Murdered BC woman’s final words, ‘I love you, Mom’

It took 10 years, but Lisa Dudley’s mother finally found out what her daughter said before she passed

In the wake of the coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of Mission’s Lisa Dudley 10 years ago, her mother and stepfather, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, say they finally at least have some answers.

They also heard a heart-wrenching message.

The Surakkas had been asking for the inquest for years, and after a long wait, sat through the four-day process, listening intently to all the testimony.

“Peter Smith, the paramedic, he relayed to Rosemarie Lisa’s last words to her mother: ‘I love you, Mom.’ Now that is just, I was furious, because that shouldn’t have been held back,” Mark Surakka said.

He said withholding Lisa’s final message to her mother for the past decade was “cruel” but he doesn’t blame the paramedic, explaining that he understands that the people involved were “told not to say anything” about the incident.

“Think about that. How could that possibly affect any sort of criminal investigation?” he asked.

Surakka said discovering what Dudley’s final words were is the “most important point, the most poignant point” to come out of the inquest.

Dudley, 37, and Guthrie McKay, 33 were shot Sept. 18, 2008 in a home on Greenwood Drive in rural Mission. A neighbour found them four days later.

McKay was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering from three gunshots, while Dudley, who had been shot once in the head and once in the neck, was still alive. She was airlifted to hospital but died en route.

A man had reported hearing six gunshots and a crashing noise the night of the shooting. RCMP Const. Mike White reported to the Greenwood home, but left the scene after being there for about 10 minutes.

According to the inquest, he never left his vehicle and did not follow up the next day.

He was reprimanded and docked one day’s pay in 2011 for failing to properly investigate a shots-fired call.

Over the past 10 years, four men – Thomas Holden, Jack Woodruff, Justin MacKinnon and Bruce Main – have all been sentenced to prison for playing a role in the deaths.

The goal of a coroner’s inquest is not to lay blame, but to determine the events that led to a person’s death and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

At the conclusion of last week’s inquest, Dudley’s death was officially ruled a homicide and nine recommendations were released.

One of the recommendations calls for the possible implementation of a first responder investigation policy for complaints of potential grievous bodily harm.

Surakka said what stands out is that this is for all police agencies in the province, not just the RCMP.

“The RCMP have already implemented national policy because of Lisa’s case … They don’t sign off on their own reports, and they answer and talk to the complainant and thoroughly contact and talk to everyone.”

But he wants to know if regional police forces will also adapt their policies.

Another recommendation was addressed to BC Emergency Health Services and suggested exploring options for a designated air ambulance that is better equipped to allow patient care during transport.

Surakka believes that to be an important change, and does not see it as a criticism in any way, saying it’s “really awkward” inside the air ambulance.

He said at the inquest he heard that paramedics could not have been compressing Dudley while taking off, even though she had already gone through several sessions of cardiac arrest.

“They exhausted themselves and did everything they could. We have nothing but praise and respect for them and their efforts,” Surakka said.

The BC RCMP have already said that they will review the recommendations made at the inquest.

While the inquest is over, the Surakkas say they are now moving to the next aspect of the case.

“This is a prelude to the next stage – a charter challenge. We are hoping to get to trial in January 2019,” Surakka said.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees life, liberty, and security of person, and Surakka said he feels it’s apparent that Dudley was deprived of those rights.

Nine recommendations

The following is the complete list of recommendations made after the coroner’s inquest into the death of Lisa Dudley.

To RCMP Dispatch Services:

1. Review procedures and training, to ensure all dispatch employees properly and thoroughly document all details reported by a complainant.

2. Review with dispatch employees that all calls are recorded, are sensitive in nature, and could be made public through requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other processes.

To The District of Mission:

3. Review bylaws regarding the visibility of residential addresses from the street.

To The Royal Canadian Mounted Police:

4. If not already in place, explore the implementation of a policy specific to following up with a complainant regarding matters of potential grievous bodily harm (e.g. shooting, stabbing, etc.). If a policy such as this is already in place, explore increased training relating to awareness of this policy.

5. Explore implementation of mandatory routine review and training on the First Response Investigations Policy within all levels of the RCMP.

6. Explore increased exterior lighting for all unmarked police cars operating in rural areas.

To BC Emergency Health Services:

7. Explore options for a designated air ambulance that is better equipped to allow patient care during transport.

To The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General:

8. Review implementation of a First Responder Investigation Policy (including mandatory follow-up with a complainant) for complaints of potential grievous bodily harm (e.g. shooting, stabbing, etc.) for all police agencies in the province of BC.

9. Explore implementation of mandatory training regarding response to complaints of potential grievous bodily harm (e.g. shooting, stabbing, etc.).

Just Posted

Kazakstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of four the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Charges pending for driver who sped away from police in Langley, crashed

A simple traffic stop escalated into a pileup on 56th Avenue.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

VIDEO: Sto:lo artist and UFV instructors create award-winning gingerbread house

Chilliwack team wins Vancouver competition with Coast Salish design, solid recipe and laser cuts

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Swap food for fines at Fraser Valley Regional Library

From Dec. 14 through Jan. 22, library patrons can “pay” their fines while helping local food banks

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Surrey mayor says city won’t repay $56M spent on LRT, but might pony up $40M in land transfers

There will be no tax increase for Surrey residents resulting from this, McCallum confirms

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Most Read