‘My hands were around her neck:’ trial hears murder suspect’s alleged confession

Murder trial hears alleged confession

CALGARY — A man suspected of strangling his wife and burying her body in the house they shared told an undercover officer he found his hands around her neck during a heated argument and “then she was gone.”

Allan Shyback, 40, is charged with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body in the death of Lisa Mitchell, 31, who was last seen alive in October 2012.

An undercover “Mr. Big” sting operation, dubbed “Operation Aurora,” was launched in 2013 and ended with Shyback’s alleged confession and arrest in Winnipeg a year later.

A recording was played in court in Calgary on Thursday after Shyback received a call in 2014 from a Calgary police officer, telling him Mitchell’s case was now considered a homicide and officers intended to search his house in the city.

“You good buddy? You look like you just … saw a ghost. What’s going on?” the undercover officer asked after Shyback got the phone call.

Shyback told him he and Mitchell had a heated argument and she had lunged at him with a knife.

“She said she could probably put me in the hospital and tell them it was self defence. She’d get the kids and everything else and I’d be in jail,” Shyback can be heard saying. 

“I pushed back at her. At some point my hands were around her neck. I remember trying to let go, trying to stop. And then she was gone.

“I can remember trying to make myself let go.”

Shyback initially panicked after he received the call from Calgary police.

“I’ve got to get out of here,” he muttered.

The undercover officer suggested that perhaps they wouldn’t find Mitchell’s body.

“Not if they’re seriously looking,” said Shyback.

“There’s still a chance,” said the officer.

“Uh, no. If they go and look right now.”

Shyback said he buried Mitchell under cement in the basement. He worried about getting caught but said it was months before police called him.

“I was expecting things to fall apart, especially during that first year.”

Mitchell’s partially mummified body was later found in a plastic container buried under cement in the basement. 

Earlier on Thursday, another undercover officer told court he was tasked with befriending Shyback. He told him about a friend who was opening an auto brokerage and offered him a job.

The ruse continued with another officer, pretending to be his girlfriend, babysitting Shyback’s children.

Shyback was more than willing to talk about his ex.

“He indicated that she had been gone for some time now … approximately two years and he was having trouble figuring out what to tell the kids. Specifically, why she had gone and where she had gone,” he said. 

“Shyback indicated he honestly thinks his ex being gone is the best thing for he and the kids.”

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Athlete who survived head-on collision offers GameChanger award for women

Victoria woman competed in an Ironman two years after doctors told her she wouldn’t walk

PHOTOS: Bear fishes for salmon in Goldstream Park

Each fall thousands of vistors head to the park to watch the annual salmon spawn

Man convicted in 1978 Victoria killing dismissed of murder charges in U.S.

Tommy Ross Jr. expected to be released from Clallam County jail after 40 years behind bars

HarbourCats van ticketed at Braefoot Park

Braefoot association dinged $50 for parking baseball team’s van

Victoria resident unable to vote after a move across the Saanich border

Lucia Espino moved just a few blocks, but unable to vote in either municipality

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Rotating strike in Toronto will have ‘significant impact,’ says Canada Post

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities.

Cancelling Saudi Arabia arms deal would cost $1 billion: Trudeau

Canada has added its voice to global calls for answers, with Trudeau telling the CBC in an interview today that the Saudi government’s explanation of what happened lacks credibility.

Former B.C. sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Most Read