Author Topic: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer  (Read 31942 times)

CraftyGal

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Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer

EDMONTON - Criminal profilers believe a single killer may be responsible for the deaths of as many as 11 Edmonton-area prostitutes over 17 years, according to a police affidavit.

The document, part of an application for a wiretap, was released during proceedings against Thomas Svekla, who is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Rachel Quinney and Theresa Innes.

According to the document, the RCMP formed a committee in 2002 to review the deaths of five sex-trade workers in the area around the Alberta capital.

"The committee concluded that the five murders of Edna Bernard, Debbie Lake, Melissa Munch, Monique Pitre and Katie Ballantyne were 'probably committed by the same offender,"' the affidavit reads.

It goes on to say that the committee indicated the offender "will continue to frequent prostitutes and murder some of them."'

Since the committee reported in 2003, profilers have also linked the murders of Quinney and Charlene Gauld to that same killer.

Investigators with Project Kare have also added Corrie Ottenbreit, Delores Brower and Maggie Burke to the list. Project Kare is an RCMP task force investigating the deaths or disappearances of dozens of people, many with high-risk lifestyles.

"The circumstances of these individual cases, combined with victimology, were such that Project Kare and I believed these victims were probably also related," wrote Const. Kevin Kunetzki in the affidavit.

The 1989 death of Bernadette Ahenakew was also added.

Kunetzki emphasized that the links in the last four cases were not made by the profiling committee.

The affidavit also details how Svekla's sister discovered the nude body of Innes in his hockey bag in May 2006, after he had told his family the bag was filled with compost worms.

Police allege the 36-year-old woman was slain earlier in High Level, Alta., and that her body was transported about 700 kilometres south to Fort Saskatchewan, east of Edmonton. An autopsy revealed her remains had been wrapped in several layers of materials, including garbage bags, an air mattress, a shower curtain and wire.

The document indicates Svekla told police he was not responsible for her death and that he knew who was, but he refused to name that person.

Quinney's mutilated body was found in a patch of trees near Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, in June 2004. An autopsy revealed that her breasts and genitalia had been removed and that there were marks consistent with bruising on her legs, right forearm, neck and lower back.

The affidavit says Svekla reported to police that he stumbled across her body while out smoking crack cocaine with another prostitute.

The affidavit was used in August 2006 to obtain an order or warrant to glean wiretap evidence for a period of about two months, ending on Oct. 12 of that year. It points to several unanswered questions about the times, locations and causes of the women's deaths.

It also lists 35 people it was believed Svekla might contact, including family and friends, while he was behind bars awaiting ongoing court hearings.

Svekla is the first person to be charged by Project Kare.

Procedural arguments in his case are expected to continue until February when testimony is scheduled to start before a judge alone.
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Adrian

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 06:30:43 PM »

This just came in from the Edmonton Sun.

Well, we haven't been told any thing, that wasn't already in the paper. But I can see the investigation, taking more precautions, to not give the lead to any SK. We still have a few killers running around. I would like to smack that smirky smile off of his face.
***********************************************
y The Canadian Press
RCMP say they are investigating more than one serial killer in the deaths of 13 Edmonton-area prostitutes.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Simmill revealed the information at a hearing to determine how many details the court should release from an application to wiretap the phone calls of Thomas Svekla.

Svekla is charged with the murders of two of the women ? Theresa Innes and Rachel Quinney.

Simmill said information from the scenes of the other slayings and autopsies on the victims must be kept secret for now.

He says releasing details could lead to false confessions and accusations that would put extra strain on police investigative resources.

Justice Sterling Sanderman agreed with him and ruled the information won?t be released.

Chris

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 08:13:21 PM »
I agree this is a good idea, hold back evidence has been used to solve so many cold cases, only the killer would know those details. If he tells a girlfriend, and the girl calls the fuzz, and the details match, then the police got there man. I have seen hold back evidence used to solve lots of cases on A and E.

Adrian

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 08:45:50 PM »
                Why not First Degree Murder??
I think there are more sk's as the cops said today, SO ARE FINALLY OPENING TO THE FACT WE GOT SOME KIND OF GROUP, OR SEPARATE KILLERS.

 Hi Chris, I realize what you are saying, and sometimes information has to remain hidden, or banned. I would like to ask any one here in the know:::

Why was he charged with 2nd degree murder? I believe it was premeditated. Also was the mutilations, before, or after death. Trophy? Possession.

He claimed to want to kill another, when the gal he was with took off, and he stumbles over Rachels Body. Why wait for a few days to call police?

Is there somewhere, a person who chooses the victim, kills them, then mutilate. Are the victims alive??? Are they trophies? It is all confusing to me, and I feel so bad for those girls, and the sadistic creeps they ran into. The guy must be a true blue, psycopath. Maybe a couple., that drive around, trolling.

Chris

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 04:46:52 AM »
I think they would have to prove pre-meditation and that may be impossible. But he can sentenced to the full term I am not mistaken when they consider what he did with the bodies and the fact he killed 2 people at different times, and the fact he has a long record.


Chris

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 01:25:51 PM »
Maybe the Crown assumes that sex assult of a STW is not realistic??? I'm surprised knowing what you just posted, and that this case is not then first degree.

Adrian

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 09:10:00 PM »
Todays Sun:::: they are adding 7 more, and one will be Georgette Flint. If they leave her out, I wonder why??


By DANIEL MACISAAC, SUN MEDIA
Previously unknown details of the lives ? and deaths ? of more than a dozen Edmonton-area women have come to light in striking detail.

Police testimony in the case against accused prostitute killer Thomas Svekla contained in a newly released RCMP affidavit includes details not only about the two women he?s accused of murdering: Rachel Quinney and Theresa Innes. The 188-page affidavit by Cst. Kevin Kunetzki of the Project KARE task force also describes the circumstances surrounding the disappearances and deaths of 11 other area women believed to be involved in the sex trade.

   ?  Photo Gallery: Women of Project KARE

While no causes of death are given, Kunetzki?s written testimony provides new information about just who the women were and when they were last seen. It also reveals, in most cases, how their bodies were found ? in ditches, fields, woods or even a hockey bag ? buried, dismembered, mutilated, decomposed, frozen or burned. So far, the only charges laid are for Quinney and Innes?s deaths.

Bernadette Lynda Ahenakew

The naked, decomposing body of Bernadette Lynda Ahenakew was found in a ditch alongside North Clover Bar Road north of Hwy 16 in October 1989.

The 22-year-old Metis prostitute had been working the area of 96 Street and 104 Avenue in Edmonton.

Ahenakew was last seen at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 27, 1989, after leaving the 105 Street apartment she shared with her common-law husband Simon Staddon to turn a trick and score them a fix.

Crystal Bernard, another prostitute, said she and Ahenakew bought some cocaine together and divided it in the washroom of Tony?s Place restaurant at 111 Avenue and 96 Street. Bernard says Ahenakew then told her she was taking some of the coke back home ? and Bernard saw her getting into a van with a man she described as Italian.

It wasn?t until almost a month later on Oct. 24 that a man clearing brush adjacent to North Clover Bar Road discovered human remains in the ditch by the treeline. They were identified as Ahenakew?s through a fingerprint match.

Edna Bernard

Edna Bernard was a 28-year-old prostitute whose charred remains were found near Leduc in September 2002.

The aboriginal woman had worked the streets of downtown Edmonton and was also a cocaine addict.

Bernard was last seen around Sept. 23, 2002, by a regular client who, after having sex with her, dropped Bernard off at 118 Avenue and 95 Street between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 23 a local resident reported smoke coming from a wooded area just north of the Rollyview Road on Range Road 245. A Leduc RCMP corporal patrolling the area discovered that the source of the smoke was a body that had been set on fire.

Debbie Darlene Lake

Debbie Darlene Lake?s skull was found by a man walking in a wooded area of farmland near Camrose in April 2003.

Police and her husband Al Brooks described the 28-year-old mother of four as having been involved in the sex trade - though her relatives deny it.

Brooks said he last saw her at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2002, when she ran out of their 78 Street home to use a nearby pay phone to return a call. She had received a call earlier on her cell phone, but the line went dead for lack of paid minutes.

Brooks said he?d expected Lake to return right away since she left both her 10-month-old baby and cigarettes behind.

Brooks reported his wife missing the next day. But he also said that Lake ? who police reported was a cocaine user ? would sometimes take off to party and not return for hours.

But it wasn?t until the following spring, on April 12, that Lake?s remains were discovered. A man hunting for deer antlers found her skull in a wooded area south of Miquelon Lake, 70 kms east of Edmonton.

Bone fragments and hair discovered at the scene were also identified as belonging to Lake.

Lake?s relatives in Saskatchewan admitted she had once been involved with the ?wrong crowd? but denied she ever worked as a prostitute. They remembered her as a generous person and loving mother, and her father Myles, 49, said he was haunted by the thoughts that his daughter was likely murdered.

?How bad did the poor girl suffer,? he said. ?I will probably never know, but it will always be in the back of my mind.?

When Lake and her husband broke up several years before her death, her parents took care of the couple?s three children. Then Lake met and had a baby with another man before reuniting with Brooks a few months before she disappeared.

Monique Pitre

Monique Pitre was a 30-year-old Edmonton prostitute and crack addict whose body was found near the junction of Township Road 540 and Range Road 222 in January 2003.

Her boyfriend Stuart Dittrick said he had last seen her around Nov. 25, 2002, when their roommate Dwaine Alberding gave her a ride to the Transit Hotel - and Alberding confirmed that he had dropped her off by the hotel at 66 Street and Fort Road around the end of that month. Neither saw Pitre again - though she?d left some of her belongings behind.

Police were less certain about reports of subsequent sightings in December and January, including by a security guard at the Cecil Hotel on Jasper Avenue, where Pitre was also known to work.

A man discovered her body in the stubble of a grain field Jan. 8, 2003, and police identified Pitre through a thumbprint.

Melissa Munch

Melissa Munch was a 20-year-old prostitute and crack addict whose body was found in January 2003 east of Edmonton - and just about five kilometres from the Strathcona Country field where the body of Monique Pitre had been found four days earlier.

Munch had last been seen around Jan. 6-10, 2003, at the Shoppers Drug Mart at 118 Avenue and 95 Street by employees and a friend ? though Munch could not later be identified on the store?s video-security recordings.

Her body was found Jan. 12, and Munch was identified by her fingerprints.

Police say Munch was also known as Melissa Ashley and was known to steal from her Johns.

But at her funeral in Calgary family and friends remembered the young woman as a humourous, gifted artist who had moved to Edmonton just five months before her death in an effort to escape her demons and make a new start.

?Our Melissa was taken from us before she could reach her true potential,? said Deacon Paul Coderre, who said he had fond memories of Munch from her days at Our Lady of Assumption high school.

Munch?s two daughters, who at the time were aged 11 months and five years, didn?t attend the service. But her mother Doris struggled to read a touching poem.

?Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, don?t lengthen it now with undue grief, lift up your hearts and share with me, God wanted me now, he set me free.?

Maggie Burke (NOTE: no photo)

Maggie Burke was a 21-year-old prostitute and crack addict who was reported missing by her roommate David Stang in December 2004. She was aboriginal, stood five foot seven, weighed 120 lbs, had brown eyes and brown hair with red highlights.

Stang was living with Burke and other friends on 95 Street around 118 Avenue at the time ? but didn?t know a lot about Burke?s activities as a prostitute. He said she would receive phone calls at home, go out and then return a few hours later. And police say they believe she worked in the area of the 7-Eleven store near 89 Street.

Stang said Burke disappeared after receiving a call the night of Dec. 9 sometime before midnight ? leaving the residence and saying she?d be right back. She took nothing with her.

But Burke never returned and was never found.

?Despite numerous enquiries, members of the Edmonton Police Service and the Project KARE Task Force have not been able to locate Maggie Burke or progress her case further,? Kunetzki?s affidavit reads. ?Burke was a known prostitute, she disappeared from the stroll area, she was a drug user, she left behind personal clothing, and all police endeavours to locate her have been negative to date.?

Tomorrow: the remaining seven women on Project KARE?s list.

daniel.macisaac@sunmedia.ca

Carol-Lynn

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2007, 08:56:15 AM »
That goof did not act alone I am starting to think he was a mule for someone alce.With the wire tap and a few more people involed I think things will come to light very soon.

Carol-Lynn

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2007, 09:34:51 AM »
I wish the media would lightin the hell up were talking about someone child Mother or Sister here JUST not another dead prostutie WTF they should have some respect for the loved ones left behind. ???

Remember the ladys for who they were a loving Child or Mother. :'(

Chris

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 01:15:42 AM »
From Kindheart
I agree carol, as it appears that that shhhhh was for someone, we all agree?

Quote
That goof did not act alone I am starting to think he was a mule for someone alce.With the wire tap and a few more people involed I think things will come to light very soon

waabzy

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2008, 05:02:03 AM »
                Why not First Degree Murder??

Because this is how our legal system is set up. It sucks I know.

waabzy

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2008, 05:07:53 AM »
I wish the media would lightin the hell up were talking about someone child Mother or Sister here JUST not another dead prostutie WTF they should have some respect for the loved ones left behind. ???

Remember the ladys for who they were a loving Child or Mother. :'(

Carol-Lynn we both know from first hand experience how society sees sex workers.  They somehow think that if we sell sex for income we somehow deserve to die. Also that this is ALL we are: Sex Trade workers.  They don't stop to think that we are daughters sisters cousins aunts children grandmothers, that maybe we are university students, or, work the sex trade to make ends meet or to deal with what life has offered us or we have no education and no job skills, etc etc etc.

What I always fail to understand is if a police officer is killed in the line of duty its first degree murder but when its a woman who is selling sex ( In HER line of duty) it is second degree murder or manslaughter or in some cases, simple assault.

Where is the justice here?

HaveThoughtsWillTravel

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009, 01:03:58 PM »
I thought I should put another unpopular view of STW here. You get the housewive sitting at home seeing their husbands who can't keep their peckers in their pants giving the household funds to the street girls and they hate the STW for it. They don't see the husband to be at problem, for not being to resist, they see the STW as the problem, for being there.

Adrian

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 02:55:23 PM »


Hi Have: Do you think thay there may possibility of a female accomplice in some of these killings? Maybe to act as a lure, or befriending the STW's, and setting them up to be killed? Also she could even be another Karla Holmoka, and even participate?
A little background here: This site was started by Chris, and three of us, who were concerned about tha killers of these gals. We tried to humanize the victims, and had many theories. So far Thomas Svekla, for Theresa Innes, and tripping over Rachel Quinney , who was sexsually mutilated.They dropped the charges on the death of Rachel Quinney.

Then Joseph Laboucan, and 5 friends beat, sexually assaulted , 13 year old Nina Courtepatte from a mall, and killed her. This is West Ed
Edmonton Mall. He also ped guilty or rather is charged for  Ellie May Myers death. There are two others missing frm WEM.

There are more out there as people were killed while Labouican and Svekla were in jail.One is Brianna Torvalson, whose body was found on a driveway in Sherwood Park. Now called the grave yard, or the cemetary.

I do believe there are still active serial killers put there.Also many connections from the Highway of Tears, Pickton Farm, and the killings in Calgary. It is like a giant spider web, that keeps growing., all over the Northwest, and moving East.

Think of this. Svekla said he worked with others, Laboucan did work with others, starting as a teen, and Willie who said, if he goes down , he's taken 15-17 with him. They need to give those names up, as they are still out there...also Willie used female lures.

Chris has always believed a female was involved with the Edmonton, and area slayings, of STW. These killings have been going on for about 20+ years.




capeheart

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Re: Police believe up to 11 prostitutes may be victims of same killer
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 03:10:35 PM »
These cases sound like a familiar ring of a well know case in the USA that was solved. They tried to find the killer for many years, I believe it was the Green River Killer, if I'm not mistaken. They got him by a STW who was almost killed and they grilled her for information and low and behold she had an excellent description of the truck he was driving. There was a part of the truck that was different from others, there was a hugh back up light on the roof of the truck, which is rare. They kept watching for this type of truck and they did come upon it and bingo, they got their man. He confessed eventually to these crimes. He was killing the women and putting their bodies in the same area. He also had mutilated bodies, gruesome, but it sounds like a man is the killer of these prostitutes, NOT A WOMAN. If they are questioning some of the STW on who they think acts violently and who they feel afraid of, that could be a good place to start getting some answers.  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)