'Silence of the Lambs' moment described by Svekla witness
Thomas Svekla's longtime friend testified Wednesday about a "bonechilling" conversation she had with the accused killer after he was arrested in the deaths of two Edmonton-area prostitutes.
Svekla is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Theresa Innes, 36, and Rachel Quinney, 19.
Rebecca Kroetsch told the Edmonton trial she had been close to the accused since they were both children. He was a groomsman at her wedding.
But when she visited him in jail after his arrest in May 2006, Kroetsch said, Svekla was not the man she used to call her best friend.
"I felt like Clarisse from Silence of the Lambs … I saw in him something that horrified me," she said outside court, referring to the movie about a serial killer sought by an FBI agent.
In her testimony, she said Svekla admitted to attacking a mutual friend more than 20 years ago.
"He leaned in close, and said, 'I need you to tell her she was the first one. She was the first one I ever hurt. She was the first one to see the boogeyman. Thank God I didn't hurt her more,'" Kroetsch said.
The victim of that attack, one of Svekla's former girlfriends, testified on Tuesday. The woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, said when she was about 14 or 15 years old, Svekla attacked her, pinned her down and choked her.
The medical examiners were not able to establish a cause of death for either of the prostitutes Svekla is accused of killing, but they suggested it's possible both victims were choked.
Kroetsch also testified Wednesday that Svekla talked about wanting to write a book one day, because "everyone is interested in serial killers."
She told the court she left the meeting "an emotional wreck" and was "very conflicted."
After the meeting, she made five pages of notes on the meeting, and turned them over to police.
Throughout her testimony Kroetsch didn't look at Svekla as he sat in the prisoner's box. Outside court, she said she never wants to see the accused killer or talk to him again.
With files from Briar Stewart and Janice Johnston