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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Derik Lord's long wait

The tale of two foolish teenage boys hired to carry out a murder that was supposed to make them rich is a veritable Aesop’s fable in terms of the obvious moral of the story.
One of the boys admitted his guilt from the outset, and did what the system required of him during 10 years in prison. In return for his good behaviour, David Muir was granted parole five years ago for the two murders he helped carry out in 1990.
The other has steadfastly denied his guilt. He has refused to take required prison programs, and his father has developed into a notorious agitator who infuriates prison officials. So Derik Lord remains in jail, denied parole for a fourth time last month.
The moral: Things go better for people who accept responsibility. Unfortunately for Lord, the opportunity to act accordingly just may have passed.
Lord, Muir and pal Darren Huenemann were teen friends in Saanich when they were convicted in 1992 of carrying out the murders of Darren’s mother and grandmother at the older woman’s Tsawwassen home.
Nobody who knew them could believe it at first. But prosecutors headed into trial with some significant evidence. Included were tapes of a flurry of phone calls between the boys after police told Muir they had a witness who could place the boy - then just 15 - in Tsawwassen at the time of the murders.
Prosecutors also had Huenemann’s young girlfriend, who had a damning story of picking the boys up at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and hearing of the events of that night.
And then there was the story told by Muir. He told police that he and Lord had been hired by Huenemann to kill the teenager’s mother and grandmother. Huenemann stood to inherit $4 million from their deaths, and had promised to share his newfound fortune with his friends.
In Lord’s version, all three boys were at the Lord family home at 8:30 p.m. on the night of the murders, which meant they couldn’t have been in Tsawwassen. It’s an all-or-nothing story. To believe Lord, you have to believe that none of the boys were guilty - even though Muir confessed to everything.
Derik’s mother Elouise backs up her son. She says she was at home that night and saw all three boys in the basement. Derik’s father David, while not there that night, ferociously adheres to the same story, sometimes to the point of getting himself thrown in jail for protesting some aspect of his son’s incarceration.
Law-abiding before Derik’s conviction, David has turned into something of a chronic troublemaker in the intervening years. When I visited the family six years ago, David joked that his tombstone would read “Well-known to police.”
I had gone to Chilliwack to interview the family , where they’d moved from Saanich years earlier to be closer to Derik at Matsqui penitentiary. The parents were resolutely convinced of Derik’s innocence, and still are.
The irony is that their need to believe that Derik doesn’t deserve to be in prison ensures that he’ll never get out.
It also guarantees the worst kind of prison time. Any time somebody in charge grows weary of Derik’s ongoing refusal to admit his guilt, he’s dispatched to a tougher prison as punishment. The 33-year-old had worked his way into a healing-style aboriginal prison by the time of his last bid for parole. Now, he’s back behind bars in Matsqui.
How will it end for Lord? Possibly with a genuine lifetime in jail if he continues to deny the murders. The system may have grown more sensitive to allegations of wrongful conviction, but not in a case where only one of the three men convicted is continuing to deny the trio’s crime.
I got an anonymous e-mail the last time I wrote about Lord in 2001, declaring that Lord was very much guilty as charged no matter what he said.
I think he likely is. But it would be a tremendously hard confession for him to make now, given that his parents have spent the last 10 years and every nickel of their savings on asserting his innocence.
They believe in his innocence, and I sometimes think he has ended up convincing himself of that as well. But if you can’t admit guilt, you stay in jail. And so it goes for Derik Lord.
No one is well-served by keeping Lord in prison. Jails are expensive, and not known for their positive impacts. If Lord was a violent young man, he hasn’t stayed that way, and seems like the kind of guy who’d lead a quiet life far from the public eye if ever released.
But the stories a family tells itself sometimes take on lives of their own, and pretty soon there’s no turning back. The burden of the lie just may be Lord’s to bear for a lifetime.

34 comments:

Susan Jones said...

*shudder*

Anonymous said...

I gotten to knon Derik Lord for the past 2 years and I would have to agree with his family. I think Derik was framed and Muir admitted guilt to get out. Ralph Hueneman's first wife died at the age of 36, and yet the police didn't investigate him? Now he's in some other country...to me that should be investigated.

Anonymous said...

For the comment of Derk being framed. Learn how to spell you low life.

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten how much I missed your writing when I lived in Victoria, 8 years ago. This is a good synopsis. Can it be that some people are just stupid? Encluding Lords parents. If you read the girlfriends statements the night of the Twawassen ferry pick-up, Lord snaps his knife to her throat and gives a little smile....

Anonymous said...

I don't care how much that person above knows Derik Lord. I knew Darren, and I have no doubt about his guilt based on my personal interactions with him in the weeks preceding and following the murder. The testimony and evidence supports the conviction of David and Derik beyond reasonable doubt.

Ralph is a nice guy, and I knew him as the father of a friend for many years. I feel extremely bad for him. His first wife died under odd circumstances when he was hundreds of miles away, and police found no foul play. To imply that he was complicit in his wife and mother-in-law's murders - deaths he had no reason for or anything to gain from - is disgusting and offensive.

"Some other country", incidentally, is the US, where (last I heard) he was a professor in California.

Anonymous said...

OMG

well written and uncanny

enough said..keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Darren Huenemann and when we heard about who died we had no doubt it was him he was a weird kid

Anonymous said...

I saw him that night crossing the border into twassen with his friends duffle bag and he was with his other friend. they both walked right past me and looked hella nervous.so they are infact guilty and should have got the death penalty. Brother Microdot.

David Lord said...

I am Derik Lord's father. The justice system is based on the premise everyone must tell the truth. If you tell the truth and are innocent then you will spend many more years in prison when convicted. There are hundreds of wrongfully convictions in Canada every year. If you are caught in the legal system you had better get the best lawyer money can buy or you could end up being wrongfully convicted as well. Jody Paterson says she has got to know Derik. That is not true.

David Lord said...

Brother Microdot's comments are vey interesting. If you saw Derik and David Muir "I saw him that night crossing the border into twassen with his friends duffle bag and he was with his other friend. they both walked right past me and looked hella nervous." What time of night? The Leatherbarrow home was some distance from the border and they were walking? This is an example of the nut cases that can testify against you in court. All for two seconds of public notoriety. Wrongful convictions are an epidemic in Canada because of nuts like Brother Microdot.

Jasminda said...

I am Derik Lord's fiancee, I've known him since we were both 12 years old - i noticed the comment about the death penalty - funny thing is, if the death penalty was legal in Canada at the time of Derik's conviction, he would never have gone to jail. All of the evidence provided in court was based on the testimony of one person - A 17 YEAR OLD GIRL who had been dumped by Mr. Huenemann prior to his arrest, and this particular girl was not very popular at our school. So she went from being a "nothing" to being a "star" witness on the front page of every newspaper in the country. (She was also related to the arresting officers, who repeatedly interrogated her for hours and days on end until she told them what they wanted to hear. Same with David Muir.) She was given very lucrative perks before and during the trial.

There was absolutely no physical evidence or eyewitnesses that can place any of the boys on that side of the water that night (they lived on vancover island at the time, dont forget) I am sorry esteemed article writer, but you really need to see the court transcripts.

The media convicted all 3 boys before they went to trial, the only boy out of the 3 to have consistent family support is also the only one maintaining his innocence. The other 2 are doing what they are told, David Muir's initial "confession" was not written by or signed by him.

I have been in a relationship with Derik for 9 years. He has never held a knife to anyone's throat, much less that of a female.

And he has not "refused" the programs offered by CSC - they have refused to take him. They call it "screening out". Because he is NOT an illiterate, violent drug addict with abusive parents (Mr. and Mrs. Lord were amazing parents, all growing up I was a little jealous of their close family unit), CSC tells him he cannot take the programs required of him because he already possesses all the skills the programs teach.

He had to get the federal government in Ottawa to FORCE Corrections Service Canada to put him in the required programs whether they liked it or not.

Derik Lord and his family have been instrumental in uncovering a lot of human rights violations in CSC. They have assisted countless other families subjected to inhumane treatment and power-mongering. They have educated themselves and others on legal procedures and how the "little guy" with no money can still represent and stand up for themselves.

16 years of incarceration and Derik has never done ANY drugs, he does not have any tattoos, nor does he have a single incident report of violence or lawbreaking in those 16 years. I have personally witnessed guards deliberately try to provoke him in an attempt to elicit a violent/emotional response. He has never given them the sastifaction.

He follows the rules, stays out of trouble, stays away from troublesome people, and has been know to defuse many situations involving multiple parties (an entire living range once) with proper conflict resolution techniques (taught in the programs no less) that always end peacefully, he pioneered the peer counseling program at the medium security facility he was housed at, and was even able to make it a self sustaining program before he transferred to a minimum.

Jasminda said...

I stopped counting how many former addicts he has helped save. I stopped counting how many defenseless people he has stood up for. He changes the lives of the people around him daily just by living by example. He's taught his housemates (and myself, I might add) not only proper conflict resolution, but he's also taught them how to cook and how be a proper roommate (skills all these men need and rarely have when released).

Anyone who meets him and gets to spend any time with him realizes very quickly that there is something seriously wrong with his situation. Even other inmates, lifelong criminals and the like, all agree that he "does not belong in prison". He has only a small group of friends, and does not involve himself in any kind of "business". He is a quiet person, almost noble in his actions and demeanor. And he does not ever tell falsehoods.

What that means is that the truth hurts, and all of you who think those 3 kids were guilty, I have to say that you were duped by the media. Again.

Jasminda said...

For more information, you can visit www.canadianinjustice.com or Mrs. Lord's blog www.canadianinjustice.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

i was in prison with all 3,at different stages,the last was william head in victoria with Dave Muir,i got to know Dave quite well and have no doubt these boys were as guilty as i was for my crime.give it up Dave Lord,lifes to short,let him confess and come home,be the proper parent and let him try at a normal life ,or as normal as it could be.he needs your support to come home.

Anonymous said...

I live in tsawassen and me and my friends went to that house today. Everything is overgrown around it and is hard to see. All the windows are smashed and teens smoke weed in it. It's pretty creepy.

Stephen said...

I think you may have your statements or facts backwards Jasminda. First of all Derik has been in prison your whole relationship. Second how is he using the tools taught in the programs he is not allowed in ( And he has not "refused" the programs offered by CSC - they have refused to take him. They call it "screening out".) ( with proper conflict resolution techniques (taught in the programs no less) also obvoisly he has not held a knife to a females throat during your relationship as HE HAS BEEN IN JAIL!!!!!!! I sense a lot of emotion in your comment and it almost seems as you are the one who was unpopular in school not Darrens ex. I would like to know the series of events that lead to your engaugement with a convicted murderer. From your comments about family I assume your not close with yours? I grew up with Davids sister and knew the family. He would not admit and accept the punishment for something he did not do, Especially murder. leave your feelings at home and look at everything from a logical view.

Anonymous said...

Amazing comment from anonymous who said "I gotten to know Derik Lord for the past 2 (two) years. Firstly, it takes sometimes a life time to know one's self. It may take alot longer to know what people are made of through good times and hard times. I'm stilling learning new things about my wife and we've been married almost 10 years. So, if you truly believe you can know someone over 24 months through intermittent 30 minute visits in that span of time then i have to conclude you are totally whacked out of your mind. Maybe you need to stop wasting your life inside prisons and go out and see the world and who knows, if you travel far enough you might get to know yourself. Until then, I don't think you even know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

I'm a relative of Derik Lord, and as a child he was always strange. My family had been following the trial before they were raised to adult court, and they day we heard their names none of us were surprised. To this day I have no doubt that Derik committed this crime. What is the most tragic of all of this is what it has done to his family, his sisters. His parents have wasted their lives trying to prove something that can never be proven, since it is not the truth. I agree with the comment that David needs to allow Derik to confess so they can all get on with their lives. And Jasminda you should do the same. Maybe if Derik had admitted his guilt early on he could have got the help he needed, but I fear now it's too late.

John said...

Derik Lord's refusal to accept his responsibility in these crimes and his lack of compassion in watching what his parents (especially his father) have done to reduce their lives to slightly above insignificant, tell me all I need to know about this criminal. His ability to sucker another gullable female into falling in love with a convict make me sick as well. There is a place for scum bags like this. I only hope he can put his parents out of their misery by letting them live their lives by knowing he accepted responsibility for his terrible choice in selecting friends while he was a teenager.

Anonymous said...

I have met David Lord through work, he is not only delusioal he is also a back stabbing coward only intersted in his own personel gain. I have no doubt his son murdered these 2 innocent women.

Anonymous said...

I think Daddy Lord has his head so far up his ass he can't feel his dim wit brain anymore. Come on sir. get over it. Your son is a murderer, a cold blooded useless piece of dumb trash. Once you except that, and you and your wife cut the low-life out of your lives, maybe then you can enjoy the rest of yours.The evidence is overwhelming. He's your own little Charles Manson. Must make you proud!Your wife should have done jail time for purgery. What a LIAR she is eh.Are you both on crack?

Anonymous said...

While in high school, 1989-90, I worked at Kmart in Victoria, BC. and so too did Derik Lord, I guess it was right after the robbery/murders had taken place and he was a free man until proven guilty. Everyone knew the 'situation', I never had a problem with him, actually goofed around quite a bit, had a crush on the same co-worker (not too bright of me). Overall an average teenage guy, that coming from another average teenage guy, the one thing that did stick out was that some guy a bit older then us at work chewed us both out for messing around, Derik picked up some sort of mini hanger for girls clothes and whipped it at this guy, it left a mark on his chest and if it had been directed at his eye he would of lost it. Bit of a bad temper, but who hasn't thrown something at a person in anger?
Must suck living your life in prison, what a waste.

Anonymous said...

Jasminda dating a murderer in prison,That says lots about your mental health,A father and mother that stand up for their murdering son somethings not right there,I see that these men have quite the tempers from other comments,Also convienent to say they were framed when there was a fortune sitting around for them if they murdered these women.Its funny how delusional people in this world are,So pathetic and uneduacted that they stand up for scumbags who should be killed instead of having tax money wasted on keeping them in prison, When you won t admit to your crime,Than obviously yo uhave no remorse and dont care and people that kill in that way and for those reasons DO NOT REHABILITATE somethings loose upstairs,I believe that if a person has greed and want for money of that caliber,They are likely to do it to someone else for the next thing they want,Parole should never be an option for any of those men!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Old thread ..but damn Jody you summed it up. The Lord's have been wronged by prison authorities because they have an indifference to authority. Suck it up, smile, get out, and enjoy the real world. You will NEVER get a penny based on the confessions. It's time to lie to them...or the NPB...somehow i think the NPB is easier than your parents that have lost everything including their relationship over this ordeal.

Anonymous said...

LOL I love the person who commented two before this one who states that people are uneducated and inmates should be killed instead of being kept in the prison system. Dear, you can't even SPELL educated!! You are the one who is delusional if you think that all people that are convicted and sentenced to prison are guilty, there are innocent people in prison. I am not saying that Derik is or isn't, but you need to get your head out of your ass.

brother noomspa said...

it was around 4 pm just after dusk that i saw him

Anonymous said...

this is long ago, but I seem to recall martial arts weapons being found in one of the trio's lockers at Mt. Doug when we were there. Any other Mt. Doug people recall this? Of course, what does that prove? Nothing!

Darren always seemed just repellent - much like a younger Stephen Harper. That same aura of false goodness. Someone I trust knew Lord and said he was a pretty decent guy. Again, what does any of that prove? nothing.

Anonymous said...

The system got it right. If he won't admit guilt in the face of overwhelming evidence, he should stay in prison - till he rots. He's innocent ... my foot.

Anonymous said...

I have had some experience with this Gordon Tregear, one of the lead investigators in this case.

An overzealous cop who likes to step way over the line to get his man.

No stranger to making wild fabrications in the line of duty to the point of putting his career in jeopardy and risking hefty court judgements .

He retired a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Were there no fingerprints, shoe impressions, hair samples? Did the murders wear gloves? Is there anything written about the crime scene? If so---where? The boys were young and stupid, that does not excuse them from murder. Due to their age all the police had to do was tap their phones----case solved!
Think if this awful crime had happened now, what with cell phones the police would have had an easier and quicker arrest.
Stop already, it' s been 17 years. They did it , you know they did. You are never going to get your son out with your denials. I don't think David Muir or Derik Lord should ever be free. A life for a life----oh wait a moment---how about two lives for two murders?

Anonymous said...

Lucky for Mr. Lord he did his work in Canada and not the USA. If there ever was a good candidate to get a chance to "Ride da Lighting" in the electric chair. it be him. Why not confess. Jail will kill you,if from nothing else the food they give you is always cheap,but is not good for you. Suck it up Princess.

Anonymous said...

i too had spent time with 2 out of the three on and off over 8 years.
It's sad! a mother loved her son, chose to protect him by lying about his whereabouts, and went as far as claiming she saw and heard all 3 boys– the husband’s not home, and when he returns he has no reason to disbelieve his wife or kid. So it’s no surprise that he armed himself with this knowledge... and fueled by “this undisputable fact” makes the decision to devote his life to free his ‘innocent’ son. In some ways he may be the only innocent in this family.

it’s the Mom and son who know the truth. She needs to tell the truth – tell her husband and then she needs to let her son know it is okay to confess that its’ okay to tell the truth. Eith that or they will continue to live in a second prison of silence and she is the only one, who could, if she has the courage to help her son, and her family – let him confess mom, he needs your support!


Anonymous said...

Derek has been tested and is a psychopath..most if not all with this label are not going to be rehabilitated...he has killed 2 women and is now working on killing his own family [stress by his actions and denial] Just admit your guilt...do the programs and maybe one day tell your mother how sorry you are for lying and putting her thru this all these years....Dave ..your son is guilty...deal with it

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Jasminda doesn't mind living along because he's not getting out any time soon and she knows it.

I bet if he could reverse the clock he'd suck it up and confess knowing he'd likely be living on the outside now.