Locals remember homeless murder victim as ‘sweet man’
By Cassandra Favre
Dec 31, 2013, 09:27
The volunteers and patrons of Bay St. Louis' Central Bible Church's King's Kitchen remembered David Bourgeois as the "best person in the world when he was sober."
Bourgeois' body was found in Waveland on Christmas Day.
According to authorities, the autopsy revealed that Bourgeois had been murdered.
Edward "Nick" Winnicki, Jr. was charged with the murder on Friday.
Volunteers at the soup kitchen spoke of Bourgeois as a sensitive man who believed in the Lord.
"I prayed for him on lots of occasions," volunteer Linda Sullivan said on Monday. "He was a sensitive man and cried when you mentioned Jesus. I know he believed in the Lord."
"He was a sweet man," Anna Lee said. "He came to church here a few times.
"We all loved David, he respected us and we him."
Central Bible Church's pastor Mike Ramsey said that Bourgeois was always grateful for the services the kitchen provided.
"I knew him in passing," Ramsey said. "He was pleasant and always so appreciative for what we do here. It's hard to believe something like this happened to him."
Dorothy Gardner, patron at the kitchen, said Bourgeois lived with her for about a year.
"He stayed drunk a lot," Gardner said. "He liked to fight when he was drunk.
"He was always getting picked up by the police."
Gardner said a friend of hers had told her that Bourgeois was a good worker and that's why she invited him into her home.
"He would cook," Gardner said,"and mow the grass, wash my house, clean the porch.
"He was good as gold when he was sober, and he always did good work."
Volunteer Stephanie Ducote remembered both Bourgeois and Winnecki.
"Ed was kind of the same as David," Ducote said. "He told me he was a Vietnam Vet. He also stayed drunk more than he did sober."
Ducote said Winnecki "has a mean streak a mile long" and was quick to anger when he was drinking.
"Ed and David would go to church together sometimes," Ducote said. "When they were sober, they could talk, but when they were drunk they couldn't talk. I heard that David used to use Ed as a punching bag when he was drunk."
"This tragedy just shows that we have to do something more," Hands of Help founder and co-founder of King's Kitchen Jeana Weiss said. "We need more free treatment for alcohol.
"Both these men were troubled alcoholics.
"David was a good guy, who did have anger and drinking issues, it's just sad."
Weiss spoke of Bourgeois as "a good old guy" who was kind when he wasn't drinking.
"It's hard to believe he was murdered," Weiss said. "It's even harder to believe that Winnecki did it. Eddie was very paranoid and would keep to himself a lot. It just makes me sad, sometimes you reach out to people to help them and there is negativity, pride or they had a bad experience. It makes it hard for them to trust and accept help."
King's Kitchen serves lunch five days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be open on New Year's Day.
The kitchen is located at Central Bible Church at 2005 Longfellow Road.