Charges Laid in Arson Related Homicide – Man and Woman Face Charges in Horrific Killing

WPS Spokesman Constable Jason Michalyshyn

Members of the Winnipeg Police Service Homicide Unit have laid charges in our most recent case of human depravity.

On June 22, 2016, at approximately 3:40 a.m., EMS personnel responded to a residence in the 300 block of Aberdeen Avenue regarding a fire.

Upon arrival, a fifty (50) year old man was removed from the home and transported to hospital in critical condition.

He subsequently died from his injuries.

Autopsy results confirmed the victim was assaulted and then set afire by the suspect (s).

The victim was identified as David Sanderson (50) of Winnipeg.

David Sanderson (Handout)
David Sanderson (Handout)

Police subsequently released photo’s of the Sanderson and issued a public appeal seeking information to advance the investigation.

On June 25, 2016, WPS General Patrol officers arrested two suspects in connection with Sanderson’s murder.

Police identified the accused killers as Billy-Joe Linklater (21) and Lorie Knott (21) who have been charged with;

  • 2nd Degree Murder
  • Arson – Disregard for Human Life

(Linklater faces an additional charge of fail to comply with probation order.)

During a press conference WPS Public Information Officer Constable Jason Michalyshyn put the killing into context;

“To take it to next level where individuals are being deliberately set on fire? There is no question that’s about as violent and terrifying as anyone can imagine.” 

Linklater & Knott have been remanded into custody.

Sanderson is the 12th reported homicide victim in Winnipeg this year.

Winnipeg has recorded a total of 13 homicides to date.

Police have solved all but one case – solvency rate 92%.

2016 Homicide Stats 

In a recent report The Police Insider highlighted a disturbing spike in Indigenous over-representation as both victims and perpetrators of homicide in the City of Winnipeg.

The numbers are alarming…

Of the thirteen (13) homicide victims reported in Winnipeg this year, ten (10) appear to be of Indigenous origin.

That works out to approximately 77%.

An even more alarming statistic is revealed when you do the math regarding the accused killers.

Of the twenty-one (21) accused killers charged in the City of Winnipeg this year, a total of nineteen (19) appear to be of Indigenous origin.

That works out to approximately 90%.

(Note: one homicide case involving an Indigenous victim remains unsolved.)

When you consider the fact Indigenous people only make up approximately 4.3% of the Canadian population, these statistics become even more disturbing.

I don’t recall a time in recent history when Indigenous men and women were charged in such a high percentage of homicides in the City of Winnipeg.

I don’t have statistics to share with you on this, but I can assure you, far too many Indigenous people living within our boarders have family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances who are represented in the homicide victim or perpetrator categories.

For many people, that reality has become the “new normal.”

That has to change.


  1. I suspect that more will be gained in the near term by focussing on solutions than on causes. What’s the point of having an explanation when what we really need is to initiate a change? Prevention has its place, but we need to focus our immediate attentions on intervention. Prevention is for things that have the potential to happen, intervention is required where things are happening.

    Homicide is rarely the first indication of violence. We need to recognize and respond to what is happening before it escalates to the level we are accustomed to waiting for before intervening. That’s not police work- that’s bystander intervention. It’s up to all of us.

  2. Michael Melanson

    “For many people, that reality has become the ‘new normal’.”

    There is an American criminologist, Lonnie Athens, who came up with a violent socialization theory. He interviewed numerous violent offenders in US prisons and analyzed what they told him. Athens found common elements and came up with his theory. I highly recommend reading his work and from my personal experiences with violence, I can attest to its veracity. His theory accounts for how violence becomes cyclic, how it becomes ‘the norm’. Athens’ violent socialization theory stresses personal responsibility and that does run counter to the prevailing narratives here of historic trauma which diminish personal responsibility. We are unfortunately stuck in a political climate where too many gain too much from blaming root causes. Basically the assorted activists, academics and politicians are engaging in confirmation bias while ignoring the ineffectiveness of their theoretical model, such as it is. As you show, the violence is getting worse and the political discourse has almost completely obliterated sociological analysis. It’s not a positive prognosis.

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