Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

A gentle and loving mother, friend, daughter and sister is how many are remembering Jennifer Quesnel, a Salt Spring Island woman who died earlier this week in what the family has confirmed to be a murder-suicide that has shaken the surrounding community.

“Jennifer was taken from us, and her boys, during a time of hope for her,” a family friend wrote in a GoFundMe fundraising page launched Friday (June 5). “She had new dreams and aspirations and felt positive about her future.”

According to police, officers arrived to a home on Fulford-Ganges Road just before 5 p.m. on Monday. There, officers found a 48-year-old man inside, who family and friends have confirmed to be Quesnel’s husband. Quesnel, 41, was also found suffering from serious injuries, and died a short time later.

Quesnel’s family said in a statement released to the media that she had recently left an 18-year-marriage with a clear history of controlling and abusive behaviour by her husband. On Monday, she had returned to the property to grab belongings and visit her horse under the impression he wouldn’t be at the property.

“Unknown to Jennifer, John had parked in a secluded area nearby and hid himself from view, armed. He ambushed her without warning, shooting her twice and then turning the gun on himself,” the family alleges in a written statement.

“He couldn’t stand to see her happy and if he couldn’t be happy, neither could she. It was a selfish act by a coward and bully and committed in the most cruel and pre-meditated way.”

Police have not identified the man or woman involved in the incident, but have said no charges will be laid. Another person, who neither police or the family identified out of respect for their privacy, was present at the time of the incident.

The B.C. woman leaves behind three sons, Jake, Dan and John Jr. All money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will be used to support Quesnel’s children “as they work through both the emotional and financial strains of losing both of their parents.”

Jennifer Quesnel, 41, was killed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in an apparent murder suicide on Salt Spring Island. (GoFundMe photo)

Jennifer Quesnel, 41, was killed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in an apparent murder suicide on Salt Spring Island. (GoFundMe photo)

More than $77,000 had been raised as of Saturday morning.

“As we all try to wade through this senseless and life-altering loss, Jennifer’s family and loved ones would like to encourage you to help keep her memory alive by remembering her kind and loving spirit,” the fundraising page reads.

The tragedy comes as advocates have spent months voicing concerns that there has been a spike in domestic and gender-based violence as pandemic restrictions force many to stay home alongside their abusers.

“She was trying to leave an abusive marriage and was killed when she sought her freedom,” Islanders Working Against Violence said in a statement. “This is the riskiest time for a women’s safety and often when the violence can escalate.”

Quesnel will be remembered as someone who “was everything that was good about people,” her family said.

“We’re so thankful that she had that time away from him, to realize what life could be like and to see her that happy. She was the most beautiful person you would ever meet. So full of life.”

—-

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. You can also contact the following:

VictimLink BC is a 24-7 hotline available in 150 different languages which provides immediate crisis suppoert and referral services for victims of crime and family or sexual violence. Call 1-800-563-0808, text 604-836-6381 or email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.

For more information, visit endingviolence.org/need-help.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Image: Castleview Care Centre’s Safety Den presentation
Castlegar’s Castleview Care Centre wins safety innovation competition

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was sponsored by Safecare BC

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read