Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose

True Crime

Vermeer's hat

 "Those who want a solid, sensationalist crime account that gets into the heads of its subjects should find this a page-turning thrill."
Publishers Weekly

"Expert journalistic handling of the material...Runaway Devil will have you checking the contents of your daughters' iPod and how much time she spends on social networking."
January Magazine

Runaway Devil effectively details the ‘who’ of a shocking triple murder...This book does a better job than many in the genre.”
Winnipeg Free Press

"Runaway Devil is a fine attempt to explain the inexplicable.”
Elliott Leyton

"Runaway Devil is ... one of the most chilling and hair-raising books about real-life utterly captivating read."
DC Books

"The authors have done a masterful job of crafting a story like a crime novel and combining their long-established skills as senior journalists with a writing flair that proves reality can be just as chilling and compelling as any fictional yarn."

Bob Blakey, Fast Forward Weekly

Runaway Devil "brings the victims to life on the page...Once you pick [up the book], it'll be hard to put it down. And once you've finished the last page, the subject matter will stick with you for a long time."
Lethbridge Herald

McClelland & Stewart 2009


Runaway Devil

How Forbidden Love Drove a
12-Year-Old to Murder Her Family

A true story of illicit love, lycanthropy and murder in a quiet prairie town.

This chilling story alerts parents to the toxic stew of teenage rebellion, the internet, pubescent sexuality and the allure of the Goth style leading to a horrifying end of sickening murders.  Runaway Devil, as she was known online (the law protecting minors prohibits the use of her real name) is unique in the annals of children who are multiple murderers.

First, her age: she was only 12 years old when she killed her parents and her little brother. Second, she lacked a justifiable motive.

Immediately, people assume she must have been neglected or abused or at the very least under the spell of her older lover.

But she was an honor student and a wholesome member of the swim club. There is no evidence that she was molested, beaten, or subject to mental abuse. Her parents were simply guilty of trying to be parents and she didn’t like it.

They tried all the Dr. Phil strategies to restrain their daughter and interrupt her relationship with a man 10 years older. They grounded her, locked up her computer, and tried to contain and protect her. They ended up dead, and their little boy, Runaway Devil’s little brother, had his throat slashed while he pleaded with his sister. The scene of his death made the police officers weep. 

It is tempting to assume that she had come under the spell of her boyfriend Jeremy Steinke who went by the online nickname of Souleater and claimed to be part of a lycan brotherhood. How could a 12-year-old exert any control over him?  But a jury found her to be cold, calculating and her actions premeditated. Unlike her accomplice, she showed little remorse.

It happened in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada which makes it all the more frightening. It means it could happen anywhere.

Short-listed for the 2010 Arthur Ellis Best Crime Non-Fiction Award

On the Globe & Mail bestseller list