Winnipeg serial killer wrote to prison pen pal that he’d ‘become the world’s enemy,’ court exhibits show

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

An admitted serial killer told a pen pal last year he might be “one of the most hated men” in the country and has been “known to terrify people” when he loses his temper, a series of letters entered as evidence Wednesday in his trial on four counts of first-degree murder reveals.

Those nine handwritten letters — nearly 40 pages’ worth — were penned by Jeremy Skibicki from January to April 2023 and sent to an inmate at the Nova Institution for Women in the town of Truro, N.S., through a pen pal program, Winnipeg police homicide Det.-Sgt. Michael MacDonald testified.

In one letter, Skibicki told his pen pal she was the only person to write to him. He wrote that he had “nobody on the outside now.”

“I’ve become the world’s enemy apparently and nobody I’ve known, EVER, writes to me. Oh well. It just makes me appreciate you more,” he told the woman, as he also professed his love for her.

“I cannot have any of my writing shown to anyone. If I get past these legal issues without any of this showing up in the Crown’s hands — I will seriously consider getting married to you.”

Det.-Sgt. MacDonald said after learning about the letters Skibicki had written while incarcerated at the Milner Ridge Correctional Centre northeast of Winnipeg, he and another officer travelled to Nova Scotia in May 2023 to interview the woman Skibicki had written the letters to.

A building with a Correctional Service of Canada sign reading 'Nova Institution for Women.'
The Nova Institution for Women is seen in Truro, N.S. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Letters Skibicki wrote to an inmate there are now being introduced as evidence in his trial. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

While she told them she had destroyed two or three letters, the nine remaining letters were turned over to police — including one that was 11 pages long. It contained the first pages of a fictional book series Skibicki had discussed writing, and which he asked the woman for help publishing.

He told her he opted to turn to fiction writing after determining that “it’s not possible to ‘profit from crimes'” by writing about his life.

Prosecutors previously said the contents of his letters would be relevant in assessing Skibicki’s mental capacity — in a trial where the defence lawyers say they plan to argue that while their client has admitted to killing four women, he should be found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Skibicki was assessed over the long weekend by a forensic psychiatrist. The Crown arranged the assessment to examine whether he was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killings, but the results have not yet been shared in court.

Court previously heard defence lawyers already had Skibicki assessed by their own expert.

Skibicki said in the letters to his pen pal that if he’s found not criminally responsible, “then what I might do eventually is write a ‘based on a true story’ fiction and change the names of people and alter the events and places to protect the identities of anyone involved (and also to avoid being sued).”

The faces of three First Nations women are pictured side by side.
Left to right: Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran and Rebecca Contois. Skibicki has admitted to killing them and a fourth unidentified woman. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service and Darryl Contois)

He also told his pen pal that he may also “grow my hair out and dye it blonde myself” if the judge makes that finding.

Skibicki, 37, is charged in the 2022 deaths of three First Nations women — Rebecca Contois, 24, Morgan Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26 — as well as the death of an as-yet-unidentified woman who has been given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, by community leaders. It’s believed she was Indigenous and in her 20s when she died.

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.

Police announced in December 2022 that he was being charged in the deaths of the three other women.

The remains of Harris and Myran are believed to be in another landfill just outside of Winnipeg. 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 not known of, during a 2022 interview with investigators after Contois’s remains were found.

Prosecutors have said that 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.

Fears over conviction by ‘a bunch of morons’

In his 2023 letters, Skibicki complained to his pen pal that he was, at that time, being refused the option to have his case heard by a judge alone, citing concerns it would be impossible for him to have a fair trial with a jury.

He also shared that his defence team planned to argue he was not criminally responsible — in a February 2023 letter written more than a year before his trial.

“I am seriously considering giving up even though I have a not criminally responsible defence with experts,” he wrote. “I could have 100 experts while the Crown has none and I’d still get convicted by a bunch of morons.”

A side profile of a bald man.
A police photograph taken of Jeremy Skibicki in custody. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder. (Manitoba Court of King’s Bench)

Skibicki’s defence team filed two unsuccessful pretrial motions pushing for a judge-alone trial. Prosecutors later changed their minds to allow that after learning Skibicki would admit to the killings but argue he’s not criminally responsible.

In his letters, Skibicki also asked for his pen pal’s help to research the best federal penitentiaries to allow someone convicted of first-degree murder to eventually be downgraded to lesser security, and which facilities would allow marriage and more frequent conjugal visits, along with allowing cellphones and video game systems.

He also shared details about his life, including that he was adopted by a Polish family and that his birth mother is from Newfoundland and Labrador.

He told the woman at one point he’d been kept in segregation against his wishes for roughly 200 days while incarcerated due to how “high-profile” his case was, and heard he might be entitled to $200,000 through a class-action lawsuit as a result.

Skibicki also went on several rants that included antisemitic and homophobic sentiments and a comment about “attacks on white culture.”

“Anyway, enough of my rant (lol). I sometimes go from zero to communism in 20 seconds,” Skibicki wrote in one March 2023 letter.

He also wrote about his love of animals and working out, and said he often watched the local news “always half hoping, half dreading that I’ll be on TV.”

In the final letter seized by police, from April 2023, Skibicki apologized for upsetting his pen pal with something he’d written to her previously, and said he wouldn’t hold it against her if she didn’t want him to write her anymore.

A courtroom sketch shows a bald man with a beard and glasses in the accused box, with a sheriff sitting in a chair on one side of him and his lawyers on the other side. In front of them, a judge listens from the bench.
Jeremy Skibicki has sat silently in the accused box near his lawyers throughout his trial. (James Culleton)

The Crown wrapped up its case against Skibicki on Wednesday morning. Skibicki’s defence did not cross-examine the officer about the letters.

A witness who was expected to testify in relation to prosecutors’ use of similar fact evidence in the case will no longer appear due to health reasons, prosecutor Renée Lagimodière said. The witness was previously scheduled to testify last week and did not show up for court, which prosecutors said was due to a medical issue.

Court previously heard from Skibicki’s ex-wife as part of the Crown’s use of similar fact evidence. She testified that she was abused and routinely sexually assaulted in her sleep during their relationship.

The trial before Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal will take a break before continuing June 3 with the defence case. The defence has not yet said whether Skibicki will testify.

Winnipeg serial killer’s letters to Nova Scotia prison pen pal used as evidence in trial

2 hours ago

Duration 2:21

Nine letters between a confessed Winnipeg serial killer Jeremy Skibicki and his pen pal in a women’s prison in Nova Scotia were entered as evidence in the man’s trial on Wednesday.

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.

You can also access, through the government of Canada, health support services such as mental health counselling, community-based support and cultural services, and some travel costs to see elders and traditional healers. Family members seeking information about a missing or murdered loved one can access Family Information Liaison Units.