EDITORIALS

2017 Murder in River City – Year in Review

Winnipeg Homicide Scene (Photo JGJ)

The Winnipeg Police Service’s Homicide Unit continued to lead Western Canadian Police Agencies when it comes to solving the ultimate crime.

In 2017, the WPS investigated a total of twenty-three (23) homicides solving all but one case.

That translates to a solvency rate of 95.65%.

In 2016, the WPS Homicide Unit investigated a total of twenty-six (26) homicides solving all but one case securing a solvency rate of 96.15%.*

In 2015, the WPS Homicide Unit investigated a total of twenty-three (23) homicides solving all but two (2) cases securing a solvency rate of 91.3%.

VPD Officer Makes Arrest (Photo JGJ)

Last year, police agencies in the west saw much improved solvency rates.

2017 Western Canadian Homicide Stats

In 2017, homicide and solvency rates in Western Canada were everything but predictable;

  • Vancouver – 19 homicides – 8 unsolved – solvency rate = 57.89%
  • Calgary – 27 cases – 5 unsolved – solvency rate = 81.48%
  • Edmonton – 41 cases – 16 unsolved – solvency rate 60.97%*
  • Regina –  9 cases – 2 unsolved – solvency rate = 77%
  • Saskatoon – 5 cases – 3 cases remain unsolved – solvency rate = 40%*

Anecdotal Information;

  • Vancouver saw a 72% increase in homicide cases but saw a significant improvement over last year’s solvency rate of 18.18%
  • Calgary PS experienced a significant improvement in their solvency rate
  • Edmonton continues to experience high homicide rates and struggles to achieve solvency rates consistent with comparators
  • Regina recorded a total of 9 homicides last year, two more than in 2016 (RPS also investigated 9 homicide cases in 2013 – which is the highest number of killings per annum recorded in the Queen City in the last decade)
  • Saskatoon saw a 54% decrease in homicide cases and an almost equal reduction in their solvency rate. SPS indicates the investigations into the unsolved cases remain “very” active.

(The WPS Homicide Unit has achieved an approximate 90% average solvency rate over the last 15 years.)

Violence Against Women

In 2017, four (4) women were victims of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.

  • All four cases were solved.

In 2016, seven (7) women were victims of homicide.

  • Only one (1) case remains unsolved.

In 2015, five (5) women were victims of homicide.

  • All five cases were solved.
RCMP National Operational Review Report

Indigenous Over-Representation

Indigenous over-representation in homicide continued to trend in 2017.

Conservative estimates suggest as high as 60% of victims of homicide in 2017 were Indigenous people.

As high as 65% of the perpetrators are believed to be of Indigenous origin.

According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous people represent only 11% of the population in the City of Winnipeg.

The numbers are staggering.

This sad reality continues to be largely ignored.

Firearms

In 2017, police investigated a total of seven (7) firearm related homicide cases.

In 2016, police investigated a total of five (5) firearm related homicide cases.

By mid July, The Police Insider recognized and reported on the disturbing trend of escalating gun crime and gun violence in our City.

With the rise in gun possession, crime & violence, a spike in officer involved shootings was not surprising.

Police Involved Shootings

Adrian Lacquette (FB)

In 2017, members of the Winnipeg Police Service were involved in a total of five (5) police involved shootings. These shootings resulted in the deaths of two Winnipeg men.

On September 13, 2017, at 12:50 a.m., WPS Tactical Team Officers shot and killed Adrian Lacquette (23) in a north end confrontation after police pursued him after his involvement in an alleged crime spree that included assaults on a woman, an attempted car jacking with a firearm and a robbery.

Lacquette was believed to be an active gang member.

On September 23, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., WPS Tactical Team Officers shot and killed Evan Caron (33) after police were called to a domestic dispute in the Maples area.

Upon arrival, officers were confronted by Caron who subsequently stabbed one of the officers.

The officer was treated at hospital and released.

The Edmonton Police Service reported seven (7) police involved shootings in 2017 two of which proved to be fatal.

The WPS reported no officer involved shootings in 2016.

There were two WPS officer involved shootings in 2015.

Gang Related Killings

In 2017, as many as seven (7) homicide cases were reported to have a drug, street gang or organized crime connection.

In 2016, the WPS investigated three (3) gang related homicide cases.

In 2015, the WPS investigated two (2) gang related homicide cases.

In 2013, the WPS investigated six (6) gang related homicides.

(In earlier years police investigated a significant number of gang related killings.)

Youth Crime

In 2017, the WPS charged a total of nine (9) young offenders with homicide related offences that ran the gamut from 1st degree murder to 2nd degree murder to manslaughter.

Anthony James McClements – (WPS Photo)

A total of 7 males and 2 females were charged in the killings.

The accused killers ranged in age from 14 – 17 years.

(Both female young offenders were 14 years of age.)

In 2016, no young offenders were charged with murder.

The spike in youth related homicide is remarkable and should be a major concern going forward.

Court of Appeal Sends Message

In 2017, the Manitoba Court of Appeal did their part to confront young offender participation in gang related homicide.

In October the Appeal Court sent a strong message to a 17-year-old gang member convicted in the cold-blooded April 2, 2013 gang related killing of Nigel Dixon (20).

Dixon was an innocent victim with no gang affiliations.

The Court rejected McClements previously imposed youth sentence in favour of an adult life sentence.

“Given his high degree of moral blameworthiness, a youth sentence would not be sufficient in length to hold the respondent (McClements) accountable for the shocking murder of Nigel Dixon,” Court of Appeal Justice Barbara Hamilton wrote.

The Court of Appeal indicated a youth sentence was simply not long enough to reflect the seriousness of the offence and the offenders role in it.

The ruling restored a degree of faith lost by the original incredulous sentencing decision.

2017 Homicide Age Demographics 

Victims:

  • Youngest Victim – Youth Male (17) (Not Identified)
  • Oldest Victim – Irvine Jubal Fraser (58)
  • Average age of victims – 32.39 years (Total of 23 victims)

Perpetrators:

  • Youngest Perpetrators – 14-year-old male & 2 – 14-year-old females
  • Oldest Perpetrator – Eric John Guimond (57)
  • Average age of perpetrators – 25.53 years (Total of 45 perpetrators)

Manner of Death – 2017 Homicides

  • Stabbing – 13
  • Shooting – 7
  • Blunt Force – 3

Victim Age Demographics

  • Male – 19
  • Female – 4

Manner of Death – 2016 Homicides

  • Blunt Force – 11
  • Stabbing – 6
  • Shooting – 5
  • Arson – 2

Victim Age Demographics

  • Male – 19
  • Female – 5

Cause of Death

The top three causes of death remain;

  • 1) Stabbing
  • 2) Shooting
  • 3) Blunt Force

Looking Ahead to 2018

What to look for in 2018…

Will we see a reduction in youth involved homicide?

Will we see a reduction in firearm related homicide?

Will we continue to see unacceptable over-representation of Indigenous people as victims or perpetrators of homicide?

Will the WPS Homicide Unit continue to solve 90% of all new homicide cases?

Will we continue to see a high number of police involved shootings?


Factoids;

  • In 2017, the first homicide of the year was reported on January 3.
  • In 2016, the first homicide of the year was reported on January 12.

*Two (2) WPS homicide cases from 2016 were not reported or solved until well into 2017.

*The WPS continues to include the 2016 homicide of Christine Wood in their 2017 statistics. The inclusion of Wood’s case artificially inflates the reported 2017 homicide cases. The Police Insider has raised the issue with the WPS who have yet to publicly correct the record.

*For the purposes of this report, “solved cases” refer to cases where murder or manslaughter charges are laid in connection with a homicide.  

*One EPS case was determined to be a non-culpable homicide

*The Saskatoon Police Service does not have a “Homicide Unit” per se.  Homicide cases are investigated by the Major Crimes Unit.  The Major Crimes Unit is led by a Staff Sergeant who supervises eight (8) homicide / violent crime investigators.  According to available statistics, 2016 may have been a record year for homicides in Saskatoon.  Since 2000, the highest number of recorded homicides was ten (10) in 2010.  The lowest number was one (1) homicide recorded in 2001.


Editor’s Note;

The Police Insider wishes to express our appreciation to the Western Canadian Police Agencies who provided statistics for this story.

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2 Comments

  1. Natives are lost cause we were forced to be white not be native u think a lot these gang kids know there culture no they learn god and Jesus first not native values that make us the most beautiful people on earth when your people are stripped of everything then we are lost in a white world built on a white system of living

  2. Mr. Jewell, I haven’t seen your reporting before, thank-you. You are on the front lines of philosophy. Your recommendation of putting more resources, (money and people),— through social services—into our society to reduce what you see, addresses the consequence of philosophy, not the cause. And it will only get worse.

    Collectivism teaches there are no individuals, only the group, or the tribe, or the country, or the race. Western Civilization , from Aristotelian teaching, advocates the individual has volition and freedom. Aboriginal collectivists do not value individual human life, they value the tribe, so it is not surprising their young are not taught to value individual life. They are not taught Ego, Freedom or Autonomy, and only the sanctity of Individual rights in an Objective Philosophy will bring about a change.

    There are no Human rights, that’s a fiction of collectivists. Individuals have the rights of individuals, not rights of humans; that would have to be bestowed from outside. When Individuals are born they have the inalienable right to Life, to Freedom and the right to own the product and consequence of that. But in a collectivist society, where there is no concept of “individual” there is no possession or ownership of “self” or freedom to choose, or right to own the product of an individual’s aspiration.

    Is it any wonder that the aboriginal men who kill do not consider their actions as heinous? They do not consider another individual as an individual, they have no concept for that as a value, so they have no respect for that. Controlling the volume of drugs or alcohol or violence will not remedy the root of the problem. The problem stems from the philosophical approach individuals take to life. Get rid of Collectivism and you get rid of the problem. It is a philosophical distinction but profoundly material.

    Witness what Religion and Dictators (both Totalitarian and Fascist) and Kings and Autocrats have done to the civilizations of human kind. All of these ideologies are collectivist in nature, Subjectivist in practise. Take some time to understand the root of the issues. It will help clarify the systemic problems man has faced since he learned Birds Fly, Fish Swim, Man Thinks.

    Only when Man understands, protects and preserves the sacredness of individuals as ends unto themselves, not the means to the ends of others, not sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others for his own ends will he then be able to pursue his rational self-interest and the concomitant happiness that he can create

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