Living alone can be extremely liberating and relaxing. You get to have your own personal space and live as you want without question, and this can be especially freeing for senior citizens. Being able to keep your independence long into your later years can be a complete blessing, but one grandmother experienced a horrific nightmare in the comfort of her own home.
A grandmother named Dorothy Darnel from New Westminster, British Columbia was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted in her home on October 4, 1996, and it took over 20 years for her abuser to be brought to justice. You won’t believe the outcome in slide #3!
7. Living Alone Can Make You Especially Susceptible To Danger
Senior citizens can enjoy the independence of living on their own, but they may become targets of unexpected crime. Dorothy Darnel of British Columbia, Canada enjoyed being an extremely independent senior citizen, but this became an awful nightmare when she became the victim of a vicious assault in 1996 that would change the course of her life.
6. Dorothy Wasn’t Going To Go Down Without A Fight
On October 4, 1996, a man broke into then 79-year-old Dorothy Darnel’s home in the middle of the night. He viciously attacked her while she slept, and he even went as far as to sexually assault the elderly woman. It was so severe that she had a shattered cheekbone and lost sight in one of her eyes. You won’t believe how she reacts to her attack in slide #4!
5. The Hunt Was On To Find Dorothy’s Vicious Attacker
Dorothy’s case affected the surrounding community immensely. There were eight full-time officers assigned to the case and a $12,000 reward for any information regarding the attack or the man that committed the crime. Despite all of this the case went cold, but Dorothy carried on with her life and began to make an impact!
4. She Became An Advocate For Senior Safety
Dorothy Darnel used her attack as a platform to speak out to other seniors in the community that needed to protect themselves from similar break-ins and unnecessary violence. She insisted that seniors should never let other people into their homes and install peepholes for extra safety.
Almost 20 years later there was a miraculous break in her case.
3. The DNA Found A Match In 2016 — 20 Years After The Fact
Forty-eight-year-old James Gray of Vancouver was charged with the crime committed on Dorothy Darnel on the night of October 4, 1996. They matched his DNA from a recent break-in he had committed. Dorothy Darnel finally had the answer she was searching for, but the next slide reveals it was a little too late.
2. Dorothy Darnel Didn’t Live Long Enough To See Her Attacker Brought To Justice
Dorothy died at the age of 99 in 2015 in her sleep, just one year prior to her attacker being persecuted. Her family and friends are grateful for the persistence of the New Westminster investigators and police officers that never gave up on the case, and those involved were especially proud to bring the Darnel family some peace.
1. One Of The Original Officers Was Ecstatic To Finally Close The Case
New Westminster police Chief Const. Dave Jones was one of the original officers assigned to the case, and he made it his mission to bring Dorothy Darnel’s case to a justified close. “It means a great deal to me to see this 20-year-old case has come to a close,” he stated, and Dorothy can finally rest easy.
Dorothy Darnel was a loving grandmother that was viciously attacked in her own home, but she never let her traumatizing experience stop her from living. She turned her attack into something positive by educating her fellow seniors on home evasion safety, and she kept her momentum going until the very end.
This elderly woman did not let her attack define her. Justice was definitely served, and Dorothy Darnel will live on as an inspiration to those who never want to give up, regardless of their circumstances! Share this story with your friends and family who could use a bit of hope and inspiration in their lives!