A teenage girl convicted of murdering a young woman from Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba will face 40 months in jail with 23 months of community supervision. Judge Rocky Pollack issued his decision in 2018 concerning one of the two young girls implicated in the death of Serena McKay, whose murder, in April 2017 was filmed, uploaded on Facebook, and broadcast on social networks. In these videos, the victim (Serena McKay) can be seen pleading with her assailants to stop beating her which is like something made out of a movie. In particular, it was tragically similar to Sylvia Likens’s real death in 1965 where she too died of torture and abuse at the hands of many. It was even made into a crime movie called An American Crime starring Elliot Page.
Did the same events have to happen even after all these years? Will humanity pick and prod someone in their most vulnerable state? The sad answer is yes.
Serena McKay’s Murder Eerily Resembles The Murder of Sylvia Likens
A woman in red clothing with a young girl’s face printed on it speaks into microphones. She is Delores Daniels, the mother of Serena McKay, and it is her daughter’s image that she represents. This was back in 2018 during the trial for the murder of Serena McKay, a sweet teenager who made a wrong turn for which she paid for with her life. Just like Sylvia Likens’s fate which was made into a crime movie called An American Crime, Serena McKay’s fate eerily shows similarities of group torture, abuse, and eventual death.
Who was Serena McKay?
Serena McKay was born Serena Chelsea McKay in 1997 and she would die as a teenager in 2017. She was a Canadian who has indigenous roots and her murder was actually uploaded online. McKay had preferred to go by the name “Serenity”. She attended and lived in Powerview-Pine Falls.
Who were Serena McKay’s killers?
During the video footage of the murder, one of the female suspects told the victim who was covered in blood: “If you send anyone after me I will kill you. I will fucking kill you myself.”
One of the suspects was also accused of writing or pleading with someone to not let her get caught. On a certain instant message app, the alleged suspect wrote at first, “We fought, I broke her nose then that happened, she left after, she was OK. She was up and walking”
When the body was found, the suspect wrote, “She was found dead bro… Promise me you will say when we fought it wasn’t that bad. Her nose was just bleeding lots… I’m fuckin scared. Promise me, you won’t tell em I fought her deadly. Please bro… Say after we closed the door, she left.”
Who were these cruel people? Well, the teenage girls who killed Serena McKay pleaded guilty to murder at the age of 16 and 17 at the time of their arrest. As they were minors, the two girls were protected by the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act which prohibits the releasing of the names of accused or convicted youth criminals.
They were extremely cruel and we know that the victim and the two defendants attended Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School, school principal Claude Guimond confirmed, adding that Serena McKay was due to graduate in June. Principal Mr. Guimond also explains that, for a few days, a video has been circulating on Facebook which would show Serena McKay undergoing what the director describes as “violent aggression”. He believes that illicit drugs may have played a role in the filmed attack.
“No one in their right mind would do what was done to them [in the video]. You would have to be high on drugs and completely unleashed”.
One of the killers was certainly not in her right mind as she sent out a Snapchat photo, covered in blood and smiling, with the caption, “just chilling”. According to Wikipedia, this is the younger suspect.
How did Serena McKay die?
The victim was last seen on April 23 evening, and was reported missing around 6 p.m. Her body was found two hours later near a residence on the reservation about 120 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg. She suffered brutal abuse at the hands of multiple attackers while the main two suspects were two teenage girls. Interestingly, despite having 67 injuries on her body at the time of death, McKay likely died of hypothermia.
The court heard this from a pathologist who testified that this was the case as she was unable to seek protection from the cold due to her injuries and the amount of alcohol in her body at the time.
Serena McKay’s murder:
The murder occurred on Sagkeeng First Nation 100 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her murder was filmed and posted online, sparking outrage across Canada. The video came in a short version and in a long version. The short version was posted on Facebook. The long version was available for 4 hours, but later removed after Sagkeeng Grand Chief Derrick Henderson asked Facebook to remove the short video from the website.
It is unclear whether she died on April 22 or April 23, as she was last seen on the evening of April 22, 2017, reported missing at 6:00 p.m. on April 23, 2017, and one confirmed dead body more later be Serena McKay. was found at 8:00 p.m. on April 23, 2017.
After McKay’s body was found, two teenagers were arrested. Their names cannot be revealed publicly due to a Canadian law that prohibits the disclosure of the names of juvenile criminals or accused juvenile criminals. But they did not act alone.
According to the video posted online, we can see a bloodied, barely-conscious young woman lying on the ground, as she is repeatedly kicked and punched in the head. The video which was shot on a cell phone showed the victim’s blood and facial injuries caused by her head being stomped on by a heavy boot. During the assault, the sound of bones cracking can be heard as well.
The two teenagers who were under convicted of murdering Serena did not act alone as both female and male voices can be heard in the video. While it is not known how many people are the other two main victims, the victim cries out, “I’m so sorry,” in a very clear way.
We will never know what she was apologizing for or why she is being attacked.
Following her death, Serena McKay was surrounded by hundreds in support:
A vigil was held in Winnipeg on April 29, 2017, with hundreds marching. McKay’s funeral was held at Westwood Church in Winnipeg on May 1, 2017. She was also interred in Winnipeg. At McKay High School’s graduation on June 23, 2017, what would have been her seat was left empty and marked with a red graduation gown and diploma to honor her memory.
On May 26, 2017, the 17-year-old suspect had her first trial in provincial court in Winnipeg where defense attorneys and prosecutors requested a psychological test. She had been remanded to the Manitoba Youth Center (a youth prison that has both remand, post-custody and detention units) since her arrest shortly after the murder. and later pleaded guilty to the charge. She has since claimed that she was very sorry for what she had done. A Manitoba judge sentenced her to two years in prison and one year of parole for McKay’s death.
The young girl sentenced to 40 months in prison pleaded guilty to second degree murder, saying she suffered “guilt and shame” every day. In his decision, Judge Pollack specifies that, with the addition of 23 months of community supervision, the young girl’s sentence will reach seven years, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on a minor offender.
Coming out of court, Serena McKay’s mother, Delores Daniels, expressed her relief saying: “I am content that the judge followed the recommendations of the Crown. That’s pretty close to the maximum sentence of four years in custody requested by the Crown. We would have liked her to be tried as an adult, but we, the family, cannot do anything about it and we have to accept it,” she said.
“We try to cope with her death, but we miss her every day,” added Delores Daniels, referring to her daughter who was only 19 at the time of her death.