CBC Digital Archives

Cold Cases: Fonessa Bruyère, Winnipeg (2007)

They are the heartwrenching stories that shock whole communities, bringing waves of fear and sorrow that can linger for years. Disappearances and unsolved murders devastate Canadian families in all parts of the country, creating anger and suspicions that may never be put to rest. In collaboration with the CBC News series Canadian Cold Case, the CBC Digital Archives presents a collection of stories from unsolved crimes in Canada.

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Fonessa Bruyère's body was discovered in a field on the outskirts of Winnipeg on Aug. 30, 2007, approximately three weeks after the 17-year-old girl disappeared. In this CBC Television news report, a bereaved family member and the Southern Chiefs Organization appeal to the government of Manitoba to form an independent task force to determine whether a serial killer is involved. Warren Goulding, author of the book Just Another Indian: A Serial Killer and Canada's Indifference offers his views on the case.
• Half a year after her death, the Winnipeg Free Press revealed that Fonessa Bruyère had been in the care of Child and Family Services and had been in and out of foster care since she was at least four years old. Less than three months before she was killed, she was returned to the home of a family member despite a report in the CFS files indicating that she could be exposed to drugs and the sex trade there.

• Nahanni Fontaine, director of justice for the Southern Chiefs Organization was joined by two other aboriginal groups, Sisters in Spirit and the Mothers of Red Nations, in calling for a task force to investigate the possibility of a serial killer.

• Fontaine cited dozens of unsolved cases of aboriginal women who were missing or killed over the past 20 years, and observed that both Edmonton and Vancouver has set up special task forces under similar circumstances. Winnipeg police confirmed 19 unsolved homicide cases related to sex-trade workers over the past 25 years.

• The murders of two women, both sex trade workers, whose bodies were also found on the outskirts of Winnipeg earlier in 2007, added impetus to the request for a special task force.

• In August of 2009, the province of Manitoba established a police task force to review cases of missing and murdered Manitoba women. The unit's focus is to:

  • Review and investigate unsolved homicide files involving female victims.
  • Review missing-person files involving female victims where foul play is suspected.
  • Analyze those files to determine what, if any, links exist between the cases.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 5, 2007
Guest: Warren Goulding
Reporter: Donna Carreiro
Duration: 2:21

Last updated: October 9, 2014

Page consulted on October 9, 2014

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