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21 Year Old charged in 3 more murders – sex workers feel safer after accused serial killer charged BC
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The arrest of an accused serial killer in northern B.C. is a “big deal” for sex workers, says the head of a Prince George organization.
Jan Wilson, who works with women in the sex trade as the co-ordinator of the Prince George New Hope Society, said they will feel safer now that charges have been laid in the murders of Jill Stacey Stuchenko and Cynthia Frances Maas. Both 35-year-old mothers had worked as prostitutes in Prince George.
“It’s a big deal. This will definitely take a burden off of them,” Wilson said Tuesday.
Cody Alan Legebokoff is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Stuchenko, Maas and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23, RCMP announced Monday.
Legebokoff, 21, has been behind bars since November 2010, when he was charged with killing blind teenager Loren Leslie.
The 15-year-old girl told her family she was going out for coffee with a friend and never returned.
Legebokoff was arrested after an RCMP officer from Fort St. James, B.C., spotted a truck turning out of a unused logging road the evening Leslie disappeared.
He pulled over and questioned the driver before calling in a conservation officer to investigate whether the man had been illegally hunting.
The conservation official traced the tire tracks back down the logging road and came across the teen’s body in the snow. Leslie, who was legally blind, had been murdered just hours before, RCMP said at the time.
Police have not released details of how any of the women were killed.
Even though Legebokoff has been in jail awaiting trial for almost a year, sex trade workers were still fearful because they didn’t know who had killed Stuchenko and Maas, said Wilson.
Stuchenko was reported missing in October 2009 and found dead four days later in a gravel pit on the outskirts of Prince George.
Maas and Montgomery were both reported missing on the same day in September 2010. Maas’ body was found in a Prince George park the following month but Montgomery has never been found.
“While her body has not been recovered, investigative findings have resulted in a murder charge in relation to her disappearance,” RCMP said Monday in a news release.
Wilson said news of the new charges had brought out many emotions, including anger, relief and sadness. “It just seems so senseless.”
Posters of the missing women had been hanging up in a back room of the New Hope Society’s downtown office, which is off limits to men and meant to provide a sanctuary and services for sex-trade workers.
The street-level office provides services to about 140 women, said Wilson.
Legebokoff was raised in Fort St. James, where he was arrested, and also lived in Lethbridge, Alta. He was an “avid user of social media and technology” where he was known by the moniker 1CountryBoy, RCMP said.
“Our investigation indicates he extensively utilized social media and online dating to correspond with friends, associates, potential girlfriends and others,” police said in a Monday news release.
But Wilson said she doesn’t think it’s likely that sex workers would have met Legebokoff through social media websites such as Facebook. She said most of the girls do not even have email addresses.
Serena Black, a University of Northern B.C. student and a distant cousin of Montgomery, said she remembers her as an avid athlete who was an accomplished figure skater and excellent catcher in baseball.
She was also an excellent sister to her younger brother, said Black, who lost touch with her when they stopping playing sports together.
“She was so full of life. She always had a smile on her face,” said Black.
Rikki Black, who is not related, said she had known Stuchenko for more than a decade.
The head of the Black Orchid escort agency in Prince George said that Stuchenko had a drug addiction she couldn’t shake.
But Black described her as a good person who loved her children and had a beautiful singing voice. Under different circumstances, she may have used that voice to make a living, said Black.
“Nobody deserved what happened to her,” she said.
Meanwhile, family members of the accused serial killer were shocked by the latest charges, describing Legebokoff as a “perfectly normal” young man.
“He had a good upbringing — everything was perfect,” said Legebokoff’s grandfather Roy Goodwin. “I hunted with him. I fished with him. We did everything and he was a perfectly normal child.
“He was no different than you or I when we were younger.”
Goodwin, 79, said that everybody liked his grandson.
“There wasn’t a person that had a bad thing to say about him — nobody,” he said. “The Cody that I know — that I took hunting and fishing — wouldn’t do any of that.”
He said Legebokoff’s parents are still coming to terms with the accusations. “It’s quite a shock,” said Goodwin, who last saw his grandson in October 2010 at Thanksgiving dinner.
Legebokoff had brought his girlfriend to the family gathering, Goodwin said.
Before his arrest in November 2010, Legebokoff was not on the RCMP’s “radar screen.” He did not have a criminal record.
The B.C. Unsolved Homicide Unit has spent decades investigating 18 murders or disappearances of young women along the so-called Highway of Tears that connects Prince George and Prince Rupert, B.C.
Police initially were probing nine cases, but expanded the scope of their investigation in 2007 to include nine more unsolved cases along highways in the B.C. Interior because of similarities between the deaths and disappearances.
Some of the deaths date back to the 1970s.
The number of cases has led to speculation that a serial killer has been preying on women in the area.
RCMP Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick said the investigation has found there is no connection between Legebokoff and the Highway of Tears murders. “We’ve done that through forensics, and also you just have to look at his age in comparison to the victims,” said Fitzpatrick.
This article is property of © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun posted on http://www.safetechalarms.com/blog
At the end of September Statistics Canada released a report indicating that the amount of crimes going unreported in Canada is increasing. The report indicated that in 2009 only 31% of Canadians who were victims of crime ended up reporting that crime to the police. That number is down from 34% in 2004 and 40% in 1999. According to the report fewer Canadians are going to the authorities because they feel the police cannot do anything about it. The majority of these unreported crimes dealt with either property damage or theft.
These statistics are interesting for a few reasons. First of all it seems to directly contradict the statements many Canadian politicians are making with regard to the dropping crime rate in Canada. There is an argument that could be made that the crime rate is staying the same or growing, it is merely the amount of crimes that are actually reported that is decreasing. The second interesting point that this Statistics Canada report brings out is the fact that many Canadians feel that if they report a crime to the police nothing will happen. This is an alarming statistic that says a lot about the confidence Canadians have in the police force.
It can be inferred from this report that the crime rate in Canada is actually increasing and that Canadians do not feel that the police can do anything about it. There has never been a better time to invest in a security surveillance system for your business or home. The vast majority of crimes that go unreported in Canada are property damage and theft. With a security surveillance system you can deter potential criminals from engaging in theft or property damage by threatening to catch them in action. Even if criminals persist despite the presence of cameras the video recording will give the police a great head start toward catching those responsible. There is no greater threat to a criminal then having their image directly tie them to a time and place where a crime occurred. There has never been a better time to equip yourself with the security equipment you need to keep your family or business safe. For more information on security surveillance equipment visit the SafeTech website.
Audio version of this article: http://www.safetechalarms.com/podcast/Unreported-Crime-Rate-Rising.mp3
Also you can download this audio file and you can listen on your personal MP3 player.
Trois-Rivières, Quebec has the highest break and enter rate among Canadian census metropolitan areas. (Source: Statistics Canada)
A Home Office research team in Britain conducted a burglary crime study to determine what criminals are most likely to steal. The results showed which items were most frequently taken from residential burglaries.
Purses, wallets and cash were stolen most often. In 46% percent of all burglaries, these were the items taken. The second most stolen items are electronics such as cameras, MP3 players and DVD players. Burglars stole these items 36% of the time.
Computers and computer equipment was the next most popular and the choice of 29% of burglars. Jewellery and cellular phones came next, having been stolen in 23% and 19% of robberies.
Most criminals look for an empty home and they do not want to be noticed when they strike. This is why most of their attacks happen during the week or after it’s dark.
Excellent ways to stop burglars from robbing your home include installing motion-activated lights outside and placing security cameras in strategic locations.
This will show potential burglars that they will be noticed if they attempt to break into your home and cause them to think twice before attempting to do so.
According to statistics released by the FBI, property crime cost an estimated $17.2 billion dollars in losses in 2008. The statistics, released as part of the FBI’s Crime In The United States publication, show the costly damage of property crime.
Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. There were approximately 9,767,915 property crimes in the United States in 2008. There was, however, a 5.3 percent drop in property crime between 2004 and 2008.
Burglary accounted for 22.7 percent of all property crime. There were an estimated 2,222,196 burglaries in 2008, up 2 percent from 2007.
There were 3.6 percent more burglaries in 2008 than in 2004 and 5.8 percent more than in 1999. 61.2 percent of all burglaries in 2008 involved forcible entry.
Far more residential properties were broken into than commercial properties. 70.3 percent of all burglaries were residential.
Statistics Canada’s police-reported crime statistics show Canada’s crime rate falling each year.
However, these numbers only tell part of the story. Unfortunately, many crimes are not reported to police. A 2004 Criminal Victimization Study conducted by Stats Canada shows that 53 percent of robberies are not reported to police. The study also found that theft of household property was up 42 percent between 2000 and 2004.
In many cases, victims do not report crimes out of fear or because they feel the crime is too trivial to report.
Data from the United States presents similar findings. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that only about 40 percent of property crimes were reported to the police in 2008.
Only 33 percent of violent crimes are reported in Canada whereas about half of all violent crimes are reported in the United States.
This summer, Statistics Canada released stats for police-reported crime in 2009. Crime is once again down, falling 3% between 2008 and 2009 and 17% between 1999 and 2009.
In terms of metropolitan areas, Regina, Saskatchewan is the most dangerous region in the country followed by Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Guelph, Ontario, Quebec City, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario are the safest.
The national crime rate reached a peak in the late 1980s/early 1990s and the current rate is similar to the late 1970s. However, the crime rate from 1962 to 1972 was much lower than it is today. Canada’s crime rate was 131% higher in 2009 than in 1962, when Statistics Canada first started keeping records.
So while the good news is that crime continues to fall, it’s obvious that we have a long road ahead of us.