EDITORIAL – There will be no closure in case of northern B.C. highway murders

Murder victims Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese in selfire. (Image: Chynna Deese family)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE WILL BE NO CLOSURE in the strange, sad, tragic case of the two B.C. teenagers suspected in the killings of three travellers in two different incidents in northern B.C.

In a curiously worded statement, police confirmed that two bodies found yesterday morning near Gillam, Manitoba are “believed to be” those of the suspects, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky of Port Alberni.

At the same time, they declared the manhunt over. While there seems no doubt the two fugitives are dead, RCMP showed an abundance of caution in not being conclusive until autopsies are performed.

It was just one more odd twist in a series since the initial shocking start to this whole thing. And while it brings the search for McLeod and Schmegelsky to an end, it leaves many questions that likely will never be answered.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind has been why they did what they did. Capturing them alive might have provided the answer but that’s now lost forever.

We’ll never know exactly what happened when the two teens chanced upon tourists Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese on the side of the Alaska Highway. Was there a confrontation? Was it a robbery gone wrong? Or was it a planned execution?

And what of Leonard Dyck, the 64-year-old university instructor later found dead and his car taken? Why not just steal his car and leave him be?

We like to talk about “senseless” killings when we can’t wrap our minds around events for which there’s no ready explanation. But these things are never senseless in that there are always reasons, if only we can find them.

Sadly, the final chapter — the one that ties up all those loose ends — seems certain never to be written for this tragedy.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7760 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – There will be no closure in case of northern B.C. highway murders

  1. There were senseless killing, because all killings are senseless. But the father of one of them killers already provided some answers…of a senseless upbringing.

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