Cody Legebokoff

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Cody Alan Legebokoff
Born Cody Alan Legebokoff
January 21, 1990 (age 28)[citation needed]
Fort St. James, British Columbia, Canada
Conviction(s) Murder
Details
Victims 4
Span of crimes
2009–2010
Country Canada
Location(s) Prince George

Cody Alan Legebokoff (born 21 January 1990[citation needed]) is a Canadian serial killer convicted in 2014 by the British Columbia Supreme Court of murdering three women and a teenage girl, between 2009 and 2010, in or near the City of Prince George, British Columbia. He is one of Canada's youngest convicted serial killers,[1] and his trial drew national attention.[2] The 15-year-old girl, Loren Donn Leslie, had been included in the list of missing women and girls suspected as victims in the Highway of Tears murders.

Background[edit]

Cody Legebokoff is a Canadian citizen who was born on 21January 1990 and raised in Fort St. James, a district municipality in rural British Columbia. He has been described by friends and family members as a popular young man who competed in ice hockey and showed no propensity for violence.[3] Though Legebokoff had a minor criminal record, he was not "on the radar" of local police.[4]

After graduating Fort St. James Secondary School, Legebokoff lived briefly in Lethbridge before moving to Prince George. There, he shared an apartment with three close female friends and worked at a Ford dealership. In his spare time, Legebokoff frequented the Canadian social-networking site Nexopia, using the handle "1CountryBoy."[5]

2010 arrest[edit]

On November 27, 2010, at approximately 9:45 p.m., rookie Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Constable Aaron Kehler, observed Legebokoff pull his truck onto British Columbia Highway 27 from a remote logging road.[6][7] According to a case report written by the officer, the 2004 GMC pick-up truck was speeding erratically and, on a hunch, Jehler decided to pull over the vehicle for a routine traffic stop. He believed that it was odd and even suspicious that someone would be on that road, that late, in frigid November. He suspected the driver of poaching in the backwoods and signaled for him to pull over.[8]

The officer was joined by a second RCMP officer. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officers say they noticed Legebokoff had blood smears on his face and chin, blood on his legs, and a pool of blood on the driver's mat.[7] The officers said that upon searching the pickup truck, they discovered a multi-tool and wrench covered in blood, as well as a monkey backpack and a wallet containing a children's hospital card bearing the name Loren Leslie. When questioned about the blood on him, Legebokoff purportedly said that he was poaching and had clubbed a deer to death because: "I'm a redneck, that's what we do for fun."[9] The truck did not contain a deer carcass.[8]

The officers arrested Legebokoff under the Canada Wildlife Act and called for a conservation officer with animal tracking skills. The warden traced the tire tracks of Legebokoff's vehicle up the road and in the freshly fallen snow, found footprints leading to the remains of Loren Donn Leslie.[9] After Legebokoff's arrest in connection with Leslie's death, he was linked by DNA analysis to the deaths of Jill Stacey Stuchenko, Cynthia Frances Maas, and Natasha Lynn Montgomery.[10]

Victims[edit]

The police allege Legebokoff is responsible for the murders of:

  • Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35-year-old mother of five, last seen on October 9, 2009. She was found dead four days later in a gravel pit on the outskirts of Prince George, British Columbia.[11]
  • Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23, last seen August 31 or early September 1, 2010. Her body has never been found, but her DNA was later found in samples taken in Legebokoff's apartment.[11]
  • Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, last seen September 10, 2010. Her body was found in a Prince George park the following month. Maas died of blunt-force trauma to the head and penetrating wounds. She had a hole in her shoulder blade, a broken jaw and cheekbone, and injuries to her neck consistent with someone's stomping on it.[11]

The Crown has said Stuchenko, Montgomery and Maas had worked in the sex trade. Legebokoff was addicted to cocaine and used sex workers to get him the drug.[9]

  • Loren Donn Leslie, 15, murdered on November 27, 2010.[12] Leslie is something of an outlier, as she was far younger than the other victims and allegedly met Legebokoff online at the website Nexopia. Leslie was legally blind, having one completely blind eye and 50% vision in the other.[13] Leslie is included in the list of murder victims found along the "Highway of Tears" in northern British Columbia.[14]

Trial proceedings[edit]

Legebokoff's trial on four counts of murder was originally scheduled to begin in September 2013, but was delayed a month until October, and then again until June 2014. Legebokoff pleaded not guilty to all four counts of murder.[15] The judge and 12 jurors heard testimony from 93 Crown witnesses and the defendant.[1]

Legebokoff testified during the trial that he was "involved" in three of the deaths but claimed that he did not commit the killings. He alleged that a drug dealer and two accomplices, whom he would only name as "X, Y and Z", were the actual murderers.[16] Prosecutors did not accept this attempt to plead guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

Outcomes[edit]

Verdict[edit]

Legebokoff was convicted on four counts of first-degree murder on September 11, 2014.[17]

Sentencing[edit]

On September 16, 2014, Legebokoff was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years. Additionally, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett added him to the national sex offender registry, given the sexual assaults committed as part of the murders and Legebokoff's apparent degradation of the victims' bodies. "He lacks any shred of empathy or remorse," Parrett said of the killer. "He should never be allowed to walk among us again."[18]

Appeal[edit]

In February 2015, Legebokoff filed an appeal due to decisions against change of venue and defendant's legal representation.[19] In September 2016, all three judges in the BC Court of Appeal case endorsed the original judge's decision.[20]

Legacy[edit]

The Legebokoff and Loren Leslie case is covered in the 2015 documentary Highway of Tears.[21] Floridian writer J.T. Hunter profiled Legebokoff in the book The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Cody Legebokoff, Canada's Teenage Serial Killer, published in 2015.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Canadian Press (Sep 11, 2014). "Cody Legebokoff convicted in murders of three women, teen girl". Globe and Mail. 
  2. ^ Blatchford, Christie (Sep 11, 2014). "Christie Blatchford: Cody Legebokoff found guilty in murder of four B.C. women". National Post. 
  3. ^ McMahon, Tamsin (October 18, 2011). "Cody Alan Legebokoff: The country boy accused in the murders of four B.C. women". National Post. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Hawkins, Christine; Pelisek (October 23, 2011). "A Teen Serial Killer in Canada?". dailybeast.com. Daily Beast. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Hawkins, Kristal. "Cody Legebokoff: Canada's Accused "Country Boy" Killer". crimelibrary.com. truTV. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ Pelisek, Christine (October 23, 2011). "MURDER: A Teen Serial Killer in Canada?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Warren, Lydia (June 4, 2014). "Cody Legebokoff 'who killed 4' said he was covered in blood from beating a deer to death". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "A timeline of events in the serial-murder case against Cody Legebokoff". Prince George Citizen. September 11, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c Dhillon, Sunny (June 3, 2014). "RCMP officer's hunch prompted arrest of Cody Legebokoff". The Globe and Mail. Phillip Crawley. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Alleged B.C. serial killer's trial could take up to a year". National Post. October 31, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Keller, James (June 2, 2014). "Cody Legebokoff Trial Hears Victims' DNA Found On Suspect's Belongings". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ Canadian Press (August 28, 2013). "Cody Legebokoff, Accused Serial Killer, Trial Date Delayed". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Grisly details emerge in B.C. slayings". Calgary Sun. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Highway of Tears". 48 Hours. December 21, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ Dhillon, Sunny (June 4, 2014). "Jury hears recording of accused B.C. serial killer's arrest". The Globe and Mail. Phillip Crawley. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  16. ^ Nielson, Mark (August 26, 2014). "Legebokoff admits involvement in murders, trial hears". Prince George Citizen. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  17. ^ Nielsen, Mark (September 11, 2014). "Legebokoff guilty". The Prince George Citizen. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ Nielsen, Mark (Sep 16, 2014). "B.C. serial killer sentenced to life". Vancouver Sun. 
  19. ^ McElroy, Justin (Feb 13, 2015). "Cody Legebokoff files appeal of four first-degree murder convictions". Global BC News. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Nielsen, Mark (2016-09-26). "Legebokoff appeal dismissed". Prince George Citizen. 
  21. ^ Martina Perry, "Prince Rupert showing of Highway of Tears documentary raises concerns regarding lack of action," The Northern View, 27 May 2015, URL accessed 4 July 2016.
  22. ^ Mark Nielsen, "Legebokoff subject of true crime book," Prince George Citizen, 28 September 2015, URL accessed 30 July 2016.

External links[edit]