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The Canadian Press

12-year-old charged in triple murder

Canadian Press, By JUDY MONCHUK, April 24, 2006

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. (CP) - A 12-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man were arrested in Saskatchewan early Monday and each charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a southeastern Alberta family.

RCMP, acting on a tip, arrested the pair in Leader, Sask., about two hours from this quiet community, which has been rocked by the weekend slayings.

"We don't know the relationship between the two, we believe they are acquaintances," Sgt. Dave Townsend of the Medicine Hat Police Service told a packed news conference.

"All I know is they were arrested without incident."

Jeremy Allan Steinke, 23, and the girl had a bail hearing in Swift Current, Sask., and were being transferred back to Medicine Hat, where they could be in court as early as Tuesday, police said.

Police say Steinke is known to authorities but gave no other details.

Investigators are being tight-lipped about what triggered the slayings of a middle-aged man, his wife and 10-year-old son. The bodies were discovered Sunday afternoon when a playmate arrived at the beige split-level to visit the boy and saw what he believed was a body through the window.

The child ran home to tell his mother, who called police.

"I think the officers have a very good assumption of what the motive might have been, but we have to hold on to that right now to make sure we don't jeopardize the investigation," said Townsend.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the girl cannot be identified.

However, neighbours say a young girl in Grade 7 lived with the family, who had moved to Medicine Hat from Ottawa.

Townsend said it will be several days before all forensic evidence is gathered from the crime scene. Tips from children and adults have been pouring in to investigators.

He said police are as surprised as residents over the killings.

"We are as shocked as they are," said Townsend. "It's a devastating crime. Unfortunately it happened within our community. But we believe we have the individuals in custody."

Yellow police tape blocked off the home in the quiet neighbourhood as forensic investigators worked inside the home Monday. The bodies were removed late Monday afternoon and were sent to Calgary for autopsies.

At the nearby elementary school where the boy attended, flags were lowered to half-mast.

Reporters were turned away, but grief counsellors were being made available to help the boy's young classmates and teachers deal with the tragedy.

That aid, which will also be available in the coming days, is also being extended to any parents who want it.

The cordoned-off home is located in an established Medicine Hat neighbourhood that seems the essence of small town pleasantry, where stay-at-home moms mingle with seniors and someone answered almost every door on a sunny morning.

Phyllis Gehring, who knew the family, choked back tears, noting that the family was very quiet and that she never heard a harsh word between the parents.

She said the mother had expressed delight that the lower cost of living in Alberta made it possible for her to stay home with her family.

Police have recovered a 1987 Dodge Dakota truck they were earlier seeking and a forensics team was examining it. Police did not say where they recovered the vehicle.

A Quote Worth Remembering

"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."

John Diefenbaker

A Quote Worth Remembering

About The truth

"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

A Quote Worth Remembering

"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."

Bill Clinton
(William J. Clinton)
42nd President of The United States of America

national "Child Day"

November 20th

Canada's "Child Day" is held on November 20th each year as designated by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.

It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths.  Read More ..

United Nations

Canadian appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour took up her duties on July 1, 2004 as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her term in office ended in June 2008.

Mrs. Arbour was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada immediately preceding her appointment to the UN as  Commissioner for Human Rights.

Law Times

Louise Arbour: a colleague we have failed

Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008

This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.

On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.

The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.

She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.