It’s been a relatively quiet forty-five (45) days since the Winnipeg Police Homicide Unit was called out to investigate a murder.
The last reporter murder occurred on May 18, 2014, when Marion Dean Laronde (33) years of Winnipeg was killed in what Police called a domestic dispute. Laronde was allegedly killed by a bystander who intervened after he became concerned for a woman’s wellbeing. A physical altercation ensued that ended with Laronde being punched and falling to the ground. He died five (5) days later as a result injuries sustained in the incident.
Police have yet to lay charges in the case and have released very little information to the public.
Laronde was the tenth (10th) Homicide victim reported in Winnipeg this year.
Police have also been tight-lipped regarding the April 19th slaying of a seventeen (17) year old male youth who died after being assaulted in the area of Dufferin Ave and Salter Street. Police have declined to release any information regarding the identity of the victim, the cause of death or information regarding potential suspect (s).
In all, the City recorded a total of five (5) Homicides in the deadly month of April.
2014 Homicide Statistics;
- 10 – Total Homicides
- 2 – Unsolved Homicides
- 80% – WPS Solvency Rate
Recent Homicide Statistics & Trends;
- By the end of June 2013 Police investigated a total of twelve (12) homicides. The year ended with a total of twenty-five (25) killings with only one case remaining unsolved.
- By the end of June 2012 Police investigated a total of seventeen (17) homicides. The year ended with a total of thirty-one (31) killings with a total of four (4) cases remaining unsolved.
- By the end of June 2011 Police also investigated a total of seventeen (17) homicides. The year ended with a total of forty-one (41) killings, a record-setting year. Five (5) of the killings remain unsolved.
While incidents of homicide will always be extremely difficult to predict, it seems 2014 is off to a relatively tranquil start. The relative calm seemingly undermines media speculation earlier in the year that gangs, guns and murder were going to be a prevalent theme in Winnipeg in 2014.
If the noted trend continues we’re not likely going to threaten our record year of forty-one (41) killings (2011) or the previous record of thirty-four (34) killings recorded in 2004.
The last time Winnipeg recorded less than twenty (20) homicides in a calendar year was in 2003 when only nineteen (19) killings were reported.
Could the low murder numbers this year be the new normal or is this just the calm before the storm?
Experience tells me not to engage in clairvoyant predictions.
The Calgary Police Service has investigated fourteen (14) homicides so far in 2014.
The Edmonton Police Service website indicates they’ve investigated eleven (11) homicides so far this year.
Winnipeg Free Press Crime Reporter Mike McIntyre recently wrote an article criticizing both the WPS and RCMP for the lack of information they’ve made public regarding a trio of recent cases. One of these cases includes the death of twenty-three (23) year old Winnipeg woman who was found deceased in a residence on Balmoral Street on March 21, 2014. Police have released little on the case other than calling it a “suspicious death.”
Police charged Shane Quon (43) with forcible confinement in connection with the investigation.
Court documents indicate the victim was confined on March 16 but contains little other information.
McIntyre’s sources say autopsy results, specifically toxicology reports are a key part of the case. He also indicates that Senior Justice Officials are being consulted for direction.
In any suspicious death case, autopsy results are critical.
In most cases of homicide, the Pathologist conducting the autopsy will be able to provide investigators with an immediate cause of death.
In cases where the Pathologist reports ‘no anatomical cause of death” the cause of death is likely to be determined by the toxicological findings. In these cases, death is often determined to have been caused by the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or as is often the case, a combination of both.
That doesn’t mean foul play wasn’t involved in the death but it does dramatically reduce the likelihood of criminal charges being laid.
The fact that Police may be consulting with Senior Justice Officials tells me the circumstances surrounding the case are highly unusual.
Criminal Code of Canada;
(2) Every one who, without lawful authority, confines, imprisons or forcibly seizes another person is guilty of;
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.
(3) In proceedings under this section, the fact that the person in relation to whom the offence is alleged to have been committed did not resist is not a defence unless the accused proves that the failure to resist was not caused by threats, duress, force or exhibition of force.