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Ashley Simpson: Don't Let Her Die in Vain

  Six years ago, I was combing through my Facebook and I saw post from my cousin Julie Major. Her brother and his wife were frantically looking for their daughter Ashley who just days before had Facetimed her mom saying she was planning to return to her home in Niagara. Ashley never made it home. She was murdered in cold blood in her home in Salmon Arm then buried in a nearby field. It would be five and a half years before her body was located, and her boyfriend was charged with second degree murder.  Today, Ashley's urn has a sacred spot in her parents' home, and Derek Favell is in jail awaiting trial by judge and jury. The trial is expected to go into next year sometime. This has been an agonizing journey for Ashley's friends and family. The pain has never stopped, and the wounds are broken open every time the family has to sit through a series of pre-trial proceedings. Fortunately, this ordeal will end but the pain will never wane for the people, including me, who have b
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Vigil for Justice: Amber Ellis

Amber Ellis, 33, is another woman to add to our list of missing woman in Ontario. Her mother Donna Ellis contacted me and asked that we remember Amber as part of our Vigil for Justice.  Amber is the mother of two children, and she disappeared without a trace on February 2021. You can read about her case here.

Vigil for Justice: Still missing

It worries me that six years later, these women or their remains have not been found. It's understandable given the fact that the Okanagan is a such a sprawling piece of Canada full of mountains, woods and creeks. Our Ashley Simpson is the only one. And while we are grateful for the small miracle that brought Ashley home to her parents, and put her boyfriend on trial, it still bothers me that the families of these women have no closure. Six years is a long time to grieve, but the Simpson family can tell you that not knowing what happened to a loved one is excruciatingly painful. Please read this excellent article , and share it, as a reminder that no woman is safe in this country, and justice is not always served. 

Deidra Ann Smith: Vigil for Justice

On April 30, there will be a virtual vigil for Ashley Simpson and other women who have been murdered or who are still missing in our country. Nearly every month, I am contacted with stories about these women and I would like to include as many as possible as part of the vigil. If you have a story you would like to share, please contact me at On New Year's Eve 2017, Deidra Ann Smith and her boyfriend Justin Robichaud had much to celebrate. Deidra, a mother of three, felt her life was finally getting back on track after years of struggle. The couple decided to throw a party and invited the neighbours to their basement apartment in St. Catharines for a party. Later, in the wee hours of the New Year, the neighbour returned and bludgeoned the couple. Their bodies were transported 300 kilometres to Haliburton where they were lit on fire; the remains were covered with branches and abandoned. Her family filed a missing person's report on January 24. Three days prio

Ashley Simpson: Vigil for Justice

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Last April, we gathered around our bonfires and computers to pray that Ashley Simpson would be found and finally returned to her loving family. It was the fifth anniversary of her disappearance.  A few months later, her remains were found, and her boyfriend was sent to jail. He is now awaiting trial. On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the Simpson family is asking you to come back together to give thanks, and to once again pray. This time, we pray for justice for Ashley as well as for closure for the families of the many murdered and missing in this country.  There are still women missing in the Okanagan including Nicole Bell, Caitlin Potts and Deanna Wertz who all disappeared around the same time as Ashley. Their families continue to struggle, and need our continued support. We will also pray for family of Pamela Jones an elderly retired school teacher who was bludgeoned to death in her carport in Salmon Arm eleven years ago.

Katrina Blagdon: Three Months Gone

  As winter turns to spring, Katrina's Army is stepping up its efforts to cover the waterfronts around St. Catharines/Niagara in all ways possible in hopes of finding the Army veteran who went missing on New Year's Eve -- three months ago. There have been many developments, mostly positive in her case: The family finally has possession of her home, car and dog and evicted her ex-boyfriend who had changed the locks on the house. Her bank account has finally been frozen. A reward of $20,000 has been posted by her family for information leading to Katrina, no questions asked. A legion of volunteers have been putting up posters everywhere, and are meeting many times a week for ground searches. This is a well organized effort, so as not to waste anyone's time looking for her in places that have already been searched. There are a number of fundraisers taking place that are helping the family with their expenses. It's been a long road for them since all of the family are from

Trevor Lanyon: Australian on the move

  There are people who come into your life for a purpose, who are sent by some divine spirit to lift you up, help you out, and support you in times of need. Trevor Lanyon was one of those amazing people. He sadly left this Earth in February as a victim of a car crash in Sarasota Florida where he made his home for many years. He was only 68. I met Trevor when I was living a Disney princess' life in 1989. He was dressed in a morning suit, and opened the door of St. James Manor in the town of York in England. My husband Dan and I were on a long delayed honeymoon, and I was six months pregnant with my daughter, Marissa. Dan was a work-a-holic and never had time for vacations that didn't involve conferences and high level meetings, so this trip was big. I left my two older children, Nicholas and Stefan in the care of a babysitter and off we went to explore the British countryside.  Trevor was an assistant butler at the manor. He also served as the night bartender, and served us our