WARNING: This story contains graphic details some readers may find disturbing
Logan Ring was beaten so badly that he begged his attackers to kill him.
Five people, including a young woman and her parents, were part of a plan to "rough up" the 21-year old man to send him a message to stop messing around with that woman's family, according to court documents.
But he was more than roughed up.
The young father, known for his red, curly ponytail, was lured to a secluded parking lot on the south shore of Lake Diefenbaker, north of Swift Current, in the early hours of Nov. 16, 2016. Ring was beaten relentlessly by Rebecca Kuhlman, who had a tire iron, and Todd Donaldson and Collin Perrault, who had metal pipes.
Perrault was singing, "Bongo, bongo, playing the bongos." Eventually, he slit Ring's throat.
Ring's murder has attracted much attention over the fact five people, including three women, were initially charged with second-degree murder. It also generated a lot of speculation over allegations that the crime was connected to animal cruelty charges, the drug trade, the sex trade and a bomb threat.
Details couldn't be reported by the media until the final court case was resolved. That happened Tuesday afternoon.
Court documents that lay out statements of fact may not tell the whole story, but contain what the Crown accepted it could prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
"They tortured him," said Ring's mother, Cindy McEwen. She said she had a nervous breakdown after learning some of the gruesome details in court, and hearing Ring's former friend and roommate plead guilty.
Although five people were charged with murder, only one was convicted on that charge.
In order of conviction:
- Tanisha Perrault, 22, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to accessory after the fact to murder — two-year jail sentence.
- Collin Perrault, 51, found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury in October 2019 — life sentence with no chance of parole for 13 years.
- Jolene Epp, 41, pleaded guilty on July 28, 2020, to accessory after the fact to murder — two-year prison sentence, minus remand credit. Net sentence to serve is one year and 251 days.
Ring provokes anger over animal cruelty and prostitution allegations
Logan Ring was a hyper kid with a soft heart, his mother said. He liked to pick flowers and write love notes. But he also struggled in school and started doing hard drugs when he was barely a teenager, she said.
After a move to Prince Albert, he got pulled into the gang life and tried every drug he could find, according to McEwen. She wanted her son to escape those troubles, so she helped him move to Swift Current to be close to a girlfriend, who would later give birth to Ring's son. Ring worked at TJ's Pizza.
His next few years became a blur of cocaine, crystal meth and pills. McEwen said landlords were always threatening to evict Ring.
In 2016, he seemed excited to move to a farm near Tugaske, northwest of Moose Jaw, with his two friends: Rebecca Kuhlman and Tanisha Perrault.
Perrault and Ring dealt drugs, according to sources in Swift Current, and Ring's mother says her son was a "big mouth" who blabbed to people that Perrault was also allegedly selling sex online. Perrault kicked him out.
Soon after, Ring moved into an apartment in Swift Current with Kuhlman and the two started posting accusations on social media that Perrault was abusing or neglecting animals in her care.
In September 2016, Perrault and her boyfriend at the time, Andrew Wiens, were both charged with animal cruelty under the Criminal Code and Saskatchewan's Animal Protection Act. Fourteen animals were seized from the farm, including two dead reptiles and a dead dog.
Ring posted on Facebook that he was the reason Perrault got charged and had animals taken.
A week before Ring was killed, Rebecca Kuhlman kicked him out of their apartment. There are conflicting stories over why the two had fallen out. A source close to Kuhlman says their landlord threatened to evict them because Ring was smoking drugs in the apartment.
Kuhlman enlisted Todd Donaldson to help get Ring to leave and Donaldson threatened Ring with a metal bar.
According to court documents, Ring lashed out "in retaliation" and threatened to "firebomb" Donaldson's place.
In the days that followed, sources say the drama between Ring and the two young women escalated and spread to include Perrault's parents and Donaldson.
The night of the attack
Cellphone records from Nov. 15 and 16, in the hours before Ring died, show numerous calls and texts between Ring and the two young women, as well as between the five people who would eventually be convicted in connection to his death.
The two men — Perrault and Donaldson — acquired metal pipes.
At 3:30 a.m. CST on Nov. 16, Ring stood near his Ford Explorer with a broken pool cue in his hand. The five people, travelling in a car and a van, boxed in his vehicle. According to an agreed statement of facts, it was Collin Perrault's plan to rough Ring up but his daughter, Tanisha, "warned Collin not to go too far with it."
Ring and Kuhlman got into an argument. Ring struck Kuhlman with his pool cue. Collin Perrault and Todd Donaldson chased Ring down with metal bars. Kuhlman grabbed a tire iron to join in the attack. They struck Ring repeatedly in the head and body.
'Kill me already'
Perrault smashed Ring's face against the hitch and bumper, then drove his knee into the back of Ring's neck, "which caused a cracking sound," court documents said.
That's when Ring told Perrault, "Kill me already."
At one point, Tanisha Perrault and her mother got out of the vehicle they'd been sitting in, but were told to stay in the vehicle. After Ring died, they all drank at the crime scene and cleaned up their cigarettes.
Days later, police interviewed Tanisha Perrault and she named two other people as possible suspects. Those two men would eventually take polygraph tests to prove their innocence.
Police conducted more than 100 interviews in their investigation and eventually, nearly a year after Ring was killed, arrested the five people.
Sources who know the convicted people say they implicated themselves publicly when they were drinking.
Crown prosecutors Curtis Wiebe and Stephen Kritzer worked on these five cases for nearly three years.
Wiebe spoke to CBC News by telephone after the fifth and final conviction.
He called Ring's death "senseless" and "tragic" and thanked Ring's family for their patience and understanding.
Wiebe said animosity between these six people "got blown to a proportion that, at the end of the day, a number of people regret."
He said he's still not clear why things escalated to such extreme violence.
"I think certainly they knew what they were doing, in a sense, but as far as their impulses and their emotions and their actions, I couldn't gauge that with a fine-tooth comb," he said. "I couldn't guess at what brought it to this boiling point."
Ring's mother said she's disappointed that only one person has been convicted on a murder charge.
"What is Tanisha going to learn from this? 'Hey, we killed this guy off and I got two months in a healing lodge. I got to play with horses and my kid got to live with me there,'" McEwen said, with some bitterness.
"They hunted him," McEwen added, pointing to the fact the group lured her son to a secluded spot and acquired metal pipes for the attack.
The final conviction on Tuesday afternoon doesn't provide closure, McEwen said.
"It doesn't end for us as a family.... Every birthday, every Christmas, every holiday, is a reminder that he's not here."