I was only 14 years old when news of a missing girl by the name of Candace Derksen was all over the news. The community she lived in was very close to my community and I remember all the volunteers getting together to search for this girl, the same age as me. The search was a success, but the outcome, not so much. This poor 13 year old girl was bound & dead in a shed in a industrial area in the community. This really hit home & had my little 14 year old mind racing. The world was not a pretty place, nor was it safe. This murder went unsolved for decades and left a void in many Winnipegers hearts.
5 years later my sister suffered a rape by a horrible man by the name of Mark Grant. He was caught & arrested immediately and a trial was to follow. I still remember the day I saw him sitting in court, I never felt so much anger towards one person. The pain & suffering he put my sister through, she is still suffering from the wounds of this attack to this day, I wished him dead.
He went to jail and we went on living & doing our best to heal and move forward from this horrible event in our lives. A few years ago the Winnipeg Police contacted me looking for my sister. Ofcourse, I asked why, and they explained they needed to talk to her about her case & Mark. At the time my sister did not want anything to do with it, she did not contact the police. Then the news hit our family via facebook that Mark Grant was arrested and accused of the murder of Candace Derksen. OMG...I have never been hit with news so horrible to knock me off of my feet, this was the first time. Speechless. Breathless. All that kept running through my mind was "OMG he could have killed my sister".
I was once again contacted by police to get in touch with my sister. This time she found the strength to call them. The details of the conversation could not be shared with me, for obvious reasons.
The trial started today, could this possibly be the closure that so many people have waited over 2 decades for. I sure hope so. My thoughts & prayers go out to the Derksen Family during this very difficult time. It is horrible that we are all going to have to relive this horrible event during this trial, but the outcome, I hope, will allow official closure.
My thoughts are also with my sister, to be reminded of a very, very difficult time in your life is very hard & considering the circumstances, it is justifiable to be feeling the way you do. I love you and know you have the strength to learn from this & move forward.
I have included a link to 63 different news articles about this murder & Mark Grant. I am sure you will all be following this trial as closely as me.
You can also follow the live tweets from the trial here: CoveritLive Event - Derksen Trial: http://tinyurl.com/4umk35s