Nfld. & Labrador

Regula Schule's family relieved but angry after death of her accused killer

Schule's family in Switzerland have been waiting years for a trial to give them answers, and hope those might still be forthcoming.

Family has been waiting 3 years for a trial to reveal answers

Hannes Schule hopes information that has been put before the courts about the death of his aunt Regula Schule will now be released. (submitted by Hannes Schule)

Regula Schule's family overseas has waited more than three years for a trial to give answers to her tragic death.

Now, following the death of her accused murderer, Jonathan Henoche, at Her Majesty's Penitentiary on Wednesday, that wait is over.

But the questions still loom, and mixed emotions reign.

"It's like kind of a relief. I am not happy that he died.… I do not wish his death," Hannes Schule, Regula's nephew, told CBC.

"We have waited so long and now finally, we don't have to wait more. We know the trial will never happen." 

Jonathan Henoche died in prison on Wednesday, after sources say he was involved with a violent altercation with guards. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Schule, 88, was originally from Switzerland, but had lived for decades in Labrador, becoming a well-respected community leader. Henoche was charged with second-degree murder about two months after Schule was found unresponsive in her home as it burned in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in July 2016. The charge was later upgraded to first-degree murder.

Henoche, 33, died awaiting trial, following what sources say was a violent altercation between the Labrador man and correctional officers.

Hannes Schule said despite the relief that the limbo of waiting for a trial is over, he's angry that questions around his aunt's death will never be addressed.

"We have been more than three years waiting for this," Schule said.

"It would have been quite important to know what has happened. What was the motivation of the person who killed her or caused her death [and] how does this person see the situation now?"

Information from the court proceedings was protected by a publication ban, which made it difficult for Schule's family to learn what was going on. Hannes Schule said even the assistance of a federal police officer in Switzerland couldn't provide the family with any information about the circumstances of her death.

"I think it is not only us from her genetic family but also her cultural family, the people she lived with and she shared her life with … they have the right to know more," he said. 

Regula Schule and her daughter Susie on a visit to Switzerland in the 1980s. Schule was originally from Switzerland, but spent decades in Labrador, becoming a well-respected community leader. (Submitted by Hannes Schule)

He hopes that since the trial isn't going ahead, the police investigation and other materials put before the court will be made public.

"This information should be given to the press for a serious analyzing," he said. 

A formal goodbye

Hannes Schule said he hadn't seen his aunt in many years, as she hadn't travelled back to Europe in the last decade of her life.

But that didn't mean she has been forgotten, and family gathered in Switzerland shortly after her death for a memorial.

"We met [for] an afternoon and exchanged experiences, saw pictures," he said. "It was just to say a formal goodbye to Regula."

Regula Schule with her daughter, Susie, in Labrador. Schule was 88 when she died. (John Gaudi/CBC)

Regula Schule was known for her work in Labrador through the Moravian church, and Hannes Schule said she is remembered for living a life of helping those in need, and one of faith.

"She really was a person who was extremely engaged in her life, who dedicated her life to serve others," he said.

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About the Author

Jacob Barker

Videojournalist

Jacob Barker reports on Labrador for CBC News from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.