Brutal details of Tiki Laverdiere's murder now public after last of 10 accused sentenced

It took almost five years for the cases stemming from the murder of Tiki Laverdiere to wind through the courts. (RCMP - image credit)
It took almost five years for the cases stemming from the murder of Tiki Laverdiere to wind through the courts. (RCMP - image credit)

WARNING: this story contains distressing details.

Ten people were involved in confining, torturing and murdering Tiki Laverdiere in the spring of 2019 in a violent bid to get information on the killing of an Edmonton man, according to court documents.

Laverdiere was a close friend of Tristen Cook-Buckle, who was killed in Edmonton on April 5, 2019. Laverdiere travelled to North Battleford for his funeral on a nearby First Nation two weeks later.

Her family reported her missing after the funeral and, in July of that year, her remains were found in a stand of woods outside North Battleford.

It triggered five years of investigations, charges and trials.

"Homicide investigations are all unique and have their own complexities," RCMP Insp. Ashley St. Germaine said in a news release.

The investigation covered two provinces, nine crime scenes and featured interviews with more than 120 witnesses.

What happened that day in North Battleford is laid out in an agreed statement of facts that can now be made public, since the trial of the 10th and final accused is over. It lays out the horrific details of 25-year-old Laverdiere's final hours.

Laverdiere, who was also friends with Cook-Buckle's mother, Nicole Cook, met with her and other family members after the funeral. They were drinking and doing drugs for two days, as Laverdiere tried unsuccessfully to catch a ride home to Edmonton.

At some point, Nicole Cook believed that Laverdiere had some knowledge about who killed her son.

Nicole King/Facebook
Nicole King/Facebook

A collection of Cook's family, friends and local gang members then held Laverdiere hostage and tortured her for information.

Laverdiere was beaten, burned and, at two different times when the sounds of the torture were attracting too much attention, forced to march through North Battleford while tied-up.

Her assailants also tried to force her to write a narrative of what she knew about Cook-Buckle's murder.

They eventually slit Laverdiere's throat and then took her remains out to the countryside.

In a statement this week, her family said they'll never have closure.

"We are so thankful to everyone who worked to bring us answers and hold those responsible accountable," the statement said.

"No amount of time will change the way our lives have been impacted by having Tiki taken from us."

Nikita Cook and Soaring-Eagle Whitstone were both convicted of first-degree murder. Whitstone is appealing. Jesse Sangster pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Nicole Cook and Shayla Orthner pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Danita Thomas was found guilty of manslaughter. Three others were convicted of being accessory after the fact to murder, and one more was convicted of kidnapping.