Christopher Ducharme; founder of the B.C. Victims of Homicide; presents Shari Greer with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Christopher Ducharme; founder of the B.C. Victims of Homicide; presents Shari Greer with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mother of murdered girl honoured

Shari Greer is a woman who is too familiar with grief. For helping others cope with the death of their loved ones...

Shari Greer is a woman who is too familiar with grief. For helping others cope with the death of their loved ones, she was honoured by the group Canadian Parents of Murdered Children and Survivors of Homicide on Thursday.

Greer is the mother of Kathryn-Mary Herbert, an 11-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered while walking to her home on Ross Road in Abbotsford in 1975. The case was never solved. It has been high-profile over the years, and highlighted in many cold case media reports and documentaries.

Less well-known is that Greer lost two other children – her son Donnie drowned in a gravel pit near the Abbotsford airport a year before Kathryn-Mary was taken. Her son William, or Butch, died by suicide. He had feelings of guilt for not driving his sister home the night she was abducted, and felt he failed her by not solving her murder.

Christopher Ducharme, founder of the B.C. Victims of Homicide, presented Greer with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, on behalf of the Canadian Parents group.

She was nominated for the award by a retired police officer who worked on Kathryn-Mary’s case. He became familiar with her cause – justice for her daughter, and creating a safe and supportive environment for anyone who is bereaved by the loss of a loved one.

His nomination says she displayed limitless courage in challenging the police to pursue the 1975 murder investigation and hold them accountable.

Greer has tried to keep the investigation ongoing.

It is considered a cold case, with police needing new evidence to move it forward. Early this year, Greer was at a press conference to announce a $10,000 reward for new evidence leading to a suspect. For the bereaved mother, the case is still in the forefront of her thoughts, and she is frustrated with investigators.

“One inspector said, ‘This case will never be solved.’ If that’s their attitude, are they working on it?”

She has also hosted grief support retreats for the last decade at her home in Chilliwack.

Ducharme said these retreats show Greer’s understanding of the unique suffering of people who lose a loved one to homicide.

“When people speak out about their story, sharing and talking, that is the most healing process.”

Greer helps people share their suffering.

“I am available to anyone,” she said. “I try. I don’t have all the answers.”

Greer explained that her summer grief retreats see people camp on her property beside the Chilliwack River, or stay in a hotel. Last year she had 15 visitors, but in the past there have been over 100.

“Everyone knows they can come and talk about their loss and longing and aching, and not worry about someone turning away or trying to shut them down.”

She said many people will tell bereaved friends and family members to put their loss in their past, and get on with life.

She said the family of homicide victims can find that impossible.

“There’s no such thing as closure – closure does not exist. But over the years, you develop coping skills,” she said. “You never let go of it.”

There are also good times over the weekend retreats, Greer noted.

Ducharme said the award was to “commend her for her support for other families that are bereaved.”

He found Greer very emotional in receiving the Queen’s award.

“She was very appreciative and humbled.”


Cold Case Timeline

  • On Sept. 24, 1975, Kathryn-Mary went to the home of her friend, Corrie Premack, at 2089 Peardonville Rd., and stayed for a spaghetti dinner.The victim
  • Corrie and her sister Connie walked Kathryn-Mary home, accompanied by Bradley McCullough. At the junction of Townline and Peardonville, the sisters turned back. Bradley doubled Kathryn-Mary on his bike to the corner of Townline and Marshall, and then left her to walk approximately 300 metres to her house at 31215 King Rd.
  • A couple driving past saw the pair talking, and as they continued they saw a parked older-model white vehicle with a lone male occupant. They took notice of the car, because there had been gas thefts in the neighbourhood. It was parked on the route between Kathryn-Mary’s last known location and her home.
  • Kathryn-Mary never made it home, and at 10:52 p.m. her mother reported her missing to police.
  • Two months later her body was discovered under a pile of old plywood and boards on Matsqui First Nations land.
  • An autopsy revealed she had been killed by a skull fracture, and she also had a broken jaw.
  • The case was linked to similar cases – the 1976 murder of 15-year-old Theresa Hildebrandt of Abbotsford, and the 1978 death of Monica Jack in Merritt.
  • Police had a person of interest in the case – a convicted sex offender who did jail time both before and after the murder of Kathryn-Mary. He dated a girl who had been living with the Herberts, had visited the house, and knew Kathryn-Mary. He was circumstantially linked to the murders of Hildebrant and Jack.
  • In August 1996, at the urging of Kathryn-Mary’s mother, the body was exhumed for a more detailed autopsy, using more modern forensic methods.
  • In the early 1990s, files for the case went missing, including two letters that were sent to Kathryn-Mary in the early 1980s, after her death, and which had been submitted for handwriting analysis.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-543-4822 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.



Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO:
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read