WARNING: This story contains distressing details.
Alleged serial killer Jeremy Skibicki threatened to kill two previous partners in the last seven years, according to a court hearing involving one woman and a protection order filed by the other.
In June 2015, the Winnipeg man — now charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of four women — was convicted of assaulting his common-law partner. After spending about two months behind bars, he was sentenced to two years probation.
According to a statement of facts agreed to by Crown and defence attorneys, Skibicki grabbed his pregnant partner’s hair and punched her in the face several times, then tried to strangle her.
He told her he would kill her if she called police.
That woman applied for a protection order against Skibicki that same year, saying in her application she feared “he won’t stop until I’m dead.”
The application for the protection order was dismissed, but it’s not clear why.
The conditions of his probation from the assault conviction required that he stay away from his partner and not make contact for two years.
Four years later, another woman — Skibicki’s estranged wife — successfully filed for a protection order against him, alleging in both an application for the order and a hearing that she suffered a litany of abuse at his hands and that he threatened to kill her.
“He has suggested he would kill me or that other gangs will abduct me and torture or kill me or traffic me,” and “told me he would put me in a garbage bag,” she wrote in her application for the protection order.
“I’m actually extremely afraid for my life,” she later said in the hearing for the protection order.
4 women killed
There was also an assault charge against Skibicki that was stayed.
The mother of the estranged wife says it was for attacking her daughter, who is Métis, in January 2021.
CBC News is not naming the women because they are victims of abuse. Both of them identify as Indigenous.
Skibicki is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths three other First Nations women — Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris and Rebecca Contois — and a fourth woman who police believe is also Indigenous. All four were killed between March and May of this year, police say.
None of the allegations against Skibicki been proven in court.
His lawyer says he will plead not guilty to all four charges when his trial begins in the new year.
Police say the first of those deaths happened on or around March 15, and involved an unidentified woman whom community members have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.
Three months earlier, during a Dec. 14, 2021, hearing in Manitoba provincial court, Skibicki’s estranged wife said she was afraid, alleging he threatened to harm her family and kill her teenage son, according to court documents.
“I don’t want to be afraid, but I know what I’ve been through with Mr. Skibicki — Jeremy. That is not the person that I married,” the woman said before Judge Sidney Lerner.
“When he is angry, it’s like somebody else is in the room. I call him Scary Jerry.… I don’t even recognize the eyes anymore. But needless to say, I was afraid.”
Skibicki met the woman in February 2018 at Siloam Mission, where she was waiting for a bed, according to her mother, whom CBC News is not naming to protect the daughter’s identity.
The mother said Skibicki offered her daughter a place to stay, and they were married less than a year later. On their wedding day, the woman was “under the influence,” according to a transcript from the protection order hearing in September 2019.
It says four days later, she went to detox for meth.
Allegations of abuse
In that same court hearing, Skibicki’s estranged wife alleged she suffered a range of violence at the hands of her husband.
She said she was taking strong medication at night to sleep, and he would use that opportunity to rape her while she was sleeping, calling it her “Sleeping Beauty syndrome.”
“I woke up with my underwear down, and he had given me an STD, and that’s how I caught him with his so-called fetish,” she said in the protection order hearing.
She said Skibicki once tried to suffocate her by holding a pillow over her face, according to her protection order application.
He also threatened to kill her, that document says.
On another occasion, Skibicki allegedly forced her to stay in their apartment for four days, she said at a protection order hearing.
Skibicki denied the accusations in court documents and said his wife was “not mentally sound.”
His previous partner said in her 2015 application for a protection order that Skibicki had expressed violent fantasies to her.
“Jeremy has admitted fantasizing about raping me then choking me to death.… He had smothered me so bad my teeth started to bleed,” she wrote in the application.
Earlier that year, when Skibicki was found guilty of assaulting his partner, he apologized to her at the assault hearing.
“This is something I’ve been thinking about every day.… I almost killed myself following that happening. I thought at the time that it was an appropriate punishment for what I did,” he said in court.
“I really do need to get some help.”
In that case, he was ordered to take part in anger management and domestic abuse counselling.
The mother of Skibicki’s estranged wife says she and her daughter are heartbroken for those who loved Buffalo Woman, Harris, Myran and Contois.
“We feel horrible for the families.”
Support is available for anyone affected by details of this case. If you require support, you can contact Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Medicine Bear Counselling, Support and Elder Services at 204-594-6500, ext. 102 or 104, (within Winnipeg) or 1-888-953-5264 (outside Winnipeg).
Support is also available via Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Liaison unit at 1-800-442-0488 or 204-677-1648.
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