'Oh my God': Greg Fertuck recounted wife's last words while acting out shooting for 'crime boss,' court hears

·5 min read
Greg Fertuck acted out how the way he claimed he shot his wife, Sheree, in video played at his first-degree murder trial on Tuesday. (Greg Fertuck/Facebook - image credit)
Greg Fertuck acted out how the way he claimed he shot his wife, Sheree, in video played at his first-degree murder trial on Tuesday. (Greg Fertuck/Facebook - image credit)

In a secretly recorded video, a Saskatoon court heard Tuesday that Greg Fertuck showed undercover police how he claimed he killed his wife, Sheree, using a walking stick as a prop rifle in the demonstration, with one of the officers standing in as Sheree.

"I'm going to get something for you," Fertuck is heard saying on the tape, which was played during his trial for first-degree murder in Court of Queen's Bench.

He then describes how he retrieved his .22-calibre semi-automatic rifle from his truck while the couple argued.

In the recording, Fertuck says Sheree dropped to her knees after getting shot in the right shoulder. The officer heard on the tape, standing in as Sheree in the re-enactment, then kneels in front of Fertuck after pretending to be shot.

"She says 'Oh my God.' Then I went behind her and shot her in the back of the head. She fell face down," Fertuck says on the tape, standing behind the officer.

The covertly recorded re-enactment took place in a seventh-floor suite at the James Hotel in downtown Saskatoon on June 21, 2019, court heard. The veteran officer who convinced Greg to act out the shooting was posing as the head of a criminal syndicate at the time.

Court saw the final hour of the almost three-hour conversation on Tuesday.

Greg is accused in the death of Sheree Fertuck, who disappeared on Dec. 7, 2015.

The 51-year-old mother of three went missing after heading to work at the gravel pit near the small town of Kenaston, south of Saskatoon. Her truck, jacket and cellphone were found there the next day. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench
Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Although Greg told undercover police that he shot her and dumped her body in the country, he later changed that story and has pleaded not guilty.

Police drew out the admission by posing as criminals in a technique known as a "Mr. Big" sting. None of the officers involved in the operation can be named because of a court-ordered publication ban.

Justice Richard Danyliuk is presiding over the judge-alone trial and he has yet to determine whether the evidence from the sting is admissible in Fertuck's trial.

'That's going to sink your battleship'

The June 2019 meeting with Mr. Big was triggered by two developments.

Greg was tricked into believing that police were turning up the heat on the investigation into Sheree's disappearance. He was also led to believe this heightened scrutiny was endangering an upcoming high-stakes poker tourney the gang was setting up in Montreal.

On the video played Tuesday, the undercover officer is seen continuing to press Fertuck after he makes the disclosure about shooting Sheree.

Greg says in the video that he has not told anyone else about the shooting, and he's fairly certain he did not leave any incriminating evidence when he wrapped Sheree's body in a black plastic tarp.

"I'm not willing to bet your security and freedom on chancing that out," the crime boss replies.

"The DNA and fingerprints on the plastic, that's going to sink your battleship."

Submitted by Johanna Branigan
Submitted by Johanna Branigan

The crime boss then had Greg hand-draw maps showing the route he took from Saskatoon to the gravel pit, the layout of the pit, and the route he took from the pit to where he supposedly dumped Sheree's body.

In the video, he then circles back to the argument between Greg and Sheree over their disputed assets, including Greg's half-million-dollar pension.

"Let's be honest. You had a half-million reasons to do what you did. It is what it is," he says.

Scotland Yard, the NSA and the FBI

The crime boss then shows Greg a memo supposedly leaked to the crime organization by someone in law enforcement.

It was actually a fake document designed to give Fertuck a final chance to change his story.

He was told the memo was an internal RCMP communication. It details how the police force reached out to the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) to get high-resolution satellite images taken over the Kenaston gravel pit on the day she was killed.

These images would show Greg killing his wife and leaving with her body, he was told.

The fake memo also said that RCMP sent Sheree's phone to Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom. It claimed that the U.K. police force had the technical capability to recover secret recordings that Sheree made of her conversations with Greg.

The crime boss then says that if Greg's narrative of events is true, "then this report is going to sink you."

Fertuck insists that what he described is what happened. The crime boss then says they must recover Sheree's remains before the RCMP gets the satellite images.

Cross-examination

Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar began his cross-examination of the officer late Tuesday.

Bodnar began by asking whether the officer knew of any major crime techniques, or Mr. Big stings, have led to wrongful convictions.

"My understanding, reviewing the case law, is there has never been a wrongful conviction attributed directly to a major crime technique," the officer testified.

Bodnar also quizzed the officer about whether research was done on Greg Fertuck before he did the interview at the James Hotel.

Dan Zakreski/CBC
Dan Zakreski/CBC

The officer confirmed that he knew, in general terms, that Fertuck drank alcohol through some of the undercover officers' scenarios and that he'd had a head injury and had been admitted to hospital.

But the officer said he had not been provided medical reports and did not see any psychiatric or psychological reports on Fertuck.

Bodnar asked the officer about a number of the scenarios run by police during the sting. He replied that he'd had only two brief interactions with Fertuck prior to the James Hotel interview, and he deferred questions about the other interactions to the officers directly involved.

The officer said that he was aware of the expectations of police from a Supreme Court decision on major crime techniques. He added that the force's own internal guidelines had evolved as the stings became more complicated and sophisticated.

But the officer testified that he was not the person to ask whether the force had an actual written manual of guidelines.

Bodnar will continue his cross-examination Wednesday when the trial, which began Sept. 7, continues.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting