Edmonton Sun

Friday, April 28, 2000

B.C. women are way, way out there

Edmonton Sun

It's enough to send the Beach Boys back to the recording studio to add a verse to their classic California Girls.

I don't know what it is about B.C. girls, but clearly there's something at work west of the Rockies which unlocks the female libido.

First there was Gillian Guess and her affair with Peter Gill in 1995, while she sat as a juror at his murder trial. Guess was convicted of obstruction of justice because of the affair and sentenced to 18 months in jail. (She's been free on bail pending a June 13 appeal.)

I'm sure we all know more about this airhead than we would wish (I know I do), but unfortunately she appears to represent something of a West Coast trend.

For example, we have Kathy Macdonald, another B.C. juror with more than the law on her mind. She visited Shannon Murrin at his family home in St. John's, Nfld., days after the jury she served on acquitted Murrin of killing eight-year-old Mindy Tran.

Now there's a turn-on.

Macdonald said she planned to write a book about Murrin and his trial and was visiting him for background information. They both insisted the relationship was platonic and any suggestion of romance was an invention of the press (yeah, sure), but Macdonald later admitted she's been living with Murrin since his acquittal, first in Newfoundland and now in her Vancouver apartment.

Once you've absorbed this much, it's no surprise to learn that Macdonald turned to Guess for advice. "Gillian had been supportive in the stories that I read and so I thought I'd call her," Macdonald explained. "I thought she could tell me or prepare me for what would happen next."

Like thrilling notoriety and the possibility of criminal charges?

This makes some sense. A rational person might first have consulted a lawyer, a priest or even mom, but if you're a juror looking for hands-on experience at getting it on with the accused in a murder trial - Guess would pretty much be it.

Now, if you're assuming it takes a courtroom and a capital charge to get a B.C. girl thinking about horizontal manoeuvres - wrongo!

Heather Ingram, a 30-year-old teacher in Sechelt, pleaded guilty to having sex with a 17-year-old male student. The relationship came to light after she told a colleague she was afraid her teenage beau might be upset to discover she'd also been bonking his pal.

She need not have worried. The pair are now living together and his mother wrote to the judge to provide a character reference and plead for lenience.

I'm not making this up! As a perplexed B.C. school official noted: Public morals may have strayed farther than anyone had imagined. Yeah, but he's an old guy, so what the heck does he know?

Probably not as much as another female B.C. teacher who is being investigated over allegations she may have been sexually involved with as many as 15 of her male students. She has now left the province and is living in Alberta with one of her former students.

Only one? How boring.

Then there's Valerie Hetu of Kamloops, who didn't realize she was lesbian until pretty 16-year-old Candice Prince came to live with her as a foster child. Now "they are a couple, and proud of it," according to her lawyer, Alex Watt. Hetu's husband is out, and the new couple plan to raise Hetu's eight-year-old son.

I can't help but wonder what their response will be if (when?) he's seduced by his English teacher?

Hetu, 34, has been convicted of sexual exploitation and is awaiting sentencing, but no one is suggesting jail time in this victimless crime. Just as no one is suggesting Ingram's students suffered as a result of her extracurricular activities.

Courtroom, classroom, it doesn't matter. We're talking about romance, love, sex, good vibrations ...

Unless, of course, we're talking about men. In that case, jail the bastards and throw away the key.

Letters to the editor should be sent to sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca.

Copyright 2000, Canoe Limited Partnership.