Boy! Did I get caught napping. As webmaster of injusticebusters, I have not felt it necessary to scrutinize every single murder trial that comes before the courts. I was relieved as anybody else when it was reported that Jaime Wheeler's killer had been caught, tried and convicted.
After all, he was represented by the most expensive (or, at least, one with a very high profile) lawyer in the province. When Mark Brayford told reporters that his client was not guilty and intended to appeal, well, I just thought that was the obligatory ramblings of a high-priced mouthpiece.
In the course of investigating the murder of Denver Crawford, we stumbled upon some interesting connections with the Jaime Wheeler murder. They happened a few blocks from each other and autopsy photos show that the fatal wounds — puncture of the carotid artery in the neck — were similar enough to raise questions for the most simple-minded investigator.
Wheeler's autopsy report, while presented at the preliminary inquiry which indicted Dominic McCullock — was not brought into evidence at the trial which convicted him. McCullock was convicted on DNA evidence. This evidence had been analysed for the defence by a California expert who was prepared to testify that it was highly improbable that McCullock was the killer. Brayford decided not to call the expert because, as he told Dominic and his family, he thought a jury would be prejudiced by the fact the expert was paid!
Dominic McCullock took the stand briefly to deny that he killed Jaime Wheeler and to deny that he was present when she was killed. The jury did not deliberate for long before bringing in a guilty verdict.
It is unlikely that Denver Crawford was killed by a single individual and even more unlikely that Jaime Wheeler was. Crawford was 83 years old and accordingly weak. Wheeler was a strong young woman and she fought hard for her life.
Dominic McCullock has filed an appeal of his second-degree murder conviction.
On May 12 a jury found the 22-year-old guilty of stabbing 20-year-old Jaime Wheeler 56 times in her Broadway Avenue-area basement suite.
He was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years.
In his brief notice of appeal, McCullock says: "My conviction was contrary to the evidence and the law."
During sentencing, Justice Robert Laing described McCullock as being "in the extremely dangerous category."
Laing described the "savage attack" as being "at the extreme end of violence."
The jury deciding Dominic McCullock's fate resumes deliberations this morning after retiring Tuesday night without a verdict in the second-degree murder trial.
The jury began deliberations around noon Tuesday, after Justice Robert Laing summed up evidence from the two-week trial into the March 12, 2000, stabbing death of 20-year-old Jaime Wheeler.
The Crown's case against McCullock, 23, was built on circumstantial evidence. DNA in blood found on an outside door knob, the basement suite door handles, in blood on Wheeler's jacket and on a water pipe stem matched McCullock's.
DNA profiling also revealed that a pubic hair stuck in blood on Wheeler's forearm was McCullock's.
According to evidence presented to the court, McCullock also sold a compact disc player two days after Wheeler died. One of the items reported missing after Wheeler's death was a blue Shockwave disc player.
McCullock regularly visited Wheeler's roommate, David Parent, to buy small amounts of marijuana and hang out. He always phoned before he came over, the jury heard.
Wheeler's telephone, which was programmed to store the numbers of everyone who called, was ripped from its cord at 1:03 a.m. It has never been found.
Nor was Wheeler's bone-handled knife, which she kept on the coffee table and used to cut up marijuana, ever recovered.
The pawn shop records also showed McCullock had sold a camera lens the day before the murder. He sometimes used the money from pawn shop sales to buy marijuana and it is likely he intended to use that day's cash to make a purchase from Parent, Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl told the jury in closing arguments Monday.
The defence stressed the possibility of contamination of the DNA samples and of mistakes being made at the DNA labs in Regina and Louisiana where samples were tested.
Even if the DNA matches were correct, McCullock could have left his DNA at the apartment on other occasions, defence lawyer Mark Brayford stressed.
McCullock was prone to winter nose bleeds and could have left blood on the outside door knob days earlier without people who used the door noticing it, he could have smeared such blood on Wheeler's jacket when he moved it off a chair, he could have shed a pubic hair in the washroom on a previous visit and could have used the water pipe some other time.
Expert witnesses said the fact a person's DNA is found doesn't prove that person was the last to leave DNA there. The individual might be a greater shedder of DNA than others who later touched the item where the DNA was found.
McCullock took the stand to say he wasn't at Wheeler's suite the night of her death and he didn't kill her.
He said the disc player he sold at the pawn shop belonged to the sister of his girlfriend, and he used the money to take his girlfriend out for her birthday.
The defence zeroed in on the police failure to detect a link to McCullock through the pawn shop records prior to the DNA link bringing his name to their attention.
Saskatoon police Const. David Hudson said in December 2000 he began combing through pawn shop records to see if anyone had sold the disc player, the bone-handled knife or the telephone missing from Wheeler's apartment.
He said that if he found such items on pawn shop transaction logs, he would have checked the more detailed individual records for those transactions to see if the items matched Wheeler's.
The fact he never flagged the disc player sold by McCullock indicates police must have checked the detailed record and dismissed the item because it didn't match the one they were looking for, the defence argued.
The detailed transaction card no longer exists to be checked. The policy was to store them for 21 months, and it was 32 months later McCullock's name was searched.
The defence also noted there was no evidence to suggest McCullock had any strong feelings about Wheeler, nor that she had any particular dislike of him.
Such facts seemed inconsistent with the "overkill" described by the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Wheeler's body.
Dr. Rani Kanthan said the 56 wounds Wheeler suffered were unusual, and such overkill indicated a high emotional state such as can be brought on by drug use or sex.
The defence pointed out that Wheeler's jacket pocket revealed the DNA of two unknown males and that police have not ruled out the persons who contributed that DNA.
Brayford noted Parent's drug trafficking could have attracted violence to his home. He acknowledged that trafficking can be a dangerous business and had just that day strapped a knife to his leg when he went out.
Earlier that winter, a drug customer of his had shown up at the suite, accompanied by a male with a baseball bat, accusing him of ripping her off. Parent had convinced the woman he was not the one who ripped her off.
Dominic McCullock is either the victim of a series of coincidences or he killed Jaime Wheeler, Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl told the jury in closing arguments at McCullock's second-degree murder trial Monday.
McCullock, 23, sat motionless and slightly flushed as lawyers summed up their cases for the six-woman, six-man jury. The jury has listened to nine days of evidence about the brutal stabbing death of the 20-year-old university student in her basement suite on March 12, 2000.
Defence lawyer Mark Brayford said the DNA that links McCullock to the crime scene does not prove he is the one who stabbed and slashed Wheeler 56 times.
McCullock had been to the suite many times to buy marijuana and to hang out. Because he had probably used the washroom there, it is possible his pubic hair, which was found stuck in blood on Wheeler's arm, was shed at the suite some other time, Brayford said.
A pure sample of McCullock's blood found on the outside doorknob could have been left there on a previous visit, Brayford said.
McCullock, who testified briefly Friday, said he had a chronic nosebleed problem but he couldn't remember if he had bled during his last visit with his friend Dave Parent, Wheeler's roommate.
Brayford said McCullock could have smeared a small amount of his blood onto Wheeler's jacket when he moved it off a chair during a previous visit.
Wheeler's mother Roberta, who has attended every day of the trial accompanied by three supporters and two victims' services workers, sat forward with her head hanging down as Brayford talked about the possibility someone else committed the crime.
Wheeler held her arms close to her body and rocked herself as Brayford argued that a bright spot of blood on the doorknob might not have been noticed by residents using the door.
As he pointed out the Crown's lack of a motive for McCullock to commit the killing and a pathologist's description of "overkill," Wheeler silently got up and quickly left the room.
She returned soon after, sitting quietly for the rest of the proceedings.
Dahl said of all the people who came to the apartment to buy marijuana and the numerous friends who had visited the suite that day, it was McCullock's DNA that showed up on door handles and a doorknob, on Wheeler's jacket and on a water pipe stem. Of all those visitors, it was his pubic hair that got onto Wheeler's dead body, he said.
The day before Wheeler was killed, McCullock pawned camera equipment and would have had money to buy marijuana, Dahl said.
Two days after Wheeler was killed, McCullock pawned the same kind of Discman that was stolen the night of the killing.
"What are the chances of an innocent explanation for those things?" Dahl asked.
Dominic McCullock says he did not kill Jaime Wheeler and any of his blood found in her apartment could have resulted from his chronic nose bleeding problem.
McCullock, now 23, took the stand in his own defence at his second-degree murder trial in Saskatoon on Friday afternoon. He was the only defence witness.
Wheeler was found dead in her basement suite at 521 10th St. East on March 12, 2000. The university student had been stabbed and slashed 56 times.
McCullock was charged in connection with her death in November 2002 after his DNA was found to match samples taken from the crime scene. It was present in blood on Wheeler's jacket and on a door as well as in a pubic hair stuck in dried blood on Wheeler's forearm.
On Friday, McCullock told the jury of six men and six women that he has had a chronic nose bleeding problem in the winter since he was a child.
"I wouldn't remember if I bled on something or not," he testified under questioning by his lawyer Hugh Harradence.
McCullock admitted going to Wheeler's apartment between 20 and 30 times from January to March of 2000. He said he'd go a couple of times a week to buy small amounts of marijuana from her roommate David Parent.
Sometimes McCullock, Parent and Wheeler would get high together by smoking marijuana using a water pipe, he said.
Under cross-examination, McCullock explained his DNA could have ended up on Wheeler's jacket because he may have moved the jacket off a chair before sitting down during one of his visits.
"There would be many reasons to touch her jacket," he said.
In the course of the examination by Harradence, which lasted about five minutes, McCullock twice denied involvement in Wheeler's murder, saying he neither killed her nor knows who did.
McCullock told the court he learned of Wheeler's death while at school on the Monday after she was found.
"I was pretty shocked personally," he said. "The fact that I was just there . . . I had been there to buy marijuana."
McCullock said when he heard that Wheeler had died, he went to see Parent who was staying at his parents' home "to comfort him."
In his cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl wondered why McCullock, who said he was a friend of Parent, didn't continue their friendship after Wheeler's death.
"He stopped selling weed," replied McCullock.
According to evidence presented to the court earlier in the trial, McCullock sold a compact disc player two days after Wheeler died. One of the items reported missing by Parent after Wheeler's death was a blue Shockwave disc player.
In his testimony, McCullock said the disc player he pawned was black and had been given to his girlfriend by her sister. He said he sold it so he could take his girlfriend out for her birthday.
"I was living at home and didn't have a lot of money," he said.
Outside court, Dahl said the case against McCullock is circumstantial.
"No one was here to testify that they saw Mr. McCullock kill Miss Wheeler. So there's no direct evidence of it. We're simply asking the jury to draw the inference at the end of the day and that is the only inference that can be drawn," he told reporters.
In a separate interview, Harradence said it was important for the jury to hear from McCullock himself that he is innocent.
"He was eager to testify and he wanted to testify," said Harradence.
After two weeks of evidence, the Crown and the defence will present their final arguments to the court on Monday. Queen's Bench Justice Robert Laing plans to give his charge to the jury on Tuesday.
Dominic McCullock's DNA was found in blood on three door handles at Jaime Wheeler's suite, on the sleeve of her jacket and in bodily fluid on the stem of a marijuana water pipe that was found in the front yard of the home where she died, the jury at his second- degree murder trial heard Wednesday.
McCullock, 23, is accused of stabbing the 20-year-old university student 56 times in her basement suite at 521 10th St. East on March 12, 2000.
McCullock was charged in November 2002 after his DNA matched samples found at the suite, where he had often come to buy marijuana from Wheeler's roommate, David Parent.
Norma Szakacs, an RCMP forensic biologist in charge of evidence recovery at the Regina lab, spent a second day on the witness stand Wednesday.
She said blood found on walls, the floor, furniture, a television, magazines and paper in the suite matched Wheeler's sample.
Defence lawyer Mark Brayford focused on the possibility of human error in DNA handling and interpretation.
Under cross-examination by Brayford, Szakacs acknowledged the Regina lab once mixed up samples in a different murder case. The mistake was found after police asked the lab to check results that didn't make sense.
Brayford was particularly interested in two different opinions about the origin of a pubic hair found stuck in blood on Wheeler's arm.
The Regina lab found Wheeler was the major contributor to a mixed DNA profile extracted from the pubic hair root tip.
A lab in Louisiana later tested another type of cell from the hair shaft and found the hair was a product of McCullock's body, Brayford said.
An analyst from the Louisiana lab will give evidence about those findings today.
When Szakacs first received the hair, she snipped off the root end and sent it to another department of the lab for DNA analysis.
Nuclear DNA can be extracted from the cells in the root sheath and in white blood cells.
The Regina tests revealed a mixed profile, with Wheeler contributing more of the DNA and McCullock contributing less.
Szakacs originally thought the greater presence of Wheeler's DNA meant it was her pubic hair, she said, though she added one can never be certain when the profile is mixed.
Brayford also questioned Szakacs' ability to differentiate between pubic and chest hair. Szakacs stood by her opinion that it was a pubic hair.
A folding knife from the apartment revealed only the DNA of Parent, Wheeler's roommate.
Parent previously testified that another knife was missing from the coffee table after the killing.
It was a folding hunting knife with a decorative inlay in the handle.
The trial has not heard any other evidence about that knife.
Two mugs on the coffee table revealed the DNA of two of Wheeler's friends, Micheil Clark and Renee Starkell, who had visited the apartment on Friday, March 10, 2000.
The Regina lab profiled and ruled out more than 200 people during the investigation, Szakacs said.
DNA found in blood on Jaime Wheeler's jacket and on the outside back door of the house where she lived matched Dominic McCullock's, an RCMP forensic biologist testified at McCullock's second-degree murder trial Tuesday.
Wheeler, 21, was found dead March 12, 2000, in her basement suite at 521 10th St. East. She had been stabbed 56 times.
McCullock, now 23, was charged in her death in November 2002 after DNA analysis of his blood matched that from an unknown male found at the Wheeler crime scene.
McCullock was friends with Wheeler's roommate, David Parent, and often came to the suite to buy marijuana from him.
Norma Szakacs, who has a PhD in molecular biology and has been analysing DNA at the RCMP forensics lab in Regina for 10 years, was qualified as an expert witness at the trial.
She said the possibility of a random match with another member of the Canadian Caucasian population is about one in 130 billion. It was even less likely to be an aboriginal person, she said, listing that statistical possibility as one in 1.5 quadrillion.
She said it is "extremely unlikely" the blood came from anyone other than McCullock.
Szakacs had already given the jury an hour-long lecture, complete with coloured handouts, on how DNA profiling works. She explained how scientists examine repeating patterns of information in chromosomes to create DNA profiles.
The defence has questioned previous witnesses at this trial, which began last Monday, about the possibility of their having inadvertently spread blood from the basement suite to door knobs and an outside gate.
Parent, who found the body around noon on March 12, has said he was so distraught at the time it is possible he could have gotten blood on his hands without realizing it when he picked up his dog, which had been loose in the suite.
Defence lawyer Mark Brayford has also asked questions suggesting the dog's coat could have picked up a pubic hair from another part of the apartment and deposited it on Wheeler's body, where it was found stuck in blood on her arm.
Brayford questioned Szakacs Tuesday on whether a chest hair or navel hair might be mistaken for a pubic hair. She said pubic hairs have distinctive characteristics, such as variation in diameter.
Defence says origin of item questionable
Police seeking Jaime Wheeler's killer somehow overlooked a portable Panasonic disc player sold by Dominic McCullock as they pored over thousands of pawnshop transactions in the months after the murder, the jury at McCullock's second-degree murder trial heard Monday.
McCullock, 23, is accused of stabbing the 21-year-old university student 56 times in her basement suite at 521 10th St. East on March 12, 2000.
The six-foot-tall man, then 19, was a friend of Wheeler's roommate, David Parent, who regularly sold marijuana to him at the apartment.
McCullock was identified as a suspect in the case in November 2002, after his blood sample matched DNA found at the crime scene.
Defence lawyer Hugh Harradence suggested Monday the fact the item sold by McCullock at Cash Connection Pawn Shop was overlooked indicated that a closer inspection of a now-destroyed record must have revealed it was not the item missing from Wheeler's basement suite.
McCullock had made a flurry of sales to pawn shops around that time. Records show he sold a pair of speakers, a woman's ring and a camera lens in the two weeks prior to the killing. He sold a disc player two days after and a camera the day after that.
The roommate Parent told the court last week that he had noticed four items missing from the apartment after the homicide: a Panasonic Shockwave compact disc player, model SWL303; two folding knives and a Vista telephone programmed to store the phone numbers of anyone who called Wheeler's line.
The telephone had been ripped from the wall. SaskTel records show that happened at 3:01 a.m. March 12.
Parent knew the disc player well. It had been his and he had given it to Wheeler to keep until he came up with rent money he owed her. Wheeler normally carried the player in the zip pocket of her jacket and Parent had recently seen the earphone cord hanging from the pocket.
Police at the crime scene found Wheeler's jacket on the floor near the door, stained with blood. The disc player was gone.
Saskatoon police Const. David Hudson testified Monday that in December 2000 he was assigned to look through pawn records for items missing from the Wheeler residence.
He estimates he looked at 6,000 daily logs from pawn shops throughout the city, which listed about 90,000 transactions.
The logs are brief summaries of transactions compiled by pawn shop staff based on detailed transaction cards filled out for each item that comes into a shop.
The cards include information taken from two pieces of identification of the person pawning the item and a detailed description of the item, including its serial number and model.
Police pick up the cards and logs from the pawn shops at least weekly, often two or three times per week, Hudson said.
The cards are kept for 21 months and then destroyed, he said.
By the time Hudson was assigned to check the pawn records for the specific missing items, nine months after Wheeler's death, other officers had already checked the logs looking for the names of about 50 people who were considered persons of interest in the investigation.
Under cross-examination by Harradence, Hudson said if he had found the items he sought on the log, he probably would have looked at the more detailed transaction card for that item.
There would have been a great many transactions to check more closely; Harradence pointed out that in two days of records tendered as evidence at the trial, three portable disc players were sold or pawned at Saskatoon stores.
But Hudson did not find a match for Wheeler's missing disc player until sometime after November 2002, when he was told to search specifically for items sold by McCullock.
Hudson found a log from Cash Connection Pawn Shop, which showed McCullock had sold a Panasonic disc player on March 14, 2000, just two days after the killing.
Hudson then found that the detailed transaction card had already been destroyed. McCullock's name came to his attention 31 months after Wheeler's death.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Some readers may find parts of this story disturbing
Relatives of stabbing victim Jaime Wheeler ran from the courtroom Friday and sobbed loudly in the hall as a video of the crime scene was played showing the young girl's bloodied body.
The video was prefaced with a warning from Queen's Bench Justice Robert Laing that it depicted "disturbing" images.
"If you're squeamish at all, I suppose you'd not want to be present," Laing said, before calling in the six-man, six-woman jury. "Everybody's been forewarned."
City police Sgt. Reginald Smith shot the video the day the 21- year-old's body was discovered by her roommate in their basement suite. It shows the cluttered Broadway-area suite, panning across Wheeler's body lying at the foot of a couch.
She is on her back, arms partly folded by her chest and legs crossed at her ankles. Her white socks are blood-soaked. Blood also stains her shirt and skin, where cuts are evident from her attack in the early hours of March 12, 2000.
She was stabbed and slashed 56 times. Dominic McCullock, 22, is on trial for second-degree murder. He was charged in 2002 after DNA from blood and a pubic hair on Wheeler matched his.
Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl didn't want to comment to the media about the impact of the video, but noted "the images seen on the video are images in still photographs in this trial, too."
The video gives a better perspective than photographs, he added.
"You see all of the furniture that gets talked about and their relation to one another — rooms and their relation to one another."
Defence lawyer Mark Brayford agreed it was relevant.
"There's no question the deceased was murdered, but without being able to get the overview of what happened at that murder scene, it would be difficult for the jurors to have an appreciation of where the exhibits were collected from," he said outside court.
Dahl spent much of the day having Smith explain where and how all of the exhibits were collected, when they were sent to a crime lab and when they returned.
Brayford used his cross-examination to poke holes in the dependability of DNA and Smith's ability to collect it.
Smith had been an identification officer for three years and learned his methods through colleagues. Brayford noted that DNA collecting was "pretty novel" then.
"We're now at a time when you can collect a few cells and find out who it belongs to. We're collecting samples that you can't even see," he said. While that has benefits, "the danger of cross- contamination is much greater," he said.
Commonly handled objects, such as telephones and door knobs, can have many profiles and "unpredictable results," Brayford said.
Wheeler's apartment was understood to be a busy place with many friends visiting her or roommate, David Parent. McCullock was an acquaintance of Parent and visited the suite in the two months prior to the killing.
In the months after the murder, police had DNA samples from about 200 people analysed at the Regina crime lab, with some also being sent to a U.S.-based forensic lab, ReliaGene Technologies, Inc., in New Orleans.
Brayford noted in court that one exhibit, a hair sample, was reported as No. 53. It was sent to ReliaGene and returned as sample Nos. 53 and 53-1. It turned out an unexpected hair was also in the vial collected by police.
Brayford also questioned how often the protective gloves used by officers are changed.
Smith said they are checked routinely for blood stains and changed immediately, or every so often if no stain is present.
"But we just agreed that some DNA cannot even be seen," Brayford said. "So how do you know it is not there?"
Smith was asked to show the method of collecting samples by using the microphone as an example. From that, Brayford learned the cap of the vials are often touched on the inside by the officers' gloves.
Brayford also suggested contamination could have come from Parent's dog, who was running loose because the door to the house was ajar the day Wheeler's body was found. Parent had been out all night at a rave.
"Did you take any steps to examine the dog for DNA or take swabs from the dog," Brayford asked.
"No," Smith replied.
The trial, which wrapped up its first week, is scheduled for a total of three weeks.
A university student who lived on the main floor of the house where Jaime Wheeler was stabbed to death in the basement suite was awoken by the outside back door opening in the early morning hours of March 12, 2000.
Wheeler, a 21-year-old university student, was found dead from 56 stab wounds the next day. Dominic McCullock, now 22, was charged with second-degree murder more than two years later, after DNA from the scene matched his.
Lee Ann Harasymchuk, the upstairs tenant, testified Thursday that when she heard the door open, she thought it might be one of her two roommates.
When Harasymchuk heard the door open, she looked at the clock and remembers that it was 2 or 2:30 a.m. "on the nose," but has never been able to recall which.
Harasymchuk turned on the light, thinking she would get up to say hello, but no one entered the main floor suite, so she turned off the light and went back to sleep, she said.
She was woken again some time later by the whining of a dog outside that belonged to the downstairs tenants. It seemed unusual that the pup was outside in the middle of the night and she considered letting it in, but then, deciding that the owner must have placed him outside for a reason, she went back to sleep.
Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl entered as an exhibit a letter from a SaskTel official, who said a review of records showed the telephone in the downstairs suite was disconnected at 3:01 a.m.
One of Harasymchuk's roommates, Cory Tremeer, had a bedroom set up in the detached garage.
He testified Thursday that he was sleeping in the garage when he was woken about 3:30 or 4 a.m. by the downstairs tenant's dog, which was barking and running around in the yard. Tremeer said he went back to sleep.
The next morning, as he went into the house, Tremeer was annoyed to see the outside back door standing ajar. The pup from the basement suite was on the landing inside.
Otherwise, nothing unusual came to his notice, he said.
He did not see a spot of blood on the outside door knob, which was later observed by the first police officer to respond to a 911 call.
The defence suggests the blood may have been spread to the door knob by one of the people who later discovered Wheeler's body.
Tremeer, then a graduate student, spent most of that day at the university, unaware of the dramatic events unfolding at the house.
David Parent, who shared the basement suite with Wheeler and who finished his second day of testimony Thursday, had returned home, after staying out all night, during the noon hour.
He was surprised to find his dog running loose in the yard. He went downstairs, where he found the suite door ajar, blood on the carpet and Wheeler lying on the floor.
In a panic, he ran upstairs, banged on the door and asked Harasymchuk to call an ambulance.
Harasymchuk said she carried the cordless phone downstairs and followed the 911 operator's instructions to check for a pulse. She was preparing to attempt CPR when the police and ambulance attendants arrived and ushered her out.
Both emergency medical technicians (EMTs) touched Wheeler's body during brief examinations that told them the woman was dead, they testified Thursday.
EMT Chantal Lepage said she was careful to remove her bloody latex gloves before touching anything else, but her colleague, Jason Trask, said he couldn't remember when he removed his.
Trask acknowledged under cross-examination by defence lawyer Hugh Harradence that he may have left the bloody gloves on until he was back inside the ambulance.
Blood with McCullock's DNA was found on the outside doorknob and on the front yard gate, through which the EMTs and police arrived.
It is possible the front gate was also used by the killer because the back yard gate made so much noise when it was opened that it had, on other occasions, woken Tremeer in the garage.
Tremeer said Thursday he didn't hear anyone use the back gate that night.
The second-degree murder trial of Dominic McCullock did not sit Wednesday.
The trial for the man accused of killing university student Jaime Wheeler in March 2000 resumes today.
There were numerous people who might be suspected in the March 2000 stabbing death of university student Jaime Wheeler, defence lawyers for Dominic McCullock said during Day 2 of his second- degree murder trial.
There was Wheeler's ex-girlfriend, Nicole Prince, with whom she'd had a stormy romantic relationship.
Wheeler's roommate at the time of the murder, David Parent, testified Tuesday that "it was apparent (Wheeler and Prince) loved each other, but there were issues."
He said the couple had broken up because Prince had been unfaithful. The two women still spoke on the phone daily and Prince was still "pushing the relationship issue," Parent said.
No one other than McCullock was ever charged in connection with Wheeler's death.
Parent, 26, spent most of Tuesday on the witness stand at Court of Queen's Bench, during which he talked about his and Wheeler's involvement in the drug-filled rave scene, about his trafficking various drugs and about finding Wheeler's body when he returned home after an all-night rave and a house party.
Parent said he returned home around noon on March 12 and found his puppy loose in the yard with no one watching him, which was unusual. Parent then found the basement suite door ajar, he said.
Inside, he saw a large, brown stain on the carpet and then noticed Wheeler lying in a semi-fetal position. In a panic, he ran upstairs and asked the occupant, Lee Ann Ruttan, to call 911.
Ruttan did, and carried the cordless phone to the suite, where Parent watched as Ruttan apparently followed the 911 operator's instructions to feel Wheeler's throat, face and chest.
As soon as Ruttan touched Wheeler, Parent said he knew she was dead.
It was a stunning moment for Parent, who had considered Wheeler one of his best friends. He stood there, frozen, for what seemed like a long time, before his dog drew his attention and he snapped out of it, he said.
He picked up the pup and left the house. Out in the yard, he hid some marijuana under a rock as he waited for emergency personnel.
An autopsy showed Wheeler had been stabbed 56 times.
McCullock's lawyer, Mark Brayford, questioned Parent extensively about the movements of Caillou, the furry, three-month-old, husky- German shepherd cross, suggesting the dog could have spread DNA around. Parent acknowledged the dog's coat could have picked up a hair from the bathroom and dropped it elsewhere.
The dog was free to roam throughout the suite, and was there before the death and possibly after. The dog followed Parent into the suite and Parent couldn't say exactly what the dog was doing in the frantic moments after the horrible discovery.
Parent acknowledged he was so distraught he might not have noticed if there was blood on the dog's coat, which could have spread to his hand and the door knobs, but he was fairly certain he would have noticed such a thing.
Brayford observed outside the courtroom that suspects linked to crimes with DNA often have no innocent explanations for being at the crime scene, but that is not the case with his client.
McCullock, now 22, was arrested in Sylvan Lake, Alta., in November 2002, more than 2 1/2 years after the death. He was charged with Wheeler's murder after his blood sample matched DNA found in blood and a pubic hair at the murder scene.
Police had already ruled out about 200 persons of interest in the case through DNA profiling.
Parent said he and McCullock had been friends for about four years at the time of the killing. The two had hung out and often smoked marijuana together.
In the three months prior to the murder, McCullock had come to the suite to buy marijuana from Parent 15 or 20 times, about every three to five days, Parent said. McCullock often stayed and visited after making purchases. Wheeler often joined McCullock and Parent in smoking marijuana, he said.
Parent said Wheeler and McCullock had had conversations and Parent had no reason to think his petite roommate did not like McCullock. Nor did McCullock ever say anything to Parent about Wheeler.
Parent acknowledged that McCullock had probably used the toilet at the suite, and could have been there as recently as the day before, though he could not say for sure when the tall, husky man was last there.
Under cross-examination by Brayford, Parent also answered questions about other people who might be considered suspect.
Among those brought to the jury's attention was Parent's ex- girlfriend, Danielle Kopp, who had been distraught when Parent broke up with her a year earlier.
Either on the night of the killing or a few days prior to it, Kopp had visited Parent at the 10th Street basement suite where Wheeler was killed.
Kopp, who also testified Tuesday, said she was over the breakup by March 2000 when she stopped in to visit Parent briefly. Kopp recalled that she had talked with Parent in his bedroom for about 30 minutes around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.
There was another acquaintance of Parent's, referred to mysteriously as Mr. J., who was seen a few days after Wheeler's death wearing sunglasses that looked like hers. Mr. J later persisted in wearing a T-shirt that said Born Serial Killer, even after Parent told him it was offensive.
There were also 70 to 100 people who had come to the basement suite to buy marijuana, ecstasy or other drugs from Parent in the six months he had lived there.
University student Jaime Wheeler was stabbed 56 times in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 12, 2000, the jury hearing the second-degree murder trial of Dominic McCullock heard Monday.
The 21-year-old's body was discovered by her roommate, David Parent, who returned to their Broadway Avenue-area basement suite around noon that day, after staying out all night at a rave dance party, Crown prosecutor Dan Dahl told the jury of six men and six women in opening remarks at Court of Queen's Bench.
McCullock, 22, was arrested in Sylvan Lake, Alta., and charged with murder in 2002 after DNA from blood and a pubic hair found at the scene matched his, Dahl said.
Dahl stressed he was not giving evidence but rather was telling the jury what to expect from witnesses who will give evidence for them to evaluate.
Despite the presence of the accused's pubic hair, which was found stuck in blood on Wheeler's forearm, the Crown is not alleging sexual assault. If such an allegation was being made, the charge would have been first-degree murder, Dahl said in an interview.
McCullock was an acquaintance of Parent's and had visited the suite in the two months prior to the murder, Dahl told the jury.
In the months after the murder, police had DNA samples from about 200 people analysed at the Regina crime lab, Dahl said.
The Crown will also present documents police obtained from a local pawn shop which show that the accused pawned a Panasonic Discman-style CD player two days after Wheeler's death.
Wheeler's Panasonic disc player was missing after the murder, as was a knife she usually kept on the coffee table, Dahl told the jury.
The first witnesses were asked about events beginning Friday, March 10.
Micheil Clark, a friend of Wheeler's, testified that he, Donald Hobday and Erin Starkell picked Wheeler up that Friday and went for coffee. The four spent about two hours at Robins Doughnuts on Second Avenue, then returned to Wheeler's suite at 521 10th St. East.
They watched television, played video games and the women smoked marijuana, Clark said. The three friends left around 4 or 5 a.m.
Wheeler worked the next day at Kelsey's restaurant, where she was employed part time as a line cook while attending the University of Saskatchewan in pursuit of a psychology degree.
Delorese Knaus, who worked with Wheeler, told court she remembers giving Wheeler a ride home about 5:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Wheeler was in a good mood and the two of them joked and laughed the whole way home, Knaus said.
Another friend, Doriane Dreher, testified that Wheeler called her around 6 p.m. that evening.
The two talked, among other things, about Wheeler's annoyance with Parent, who owed her money for the rent. Dreher called Wheeler back shortly before 7 p.m. and recommended she move. They discussed Wheeler's desire to quit using drugs and "get her priorities in order,"Dreher said.
Soon after, Parent arrived home with two friends, Rhonda Kozak and Amber McNally. Kozak told court that the women stayed for about 45 minutes, talking about the rave they were going to later. Wheeler told them she wasn't going to the rave, Kozak said.
McNally testified that Wheeler was annoyed with Parent because his dog had soiled in the apartment.
McNally and Kozak left and later saw Parent at the rave. McNally said she saw Parent there throughout the night and that he was still there when she left at 7 a.m. Sunday.
The Crown prosecutor said he will call other witnesses who will testify that after the women left the suite Saturday night, another of Parent's friends stopped in and left around 10:30 p.m. Parent left for the rave about 11 p.m, said Dahl.
Another person spoke to Wheeler on the phone around 11:30 p.m. and she told that person she intended to stay home and study, Dahl said.
Dahl also told court that witnesses will say residents of the upstairs suite heard Parent's dog bark sometime around 3 or 4 a.m. A SaskTel employee will say the suite's telephone went "off line" around 3 a.m.
The Crown intends to call 28 witnesses in all at the trial, which is expected to last three weeks.
Dahl is being assisted by Melody Kujawa. McCullock is represented by Mark Brayford and Hugh Harradence. Justice Robert Laing is presiding.
The man accused of killing university student Jaime Wheeler in her Broadway area apartment almost four years ago appeared in Queen's Bench court Monday for a pretrial hearing.
Dominic McCullock, 21, was arrested in 2002 in Sylvan Lake, Alta., and has been in custody since then.
He returns for trial April 19 on one count of second degree murder.
Wearing buttons displaying her smiling face, family and friends of Jaime Wheeler exchanged hugs and bittersweet smiles at the provincial courthouse Friday after Dominic McCullock, the young man accused of murdering her in her Broadway-area apartment, was committed to stand trial in Court of Queen's Bench.
Having spent the three-year anniversary of her death listening to grisly forensic evidence, they were clearly relieved to have the week-long preliminary hearing over with. The evidence is banned from publication at this stage.
"Wednesday marked the third year since our precious Jaime has been so brutally and viciously taken from our lives," the family wrote in a prepared statement released Friday.
"During this preliminary hearing we are having a difficult time dealing with our emotions based on evidence being released throughout the past few days. The family and friends of Jaime would like to express our appreciation to the press for respecting our privacy throughout this difficult time."
Wheeler, a shy 20-year-old university student and part-time cook, was found viciously stabbed to death in her basement suite on March 12, 2000. The crime remained unsolved for more than two years while police sorted through hundreds of possible suspects.
The investigation did not initially include McCullock, 20 years old when arrested, who lived in Lakeview with his parents at the time. He moved to Sylvan Lake, Alta., last year and was arrested there in December for second-degree murder in Wheeler's death.
McCullock was later also charged with sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault in connection with two unsolved attacks on women in Lakeview on Jan. 20 and 22, 2000.
Those charges have been adjourned while the murder case proceeds.
"We are pleased that there is sufficient evidence to take this case to trial," the family wrote.
"But for the family and friends of Jaime, this nightmare will never be over."
They issued thanks to the city police for the long hours spent on the investigation, and to the Victims Services workers who have supported them throughout the ordeal.
20-year-old suspect faces family of slain U of S student
The young man accused of brutally killing Jaime Wheeler in her Broadway-area basement suite almost three years ago sat passively before a crowd of her friends and family as his preliminary hearing began Monday in provincial court.
Sporting a grey sweatshirt and a new hair colour — solid black instead of orange spikes — 20-year-old Dominic McCullock looked calm and prepared for at least a week of testimony.
His lawyer, Mark Brayford, didn't see it that way.
"He's a young man that's obviously very concerned, very nervous (and) scared, as one might expect anyone facing such a serious charge (would be)," Brayford told reporters outside the courthouse.
"He's pleased the judicial system was able to get this case on relatively quickly, and (he's) anxious to see what the evidence is."
Preliminary hearings are held to determine whether the Crown has enough evidence to take a case to trial. They are open to the public, but the evidence is banned from publication. The defence rarely calls witnesses of its own.
Police charged McCullock with second-degree murder last December, following a nearly three-year investigation into Wheeler's death.
The quiet 20-year-old University of Saskatchewan psychology student was discovered curled up in a pool of blood on the floor of her 10th Street East basement apartment when her roommate came home from an all-night rave party at about noon on March 12.
There had been no forced entry, and the level of violence evident in the room led investigators to suspect she knew her killer, though she did not seem to have any enemies.
Police have said McCullock was not initially a suspect. He was living in Alberta at the time of his arrest, but had only recently moved out of Saskatoon.
Within two weeks of his arrest, city police charged him with additional counts of sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault.
Those charges, which will be dealt with after the murder charge, relate to two previously unsolved attacks on women in the Lakeview area on Jan. 20 and 22, 2000. McCullock lived in the area with his parents before he left town.
Close relatives of Wheeler were red-eyed and sombre as court began Monday. They refused to speak to reporters, but said they may give a statement on Wednesday, which will mark the three-year anniversary of her death.
McCullock is being held in the Saskatoon Correctional Centre while his trial is pending. The preliminary hearing is expected to conclude by the end of next week.
Lakeview residents hope the man responsible for multiple sexual attacks in the normally quiet neighbourhood over the past four years is now safely in custody.
"Hopefully that's him, and if it is then that's good," said neighbourhood resident Greg Mylks. "The residents in this area have certainly been a little bit concerned."
"That's what I'm wondering, is if they've got the right person or not. I don't know," said Danielle Lobsinger, who still often walks her dog near the scenes of the attacks.
On Wednesday Dominic McCullock, who stands accused in the death of university student Jaime Wheeler, was charged with four offences relating to two attacks that took place on Stillwater Drive. Those incidents happened on Jan. 22, 2000, and Jan. 20, 2002.
Lakeview's most recent violent incident happened Nov. 9, when a man wearing a dark balaclava and carrying a kitchen knife broke into a home in the 1900 block of McKercher Drive. He raped a 30-year-old woman, then fled.
"Nobody would expect that in our neighbourhood. Maybe in a downtown area or something, a busy area. But in our area?" said Mary Gonari, who lives in an apartment complex on Stillwater Drive. "It's quiet. There are some teenagers running around, but that's about it."
A Saskatoon Police Service press release issued after the Nov. 9 attack said investigators were looking into "the possibility that this assault is connected to sexual assaults that have occurred in this area over the past several years." There have been three others previous cases of sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults in the Lakeview area since July of 1999.
McCullock was arrested in connection with Wheeler's death Dec. 3 in Sylvan Lake, Alta., where he had been living for the past six months. According to Acting Insp. Keith Atkinson of Saskatoon Police Service, investigators then began looking into a possible link to other crimes.
Atkinson declined to say if McCullock is being investigated in connection with the most recent Lakeview attack.
Kyle Krushelniski, vice-president of the Lakeview Community Association. is confident in police efforts.
"If it is the guy, that's great. If there's another one out there, we hope they find him pretty quick."
The following is a public statement by the friends and family of Jaime Wheeler, who was stabbed to death in her Broadway-area basement suite March 12, 2000. It was read by her close friend, Michelle Oppermann, after Dominic McCullock, accused in Wheeler's killing, appeared in provincial court Wednesday.
This has been a very difficult time for us, the family, and for Jaime's many friends. For almost three years, we have been overwhelmed by feelings of denial, grief, sorrow, anger and despair.
It has been an ordeal that we would not wish upon anyone. We have been tormented by many unanswered questions as to who and why anyone would have committed such a horrible, horrible act on our precious Jaime.
The pending charges have brought us some relief and hope that our questions might now be answered. But it will never bring our Jaime back. We can only hold her dearly in our hearts, and never in our arms.
We would also like to express our sympathy to the family and friends of the accused, Dominic McCullock.
Most importantly, we would like to express our gratefulness to the many detectives from the Saskatoon police force who have so diligently and tirelessly worked on our behalf to bring justice to Jaime's untimely and brutal death.
Thank you to all our relatives, friends and friends of Jaime's who have given us much needed love and support during this difficult time.
The man accused of stabbing a 20-year-old university student to death nearly three years ago made a brief appearance in provincial court Friday.
Dominic McCullock, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jaime Wheeler.
He was arrested in Sylvan Lake, a resort community south of Edmonton, earlier in the week and transported back to Saskatchewan to face the charge.
Judge Ron Bell adjourned McCullock's case until next Wednesday, while defence lawyer Dan Shapiro waits for disclosure of the Crown's evidence.
Wheeler, from Nipawin, Sask., was a third-year psychology major and worked part-time at a restaurant when she was found stabbed to death in her basement apartment on March 12, 2000.
Since then, police have investigated hundreds of people as possible suspects.
Wheeler's friends and family packed the courtroom Friday in hopes of catching a glimpse of McCullock.
"It's been so long that it's been really difficult," friend Elizabeth Smith said outside the courthouse.
"It's about time the family finds a little closure. As long as we can keep Jaime's memory alive, I think that's the most important thing."
SASKATOON — Friends and relatives of Jaime Wheeler packed a provincial courtroom Friday to catch a first glimpse of the man accused of killing her nearly three years ago.
They had only a few moments to examine 20-year-old Dominic McCullock behind the Plexiglas of the prisoner's box as a Crown prosecutor formally charged him with second-degree murder.
Judge Ron Bell adjourned the case until next Wednesday, while defence lawyer Dan Shapiro waits for disclosure of the Crown's evidence. McCullock has not entered a plea, and Shapiro left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
A victims services worker said the Wheelers don't feel ready to make public statements yet, but may appoint a spokesperson later on.
The 20-year-old university student was found stabbed to death in her Broadway-area basement suite on March 12, 2000. The crime has remained unsolved for more than two years while police investigated hundreds of people as possible suspects.
"It's about time," friend Elizabeth Smith said outside the courthouse. "It's been so long that it's been really difficult. It's about time the family finds a little closure. As long as we can keep Jaime's memory alive, I think that's the most important thing."
Curtis Boyd, another friend, said he doesn't know what to think right now.
"I just wanted to see what this guy looked like, I wanted to see the expression on his face, I wanted to see how he looked at the family," Boyd said. "I saw a scared individual, that's all I can say."
Neither of them had ever seen or heard of McCullock before.
City police remained tight-lipped about what led investigators to him. His family has declined comment, but neighbours at their quiet Lakeview crescent expressed disbelief that McCullock could be connected to a violent crime.
Police have said they are looking into the possibility McCullock is connected with other unsolved crimes in the city, but refuse to specify which incidents they're talking about.
SASKATOON — A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Jaime Wheeler, a university student who was found stabbed to death in her Broadway-area basement suite March 12, 2000.
RCMP in Sylvan Lake, Alta., arrested the man there Tuesday afternoon, after Saskatoon police tracked him to that location, said Sgt. Keith Atkinson of the Saskatoon police.
The man is expected to appear in Saskatoon provincial court Friday, where he will be formally charged with murder.
Police are also looking into the possibility the man is connected with other crimes in Saskatoon, Atkinson said.
Saskatoon police have investigated hundreds of people in the murder case that has stymied them for more than two years.
Wheeler, who was from Nipawin, was in the third year of a psychology degree program.
The trail leading to the killer of Jaime Wheeler is heating back up again, say Saskatoon police, thanks to new tips from the public about the unsolved murder case.
"There is definitely new information and new leads," said Sgt. Keith Atkinson, department spokesperson.
Three weeks ago, police released a criminal profile of the person suspected of killing the 20-year-old University of Saskatchewan student in her Broadway-area home two years ago.
The profile suggested the suspect is a white man in his mid-20s who was impulsive and knew Wheeler before the fatal encounter.
Atkinson said numerous tips have given the major crimes investigators new leads to follow. He would not say what those new leads are or if they confirm the profile.
"There has been different names mentioned and things like that. They are going about seeing if these people are suspects. Once they hash through the information and follow up some of the leads, we don't know where it will end," said Atkinson.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death of Jaime Wheeler, a university student who was found stabbed to death in her Broadway-area basement suite March 12, 2000.
RCMP in Sylvan Lake, Alta., arrested the man there Tuesday afternoon, after Saskatoon police tracked him to that location, said Sgt. Keith Atkinson of the Saskatoon police.
The man is expected to appear in Saskatoon provincial court Friday, where he will be formally charged with murder.
Police are also looking into the possibility the man is connected with other crimes in Saskatoon, Atkinson said.
"We're looking at unsolved cases right now. Which ones, we can't comment on but if anything comes to light then we will make that known."
Saskatoon police have investigated hundreds of people in the murder case that has stymied them for more than two years.
Wheeler, who was from Nipawin, was in the third year of a psychology degree program. The 20-year-old worked part time at Kelsey's Restaurant, where she was a line pivot in the kitchen and part of a fairly tight-knit group of employees.
Curtis Boyd, a friend from Kelsey's restaurant, was surprised and pleased by the news.
"That's the best news I've heard in a while," Boyd said Wednesday. "I didn't think they'd ever (arrest) anyone."
Wheeler's family chose not to comment when contacted Wednesday.
During the investigation, police also interviewed many people who frequented the rave dance parties in Saskatoon that Wheeler often attended, but to no avail.
The break came about a month ago after the man was identified as a person of interest in the case, Atkinson said.
Residents of the affluent Lakeview crescent where the man's family lives were shocked at the news.
"We're devastated by this. We don't believe he's guilty," said a neighbour who asked that her name not be used.
Another neighbour said the young man was a quiet but friendly teenager who never caused any problem in their quiet cul de sac.
"I find it hard to believe. I never saw him as an aggressive personality. I think they must have the wrong person," she said.
"He was always very nice to me," she said, noting that she last saw him in the summer, when he stopped by to borrow an automotive tool, which he promptly returned.
Saskatoon police had learned that the suspect was in Sylvan Lake, a resort community west of Red Deer, and called the RCMP there to pick him up, said Atkinson.
Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment Cmdr. Tim Gilbert said Wednesday his staff phoned the man and asked him to come to the detachment.
He was arrested when he arrived and taken to a provincial jail in Red Deer. Saskatoon police picked him up Wednesday.
Atkinson could not say whether the man knew Wheeler or whether there has been a DNA link because that is part of the investigation.
The man, who was 18 at the time of the killing, was not a suspect earlier in the investigation, Atkinson said.
SASKATOON — He was impulsive, possessive of women, explosive and familiar.
After stabbing Jaime Wheeler to death, leaving her curled up on the floor of her basement suite off Broadway Avenue two years ago, he retreated to a safe haven nearby to nurse his own wounds. The Caucasian man in his 20s then fled Saskatoon.
After two years and more than 10,000 investigation hours, the major crimes unit of Saskatoon police still have no name to call the man they believe killed the 20-year-old University of Saskatchewan student. They might not have the name, but police now have a criminal profile of who might be responsible for the death.
Saskatoon police Sgt. Neil Wylie, the case manager, hopes the profile will trigger someone's memory about what happened that night — and who is may responsible. DNA testing of 150 people resulted in no match to the fresh blood found at the scene.
"We are looking for a new, solid direction. We believe out there that someone in the public has information that will assist us in solving this case," said Wylie, one of six investigators on the case.
Saskatoon police will release new information on the unsolved killing of Jaime Wheeler today, the second-anniversary of the University of Saskatchewan student's death.
What led to the shy, 20-year-old woman being brutally stabbed to death in her Broadway-area home has baffled major crimes investigators for two years.
Plenty of leads have been exhausted.
No charges have been laid.
"What I can say is all the significant persons of interest have been conclusively eliminated (as suspects)," said Sgt. Keith Atkinson.
Now with the help of behavioural analysis techniques, police have created a criminal profile of who could have been responsible for Wheeler's death.
Atkinson says the profile details possible characteristics of the culprit, and what actions that person may have taken before, during and afterward.
He would not release details of the profiling, noting instead they will be made public at a news conference today.
"We will be releasing new information, such as the profiling, in hopes it may jog somebody's memory as to something they may have seen that may be of interest to our investigators," he said.
Police also plan to make public new information about Wheeler's activities around the time of her death and her last day alive.
In addition to her studies at the university, she worked in a busy restaurant and enjoyed dancing with friends, including at rave parties. Friends say she had just ended a long-term relationship with another woman, and lived in a house where drugs were regularly used.
She is remembered by many friends for her love of psychology and literature, her dry sense of humour and her fondness of playing video games and watching movies.
Her roommate has said that on the night of the death, Wheeler wanted to stay home to watch television and study.
He left the basement suite and Wheeler at 11 p.m., and returned at noon the next day to find her lifeless body on the floor.
This week, we are asking for your help in solving the murder of 20 year old Jaime Wheeler, who was found dead in her basement suite at 521 10th Street East.
Shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 12 she was found stabbed to death in her suite.
She was last seen on Saturday when she left work for home from Kelsey's on Eighth Street at approximately 5 p.m. Investigators believe she stayed home the rest of the evening.
Investigators have poured thousands of hours into this case and followed up many different leads.
At this point they are in the process of eliminating possible suspects through DNA testing. They are asking for your help in apprehending her killer.
If you have information about this crime, or any other unsolved crime in Saskatoon, call CrimeStoppers at 931-TIPS (931-8477)
Jaime Wheeler would have turned 21 years old today, and the mother of the murdered Saskatoon woman is pleading for those who have information on her daughter to come forward.
"I have no idea why or who. I feel frustrated," Roberta Wheeler said in a telephone interview from her home in Nipawin.
"It's day by day, but it's getting more difficult. Reality has set in that she's gone."
Wheeler was killed in mid-March after someone entered her basement suite off Broadway Avenue and stabbed her to death.
Police have not laid charges against anyone, nor do they have anyone in custody.
Roberta Wheeler said she and her husband, as well as their two sons want to know what happened to Jaime.
Relatives will gather in Nipawin today to support Jaime's family, and the group will likely visit the grave site.