Court records show there were four crimes scenes related to the killing of UBC botany lecturer Leonard Dyck last summer.
The recently released records — showing the evidence RCMP needed to obtain a search warrant — state that Dease Lake RCMP went to a pullout on Highway 37, 60 km south of Dease Lake in the far north, at 7:20 a.m. on Friday, July 19, after a report that a truck had burned there and was still smouldering. Police called that Scene 1.
Police arrived half an hour later and found a destroyed 1993 red Dodge pickup and camper, identified later that day as belonging to teen killer Kam McLeod, who, along with Bryer Schmegelsky, murdered three people in July.
At about 8:30 a.m., as RCMP Const. David Ribiero was about to drive south to Iskut, road worker William Sjodin pulled in and said he had just seen a dead man in another highway pullout 2.5 km south.
“There’s a dead body in the pit south of here,” Sjodin told police.
Sjodin and Ribiero then drove to that pullout, called Scene 2, and found Dyck’s body. He had died from multiple injuries — zap straps and a shell casing were found near Dyck’s body. According to the police report, Dyck “bled out at the scene,” as a result of injuries from an edged weapon and a gunshot wound.
Two hours later, Ribiero was told that two highway maintenance workers had dealt with a garbage bin fire from the night before on the south side of the Stikine Bridge. This became Scene 3.
Ribiero went to Scene 3 and, while he was there, a truck driver approached him and said that he saw the bin ablaze at about 10:40 p.m. the night before.
At 3:10 p.m. on July 19, a witness stopped by Scene 2, where Dyck had been found, and advised that there was a bathroom by the Stikine River that was covered in blood. Cpl. Al Smith was sent to that scene, where he found large blood drops on the floor and interior walls of the toilet. The toilet was on the south side of the Stikine Bridge and became crime Scene 4.
Just after midnight on July 20, RCMP went to the home of McLeod and told his parents the vehicle had been found. They learned that McLeod and Schmegelsky had left their homes in Port Alberni on July 12 and had contacted family on three occasions since then. At that point, police believed there was evidence in McLeod’s vehicle that could be linked to Dyck’s murder.
RCMP revealed to the public three days later, on July 23, that McLeod and Schmegelsky were prime suspects.
As a result of the evidence, the police were issued a warrant to search the burned-out vehicle.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were found dead from suicide on Aug. 7 in remote Manitoba after a manhunt.
Tourists Lucas Fowler from Australia and Chynna Deese from the U.S. were also murdered, on July 15 by the side of the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs.
Timeline of the triple murders committed in B.C. last summer by teen killers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky
For close to a month last summer, Canadians were gripped with a cross-country manhunt for two Port Alberni teens who had decided for reasons unknown to leave their hometown on a murderous rampage that left three dead.
A consortium of media outlets, including Postmedia News, asked the court for release of hundreds of pages of police documents used to secure several warrants to search homes and vehicles, obtain store records, cellphone records and records from other agencies.
Among the details never heard before is that a man apparently narrowly escaped being the fourth murder victim of the teenagers.
Based on those documents, here is timeline of events from Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, leaving Port Alberni to the discovery of their bodies 27 days later.
McLeod and Schmegelsky leave their Port Alberni homes, telling family and friends they are headed to the Yukon for work. Later that day they arrive at the Cabela’s outdoor gear store in Nanaimo and go straight to the firearm and ammunition section. Using McLeod’s possession and acquisition licence, the pair buy a Soviet SKS carbine, two magazines and 20 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition.
Lucas Fowler, an Australian, and Chynna Deese, an American, leave Hudson Hope on a trip north to Alaska.
On Sunday evening, tourist Charles Ray is driving on Highway 97 — 20 km south of Liard Hot Springs — when he notices a broken-down van. He stops to help. Fowler and Deese tell him they plan to call a tow truck, eventually (the area they are stopped has no cellphone coverage.) Ray camps three kilometres away and plans to check on them in the morning. On this day, numerous people stop to talk to the couple and offer help, while some passersby contact the RCMP.
Road maintenance worker Alandra Hull drives past the van and notes a man in the middle of the road, facing a man and woman who are close to the van. They are in a heated conversation.
Fowler and Deese are last seen alive at 7:15 p.m.
3:25 a.m. — McLeod’s truck with its white camper stops at the Contact Creek Gas Station on Highway 97, 160 km north of where the couple’s van is broken down.
4:16 a.m. — McLeod’s truck observed 220kms north of the crime scene.
6:20 a.m. — A transport truck driver sees two bodies in the ditch, close to the van, and stops. The bodies are cold.
6:47 a.m. — Hull asks a colleague to drive to the scene to check on the couple. That colleague finds the distraught trucker directing traffic. Two tourists also stop at the scene and note the bodies are both face down with their hands loosely at their sides. They are 10 feet from the van, and about 15 feet from each other.
7:22 a.m. — RCMP Prince George’s operational communications centre gets a call from Hull reporting that two dead bodies had been spotted in a ditch by the side of the road. She had been alerted by a driver who spotted the bodies. Other witnesses also call police.
8:20 a.m. — Fort Nelson RCMP, the nearest detachment, is advised.
9:15 a.m. — Ray, as he had planned, attempts to return to check on the couple. He is stopped by a road maintenance crew.
10:30 a.m. — Fort Nelson RCMP officers arrive and five spent shell cases are located nearby. It’s noted the blue 1986 Chevrolet Van is licensed to Fowler and had the side door open and the back window shattered. A local coroner arrives and it’s noted Fowler and Deese’s bodies have entry and exit bullet wounds.
The RCMP major crimes unit is advised and determine Fowler entered Canada on April 16, 2019, while Deese arrived on July 6, 2019. The pair had travelled to Bosnia together in November, 2017.
4 p.m. — McLeod’s truck is seen parking at a gas station near Whitehorse, Yukon.
9:15 a.m. — RCMP major crimes officers arrive a the shooting scene. They note the van is parked on the shoulder of the northbound lane, near a culvert that goes under the highway. There are footprints leading south from the van. Inside the van is Deese’s cellphone and Bank of America visa card. Fowler’s phone was not located.
Leonard Dyck leaves Vancouver in his Toyota RAV 4 on a road trip to Northern B.C. to watch grizzlies. He tells his wife he will be back on July 24.
Dyck texts his wife.
McLeod makes last contact with his family in Port Alberni, saying he and Schmegelsky are in Whitehorse.
Ken Albertson, of Alaska, pulls over for a nap in a pullout on the Alaska Highway shortly after fuelling up his vehicle in Haines Junction, Yukon. This is about 800 kilometres by road from where the young tourist couple were murdered.
Within five minutes, he spots a white truck pull over 50 metres ahead of him on the same side of the road.
A male passenger gets out of the truck with what Albertson says is a long gun and heads towards the treeline on the side of the road. Suddenly, Albertson told police, the man’s body language changes and he begin creeping toward Albertson “in a tactical or hunting stance.” Then white truck also started moving slowly toward him.
Albertson said he quickly started his own truck and drove away, passing the white truck. Albertson said he tried to get a look at the driver, but he covered his face with a hand and turned his head away as Albertson drove by.
Police received this information on July 22.
Dyck texts his wife for the last time. Police confirm publicly that the deceased are Fowler and Deese and their families are notified.
Schmegelsky’s debit card was last used on July 18 on the Alaska Highway. Later, McLeod and Schmegelsky are seen buying goods (including gloves and a chocolate bar later found at the Dyck crime scene) in Dease Lake.
Dease Lake RCMP is called early in the morning with reports of a burning truck in a pullout on Highway 37. While at the scene, police are told a body has just been found in a pullout a few kilometres south. At this point the body, is not identified. It has numerous injuries and has a pool of blood alongside it. It’s later determined Dyck died from a gunshot wound from McLeod’s SKS rifle.
11:40 a.m. — McLeod and Schmegelsky are seen at a gas station near Terrace in Dyck’s RAV 4.
It is determined the burned truck belongs to McLeod and police release pictures of McLeod and Schmegelsky, who at this point are considered simply missing and are not suspects. Through the vehicle’s insurance, police determine McLeod’s parents’ names.
Autopsies are conducted on Fowler and Deese at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital where it is noted the couple had entry and exit gunshot wounds.
Police release a composite image of the man who Hull saw speaking to Fowler and Deese on the night before their murders. Police speak to McLeod’s parents and aunt to say the burned vehicle had been found and they were concerned for his safety. They learn McLeod and Schmegelsky are close friends and had quit their Walmart jobs and were headed to the Yukon. The pair, who are both slim and very tall, have hunted before.
Police speak to Schmegelsky’s grandmother, who confirms the pair had left on a spur-of-the-moment trip north. Before leaving, Schmegelsky had been rejected by a girl. Police then interview McLeod’s girlfriend, who says the pair had been saving for the trip and that on July 13 he had told her by text that the pair would not be returning.
3 p.m. — A white car is seen speeding north on Highway 37.
7 p.m. — The killers are seen at a gas station in La Ronge, Saskatchewan.
Police determine McLeod and Schmegelsky were keen gamers. Vancouver police confirm the ammunition casings from the Highway 97 and Highway 37 crime scenes were both 7.62 mm.
McLeod and Schmegelsky are seen at a store in Meadow Lake, Sask., driving a Toyota RAV 4 and are publicly identified as suspects.
Helen Dyck contacts the RCMP after seeing the drawing of her husband that had been released that day. She tells police her husband loved to drive and see new places as a way of relaxing. He would sleep in his car on the side of the road, usually in pullouts, though he had a tent. She said he was a lecturer at UBC.
Gillam RCMP in Northern Manitoba get a report of vehicle fire in a remote location.
Canada-wide warrants are issued for the arrest of McLeod and Schmegelsky.
RCMP get a search warrant for Cabela’s in Nanaimo.
Police search the homes of McLeod and Schmegelsky and recover maps and ammunition.
During a search near where Dyck’s RAV 4 was found burned, police find dozens of unspent rounds of ammunition on the ground.
McLeod’s backpack containing his wallet, clothing and ammunition is found.
Police find the killers dead, eight kilometres from where the burned the RAV 4.
They have left a series of videos in which they admit to the killings and have no regrets. The video camera belonged to Dyck. They also claimed they were going to hike to Hudson Bay, hijack a boat and go to Europe or Africa. Police say they died in a suicide pact.