Monday, January 31, 2011

Thoughts on the Derksen case as an aspiring journalist.

I remember when I was a little girl, about four or five-years-old, when 13-year-old Candace Derksen went missing. Well, actually I don't really remember when she went missing, but I do remember when her body was found on January 17, 1985.

Since I was so small, I only remember foggy pieces of Derksen's case. However, one thing I remember vividly is the cold and shocking revelation that the missing girl had been found dead. I cannot put into words the fear her death instilled in me.

That was the first time in my life that I ever had to face death. Even though I was just a little kid, the thought of my own mortality was something that was very real to me.

To be honest, I think Derksen's case was terrifying to Winnipeggers of all ages because it meant that there really was a boogy man and nobody knew who he or she was.

Derksen's case went unsolved for 23 years, until 2007, when DNA evidence fingered Mark Edward Grant as a suspect in the case.

On January 17, 2011, exactly 26 years to the day that Derksen's frozen body was found in an abandoned shed, Grant went on trial.

It's a trial that many Winnipeggers who have carried a piece of Candace around with them for nearly 30-years are ready for. Finally the Derksen's may have their questions answered, or at least find some closure...

As a journalism student, it's kind of surreal to be breaking into the industry at a time where this case (in particular) is being put through the justice system.

Photo: CTV Winnipeg
Video: Ottawa Citizen/Global News


  1. I remember standing in line at the Bank of Montreal and hearing the news that Candace's body had been found. I felt so sad and so violated. I'll never forget the moment I heard the news and never ever forget how it made me feel.

  2. Stories like Derksen's keep me up at night when I'm feeling particularly anxious. This young girl was found and the details are psychotic horror flick gruesome. What's even more scary are the unsolved cases we don't hear about...makes my stomach turn and heart sad.