Jeremy Skibicki searched online about fingerprints, serial killer definition, Winnipeg trial hears

Searches done on a computer belonging to an admitted serial killer before his arrest included questions about DNA, fingerprints, Winnipeg’s garbage day collection schedule and the definition of a serial killer, a police computer analyst testified during Jeremy Skibicki’s trial on Tuesday.

Those searches were all done between mid-March and mid-May of 2022, when Skibicki is believed to have killed the four women whose deaths he’s now on trial for, analyst Riley Johansson said.

The searches were found among more than 560,000 pieces of data extracted from a computer seized during a search of Skibicki’s North Kildonan apartment in 2022, court heard. 

The questions searched included “Does washing clothes destroy DNA?”, “Do fingerprints show up on plastic wrap?” and “Can gloves leave fingerprints?”

There were also queries about a condition called explosive anger disorder and how long places usually keep their security footage.

Court heard a search was done on Skibicki’s computer for the definition of a serial killer on May 5, 2022 – a day after investigators believe he killed the third of his four victims.

He was arrested in May 2022, after Contois’s partial remains were discovered in garbage bins near his North Kildonan apartment. More of her remains were later found at a Winnipeg landfill. The remains of Harris and Myran are believed to be in another landfill just outside of Winnipeg, while police have not said where they believe Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe’s remains are.

Skibicki unexpectedly confessed to killing Contois and the three other women, whose deaths police had previously had no knowledge of, during a 2022 interview with investigators after Contois’s remains were found.

Prosecutors have said the women’s deaths were intentional and racially motivated, and that Skibicki preyed on vulnerable Indigenous women at Winnipeg homeless shelters before killing them and throwing out their remains.

Skibicki’s legal team says while he’s admitting he killed the women, they plan to argue he shouldn’t be held criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

The trial before Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal continues Tuesday afternoon. It’s scheduled to last until June 6.