On Feb. 2, 2001, at 10.30 p.m. Sheila received a call from Michelle. "Guess who just called me," she said. The answer was Kathy, who was in Vernon, B.C. and had only learned of the fifth estate program, "Scandal of the Century" but she had not seen it yet. She had been told about it by her long-time resource teacher who had caught the January 24 update and recognized Michael and Michelle as possibly being Kathy's siblings.
Kathy had no idea that fifth estate had been looking for her. She had been desperately trying to get more information for more than a week and had, on a long-shot gamble, decided to ask SaskTel information for a listing for Michelle. Lo and behold, Michelle was listed and she got through.
"We talked for over an hour!" Michelle jubilantly told Sheila. Along with her delight, Michelle expressed anger at having just learned that Kathy had actually travelled by bus to Saskatoon at Christmas time, just six weeks earlier, with the intention of tracking down her family. She had called Diane Ens who told her that Michelle was no longer in the city and that she was a prostitute who had "run off with her boyfriend" and that Michael was in jail and she thought he had AIDS. Neither of these pieces of malicious information were true. (More)
Over the next couple days Sheila and Kathy communicated by e-mail and telephone and Feb. 4, Sheila drove to Calgary to get Kathy who took the bus there from Vernon. They spent the night in Calgary and Sheila showed her the tape of "Scandal of the Century."
The picture above shows Kathy speaking on the phone to Michelle and Michael. The three were scheduled to have their reuinion televised the next day but as it turned out, Sheila took her to get together with her siblings shortly after she got off the phone.
They stayed up all night sharing memories and the next day Kathy was interviewed by Jo Lynne Sheane.
Kathy sayed in Saskatoon for a few weeks during which time she and Michelle filed a lawsuit against Social Services just before their 19th birthday. She was also in Saskatoon for the birth of Michelle's son, Manyel.
She went back to Vernon and attempted to finish her grade twelve and almost completed it, a tremendous accomplishment under the circumstances. She also made contact with Dale and Anita.
In July, Kathy took the bus to Altona, Manitoba to visit Rick and Kari Klassen. While she was there, she revealed a great deal more about what had been going on during the years we still knew so little about. She also wrote a letter to Chris Axworthy, to which he has not yet replied.
Kathy came back to Saskatoon in the fall, hoping to resolve past conflicts and construct family bonds with her parents. This did not work out as she had hoped and she returned to B.C. Michael went with her, hoping to see some of the world outside Saskatchewan. He saw the mountains but he didn't stay.
Michelle and Michael are trying to put together bus fare to bring Kathy to Saskatoon again, hoping they can build a family built on their own generation. The three Rosses have learned a lot about themselves and each other and have taken some important steps into adulthood. This has been possible because of some harsh lessons they have all learned about who they can trust.
Kathy's therapy assignments: "Dear Carol" | report on the day Michael raped her in Carol Bunko's office
If it wasn't for the notebook on the table you could almost think this wasn't just another working meeting for Marilyn Thompson (second from left) and Diane Ens, Social Service's employee in charge of their file.