Such A Good Boy: How A Pampered Son's Greed Led to Murder: Summary


18 year old Darren Huenemann of Saanich, British Columbia seemed to be a
model student, friend, son and grandson. His mother Sharon called him the
"perfect gentleman", as did most of the community around him. When his
grandmother Doris made out her will in 1989, she made it so her daughter Sharon
would receive half of her $4 million dollar estate, and Darren the other half.
At the same time Sharon updated her will to include Darren as the beneficiary of
her estate. If they ever came to harm and died, he would be a very rich young
man. In the fall of 1989, Darren Huenemann decided that he wanted to be that
very rich young man now.
The book, Such A Good Boy: How A Pampered Son's Greed Led to Murder,
written by Lisa Hobbs Birnie, starts out with a profile of the characters
involved in the brutal tale. First is Doris Kryciak Leatherbarrow, born in
Calder, Saskatchewan in 1920. Doris grew up in poverty, the oldest of seven
children in the farming family. Doris was a good student when she went to school,
but quit at fifteen and worked at school. She married George Artemenko, a
shipyard worker, and became pregnant soon after. She gave birth to Sharon Doreen
in March of 1943. This daughter never knew her father; George died in a fall at
work three months after the birth of his child. This left Doris alone and
knowing that she needed to do something to support her child. After the war, she
landed a job with the newly formed Unemployment Services in the Vancouver area,
where she raised enough money to complete one of her dreams: own her own dress
shop. She married again to Rene Leatherbarrow, and expanded her dress shop to a
large fashion warehouse with four stores.
Next explained in the book is Sharon Doreen Leatherbarrow. She grew up
under a mother that was always working, and a father that was usually away on
business excursions. She learned how to manipulate her mother using guilt to
receive what her young heart desired. She married three times: the second
wedding yielding a son named Darren Charles, and the third wedding to Ralph
Huenemann lasted until her death. Sharon usually lived off her mother's wealth,
but was later put on the payroll by Doris when Doris needed assistance in her
work.
The last character explained is Darren Charles Huenemann. He grew up in
almost constant attention from his mother and "beloved gran" Doris. Birnie
states, "By the time he was in the third grade he had learned the rules... He
had to be clean, polished, polite, under control, understanding, and always very
nice to other people." (Birnie, p 51) Darren interacted differently with his
peers at younger ages: he didn't engage in physical sport often, but was popular
due to is financial status. He became involved with a group of role-players in
the popular game "Dungeons and Dragons". Here he let some of his true feelings
loose: the desire to rebel, the violence and rudeness he kept inside, and the
tendencies he had to kill his grandmother Doris.
The book then turns to a chronological telling of the events, starting
with the drafting of the wills of Doris and Sharon. This seemed to be a turning
point for young Darren, who stepped up his ideas around his peers. He confronted
two of his friends, David Muir, and Derik Lord, both 16 years old. These youths,
although pleasant enough around their families, had already dealt in illegal
activities, smuggling lethal knives into Canada from a post office box in
Washington State. He promised them rewards for killing his grandmother and
mother. For David, a cabin in the woods, a new car and about 100,000 dollars.
For Derik, he would become Darren's bodyguard, and also receive land and money
for weapons. They agreed, and decided after weeks of thinking over the problem
that the easiest way to kill the pair would be when Sharon visited Doris in
nearby Tsawwassen. They would break in, wait for the pair, then club them and
slit their throats.
Darren, in the meantime, had become delusional. He staged a play at his
school called "Caligula", a play about a Roman emperor who symbolizes absolute
freedom and consummate evil. He began to speak of ruling small countries, and
reveled his murderous plans to his girlfriend, Amanda Cousins. She did not tell
anyone about the plot, for she feared that Darren would kill her as well.
After a botched attempt two weeks before, Derik and David entered the
house of Doris Leatherbarrow on October 5th, 1990, stating