Answers could still come in northern B.C. homicides, retired Mountie says

The RCMP have said it will be difficult to determine a motive in the McLeod and Schmegelsky case

Answers could still come in northern B.C. homicides, retired Mountie says

Investigators should be able to provide some answers about three homicides in northern British Columbia even though two suspects in the case are believed to be dead, says a former RCMP assistant commissioner.

The manhunt for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., ended Wednesday when two bodies were found in dense brush in northern Manitoba.

Mounties have said it could be difficult to determine a motive if the suspects can’t be interviewed.

Peter German, who retired from the RCMP in 2012, said it will be hard, but there is already some key evidence available that speaks to motive.

“At least one of the individuals seemed to be highly influenced by violent video games,” he said. “His father has spoken publicly about what he believed would happen — death, suicide, going out in a blaze of glory.

“That all goes to motive.”

McLeod and Schmegelsky were suspects in the killings of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver, and American tourist Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler. The bodies of the three were found in mid-July near highways in northern B.C.

READ MORE: Outcome of search for B.C. fugitives ‘absolutely devastating’: Alberni mayor

Police initially treated McLeod and Schmegelsky as missing persons when their charred vehicle was found not far from Dyck’s body. The pair had told family and friends they were leaving home to find work.

But investigators later deemed them to be suspects and details surfaced about their use of video games. One account showed Schmegelsky was a frequent player of a shooting game called “Russia Battlegrounds,” and both young men’s Facebook pages were connected to an account with a modified Soviet flag as its icon.

RCMP also said they were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia sent to another user by Schmegelsky, who was also pictured in military fatigues brandishing an airsoft rifle and wearing a gas mask.

During the manhunt, Alan Schmegelsky told The Canadian Press that his son had a troubled upbringing and the father said he expected the young men wanted ”to go out in a blaze of glory.”

German said investigators will look at the suspects’ social media accounts, any written documents and communication with family and friends.

“It’s surprising in this day and age with social media what you can find.”

The tougher problem, he said, will be determining why the suspects did what they did in the sequence they did.

It may also be difficult to determine why they ended up in Gillam, he said.

“Did they have some sort of a plan that flowed from a video game that they end up in northern Manitoba? What was the next step for them?”

The autopsies, which are being done in Winnipeg, could provide some answers about when and how they died.

German said the work in Manitoba will be complete once those results are available and officers are finished collecting any remaining evidence there, and police in B.C. will continue the investigation.

“At the end of the day, they will I’m sure provide some sort of a briefing to the public and certainly to the families to inform them of what has taken place.”

Sam Johnson said he hopes there are answers for the three families.

The southern Alberta resident is still waiting for answers after his ex-wife, Jane Johnson, and eight-year-old daughter, Cathryn, were found dead in their Turner Valley home in 1996. It was initially believed they died from smoke inhalation, but an autopsy revealed Jane, who was pregnant, had been stabbed to death.

No one has been charged in the case.

“Obviously I’d like to know why and, of course, you’d like to see the people punished.”

After experiencing so much grief, he said, it’s important for families to get some justice.

“I feel horrible for the relatives of the victims (in B.C.) … it’s senseless violence with no reason,” said Johnson.

“Somebody should pay when they affect your life that badly and that dramatically.”

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Manitoba Manhunt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kitselas First Nation received a round of COVID-19 vaccine shots. (Kitselas First Nation image)
Kitselas receives COVID-19 vaccine

Delivery of vaccine was expedited after cluster of cases in community

Northern Health has issued COVID-19 exposure notices for Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School in Terrace. (COVID-19/ CDC Image)
Two more COVID-19 exposure notices issued for schools in Terrace

Exposures took place at Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read