Kim Proctor was no different than your ordinary teenage girl. Everyone knows teens live with abandon online—exposing their secrets, likes, dislikes, sexual preferences, home addresses, phone numbers, and so on—in ways their parents can’t understand.
When Kruse IM’d Kim to see if she was done babysitting, no response came. The school attracted a variety of troubled kids in Langford, a sleepy suburb of Victoria, but few more troubled than Kruse Wellwood. In 2001, following his involvement in a sexual-assault case, Kruse’s father, Robert Raymond Dezwaan, sexually assaulted and murdered a 16-year-old girl.
Dezwaan was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole for 15 years.
Kruse later said he clearly understood what his father had done, but he seldom discussed it.
Kruse had been involved in a variety of incidents—from smoking pot to stealing money from mailboxes—by the time he was 16. A psychiatric report later revealed that Cam had been sexually abused at age four (although it was not publicly revealed by whom).
Kruse and Cam met in fifth-grade art class when they bonded over their mutual disdain of a teacher. As a child, Cam began jumping out his bedroom window at night until it was barred. He began lashing out at home and cutting himself to relieve stress.
While Kruse was wiry and intelligent, Cam was a hulking slow learner who suffered from A. He was increasingly menacing at school too, bringing a knife to class.Kruse was the one kid who seemed to understand him.One night around dinnertime, Kruse Wellwood sent an instant message to Kim Proctor. He lived in a bungalow with his mother on Happy Valley Road, a leafy street in the small town of Langford, British Columbia. She loved cats so much that, when she was young, she wore cat ears to school. Kids teased her about her cat ears, meowing at her in class, and never let up as the years went on.On this evening, as on so many others, he was hanging out with his best friend, Cameron Moffat, a burly 17-year-old goth. “She was bullied throughout her life,” her mother recalls. She would panic navigating the swarm of students in the hallways at school.But, like many kids his age, Kruse spent as much of his time with friends online as he did in person. Her parents tried to medicate her, but this only “zombied her out,” her mother said.When he wasn’t texting, he was playing the online role-playing game, or chatting over the Microsoft network with friends. Eventually, they transferred her to an alternative school, Pacific Secondary, to get more individualized attention.