Episode 236: In our last episode, we heard about the murder of 61-year-old retiree, and beloved mother, grandmother and recent great-grandmother, Diana Russell. On February 22, 2002, after her car was found abandoned, in out-of-the way Boston Bar, her family became concerned. Diana was not answering her phone and no one knew where she was.
She was later found by police in the basement of Kelowna ,B.C. townhome. Diana had been beaten, hogtied, raped and then strangled. The number one suspect was no stranger to the family. He was Ronald Leal Fowler, an ex-boyfriend of Diana’s eldest daughter, Michele, and father to that daughter’s two-year-old son, Brandon.
After killing Diana, Fowler had fled in her car, but after it became hopelessly stuck after a freak winter mud and snow slide he’d hitchhiked to Vancouver. Fowler was arrested there after the truck driver who’d dropped him off in the Lower Mainland called police about the sketchy guy who’d ridden with him.
Fowler, who’d illegally walked away from half-way house in which he’d been living, claimed amnesia due to drug and alcohol binge at the time. He denied responsibility for Diana’s murder and maintains that position to this day.
Diana’s remaining family was left to pick of the pieces of their broken lives. This crime is still a painful wound for them, ripped open by Fowler’s every appeal and applications for parole. In the second part of this episode we hear from Collin Lucksinger, Diana Russell’s grandson, as he shares with us his feelings about the his grandmother and the crime.
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