STALKER MIGHT BE BANDARQQ HUSBAND, LETHBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL ALDERWOMAN TOLD POLICE
Lethbridge, Alta. — As police hunted for the man allegedly stalking Dar Heatherington, the city alderwoman told them she thought her husband Dave might be the mystery man and so she destroyed key evidence to protect him.
That evidence included letters, sexy lingerie and a computer disk with Ms. Heatherington’s face pasted on photos of a woman performing various sex acts.
“I destroyed evidence because I thought it would say that [the stalker] was David. But I know it’s not. I know it’s not,” a tearful Ms. Heatherington told police in a videotaped interview with police Sgt. Maynard Fast played Wednesday at her public mischief trial.
Ms. Heatherington told police she first suspected Dave Heatherington because it appeared the disk had been made on her personal laptop for Bandarqq. But then she told police, “I don’t understand how I could love David so much and think he did it to me.”
She also told Sgt. Fast she was aware there was mounting evidence she had in fact made up the stalker. “Everything points to me,” she said on the video.
“I’d say [that] to 99 per cent of the population, perception is reality … Until I can disprove this, it’s going to be me, isn’t it?
“Each day is a lie that adds up to another one by having to withhold more. I lied to Dave. I withheld evidence. I destroyed evidence, ” Ms. Heatherington said.
“I feel like I’ve nailed another nail in my coffin.”
The interview came just days before Ms. Heatherington went to Great Falls, Mont., on council business, only to vanish. Her disappearance made international headlines when she reappeared three days later in Las Vegas, dazed and confused and saying she had been abducted and sexually assaulted. It was a story she later recanted.
Ms. Heatherington is on trial accused of fabricating the stalker. The case began in October 2002, when she told police she was receiving friendly anonymous phone calls at her office. The stalking escalated, she said, to seven obscene notes dropped off at her home.
Police became suspicious when Ms. Heatherington was caught lying about where she had found one of the letters and when they found her at the public library taking notes from books on stalking.
A passage from one of the books showed up verbatim in one of the stalker letters. Suspicions were heightened when Dave Heatherington reported he thought his wife was hiding something from him because their sex life had improved and she was buying racy thongs, panties and bras.
Dave Heatherington also turned over to police his wife’s computer disk and electronic organizer, which had stalker letters in them, one of which had Dar Heatherington’s trademark misspellings.
In the police interview, Dar Heatherington said she had received an additional eight stalking letters but didn’t tell police or her husband.
She did, however, confide in her self-defence instructor, Kevin Sonnenberg, who told court Wednesday he urged her to take the letters to police.
“We’d have a typical lesson and then she’d show me the letters and we’d discuss it.”
Mr. Sonnenberg said that in the final letter the stalker talked of whisking Ms. Heatherington away to a different country.
“Once we get away you will soon come to enjoy your new life of leisure — even though it will be somewhat constrained and in exile,” read the letter.
“She said it felt like [the stalking] was escalating and something was going to happen,” testified Mr. Sonnenberg.
Days later, Ms. Heatherington went to Great Falls and disappeared.
After she recanted her story, she was charged in the United States with lying to police. She struck a plea deal there and will avoid a criminal record if she keeps the peace and seeks counselling.
If convicted on the Lethbridge charge, she faces a maximum five years in prison and will be expelled from council.