Feb. 23, 2009

A judge has ordered the release of a shocking drawing by a 12-year-old Medicine Hat girl exclusively to Runaway Devil book authors Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose.

The 12-panel stick drawing cartoon was a key piece of evidence in the girl’s murder trial. Police searching for the missing daughter of a slain family on April 23, 2006 found the drawing in her school locker, immediately elevating her from presumed kidnapping victim to suspect.

 Justice Scott Brooker of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench ruled the authors could reprint the drawing, which has never been made public. His ruling applies only to reproduction of the drawing in the forthcoming book, Runaway Devil.

Despite protest from the girl’s defence lawyers and Alberta Children’s Services, the judge agreed with media lawyer
Scott Watson, acting on behalf of the authors, and ruled in their favour. He noted that the drawing does not identify the girl, whose name is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. There is no evidence that if the drawing was released for the book it would affect her rehabilitation, the judge said in a Calgary court.

The graphic 12-panel stick-man drawing portrays a family of four stick people, with one member angry and the other members of the family being set on fire and burning alive. 

It is just one of many exclusive elements to the book, which is more than just a retelling of a sensational case that received intense international media coverage. 

In addition to the stick drawing that JR drew of her family being burned alive, seen here for the first time, Runaway Devil contains her jailhouse interview with police as well as Jeremy Steinke's interrogation in the days following the murders. Neither were admitted as evidence at their trials and were not widely reported in the media. Runaway Devil also includes never-told background on the parents who desperately tried to prevent her relationship with Jeremy, exclusive commentary from Jeremy's mother, and revelations from jurors who made comments on a social networking website, now removed, about how they were affected by the case.