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Internet searches, Facebook messages of admitted serial killer used as evidence in Winnipeg trial


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

The definition of a serial killer, beheadings, garbage collection dates and questions about DNA evidence were among the internet searches made on the computer belonging to admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki around the times he killed four women, the court heard Tuesday.

This evidence, found on Skibicki’s computer as a result of a search warrant, was presented in Manitoba’s Court of King’s Bench Tuesday.

More than half a million artifacts – such as internet searches and social media log-ins – were recovered from the computer, thousands of which raised some red flags.

Winnipeg police crime intelligence analyst Riley Johansson testified about what was found on Skibicki’s computer and in the admitted serial killer’s Facebook messages.

The 37-year-old accused is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the 2022 deaths of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified woman who Indigenous leaders have given the name Mashkode Bizhiki'ikwe or Buffalo Woman.

He has pleaded not guilty, but has admitted to the killings. However, his defence argues Skibicki should be found not criminally responsible for the deaths due to mental disorder.

Around the times of the killings in March and May 2022, Johansson testified numerous internet searches were made from Skibicki’s computer regarding Winnipeg’s waste management, what time garbage was collected, along with questions about DNA evidence and whether bleach would remove fingerprints.

Several other internet queries focussed on missing persons in Winnipeg, and Transit routes to 190 Disraeli – the homeless shelter where court has heard previously Skibicki would "stalk his victims."

The court also heard one day after Myran was killed on May 4, several searches were made from Skibicki’s computer including ‘definition of a serial killer’ and ‘do Muslims behead people with knives.’

Johansson also testified about a photo of Skibicki holding a knife that was found on his computer which had been uploaded around the time of Contois’ death. Johansson said there appeared to be a reddish stain on Skibicki’s hands, believed to be blood.

Court heard the data retrieved from Skibicki's computer referenced several mental health-related queries – such as an internet search about 'explosive anger disorder.' In cross-examination, defence also pointed to Facebook messages between Skibicki and his ex-wife in which he references having bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Facebook messages with ex-wife used as evidence in trial

In Facebook messages from Skibicki’s account, Johansson said the man discussed his “sexual frustration” and “depraved sexual perversion” and told his ex-wife, “I have never felt so broken sexually.”

The court was told Skibicki sent Facebook messages to his wife on May 9 – days after Myran was killed – telling his ex-wife, “I could be doing like three life sentences.”

“I feel so ashamed for what I did before,” the messages read. “I just went down a dark path because I stopped caring.”

In cross-examination, Skibicki's defence also raised several websites and internet searches found on the computer that were of a religious context - such as bible verses and internet searches regarding quote 'eternal rest'.

The court also heard about several Facebook messages from Skibicki's account regarding religion, including one in which Skibicki said he was being manipulated by the devil.

The Crown is expected to call one more witness on Wednesday before wrapping up its case. Skibicki's defence is expected to present their case to the court in June.

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. Top Stories

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