Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sarandon's jewels linked to killing?

Stolen items found in victim's hotel room

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WINNIPEG'S latest homicide has taken a dramatic Hollywood twist.

Jewelry stolen from the set of the movie being shot in Winnipeg was found at the scene of the city's 12th homicide, a spokeswoman for the big-budget flick Shall We Dance confirmed last night.

She said items lifted from a vehicle sometime during production of the movie were discovered in the downtown hotel room where the body of a 38-year-old Shoal Lake man was found dead Wednesday morning.

The victim may have been dismembered, although police would not comment on what may have led to the homicide or the cause of death.

"Some stuff was stolen, that's true... some jewelry from one of our vehicles," the Shall We Dance spokeswoman said from the legislative grounds, the site of yesterday's movie shooting.

"It turned up with other stuff that was found in the hotel room where that happened."

Neither she nor police would confirm it last night, but speculation is that a necklace belonging to Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon may have been among the items recovered.

Sarandon is starring with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Stanley Tucci in the $50-million movie.

It's rumoured about $4,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from a trailer used in production of the movie.

"We have no comment on that," a police duty inspector offered last night.

The victim of the homicide was identified yesterday as Robin Robert Greene. His remains were found in room 309 of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel on Wednesday morning.

Sydney Teerhuis, 33, turned himself in and then led police to the hotel room that morning.

He has since been charged with second-degree murder.

"Exactly what may have transpired we're not commenting on at this time," homicide unit Staff Sgt. Terry Desmond said last night.

An autopsy was to be completed yesterday.

Police spokesman Const. Bob Johnson said Teerhuis was not from Winnipeg and had only been in the city for a couple of weeks. Johnson said he did not know where Teerhuis was from.

Johnson said the two men did not know each other, and appear to have met just prior to the homicide.

Johnson said Teerhuis originally went to the Winnipeg Remand Centre to turn himself in, believing it was a police building, and was turned over to police.

The four-storey hotel, located at 48 Albert St., is a popular venue for live music. The 54 rooms on the upper three floors are rented out, many on a long-term basis.

According to the owner, Teerhuis had moved into the hotel just last month.

Wayne Towns, who has owned the hotel for 13 years, said he heard rumblings about the ghastly nature of the homicide.

"If it's true, I'm shocked," he said. "It's got to be one of the most gruesome (homicides) this city has ever seen."

Towns couldn't say whether the loud voices some tenants say they heard in the third-floor hallway early Wednesday morning was an argument between the victim and suspect.

"The police have told us nothing."

Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for the Miramax Films movie would not say what the items of jewelry were, when or how they may have gone missing.

"This is a closed set," she said.

However, as production on the movie slowly wrapped up for another day around 7 p.m. last night, star gazers wandered unimpeded around the numerous large, white trailers that lined the legislature's east lane, near where a scene was being shot inside.

Suddenly, one woman rushed over to Gere's wife, actress Carey Lowell, and the couple's young son who had strolled past.

Minutes later, Gere and Tucci emerged from an east entrance of the building, and about a dozen fans crossed the lane to get closer.

Gere waved and then quickly ducked into a waiting limo, while Tucci posed for several pictures.

There was a security guard blocking pedestrians and traffic to a row of more elaborate trailers for the stars on a lane running parallel to Broadway where Lowell, her son and Tucci were seen walking toward.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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