By Chad Ingram
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of the last month closely following the story of the B.C. murders, the ensuing manhunt and finally, earlier this week, the release of the autopsy results for the murder suspects.
It’s been a harrowing, horrifying series of events, and is a story where it seems many questions will simply remain unanswered.
In the vast majority of murder cases, the victims and the perpetrators are known to each other. They are acquaintances or family members or spouses. Drug- and crime-related homicides often stem from deals gone wrong, or situations where someone owes someone else money. In all of these scenarios, there is a pre-existing relationship between victim and perpetrator.
What’s so unsettling about the three murders that took place in northern B.C. in July is the seeming randomness to them. A young couple, in Canada on vacation, shot to death. A retired university lecturer also murdered. The RCMP have not released details about how he was killed, nor have they released information regarding the tip that apparently changed the status of the now-dead murder suspects from missing persons to wanted men.
Just as unnerving as the seeming randomness of the killings themselves was the two-week manhunt that followed, a country on edge as two, clearly very disturbed, dangerous individuals remained at large. Or, at least, there was the possibility they were still at large.
We just didn’t know. After the last confirmed sighting on July 22, the two suspects were, it seems, never seen again, although many people believed they’d seen them. The suspects had fled to northern Manitoba, that much was confirmed, but police received dozens of tips from people in Ontario who believed they’d spotted them. A nightmarish scenario wreaking havoc on the imaginations of many.
Then, last week, a guide on the Nelson River discovered a sleeping bag tangled in some weeds, notifying the police. Not long after, and not far away, police discovered two bodies in the dense brush of the Manitoba wilderness. The RCMP made it clear it was believed the bodies were those of the suspects, and early this week, autopsy results revealed that to be the case, along with the fact that the two died of apparent suicide by gunfire.
The bodies were found just eight kilometres from where the suspects’ last burned-out vehicle was discovered. They’d never made it far at all.
While the confirmation of the identities provides closure for most of us and in a way brings the story to an end, for the families of the victims it seems unlikely there will ever be the same kind of closure. With all the involved parties deceased, the kind of details that usually emerge during a trial are unlikely to ever be known. While the police investigation continues, questions around exactly how events unfolded and why these senseless acts of violence happened in the first place, will likely never be answered.