Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Svekla compares dead bodies to stolen goods

February 28, 2008 Svekla compares dead bodies to stolen goods Accused killer blames woes on his own 'blabber-mouth' By GLENN KAUTH, SUN MEDIA Jordan Verlage/Special to the SUNThomas Svekla compared finding two dead bodies to someone being found with stolen goods, wiretap evidence played at his murder trial Thursday reveals. “Think of it as stolen property, right? You’re caught with stolen property, it doesn’t mean you stole it, right?” Svekla said almost two years ago. The accused killer made the comments during a phone conversation with his sister Donna Parkinson from the Edmonton Remand Centre. Thursday, court heard a recording of the August 2006 chat. Svekla, who is accused of murdering two prostitutes, chalked up his legal troubles to a set-up by people who are out to get him. “I’ve got enemies in High Level,” he said, referring to the northern Alberta town where he allegedly found the body of one of his alleged victims, 36-year-old Theresa Innes, in a hockey bag in his truck. He noted people there knew the vehicle well and that some of those who didn’t like him had vandalized it on a few occasions. Svekla, 39, also blamed his notoriety on his own “blabber-mouth.” As a result, he couldn’t help talking about his discovery of the body of his other alleged victim, 19-year-old Rachel Quinney, in a field in 2004, something he said contributed to his troubles. Everyone in High Level, he said, “knew about that story about Rachel Quinney.” But despite his reputation, Svekla expressed confidence the courts will find him not guilty of murder. Lawyers, he told Parkinson, were knocking on his door to take on his case, one he maintained is a “winner.” fctAdTag("bigbox",MyGenericTagVar,1); “You were caught with a body, but that’s it. There’s no evidence stating that you murdered her, that person,” Svekla quoted his lawyer as telling him. But Svekla also worried that police were working extra hard to prove him guilty. “They’re trying to prove I’m a serial killer,” he said, expressing concerns he’s being depicted as the “(Robert) Pickton of Alberta.” Police, he added, “are really digging deep. They’re talking to people in high school about me.” Besides the wiretaps, court also heard from one of Svekla’s former co-workers who picked him up shortly after he found Quinney’s body east of Edmonton in 2004. Svekla, Rory Campbell testified, talked about the discovery but said he couldn’t tell if the body was of a man or a woman. Shortly after, Campbell took his friend to his home in Edmonton, where he stayed for three days. Svekla’s trial continues Monday. //

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