Book puts reader inside Abbotsford Killer case
A new book sheds light on the ruthless Abbotsford Killer attacks which stunned the Fraser Valley 14 years ago -- and reunites the police inspector in charge of the case with the surviving victim of the tragedy.
Retired RCMP inspector Rod Gehl was the lead investigator into the October 1995 case, in which two teenage girls were viciously beaten with a baseball bat.
Sixteen-year-old Tanya Smith died at the hands of their attacker, Terry Driver, and Misty Cockerill, also 16, fought Driver off until she was knocked unconscious. She only just survived.
Now, Gehl has written Through the Valley of the Shadow: The Search for the Abbotsford Killer, chronicling the bizarre game of cat-and-mouse as Driver made taunting phone calls, sent messages bragging about his actions, and threatened to kill again.
Driver was finally caught in May 1996 and remains behind bars.
Cockerill has been supportive of Gehl's book, being interviewed for it and reading an early draft. And, in return, Gehl admires what Cockerill has done with her life.
"I think she's just an amazing young lady when you consider she was 16-years-old when that happened," he told CTV.
"It was sort of a sad growing up in regards to how dangerous it can be and that these people are out there."
Now training to become a social worker, Cockerill said she wanted to help victims of crime, and didn't feel like one herself.
"It comes up every now and then, and think about my friend a lot, but I try not to think about what happened," she said.
"I get tired of word survivor, too. I'm just a regular person who went through something."
Gehl, now the British Columbia Director for the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation, said profits from the book will go to help other victims of crime.
"There's an opportunity here to do that, to make something good out of something bad," he said.
It's what Cockerill has done with her life -- and what she hopes others will be able to accomplish.
"It's a part of you and changes you but it doesn't have to be for the worse you can take out the good stuff in it and the lessons that you learned and change it to make your life more positive and sometimes it can give you direction in your life," she said.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber.