Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pegged for 80 slayings: Lamb

Convicted killer says police wanted to pin blame on him

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He has admitted to killing two young, vulnerable Winnipeg women he met on the streets while in a drug-induced haze.

But Shawn Lamb claims police were hoping to pin "as many as 80" homicides on him as part of a massive, Canada-wide investigation.

"Their eyes lit up, bells went off. They thought they'd have everything in the past 30 years solved. They thought every murder, especially of an aboriginal person, was at my hands," Lamb, 54, told the Free Press Friday in an exclusive jailhouse interview.

His comments came one day after he pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter for the deaths of Lorna Blacksmith, 18, and Carolyn Sinclair, 25. Lamb was given a 20-year sentence as part of a plea bargain that saw murder charges dropped.

Lamb -- a career criminal and drifter who has moved across the country -- said police showed him dozens of photos and lists of names of other young missing or slain women, hoping he would confess. They included local victims and those from other provinces.

He said the $1,500 police paid him was part of their desperate attempts to clear as many cases as possible.

'There was no evidence against me except for me. I am the evidence'

"I had admitted to these (two killings) without any inducement. But then after that, police went off the rails," said Lamb.

Lamb said the money was deposited into his jail canteen so he could buy magazines, crossword puzzles, snacks and running shoes. And while he admits being in a position of power over the police, he denies manipulating them or the victims' families.

"I took responsibility for what I did do. As for the other stuff, I don't know. I guess police will have to go find the people who did it," he said.

Lamb still faces a third homicide charge. He denies responsibility in the killing of Tanya Nepinak, whose body has not been found despite an intensive police search.

When asked what will become of that second-degree murder charge, Lamb was coy.

"Stay tuned. As far as I'm concerned, I'm finished," he said.

Justice officials have not disclosed their plans for the remaining charge.

Lamb also took aim Friday at the Blacksmith and Sinclair families, who criticized justice officials for cutting a deal with him,

"I'm amazed. All of the family knew this was happening. They were all quite content. Then (Thursday) they all go in front of the cameras and sing a different song," said Lamb.

He didn't stop there, questioning Sinclair's family for not submitting a victim impact statement to the court.

"If you cared so much about her, you couldn't even take the time to write a victim impact statement? Come on," said Lamb.

He also bristled at suggestions he's not sorry for his actions. Lamb has amassed more than 100 convictions dating back to the 1970s, the majority a result of his chronic addiction and anger issues. Lamb has also been described as a master manipulator and sociopath.

Lamb said he has no doubt he would have walked free if he'd chosen to reject a plea deal and go to trial.

"There was no evidence against me except for me. I am the evidence," said Lamb.

"I could have dragged this out for years. Step 1 is taking responsibility. Sorry is not enough. I can say it until I turn blue. It's not going to change what happened. Nobody wants to focus on my remorse, responsibility and empathy. (Regardless) of whether I would have walked or not, I took responsibility. If they don't want to hear that, that's their choice."

Lamb also commented about the lifestyle choices of his two victims, saying it's "really not their fault."

"Even if these women are prostitutes, you can't blame that. That's how their issues evolved," said Lamb. "They're living a dangerous lifestyle. Some people get out of it with a minor scare, some with a major one, or some don't until they die."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 16, 2013 A3


Updated on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM CST: fixed cutline

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