“Being a Journalist Who Shares Nightmares Online … “

11 July 2017

In 1966 Isabel LeBourdais a Canadian Journalist, published a ground-breaking & highly controversial book called, “The Trial of Steven Truscutt.

For the first time since 14-year-old Steven was sentenced to the death penalty and then commuted to life imprisonment in September 1959, the book surfaced hundreds of concealed details & evidence which had been overlooked by police, lawyers, pathologists, journalists and the judge. Her book brought into question the integrity of the trial and ultimately the guilty verdict.

In fact, Isabel’s book pushed the federal government of Canada to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to re-examine the trial and verdict because there was strong evidence to support Steven’s innocence and strong evidence to indicate police falsified prosecution’s evidence which resulted in the guilty sentencing.

Although the Court of Appeal did meet with Steven in 1966, prior to Isabel’s book, they did not change the verdict or sentencing and he remained imprisoned until he was 24 in 1969. I

n 2007, the 60-year-old Steven brought the matter to court again. This time the Court of Appeal found there had been a gross “miscarriage of justice” which needed to be “quashed” and his sentence was revoked. Later, in 2008, he was granted $6.5 million for compensation for his ordeal.

What does this all have to do with dreamwork?

Isabel is arguably one of the most important Canadian journalists in the short history of this nation. Her work contributed to the release of a young man who was innocent. Her book was so controversial at the time that she truly put her life in danger by publishing what she did. But she did it anyway.

I was thinking of Isabel this morning.

How differently would things have been for her if she had access to an internet? To a blog? To social media platforms?

The really unique thing about what I do as a journalist which I’ve never seen anyone else do, is that when I investigate really tough-to-swallow cases like organized rape & murder of children or rape & trafficking of children, then I have nightmares. It would be impossible for me to see the photos I see, watch the footage I watch, listen to the testimonies I do without it having an effect on my psyche. I’m absolutely sure that the reason detective investigators have this stereo-type of being reclusive alcoholics who isolate themselves in dark, smokey rooms with a pipe and a bottle of whiskey is because the nature of the work is so damn hard.

But I don’t drink. Have no interest in drugs and really enjoy social gatherings. But some elements of the cases I research sometimes trouble me. I am always in awe of how perfect the dreamworld is.

What I’ve come to learn is that when a case really bothers me, like the events leading up to the murder of Kristen French in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1992, or Tori in Woodstock in 2009, or Lynne Harper in 1959, then I have nightmares which shed light on my unconscious fears. When I work through these real life and dreamworld nightmares I gain capacities & skills which make me stronger and better able to work on some of the most horrific cases of crime in our nation.

I don’t like horror movies; they give me nightmares.

But I like investigating into the mind of real serial killers because when the nightmares come it actually strengths me as an individual and as a journalist.

The bridge where Steven and Lynne were last seen together.

I recently visited the location of the bridge where Steven Truscott & Lynne Harper were last seen together on June 09, 1959. He said he dropped her off at the corner of HWY 8 and saw her get into a late model Chevy. Police said he never crossed that bridge and instead took her into a field where he raped and murdered her. Within 2 days of finding Lynn’s body 14-year-old Steven was arrested and incarcerated. At a 15-day trial in September an all-male jury found him guilty and sentenced him to the death penalty – this was the first time the death penalty had been given in Canada sine 1875. Four months later, the death penalty was removed and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Remember though, fifty years later he was proven to be innocent and in fact he did just as he said he did – he rode Lynne to the corner and then returned to his circle of friends half an hour later.

When I went out to the location of this crime, which occurred just one hour outside of London, Ontario, I had a few nightmares afterwards (which I wrote about and scheduled to be released on this blog in the next couple months).

The real nightmare is that the real killer got away. While the police, RCMP, media and entire city of Huron County were turning against Steven & his family, accusing him of some of the most heinous and unthinkable crimes, the real killer was sitting back and watching the news. He got away with it. More details of the real killer have surfaced since 1997 and evidence has surfaced which points a finger at the most likely suspect who was a military man living and working nearby the place where Lynne was killed. He had a history of sexual deviancy AND trained ability to carry out the crime in a way which was consistent with the evidence. He died in 1975 of alcoholism.

I’ve included a few photos here of the small residential area just outside of Clinton, Ontario where Steven and Lynne lived in 1959.

Visiting this area made me feel physically sick and I had a headache for two days afterwards. My dreams following the visit were messy & chaotic. I felt disorientated and weak for 48 hours. What baffles me the most is how an entire county could overlook the common sense logic that it was IMPOSSIBLE to do what the OPP & RCMP were suggesting was done. And an entire county, no, the entire nation of Canada persecuted this young boy, accused him of guilty, before he was even given a fair trial.

How did the RCMP, RCAF and OPP get away with covering up the real details of this crime and how did they get away with “selling the public” the falsified and IMPOSSIBLE story of a young 14-year-old boy doing what was impossible for him to do?

It’s these questions and others like it which compels me to continue doing the work I do.

So, I’m an investigative journalist and I share my nightmares online. That’s what I do.

Standing at the corner where Lynne was seen getting into a Chevy around 7:30pm, facing the bridge where Steven & some others were swimming, catching turtles and enjoying an otherwise regular evening on June 09, 1959.

Taekwondo Dream: Practicing a Skill Repeatedly Builds Capacity

04 October 2017

Last night I dreamed of doing my Taekwondo form over and over with great skill and excellence. It was such a great feeling!

Positive dreams remind the dreamer of skills, capacities and opportunities. In this case, the dream is reminding me of the strength found in the repetition of a skill and how this leads to excellence.

If you find yourself getting stuck when you face an obstacle or feeling anxious about something coming up, repeating something which you do well will help build your capacity to face the challenge and overcome it like an expert.

What is the biggest challenge you are facing today and what have you done in the past which has worked with overcoming this type of obstacle. Do it again today and see what kind of results you get!


Dream: A Friend Changes Her Mind

26 September 2017

In the dream, while I was sleeping a friend (S.W.) changed her mind and instead of coming home with me to a new place she decided to stay. My dream had suggested to me she might do this so I guessed that she might. She was angry with me when I guessed her negative action before she even told me because she wanted to see me get angry.

Instead of getting angry and lashing out I just made new travel arrangements by train or bus and went about making sure I was packed and ready for the trip. This seemed to annoy her to a degree.

My analysis: This dream is a memory of being abandoned by a friend who I trusted. She allowed something negative someone said to see a situation in a negative way in real life. The dream shows me what I can do well which is to stay focused on a goal no matter who comes along with me. The goal I’m striving to attain is higher and more noble than just getting into petty arguments with people who aren’t committed anyway.

Remembering Dreams

25 September 2017

Sometimes dreams are just really memorable and it’s easy to wake up and recall them without effort.

Other times it’s not so easy.

There are 3 things I do to remember my dreams.

  1. Tell myself at night I’m going to remember them.
  2. Write down any images, feelings, thoughts that are in my mind as soon as I wake up.
  3. Give myself a good 1/2 hour to an hour to reflect on those images and to reflect on the challenges in the day, what I’ve been learning about these challenges and what I can do to improve today.

Not surprisingly, the more attention I give the dreams, the more I remember. Anyone can get good at remembering dreams. It’s natural human nature.

Dream: Protecting a Home With a Gun

21 September 2017

In the dream, I’m in a house. It’s not mine but I’ve lived there a while and plan to be there for a while. I’m holding a gun. It’s an old-style hand gun, from the 20s or earlier. I’m holding it and walking around the house because I know there is an intruder but have no idea where he is. It seems the place is a group home. I have the sense that I’m guarding teens in a group home.

As I move through the space, the gun needs to be continually reloaded, even when I don’t fire it. There are two levers that need to be engaged systematically and throughout the dream I just keep reloading, reloading, reloading. Walking around the house, with the gun aimed and ready, looking for the intruder.

Eventually, there is a confrontation. There are 4 or more men in a room and we shout at one another. We all have guns. Somehow I say something which convinces them to leave and they turn to go. I shoot off the gun as one guy is standing there, maybe because he’s not leaving soon enough? The bullet hits him right in the thigh and he shouts, “You shot me!”

My reply is something about, “Well, if you weren’t here in my house when you weren’t supposed to be then you wouldn’t have gotten shot.” Then they all turn and leave.

That was the dream.

My analysis: This is a very interesting dream because for many years I’ve had dreams of being shot or shot at and the solution is always to give encouragement and “shoot out” positive acknowledgements in real life. This is the first time that I dreamed I was actually holding a gun and using it to protect others. So it indicates some progress on this issue where I am somehow getting better at exchanging negative criticism for positive acknowledgements now.