On January 3, 2014 members of the Winnipeg Police Service responded to a suite located in the 200 block of Fernwood Ave regarding the report of a deceased male.
Upon arrival, Police located the body of a man identified as Keith George McFee (69) who appeared to have suffered upper body injuries. Police believed foul play was involved in the death.
The WPS Homicide Unit continued the investigation with Officers from General Patrol, Street Crimes and the Forensic Identification Unit.
The investigation revealed that between December 26 & 27, 2013, a female suspect and the victim consumed alcohol at the victims suite located in the 200 block of Fernwood Ave. At some point the female and victim became involved in an argument that escalated to the point where the female produced a weapon and fatally assaulted McFee. The female then fled the residence in the victim’s vehicle and later abandoned it in the area of Logan Ave and Laura Street.
On January 6, 2014 Police arrested the female suspect who was identified as Leanne May Henderson (31) years. Henderson who has now been charged with 2nd Degree Murder and Theft Over $5,000 due to her alleged involvement. She was detained in custody at the Provincial Remand Center.
Police confirmed the incident is to be recorded as the 25th homicide of 2013.
Police also confirm that Henderson has connections to the sex trade.
While sex trade workers are frequently victimized, the fact is they often present a high degree of danger to the people who solicit them and in some cases, the public at large.
The majority of these women have serious substance abuse issues and are trapped in a 24 / 7 cycle that dictates they sell themselves so they can finance their drug addictions. Many of these women suffer from sleep deprivation, malnutrition, hepatitis, STD’s, HIV, AIDS, or have emotional / mental health issues. They can be very volatile and dangerous people when they are intoxicated or high on their drug of choice.
On March 15, 2002, James Fero (35) was standing on Sherbrook Street when a desperate drug addicted sex trade worker named Amanda Stove (24) stabbed him in the chest during a strong-arm robbery. Stove was in the 24 / 7 cycle and was looking for cash to buy crack cocaine. Fero had recently moved to Winnipeg from Thunder Bay and had no connection to Stove or the sex trade.
Stove subsequently received a 6 1/2 year sentence for Manslaughter after 2nd Degree Murder Charges were dropped by the Crown.
At the time of the sentencing, Fero’s mother Peggy stated, “I just don’t think we’re ever going to have any real closure, especially not with that kind of sentence.”
On July 31, 2010, Michael Allan (62) picked up a sex trade worker named Mary Ellen Thomas (30) at a 7-11 Store at Maryland St and Ellice Ave and took her to his residence on Nassau Street.
Thomas suffered from substance abuse issues and had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Thomas brutally attacked and killed Allan after drinking alcohol, smoking crack and providing undisclosed sexual favours.
Allan, who was a frail man weighing only 117 pounds, suffered horrific injuries that included stab wounds, severe lacerations, sixteen (16) broken ribs, a fractured vertebrae, a nearly severed ear, burn marks and multiple abrasions and bruises. The cause of death was blood loss and hyperextension of the neck.
Thomas subsequently plead guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and received a life sentence with no chance of parole for ten (10) years.
Previous dates when Winnipeg recorded the 25th Homicide of the year:
- 2012 – Oct 18
- 2011 – Aug 20 (Record Year – 41 Homicides)
- 2010 – (Only 22 Homicides recorded)
- 2009 – Nov 21
- 2008 – Nov 19
- 2007 – Nov 18
- 2006 – (Only 22 Homicides recorded)
- 2005 – Dec 30
- 2004 – Oct 15 (Previous Record Year – 34 Homicides 100% solvency)