Kruse Wellwood, one of two teens sentenced to life in prison for the brutal rape and murder of 18-year old Kimberly Proctor last year, is the son of a convicted murderer.
On Monday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston sentenced Wellwood, 17, and Cameron Moffat, 18, as adults and lifted the publication ban that had been protecting their identities since their arrest last June. Proctor was lured to a home, then tortured, beaten and sexually assaulted before she was killed. Her body was dumped and burned on a hiking trail in March 2010.
In eerily similar circumstances, Wellwood's father, Robert Dezwaan, is serving a life sentence for the 2001 murder of 16-year-old Cherish Billy Oppenheim in Merritt. Dezwaan got her drunk, sexually assaulted her and beat her to death. He left her badly damaged body covered with rocks and debris off a deserted road -where he later took RCMP after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Dezwaan committed the crime while out on bail for a previous sexual assault.
At Monday's sentencing in a packed Victoria courtroom, Johnston ruled a youth sentence would not be long enough to hold the teens accountable for their crimes. He imposed the maximum adult sentence available for young offenders.
"It goes without saying first-degree murder with intent to kill is the most serious of offences. The circumstances of this murder as admitted by the young persons are so horrific that no words can adequately convey the inhumane cruelty these young men showed Miss Proctor," said Johnston. "They planned in advance to sexually assault and kill Miss Proctor. They chose her because they thought she would be an easy target, not necessarily because either of them had any ill will towards her."
Members of Proctor's family, including mother Lucia and father Fred, filled the front row of the courtroom. Lucia wiped away tears as Wellwood stood, hands clasped in front, with lawyer Bob Jones by his side as he was sentenced to life in prison.
Defence lawyer Steven Kelliher stood by Moffat, who appeared unemotional as he was sentenced to life in prison.
Outside court, Fred Proctor called the teens "animals" and said they deserve to die a long, slow, painful death."I don't even like to call them animals because Kim was such an animal lover," said Lucia. "To me they're just monsters and monsters are not rehabilitatable."
She lashed out at Wellwood's and Moffat's parents, saying they should have done something about their sons' risky behaviour before it escalated. "This didn't happen overnight this behaviour. You see the signs. You know when something is wrong with your child."
In October, Wellwood and Moffat pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Proctor, whose badly burned body was found under a bridge on the Galloping Goose Trail on March 19, 2010. The two admitted they lured the Grade 12 student to Wellwood's home, tied her up, gagged her, sexually assaulted her, beat her, suffocated her and mutilated her body with a knife. They then put her body in a freezer. The next day, they put it in a duffel bag and took it by bus to the Galloping Goose Trail.
Charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement were stayed last week during the grim two-day sentencing hearing in which Crown prosecutor Peter Juk urged Johnston to impose adult sentences for the protection of the public.
Wellwood's father's crimes bear a striking similarity to the rape and murder of Proctor. The details of Dezwaan's offences can only be published now that the judge has lifted a publication ban on Wellwood's and Moffat's identities.
Before his murder conviction, Dezwaan had been arrested in March 2001 for sexual assault with a weapon, confinement, and robbery of a young woman in Kelowna. That followed a 1993 incident in which he was convicted of unlawful confinement and break and enter after he broke into a woman's home at night, climbed on her and tried to stuff a rag in her mouth.
A letter written by Wellwood and read in court last week, said: "As a child, I hated my father for what he had done. I felt I was less than him and now I find I have become a worse man. If you told me 10 years ago that I would commit one of the worst murders in British Columbia, I would not have believed you."
Court-ordered psychiatric and psychological reports on the teens show they are a high risk to reoffend violently and sexually. The reports also show there is little chance they can be rehabilitated.
Wellwood has been diagnosed as a sexual sadist -someone who derives sexual gratification from inflicting pain -with very strong psychopathic traits and strong indicators for necrophilia, an erotic attraction to corpses. A psychologist found he was aroused by the physical and psychological suffering of others, had rape fantasies and was interested in bondage and sexual asphyxia.
Moffat was not diagnosed as a sexual sadist but has a tendency to sexual deviance and the risk and thrill that go along with it. He has had conduct disorder problems since early childhood that involve defiant anti-social behaviour.