ID’s ‘See No Evil’ is a series that incorporates re-enactments, one-on-one interviews, and actual camera footage to examine some of the most brutal offenses to have transpired in the past few years. It also highlights how, in a world where ordinary people record every discussion while surveillance cameras observe their every move, it’s almost impossible for criminals not to end up on film. Thus, its season 4 episode 9, titled ‘Loretta’s Last Valentine,’ profiling the homicide of Loretta Saunders, is no different. And if you wish to know the details of the same, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Loretta Saunders Die?
Born on August 25, 1987, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Loretta Barbara Grace Saunders was a kind and bright young woman when she abruptly lost her life. She’d had her fair share of issues in the years prior, including alleged sexual abuse and homelessness, but she’d turned her life around. After all, at 26, the Inuk female was a St. Mary’s University criminology student, writing an honors thesis on missing and murdered indigenous women, with dreams of attending law school after graduation. She was also expecting her first child with her long-term boyfriend.
Therefore, when her loved ones uncharacteristically received only strange text messages and no calls from her number for a few days, they realized that Loretta was last seen on February 13, 2014, and reported her missing — it was the 17th. Nearly ten days later, at 4:30 pm on February 26, 2014, her cold remains were recovered from a hockey bag on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway near Salisbury, New Brunswick. She had several defensive wounds, and her cause of death was asphyxiation, meaning that she’d been strangled before being disposed of in the secluded area.
Who Killed Loretta Saunders?
Loretta Saunders’ roommates, Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry, to whom she had sublet a room in her Halifax apartment, were identified as her assailants almost as soon as her body was discovered. That was because the day after investigations into her disappearance began, the couple was arrested while driving her 2000 Toyota Celica in Ontario, instantly making the officials suspect foul play. Not only that, but 25-year-old Brett and 28-year-old Victoria also had Loretta’s cellphone, bank cards, identification, and other relatively minor personal belongings in their possession.
Brett and Victoria were just charged with stealing Loretta’s vehicle at first, yet the authorities upgraded it to first-degree murder upon her finding. As per reports, they murdered the Inuk woman after she’d asked for the $430 they owed her in rent money on February 13. While Victoria was explaining (lying) that she’d lost her bank card and needed to contact the institution to get it sorted, her boyfriend pulled three plastic bags over Loretta’s head and started choking her. She fought back, though, and even managed to tear the bags, so when they fell during the struggle, Brett bashed her head on the floor twice.
That’s when the couple stuffed Loretta into the hockey bag, put her into the trunk of her own car, and dumped it on the highway before keeping the vehicle for themselves. They even chose to text her boyfriend and her family, pretending to be her, not only in an attempt to cover up their crime but also to get information that would help them quickly access her bank accounts. What’s more is that Brett and Victoria had a video (filmed on February 8, 2014, on the latter’s phone) of them debating their plan to kill Loretta. The motive was supposedly just the rent money and the couple’s desire to get away from Halifax.
Where Are Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry Now?
Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry had both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them initially. However, days before their trial was set to commence in April 2015, Blake pleaded guilty as charged, whereas his girlfriend pleaded guilty to the lesser count of second-degree murder. Thus, while he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years, she received a life term with no eligibility for parole for ten years. They both apologized in court during their sentence hearings, with Blake adding that “Loretta was kind to me in the short time I knew her.”
Victoria did try to withdraw her guilty plea in 2017, only for it to be denied, and she has since been seeking day parole, but to no avail. She has also started to identify as “American Cherokee,” which has given rise to a bit of controversy over the years. With that said, all we know is that both Blake and Victoria remain incarcerated to this day.