Over the past two years, I've had a chance to learn about Candace Derksen and her disappearance by reading Journey for Justice and Have You Seen Candace?
The story has struck me personally, because I lived near the area where Candace disappeared and it shows that actions like these are not just happening in the core of Winnipeg. Sadly, tragedies like this can happen anywhere.
Although it's hard to choose a book, I felt like I connected more with Wilma's because it was much more personal. It's hard for anyone to get much more personal than writing about their child's death.
I also feel that Mike's book was dry when the focus went on Mark Grant and some of the trial.
Journalists can learn that while it's hard to approach a family that has lost a child, or any other family member in such a terrible way, many people want to get tell their story. So while it may be hard to ask the tough questions, or gather courage to go to their house, or make that phone call, the families of victims usually want to talk to the media and tell them about their family member they lost - and Wilma made that clear when she talked to us last Tuesday.
Wilma's visit was much better this year than last. While I really enjoyed Mike's presence last year, I felt he overshadowed Wilma - and personally - I wanted to hear Wilma's story more than his.
The most enjoyable part of her visit was hearing her talk about her fears when facing the media. Being a former CreComm student, it was interesting to hear her insight into how she dealt with the media when Candace disappeared and when Mark Grant was on trial. It's really true that CreComm can prepare you for almost any life event - and this was no different for her.
It was also interesting to hear about her two other children and how they reacted to Candace's disappearance and to the trial and conviction of Mark Grant.
Looking back, I would have liked to ask a question to Wilma. While I knew she came to talk to the class knowing we read her book, I still felt like it was a really personal topic and hard to ask a question about Candace. I really admire her coming back every year and telling her story to CreComms.