Something dreadfully new....
One fragment of information can change everything.
As I've been sitting in the courtroom over the last four weeks, I am always waiting to hear something new, some new evidence that will confirm guilt or innocence.
I am admittedly prejudiced with the findings of the first trial that ended with a conviction of guilty, but I am open and consciously listening for something that will point to innocence. Like everyone else, I don't want to get into a situation where we have a wrongful conviction.
Up till now -- there has been nothing new. I have heard all the witnesses before - except for the DNA expert but he really didn't say anything new - the emphasis might be a little different, but the concerns, the arguments remain somewhat the same. Everything has been carefully crafted.
Yesterday, I heard it. It wasn't in any answer or narrative, it was just a fragment that actually came in the form of a question.
In an effort to show that the Box Car abduction and Candace abduction were dissimilar, the Crown on Friday was asking the key investigator in cracking the cold case some new questions. Most of them were merely interesting, so we listened intently. Then our ears perked up when, he asked Bradbury, whether there was a sexual aspect to the abduction of Candace Derksen. This would be a key dissimilarity between the two abductions.
This was the first mention of anything like this.
He listed the pubic hair, the manner of tying which I took to be "hog tying."
Then the Crown asked Bradbury, ..... "When you were interviewing the friends of the accused, did two of his friends tell you explicitly that Grant had told them that he wanted to tie someone up for his own sexual enjoyment?" or something like that.
The Defence stood up immediately. And The witness wasn't allowed to answer the question.
But he didn't have to. It was out there.
Suddenly it doesn't matter if he ever answers it. I know the answer - I even knew it before. In my writing the book, by examining that shed - the hog tying, the pubic hair, etc - I had guessed the sexual intent. I had called it sexual assault. They were now calling it the sexual aspect of the scene.
But now it has been verbalized in a court of law - under oath - and that makes all the difference.
It is the motive - declared.
It is one thing to suspect it. It is one thing to suggest it. I is even one thing to write it down as a theory because it was the only thing that made sense to me.
But it is an entirely different thing to know it - and to have the accused's words to admitting to it.
It was premeditated. It was intentional.
It has taken on a new reality.
My world trembled. It shifted. I remember how innocent - how happy Candace was. I remember her love for her friends.... How cruel .....
For thirty-two years, all I did was want to know the answer to the question "why."
I am not alone in this. I discovered that most parent's of murdered children, just want to know "why?" "Why my child?"
I thought anyone who knew who the murderer was - was one step closer to finding out the answer to the why question. So I wondered out loud why the parents who knew the convicted murderer didn't just ask the killer. Their answer was -- "Not sure I could believe his answer even if he told us. Actually we think he might not know the answer himself."
But that didn't satisfy my own obsession with the question. I developed a kind of "offender envy" yearning for a resolution - that drove me to even develop "encounter" programs.
I thought we had come close to the answer during the first trial. But in the end, I had to actually connect the dots myself -- and I did - all by myself. And I came up with a theory. But that's not enough. Apparently the theory needs to be validated to become a reality.
And now it was being validated in a unanswered question put to the witness - an illegitimate question really.
I was in a state - all the way home.
Over a lovely Friday night dinner complete with a glass of wine - I told my husband all about it.
As I was talking - and I am a verbal processor - I realized that having my driving question "why" answered, I don't need to go back into the courtroom. It might not be over for the justice system - but it is over for me.
"Why should I go back now?" was the next question. "I don't want to go anymore - I don't need to go anymore -- besides .....it is all rather painful."
I know I am in a funk. I don't want to do anything.
"Spiritual," he said.
Not for religious reasons, but for spiritual reasons. To find God in everything.
"Justice," was the next suggestion.
"Love," was our next.
Love for Candace, love for others.
I sighed - I cried.
And then a tired resolve.
I will go. I will continue to represent the family. I will just bandage this broken heart.
As Candace often said, "It's the right thing to do, Mom."
“When you know, you know and it flows in your mind like waves.
Coming forward as it pulls with the tide.” - Dominic Riccitello