shelter in Winnipeg testified in court he met admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki who told him he was at the shelter to stalk his victims.

Back in May 2022, when Ronald Normand heard on the news that Skibicki had been arrested for first-degree murder, he said a ‘weird’ conversation he had with the man jumped to his mind.

Normand, who was called as a witness in Skibicki’s trial Wednesday, testified he had been working at the N’Dinawemak homeless shelter at 190 Disraeli Freeway in Winnipeg.

He said Skibicki would come to the shelter almost daily, but something about him stood out.

“He didn’t fit in… His clothes were clean, well-shaven, taken care of,” Normand testified.

He said Skibicki would walk around the shelter, looking at people – sometimes sitting down at tables with women. Normand told the court he recalled a conversation he had with the man.

“He came up to me and told me he didn’t need to be there, that he had his own place. He was just there to stalk his victims,” Normand said. “You hear stuff every day, but that stood out to me.”

He reported the conversation to Winnipeg police following Skibicki’s arrest.

Skibicki has admitted to killing four women: Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran and a fourth unidentified woman who Indigenous leaders have named Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe or Buffalo Woman.

Crown prosecutors have alleged the 37-year-old accused would go to homeless shelters to prey on these women, invite them back to his North Kildonan apartment where he assaulted and killed them.

Skibicki has pleaded not guilty. His defence counsel argue he is not criminally responsible for the killings due to mental illness.

Neighbour of admitted serial killer testifies about ‘strange’ late night incident

Richard Patkau lived right next door to Skibicki in a McKay Avenue apartment block in 2022 – when the killings happened.

Patkau testified in court Wednesday he heard something ‘strange’ around 1:30 a.m. on May 15, 2022. He said he woke up to use the washroom and heard Skibicki’s shower running.

He said this happened about three or four times over the next several hours – Skibicki’s shower would turn on, run for about 10 minutes and then shut off.

“By that time, I am thinking something is very strange, but what do I know,” he told the court.

The Crown has alleged Skibicki killed Rebecca Contois on or about May 15, 2022, dismembering her remains in his bathtub.

Allan MacKay, who has lived in the apartment block for the past 14 years, told the court he also had a late-night encounter with the accused.

It was around 2 a.m. on the morning of May 16, 2022. MacKay said he had been sound asleep, but was woken up by the sound of someone running up and down the stairwell with boots on.

“I open my door… and then he comes down the stairs carrying a couple of baskets in his arm,” MacKay testified.

When he asked what Skibicki was doing, MacKay testified the man simply told him, “I’m getting rid of garbage.”

“I said, ‘Well do it during the day. People have to work in the morning.’”

MacKay told the court Skibicki made a few more trips up and down the stairs, though this time he took off his boots. MacKay sent an email complaining about the situation to the apartment’s property manager, who he said was a friend of Skibicki’s.

Allen Jeffrey Cohan, the caretaker of the building, also testified he saw Skibicki that morning around the apartment’s garbage bins.

“I could see directly out my big window where the remaining garbage cans were. I just saw his head go by, so I stood up to see what was going on,” Cohan testified.

“He proceeded to take one of the empty garbage bins and dump the armful of clothing that he had in his arms into the garbage bin.”

Cohan said he went out to see what Skibicki had put in the bin, and found clothing and a pink backpack underneath a piece of cardboard.

The court heard previously Skibicki had been disposing of the body of Rebecca Contois that night.

He was caught on security video wheeling a garbage bin to a dumpster in the area, and throwing white plastic garbage bags inside. Police believe these contained the remains of Contois which were discovered the following morning.

When asked if they had ever seen Skibicki make any other late-night outings like this before – both men testified they had not.

The trial continues on Thursday. 

There is a support line available for those impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S+ people: 1-844-413-6649.

The Hope for Wellness Hotline for Indigenous people, with support in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut, is also available 24/7 in Canada at 1-855-242-3310.

-with files from The Canadian Press 

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