A widow is being sued by the convicted killer of her husband, years after suffering the painful loss, as the man responsible sits in jail.
Paula Henry's husband, Bob Henry, was murdered at the age of 33 on September 11, 1995. Henry's killer, Larry Shandola, was not apprehended until 2001 -- and Paula Henry was instrumental in pushing for the investigation of her dead husband's former friend and business partner, the man now suing the grief-stricken widow.
For years, Henry fought to keep the investigation into her husband's murder open, and even raised $50,000 to ensure justice was done. And though Shandola and Henry had once been close friends as well as business associates, the relationship soured, culminating in a physical altercation in 1993.
Robert Henry was shot in what witnesses described as a brazen manner, in his car in daylight by a killer in a ski mask. The man delivered a final shot to Henry's head before fleeing on a motorcycle, and Shandola wasn't arrested for several years. In that time, between Henry's murder and Shandola's arrest, his widow was allegedly stalked and harassed by her husband's killer.
John Ladenburg, Paula Henry's lawyer, says the killer's attempt to sue the widow of his victim is just another tactic in a nearly two-decades long campaign of harassment. He told the National Post:
"[Shandola] had somebody track her down and had papers served on her at her apartment, and she called me that night – terrified and crying – saying that friends were coming over and that she's moving out right away ... She couldn't stand the thought that he might know where she lives – that he might be able to find her, or that his friends on the outside might be able to find her."
Ladenburg explains that not only should the case be dismissed, but the widow sued by her husband's killer should never have been vulnerable to the reopening of painful wounds in the first place. The lawyer says laws to prevent such a circumstance would circumvent another loved one's pain if any other killers are similarly inspired:
"We're asking not only for the court to throw this out, but we're also asking the [Washington state] legislature to create a new law here that says anybody convicted of a violent crime – like murder, rape, armed robbery – cannot sue anybody involved in the case without the permission of the presiding judge."
Shandola is currently imprisoned in the US, and the suit in part addresses a letter Henry wrote to object to his transfer to a prison in his home country of Canada. The convicted killer claims the widow's letter created "highly objectionable publicity that attributed to him characteristics, conduct and/or beliefs that are false."
Shandola seeks $100,000 in the suit against his victim's widow.