Winnipeg trial hears neighbour saw admitted serial killer getting rid of garbage

Neighbours of admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki took the stand Wednesday, speaking about encounters they had with him, as court also heard testimony Skibicki went to a shelter to “stalk his victims.” Edward Djan has more.

By Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Hours before the partial remains of Rebecca Contois were found in a Winnipeg garbage bin, a man who lived in the same apartment building as her killer saw the man disposing of trash in the middle of the night. 

Allan Mackay told the trial of Jeremy Skibicki that he confronted his neighbour in 2022 after hearing the man running up and down the stairs of their building while wearing boots. 

When Mackay opened his apartment door, he saw Skibicki.

“He came downstairs carrying a couple of baskets in his arms,” Mackay testified Wednesday. “(Skibicki) said, ‘I’m getting rid of garbage.'”

Mackay said he spoke with Skibicki for less than five minutes and told him to take out any garbage later in the morning when it wouldn’t wake people up.

Skibicki, 37, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for the slayings of Contois, 24, Morgan Harris, 39, Marcedes Myran, 26, and an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.

His lawyers have said he killed the four Indigenous women but is not criminally responsible due to mental illness. 

Crown prosecutors say the killings were racially motivated and Skibicki preyed on the vulnerable women at homeless shelters.

Court has heard he assaulted the women, strangled or drowned them and disposed of their bodies in garbage bins in his neighbourhood. Two women were dismembered. 

The Crown previously presented DNA evidence and video surveillance footageto paint a picture of Skibicki’s involvement with the women.

The police investigation started May 16, 2022, when a man looking for scrap metal found the partial remains of Contois in a garbage bin. Police later determined more of her remains had been sent to a city-run landfill. They were recovered the following month. 

Mackay testified he didn’t see what was in the wastebaskets Skibicki was holding. He said it was the first time he had encountered Skibicki taking out garbage in the middle of the night.

He said he didn’t notice his neighbour acting unusual or odd. 

MacKay also told court about another interaction he had with Skibicki a month earlier.

He said an unknown Indigenous woman showed up at the apartment building looking for Skibicki, who wasn’t home.

The woman asked to wait in Mackay’s suite. They chatted for about a half-hour and she then left with Skibicki, Mackay said.

Mackay said he had never seen the woman before and didn’t see her again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2024. 

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

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