Donna’s Mission

Robert Dean, Producer "The Wire"

Don’t be fooled by Donna Wigmore’s petite stature or easy smile. I quickly saw that she is a determined and dedicated woman as any, who never gave up seeking justice for her murdered sister Lynne Knight. In my six years working at Dateline and doing stories with victim’s families I’ve never met anyone quite like her. Inspiring, relentless and dogged are just a few words to describe her efforts over the last three decades.

She wrote letters, called detectives, prodded police departments to keep Lynne’s investigation alive. Finally in the summer of 2014 she got the justice she was seeking when Douglas Bradford was convicted of first degree murder. It was an emotional scene in the courtroom as Donna braced herself for a possible acquittal and then personally thanked all the jurors as they filed out after convicting Bradford.

But Donna’s mission is not over. She is hoping that Lynne's death can bring something positive for other victim’s families. That’s why she is now a big supporter of Parents of Murdered Children both in Canada and the U.S. which helps families cope with tragedies like the Knight family endured. Lynne’s parents were especially devastated by their daughter’s death and unfortunately her mother died before Bradford’s arrest. Here’s how Donna put it so eloquently “losing a child is like a death of no other. I have seen so much heartache that I want this marginalized and most vulnerable group to get the help they need when they face the worst of evil.”

Having closure is a cliché to Donna and she doesn’t believe anyone in her family will ever experience closure when it comes to Lynne’s horrific murder. The pain and sorrow from 35 years ago still linger. But now with Douglas Bradford behind bars for probably the rest of his life, the burden has eased. Justice came late. But it came. Finally.