Jessica Riopelle, Ottawa's fourth homicide victim of 2011.
Credits: FILE PHOTO
The 23-year-old told a friend she wanted to "party."
Instead she was found dead in the shower, her blood staining the still-flowing water, in handyman Patrick Dunac's room at the Swiss Inn motel in Ottawa.
She'd been bludgeoned 16 times and her throat cut five times. A hammer was next to her and a box cutter nearby.
Gone was the young woman a friend called smart and funny. She lit up a room and was proud of attending Algonquin College. She didn't want to be an exotic dancer forever.
Instead she encountered Dunac and her hopes disappeared in savage, drug-fuelled violence on March 26, 2011.
Dunac, then 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder. Beefy with close-cropped grey hair, he bowed his head as prosecutor Julie Scott outlined the sordid facts.
Two days before she died, Riopelle arrived at the Diamonds - a strip club attached to the south-end motel - saying she needed money and a place to stay. The owner of what Scott described as a "small and humble establishment" said she could dance and gave her a motel room.
But she ran into Dunac, who she'd known when she danced at the club earlier that year, and spent the night in his room, #27.
The day she died, Dunac's brother, Michel, who was staying in a room across the hall, saw the pair was spending the day together. It was obvious they were high or drunk - probably both - and getting increasingly inebriated, court heard.
Late that afternoon Michel Dunac heard Riopelle and his brother loudly hurling insults and threats at each other.
When he returned about two hours later, all he could hear was the shower running.
That was the only sound the club's bartender heard when she went to room #27 because Riopelle hadn't shown up to dance. She discovered Riopelle's broken body.
At the time of her death, Riopelle had very high levels of speed and ecstasy in her body along with hash and cocaine, court was told.
Dunac - who'd fled out a window to hide in the closet of another room - had high levels of drugs in his system when he killed her.
Michel Dunac, who took some of the same drugs, said they were unlike any he'd used before and gave him strong feelings of paranoia.
Dunac will be sentenced to life on Friday with the only unknown being how long he'll have to wait before he's eligible to seek parole.