She had made multiple complaints to the authorities in fear of her husband who was subjecting her to severe domestic abuse, but in vain.
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of domestic abuse and murder that readers may find disturbing
A devastated father sat remembering the time he spoke to his daughter, unaware that it would be their last conversation. “[I felt] gutted like a fish. It just lays you wide open,” he said, as reported by CTV News. Jenny McKay was later murdered brutally on the same day by her husband. CBC reported that the day after Labour Day in 2017 was the last time anyone saw Jenny alive.
The 33-year-old newly licensed insurance broker missed more than a week's work at her new office as she was planning to escape from her husband of five years. Their marriage was laced with the loss of several jobs, alcohol abuse, and escalating marital issues. Jenny had enough of it all.
She turned to her father, Doug Campbell, for advice who told her to tell her bosses the entire truth about the problems she was facing at home. But her employers paid no heed and she was fired on Septemeber 5, 2017, it was also the last day she breathed.
What many didn't know was that Jenny was journaling her turbulent days in a diary which would later reveal the horrendous marriage she was in. A naturally gifted writer, Jenny transformed her dark secrets into poems about how much she feared her husband and their fights. Jenny's husband, Jason McKay was 17 years older to her and their marriage was a tumultuous one since the day of their union, reported The Sun.
She rarely visited her parents, but when she did, Jason always accompanied her. At that time, her parents saw it as a sign of love and care, but now they understand it was a way of control. She once wrote in her diary, "He said he was going to make my life a living hell and bury me the way I’ve buried him."
While she documented the mental and physical torment that she was enduring, she confided about the abusive marriage in her friends as well. She sent a text to a former colleague, "He hits me a lot. I'm done." According to Jenny, drinking heavily and taking antidepressants along with sleeping tablets turned him into a "monster."
Jenny contacted 911 several times. For instance, she dialed 911 on August 27 to ask the police to help her as Jason in a drunk state was abusing her two teenaged daughters. The police made him stay at the neighbor's house for the night but he came back and Jenny had to call them again. She cried, "He’s going to break in here. He’s going to kill me," while Jason banged on the door and yelled, "I’m not abusive but I’ll ‘f***ing smack her in the head."
Her several pleas for help were dismissed by the authorities and just days later, on September 6, Jason's mother called the police concerned that he was suicidal after she received a late-night call from him. When they reached his house, they were met with a "gruesome" scene.
Jason emerged from inside the house covered in blood, saying, "She’s dead. I f***ing killed her." She was lying down in the kitchen floor with several knife wounds. If things couldn't get worse, there were pictures of her blood-soaked body on Jason's phone.
When arrested, he said, "I already know I’m charged for murder ’cause she’s dead. Dead. There’s so much blood in there it’s not even funny." The force of Jason's attack was so much that some of the knives had broken along with bruises on her face and head.
The 911 calls and her diary entries were submitted as evidence during the investigation. Her words painted a painful picture of her journey towards the end of her days. Her family heard in shock as her entries made the fear she was facing within her marriage very clear.
Jenny's father Doug, a former pastor spoke during the sentencing of Jason in July 2020. He said even though he's tried comforting many families for their loss, he never imagined that something so tragic would happen with his daughter.
Via phone, he said, "He was supposed to love and protect her, instead he threatened her, abused her and butchered her," reported The Mirror.
Her mother, Glenda said, "My heart has become numb of the time and I feel like if I allow myself to fully feel, I will never stop crying." She added that now all she's left with are photographs she wants to crawl into and be with her daughter along with an endless sea of grief.
She continued, "For me, the crime started long before her murder," referring to all the years Jenny spent "beaten down."
Even though Jason apologized for his "remorseful" actions through a video link, the judge took his previous assault charges into account had sentenced him to life in prison, eligible for parole only after 17 years.
Jenny's obituary quoted her favorite line, "I am not afraid of the storm, for I am learning to sail my ship," but the brave soul couldn't escape the wrath that came down on her in the form of her husband.