Police Insider - Murder in River City - Year in Review

2015 Murder in River City – Year in Review

Jerome GuerriniAnother year has come and gone and the Winnipeg Police Service Homicide Unit continues to prove they are a force to be reckoned with.

In 2015, the WPS investigated a total of twenty-three (23) homicides solving all but two cases securing a solvency rate of 91%.

Solvency rates in the 90% range are not easy to achieve as evidenced by our western comparators;

2015 Western Canada Homicide Statistics
2015 Western Canada Homicide Statistics

All in all, it was a good year for the WPS Homicide Unit who received national recognition for solving the heinous killing of Winnipeg teenager Tina Fontaine.

The City also saw a dramatic reduction in the number of stabbings as shown by the chart below;

Winnipeg Murder Scene
Winnipeg Murder Scene

(Note: 2011 was a record year for homicide in the City of Winnipeg)

Violence Against Women

Year over year violence against women in the City of Winnipeg trended downwards.

In 2014, nine (9) women were victims of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.  All but one case was solved.

In 2015, five (5) women were victims of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.  All five cases were solved.

Violence Against Indigenous Women

Violence against Canadian Indigenous women continues to be a highly politicized and contentious issue.

In 2014, seven (7) Indigenous women were victims of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.

  • 6 of the 7 cases were solved
  • 4 Indigenous men, 1 Indigenous woman and 1 non-Indigenous man (Raymond Joseph Cormier – Tina Fontaine) stands charged in the killings
  • 1 case remains unsolved (Angela Poorman)
  • In the solved cases the killers were identified as someone known to the victim
  • Domestic or family violence was identified as a motive in the majority of these killings

In 2015, three (3) Indigenous women were victims of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.

  • All (3) three cases were solved
  • Indigenous males were charged in all three killings
  • In all three (3) cases the killers were identified as someone known to the victim
  • Domestic or family violence was identified as a motive in all three killings

The fact domestic and family violence significantly contributes to these numbers continues to be widely ignored by people motivated to perpetuate the myth an unexplainable “phenomena” exists when it comes to the murder of Indigenous women.

That myth has been swallowed by a great many politicians and so-called “leaders” in the Indigenous community.

The Liberal Government is now setting the stage for a National Inquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women mandated to find answers to questions many people believe are painfully obvious.

Those opposed believe action is the remedy.

Youth Crime

In 2014, one (1) young person was charged with manslaughter.

In 2015, two (2) young persons were charged with murder.

These numbers are encouraging when you consider ten (10) young persons were charged with either manslaughter or murder offences in the year 2010.

Gang Related Killings

In 2015, gang related homicides went sideways.

The reduction in gang related killings is also a positive sign and reason to be optimistic.  In 2013, the WPS investigated six (6) gang related homicides.  In the years previous, Police investigated a significant number of gang related killings.

  • 2015 – 2 cases
  • 2014 – 2 cases
  • 2013 – 6 cases

Looking Ahead to 2016

When it comes to homicide, predicting trends should be considered a foolish pursuit.

Having said that, the homicide numbers for 2015 can only be seen as somewhat encouraging.

On the positive side, the WPS Homicide Unit continues to solve 9 out of every 10 homicides.

Incredibly, the high solve rates don’t seem to discourage certain blowhards from continuing to perpetuate the myth Police in Winnipeg investigate murders involving Indigenous people with an unquantifiable degree of investigative indifference.

Those of us with experience working in trenches know how outrageous and insulting those suggestions are.

Equally insulting are the suggestions the Tina Fontaine case was solved because it was a highly political event that forced Police to make it a priority.  The inference, of course, was the investigation would have received little investigative commitment if the media hadn’t made the case a National story.

The truth is, the WPS Homicide Unit attacks every case with the same intensity and commitment regardless of victim or suspect traits like race, nationality, religion, gender or orientation.

You don’t solve 90% of your homicide cases if you’re selective with your level of commitment based on race or any other superficial factor.

Unfortunately, that point seems to be lost on the haters, race baiters, spin doctors and professional critics.

The numbers don’t lie.

Have a safe 2016.


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

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