Court learns of letters between Jeremy Skibicki and female inmate

Winnipeg police uncover pen-pal relationship, seize letters

The trial of self-confessed serial killer Jeremy Skibicki took a novel turn Wednesday with news he had been corresponding with a “pen pal” in a Nova Scotia prison.

Court was told Skibicki began exchanging handwritten letters with a female inmate in January 2023 – one month after Winnipeg police charged him with an additional three homicides, said Crown attorney Renee Lagimodiere.

The letters suggest the woman initiated contact with Skibicki, who has since confessed to killing Morgan Harris, 39, Marcedes Myran, 26, Rebecca Contois, 24, and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe – an Ojibwe spirit name meaning Buffalo Woman given an unidentified victim in her 20s – in his suburban Winnipeg apartment two years ago.

All of the victims were homeless and Indigenous, Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal has heard, factors that statistics show make them more vulnerable to violent crime.

Joyal has been told Skibicki physically and sexually assaulted his victims before he strangled or drowned them, then defiled their bodies before disposing of the remains in nearby garbage bins. Two women were dismembered. 

Skibicki, 37, has claimed he is not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder.

But Lagimodiere tendered nine letters Wednesday – where Skibicki speculates about writing a fictitious account of his NCR defence and changing his appearance – as part of the Crown’s case to show he was not suffering from a mentall illness at the time of the murders.

In the letters, the self-described Christian and white supremacist sounds breezy yet cautious as he shares details of himself with the inmate.

“I’m probably one of the most hated men in Winnipeg,” he writes, “if not all of Canada …

“There are certain topics I will avoid because they may or may not be either damaging to my legal defense (sic), or simply too personal (at least so soon).”

A passage from one of the nine letters Skibicki sent to a female inmate in Nova Scotia. Source: Manitoba Justice

Winnipeg police homicide Det. Sgt. Michael MacDonald testified Skibicki was sending letters to a “pen pal” at a women’s institution in Nova Scotia.

He said acting on a warrant investigators travelled to interview the woman last May and confiscate the correspondence.

The inmate was serving time in the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, a federal facility about an hour north of Halifax. She had pleaded guilty to breaching her probation and failing to make restitution.

The woman did not respond to a request for comment APTN News sent to one of her social media profiles.

Lagimodiere said Skibicki is being held at Milner Ridge Correctional Centre, a provincial facility 72 kms east of Winnipeg.

In all, he penned nearly 40 pages to the woman.

“Anything I say or write has the potential to be used against me by the Crown with the help of lawyers, police, ect. (sic),” he wrote. “Having carefully considered my situation, I have decided to communicate with you by mail.

“Even the simplest or most innocent sounding things I write or say can be twisted, potentially, into something it’s not,” Skibicki added. “I’m sure the possibility of ‘damaging my image’ through arbitrary means, whether or not the intent is in good faith, exists.

“My decision to talk to you was made because I need meaningful human contact – and I believe it’s possible to develop a truly blessed compatibility and connection if we each strive for that.”

At the bottom of the second letter, Skibicki signs it “Love, Anton” – the birth name he explains he was given before being adopted by a family in Winnipeg.

In the third letter, he brings up the idea of marriage, revealing he is a newly divorced man.

His ex-wife told his quadruple homicide trial on May 5 that she sought a protection order from the Manitoba courts out of fear.


APTN Investigates Voices of the Landfill 

His victims’ remains were trucked to Winnipeg area landfills as part of regular garbage collection, said police, who recovered Contois’ remains but refused to search for the rest.

The families have demanded a search, and the Manitoba and federal governments responded with $40 million. But a start date has not been set.

Meanwhile, books on the subject say it’s not uncommon for women to write to and fall in love with men behind bars.

Skibicki letters

Skibicki suggests his prison “pen pal” follow news reports to learn more about him. Source: Manitoba Justice

Stephen Michaud, co-author of Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer, said the serial rapist and murderer married one of his admirers after receiving fan mail – including nude photos – from women all over the world. Bundy was executed in 1989.

Whether the inmate shared Skibicki’s feelings is unknown as her letters weren’t shared with the court.

Lagimodiere said the inmate and Skibicki connected as part of a prisoner pen pal program. She said the woman told police she destroyed two or three of the letters she received.

Skibicki sent the last letter on April 27, 2023, Lagimodiere said.

“My birth mother is a Newfoundlander,” he wrote. “ … I’ve always considered going to the Maritimes, even just to visit – and when I can (or if I can) legally do so in the future, as I am a VERY unpopular figure here.”

The Crown rested its case after the defence didn’t ask MacDonald any questions about the letters.

Crown attorney Christian Vanderhooft confirmed Skibicki underwent a forensic psychiatric assessment with the Crown’s expert on the May long weekend as the judge ordered last week.

The trial is scheduled to resume on June 3.

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.

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