On Sunday, April 24, 2016, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a media release reporting a homicide in the 500 block of Redwood Ave.
Police advised investigators had been at the scene since 10 a.m. on April 23.
The victim was reported to be an adult female in her mid 30’s however, her identity was not released.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Police issued a media release indicating the victim was identified as Christina Stoyko (39) of Winnipeg.
Police advised the Homicide Unit led the investigation which resulted in the arrest of Kevin Grant Klassen (37) who has been charged with;
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Fail to Comply with Probation Order x 2
- Fail to Comply with Recognizance (Protection Order)
Klassen was detained at the Provincial Remand Centre.
Police have not released information regarding cause of death.
Stoyko is the 8th homicide victim reported in Winnipeg this year.
A total four (4) women have been murdered thus far in 2016.
In 2015, Winnipeg Police investigated the murders of five (5) women.
It’s noted, all five (5) victims were killed after the month of April.
(If you do the math, it’s not difficult to predict 2016 will see a notable rise in incidents of homicide involving female victims.)
Winnipeg Free Press reporter Mike McIntyre reports significant domestic violence history between Stoyko and her accused killer.
In fact, Stoyko is reported to have recently obtained a protection order against Klassen after making a successful application to a Provincial Court Magistrate.
In the application Stoyko indicated;
“This has been ongoing for quite some time due to the mental, verbal, emotional and at times physical (assaults). I need to help myself get out of this as I fear for my safety. He will try everything possible to get me to open my door, as he is very manipulative, deceiving, a compulsive liar and a criminal. I want my life back please.”
Issues regarding protection orders came to the forefront in 2015 in the wake of two domestic violence homicides.
On October 8, 2015, Selena Keeper (20) was brutally murdered in a domestic violence killing. Ray William Everett (20) was charged with 2nd degree murder in connection with her death.
Prior to the murder, Keeper applied for a protection order indicating;
“I fear for my safety because I’m scared of what he will do if he ever seen me in public. I’ve been hit, slapped, punched, choked, kicked through our whole relationship.”
“I want to keep Ray away from me.”
Her request for the order was denied.
On October 30, 2015, Camille Runke (49) was shot to death by her estranged husband who later committed suicide.
Runke had been granted a protection order earlier in the year.
The Value of Protection Orders
In the aftermath of Keeper and Runke’s killings Manitoba Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh indicated he believed the deaths of the two women revealed substantial gaps in protection for victims of domestic violence.
The Province of Manitoba receives approximately 1,500 applications for protection orders every year. Most applicants are women.
In 2014, 54% of protection order applications were denied.
“We can find ways to strengthen protection orders, we can make them easier to obtain and we can strengthen the orders themselves.”
The question remains, what value does a protection order have if the respondent is a goal oriented individual bent on anger, rage, control and violence?
That reality was highlighted on Twitter this morning by Winnipeg Sun online editor Tessa Vanderhart;
Vanderhart’s observation is an important one.
The fact is protection orders have little protection value if the respondent has no intention of respecting the imposed conditions.
Protection orders do have value if the applicant is aware of the critical need for a detailed safety assessment and security plan.
Applicants must also respect the orders and avoid the temptation of letting the abuser back into their lives. That temptation often costs women their lives.
(Untreated domestic violence abusers rarely stop their offending behaviour.)
On July 4, 2014, Christina Stoyko went to court to support Kevin Klassen at a hearing where he was sentenced for assaulting her.
“This is it, this is the last chance, the last breaking point. I want to do this. I love Kevin. He is 99 per cent of what I look for and just that one per cent of the horrible addiction takes away from the life I want with him.”
During the hearing Klassen made a tearful plea to Stoyko;
“I’m sorry, so sorry. I love you, I want to be with you. I want to resolve the demons that I have. I won’t disappoint you.”
Like many violent domestic abusers, Kevin Klassen loved the object of his affection to death.
On January 1, 2016, Christopher Rutherford (31) was charged with Attempt Murder and a multitude of other charges involving a domestic violence incident with his common-law wife Shaylene Wilson (22).
The couple had significant domestic violence history.
Wilson had a protection order against Rutherford at the time of the incident.
On November 26, 2015, Candace Monias (28) was killed by her domestic partner Charley Harper (29) who was subsequently charged with 2nd degree murder.
At the time of the killing Harper was bound by two probation orders with conditions to have no contact or communication with Monias due to previous domestic related incidents in Garden Hill, Manitoba.
The WPS has solved all but one (1) of the reported eight (8) homicides this year.
Solvency rate – 87.5%
In 2015, the 8th homicide was recorded on April 25.
Domestic violence related calls continue to be one of the most significant events members of the Winnipeg Police Service respond to.