This post is going to be my closure on this subject. I never really had any because of the craziness of what went on and everything...
Well first off I'll tell this is the story from my point of view and then later I'll say what the news said.
Okay, it was October 1st, 2000 and everything was really normal. Everyone was playing outside like usual. I saw Heather outside with her friends (that were also friends of mine) and everything was fine. That is, until about four/five o'clock or so, when Heather went missing. Folks (friends/neighbors and everything) were coming to our door to ask us if we'd seen Heather. I hadn't except that few seconds that morning, which I can still remember pretty clearly. Well, that night everyone was REALLY, REALLY worried. I was so scared for her, even if I didn't know her very well. But I was also sure that this would all blow over and she'd be found. After all, this doesn't happen here, not to our little community, not to anyone I knew. It didn't blow over and after I came back to school from the weekend, I found my teacher looking slighty fatigued, but also relieved. Once he had heard that someone from our general area had been abducted, he went straight to see if it was one of us. What a sweet guy he was, he was a great teacher too. (Thanks Mr.R, if you somehow miraculously are reading this!). Noone could find Heather, everyone was terribly worried and almost all the parents participated in the search parties to look for her. Noone could find her and noone had seen her since she disapeered from riding her bike that day. Everyone helped out, there were lots of donations, the media had lots of coverage. Everyone was doing what they could.
Three weeks later, they found her. Dead in Alouette Lake. It was horrible, devastating for our little neighborhood. The man who did it was Shane Ertmoed, 24. He was really friendly and was always working on his green car outside. I never thought he (or anyone in our neighborhood!) would ever do something like this. He tried to sexually assult her and then strangled her. He confessed then retracted his confession. He got a life sentance with no parole for 25 years. I, personally, think he shouldn't get parole at all, ever. And you can be sure that when he is eligable for parole, I'll be writing major letters to make sure he isn't allowed. He did a horrible, horrible thing. And it didn't just effect Heather and her family, it effected everyone who heard about it, but especially in our little neighborhood. My little brother and sister still can't go out of my parents sight because of it. And after that incident noone went outside by themselves or with their friends because it was just too scary, too big a risk to take. It's devastating to have this happen in your neighborhood to someone you know. I remember for about 4 months afterwards I slept in my parents room on the floor because I could not sleep bymyself or with my sister in our room. I was afraid Ertmoed was going to come and get me (not only because of Heather, but because of an incident that happened before she went missing). Sometimes I still have nightmares about him, and it's four freakin' years later. I don't know why this affected me as much as it did, maybe because I was older than my siblings (I was eleven), and I understood a lot better. I probably should have gotten councelling when my parents/school suggested it, but I was a stubborn little thing.
I think the scariest thing about this all was knowing it could have been me, or friend who lives next door, or my little sister. I wouldn't even be here today and that scares me.
B.C. man found guilty of Heather Thomas murder
Last Updated Fri, 30 Aug 2002 22:21:53
VANCOUVER - A Vancouver jury convicted Shane Ertmoed of first-degree murder Thursday in the death of 10-year-old Heather Thomas.
Ertmoed, 24, now faces a maximum life sentence without parole eligibility for 25 years. The jury deliberated only five hours.
Calling the crime "horrific," Justice Wally Oppal of the B.C. Supreme Court said a first-degree conviction meant the jury believed Ertmoed intended and carried out Heather's murder, along with sexual assault.
FROM NOV 4, 2001: Neighbours react to arrest in B.C. girl's murder
After the verdict, Ertmoed told the court there had been a "miscarriage of justice."
"You murdered a 10-year-old child just to satisfy your own sexual desire," responded the judge.
In an earlier confession, Ertmoed said he strangled the young girl and dumped her body in a lake. He later retracted the confession, claiming the RCMP manipulated him.
But the Crown prosecutor urged the jury to convict Ertmoed because in his confession, he appeared to know too many details of the crime.
Heather disappeared Oct. 1, 2000, at her father's suburban neiborhood. Ertmoed lived nearby.
Her body was discovered 21 days later in a lake.
Written by CBC News Online staff
That's 10 year old Heather ^
She never got to grow up, get married, have kids or do anything like that because of some sick guy. I never, ever wanted to have the death penatly before and still don't, but that was one of times I wished they did have that in Canada. I don't wish him to die anymore, that would be too light a punishment for him. He needs to rot in jail for the rest of his life and think every day what he did and why he did it, and about all the pain he caused.
Well, I feel a lot better now that I've gotten that off my chest. *sigh*