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The Alta. murder that led to Tiki Laverdiere's murder in Sask.

The murder of Tristen Cook-Buckle in Edmonton, Alta., set off a chain of events that would lead to the brutal gang murder of Tiki Laverdiere weeks later in North Battleford, Sask.

The murder of Tristen Cook-Buckle in Edmonton, Alta., set off a chain of events that would lead to the brutal gang murder of Tiki Laverdiere weeks later in North Battleford, Sask.

On April 5, 2019, the body of 20-year-old Cook-Buckle, was found in a burned-out vehicle near Vegreville, Alta.

Hours prior, Edmonton Police Service had been called to an inner-city neighbourhood on 92 Street and 110 Avenue in Edmonton. There, police say they found a “significant amount of blood” on the ground behind a home.

DNA analysis of the blood behind the Edmonton home matched that of Cook-Buckle and an autopsy confirmed his manner of death was homicide.

On April 26, during Jesse Sangster’s sentencing hearing in Battleford Court of King’s Bench, Senior Crown Prosecutor Chris Browne, told the court that Laverdiere’s murder had some similarities to Cook-Buckle’s murder.

Cook-Buckle was beaten, stabbed, and shot in the head before he was burned, said Browne.

In April 2019, Laverdiere left her home in Edmonton, Alta., with a close-knit group to attend 20-year-old Tristen Cook-Buckle’s funeral on Thunderchild First Nation.

At Cook-Buckle’s funeral, Nicole Cook took Whitstone aside and told her, “If you still want to beat [Laverdiere] up I will be outside,” court heard previously.

Laverdiere was beaten, stabbed, tortured, set on fire, and shot in the head after her death, court heard.

Cook-Buckle’s mother Nicole Cook, who was convicted in Laverdiere’s murder, testified that Laverdiere knew details about Cook-Buckle’s murder.

Cook-Buckle was a “commander” in the street gang Redd Alert and Laverdiere was his “right-hand” woman, Battleford Court of King’s Bench had heard.

Cook-Buckle’s obituary said he enjoyed soccer, learning to cook, and shopping [especially Gucci, Louise Vuitton].

He enjoyed traditional teachings like picking sweetgrass with his kokum Mavis Takakenew. She called him her “executive” because he was so orderly and proper, knowing how to handle his business.

His obituary also stated that TTG was his “gangster name” and that’s what he preferred when he would write his rap music.

On the stand testifying against Soaring Eagle Whitstone, the Crown asked Nicole Cook, “Was Tristen in a gang?”

“Yes,” said Nicole Cook.

“What gang?” questioned the Crown.

“Redd Alert,” she replied.

“Do you know anyone else in that gang?” asked the Crown.

“A couple people,” testified Nicole Cook.

Court heard that Laverdiere knew the details of how Tristen Cook-Buckle was murdered in Edmonton and who was involved.

In Edmonton before leaving for Cook-Buckle’s funeral, Laverdiere confided some details to Nicole Cook. And, on the piece of paper that Soaring Eagle Whitstone forced Laverdiere to write details of Cook-Buckle’s murder, only Nicole Cook had read what Laverdiere wrote.

“She wrote down my son was shot, that there was four people involved and when they shot him, he died instantly,” testified Nicole Cook. “They took his body in the back of an SUV and took him out by Vegreville and burned him.”

The Crown then asked Nicole Cook, “Who did she say did it?”

“Redd Alert,” replied Nicole Cook.

“Did she use names?” asked the Crown.

“Ya,” said Nicole Cook.

“Did you know any?”

“Yes.”

“Who did you know?” asked the Crown.

“One buddy, [name redacted],” said Nicole Cook. “He was supposed to be a good friend.”

“Anybody else?” asked the Crown.

“I didn’t know them,” said Nicole Cook. “Tiki just wrote it down on the paper and she told me in Edmonton. She knew how. She was in the same room after it happened.”

“Anybody else?” asked the Crown.

“Jesse knew also,” said Nicole Cook.

Edmonton Police haven't released how Cook-Buckle was murdered but Battleford Court of King’s Bench heard that Cook-Buckle was shot.

“The detective told me he was shot in the head and set on fire,” Nicole Cook testified at Soaring Eagle Whitstone’s trial in September 2022.  “He was pistol-whipped and shot.”

Edmonton Police Service took over the investigation into Cook-Buckle’s murder. The investigation remains open and is considered to be an active file, Carolin Maran, Communications Advisor for Edmonton Police Service, told SaskToday.ca in an email on April 26.

If anyone has any information about Cook-Buckle’s homicide they are urged to contact the Edmonton Police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm

This report by SaskToday.ca first published on April 26, 2024.

Read related stories containing never before published details in Tiki Laverdiere's murder and the convictions of the 10 accused.

-Torture, murder of Tiki Laverdiere a real life 'horror movie': Prosecutor

-Tiki Laverdiere’s life mattered: Justice Zerr

-Prosecution of 10 people in Tiki Laverdiere's murder lasted 5 years

-Tiki Laverdiere murder: Who are the 10 people convicted?

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