Domestic Violence Motive in Homicide

Annie Little (FB)

Police say domestic violence was the motive in the homicide case recorded in Winnipeg.

On November 21, 2018, at approximately 7:10 a.m., EMS personnel responded to a report of an injured woman in the 3000 block of Portage Avenue.

Upon arrival, a 53-year-old woman was located in critical condition and was subsequently rushed to hospital where she was treated for severe injuries attributed to an assault.

Police indicate the victim’s condition was extremely critical and she was not expected to survive.

WPS PIO Cst Tammy Skrabek (Photo JGJ)

Witnesses at the scene were interviewed and police determined the attack on the woman was domestic violence related.

Winnipeg Police Public Information Officer Constable Tammy Skrabek told members of the press;

“It appears that there was a group of people together during the evening, based on what witnesses have said. They were together pretty much throughout the evening. An assault took place at some point throughout, into the early morning.”

She continued;

“Witnesses may have observed the assault but did not appreciate the severity of it. It wasn’t until somebody had approached her and realized she was unresponsive that they realized that she had severe injuries.”

Police charged the victim’s common-law husband, Calvin Oliver Harper (50) of Winnipeg, with aggravated assault and detained him in custody.

On November 23, 2018, the victim, who was identified as Annie Little (53), died as a result of her injuries.

On November 27, 2018, after consultations with Manitoba Justice, Harper was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

He was subsequently returned to custody at the Provincial Remand Center.

Little is the 19th reported homicide victim of the year.

Insider Commentary: 

Little is being remembered as a nursing pioneer in northern Manitoba.

She was born in Red Sucker Lake, a small community approximately five-hundred kilometers northeast of Winnipeg.

“I met Annie Little some years ago, she was a wonderful, hardworking RN who did not deserve this end to her life.” FB Tribute

Her son, Lance Harper, died in 2016 while in custody at the Provincial Remand Center.

Charges Upgraded

In cases where death is not imminent, but likely to occur, investigators often caution suspects for murder when they read them their rights.  If they are cautioned properly, anything they say in connection with the assault may be used against them in the event death ensues and charges are upgraded.

Once death occurs, police consult with a senior Crown Attorney with Manitoba Justice and seek authorization to lay the appropriate charge.

In this case, the charge authorized was manslaughter.

Domestic Violence Statistics – Winnipeg

2017 WPS Domestic Violence Stats

In 2017, adult men dominated the charged category with 1,782 men charged with domestic violence offences. A total of 312 adult women were charged.

A total of 36 youth boys were charged in domestic violence cases versus a total of 11 youth girls.

Only 2 persons from the LGBTQ community were charged with domestic violence offences last year.

WPS domestic violence statistics for 2018 will not be released until mid-year in 2019.

In 2018, the WPS investigated not one, but two, domestic violence-related murder-suicides.

2018 Homicide Statistics

At this time last year, the City recorded a total of 22 homicide cases.

The year ended with a total of twenty-three (23) homicides – all twenty-three cases were solved – solvency rate 100%.

This year, police have solved a total of 18 of the 19 reported homicide cases – solvency rate – 95%.

Stabbings continue to dominate the manner of death in Winnipeg homicide cases;


  • Male – 14
  • Female – 4
  • Child – 1 (Male – 21 months)

Cause of Death

  • Stabbing – 9
  • Blunt Force – 6
  • Shooting – 3
  • Not Disclosed – 1


  1. So sad that these people stand by and didn’t protect her!! From my knowledge that happens a lot in that community then they turn around and blame Whitey, rez schools, colonization etc. instead of standing up an being responsible. Furthermore the RCMP report was correct!! And the 93 – million – dollar MMIWG inquiry was a waste of taxpayers money and one big holiday for those in denial of who is really killing their own people. PATHETIC!!

  2. Michael Melanson

    “Witnesses may have observed the assault but did not appreciate the severity of it. It wasn’t until somebody had approached her and realized she was unresponsive that they realized that she had severe injuries.”

    People stood by while she was being beaten right in front of them. Maybe they were afraid of the alleged attacker, maybe they thought it was no big deal at the time. It seems like it would be a good reason to hold a vigil for this poor woman and stress the importance of speaking up if not standing up when a person sees this happening. As of yet no vigil has been announced and the usual activists are mute on this latest case of MMIW.

    This case, like so many of the MMIW cases, falls outside of the ideological boundaries of the activists. Little’s alleged attacker was also aboriginal and was her domestic partner and not some white serial killer. She doesn’t have the victim profile they want.

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