Candace Derksen killer arrested

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wilma Derksen writes about her daughter
It was a Friday afternoon, November 30, 1984 and I was occupied with all the Friday afternoon trivia of trying to tidy the house, getting ready for a busy but fun family weekend. Our oldest child, Candace, was eagerly anticipating her friend from summer camp, Heidi, spending the weekend with us.

The telephone rang. "Mom?" It was Candace.

I glanced at my watch. It was almost four. "I thought you'd be on your way home by now," I said.

"I know," she paused, then giggled. "David just gave me a face wash!"

I had been hearing that boy's name more and more. She asked me to pick her up from school which I often did, but I hesitated. There was lots more tidying to do. The other two children, Odia, nine, and Syras, two, would have to get bundled up, and they were already cranky and tired. I asked her to call back in five minutes so I could call my husband Cliff, to see if he could get off work early, and I could pick up Candace and Cliff all in one trip. No, that wouldn't work, he had to work until 5. If I picked up Candace, that would mean waiting in the car a half-hour with three tired, hungry children.

Candace called back. "I can't pick you up now," I said, "but tonight we'll go shopping alone for the groceries you want for you and Heidi," I promised. She assured me she had money for the bus, so she would either take the bus or walk.

"Hurry home," I said.

"Yup, see you." The telephone clicked.

That was the last she would hear of her girl who would later be found murdered.

Wilma and her husband Cliff began a difficult journey of living out their Mennonite faith, by choosing to forgive the individual who killed their girl.

It's been quite a story of faith, all these years choosing to forgive rather than to be destroyed by bitterness and hurt.

23 years of choosing to walk in life, rather than living in death. Tough like I will never know, hopefully.

It's an amazing story, check it out if you have a moment.

Well anyway, today at a news conference in Winnipeg, the Police announced that they have finally made an arrest in the case.


Cliff's response?
“Even though we fully expected to carry on with our lives without ever knowing the details of what happened or why, having answers does make a difference in our lives and will to everyone who remembers the crime.

“Justice is important. Finding truth and holding someone accountable for their actions re-establishes a sense of safety for us all, so we are grateful for this moment.

“We also want to take this moment to express our gratitude to the many people of Winnipeg who over the years have continued to be so very supportive in the healing journey of our family.

“Thank you.”

Lord, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.


  1. 23 years - It does make one wonder what difference knowing who will make to them after so long. I imagine just the new news will be hard enough to process for them but I understand and agree with the need to hold him accountable. I found the story quite amazing. I don't ever want to be in that kind of situation. I don't think any of us would.

  2. It must be very hard, having everything dredged up again after such a long time. But then things may have never actually gone away for them - only subsided down below the noise of everyday living.

    Brave people.


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