Alleged serial killer Shawn Lamb contacts victim's family

Alleged Manitoba serial killer Shawn Lamb has reached out to the family of a woman killed in 2007, hinting he may have information about her disappearance.

Family of Winnipeg woman murdered in 2007 receive 2 letters from alleged serial killer

Alleged serial killer Shawn Lamb has written to the family of a woman killed in 2007, hinting he may have information about her disappearance. CBC's Meagan Fiddler reports. 2:27

Alleged Winnipeg serial killer Shawn Lamb has contacted the family of a woman killed in 2007, hinting he may have information about her death.

Lamb was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in 2012 in the deaths of Carolyn Sinclair, 25, Tanya Jane Nepinak, 31, and Lorna Blacksmith, 18.

Lamb, 52, remains in a Manitoba jail and has sent two letters to the family of a woman found slain in 2007.

Shawn Lamb is charged with three counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of three aboriginal women in Winnipeg. (CBC)

Fonessa Bruyere was 17 years old when she was found dead in a field on the outskirts of Winnipeg in 2007. She had been missing for three weeks before her body was found.

Her slaying has yet to be solved, and a relative sent a letter to Lamb asking him if he had any information.

Lamb replied with a single letter, saying he was not involved. "I did not know or ever cause any harm to [Bruyere]. Our paths never crossed," Lamb wrote.

Then, months later, another letter came from Lamb, this time unsolicited and saying he may have information.

In a two-page letter that lashes out at the aboriginal community and is at times angry, Lamb wrote to the family member, "To get the specific answers that you seek, you gotta ask specific questions."

Lamb implies he may have more information but doesn’t elaborate.

Criminologist and author Steven Egger said the letters reveal a man seeking attention and special treatment.

"I think there’s an attempt at empathy here, but I think the writer here has evidenced, particularly in the second letter, what psychiatrists call anti-social personality disorder or what the general public would view as a psychopath," said Egger.

"He’s saying pay attention to me because if you treat me right I may tell you what happened to your friend or your loved one."

Lamb has had a troubled past, including a long history with Winnipeg police.

He spent over three decades in police custody for a variety of offences before being charged with the slayings of Sinclair, Nepinak and Blacksmith.

Lamb was born on a First Nation in Ontario and spent much of his childhood in the child welfare system. He has said he suffered abuse as a child and later turned to drugs and crime.

Inmates’ outgoing mail, calls supervised

The family member of Bruyere who received Lamb's letter never opened it, and instead handed it over to CBC News.

Victim’s advocate Flloyd Wiebe said victims do have a say in what correspondence they receive from inmates.

Inmates are allowed to communicate with the outside world, but ingoing and outgoing mail is screened and phone calls are monitored.

But if victims don’t want to hear from inmates, the onus is on them to stop it, said Wiebe.

"The victim who receives the letter has to phone the jail and say, ‘I don’t want letters coming from this person again,'" Wiebe explained.

When CBC News sat down with Lamb at the Winnipeg Remand Centre for 30 minutes on Wednesday, he denied contacting the family members of any missing or murdered women.

Family of alleged victim angered

Earlier this week, Lamb reached out to a Winnipeg paper, saying he may have information on unsolved cases. 

He then met with a number of media outlets, airing grievances with the Winnipeg police and claiming he was innocent.

Now, one of the family members of one of Lamb’s alleged victims is angry.

"Why is he coming forward now, after all this? What is he trying to prove?" said Amanda Sinclair, Carolyn Sinclair’s sister.

She said she wants to sit down with Lamb to find out why he’s contacting families and why he’s approaching the media.

She said she wants to ask him, "Why are you doing this? Why the turmoil?"

But she knows she may never have the closure she wants.

Lamb speaks of vulnerable women

When CBC reporters spoke with Lamb, he denied any involvement in the murders but provided details about how it would be possible for vulnerable women to be preyed on in the city.

"Maybe two out of 10 don’t even get reported, especially if they’re in their adult years over 20 or whatever, and they’re estranged from their family and have a kid in the system," said Lamb.

He said the women he knew distanced themselves from their families and the child welfare system by running away or using a different name.

He added tracking who they were was difficult because they lacked government identification.

"They don’t have no ID on them or purse. A majority of them don’t have any ID or purses or nothing, you know."

He said it would be difficult to convince police a missing woman like that even existed.