The Murder and Trial

Saturday, July 5, 2003 12:01 AM

Murder Victim Mutilated
By Alex Reid
News Editor


Police were disturbed at what they saw when they found Robin Robert Greene at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel, on Wednesday morning.

Greene was found in the downtown hotel, decapitated, castrated and disemboweled. Sources report that Greene's arms and legs were also cut off.

Sydney Teerhuis, 33, has been charged with second-degree murder after he showed up at the downtown Police station to direct them to Greene's body. Police say Teerhuis, a resident at the Royal Hotel, met Greene at the nearby Woodbine Hotel on Main Street and convinced Greene to come back to his place for sex.

Police say Teerhuis said that when we woke up from a drunken blackout, he discovered Greene dead in the bathtub.

Greene, 38, is the son of on a prominent elder on a Shoal Lake reserve. Greene reported was visiting Winnipeg to celebrate Canada Day.

Hollywood Twist

Police found a necklace worn by visiting movie star Susan Sarandon near the murder scene. Sarandon is in town, with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, filming a Hollywood movie. The movie prop was stolen from a trailer on Canada Day near the Legislature Building during a film shoot.

Police said the necklace and the murder are "completely unrelated".

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 Bloodshotbill Website

RRP: So what is the “Murder Room” story?

Bloodshot: Ha!...The murder room story!...Well, here goes... I was on tour in June 2003 in Western Canada. We arrived in Winnipeg at the “Royal Albert” (Fancy name but it’s a total dive; one of those venues that is half bar, half hotel, and all the regulars live there ‘cause it’s dirt cheap) and they always give out of town bands a room. Anyhoo, front page news on the day we show up is “Body Decapitated at the Royal Albert!” Turns out a couple nights before, two dudes were in a room and got into a fight. One of them was decapitated, dismembered, and disemboweled! They had to take the body parts out in a coffin, it was such a mess! It happened in room #309 (as in “Phantom 309”!). At this time there was a big Hollywood movie (“Shall We Dance”) being filmed in town with Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon, & Richard Gere. Turns out some jewelry was stolen form the set (I figured it would just be costume jewelry, but the newspaper said it was worth a lot of $$). Anyhoo, guess where the jewelry turns up? Yep, with all the body parts!! Damn! What?! That was weird enough, but then I ended up passin’ through Winnipeg three months later to play at the “Albert” again. We show up, they give me my room key, and it’s room #309 – the Murder Room! Well, I guess they forgot that I was there when this all happened, but I was pretty stoked about it. So, I headed up to the room, and they had painted the walls really, really light green, which was really dumb ‘cause you could still see lines of blood dripping down the wall! Fucked up. I hung my bolo ties with horse shoes on ‘em for good luck! I took a bath there (you can’t pass up a chance to get clean on the road) and later I found out that’s where they found most of the body parts... in the bathtub! Too much, eh?

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November 6, 1999


Lawyer believes appeal has merit

By KATHLEEN MARTENS -- Court Reporter-Winnipeg Free Press

Everyone's entitled to a defence, says Greg Brodsky.

 The Winnipeg criminal lawyer has just signed on to his most high profile case yet, agreeing to help convicted murderer Paul Bernardo get a new trial. 

 The killing of two Ontario schoolgirls and the prosecution of Bernardo quickly became a national story and reviled Canadians.

 But Brodsky, who has worked on 550 murder cases in his four decades at the bar and believes there is merit to Bernardo's murder appeal, says the law is blind.

 "Justice isn't meted out only to those we like," he said yesterday. "The people we like today may not be the people we like tomorrow."

 "I don't think anyone should be excluded from justice," he added. "That's for the courts to decide."

 Brodsky is known for a brawling style in court that's been likened to that of boxer Jake Lamotta, portrayed in the movie Raging Bull.

 "He puts his head down ... and just belts away," said defence lawyer and former Brodsky partner Saul Simmonds. "There might be people with fancier footwork or sweeter to watch, but Greg has proved his prowess in the courtroom."

 Brodsky has taken on many controversial cases in Manitoba, including that of cannibal killer Dean Wride, whom he proved not criminally responsible for killing and eating the flesh of his wife.

 NOT CONCERNED

 He says he is not concerned about his client list tarnishing his reputation. 

 "I've talked to (Bernardo). He's anxious for his appeal to go forward and has admitted that to which he is guilty of and wants to have a new trial on the balance. He understands that it is difficult for the public to look at his case with an unjaundiced eye."

 At 59, brodsky says his philosophy has always been to take on all comers, whether they can pay or not. He often accepts legal aid as payment for his work.

 

 

 August 20th, 2006

'I ACT FOR THE UNREPRESENTED'

By Mark Bonokoski -Toronto Sun

Daniel Brodsky, 48, is the elder son of Greg Brodsky, a Winnipeg criminal lawyer whose name is as huge in Manitoba as that of Eddie Greenspan in Ontario.

"I don't keep track of my cases, but my dad can tell you right now that he has defended 640 murder cases -- a record in the English-speaking world," says Brodsky.

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MCINTYRE COLUMN - Accused dismemberment killer charged with threatening inmate's family

DATE: Jan 8, 2008 

By Mike McIntyre
Winnipeg Free Press

A man awaiting trial for one of the city’s most gruesome murders is now accused of threatening to kill family members of a fellow inmate.
Sidney Teerhuis was arrested this past weekend at Headingley Jail and charged with two counts of uttering threats, according to court documents.
He allegedly made phone calls to a pair of people, who contacted Winnipeg police.
Teerhuis has been in custody for since the summer of 2003 while his high-profile case slowly drags through the legal system. Jurors are expected to begin hearing evidence in December 2008.
He is accused of dismembering, beheading and castrating Robin Greene, 38, inside the Royal Albert Arms Hotel.
Greene, a Shoal Lake resident visiting the city, had been cut into eight pieces and left in the bathtub. Police have been unable to locate some internal organs that had been removed from the victim, and their disposition remains a disturbing mystery.
The case has made international headlines because police recovered a necklace at the crime scene that had been stolen one day earlier from the set of the Hollywood movie, Shall We Dance?, starring Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere.
The movie was being filmed in Winnipeg. The $4,000 necklace belonged to Sarandon but played no role in the killing in terms of motive, according to police.
Greene and his alleged killer weren’t known to each other, but apparently met earlier in the night at a downtown city hotel and agreed to return to the hotel for consensual sex.
Teerhuis was committed to stand trial for second-degree murder following a preliminary hearing in 2005 but the case has been delayed by a unique legal challenge of Manitoba’s jury system.,
Teerhuis claimed his right to have a trial before a “jury of his peers” was being breached because he wasn’t allowed to have a largely aboriginal panel selected to hear his case.
Chief Justice Marc Monnin dismissed his motion last summer after reserving his decision for nearly a year.

 

 

 

Accused in mutilation murder says he can’t recall killing 

By Mike McIntyre

December 2, 2008 

WINNIPEG -- Sidney Teerhuis doesn’t deny killing, decapitating and defiling the body of an innocent stranger he met inside a Winnipeg bar.

But Teerhuis is asking a jury to find him not guilty of second-degree murder, claiming he has no memory of the July 2003 slaying that made headlines around the world because of the gruesome details — and a strange link to a Hollywood movie that was shooting in the city at the time.

His long-awaited trial began Monday, with defence lawyer Greg Brodsky telling jurors the sole issue is whether his client had the “state of mind” needed to prove there was intent to kill.

Teerhuis is not claiming mental illness or seeking a designation that would see him go to a hospital instead of a prison.

“This is a tragic story of the brutal killing of a 38-year-old man,” Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd said in her opening statement to jurors, which included a strong warning about the graphic evidence they were going to hear during the next three weeks.

The facts of the case are not in dispute.

Robin Green was a resident of Shoal Lake -- 280 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg -- visiting the city over the Canada Day holiday.

He met Teerhuis in the lounge of the Woodbine Hotel. The men shared drinks and conversation, then agreed to go back to Teerhuis’ suite at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel.

Green would be found hours later inside a bathtub. He had been stabbed 68 times in the upper body, resulting in massive blood loss. He had been cut into eight separate pieces, which were piled on top of each other. He had been beheaded and castrated.

One eye was removed. All of his organs were missing from his chest cavity. They were never found, despite an intensive police search of the hotel and surrounding area. What happened to them remains a mystery.

“His entire torso had been emptied out,” Const. Chris McLean told jurors as he described pictures taken at the scene. “The body parts had been stacked neatly.”

McLean said police thought the organs may have been flushed down the toilet but found no evidence during their examination. They also searched dozens of garbage trash bins on streets near the hotel without success.

“It’s physically impossible to check every Dumpster and sewer in the city of Winnipeg,” said McLean.

Members of Green’s family broke down and left the courtroom in tears as McLean gave his evidence.

Police found three disposable cameras inside the suite that show Green posing for pictures just before he was killed. He is nude in one photo, wearing underwear in others. Teerhuis had also taken pictures of several pairs of underwear hanging in the room, including on door knobs and dressers.

Police also recovered a necklace that had been stolen days earlier from the set of Shall We Dance, a movie starring Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. The jewelry, which belonged to Sarandon, was found on a desk, jurors were told. Teerhuis is not accused of stealing it, and details of how or why it was in his suite have not been provided.

Teerhuis led police to the killing by walking into the Remand Centre and announcing, “I chopped up a body in my bathtub.”

“I came to turn myself in because I killed someone,” he said.

Police arrived in room 309 of the Royal Albert and immediately realized this was no hoax.

Brodsky suggested Monday his client may have “awoke to a horrendous scene” and then tried to cover it up. McLean said it appears much of the blood had been mopped up but little else was done to conceal what had happened.

“I would say, at the very least, it was a poor job of hiding the crime scene,” he said.

© Copyright (c) National Post

 

Accused told 911 'I killed someone'

Warning: Contents of this story may disturb some readers.

Sidney Teerhuis told a guard at the Winnipeg Remand Centre he had no idea how a dismembered body ended up in his bathtub, claiming he'd blacked out following a night of drinking and awoke to a horror scene inside a downtown hotel room.

Donald Stevenson testified Tuesday he was stunned when Teerhuis walked into the lobby of the jail in July 2003 to report one of the city's grisliest slayings in recent memories.

"He said he found a body chopped up in his bathroom," said Stevenson. Teerhuis apparently thought he had gone to a police station but was given a phone by Stevenson to call police. "I told him I wasn't the person he should be telling this to."

On the receiving end of the call was 911 operator Robyn McIntyre. She said Teerhuis made it clear he was responsible for the death.

"He said 'I killed someone.' I asked how he did it. He said he chopped up this person. He said he blacked out and when he woke up he saw the body in the bathtub," McIntyre told jurors.

She said Teerhuis appeared "very calm" and showed no signs of being intoxicated. Teerhuis claimed he'd used a knife and left it on the floor of the bathroom.

Police rushed to room 309 of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel where the scene was exactly as Teerhuis had described.

Robin Greene, 38, had been stabbed 68 times in the upper body, causing massive blood loss. He had been cut into eight separate pieces which were piled neatly on top of each other. He had been beheaded and castrated. All his organs were missing from his chest cavity.

Teerhuis doesn't deny he's responsible for the killing but has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming he didn't have the "state of mind" needed to prove there was intent to kill. He is not claiming mental illness or seeking a designation that would see him go to a hospital instead of a prison.

However, Teerhuis certainly wasn't claiming memory loss when he wrote a series of graphic letters to an American book publisher and aspiring Canadian journalist interested in writing a screenplay about his crime.

More than a dozen letters have been seized by police and tendered as exhibits in the trial.

Teerhuis referred to his victim as a "human trophy" and claims to have performed multiple sex acts on Greene, both before and after he was dead. He discusses his affection for serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and also makes light of how the victim was dismembered.

"I guess you could say I'm a cut above the rest. Sometimes I can be a real pain in the gut. But I wouldn't fall to pieces over it. Just reading this, you must think I lost my head or something," Teerhuis wrote in one letter to local writer Dan Zupansky. He invites the man to come and visit him at Headingley jail for further talks.

"Here is a visitor application for you to fill out. I'm sure it won't cost you an arm or a leg (haha)," he writes.

Teerhuis also drew a detailed map of the suite inside the Royal Albert Arms, pinpointing exactly how and where he committed various acts including stabbing Greene and cutting up his body.

"I had left Greene's headless nude corpse on the bathroom floor for quite a while before chopping him up," he wrote.

Teerhuis claims he tossed Greene's missing organs into a vacant lot and BFI dumpster near the hotel. Police never recovered the organs despite an intensive search. Teerhuis also promised the American publisher, Tom Pomplun, some "really awesome pictures" of Greene's body parts. He described himself as being homosexual, having numerous deviant fetishes and being an avid collector of men's underwear with more than 3,000 pairs at one point.

Both Zupansky and Pomplun will be called by the Crown to testify about their dealings with Teerhuis later in the trial.

Greene, a Shoal Lake resident visiting Winnipeg over the Canada Day holiday, had met Teerhuis in the lounge of the Woodbine Hotel on Main Street on the day of the killing.

The men shared drinks and conversation, then agreed to go back to Teerhuis's suite at the Royal Albert Arms. Teerhuis then took a series of nude and semi-nude photographs of Greene before killing him.

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Winnipeg man called victim 'human trophy,' court told 

By Mike McIntyre

December 4, 2008 7:51 PM 

WINNIPEG - A man who admits killing and decapitating a stranger he'd met at a Winnipeg bar referred to his victim as a "human trophy," a courtroom heard Tuesday.

Jurors at the second-degree murder trial of Sidney Teerhuis were shown a series of graphic letters Tuesday that he allegedly wrote to an American publisher and a Canadian journalist while in jail.

In the letters, Sidney Teerhuis makes the trophy statement, and then goes on to discuss his affection for serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer.

Teerhuis has admitted to killing and dismembering Robin Greene, 38, in 2003, but has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

He claims he blacked out and can't remember the crime, and that he therefore didn't have the "state of mind" needed to have the intent to kill.

But court heard Tuesday that Teerhuis wasn't claiming memory loss when he wrote the letters to the U.S. book publisher and a Canadian journalist who was interested in writing a screenplay about the crime.

More than a dozen letters have been seized by police and tendered as exhibits in the trial.

In the letters, Teerhuis claims to have performed multiple sex acts on his victim, both before and after the man was dead.

He then made light of how the victim was dismembered.

"I guess you could say I'm a cut above the rest. Sometimes I can be a real pain in the gut. But I wouldn't fall to pieces over it. Just reading this, you must think I lost my head or something," Teerhuis wrote in one letter to local writer Dan Zupansky.

He invites the man to come and visit him in jail for further talks.

"Here is a visitor application for you to fill out. I'm sure it won't cost you an arm or a leg (haha)," he writes.

Police found Greene's body after Teerhuis walked into a Winnipeg jail and described the crime scene to them.

Greene's body had been left on the floor of the bathroom of a room at the Royal Albert Hotel.

He had been stabbed 68 times in the upper body, causing massive blood loss.

He had been cut into eight separate pieces, which were piled neatly on top of each other.

He had been beheaded and castrated. One eye and a nipple had been removed. All of his organs were missing from his chest cavity.

Greene, a Shoal Lake, Man., resident visiting Winnipeg over the Canada Day holiday, had met Teerhuis in the lounge of the city's Woodbine Hotel on the day of the killing.

The men shared drinks and conversation, then agreed to go back to Teerhuis's hotel suite. Teerhuis then took a series of nude and semi-nude photographs of Green before killing him.

In the letters to the writer and American publisher Tom Pomplun, Teerhuis described himself as a homosexual with numerous deviant fetishes and being an avid collector of men's underwear, with more than 3,000 pairs at one point.

Both Zupansky and Pomplun will be called by the Crown to testify about their dealings with Teerhuis later in the trial.

The court also heard Tuesday how Teerhuis walked into the Winnipeg Remand Centre and told a guard he had no idea how the dismembered body ended up in his bathtub, claiming he'd blacked out following a night of drinking and awoke to a horror scene inside the Winnipeg hotel room.

Donald Stevenson testified he was stunned when Teerhuis walked into the lobby of the remand centre in July 2003 to report the grisly slaying.

"He said he found a body chopped up in his bathroom," said Stevenson.

Teerhuis apparently thought he had gone to a police station but was given a phone by Stevenson to call police.

"I told him I wasn't the person he should be telling this to."

Robyn McIntyre, a 911 operator, received Teerhuis's call, she told the court Tuesday.

"He said 'I killed someone.' I asked how he did it. He said he chopped up this person. He said he blacked out and when he woke up he saw the body in the bathtub," McIntyre told jurors.

She said Teerhuis seemed "very calm" and gave no signs of being intoxicated.

Teerhuis claimed he'd used a knife and left it on the floor of the bathroom.

Police rushed to Room 309 of the Royal Albert Hotel to find the scene exactly as Teerhuis had described.

In the letters to the publisher and journalist, Teerhuis also drew a detailed map of the suite inside the Royal Albert Hotel, pinpointing exactly how and where he committed various acts including stabbing Greene and cutting up his body.

He admitted to getting sexual gratification from the slaying and smoking crack cocaine after it was done.

"I had left Greene's headless nude corpse on the bathroom floor for quite a while before chopping him up," he wrote.

Teerhuis claims he tossed Greene's missing organs into a vacant lot and trash bin near the hotel. Police never recovered the organs.

Teerhuis also promised the American publisher, Tom Pomplun, some "really awesome pictures" of Greene's body parts.

© Copyright (c) Winnipeg Free Press

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December 4, 2008
Killer felt sexual thrill
Dissection 'a lot of work'
By DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA

Police remove the remains of Robin Greene from the Royal Albert Arms Hotel in Winnipeg, July 2003. This week, jurors heard graphic and horrifying extracts from letters written by the accused Sydney Teerhuis-Moar. (Sun Media/C. Procaylo, Files)

Editor's note: The following story contains graphic details that may be inappropriate or unsettling for some readers.

WINNIPEG -- Jailhouse letters written by Sydney Teerhuis-Moar cast doubt on his claim he can't remember killing and dismembering Robin Greene, jurors heard yesterday.

Jurors heard graphic and horrifying extracts from letters Teerhuis-Moar wrote to a Winnipeg man -- letters which the Crown alleges prove Teerhuis-Moar knew exactly what he was doing and didn't suffer a drunken "blackout," as he told police.

"Dissecting Greene was a lot of work. It was a messy job," Teerhuis-Moar wrote in one letter. "I pulled out the heart. It was smaller than I expected."

Teerhuis-Moar wrote in great detail about extracting Greene's organs and intestines, none of which have ever been recovered.

"I was in awe at the sight of his intestines," Teerhuis-Moar wrote. "I looked at them in amazement -- the curls, the intricate folds, the transparency ... Now I know how serial killer Dennis Nilsen must have felt when he killed his first victim."


In several passages, Teerhuis-Moar described being sexually excited as he killed Greene and defiled his body.

"I looked into Greene's eyes as I cut into him. It was kind of erotic," Teerhuis-Moar wrote.

Jurors heard the letter extracts during testimony by pathologist Dr. Charles Littman. Littman said Teerhuis-Moar's descriptions of the organs -- including their shape, weight and texture -- were accurate.

'SQUISHY'

Teerhuis-Moar described Greene's stomach fluids as smelling "real bad" and the texture of several of his organs as "squishy." Littman said such descriptions would not be included in any anatomy textbook he's ever read.

Court has heard Teerhuis-Moar worked primarily as a cook. Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky argued his knowledge of organs might have come from butchering meat.

"That's a common phenomenon that a hunter would see, a chef would see?" Brodsky asked Littman.

Litman said that might be true of a hunter, but not likely a cook.

Littman said Greene's dismemberment was "almost surgical like" in its precision and would have required at least three hours to complete.

"It would require some degree of manual dexterity and co-ordination," he said.

Teerhuis-Moar is on trial charged with second-degree murder. Teerhuis-Moar admits killing and dismembering Greene July 2, 2003, in a room at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel, but claims he has no memory of it.

Greene, 39, and Teerhuis-Moar had just met and spent several hours drinking at the Woodbine Hotel and Royal Albert before retiring to Teerhuis-Moar's hotel room. Sometime later, Teerhuis-Moar stabbed Greene 68 times, cut his body into eight pieces and removed all of his internal organs.

Const. August Marin, the police officer who later arrested Teerhuis-Moar, told court yesterday he showed no signs of being drunk or that he had been drinking.

"He was very calm, very surreal," Marin said. "Every question he answered matter of factly. His demeanour was very eerie."

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Wounds on corpse 'almost symmetrical': Winnipeg pathologist

 
 
 
 
 

WINNIPEG - Sydney Teerhuis used "surgical precision" to dismember the body of a man he stabbed to death and beheaded inside a Winnipeg hotel room, according to a pathologist who examined the victim's remains.

Dr. Charles Littman told jurors Wednesday that Teerhuis would have required a degree of "manual dexterity and co-ordination" along with some prior knowledge of the human body to complete the dissection over a period of several hours.

Teerhuis, who's in his mid-30s, admits he killed Robin Greene. But the accused has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder on the grounds he didn't have the required state of mind needed for an intent to kill.

He claims he blacked out and has no memory of attacking Greene inside the Royal Albert Hotel in July 2003.

Littman, who has performed hundreds of autopsies during his career, said it appears Teerhuis was careful in how he cut Greene into eight pieces and removed all of his organs. He said there is no evidence of hacking at the body and added that even the 68 stab wounds the victim received seemed to follow a deliberate pattern.

"This was not chaotic in terms of being random," said Littman, noting Greene had 28 stab wounds to his left chest, 27 to the right side.

"They were almost symmetrical. They almost appear to be like mirror images of each other," he said. The remaining wounds were to Greene's head, arms and back.

Littman said what Teerhuis did to Greene after killing him showed a "lack of respect for the human body."

Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd read aloud excerpts from several letters Teerhuis allegedly wrote to a freelance Winnipeg journalist in which Teerhuis provides extensive details about his crime. Littman said Teerhuis' descriptions about various internal organs and body parts was accurate.

Teerhuis claims to have taken sexual gratification from killing Greene, a stranger he met in the bar for the first time earlier that night. The two men shared drinks and then went back to Teerhuis's room at the hotel for sex.

Littman said an examination of Greene's blood and urine shows his blood-alcohol level was likely about .30 at the time he was killed - nearly four times the legal limit for driving. That means his reaction time and reflexes would have been extremely compromised, which Littman said might explain why his body showed no defensive wounds.

In his letters, Teerhuis claims to have started dismembering Greene about four hours after he killed him. He speaks of his admiration for serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen, a Scottish man who worked as a chef and randomly targeted 15 young gay men in the 1970s and 1980s to be killed and dismembered.

Teerhuis said he is a homosexual and that he had worked for a time as a chef in both Winnipeg and British Columbia, jurors have heard.

"Dissecting Greene was a lot of work," Teerhuis wrote.

The Free Press is not publishing the bulk of Teerhuis' letters - which have been heard by jurors - because of their extremely graphic nature.

Teerhuis turned himself in after killing Greene by walking into a Winnipeg jail, apparently believing it was a police station, and confessing to his crime.

Winnipeg police Const. August Marin told jurors Tuesday how he arrested Teerhuis and drove him to the Royal Albert Hotel to verify his claim of killing someone and "chopping up the body."

"It was obvious this was a crime scene," Marin said of what he saw upon entering Room 309.

Marin said there was blood on the walls and the bed and leading to the bathroom, where he found Greene's mutilated corpse in the bathtub. He quickly retreated and told his female partner not to go inside.

"I said, 'You don't need to see it.' It was fairly disturbing," said Marin, adding that Teerhuis remained "very calm, very surreal" the entire time.

"It was very eerie. He showed no emotion."

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Accused killer wanted to be cooked and eaten, court told

By Mike McIntyre

December 5, 2008

 

WINNIPEG - Accused killer Sydney Teerhuis claims he was fascinated with death and carefully plotted out his own demise in a bizarre arrangement with a Vancouver man.

Winnipeg jurors have learned this week that Teerhuis allegedly agreed to be murdered and cannibalized while living out west in 2001. He claims they went and purchased a massive pressure cooker, a large amount of sleeping pills and even selected a specific date.

"I told him the only way I'd do it is if he kept all my bones in a trunk under his bed," Teerhuis, 39, wrote in one of several graphic letters which have now been shown to jurors as part of his second-degree murder trial for the July 2003 dismemberment killing of Robin Greene inside Winnipeg's Royal Albert Hotel.

Teerhuis said the plan fell through when the man abruptly changed his mind and returned to his native India.

"I still think about him every now and then and hope someday I will run into him so he can cook me," Teerhuis wrote. He said he later ran the idea by a former roommate of his who was living in Edmonton but it never materialized.

"I will wait to find the right man or men who'd be willing to have me on their dinner table," Teerhuis added.

Teerhuis wrote the letters to Dan Zupansky, a freelance Winnipeg journalist who established contact with him following Greene's killing. Zupansky will be called by the Crown to testify next week.

Teerhuis also claims to have frequently scoured the obituaries of young men who had recently died while he was living in Vancouver and working as a chef.

"I would go to their graves. Only once did I dig a grave and open a coffin," Teerhuis wrote.

Teerhuis had admitted to having sex with Greene both before and after he stabbed him 68 times, cut his body into eight pieces, and removed all his organs. The two men were strangers, having met earlier that night in a seedy bar.

Teerhuis's letters are a key piece of evidence in the Crown's case. Teerhuis is claiming he has no memory of the killing, that he blacked out after a night of drinking and woke to find the grisly scene. He doesn't dispute killing Greene but claims he couldn't have formed the necessary intent to prove murder. Instead, he is seeking a manslaughter conviction.

However, Teerhuis writes extensively and explicitly about every phase of the killing in the letters.

Winnipeg police Const. Sylvia Schroeder was the first officer to deal with Teerhuis after he walked into the Remand Centre and confessed to the killing on the morning of July 2. She told jurors Thursday that Teerhuis didn't appear to be intoxicated.

Dianne Last, a bartender at the Royal Albert, had served Teerhuis a beer on the afternoon of July 1. She recognized him as the man who'd moved in about two months earlier.

"He looked fine to me," Last said in response to the Crown's question about whether Teerhuis appeared drunk.

She saw Teerhuis return to the hotel later that afternoon with a man she now knows to be Greene. She said Greene appeared to be "swaying" as they headed upstairs to Teerhuis's room.

Blood tests on his remains show Greene's blood alcohol was nearly four times the legal limit when he was killed. His body also showed no defensive wounds.

The trial continues Monday.

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Drunkeness defence: An obstacle to justice?

Sydney Teerhuis-Moar doesn't deny he killed Robin Greene.

He's not trying to convince anyone he didn't stab Greene a reported 68 times, chop his body into several pieces or remove his organs.

Teerhuis-Moar admits that he killed Greene.

Yet he is not pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge for the July 2, 2003 slaying because he claims he was so drunk that he has no memory of the attack.

Teerhuis-Moar said he awoke from an alcohol-related blackout to discover Greene's body in his Winnipeg hotel room several hours after the death.

That's why the excuse of a "drunken blackout" may come as a shock to those horrified and frightened by the alleged details coming out of the ongoing trial.

It seems impossible that a night of drinking could be enough to reduce the penalty for ending a life.

Yet the so-called "drunkenness defence" has worked in the past.

The length of each jail term doled out to members of a mob who beat Peter DeBungee to death outside the Maryland Hotel in 2006 varied from 111/2 months to five years. The Crown said the penalties were determined in part by each assailant's level of intoxication.

The lawyer for Quentin Young, the convicted attacker who was sentenced to five years in jail, even argued his client would never have taken part in such a brutal attack on a stranger if had he been sober.

"Once the alcohol wore off ... the sober Quentin Young was very remorseful," defence lawyer Ron Simenik told court at Young's December 2007 sentencing.

"A sober Quentin Young is not someone who would normally partake in this kind of behaviour."

It's not clear why the court should consider how the accused would act had he not allowed himself to become so drunk that he helped kill someone.

In March 2007, Marie Daniels was sentenced to four years in prison for killing her common-law husband.

Her defence stated she was too drunk to remember stabbing a man to death.

The Crown said he couldn't prove Daniels intended to kill Ralph Bell due to her extreme intoxication. The charge of second-degree murder was reduced to manslaughter.

Likewise, Michael Cochrane pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2006 and received a five-year sentence after he claimed to have gotten so drunk he could not recall beating an elderly homeless man to death in a bus shelter in 2005.

He was also originally charged with second-degree murder.

Copius amounts

These cases indicated that inebriation has been viewed as an obstacle to proving a accused's intent to kill, a key fact needed to convict someone of murder.

But this line of thought ignores the fact that every adult is responsible for the choice to abuse alcohol in the first place.

Unless someone actually holds another person down and pours copious amounts of alcohol down their throats, all adults must be held accountable for how intoxicated they become.

Our liquor laws assume adults have the maturity and responsibility to control their alcohol intake and may be held accountable for what they do while drunk.

Few drunk-driving cases would result in guilty verdicts if an adult couldn't be held accountable in this way.

Yet drunkenness seems to somehow translate into a legal defence when some of the most horrific crimes are committed.

Loophole

In cases where a violent crime ends a life, this distinction can serve as an obstacle to justice.

At least one local case, however, provides hope by justly pinning the blame for killing another person on the perpetrator - drunk or sober.

In July 2007, Justice Colleen Suche doled out a 71/2 -year prison sentence to Jeremy Roulette for his role in a trio that beat a stranger to death in 2005. She said his extreme intoxication level during the crime was not a mitigating factor in the sentence.

In the current case of Teerhuis-Moar, it's up to a court to weigh every fact and determine if the accused is in fact guilty of murder or a lesser charge.

But it's essential that we ensure drunkenness alone can't offer an easy loophole out of serious punishment in all cases.

Whether or not a man was inebriated when he killed someone does nothing to lessen the pain and fear caused by the life he took.

The exact measure of a killer's blood alcohol content offers no solace to a family mourning the loss of a loved one.

Blood alcohol content makes little difference on the impact of a crime and should have little effect on the punishment an offence receives.

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December 9, 2008

Accused killer lied for book deal?
Teerhuis-Moar made up grisly details about murder, lawyer argues
By DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA

WINNIPEG -- Sydney Teerhuis-Moar fabricated grisly details of Robin Greene's murder and dismemberment in an effort to broker a lucrative book deal, his lawyer argued yesterday.

"You don't think he was yanking your chain and telling you fantasies to get cash?" defence lawyer Greg Brodsky asked Dan Zupansky, an aspiring journalist and writer who corresponded extensively with Teerhuis-Moar following his 2003 arrest.

Teerhuis-Moar, 39, is on trial for second-degree murder. He doesn't deny killing and dismembering Greene in a downtown hotel room, but claims he has no memory of it.

In letters to Zupansky, Teerhuis-Moar claimed he had sex with Greene's corpse, tossed his organs in a garbage dumpster and in a prior unrelated incident, plotted to have himself killed and eaten by another man. He later retracted the claims.

"You don't think there is a problem here of Mr. Teerhuis taking real facts and building fantasies around it?" Brodsky said.

Zupansky testified he believed Teerhuis-Moar "may have exaggerated ... (but) I didn't think any of it was fundamentally fictional."

Zupansky said Teerhuis-Moar only backpedalled on his claims when he learned about a new law prohibiting criminals from profiting from their crimes. Zupansky said he had previously negotiated to pay Teerhuis-Moar and a cellmate who introduced them 30% of the profits from a book he was writing.

"He said he had not read about the law and he thought it was a play to rip him off," Zupansky said.

Zupansky said Teerhuis-Moar had ceased writing to him when he alerted justice officials to their correspondence in April 2005.

"I had always planned on contacting authorities, but given the flood of information that was coming, I wanted to get information on the motive first," he said. "I thought that was important."

Brodsky painted Zupansky as a dishonest opportunist using the case to further his professional ambitions.

CONCERN

Zupansky is a former university radio show host and has a website devoted to Teerhuis-Moar. On the web site, Zupansky expresses concern prosecutors "would have to settle for a manslaughter conviction."

Brodsky suggested Zupansky tried to convince him to be a guest on his radio show in an effort to discredit his case.

"Wasn't the plan to undermine the defence with that radio show?" Brodsky said.

Zupansky denied the allegation.

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Accused in killing saw book deal

WARNING - Contents may offend some readers:

Sydney Teerhuis believed he was on the cusp of fame and fortune because of a gruesome killing he committed inside a Winnipeg hotel room -- a fact his lawyer suggests caused him to exaggerate numerous details of the high-profile case.

Dan Zupansky, a freelance local journalist told jurors Monday about dozens of telephone and written conversations he had with Teerhuis following the man's July 2003 arrest for the dismemberment slaying of Robin Greene inside the Royal Albert Arms Hotel.

Zupansky admits he offered to pay Teerhuis for his story, claiming he'd give him a 30 per cent cut of profits from the book he planned to write on the case. He said Teerhuis even came up with the working title -- Trophy Kill -- and sent several drawings of possible covers. Teerhuis wanted creative control and his own picture to be on the front, along with at least 10 pages of photos inside, and suggested Zupansky sell T-shirts at his criminal trial bearing a crude slogan.

Teerhuis also wanted images of Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez on the book, which would be subtitled The Shall We Dance Murder ---- a reference to the Hollywood movie that was shooting in Winnipeg at the time and which became a bizarre footnote to Greene's slaying when Sarandon's stolen necklace was found inside the suite near the victim's eight dissected body parts.

In exchange, Zupansky admits he repeatedly pleaded with Teerhuis for gory, graphic details of the killing. Teerhuis obliged, describing how he met Greene for the first time, shared several drinks with him, took him back to his hotel suite for sex and then stabbed him 68 times without provocation. Teerhuis claims he then committed necrophilia before carefully cutting up the body, removing all of Greene's organs and disposing of them. He later turned himself in to police and confessed.

The letters to Zupansky are at the heart of the Crown's case. Teerhuis doesn't deny killing Greene but has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming he blacked out from excessive alcohol and drugs and has no memory of the attack. He wants jurors to convict him of manslaughter. However, the Crown has suggested Teerhuis' detailed letters show he knew exactly what he was doing when he killed Greene.

Zupansky admitted under cross-examination Monday that Teerhuis stopped all communication with him in April 2005 after he learned a new law had passed that prevented him from profiting from his crimes. Teerhuis wrote one final letter to Zupansky, claiming much of what he'd told him in the previous months was pure fiction.

"I don't want you to make a fool of yourself or spend money on a book of lies," Teerhuis wrote. Teerhuis's lawyer, Greg Brodsky, suggested Zupansky was simply being played the whole time. He noted Zupansky wrote in his own notes "He may very well be embellishing the entire story to make for a better book."

Zupansky told jurors he's still convinced much of what Teerhuis boasted about is true.

"He may have lied about some things, he may have exaggerated," he said. "But I indicated to him several times... I wanted to keep it real."

Brodsky accused Zupansky of having his own agenda, noting he has made postings on his own website in which he expresses concern Teerhuis will get away with murder because of the "blackout" defence.

"I believed I wasn't going to harm this case," said Zupansky.

"I wanted to appear to relate to everything he said despite the disgusting nature. I wanted to act like none of it shocked me, to establish myself as a journalist and a non-fiction book writer; that was my main priority."

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Accused killer says he made up tales to be famous

No truth to disturbing letters, court told

 National Post

Thursday, December 11, 2008

 

WINNIPEG - Sydney Teerhuis claims he fictionalized graphic stories about how he killed and dismembered a man inside a Winnipeg hotel room because he wanted to become famous.

Mr. Teerhuis testified at his first-degree murder trial yesterday that he was looking for notoriety when he wrote a series of disturbing letters to a local man who was planning a book about the high-profile killing.

But he denied there was any truth in the letters, which have formed a key part of the Crown's case against him.

"In a sick way, it was a form of entertainment for me," Mr. Teerhuis, who is in his mid-thirties, told jurors as he took the witness stand in his own defence.

He said he now reflects on some of his claims -- including having sex with the victim after he was dead--and "can't believe it."

The Crown says the letters are truthful and show Mr. Teerhuis knew exactly what he was doing when he stabbed Robin Greene 68 times, cut his body into eight pieces, beheaded and castrated him and disposed of all his internal organs.

Those actions took place inside Room 309 of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel in Winnipeg on July 1, 2003.

But Mr. Teerhuis insists he has no memory of the slaying, saying a day-long drug and alcohol binge left him suffering a "blackout."

He admits to the killing but has pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds that intoxication left him without the state of mind required for intent. He is seeking a conviction for manslaughter.

Mr. Teerhuis claims he woke to the horrible scene inside the hotel room after meeting Mr. Greene earlier that day and sharing drinks and cocaine with him.

"I distinctly remember waking up to an unusual odour in the room. It smelled of tin or copper. It was a sickening smell," Mr. Teerhuis said. He saw blood throughout his suite and walked into the bathroom.

"There was Mr. Greene in the tub. He was obviously deceased."

Mr. Teerhuis said he eventually dressed and walked to the Remand Centre, believing it to be a jail, and turned himself in.

"I was really scared," said Mr. Teerhuis, who broke down in tears at one point during his testimony.

The Crown's case rests largely on dozens of letters Mr. Teerhuis wrote to Dan Zupansky, an author who befriended Mr. Teerhuis after he was arrested. Mr. Zupansky was apparently a friend of Teerhuis's cellmate in jail, jurors were told.

Mr. Teerhuis said he was approached by Mr. Zupansky with the idea of collaborating on a true-crime book together. He said Mr. Zupansky made him numerous promises, including a 30% cut of any profits, and that he deliberately made up a sensational series of stories in an attempt to make the book a better read.

"I started getting caught up in his ploys, with promises of large sums of money. I figured if it sounded as real as possible, as horrific as possible, that it would sell more books," Mr. Teerhuis said.

He claims he got many of the ideas for the letters from books he read from the prison library about prolific serial killers, true-crime stories -- even biology and science textbooks, which gave him a better understanding of the human body -- as he described dissecting Mr. Greene in the letters to Mr. Zupansky.

"I wanted to feed Mr. Zupansky's appetite," said Mr. Teerhuis, who wrote the letters while in 23-hour segregation following threats from other inmates. He finally broke off contact with Mr. Zupansky after learning that a new Manitoba law prevented him from making any profits off his crime. He also feared they could be damaging to his case.

Lawyers are expected to make closing arguments today.

Winnipeg Free Press

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December 11, 2008

Accused says gruesome murder details a fib
By DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA
 

WINNIPEG -- Loneliness and a need for attention drove Sydney Teerhuis-Moar to fabricate gruesome details of Robin Greene's murder and dismemberment, jurors were told yesterday.

Teerhuis-Moar admits to killing the 39-year-old man in a downtown hotel room but claims he suffered a drug and alcohol-fuelled "blackout" and has no memory of it.

That claim is at odds with graphic letters Teerhuis-Moar wrote to aspiring Winnipeg writer Dan Zupansky in which he outlined gruesome details about what he did with Green's corpse following the murder.

"Why would you ever confess to something you didn't do?" Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd asked Teerhuis-Moar under cross-examination. "The only logical explanation is that it's true."

Teerhuis-Moar said Zupansky was planning to write a book about the murder and he told Zupansky "what I thought he wanted to hear."

Teerhuis-Moar said he was spending 231/2 hours a day in segregation and was desperate for human contact.

"He was the only person I had contact with on the outside," he testified. "I guess, in a sick way, you could say it was a form of entertainment for me ... Nobody was paying attention to me. I was an attention seeker."

Leinburd said that didn't explain why Teerhuis-Moar wrote similarly detailed and unsolicited letters to a Wisconsin publisher shortly after his arrest and several months before he started corresponding with Zupansky.

"It sounds like I wanted to give him a false background," Teerhuis-Moar said. "If it sounded the same (as the Zupansky letters) there might be some validity to it."

Teerhuis-Moar claimed he wrote the Zupansky letters after poring over Greene's autopsy photos, police reports, and anatomy textbooks, and cobbling together stories of serial killers found in books at the jail library.

Leinburd said there were facts included in the letters that only a consciously aware killer would know, including evidence suggesting Greene's remains were washed.

Teerhuis-Moar broke down in tears when his lawyer Greg Brodsky started questioning him about his relationship with Zupansky, prompting a short court recess. Leinburd later challenged the sincerity of his outburst, reminding Teerhuis-Moar how "calm" he appeared when he reported the killing to police and later when he was escorted to the crime scene.

"Why weren't you upset and crying or hysterical for that matter?" Leinburd said.

"I was in shock," Teerhuis-Moar said. "People handle things differently ... I felt it was inappropriate (to cry)."

Jurors will hear closing arguments in the case this afternoon.

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Jury instructed to focus on series of disturbing letters

A Winnipeg jury has been told to pay careful attention to a series of disturbing letters written by a man on trial for a grisly dismemberment killing.

Queen's Bench Justice Glenn Joyal said the writings by Sydney Teerhuis are an essential part of the case and should be inspected closely. Jurors began deliberations early Monday afternoon and will resume Tuesday morning.

Teerhuis has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is seeking a conviction for manslaughter. He claims he suffered a lengthy "blackout" and was too intoxicated to form the required intent to kill when he stabbed, beheaded, castrated, dismembered and disemboweled Robin Greene inside suite 309 of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel in July 2003.

Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said his client was suffering from "disorganized thinking and impaired judgment" at the time and deserves the benefit of the doubt from jurors.

"No sane and sober person cuts a body into eight pieces and hides it in a tub. He's a chronic alcoholic with a horrid abusive past. He's a drunk. Acting crazy like a drunk," said Brodsky, noting his client turned himself in to police and confessed to the killing.

The Crown argued during closing arguments last week that Teerhuis is the personification of "evil" who is trying to play a sadistic joke on the justice system. They said it's impossible for a person to be so intoxicated that they wouldn't remember stabbing a man 68 times and cutting up his body with "surgical-like precision" over the course of several hours, eventually disposing of his organs.

"How drunk does a man have to be to do this to another human being? It's incomprehensible. What he is suffering from is convenient memory loss," said Leinburd,

They also cite the fact Teerhuis wrote the chilling letters to a Winnipeg man in which he boasted about the slaying and provided graphic details. Teerhuis has testified that what he wrote in his numerous letters to Dan Zupansky was pure fiction meant to sensationalize his story in the hope of better book sales. He said Zupansky promised him a 30 per cut of profits. Teerhuis later retracted all his claims after breaking off communication with Zupansky, who was friends with Teerhuis' cellmate at Headingley jail and has a prior criminal record of his own Brodsky used to attack his credibility.

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Intent is key: judge

 Final instructions for Teerhuis-Moar jury

A jury resumes deliberations this morning in the case of a man who admits killing and dismembering Robin Greene in a downtown hotel room.

Jurors began deliberating the fate of Sydney Teerhuis-Moar early yesterday afternoon.

Teerhuis-Moar is charged with second-degree murder but argues he is guilty only of manslaughter. He does not dispute killing Greene but claims he suffered a booze and drug-fuelled blackout and has no memory of it.

Jurors spent the morning receiving their final instructions from Judge Glenn Joyal. Joyal told jurors it is not enough that they believe Teerhuis-Moar suffered a blackout to find him not guilty of second-degree murder, they must also find he did not have the required state of mind to commit murder.

"Drunken intent is still intent," Joyal said. "You can't assume the absence of memory equates with the absence of intent."

Jurors have heard Teerhuis-Moar met Greene at the Woodbine Hotel bar in July 2003 and spent several hours together before moving on to Teerhuis-Moar's room at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel, where they had sex. Teerhuis-Moar claims he blacked out and awoke several hours later to find Greene's butchered remains in the bathtub.

Teerhuis-Moar's claim he has no memory of the killing is at odds with graphic letters he wrote to aspiring writer Dan Zupansky in which he outlined grisly details of the murder, including molesting Greene's corpse.

Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky argued his client fell under Zupansky's sway and fed him false details for a proposed book about the killing. Brodsky described Zupansky as an unsavoury "investigator" driven by his own agenda.

Joyal told jurors yesterday they had "good reason" to examine Zupansky's evidence with "the greatest care and caution" and urged them to seek out corroborating evidence elsewhere.

Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd called Teerhuis-Moar an admitted sado-masochist with a love of sex slaves and serial killers and a twisted desire for celebrity.

"We are not dealing with an ordinary man," she said last week in her closing address to the jury. "He thought of Robin Greene as no more than a piece of disposable meat. Evil. He admitted he wanted celebrity and notoriety and this was his vehicle to get it.

 

Guilty verdict for grisly Winnipeg killing 


By Mike McIntyreDecember 17, 2008
 

Sydney Teerhuis was found guilty Tuesday for a gruesome killing in Winnipeg in 2003.

WINNIPEG - A man who beheaded and dismembered a man he picked up in a bar - then tried to have the gruesome crime turned into a book - has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Sydney Teerhuis was convicted Tuesday in a Winnipeg courtroom. He now faces an automatic life sentence for killing Robin Greene inside a city hotel in July 2003.

The verdict brings to an end a disturbing and graphic trial in which Teerhuis claimed he awoke from a prolonged “blackout” to find the man he had met only hours earlier now dead in the hotel room.

The victim had been stabbed, beheaded, castrated, dismembered and disembowelled.

Teerhuis had also committed further indignities to the body.

Teerhuis surrendered to police and then sought a conviction for manslaughter, arguing he had been too intoxicated to form the intent required for a murder conviction.

The Crown argued during closing arguments last week that Teerhuis is the personification of “evil” who was trying to play a sadistic joke on the justice system.

The Crown said it was impossible for a person to be so intoxicated he wouldn’t remember stabbing a man 68 times and cutting up his body with “surgical-like precision” over the course of several hours, eventually disposing of his organs.

The only question left is how long Teerhuis must spend behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

Seven of the jurors who heard the case have recommended the minimum eligibility be raised from 10 years to the maximum of 25, which would bring the sentence into the range used for first-degree murder.

The other five remained silent on the issue. Sentencing will occur Friday morning.

“I think (25 years) is an appropriate recommendation,” Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd said outside court.

“This jury was remarkable. They have probably lived through more in these two weeks than most people will in a lifetime,” said Leinburd, adding they will be offered counselling.

The Teerhuis murder case gained international attention when it was learned a necklace belonging to actress Susan Sarandon had been stolen from the Winnipeg-based shoot for the movie Shall We Dance and found at the crime scene.

Teerhuis claims he first laid eyes on Greene inside a city bar when the man was going around trying to sell the stolen jewelry for $15.

Teerhuis and Greene then spent the day together drinking, walking by the riverbank and having sex in his hotel suite. No motive has ever been provided for the slaying.

In his letters, Teerhuis admitted being fascinated by celebrity and said he wanted his name to go down in infamy along with serial killers he idolized such as Jeffrey Dahmer.

Teerhuis worked for years as a chef in restaurants in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba and used the tools of his trade to dissect Greene’s body.

A pathologist testified the killer used “surgical-like precision” to cut Greene’s body into pieces.

Greene was stabbed nearly an identical number of times on each side of his body.

His organs were disposed of and never found.

During the trial, jurors heard from Dan Zupansky, a freelance journalist with whom the killer had dozens of phone and written conversations.

Zupansky admitted he offered to pay Teerhuis for his story, claiming he’d give him a 30 per cent cut of profits from the book he planned to write on the case, the trial heard.

He said Teerhuis even came up with the working title - Trophy Kill - and sent several drawings of possible covers.

In the letters to Zupansky, Teerhuis said he wanted creative control and his own picture on the front, along with at least 10 pages of photos inside, and suggested Zupansky sell T-shirts at his criminal trial bearing a crude slogan.

Teerhuis testified that what he wrote to Zupansky was pure fiction meant to sensationalize his story in the hope of better book sales.

“I think the jury was probably influenced (by the letters),” the prosecutor said Tuesday. “They were very graphic, detailed and personal.”

Teerhuis showed no visible reaction to Tuesday’s verdict, but did call the prosecutor an obscene name and raise his middle finger to her as he was being led out of court.

He had previously insulted the Crown and a female police officer during the trial, drawing a warning from the judge.

© Copyright (c) Winnipeg Free Press

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Sex-murderer gets maximum sentence
By DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA






Sydney Teerhuis-Moar grins during an interview with the Winnipeg Sun in July 2003. (SUN MEDIA file)

Sydney Teerhuis-Moar has received the maximum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the gruesome killing of Robin Greene.

Teerhuis-Moar, 40, was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder following a two-week jury trial.

Justice Glenn Joyal rejected a defence argument that Teerhuis-Moar should not receive the same sentence reserved for those convicted of first-degree murder.

Joyal said Teerhuis-Moar showed a "shocking lack of remorse" for his crime and needs to be separated from society for as long as possible.

Asked if he had any words for the court prior to sentencing yesterday, Teerhuis-Moar said simply "No."

Several of the jurors who convicted Teerhuis-Moar returned to court for his sentencing.

Teerhuis-Moar stabbed Greene to death in a downtown hotel room in July 2003 and then cut his body into eight pieces and removed all his internal organs. In jailhouse letters to aspiring author Dan Zupansky, Teerhuis-Moar described with relish dismembering Greene's body and claimed he had sex with his corpse.

Teerhuis-Moar admitted killing the Shoal Lake, Ont., resident but claimed he suffered an alcohol- and drug-induced blackout and had no memory of it. He claimed the Zupansky letters were in large part fictional, written to help spur a prospective book deal.

Joyal said while the letters may have contained "embellishments," he accepted as true Teerhuis-Moar's descriptions of the murder and the mutilation of Greene's body.

'Gruesome acts'

"If there is a set of facts underpinning an offence of second-degree murder where the brutality is more gruesome than the case I heard, I have no shame in saying that my imagination is not yet capable of conceiving it," Joyal said.

In convicting Teerhuis-Moar, the jury concluded he had the required state of mind to commit murder and intended "these particularly gruesome acts," Joyal said.

"When these acts are considered with his letters, they suggest frightening connections between murder and sexual pleasure and violence and self-aggrandizement," he said. "The very existence of those letters and the accused's desire for a book deal and film agreement reveal not only his attempts at self-promotion for financial gain and profit, but also a shocking lack of remorse."

Janice Greene, Robin Greene's sister, weeped as she described how Robin's murder has "scarred" her life. Greene said Robin was in Winnipeg to visit her when he crossed paths with Teerhuis-Moar at a downtown bar.

"I felt bad enough until I heard the gory details of his demise," she said. "I was never to be the same again. I fell apart. ... His death made me question life, my creator, my spiritual being."







 

25 years for Winnipeg dismemberment killer

By Mike McIntyre December 19

Sydney Teerhuis was found guilty Tuesday for a gruesome killing in Winnipeg in 2003, and on Friday was handed a life sentence for the crime.

WINNIPEG — Sydney Teerhuis committed one of the grisliest slayings in Manitoba history. Now he has made history, becoming the first local killer to ever receive the maximum sentence allowed by law, despite not being convicted of first-degree murder.

Queen's Bench Justice Glenn Joyal took the unprecedented step Friday of raising Teerhuis' parole ineligibility to 25 years, saying the horrific details of the random 2003 killing warrant such a move.

"There is nothing banal about what Mr. Teerhuis did. To have intended these particularly grisly acts is a matter of some significance," said Joyal.

"I am struck by the purposefulness and precision of his violent acts."

Observers in court were also struck by an unusual sight: several jurors who heard the case returned to court Friday for the sentencing, then embraced members of the victim's family shortly after the sentence was passed.

Teerhuis, 39, stabbed, beheaded, castrated, dismembered and disembowelled Robin Greene inside a suite of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel in July 2003. He had met the victim earlier that day inside a local bar, then returned to his hotel suite to have sex. No motive for the attack has ever been provided.

Teerhuis was convicted earlier this week of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. The Crown then sought to raise the period of parole ineligibility to 25 years, noting seven of the jurors had made a similar recommendation.

"There can be no more serious offence than the one committed by the accused. It was unimaginably cruel to the point of inhumanity," prosecutor Sheila Leinburd told court Friday.

"He is a cold and calculating murderer who clearly revels in his own wrongdoing. This man has no character. To be able to do what he did to another human being speaks volumes about his character."

Teerhuis had sought a conviction for manslaughter, arguing he was too intoxicated to form the required intent to kill and had no memory of the incident because of a "blackout." Jurors clearly rejected his defence.

"He lost it," defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said Friday in describing his client's actions. He also spoke of Teerhuis' "very unhappy background," which includes being sexually abused as a child. Teerhuis has a limited prior criminal record with no previous incidents of violence. He had worked as an executive chef at many fine restaurants in Winnipeg and Vancouver.

"The most horrible part of this case is what happened after death," said Brodsky, who claimed there is no evidence his client poses an ongoing danger to the public.

The Crown argued during closing arguments last week that Teerhuis is the personification of "evil" who was trying to play a sadistic joke on the justice system. Leinburd said it's impossible for a person to be so intoxicated that they wouldn't remember stabbing a man 68 times and cutting up his body with "surgical-like precision" over the course of several hours, eventually disposing of his organs.

Leinburd also cited the fact Teerhuis wrote a series of chilling letters to a Winnipeg man in which he boasted about the slaying and provided graphic details. Teerhuis testified what he wrote in his numerous letters to Dan Zupansky was pure fiction meant to sensationalize his story in the hope of better book sales.

"It's rare we have the opportunity to see into the mind of a cold-blooded killer," Leinburd said Friday.

Family members of the victim travelled from their home in northwestern Ontario to speak about their loss. Robin Greene Sr. said it's been difficult to re-live his son's death through news coverage of the trial, while Janice Greene said she agonizes over the fact her brother was killed while coming to visit her at the time in Winnipeg.

"I was devastated to find out he had been killed. I felt bad enough, until I heard the gory details," she said.

Teerhuis has 30 days to decide if he will appeal his conviction and sentence. He is given single-time credit for pre-trial custody, meaning he is eligible for parole in July 2028.

© Copyright (c) Winnipeg Free Press

 

Winnipeg

Killer seeks appeal

By DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA: January 22, 2009

 

 

In court documents filed Monday with the Manitoba Court of Appeal, Sydney Teerhuis-Moar outlines 13 grounds for dismissing his conviction.

In 2003, Sydney Teerhuis-Moar stabbed Robin Greene to death in a room at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel and then dismembered, defiled and eviscerated his corpse before calmly turning himself in to police.

CLAIMED BLACKOUT

At his trial last month, Teerhuis-Moar admitted killing Greene but claimed he suffered a drug- and alcohol-induced blackout and had no memory of it.

In jailhouse letters to aspiring author Dan Zupansky, Teerhuis-Moar described with relish dismembering Greene's body and claimed he had sex with his corpse.

In his notice of appeal, Teerhuis-Moar argues Justice Glenn Joyal erred in allowing the letters to be entered as evidence. At trial, Teerhuis-Moar claimed the Zupansky letters were in large part fictional, written to help spur a prospective book deal.

Teerhuis-Moar also claims Joyal erred in his instructions to the jury regarding the issues of intoxication and intent and that Joyal should not have allowed jurors to see pictures of the murder scene.

 

A man sentenced to life in prison for killing and dismembering another man in a downtown hotel room is appealing his second-degree murder conviction.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Man convicted of grisly Winnipeg murder, appeals conviction

 

The man convicted of one of the most grisly murders in Winnipeg history will be back in court Friday to argue for a new trial.
Sidney Teerhuis-Moar, 41, is being transported from a Saskatchewan prison to Winnipeg for a hearing in front of Manitoba's Court of Appeal.
Teerhuis-Moar is appealing his second-degree murder conviction in the 2004 killing of Robin Greene, 38.
Greene was stabbed, beheaded, castrated, dismembered and disembowelled in a room at the Royal Albert Arms hotel in Winnipeg.
Jurors at Teerhuis-Moar's 2008 trial heard that after killing Greene, Teerhuis-Moar neatly stacked the body parts in the room's bathtub.
All of Greene's organs were removed and none were recovered, despite a search of the suite, the plumbing in the hotel and dumpsters outside, the Crown said.
Seven of the 12 jurors who convicted Teerhuis-Moar recommended he serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
The judge hearing the case agreed and handed him the same sentence a person would get for first-degree murder.
Teerhuis-Moar had unsuccessfully sought a conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter, arguing he was too intoxicated to have planned the killing. Court documents indicate Teerhuis-Moar his appeal is based on alleged errors made by the trial judge, including how jurors were instructed to consider the evidence. In all, Teerhuis-Moar is appealing on 13 grounds.

'Dire straits'

In a Jan. 12 handwritten letter to the registrar of the court, Teerhuis-Moar apologizes for the late filing of documents related to his appeal.
"My personal health is in dire straits," he wrote. "I'm still recovering from flesh-eating disease, wheelchair-bound and am suffering from … liver disease," he said.
In the letter, he also indicated he was considering representing himself in his appeal, but it appears veteran defence lawyer Greg Brodsky has been hired to argue on his behalf. Brodsky represented Teerhuis-Moar at trial.
Teerhuis-Moar claims that there were discrepancies at his trial, and that the Crown prosecutor "based a lot of her argument on hearsay."
"She did not do her homework on biology," Teerhuis-Moar wrote.
He also said his lawyer, Brodsky, "did not do half of what I had asked of him — he did not call on any forensic specialists, or any witnesses I had requested."
In the letter, he takes issue with the testimony of Dr. Charles Littman, the pathologist who performed Greene's autopsy.
"As for Dr. Littman, he seems (and was) inaccurate on how Robin Greene died," Teerhuis-Moar said.
"In 2006, Dr. Littman states Mr. Greene had died of a fatal stab wound to the heart, yet all the internal organs had been removed, so how could he come to that conclusion?"
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