Accused killer remembered as well-adjusted, athletic youth
Just a few years before he was accused of being British Columbia's latest serial killer, Cody Alan Legebokoff was known as a well-adjusted, cheerful young man from a good family.
Nearly everyone in the small community of Fort St. James, located about 100 kilometres northwest of Prince George, appears stunned that the 21-year-old athlete could be charged with preying on four women over the last year.
Harvey Goff, Legebokoff's elementary school principal, said he remembers the accused murderer as a "pleasant, hockey-playing fella" who "enjoyed life at school and was liked by most people, or everybody."
"We certainly are quite shocked by the allegations," Goff said.
So is the accused killer's 79-year-old grandfather, Roy Goodwin.
"There was absolutely nothing to tell me that he ever could do anything like that," Goodwin told CTV News. "I just don't understand it."
Legebokoff was already in custody in connection with the Nov. 2010 homicide of 15-year-old Loren Donn Leslie when Mounties announced Monday that he was facing three more first-degree murder charges.
He's suspected of killing 35-year-old Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35-year-old Cynthia Frances Maas and 23-year-old Natasha Lynn Montgomery. Investigators believe he acted alone and used social media to meet women, often going by the handle 1CountryBoy.
Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick said Legebokoff was not known to police.
"He had friends in the community, worked in the community and a lot of people are surprised by this," he said.
No warning signs
A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation may provide some answers about the accused killer, says Criminologist Ray Corrado.
Corrado said police will look for psychopathic traits, such as the inability to empathize.
"They don't feel your pain. They actually enjoy it. They don't feel bad about the pain – that's probably the most powerful trait of a true psychopath," he said.
Corrado notes that all psychopaths don't become serial killers, but those who do feel rewarded by the killing. He said serial killers are stereotyped in the media as maniacal but are more often charming and well educated.
"One of the most prolific serial killers in history was a medical doctor in England -- 260 victims. Who would have thought a mild-mannered middle-aged would kill that many patients?" he said.
Colonel Russell Williams raped and murdered women while he was a senior Air Force officer.
Corrado says serial killers often elaborately plan their attacks and are specific about their victims.
If there is a link between Legebokoff's alleged murders, it's that his victims were all vulnerable. All of the women struggled with addiction and struggled to fit in to society.
The family of Cynthia Maas issued a statement to media highlighting that fact, calling her "a poster child for vulnerability in our society."
Experts say killers are using new tools like social media and online dating sites to troll for victims simply because people unwittingly put too much personal information about themselves online.
A tip line has been set up for any information the public may have about Legebokoff. The number 1-877-987-8477 (TIPS). He lived in Lethbridge, Alberta for a short time between June 2008 and Aug. 2009.
With reports from CTV British Columbia's Kent Molgat and Lisa Rossington