Soundings

Unsolved murders: Justice demands a long memory

Saturday will mark the sixth anniversary on Oct. 26, 2007 of the still unsolved murder of Bernie Carlson in an early morning break-and-enter into his Yale Avenue house. Carlson, also know affectionately as "Boom-boom" and "Bowanna" to friends and family, was shot while investigating an intruder after being awakened by a dog barking just before 1 a.m.

In a Sept. 26, 2008 interview with the Thompson Citizen, exactly 11 months after the murder, Cpl. Sean Grunewald, an investigator with the Thompson RCMP's major crime unit, called the taped emergency call from Carlson's wife, Elva, hiding in the bedroom from the intruder, the most chilling taped emergency call for help he's ever listened to. He also has described the case as "baffling."

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Almost two years ago, on Feb. 6, 2012, Manitoba Crime Stoppers released a one-minute video re-enactment of the unsolved murder, narrated by Sgt. Tom Cooney, provincial co-ordinator for RCMP "D" Division Manitoba Crime Stoppers in Winnipeg. Sadly, as of Oct. 17, only 313 people had viewed the YouTube video titled "Thompson Homicide" despite its release being widely publicized at Cooney's request in the media in 2012. A lot more people than that are probably going to need to see it if is going to eventually lead to a useful tip or tip in solving the case. You can watch it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A1vb5ufNE8&feature=youtu.be

Writing about the Carlson killing, as we noted in a Feb. 8, 2012 editorial, or any unsolved murder for that matter, invariably and not surprisingly provokes strong emotions. Even a victim's family members can sometimes disagree about whether or not it is a good thing, not to mention others. While the details are unsettling and the reminders painful, expect us to continue writing news stories, columns and editorials about Thompson's unsolved murders.

The savage slaying of 15-year-old Kerrie Ann Brown 27 years ago after attending a party at a Trout Avenue home in Westwood on Thursday night Oct. 16, 1986 remains Thompson's oldest unsolved murder case. Former R.D. Parker Collegiate principal John Donovan, now Northern regional director of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba here in Thompson, perhaps summed it up best on Sept. 28, 2011 when he wrote: "I remember how Kerrie's death shook our school and the community ... obviously someone or more know what happened the conspiracy of silence must end."

Lissa Chaboyer, 35, a single mother and foster parent, worked as a part-time taxi driver in order to supplement her income, and was operating North Star Cab 302, a white taxi, when she was killed around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 in the parking lot behind City Centre Mall, near what was then the Vantis (now Assiniboine) Credit Union ATM vestibule and rear entrance beside the south doors of the mall. She was stabbed to death and left on the ground outside of her vehicle. She had two fares, police believe, who fled the crime scene on foot toward Eastwood.

The vicious April 24, 2011 beating death of 25-year-old Jason Nunn, whose body was found in a parking lot behind the Juniper Centre around 6 a.m. Easter Sunday morning, less than a block from his parents' home where he lived, remains unsolved. Police used photos to help identify Nunn, who had recently started working at Vale's refinery and just received his first pay cheque the week before he was killed.

He was observed leaving the Element Restaurant and Lounge that was located at 60 Commercial Place around 2:30 a.m. The bar, since closed, was also known at one time as the Headframe, River Cabaret and Perrie's Cabaret. It was built in 1971. RCMP investigators canvassed local businesses on Commercial Place, to see if they had any exterior video surveillance cameras that might aid them in identifying suspects in Nunn's slaying.

As well, Jacob Stokman, 58, was killed July 27, 2008 in a Cree Road trailer, while Christopher Ponask, 19, was killed just over two months later on Oct. 2, 2008 in the area of the walkway between Juniper Drive and Southwood Plaza.

© Copyright Thompson Citizen

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