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1 Krystal Nicole

Address: Mile 7 Tagish Road, carcross, Yukon Territory

I, Larry William Campbell , a Coroner in and for the Yukon Territory,

have inquired into the death of the above stated which was reported to me on the 28 day of

fvlarch ,1993 and as a result of such inquiry have determined the following facts:

Age: 29 Sex: M D FliJ Native D

Date of Birth: 13 April 1962 Estimated Date of Death: 1 March 1992

Place of Death: Mile 7 Tagish Road Estimated Time of Death: tmdetermined

carcross, Y. T.
Place of Injury/Illness: Date and Time:
sa:rre as place of de ath sa:rre as date and time
Type of Premise: private dwelling: Code

Identification Method : Visual ~ Other:

Identification By: Cst.P. Egan, R.C.M. Police, carcross, Y.T.

Body Released to: Yukon Funeral Home Date: 7 March 1992

POST MORTEM EXAMINATION: Yes 0 No D Date : 5 March 1992

Conducted By: Dr. Laurel Gray, Vancower General Hospital, Vancower, B.C.

TOXICOLOGY EXAMINATION: Yes 0 No D Date: 13 April 1992

Conducted By: R. C.M. Police Crine Lal::oratory, Vancower, B. C.

Relevant Findings: No drugs or poisons found


(1) Immediate Cause of Death: (a) Gunshot wound to chest Code

DUE TO or as a consequence of
Antecedent Cause if any: (b) Code
DUE TO or as a consequence of
Giving rise to the immediate cause (a)
above Stating the underlying cause
I.as1 (c)

(2) Other Significant Medical Causes

Contributing to Death:

BY WHAT MEANS: Single gunshot WJund to the chest Code



Homicide [29 Suicide D
Il Undetermined
On Marc.h 2, 1992, the Carcross Detachment of the R.C.M. Police were requested to
check the residence of Krystal Nicole Senyk located at Mile 7 on the Tagish Road by
Craig Lake in the Yukon Territory. A co-worker had become concerned when Ms. Senyk
did not arrive at work. At 1100 hours, the police arrived at the residence and found Ms .
Senyk lying on the floor. Tt was obvious to the officers thnt she was dead. An intensive
investigation was conclucted by the R.C.M. Police which culmin(lted in criminal charges
being l(lid clg(linst a melle subject. An autopsy was ordncd by the Yukon Coroners
Service (In(1 it was determined that the calise of death W(lS ;:] single gunshot wound to
chest. To date, the suspect has not been apprehended ilnd the ch;Hges are outstanding.

As a result of the criminal charges, it would be extremely injudicious to make any further
comment on the events leading up to or surrounding this death. As coroner however, I
am compelled uncler the Coroners Act to investigate (Jnd report on this death. In
addition, there were a number of concerns exrressc<l by the father of the deceased which
required inves tigation and answers. The coroner has the resrnnsibility to act on behalf
of the dece8secl and the f(lmily. FinaJly, it is the mandate of the coroner after ascertaining
the facts to make recommendations that would rrevcnt a death of like nature from
hap pening ill the future. I will therefore only comment on those areas that I feel wiJl not
jeopardize any future court proceedings.

One of the complaints frolll the father of Krystal Senyk W(lS th(lt he was promised certain
documents a l1(1 actions hy the Yukon Coroners Service thAt were never acted lIpon. The
Coroner.') Service is an imlcpen(lent agency mandated to illVe,q igate death. Likewise, the
police arc mand3ted to illvestigate those deaths that are of a criminal nature or when a
coroner requests assistance. Clearly in this instance, the police arc the lead agency and
should be deferred to. While holding an inquest is certainly all option in a case such as
this, the decision should not be made prematurely. 1n ;:]dditioll, any release of information
must be coordinated with the police to ensure that the crimin(ll process is not jeopardized .

There has beell Illuch ,r.;peculation surrounding the de;llh of Krystal Senyk mainly
pertGlining to the involvelllent of both the R .C. M. Police :111<1 l\:llIshee's Place, 8 women's
transition home in Whitehorse. It is a matter of record thnt Krystal Senyk was at the
transition hOllle on the night prior to her death and eH thelt time she had contact with the
R.C.M. Police. From my investigation , it was obvious that the R.C.M. Police became
aware that Ms . Senyk W,lS [earful for her safe ty. Further, the R.C.M. Police felt that the
trnnsition house was (I s(lfe place for Ms. Senyk. In addition to this, some information
was exchanged between the deceased and the police officer regording a restraining order.
Krystal Senyk asked the police officer to do a number or things that in the opinion of the
police officer would not have been prudent. Jt is the duty of the police to protect citizens.
When the citizen is in a position of safety as was the case with Ms. Senyk, it would have
heen irresponsible to ta ke her from the safety an(1 expose her to a perceived danger.
Unfortunately, there appears to have been no COllcrete pl(11l on the rart of the officer to
follow up concerns of Ms. Senyk with an investigation.

On at least th"ee occasions during the time that Krystal Senyk was at the home, she was
offered s(1nctuary by the st(lfr. She did not take advnnulge of these offers and was
therefore, never a client or Kaushee's Pl ace . Eventually she left stating that she would
be stayillg I,vith (1 friend.

As we are all (lware, violence Aga inst women is a societal problem. It must be dealt with
in an organized and cohesive manner by all agencies and persons who are mandated to
stop this <lbuse. No one agency or group can claim ownership of either the problem or
the solution and while methods and ideologies may differ, the common goal must remain
. . ~­
procedures to prevent future loss of life clue to violcnce :lg8insl. womcn. If this happens
then her tragic death will not llave been in vain .

. Arter meeting with the R.C.M. Police and members of K;lu .shee's Pli.lce, r have determined
lh;lt the following steps h::lVe (llready been taken to ';Hidress cOllcerns of the community.

I. The R.C.M. Police Ilavc met with the sta ff of K:lu shec 's Place and a constructive
exch;lnge of infoJ'lll:ltion has taken place . Tilis illfmnwtiol1 incluclcd the working
protocol of both org[lnizations and (I revinv of security procedures at the home
with ;1 full report on Wilelt should be dOlle to remed y' (lilY problems. The Board of
Directors has Cl(\optecl ('til of the recomlllenc\;ttions nowin g from the security report
anci will implement them. These recommen(\;lliOlls require significant capital
outlay and mlJ.',t he 8ccomrlished by utilizing the CU l'l'Cn I budget. A committee has
been str uck to meet on a regular basis al1d address :111)' problems and concerns that
Jll~ly (!fise from allY incident involving the two org:lllizatiol1s. In speaking to hoth
p;lrlies, it is obvious that there is a will to address (lilY probleJll s in a constructive
;111(1 consensual mallner that will allow both p;utie,s to c(lr ry out their community
mandate. This is important as both organizations require Ule public confidence to
hc effective in their different but not mutually exclusive roles. In additioll, a
" protocol committee" h(ls been formed consisting of members of the R,C.M. Police
(lnd K8ushee's PI[lce to (ldc1ress specific concerns of both ilgcncics. Procedures and
protocol will be dcveloped to ensure th8t the invc.<;fig[ltion into violence against
\OV(lillCIl is conciucled in a uniform and expedient m81lllcr . This committee has
::llrc(l(ly met once ,11lei plans to continue to do ,"0 in fhe future.

2. The R.C.M. Police \1nve dedicated the services (11' two investigators to investigate
(III compl8ints of [;lI11ily violence. In <'I ddition, t:lIks ~1I"c tnking place to have a
mcmhcr of the Yukoll TerritoriClI Gove rnment seconded to nssist them in these
investig'ltions . It \\.'(luld be desir(lble that this perso n h:l\'C 11'[Iining in social work
to m:lke (I strongcr investigative teJm. This uilit will review all files in which
f<:lmily violence l1;1s been reported and will do :l1lY i'ollow up that is deemed
IlcceSSJ ry. The unit is nlso responsible for cciuc;lli()n (If not only members of the
R,c'M. Police bul ::llso those agencies ()ut.side til(' crimin::ll justice system that are
involved in der:liing with family violence.

The R.C. M. Policc h;lve also heen responsible for the forming of a Family
Violence Co III III it tee wh ich is made 11 p of PCI'SOll ,S [In(\ ngencies that deal with
violence. A selllin81' hns been held into this rroblclll anci it is expected that more
will be held in the future. This committee is responsihle for coordinating action
(lnd public response to thc problem of family violence. By Inking this issue into the
puhlie forulll rind making the community aware of the scope or the problem, there
is 8 grenter challce of lessening this soci81 prohlem. This committee 11(1s an
opportunity to providc this focus.

Since the dC[lth of Kryst;ll Senyk, there h(ls ohviously bccn ::l concerted effort to come to
grips with the problcm pf family violence and in particul [H violence against women, 1
h ;:J \e the following reco11llllendations to m(lke which IllClY 8ssist ill combating the problem.

I. To: Chief Coroner

Yukon Corollcrs Service

2. To: The Honourable Willard Phelps

Minister of .lustice

Yukon Territorial Government

(a) TIHlt cOllsidcr~llion be given to GlPpoinling 8 specific crown counsel to hand Ie

811 cases involving family violencc. Further, that this counsel be part of the
Family Violence Team formed by the R.CM. Police . In addilion, it is
recommended thill a specific court 811(1 day 01' the week be designated for
tile hearing of evidence in family violence Clses.

(h) Th ~lt the appointment of (1 member nf the Yukon Territorial Government

to the FGlmily Violence Team be expedit-cd ilnd that the person have (J
background in soci<11 work .

(c) That clue to the financial requirements of I1wkil1g Kaushee 's Place a safer
environment, consideration he given to reviewing the current funding.
Ohviously if funds are taken from the buclg.ct tn fulfill security requirements
then those funds cannot be used to assist womcn seeking sanctuary from
violence .

3. To: CO. " M " Division

Chair or the Board

K8L1shee 's PILlee

That the c01l1mittee known as the " Protocol Committee " he formalized and meet on a
regu18r h:l<;is to addl"css mutual concern s. That agreeillent be reached on these concerns
through a process which will 1ll8i<.e any conclusion 11111tl1 :dly ~\grce8ble to both parties.

Violence <lgainst \V01llen l11ust be addressed by society ~lS :1 \vhnle. Without the will (lnd
commitment of the community, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate this
social ill. [t is hoped th:1t the progressive steps thClt have tnken place since the death of
Kryslal Scnyk 810ng with these recommendations \vill ~lCcolllplish this 8i111.

I find therefore that I< ryslal Nico.le Senyk came to her death Oil or a bOll t March I, 1992
from (In llnnMlIral calise to wit: gun shot ,vound (0 the chest. I cJ8ssify this death as a
homicide .

L.W . Campbell

Coroner in and for the Yukon Territory