The manager of the Thunderbird Motel in Hope charged camera crews a fee to tour the room where the body of suspected killer Ryan Jenkins was found hanging from a coat rack.
Kevin Walker said he stopped taking the fee after a few early news crews paid. He added that he intends to use some of the money to help clients at the hotel, as many are on social assistance and struggling with addiction.
“The money I did take made me feel so sh--ty because it’s blood money, but if I can turn it into a better good, I will.”
Media descended on the secluded Thunderbird after police confirmed the dead man Walker found in Room 2 was Jenkins, the object of a nationwide manhunt. The millionaire Calgary native was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Los Angeles swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore.
Global National reported media were allowed into the room for $500.
Walker, a single father who lives with his 16-year-old son at the motel, said the money will also go toward supporting his son.
“It’s a big family, and we take care of them whether they’re related or not,” he said, adding there are plans to turn the motel’s cabins and rooms into an independent living facility for recovering addicts.
Evanne Cantley, who has been at the motel for three months, said Walker, whose family she has known for years, would “do anything” for residents and that he was “a real good dad.”
Ken Paquette, who’s lived there for five months, said Walker often helps residents with rides to town.
“There’s a lot of older guys, a lot of welfare, a lot of drug addicts, people trying to straighten out,” he said.
Although Paquette describes Walker as a man who’s “been around the block,” he’s worried Sunday’s grisly discovery combined with the media circus might be taking a toll.
“I’ve been worried about him. He says he’s OK, but he looks pretty tired.”
Metro did not pay the $500 fee.
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