Unidentified Victim of Serial Killer Revealed as “Buffalo Woman” in Court Testimony

Winnipeg, Canada – A young Indigenous woman found herself invited back to a man’s home after a chance encounter outside the Salvation Army in mid-March 2022. What started as a seemingly innocent invitation led to tragedy as the woman, now known as Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe or Buffalo Woman, became the first victim of serial killer Jeremy Skibicki. Two years have passed, yet her identity remains a mystery, and her remains have yet to be found.

Community members, police, and the court system have come together to honor and remember Buffalo Woman, giving her a name and ensuring she belongs to a community. Thelma Morrisseau, who played a role in the naming ceremony, expressed the importance of honoring and respecting the lost woman. The story of Buffalo Woman unfolded during Skibicki’s trial, shedding light on the gruesome details of her tragic death.

As the trial continues, prosecutors have alleged that Skibicki targeted vulnerable Indigenous women, including Buffalo Woman, in what they deem as racially motivated killings. The court heard accounts of how Skibicki assaulted, strangled, or drowned his victims before disposing of their bodies in unthinkable ways. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, Buffalo Woman’s identity remains a mystery, with only DNA evidence on a cuff of her jacket providing a clue.

During the trial, details emerged of Skibicki’s interaction with Buffalo Woman, revealing a chilling account of how he tragically ended her life. His defense of mental illness has been met with strong opposition from prosecutors, who argue that his actions were premeditated and racially driven. The ongoing trial has brought to light the disturbing breakdown in systems meant to protect Indigenous women, leaving advocates like Sandra DeLaronde deeply concerned about the vulnerable in society.

As Skibicki’s trial unfolds, the presence of a ceremonial buffalo headdress in the courtroom serves as a poignant reminder of the justice sought for all victims of violence, including Buffalo Woman. The story of Buffalo Woman resonates with families still seeking closure and justice in cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It stands as a somber reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous communities and the need for support and awareness surrounding these issues.