inJusticebusters website was launched in June, 1998 for the dedicated purpose of breaking this story. In order to accomplish this we had to break a court ban on publication. "We" were Richard Klassen and me. Both of us had beaten criminal defamation charges, instigated by Dueck, in our efforts to break this story on the street. We emphasized the inherent injustices of this case and Martensville. Someone threatened SaskTel/Sympatico and our Internet service was pulled, with no opportunity for us to appeal the high handedness. We got some coverage, the kind given to lunatics and eccentrics, and found a secure U.S. server.
The local media had become exhausted by the real story. Several StarPhoenix reporters had burned out. In 1999, Dan Zakreski worked tirelessly on a feature which used pseudonyms to get around the publication ban. We did not address the lawsuit, which was in the hands of lawyer Ed Holgate, until the Fifth Estate picked up the story in 2000. The Saskatchewan government threatened to sue the CBC and we did not know for sure until Nov. 29, 2000 that the story would actually air. Richard Klassen's claim in the lawsuit was relentlessly challenged by his involvement with the website so in January, 2002 I took it over completely.
Since 1998, by branching out to cover similar stories, we have arrived at the point where people across Canada, indeed also in the U.S. and Europe have been able to see the connections between this story and police/prosecutor/social worker misconduct in their own locales. Many people have come to demand more from their lawyers (One of our first pages, on the site which SaskTel shut down, was "Why we hate lawyers.")
--Sheila Steele, webmaster, injusticebusters.com, Feb. 28, 2003
In 1991, the StarPhoenix announced
Three men and a woman appeared in provincial court Thursday in connection with a number of sexual assault charges which left at least one senior law enforcement official shaking his head in disgust at the alleged depravities.
"This could be the scandal of the century," he said.
Sixteen persons were charged following a lengthy Saskatoon city police investigation that began in August, 1985. According to a brief statement from police, the investigation began after nine children, aged five to 11, made several accusations of sexual abuse.
The alleged incidents date back to 1983 and continued until December, 1990. They are alleged to have taken place in foster homes located in a village of about 200 persons, located 45 kilometers north of Saskatoon.
Two of the accused, a 22 year old woman and a 65 year old man who appeared in court Thursday, were from the village. The other two men, 17 and 50, have Saskatoon addresses.
During their brief court appearance provincial court Judge Brosi Nutting issued an order prohibiting the publication of any information which would identify the complainants.
Twelve other persons are due in court duing the next two weeks in connection with the case. Six of them were charged in Red Deer, Alta.
At least 50 years separate the oldest person charged from the youngest.
The four who appeared in court Thursday face 18 charges. Two of the four, the woman and the 50 year old man are accused of sexually assaulting their own children, as well as of sexually assaulting other children under their care.
One official who has seen the case file said some of the "outrageous" allegations contained in the charges include "witchcraft and human sacrifice." Seventy charges were laid against the 16 persons.
What came to be known as the "Foster Parent case" first broke in a front page headline across the top of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on July 12, 1991. It was the talk of the town. Rumours of witchcraft and human sacrifice certainly grabbed the attention of the community.
I was the mother of a twelve year old and so I made it my business to find out as much as I could. The next summer, I wrote to the editor of The StarPhoenix in response to the hysteria which the media was generating over this case and Martensville. I had briefly met Rick Klassen at the courthouse during the Martensville trials. The following winter, when he learned through the publicity that I was a writer, he contacted me to do some writing for him.
The document here began as an affidavit and has been become a working chronology of our file.
We have added to the working chronology updates based on what we know for sure at this time. Of one thing we are certain: we have been on the right track from day one, our allegations of perjury and frauds perpetrated on the court can be substantiated and Dueck's efforts to have us criminalized for libel and his successful effort to have the Lucases convicted are crimes for which he will have to account.
--Sheila Steele, inJusticebusters Nov. 11, 2001
January 28, 2001: We have moved the working chronology formerly on this page. In Court of Queen's Bench, Jan. 16, Barry Rossman acting for Superintendent Dueck told the court that the website was vexatious to them because it told the story in "bits and pieces," implying that we were "slanting" the story to put his client in the position of being defamed.
Pardon me for a minute if I depart into a rant. Every time I work with this material, I become adamant that it would likely not be possible to "defame" Dueck. By that I mean that any way you order the "bits and pieces" of this story, the truth exposes him in ways even determined defamers never could. During the time I worked with the Thompson papers, back in the summer of 1994 when I actually created a videotape which I entered into a competition in Montreal, I was physically sickened. Dueck put Marilyn Thompson through hell to get her to make those notes. She was clearly demented as she wrote them into the tiny hours of the night.
Imagine our horror when we discovered that Michael had remained in the Thompson household for two years after Marilyn Thompson wrote those notes! In retrospect it seems likely that the only reason Michael was removed from the home was the girls were reaching puberty and Mrs. Thompson's handlers in Social Services didn't want to be faced with an incestuous pregnancy.
It was during the fall of 1994 when Dueck was tracking Richard Klassen like a bloodhound and hounding him about Beryl Stonechild, the killer who was in jail and Dueck alleged had been molested by Rick when Rick was nine. The dates didn't add up, the story didn't add up -- it was completely fabricated. And we would have documented evidence of this if Dueck had not threatened to wrap the videocamera around our heads. That was an autumn of terror for us, engineered by Dueck, on the streets of west side Saskatoon where he is now Superintendent. It was during this time that Marie Klassen told me how Dueck had mistreated her, making her crawl on her hands and knees to the patrol car when she was arrested.
As the Fifth Estate program clearly showed, and as the newspapers clearly wrote, Brian Dueck coined the phrase "Scandal of the Century" to get the sound-bite he wanted to deceive a whole community.
The letters which are now pouring in to inJusticebusters since the Fifth Estate dared to break the publication ban and provide sanctuary for this website, which had been breaking it for 32 months, almost uniformly express horror that Dueck has been promoted to his present position. Many also say that $10M is not enough compensation for the damage which has been done.
A few blame Michael for starting it all. We would point out that Michael was ten years old and that he was entrapped by Dueck, Social Services, and then the Crown. They knew his proclivities and set him up to get their evidence. Then they held it over his head that what he had done was criminal and if he kept it up past the age of twelve, he could be charged. At Ranch Ehrlo, Michael was offered "tough love" therapy. Mostly "tough", not much "love." He was to remain an arm's length away from all staff and fellow residents. He was ordered every day after school to write out his sexual fantasies. He was given a whole different set of mixed messages from those he was accustomed to. As he said on the Fifth Estate, he now believes it was not his fault.
We don't think it was either.
The story was on the Internet for two years before fifth estate found it and did the piece, "Scandal of the Century", turning Dueck's original PR title for the case sharply back at him, the truly scandalous figure. This piece went on to win major awards including the prestigious Justicia award which is from the law community for excellent broadcasting.
The scandal now spills into another century. The prime villains, Dueck, Quinney, Axworthy and the various marionettes who have done their time directing Social Services are confident nothing will be done. They are counting on the lawyers paid by tax-payers to make sure the lawsuits arising from their malicious actions this case and in Martensville will be dismissed. They are counting on the apathy and ennui of Saskatchewan citizens who have a tradition of forgiving many officials many things. Original lawsuit | Peter Klassen/Michael Ross lawsuit | Sheila Steele letter to City Council, Nov. 2001 | Who is defending these claims?
inJusticebusters know that this apathy and ennui could turn on a dime. We know that Saskatchewan people have been more concerned with politics and the economy which have been in shambles for some time. When justice percolates to the top of the public agenda, the earth will shake in this earthquake-resistant part of the globe. It will happen.