Alleged serial killer’s video confession to be revealed in Winnipeg courtroom

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

Jeremy Skibicki unexpectedly confessed to killing three more women in Winnipeg during a lengthy police interrogation as police grilled him about the discovery of the remains of Rebecca Contois in 2022.

Part of that 20-hour interrogation video is expected to be shown as evidence this week, as Skibicki’s first-degree murder trial in the deaths of Contois and three other women gets underway. 

That video was shown in a voir dire — a sort of trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of evidence — during pretrial motions in November and was previously under a publication ban.

CBC News can now reveal details about it because the trial is no longer slated to be heard by a jury.

One of the detectives who testified during those pretrial motions told the court he was surprised when Skibicki suddenly said he’d killed four women, including Contois.

“I was shocked at the beginning.… I kind of froze in my chair,” said Det.-Sgt. Adam Danylyshen.

The other detective who was in that interview — Greg Allan, who is set to testify Wednesday — told court he had had no knowledge of three additional killings until Skibicki confessed.

Left to right: Morgan Beatrice Harris, Marcedes Myran and Rebecca Contois. Skibicki has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in their deaths, as well as the death of a fourth unidentified woman community members have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman. (Submitted by Cambria Harris, Donna Bartlett and Darryl Contois)

Skibicki, 37, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Contois and two other First Nations women — Morgan Harris, 39 and Marcedes Myran, 26 — as well as a fourth woman. She is still unidentified, but has been given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, by community members.

This week, his lawyers said they intend to argue that while he admits he killed the women, he was not criminally responsible due to mental disorder.

During the police interview, Skibicki admitted to strangling, choking or drowning the four women, most of whom he said he met at or near homeless shelters in Winnipeg. He also confessed to performing sex acts on their bodies in his apartment. 

While he initially told police he recognized Contois from the Siloam Mission shelter when they showed him her photo, it took some time before Skibicki provided any other details. But hours into the interview, after asking to see a priest to “confess [his] sins,” he ended up also telling police about the three other killings.

Details on unidentified victim

The Crown will present a shorter version of the interview video — just under seven hours long — once Skibicki’s trial officially begins on Wednesday, after about a week of additional pretrial motions in the case.

His police interview also sheds light on what Skibicki told investigators about the unidentified woman known as Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe. That includes the fact he initially gave them what he said was her name, only to have police tell him they were able to locate that woman, and she was alive.

A series of four photographs shows a jacket. Two photos on the top show the front and back of a black jacket, with a hood lined with grey fur. Two photos on the bottom show the jacket reversed, with black-and-white horizontal stripes.
In December 2022, Winnipeg police said the unidentified woman now called Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe wore a Baby Phat reversible jacket with a fur hood like this one. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service)

Skibicki told police Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe was wearing a Baby Phat brand jacket, which he said he sold on Facebook after he killed her. Photos of that jacket were the only clue Winnipeg police had released to the public to try to identify her.

Skibicki also told detectives that he dismembered some of the women before disposing of their remains in garbage bins, and that he timed some of that with garbage pickup day.

Arrest by tactical team

Court heard Skibicki was ordered to get down on the ground as he was arrested by a police tactical team near a bus stop on Henderson Highway in northeast Winnipeg in May 2022, not long after Contois’s partial remains were discovered in a garbage bin.

The following month, police recovered more of her remains from the Brady Road landfill in south Winnipeg.

Skibicki told police in his interview that he’d brought other women back to his apartment, but didn’t kill them if they logged into his computer to use Facebook. In one case, he said he decided to let a woman he’d brought to his apartment leave after they had sex and he noticed she was wearing a rosary.

A photo shows a man in a cap looking at the camera.
Jeremy Skibicki is shown in an undated photo provided to CBC. (Submitted/Name withheld)

The accused also told police he suffers from borderline personality disorder and that he struggled with a methamphetamine addiction.

Police said their investigation determined the unidentified woman known as Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe was killed on March 15, 2022. She was the first of the women killed, followed by Harris on May 1, Myran on May 4 and Contois on May 15 of that year, according to police.

Investigators believe Myran’s and Harris’s remains are in the Prairie Green landfill north of Winnipeg, but they’ve never said where they think Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe’s remains are. They have said only that they believe she was Indigenous and in her mid-20s.

In March, the Manitoba and federal governments each pledged $20 million toward searching Prairie Green for the remains of Harris and Myran.

Skibicki’s trial, before Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, is expected to continue until June 6.

Support is available for anyone affected by these reports and the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people. Immediate emotional assistance and crisis support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a national hotline at 1-844-413-6649.

You can also access, through the government of Canada, health support services such as mental health counselling, community-based support and cultural services, and some travel costs to see elders and traditional healers. Family members seeking information about a missing or murdered loved one can access Family Information Liaison Units.

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