Victoria Times Colonist Editor's note:
The discovery of 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor's charred body on the Galloping Goose Trail on March 19 shocked this community. The details of her murder are even more horrifying.
In our coverage of today's guilty plea we have left out some of the most graphic details out of respect for Proctor and her family. However, we believe it is important that the true nature of this crime is revealed to understand how and why the youths involved have been tried and will be sentenced.
Throughout our coverage, we refer to the young men involved as "the 16-year-old" and "the 18-year-old" because their identities are shielded under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Two teenagers pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to the first-degree murder of 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor, whose badly burned body was found under a bridge on the Galloping Goose trail in March, admitting in chilling detail to planning and executing her rape and murder.
Under tight security, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old — who was 17 at the time of Proctor's killing — were led into a packed B.C. Supreme Court and placed in separate booths. Both stood, lawyers by their side, and pleaded guilty to the crime that RCMP investigators had described as "horrendous" and "disturbing."
The plea by the 16-year-old, a skinny teen who appeared nervous and subdued, was inaudible. His defence lawyer, Robert Jones, had to repeat his guilty plea.
The teens also pleaded guilty to indignity to human remains. It is expected that charges of sexual assault and forcible confinement will be stayed by the Crown at their next appearance.
Neither of the boys can be named as their identities are shielded under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Neither teen looked at the other during the 40-minute proceeding. Their families did not appear to be in the packed courtroom, nor did their usual group of friends.
Instead, sheriffs had blocked off the front row of the courtroom for security reasons. The second row was filled with grim-faced investigators and members of Proctor's family including her mother Lucia, father Fred, her aunt Jo-Anne Landolt and both sets of her grandparents.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston accepted the guilty pleas, and ordered the teens detained in custody. Johnston issued a no-contact order, prohibiting the teens from contacting three people who could be called as witnesses at future hearings.
Johnston also ordered pre-sentence and psychiatric reports required for sentencing. These will take about eight weeks to prepare and will be heard in court when a two-week sentencing hearing begins on March 28. At previous court appearances, Crown prosecutor Peter Juk filed notice to have the 16-year-old and 18-year-old sentenced as adults, which would mean a stiffer penalty.
As part of the proceedings Wednesday, Juk read a five-page statement of agreed-upon facts into the court record, signed by both Crown and defence lawyers, that set out the gruesome facts of what happened to Proctor on March 18.
As Juk read the details, Fred Proctor began to cry, wiping tears from his eyes. Sitting pressed beside him, his wife bowed her head and held tightly to his hand.
The grim statement makes clear that the teenage boys planned Proctor's death well in advance.
Through text messages and online chats, they created code words to initiate the attack, outlined how they would tie her up and assault her, discussed what types of fuel to use to burn her body, and drew up a map of possible places to dispose of her body.
The statement shows a lack of remorse either had about the killing. After they raped and asphyxiated Proctor, and then mutilated and burned her body, the 16-year-old met up with his girlfriend and the 18-year-old went shopping and for brunch with his mother.
Yet the statement is short on details for a motive. While Proctor had flirted with both boys in the fall of 2009 before declining their advances, they killed her four months later.
According to online chats with a female friend outlined in the statement, the 16-year-old offered two reasons for the murder. First, Proctor was "an easy target." Second, "he had dreamed about killing someone ever since he was young," although he admitted to the friend that "it didn't feel like what he thought it would."
Proctor, a Grade 12 student, was reported missing after she didn't show up at a babysitting job the afternoon of March 18. She had been last seen at 10:30 a.m. at the bus exchange in Colwood, talking to the two boys who would later kill her.
When Proctor could not be reached on her cellphone and did not return home, friends and family members began a desperate search, putting up posters and handing out photos of her wearing a distinctive black sweatshirt with a large number 13 decal on the front.
But on the evening of March 19, a body was found beneath a bridge over Millstream Creek. The body had been burned beyond recognition, and it would take a few days to positively identify Proctor through dental records.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Proctor knew her killers through school. In the summer and fall of 2009, Proctor had dated one of the 16-year-old's best friends. During that time, the 16-year-old talked to Proctor online through MSN chat and text messages. At times, their correspondence was "quite personal and intimate." When Proctor broke off with her boyfriend, the 16-year-old asked her to go out with him. At first she accepted but, shortly after, she called it off.
From May to November, the 18-year-old was also chatting to Proctor on MSN. The chats were, at times, "quite flirtatious and suggestive," according to the statement. Although she participated in the chats, Proctor declined his advances.
On March 16, two days before Proctor went missing, the 16-year-old sent a text message to a female friend, asking: "What would your opinion be on me if I killed, raped or brutalized someone?"
The next night, the 16-year-old sent Proctor a message, telling her he wanted to meet her in person the next day and explain why he, the 18-year-old and "everyone" had been mean to her lately.
They agreed to meet at 10 a.m. the next day. They exchanged phone numbers. Then Proctor and the 16-year-old had a lengthy telephone conversation that ended on the early morning of March 18.
Without her knowledge, the 16-year-old had allowed the 18-year-old to listen in on the conversation. The two teens were communicating online.
"In their exchange of computer messages, they discussed their plan to lure her to the 16-year-old's house, to seduce her, bind her, sexually assault her, murder her, then burn and dispose of her body. It was a plan they had discussed before," according to the agreed statement of fact.
"Their plan, as detailed in their text messages, included specifically planning when and where to meet, how to get money and buy a specific brand of fuel with which to burn the body, how to get back to the 16-year-old's house, whether to take the bus or walk, what buses to take, and what they would say and do to carry out their attack, including the use of code words to initiate the attack. Their text messages included graphic descriptions of how they would bind and sexually assault Kimberly Proctor over an extended period of time, and a discussion of various possible sites at which to dispose of her body, including making reference to a detailed annotated map they created for this purpose."
On the morning of March 18, they met Proctor at the bus exchange. The 18-year-old went to a store to buy fuel, then the three went back to the 16-year-old's house, arriving just after 11 a.m.
The boys attacked Proctor, grabbing her around the neck, binding her hands and ankles with duct tape. Her mouth was gagged by a sock and secured with duct tape. The teens removed her clothes.
During the next several hours, both youths repeatedly sexually assaulted Proctor while she was bound and gagged. She was beaten and kicked.
"She was choked and suffocated and eventually died. A knife was used to mutilate her body," said the statement. When Proctor's body was recovered, investigators found a plastic bag covering her head, and noticed her neck was injured from attempted strangulation. There was also evidence she had been penetrated anally and vaginally with foreign objects.
After the youths killed her, they placed her body in a freezer in the garage of the 16-year-old's house.
At 6:24 p.m., the 16-year-old sent three text messages to Proctor's phone: "Hey"/ "I thought you had babysitting"/ "Did you finish early." Proctor would have been at his home at the time, although it's not clear if she was alive or dead at the time it was sent.
Later that night, over a period of about three hours, the 18-year-old sent text messages to another female high school student with whom he'd had a sexual relationship, trying to convince her to sneak out of her house and join him at the 16-year-old's house. These messages were sent while Proctor's body was at the house.
The next morning, the boys put Proctor's body and the fuel from the house into a large duffle bag, boarded a bus and went to the bridge beneath the Galloping Goose Trail where her body was doused with fuel and set on fire. Investigators would later recover fabric, zippers, and grommets consistent with a duffel bag at the scene, and during the autopsy.
Later that morning, the 18-year-old's mother bought him a video game and took him for brunch. The 16-year-old spent the day with his girlfriend at his house.
A week later, the 16-year-old sent a text message to a female friend — the same one he'd texted two days before Proctor went missing — asking her to meet him online on World of Warcraft, an Internet game, to chat because he needed "to tell her something he could not tell her over the MSN chat lines."
In their online discussion, the 16-year-old told the girl that he had killed "Kim." The girl knew he was talking about Proctor because he also sent her links to news articles about her death and said that was her.
The 16-year-old told the girl, in disturbing detail, what he and the 18-year-old had done to Proctor: raping her, strangling her and mutilating her body.
The girl asked if he "pre-planned it." The 16-year-old said "yes."
The 16-year-old went on to say "he had dreamed about killing someone ever since he was young and it didn't feel like he thought it would," according to the agreed statement of facts.
He told the girl he thought he would get away with it and he didn't feel bad.
The 18-year-old also sent messages to the same girl about the killing. He told the friend he was "aware" they were going to target Proctor. The 16-year-old had approached him and asked him if he wanted to do it.
"When she asked him if he felt bad about it, he said he felt bad he was going to get caught, but said he did not feel bad for Proctor's family or friends," the statement said.
Following Wednesday's hearing, the youths will undergo psychiatric assessments and both the Crown and defence will prepare reports on recommended sentences.
The teens could be sentenced either as adults or youths.
Youths sentenced as adults get a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for 10 years for a first-degree murder conviction. (In comparison, adults convicted of first-degree murder get a mandatory life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years).
Youths sentenced as youths for first-degree murder get a 10-year sentence, consisting of a maximum of six years in custody and the remaining four years to be served in the community under conditional supervision.
Usually, the ban on identify is lifted when youths are sentenced as adults. Youths under 18 at the time of sentencing, usually serve the sentence in a youth facility. A person who is 18 or older at the time of sentencing, usually serves their sentence in an adult facility.
I can't even imagine what was going through her parents heads while hearing this - I don't think disgusting is strong enough word - information about their daughters last hours with these monsters.
Edited by J.R., 28 October 2010 - 11:15 AM.