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June 15, 2020

The Murder Of Jennifer Quesnel

By Maryanna Gabriel
     

     The murder of Jennifer Quesnel, aged 41, on June 1, 2020, rocked the community of Salt Spring Island. Her estranged husband lay in ambush, shot her twice, then killed himself. She was still alive when the RCMP came. Then she died. They used to live at the end of the road where I live. This is a quiet island. The news was a shock.

    I met her once. She came to buy a bed from me. She seemed very sweet. Everyone who knows her says nothing but kind things. My neighbour described her as being "like a madonna, an angel", a delicate beauty, who went to the same high school as our daughters. We talked about how she showed horses and dogs. What, my neighbour wondered, was she doing with  him? "Maybe she was like a horse whisperer with her husband," I said. One can only imagine what she went through. 

 
"Crying" by my 4 year old grandson. 
     He scared me. He smashed his truck through things left at the bottom of a neighbour's drive. He then phoned them and told them it was him. He tried to run another neighbour off the road when she disagreed with him at a public meeting. Once, I was standing at our group mail box with a Valentine's card from my eldest daughter. It fluttered to the ground when I saw him coming. I began to back up. Smiling, he picked the card up and handed it to me. "Thank you," I said faintly trying not to show the whites of my eyes. 

     Mostly I think of her family with the deepest of sympathy and their three boys, how some people leave a legacy of bullying, violence and chaos. This picture, a gift from my grandson, is so expressively beautiful. It goes with the story of Jennifer Quesnel, and the rain that is pouring out of the sky this morning.