On Monday, November 8th, I attended a James Kostelniuk's reading, he wrote Wolves Among Sheep: The True Story of Murder in a Jehovah's Witness Community. The reading took place at JobWorks, an adult education center where my aunt teaches a grade 12 english class. Kostelniuk read passages from his heart-wrenching book, a non-ficton tale written on his own terrifying experience: his ex-wife, Kim Anderson and their two children were murdered by her second husband, Jeff Anderson.
Aside from reading a couple of passages, he didn't talk too much about the book at the reading, but more about his own coming to terms with the tragedy, his correspondance with Anderson in jail, and how the book helped him heal. Anderson is up for parole this year, and Kostelniuk spoke of his stuggle with the Canadian legal system, that had a maxiumum "life" sentence of only 25 years, no matter how heinous the crime.
The students in the class, who had read the book, could not wrap their head around how Kostelniuk was able to correspond with the man who brutally murdered his children. Their questions to him and the discussions that followed made it clear that the students themselves had lives through some tough times.
Being the optimist that I try to be, I attempted of course to try to find a positive amist the horrific tradgedy. Twenty years ago, Kostelniuk was a bus driver for Winnipeg Transit, today he is an accomplished authour and a journalist for the Steinbach newspaper, and has pursured his passion for writing. Of course he wished things weren't this way and that somehow he could have been an accomplished writer as well as a father.
The reading was quite emotional, and it was truly heartwrenching to hear this man's story, and see how far he has come in the healing process.