Court hears wiretap tape of Svekla talking to sister
While Thomas Svekla denies that he’s a serial killer, he realized the intense media spotlight his high-profile murder investigation was generating made him "famous," drawing comparisons to one of Canada’s most notorious killers.
Recorded phone conversations with his sister while he was in custody were introduced in his double-murder trial yesterday, painting a portrait of a man seemingly proud of his notoriety.
As he awaited his fate in a jail cell in August 2006, he told sister, Donna Parkinson, that he was being kept in a wing at the remand centre reserved for only "people in the news."
"I’m in the paper, I’m in the news," he told her. "I’ve become a target — ‘hey, that’s a serial killer, let’s get him!’ You know? I’m like the Pickton of Alberta."
He also appeared aware that his profile was making him a target, telling her that he grew his hair long to avoid being recognized but he still had to fend off attacks from other inmates.
Svekla, a 39-year-old mechanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Rachel Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36. He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The body of Innes was found wrapped under three layers of plastic, stuffed in a hockey bag in the back of Parkinson’s truck. Svekla’s sister reported finding the body after opening the bag, refusing to believe his story that it contained compost worms.
In the wiretap conversation, he told his sister that he was worried the body of Innes would have made a mess in her garage when she opened the bag since it was "kind of squishy."
"I don’t think it was very old because it didn’t smell that bad," he said. "But there’s no evidence yet. I have no idea when this person died or nothing."