Murder suspect had history of violence
Alberta's Solicitor General has asked the RCMP for the results of its internal review of the circumstances surrounding the death of Brenda Moreside, whose 911 call for help went unheeded.
Moreside, 44, was stabbed to death in February in her High Prairie home, nearly 300 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. Her common-law husband has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
Cynthia and Craig Flaata, Moreside's children, say it was no secret their mother was involved in an abusive relationship. Before her death, the RCMP had responded to at least one domestic assault call, though no charges were laid because Moreside said she would refuse to testify.
"When a woman is in that situation you can talk until you're blue in the face and unless they're willing or wanting to leave, I mean really wanting to leave, they won't," said Cynthia Flaata.
It has now emerged that Moreside's common-law has a long and violent criminal history, including dozens of convictions ranging from assault with a weapon to threatening death and second-degree murder.
It is a criminal background that would have been instantly available to the RCMP in High Prairie Alberta.
"Knowing the history of (the accused) the fact that they [RCMP] didn't go out is even more disgusting," said Craig Flaata.
In February Moreside called 911 complaining her partner was intoxicated and trying to break into the house. She was told twice that he could not be arrested and charged because he was damaging his own property.
In spite of asking the 911 operator and later RCMP Const. Devon Bateman to send help, no one ever turned up.
Moreside was stabbed to death that same day, though her body was not discovered until 12 days later.
"I'm sick. I can't believe it ... they know he is capable of violence. Why didn't they answer that call?" said Cynthia Flaata.
Jan Reimer, the provincial co-ordinator of Alberta's women's shelters, says the system is failing victims of domestic violence.
"Our concern is often women are not believed when it comes to domestic violence; not just by police but by other players, by criminal justice and child welfare systems."
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Wayne Oakes said the force is doing a complete internal investigation.