Families of murdered B.C. women, teen speak out; Legebokoff faces sentencing

By , on September 12, 2014


The Highway of Tears murders is a series of unsolved murders and disappearances of young women along the 800 km (500 mi) section of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada from 1969 until 2011. 21 year-old Cody Legebokoff was identified as the murderer for some cases. Photo by Izithombe / Flickr.
The Highway of Tears murders is a series of unsolved murders and disappearances of young women along the 800 km (500 mi) section of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada from 1969 until 2011. 21 year-old Cody Legebokoff was identified as the murderer for some cases. Photo by Izithombe / Flickr.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.—Gasps of joy and tears from the families and friends of three murdered women and a teenaged girl followed Thursday’s conviction of Canada’s youngest serial killer.

An eight-man, four-woman jury in Prince George, B.C., found Cody Legebokoff guilty of the first-degree murders of 35-year-olds Cynthia Maas and Jill Stuchenko, 23-year-old Natasha Montgomery and 15-year-old Loren Leslie.

Outside of BC Supreme Court about 70 people gathered, many solemnly striking drums and singing traditional First Nations songs, before family members walked up to a podium to speak.

Montgomery’s mother, Louanne, was at a loss for words as she fought through her tears, thanking the jury for the verdict but adding the tragedy wasn’t over because she doesn’t have her daughter back.

Doug Leslie said he wanted to thank the RCMP and others for their role in bringing the killer of his daughter Loren to justice.

He says he was not surprised at how quickly the jury reached its verdict nor was he offended by Legebokoff’s story that persons identified only as X, Y and Z carried out the murders of the three women.

“It was a long haul and we’ll just have to go on with our lives in a positive direction, and I’m just hoping everybody can do that with more ease than we think,” he said, adding that Legebokoff should remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

“He should never walk the streets, ever, that’s my opinion,” he said.

Judy Maas, the sister of Cynthia Maas, held an eagle feather, as she had done throughout the trial that she had attended every day.

She said while the three women were described as drug addicts and sex-trade workers, they were not bad people but just people who had lost their way.

“They were loved and missed,” she said.

Neil MacKenzie of the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Justice Branch said first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without eligibility for parole for 25 years and the sentences will be served concurrently.

A formal sentencing hearing, with statements from the victims’ families, will be held today at the courthouse, starting at 10 a.m.