Former RCMP officer charged with murder

Shocking and tragic — but also a potential call to action.

  • Aug. 18, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Shocking and tragic — but also a potential call to action.

That is the reaction of community members as news arose that the 56-year-old Penticton man charged with second-degree murder in relation to his common-law partner’s death used to be a Mountie.

Keith Gregory Wiens turned himself into police Tuesday morning, when Penticton RCMP responded to a report that his 55-year-old partner Lynn Kalmring had been shot and killed. Wiens was arrested at the scene.

E Division Cpl. Annie Linteau confirmed that Wiens is a retired RCMP officer who left the force in 2001, but wouldn’t release his service details.

“His history with the RCMP has no relation or connection to the alleged offence that he’s being investigated for,” she said.

One women’s safety advocate says she was surprised at the news, having worked with Wiens in his role at the Summerland RCMP detachment before his retirement and personally held him in high regard.

Donna Henningson is the current resource co-ordinator of the South Okanagan Women in Need Society who first met Wiens more than a decade ago before she joined the women’s organization. He was a corporal and they worked together often.

“I know the suspect is a good man. It doesn’t change the fact that a woman is dead,” Henningson said in offering her personal perspective on the news. “Though I know the suspect is a good man, through his work as a police officer, I’m not privy to his relationships at home.

“How this case has struck me is it’s given me a deeper understanding. Men are people. Men are human, and help is needed for both men and women to prevent these tragedies and prevent this from really ruining lives — two lives here.”

Wiens appeared in Penticton Law Courts Wednesday morning and was remanded into custody. He is scheduled to appear next on Aug. 24.

Henningson said seeing a retired police officer arrested should challenge the public’s need to see domestic violence cases in “black-and-white terms” and the accused as a “boogeyman.” The reality is no one is immune.

“It could be the guy down the street you talk to every day. We’re not privy to the relationships at home. We don’t know what happens. We don’t know the stress people are under, if that’s the case and I’m speculating,” she said. “But they are people, they are human and help is needed for both men and women to prevent these tragedies.”

The homicide is now the third violent incident against a female victim in as many weeks. A forcible confinement case of a woman and her young child drew national attention, followed by second sexual assault case in Okanagan Falls.

Henningson hopes the incident at the gated community at Sandbridge spurs the South Okanagan into action.

“I’m hoping the community can come together to do something really proactive, and I’m not talking vigilante here,” she said. “There are things that we can do as a community to sit down, talk together, bring every aspect of this community together and take some steps. What kind of community do we want here?

“This isn’t Pollyanna. This is looking at what we want, and moving towards it.”


Just Posted

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Rune on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read