Transcript: 96. The Devious Dr Schneeberger | Canada

You are listening to: The Evidence Locker.

Our cases have been researched using open source and archive materials. It deals with true crimes and real people. Some parts are graphic in nature and listener discretion is advised. Each episode is produced with the utmost respect to the victims, their families and loved ones.

Kipling, Saskatchewan is a small farming community in rural Canada. Named after author Rudyard Kipling, it has grown from a small hamlet in the early 20th century into a town of about a thousand residents.

Besides a school and a library, the town with its single-storey buildings and wide streets has a selection of farming shops, a café, a handful of restaurants, a co-op and that’s about it. The town prides itself on being the centre of health care and education in the region.

Everyone in Kipling knows each other, and on holidays, the whole town is involved. On Halloween, youngsters dress up, and there is a festive vibe as kids brave the cold to go out trick-or-treating.

Ghost hunters get excited about the old Hungarian Bekevar Church, which has been fully restored in recent years. It is said to be haunted. The church bells ring by itself, and there is an eerie feeling about the place. There is also the story of a hitchhiking woman, dressed in white. When someone stops she disappears, leaving only her white gloves behind…

The 31st of October 1992 did not include any celebration for 23-year-old local resident Candice Fonagy [Fonna-ghee]. She was working her usual shift at a local gas station and had brewing suspicions her boyfriend was cheating on her. What Candy didn’t know, was that this particular Halloween night would haunt her for years to come.

>>Intro Music

John Schneeberger was born in Zambia in 1961, back when it was still called Northern Rhodesia. He was from an academic family, who valued education and attended the prestigious private school, Kearsney College in South Africa.

He excelled at school and was well-liked by everyone who knew him. It was no surprise when, just like his brother, he got into medical school. From Kearsney in Natal, he went to the University of Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, from where graduated in December 1984. He was a diligent student and received recognition for being the best in his class in anaesthesiology.

John Schneeberger moved to Canada in 1987 and settled in the town of Kipling in the south of Saskatchewan. After completing certification requirements to practice medicine in Canada, he joined the practice at Kipling Medical Centre in December 1988.

The handsome young doctor with a foreign accent soon became the talk of the town. He was one of only two physicians in the whole of Kipling, and it didn’t take long before most people knew him by his first name. Everyone referred to him as ‘Doctor John’. He was well-loved in the small community and quickly made a mark for himself as a kind and caring doctor. A friend said that Schneeberger’s charm and sophistication made him popular with everyone, especially with women. The friend said:

“His female patients harassed him to the extent that they pretended to be sick just to see him.”

He was one of the most eligible bachelors in town. At the medical practice, he met divorced, single mother-of-two, Lisa Dillman. Four years later, in 1991, they were married. John took Lisa’s son and daughter in as his own children and was often seen on the sidelines of sporting matches. The couple also had two daughters together, only a year apart.

Doctor John excelled in family medicine, but he soon saw the need for more specialised care in the community of Kipling. Despite his full-time job and being a father of four, he specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology – completing his academic training in 1992.

The 38-year-old, tall dark and handsome doctor also headed a committee to raise funds so the town could build a communal swimming pool. He also started a sex education module at the local high school. It seemed like life could not get better for Dr John. But things were about to change…

On the 31st of October 1992, 23-year-old Candice Fonagy was working her usual shift at a local gas station. Her boyfriend Danny came around, and they had a massive argument because Danny had asked another girl out to dinner. Candice lost it. He had lied to her so many times, but this time he had gone too far. In a fit of rage, she kicked his truck, leaving a dent in the driver’s door. Danny left and Candice seethed with anger. She was so upset, she decided to leave work and go to a girlfriend’s work to blow off steam. The friend worked at the Kipling Memorial Union Hospital. However, when Candice arrived, her friend wasn’t there. Candice was still heaving and fuming and struggled to calm down; she realised she needed help. So when a nurse suggested she see a doctor, she agreed.

Fortunately for Candice, Dr John was on call that night. She knew him well as he had delivered her baby just nine months before. Candice told the doctor about her fight with Danny and admitted that she was concerned about her violent outburst. She said she felt so angry she could kill Danny. Of course, she never intended to murder her boyfriend; it was just a manner of speaking. Dr John had witnessed a prior argument between Candice and Danny – at a fundraiser for the local swimming pool. He knew that she was quite feisty, and on this night, she had reached a point to where she could not calm herself down. The best course of action would be to give her some medication.

He left the consulting room and came back moments later with a syringe. Candice was surprised, as she thought he was going to give her some pills or tablets. But the doctor explained that an injection would be more effective. Candice trusted that the doctor knew best and offered up her right arm so he could give her the injection. Her body felt numb – almost immediately. She could barely move. Doctor John helped her from the chair onto the examination bed and turned her onto her left side, facing the wall. Candice later recalled this moment:

“My eyes were wide open. They were like, stuck wide open. I couldn’t even shut them. It was like I was paralysed.”

The drug he gave her was a sedative called Versed [Verse-Ed]. Versed is known for its amnesic effect and is used for patients who undergo painful procedures like colonoscopy. It usually renders patients unconscious, leaving them with no memory of the procedure. But, of course, all patients react differently.

In a daze of confusion, she felt the doctor unfasten her jeans and pull her panties to the side. But she could not react. Then, the man she trusted proceeded to rape her. Candice wanted to scream, but the only sound that came out was a soft, croaking noise. She never saw the doctor’s face during the violent assault, but he was the only other person in the room. When it was all done, the good doctor pulled up her panties and pants. He zipped up his own pants and left the room.

Candice was confused, but because of the strong sedative she had been given, she couldn’t do anything. A nurse checked in on her and saw that Candice was too tired and dizzy to drive home, so she suggested that Candice stay the night. Candice did not mention the assault to the nurse, and reeling in a haze of confusion, she went to sleep.

When Candice woke up the next morning, her head was foggy, and she felt uncertain about her recollection of events for a minute. Dr John was such a nice guy, why would he do something like that to her? Candice’s doubt only lasted for a short while; she remembered the assault in every detail.

She had to wait for the doctor to do his morning rounds before she could go home. As soon as she saw him, she asked him about the sedative he had given her. He was counting on the probability that Versed would have caused Candice to have no memory of the assault, but this wasn’t the case. Still, he did not seem fazed. He simply smiled and asked her why she wanted to know. Did it give her ‘wild dreams’? At that moment, Candice knew he would never admit to raping her. But she had no idea how difficult it would be to prove it.

Despite being traumatised and still recovering from the powerful sedative, Candice managed to keep her wits about her. She knew her immediate actions were vital if she was ever going to prove the doctor’s guilt. After arriving home, she took off her panties and found a semen stain. She found a plastic bag and sealed her underwear inside, knowing it would be her only evidence.

Candice knew she had to report it as soon as possible. But not locally in Kipling, as she knew the doctor had friends in the local police force. Instead, she decided to take the two-hour drive to the city of Regina [Re-gai-na], where she went to a rape clinic for testing. Tests confirmed that the matter on Candice’s underwear was definitively semen. They also found traces of semen on her jeans as well as from vaginal swabs.

The hospital contacted Regina police, and Candice made her statement. She confirmed that she had not had intercourse for weeks leading up to the incident. The semen found could only have been that of her attacker: Dr John Schneeberger.

DNA was new science in the early 1990s. The first criminal in Canada to be convicted by DNA evidence was a rapist in Ottawa. This case was in 1989, only three years before Candice’s case. Going to a rape clinic straight away and presenting the evidence was 100% the right thing to do to prove her case. DNA found in the semen could, therefore, be tested against the doctor’s DNA.

Kipling police were informed about Candice’s allegation and went to the hospital to investigate. They established that there was a 20-minute window of opportunity in which Dr John could have committed the assault. There was only one other man in the ward that night, a man whose wife was in labour, and he never left her side.

Police went to Dr John’s home to question him. He vehemently denied the accusations. He said that Candice was hysterical when she arrived that Halloween night and that he gave her a sedative to calm her down. He insisted that Candice was wrong, she might have dreamt about the assault in her sedated state. Perhaps she was after money and wanted to extort him. Either way, he supplied a blood sample for DNA testing, to clear his name.

DNA testing was a long process, and to Candice, it felt like a lifetime. Meanwhile, rumours about her accusation were making their way around the small town of Kipling. Nobody believed Candice. Victim shaming was taken to the next level as people talked about the single mother who liked to go out drinking and partying. The community ostracised her.

Dr John, on the other hand, had all the support in the world. He was a family man, and there had never been any allegations against him. When he told his wife, Lisa, about Candice’s accusation, she never doubted his innocence. There was no way her loving husband and father to her children could harm anyone. She felt that Candice had a crush on her husband and wanted to destroy his reputation because he wasn’t interested in her. She despised Candice for slinging mud at her husband, and by implication, her family.

The fact that she didn’t mention anything to the nurses on duty on the night of the sexual assault, made some people wonder if it ever really happened. One theory was that the doctor and Candice could perhaps have had consensual sex, and that Candice preserved the evidence so she could blackmail the doctor and that he would pay her to withdraw the case.

The results showed that the DNA found in the semen in Candice’s underwear did NOT match the blood given by Dr John Schneeberger. He was cleared of suspicion and felt vindicated. He told his friends and colleagues that he was relieved it was over, and he looked forward to carrying on with his life.

The whole town just shook their heads at Candice, firmly believing that she falsely accused their beloved doctor. She lost many friends, and her parents had a tough time too. They supported Candice and always believed her.

But Candice was not about to give up the fight. She knew something wasn’t right and insisted on a second test. She was one hundred percent sure that Dr John had raped her on Halloween. The fact that the DNA didn’t match, meant the blood tests were tampered with. She felt that Dr John, as a medical professional, was able to change his blood sample somehow.

Police had to admit that they did not witness the first blood test, as is required by law. They realised Candice would not back down and asked the doctor for a second sample. Dr John was furious, offended, and said that he would only comply because he realised that these accusations could ruin his reputation and his career. His wife, Lisa, was unwavering in her support of him throughout it all.

In August 1993, Dr John Schneeberger went to a laboratory to give a second blood sample. This time two law enforcement officers were present. The doctor rolled up the sleeve on his left arm, and the technician pricked the needle into the doctor’s skin to draw blood. He intervened and took the needle from the technician and finished the job. The RCMP officer stood closer to have a better look at what was happening. The vial filled with blood and the doctor did a second one for good measure too. When the officer asked the doctor about bruises on his upper arm, he said that the technician had tried to withdraw blood before and injured a tendon, causing the injury. It seemed like a plausible explanation, and the officer was pacified. Both officers took the blood vials and delivered it for testing.

Another six months passed. Candice was getting used to hateful stares from locals in the town of Kipling. But she knew that she was right and it would be a matter of time until the results of the test proved it. But that wasn’t the case. The results for the second test came back, and this time too, Dr John’s blood sample did not match the DNA profile of the semen found in Candice’s underwear.

The case against Dr John Schneeberger was closed in 1994.

Candice was devastated. Yet again, DNA evidence proved her wrong, even though she knew she was right. Everyone in Kipling gave her a hard time for falsely accusing their doctor and friend. Lisa Schneeberger was quite vocal about her thoughts that Candice was a gold digger who saw an opportunity. It was the word of a young, single mother against the word of a father-of-four, an educated physician who was revered in the community.

With so many people judging Candice because of accusing Dr John, she did not feel welcome in Kipling any longer. She took her daughter, left the town she was born and raised in and moved to Regina.

Back in Kipling, life went on as before. The Schneebergers put the story behind them. A week after the results of the second DNA test came back, Dr John became a Canadian citizen but retained residency rights in South Africa.

Candice tried to carry on with her life, but she was tormented by the fact that Dr John got away with sexual assault. She was afraid that he might hurt someone else. Desperate to get to the truth, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of her lawyer, hired a private investigator to help her.

Larry O’Brien retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after 25 years and became a private investigator. After his first meeting with Candice, he believed that she was telling the truth. He agreed that something about Dr John’s DNA-tests did not seem right, and knew they had to find another way to prove he was guilty. Another way of getting his DNA.

O’Brien’s first attempt was quite cunning. He sent an assistant to Dr John Schneeberger’s rooms under the rouse of working for a local radio station. The assistant convinced the doctor to enter a fake competition and place his entry in an envelope. Schneeberger licked the envelope, closed it and handed it back. However, this plan didn’t work. As O’Brien explained:

“Somehow or other the envelope became contaminated. It was an envelope randomly selected out of a brand new box. It should not have been contaminated.”

Kipling is a small town, and there weren’t many secrets. Everyone knew everyone’s business. The Schneebergers’ cleaning lady knew Candice’s parents, and she told Lisa that the Fonagy’s had hired a private investigator. Lisa thought that the untasteful saga was behind them and was furious to learn that Candice had not given up. Within a week Candice’s family received a letter, saying that they were no longer welcome at the Kipling Medical Centre. In a town with only two doctors, being denied access to the medical centre was a big deal. If they got sick, they had to seek medical help outside of Kipling.

On Saturday the 23rd of March 1996, Larry O’Brien followed Dr John in his car and waited until he parked. The doctor’s car had vanity plates with the first half of his last name ‘Schnee’ – which translates to Snow. There was no doubt that the car belonged to the man Candice believed had sexually assaulted her.

Once Schneeberg was out of sight, the PI tried the driver’s door – like most cars in the small town of Kipling, it was unlocked. He knew exactly what to look for. There were strands of hair on the headrest of the driver’s seat. He also checked the ashtray and found a stick of used Chapstick. It looked brand new, but when he opened it, he saw that the edge was smooth. It had been used at least once. He rubbed it on the window-section of an envelope and placed it into a sealed forensics bag.

Candice borrowed money from her parents and paid an independent lab to run DNA tests. The hair samples did not have any roots, so it could not be tested. Fortunately, there was residue saliva from the Chapstick. After two weeks, the results came in: it didn’t match the blood sample from Dr Schneeberger. However, it WAS a match to the semen from Candice’s rape kit.

What Candice knew all along was finally proven: Dr John Schneeberger was the one who had raped her. It took her four life-altering years to prove it, but the fight was far from over. Because it could not be conclusively proven that Schneeberger was the only person who had used the Chapstick AND because the private investigator had broken into his car to obtain evidence, the evidence would be inadmissible in court.

They presented police with the evidence, but there was not much they could do. At least the evidence proved to police that Candice was telling the truth. They knew for sure Dr John was guilty; they only had to find another way to prove it.

Officers told Schneeberger about the evidence Candice’s PI had uncovered and requested a third blood sample. On November the 20th 1996, Dr John had blood taken once again; this time, police recorded the entire procedure. When the nurse wanted to prick his finger, the doctor refused and said that he had a condition that would cause severe bruising if blood was to be taken from his hands. He presented his arm and complied. Because there was no court order for testing, they could not force him to do anything against his will.

On the video recording, during testing, the nurse can be heard saying that she found it strange that the blood she had just drawn from the doctor’s left arm somehow did not seem fresh. It was dark brown in colour, like it was old. When tested, technicians concluded that the sample was of poor quality, and it could not be adequately tested.

Candice was furious. Why did they accept the blood if it seemed wrong? Why didn’t they insist on another sample while the doctor was still in the lab? She had come so far in proving that Dr John was NOT who he claimed to be; there was no way she was going to give up. Candice took one last, desperate step and filed a civil lawsuit against the doctor and also reported him to the local Medical Society. In court, it was clear that most people supported Dr Schneeberger.

His wife Lisa was furious that Candice accused her husband of such a heinous act and refused to believe it could be true. She even called Candice a slut in an interview with a local TV station.

Nothing came from the civil suit and Candice had to face the possibility that Dr John got away with what he had done to her.

But the tides were about to change…. On the 25th of April 1997, Lisa Schneeberger discovered the horrible truth about what was happening inside her own family home. Her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage told her that something strange had been going on. He stepdad had visited her room in the night and given her an injection. When she woke up, there was a condom wrapper in her bed. She took her mom to her bedroom to show her.

Lisa was horrified and asked her daughter if it had happened before. The daughter said it wasn’t the first time. Lisa recalled that her daughter had woken up one morning, in tears and groggy. She told her mom that her stepdad had injected her with something in the middle of the night. When Lisa asked her husband about it, he admitted to it, saying that the girl had been coughing, so he gave her something to help. Lisa never heard any coughing but didn’t give it a second thought. He was the doctor after all.

Lisa realised that John’s abuse of his stepdaughter had started two years before when she was only 13 years old. When Lisa asked her daughter why she hadn’t said anything before, she said that her mom didn’t believe Candice, so why would she believe her?

Lisa went into her husband’s home office, where she found syringes, condoms and sedatives, including Versed, hidden on a high shelf. Never in her wildest dreams would she ever have imagined that the love of her life, the devoted father and stepfather was, in fact, a sexual predator.

In an interview with CTV’s W5, Lisa said:

“My world was shattered when my daughter told me what had been happening to her in our own home. I wanted to be sick to my stomach. I didn’t know where to turn. If it hadn’t been for family and friends, I’m not sure I could have made the arduous journey… I still blame myself. Maybe if I had believed Candice, none of this would have happened to my daughter.”

After kicking Schneeberger out of the family home, Lisa went to the police and told them everything.

When Candice heard the news, she was mortified. All those years she fought for justice, fearing that Schneeberger would harm someone else. It was not good news, not by a long shot. Candice told the Calgary Herald:

“I’ll never forget the day I found out… I bawled and I screamed and I freaked out. It happened to someone else, and I was fighting all along.”

Police took samples from Schneeberger, this time hair, saliva and blood. The blood was taken from his finger. When test results came back, it confirmed that Dr John’s DNA matched the DNA found on Candice’s underwear. It also matched the DNA from the Chapstick found in his car, so Larry O’Brien’s discovery was right.

Schneeberger was arrested and charged with the sexual assaults of Candice Fonagy and that of his stepdaughter. Dr Schneeberger pleaded with Lisa to stand by him and promised her that he was innocent. But Lisa chose to believe her daughter, rejecting Dr John’s attempts to win her over.

Lisa was left alone with four children; the youngest was only 13 months old. She sold the family car to pay the mortgage. Fortunately, she managed to find a job at the Diabetes Association in Red Deer, Alberta, and she was able to start over somewhere new and support her family.

The trial of Dr John Schneeberger started in 1999. During the trial, he still denied the accusations. He believed that Candice had broken into his home, stolen a used condom from a trash can in the basement and used semen to contaminate herself and her clothing. He said she wanted to frame him so she could blackmail him and get money. When he realised what had happened, he took drastic measures to defend himself and protect his family and his standing in the community.

The moment that everyone had been waiting for finally came. Dr John was asked to explain how he manipulated the DNA evidence. He revealed his desperate plan: after the first request for a blood sample back in 1992, he surgically inserted a tube (a 15cm Penrose drain) filled with another man’s blood into his arm, running alongside the actual vein. He added anti-coagulants so the blood would remain fluid.

When he was taken to the police laboratory for testing, he manipulated the situation so that the lab technician would take blood from the tube instead of his vein. After the test, he removed the tube. Nine months later, for the second test, he repeated the procedure. In April 1996, when he heard that Candice had hired an investigator, he put it back in. So when the phlebotomist thought the blood seemed old, it is because it was – in fact, it was seven months old.

In looking back at the video recording, investigators could see exactly how he manipulated the situation. He always offered his left arm, and his sleeve was rolled up just above the elbow, concealing the scar from where he had cut himself in order to insert the tube. In the footage, there is one brief frame where one can catch a quick glimpse of the raised skin in the shape of a tube.

Schneeberger essentially had someone else’s blood inside his body. The blood he used, belonged one of his male patients, Danny Szabo. If the police had conducted a mass DNA sweep of all males in the area, Danny Szabo would have been identified as Candice’s rapist.

Candice was the star witness – after many years, she was finally heard and taken seriously. The defence tried to portray her as a gold digger and a liar, but she didn’t stand for it. Adamant as ever, she made it clear that she had nothing to gain by hunting down the doctor for all those years. The defence said Candice had a false recollection of the crime, caused by the sedative she was given. Candice challenged Schneeberger’s lawyer and said:

“We’ll drug you on Versed, and you can explain to us how it feels.”

Seven years after the assault, Dr John Schneeberger was finally found guilty of sexual assault, administering a ‘noxious substance’ as well as the obstruction of justice. He was not convicted for the sexual assault of his stepdaughter, as there was not enough conclusive evidence. For the other crimes, he was sentenced to six years in prison. The maximum penalty for these offences are typically life imprisonment, so he got off very lightly.

Still, Candice Fonagy felt vindicated. After the trial, she said:

“This is a glorious day that I’ve waited for, for seven years… I hope he rots because that’s exactly what he deserves for all the hurt (he) caused. Bye John.”

Crown Prosecutor Dean Sinclair praised Candice for her persistence in his statement:

“There’s no question the original complainant from 1992 was completely vindicated in what she’s been saying for years, and there’s absolutely no question that she has been, to a large extent, saying it to herself … because of the DNA results. She deserves a substantial amount of credit for the courage and perseverance and determination to see that justice was done in this case.”

Because Dr John had abused his position of trust and administered medication to render his victim helpless, he was stripped of his medical license by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.

Lisa Schneeberger filed for divorce and changed her name back to Dillman; she did not want to have anything to do with her ex-husband. However, her battle was only beginning. Because she refused to let her daughters sleep over at John’s place the night before his sentencing, the doctor sued her for contempt of court (for ignoring the visitation agreement of their separation). Lisa had to pay a fine of $2000. Because the abuse occurred to his stepdaughter and not his biological daughters, he was permitted to see them, even though they did not want to go to him.

Even after being sentenced, from prison, Dr John insisted on practising his parent’s rights, and Lisa was forced to take their daughters to visit him in jail on the last Sunday of every month. They also had to phone him every Monday for an hour-long conversation.

When Lisa took them to the penitentiary in Bowden, the media was there to document their arrival and departure. It was terribly hard for Lisa, but she had no choice. If she refused to take them, she would face a $5,000 fine – money she didn’t have.

More than 100 people showed up at the prison gates, in support of Lisa and the girls. Some even tried blocking the entrance to protect the girls by preventing them from going inside. A court-appointed social worker accompanied Lisa and her daughters during the meeting. The girls cried and hid behind their mom; they were scared of their dad and did not want to see him or speak with him. He had hurt their sister and ruined their family. The social worker stepped in and stopped the meeting, saying that it was too traumatic for the young girls who were only 5 and 6.

Even Schneeberger had to admit that it was no way to see his daughters and agreed that Lisa did not have to bring them back.

To avoid a repetition of the situation, Canadian Alliance MP Bob Mills put forward a bill to amend the Divorce Law. He wanted to call it ‘Lisa’s Law’ and hoping to limit rights of child access by sex offenders. The bill was not passed.

Lisa feared what would happen once he was released and decided she had to take drastic measures to protect her daughters. She reported John to immigration authorities, pointing out that he had lied on his citizenship application. When asked if he had ever been the subject of a police investigation, he said no. He applied for citizenship after Candice had accused him of rape, and although he was cleared at the time, he WAS part of an investigation.

Lisa’s instincts were right… In 2003, after serving only four years, Schneeberger was released on parole. In December of the same year, his citizenship was revoked, thanks to Lisa’s efforts. She informed Immigration that he had obtained his citizenship AFTER he had raped Candice. If he had not deceived investigators with his DNA-trick, he would have been found guilty and would NOT have been granted citizenship.

During his last months in Canada, he lived and worked in Regina, the same town where Candice had fled to when she left Kipling. He worked in construction, on a demolition team.

Many people still supported Schneeberger. A group of people from Kipling petitioned immigration to reconsider the deportation order, stating that if he left, he would never see his daughters again. The request was denied. His friends were sad to see him go and threw a big going-away party before he left for good. They also helped him to sell all his belongings at a garage sale.

In July 2004, he was deported to South Africa where he held permanent resident status. Out of options, he moved to Durban to live with his mother. His brother, Bill Schneeberger, a cardiothoracic surgeon in America, became his biggest advocate and tried to get John back into the medical field. Bill firmly believed that his brother was innocent. In a statement to the Calgary Herald, he said:

“I know he is not a fool and rape in a consulting room when you have asked two nurses to join you is ridiculous.”

John Schneeberger applied to the Health Professions Council of South Africa soon after he arrived in 2004. But he did not manage to escape his past. Women’s interest groups were outraged and vowed to protest any decision to reinstate his medical license. When a local newspaper exposed his sordid past, he withdrew his application.

In Durban, living with his mother, he took on a couple of catering jobs, but what happened to him after that is unclear. In an interview with a South African publication, he said:

“I would like to be forgiven, but I accept that that may never come about.”

He has turned to religion, hoping that a devoted spiritual life can redeem him.

“I equate my crimes to a terrible smash – where I am the cause of the devastation… I have learned much since I committed my crimes… I know now what led me to this trail of devastation and I will have to live with the nightmare for the rest of my life.”

He also said that he would “rather die than go back to that darkness.”

In recent years, Schneeberger became a member of the Durban Wine Academy, affiliated to the Cape Wine Academy, and was accredited to run courses in wine tasting and do sommelier training.

Candice Fonagy is happily married and works as a care assistant for an addiction-services facility in Saskatchewan.

Lisa Dillman is still convinced her ex-husband felt no remorse. In an interview with TV news program, W5, she said:

“He was a doctor when he was at the office, and he was husband and father when he came home — and then he was a monster when he wanted to be.”

Lisa’s daughter is now a well-adjusted young woman who, thanks to the support of her mother and friends, has put the trauma of her stepfather’s abuse behind her, for the most part.

In the case of John Schneeberger, the unsettling question remains: were there more victims? The assaults on Candice and his stepdaughter were executed with such ease like he had done it many times before. In a small town like Kipling, it would be difficult to speak up against one of the pillars of the community. Candice Fonagy lost close to a decade of her life, in the fight for justice. She does not regret this and is proud of her efforts, as well she should be.

If you’d like to read more about this case, have a look at the resources used for this episode in the show notes.

Also visit and like our Facebook Page at” to see more about today’s case.

If you like our podcast, please subscribe in Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. We would also appreciate if you could review the episodes, as it gives us some street cred in the world of podcasting.

This was The Evidence Locker. Thank you for listening!

©2020 Evidence Locker Podcast

All rights reserved. This podcast or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a podcast review.


As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.