Mom who fought 40 years for justice dies

Shari Greer worked tirelessly for answers in daughter's 1975 death

Shari Greer (middle) was captured leaving the Abbotsford courthouse in late 2014 after Garry Handlen

A mom who fought for years to have her daughter’s murderer brought to justice died last week.

Shari Greer of Chilliwack passed away Nov. 16 at the age of 73 after suffering a massive heart attack.

Greer is the mother of Kathryn-Mary Herbert, who disappeared Sept. 24, 1975 at the age of 11 after last having been seen in the area of Townline and Marshall roads in Matsqui (which later amalgamated with Abbotsford).

Her remains were found Nov. 17 of that year near Harris Road in an undeveloped part of Matsqui First Nations. Her body was hidden under a sheet of plywood taken from the wall of an old outhouse.

Her skull was fractured and her jaw was broken. The autopsy was not able to confirm whether Kathryn-Mary had been sexually assaulted, although her underwear, socks and shoes were missing.

The case went unsolved for almost 40 years, during which time Greer challenged police to continue to purse the investigation and to hold them accountable.

In 2012, she offered a $10,000 reward for new evidence leading to a suspect.

She also held grief support retreats for over a decade on her property in Chilliwack, and in 2012 was recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Finally, in late 2014, Greer received the news that she had worked so tirelessly to hear: An arrest had been made and charges were laid in relation to her daughter’s killing.

Garry Handlen, then 67, was charged in November 2014 with the first-degree murder of Kathryn-Mary, as well as the first-degree murder of Monica Jack, 12, of Merritt in 1978.

At the time, police said Handlen has been a “person of interest” early in the investigation, but it had taken that long to gather enough evidence to support first-degree murder charges.

Police have not said what evidence eventually led to his arrest. A trial date for Handlen has not yet been set.

Greer spoke at a press conference, in which the charges were announced, to describe her daughter as “loving, kind and compassionate.”

Kathryn-Mary was not her only loss. Greer’s son Donnie drowned in a gravel pit near the Abbotsford Airport a year before Kathryn-Mary’s death. Her son William, also known as Butch, died by suicide afterwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Charge laid in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

Megan Kinnee, 19, died in collision on July 13, 2018

Abbotsford couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Abbotsford cartoonist Ernie Poignant, 100, to launch new book

Proceeds from book sales go to Heritage Abbotsford Society

Two new Central Park Village apartment buildings under consideration

New buildings would include 142 new housing units in third phase of project

Surprise demand from city leaves Abbotsford man frustrated

Council to decide whether local man will have to hand over land if he wants to subdivide property

VIDEO: Under the big top in Abbotsford

American Crown Circus and Circo Osorio performed July 11-14

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read