‘A deeply disturbed young man’: What we know about Hannah Leflar’s killer
The name of the young man who killed 16-year-old Hannah Leflar is now public and more details about his life and behaviour have been released.
On Wednesday, Skylar Prockner was sentenced as an adult for murdering Hannah, who was his ex-girlfriend.
He stalked and eventually chased Hannah through her home at 3:45 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2015. He stabbed her at least 10 times.
Justice Jennifer Pritchard released her full 45-page sentencing decision on Thursday.
Pritchard noted that the mental-health professionals who studied Prockner “agreed that Skylar is a deeply disturbed young man.”
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In April 2016, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
‘Obsessively and dangerously brooding’
“He had quit school some months before … and was basically doing nothing but obsessively and dangerously brooding over the loss of his girlfriend,” Pritchard wrote.
Pritchard noted Prockner’s difficult upbringing but says he and his family did not seek the proper assistance, including not attending two scheduled meetings with professionals in late 2014.
“The most perplexing aspect of this case is that it is not at all clear what drove Skylar to commit this offence,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard said the evidence found Prockner to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety and insecurity, all of which were dealt with through anger and jealousy.
She cited the report of psychologist Elizabeth McGrath, which said “he blames Hannah for breaking up with him, his mother for strangling him or attempting to strangle him as a baby, his father for wanting to abort him.”
Pritchard scoffed at Prockner’s explanation that his depression drove him to murder, calling it “nonsensical and disingenuous.”
“Depression drains a person. It does not rev them up to commit this type of cruel, persistent, bloody and hands-on first degree murder.”
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Dr. Brent Harold treats psychiatric diseases at the Paul Dojack Youth Centre, where Prockner was held. Staff were concerned he was depressed and possibly suicidal, so Harold was called in.
Between April 2015 and April 2017, Harold spent 17 sessions with Prockner.
Earlier the court had heard the accused was diagnosed with mild depression at age nine. Harold testified, though, that the teen is not clinically depressed.
During their first meeting, Harold prescribed the teen antidepressants, but Prockner stopped taking his medications and his symptoms went away.
At a later meeting, the teen told Harold he’d been hearing voices and those voices ended shortly after Leflar’s murder. Harold said the accused does not have schizophrenia.
He later testified about the teen’s state of mind, saying he displays a lack of empathy and remorse, and demonstrates callousness.
Out of the more than 5,000 young people Harold has seen in his 19 years of practice, the teen is among the four or five who have displayed psychopathic tendencies, he said.
Harold said Prockner needed significant treatment and without it he was likely to re-offend.
Dr. Oladapo Soyemi, a court-appointed psychiatrist, wrote in his report that,”Skylar experienced a number of childhood adversities including physical and emotional abuse from his mother, bullying at school, as well as witnessing parental acrimony.”
Threats of suicide
McGrath, a psychologist with the province of Saskatchewan, prepared a 39-page report on Prockner. She interviewed Prockner and his parents.
On May 26, 2004, when he was six, he was referred to child and youth services after a teacher became concerned Prockner talked about suicide. “Skylar was talking about killing himself and his friends as well as telling his teacher on a couple of occasions that he wanted to be a serial killer when he grew up.”
Prockner’s mother told McGrath that teachers got the details wrong and that she had told his teacher, “If he wants to be a Chip and Dale dancer [sic] or serial killer, I will support my kid.”
The suicidal threats resumed again at age nine. The following year, a psychiatrist thought Prockner was suffering from dysthymia, or chronic low-grade depression.
There was no contact with Child and Youth Services for the next six years. On Sept. 15, 2014, four months after Hannah broke up with him, he was admitted to the adolescent psychiatric unit at a Regina hospital.
He had called his father while sitting in his garage, “with everything set up to kill himself,” according to McGrath’s report. He had written suicide notes to Hannah and his family.
The doctor that discharged him nine days later noted that the suicide notes were written at the time of the break-up and that Prockner “did not appear to be a suicide risk, nor did he have clear depressive symptoms.”
McGrath said in her report two witness statements taken after the murder noted that Prockner told Hannah he would commit suicide if she left him.
Plan to kill
A former friend of Prockner who testified at his sentencing hearing shared the details of Facebook conversations they had on Sept. 21, 2014, while he was in the psychiatric unit.
“I kinda really want to kill Hannah,” Prockner told a now 18-year-old woman, whose identity was protected by a court order. “Like it literally crosses my mind pretty much everyday. I like pretty much have it all planned out and I don’t think she’s safe around me. If I saw her with another guy I’d probably kill them both.”
The woman cried as she recounted messages swapped between the two about Hannah.
“I think I might become a serial killer,” Prockner told the woman three months before Hannah was killed.
The woman didn’t know Hannah and didn’t think he was serious when he told her he planned to kill.
“See me becoming a murderer is a better idea because I know it would be done,” read one message Prockner sent the young woman.
‘The only potential beneficiary’
The following month, Prockner recruited at least six others to take part in a plan he dubbed Project Zombify, which was meant to harm or kill Hannah and her then-boyfriend. The plan involved weapons and an ambush in a park. It was called off when the couple broke up.
He continued to track and recruit friends to stalk Hannah. He had one of their mutual friends help lure Hannah to her home alone on Jan. 12, 2015.
Pritchard called it a “brutal and sustained attack with the intent of causing death.
“The murder was his idea; the planning was his; he was the main participant and he was the only potential beneficiary of the offence,” Pritchard said.