Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Accused beaten as a child, police videotape reveals

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A frail Karl McKay told police he loved his kids and knew first-hand what it was like to be the victim of the welfare system.

Jurors began watching a videotaped statement Thursday afternoon that was recorded shortly after McKay was arrested for the death of his five-year-old stepdaughter, Phoenix Sinclair. "Yeah, I've had a hard life. I've been abused as a kid. I know what it's like to get a licking, stuff like that," McKay says in the March 10, 2006 police interview.

McKay said he was one of 26 children his father had and called himself the "black sheep of the family" who lived in many foster homes.

"You get beat up lots?" asked RCMP Sgt. Norman Charett.

"Yeah, every day," said McKay.

Charett said he believes there is truth to a person being a "product of their environment."

"I'm not angry at the world," said McKay. "The important thing is not to get caught in that vicious cycle where you're doing things that were done to you," replied Charett.

McKay spoke about his love of his two sons -- the same boys who told police they'd witnessed Phoenix being repeatedly beaten, confined and killed by McKay and his common-law wife, Samantha Kematch.

McKay had been arrested the previous night after trying to hide inside his niece's home. She initially said said McKay wasn't home, but he eventually emerged to give himself up when police persisted in questioning her, Charett told court.

McKay then lied about the whereabouts of his newborn baby, saying she was staying with a relative when in fact she was in the home.

"He told me he didn't want her to go into care, that he was a product of that system," said Charett.

McKay's health was poor at the time of his arrest -- he told police he'd lost more than 130 pounds due to pancreatitis and diabetes. He was also bald.

"You look like you've had a real hard life, a guy who's been to the war and back," Charett told him.

McKay now looks nothing like the man in the video -- he has long dark hair in a pony tail and he's gained weight since his arrest.

McKay's interview will continue playing when court convenes today.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 14, 2008 A4

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