|There may be an astronomically small chance that "Amanda" in the Journal story below isn't Erwin
Miller's [not his real name] ex-wife, but,
as Celeste McGovern said in her report on Erwin Miller's trial in the July 3, 1995 issue
of the Alberta Report, "... although all three parties swore they were trying to
avoid each other, their encounters seemed to defy mathematical chance."
Just the same with the article shown below. There are so many
similarities between the largely uncorroborated allegations Erwin Miller's
ex-wife told and that the judge accepted at face value in Erwin Miller's
show trial, notwithstanding that "Amanda talks about her "daughter" and not
the two sons Mr. Miller fathered with his wife, the similarities seem to
defy mathematical probability.
It doesn't matter whether the truth is told or not in this one-sided
representation of a fancy mixture of fact and fiction, as long as the aim of slandering
men and the exposure of the "patriarchal conspiracy" in law enforcement is
properly exposed... anything goes!
However, if we need a trial by media even two years after the actual
trial took place, wouldn't it be prudent journalism to give both sides their say?
Alas, when it comes to slandering men, all men, in the name of "her," that is
not ever the case.
Other than that, the Edmonton Journal story is an excellent piece of
Edmonton Journal, August 24, 1997, page H1
Living with a SHADOW
Wherever she went Amanda knew her husband would be there, watching and waiting
Story by Dave Finlayson
Journal Life Writer
For almost three years Amanda lived with a shadow. A horrifying shadow that
was never out of her life no matter what she did or where she went.
It was even in her house when she wasnt there.
She was sure the shadow would one day take her life, just as Carol Meredith lost hers
in Cold Lake recently, allegedly killed by her ex-husband. And as Karen Tremoyne almost
lost hers in Edmonton this week after allegedly being set on fire by her estranged
My ex-husband stalked me for two and a half years before the new stalking law
came in. It was two and a half years of pure hell. I didnt think I was going to make
it, says Amanda (not her real name).
When she went to a restaurant, he would be there peering in the window.
She would take her seat in the theatre to find he was in the same row or right behind
He would drive at her with his car and brake or swerve at the last moment.
He would regularly break into her house, not stealing anything but making sure she knew
he had been there. Changing the locks didnt help. He once left all the
doors and windows open in the middle of winter. Other times he would break windows.
She would get up in the morning to find her car tires slashed.
He would question their daughter, her friends and service people such as hairdressers
to find out about her life. She eventually stopped telling her daughter where she
was going when she went out.
He even moved into the same apartment building as one of her friends so he could keep
tabs on her. I didnt feel safe anywhere. I didnt trust anybody so
I stopped going out, except to work.
But still there were the phone calls at work and at home, often as many as 10 in
a 15-minute period.
It was unbelievable. I wouldnt wish it on anybody.
So why didnt she go to the police?
Well, she did. Many times.
Every time she was told she was wasting their time, that these things happen and there
wasnt anything they could do, she says.
She got a total of 14 restraining orders against her ex at about $1,500 each, which
left her broke.
In fact Amanda says her experience with the police and the Court system was almost as
bad as the stalking itself.
The police never took me seriously and the judges just rapped him on the knuckles and
told him not to do it again. Their attitude was unbelievable. Going to court
is anybodys worst nightmare. The system victimizes people who are already
There was no physical abuse in the marriage, the main criterion in charges being laid,
but Amanda initiated the split out of fear there would be violence.
Her husband, always a control freak, started getting paranoid, she says. He
didnt want her doing anything that didnt involve him, would constantly
ask her where she was going when she went out and would listen in on any phone calls she
got at home. Every cent she earned at her job had to be accounted for.
When the split came he wouldnt leave the house. He put a gun to his head
and threatened suicide, prompting the police SWAT team to be called in.
Amanda didnt know it at the time, but it was a precursor to three years of
absolute hell which only changed when the so-called stalking law was introduced.
Her ex was charged -- one of the first under the new law -- and spent 13 months in
jail. He was released last winter, lives in B.C. and is not allowed to return to Alberta.
Amanda realizes that may not stop him, but so far her life is finally her own and
shes slowly getting back on track. Her work is going well and shes
venturing out more, but there are serious scars that likely will never heal. She
wont go by herself at night and still doesnt trust people after some of those
she thought were her friends betrayed her in her darkest times.
Im definitely more cautious about everything.
Her daughter, now an adult. is still grappling with what happened.
She feels pulled apart. She keeps in touch with her dad, but I dont
want to know anything about him.
One of the pluses, perhaps the only one, of the whole nightmare was that Amanda found
out who her true friends were, and says she couldnt have made it without them.
I was lucky to have friends who supported me and kept telling me it would be
And I had an incredible lawyer who went the extra mile. One time I
couldnt afford the cost of the restraining order and she said it was her gift to
Amanda is pleased there is now a group -- Protection and Restraining Order Project
(PROP) -- that provides financial support for women seeking restraining orders.
But its only the tip of the iceberg. Restraining orders should be longer
than the current three months, she says, and governments should invest more money in
programs to combat family violence.
There should also be better training programs for judges, lawyers and police who have
to deal with it.
Nobody should have to go through what I went through.
It's a touching story, but it bears little relationship to the facts discovered
during the trial of Erwin Miller.
Erwin Miller's ex-wife, a.k.a. Dr. Orr, is a psychotherapist who had obtained
her Ph. D. in Psychology through funding provided by her husband, a successful jewellery
manufacturer, and set up her practice -- again paid for by her husband -- 78 yards away
from her husband's shop in St. Albert, North of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
A Ms. Sherry Ferland, was referred to her as a patient by the
Workers Compensation Board. During the increasingly intensive "treatment"
of the "stress" of Ms. Ferland, Dr. Orr managed to accomplish a number of
things. She bestowed 100 different personalities on poor Ms. Ferland and fell in
love with her patient to boot. That was while she was still married to Mr.
Miller. And she managed to get paid well for all of her efforts -- paid by the
Workers Compensation Board for the "treatment" of Ms. Ferland and paid by her
ex-husband. She kept her office, the matrimonial home, the car and the kids (two
She got her husband evicted from the matrimonial home within less
than a week of announcing her intention of divorcing him and slapped a restraining order
on him that prevented him from coming within 100 yards of their home and her office
(remember, he paid for that office, and his own business was within 78 yards of that
office), upon which she called the police every time he went into his business or whenever
he dropped his sons off at their matrimonial home. Ms. Ferland now lives in the
matrimonial home that Mr. Miller had acquired by spending his hard-earned money.
All of this without there ever having been the slightest indication of any violence on his
part in their marriage, as she herself testified at the trial.
No doubt Mr. Miller didn't take kindly to all of this and a game of
mutual stalking evolved, for the participation in which only Mr. Miller was
charged. He now faces deportation, after having been sentenced to a five-year term
of which he served the mandatory one-third. In addition, the terms of the current
restraining order against him prevent him from ever setting foot into Alberta.
However, in spite of having destroyed her husband's livelihood and having deprived him of
his freedom and a large part of his possessions, Dr. Orr, Erwin Miller's ex-wife,
still complains. Although Justice Alec Murray extended her all the help he could
give (see Celeste McGovern's report), she still claims that the justice system treated her
horribly (I wonder how Justice Alec Murray feels about her now?). Even though the
police arrested her husband on numerous occasions and even though her husband was
incarcerated for four-and-a-half months following his last arrest prior to his trial, she
feels that the police didn't protect her sufficiently. What were the police (the RCMP
always get their man) supposed to do, torture him to death?
Could it be that she reserved some of her effective therapy for
herself and applied it to affect her own rationality to some extent?
Miller's Trial Deportation
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