Case of grandmother's murder in Lethbridge to feature on CBC true crime show

It's the kind of crime that shocks a community and makes national news — and it happened in the southern Alberta city of Lethbridge.

The murder of 78-year-old grandmother Irene Carter is featured in an episode of the CBC true crime series The Detectives. The episode is entitled "Out of Lies."

The episode will air this Thursday on CBC TV and can be streamed for free on CBC Gem.

"[Irene was] truly an innocent victim," said  Lethbridge Police Service Sgt. Ryan Stef on The Homestretch Monday.

Stef worked on the case from start to finish, a total of around four months. He has been with the Lethbridge Police Service for 23 years, and at the time of the crime was a detective in the violent crimes unit.

Irene Carter, a grandmother, was found dead in her own home on Normandy Road in Lethbridge in 2016.

Initially, the crime appeared to be the case of a robbery gone wrong, but investigators soon learned the truth was more complex.

Upon further investigation, Stef and the violent crimes unit landed upon a shocking suspect: the victim's daughter, Lisa Freihaut. 


Stef said they learned Freihaut struggled with a gambling addiction and had gotten help for it in the past but had relapsed.

As Freihaut had power of attorney over her parent's finances, she ended up gambling, "hundreds of thousands of [Irene's] dollars away," said Stef. 

On the day of the murder, Irene confronted her daughter about the lost money, said Stef, which ultimately led to her being killed.

"It's as tragic as it could possibly be … I mean the whole thing has truly torn the family apart," he says. "They not only lost a grandmother but the mom of the family is now serving a life sentence in prison."

Freihaut pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2018.

Stef said the case require the culmination of everything he had learned in his policing at the time, and that it was, "not something I would have been able to have done on my own."

The episode features a re-enactment of this true-crime tale, including interviews with Stef and insight into the creative police techniques used in the investigation.

Actor Sasha Roiz plays the role of the sergeant and Cat Lemieux plays Freihaut in the dramatic retelling.

Stream CBC Gem here.