By Molly Hayes
Tim Bosma was a devoted husband and father, a churchgoing 32-year-old running his own business in Ancaster, Ont. But on May 6, 2013, he disappeared after going for a test drive with two men interested in the pick-up truck he was selling. In her new Star Dispatches ebook, “The Vilest Form of Evil:” Tim Bosma’s Murder One Year Later, Hamilton Spectator reporter Molly Hayes revisits the tragic story, going back to Bosma’s happy childhood and his discovery of his soul mate, Sharlene, through a dating website. She also evokes the devastation that lingers among Bosma’s loved ones, left in a torturous limbo as they await next year’s trial of accused killers Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.
Single copies of Star Dispatches eReads can be purchased for $2.99 at starstore.ca or itunes.ca/stardispatches
The Vilest Form of Evil: Tim Bosma's Murder One Year Later
Tim Bosma and Sharlene Veenstra sat in lawn chairs in the middle of a big Ancaster cornfield, eyes closed and faces tilted toward the sky as they listened to the planes passing overhead. It was a summer afternoon in 2009, and Tim, 29, was dreaming of a future with the pretty young brunette. He’d been carrying around a diamond ring for months, waiting for the perfect moment to ask her to be his wife. They had been eyeing the rural Ancaster lot as a potential spot to build their dream home together. They visited regularly, roaming the fields and wondering “what if?”
It was the perfect rural location, a short drive from downtown Hamilton and minutes from the Ancaster fairgrounds, but still a sprawling plot of land with lots of room for their Great Dane puppy to run. It was also next door to the old farmhouse where Tim’s dad, Hank, had lived as a child. It was his father’s first home after coming to Canada from the Netherlands.
But the Hamilton airport was nearby, and the pair wanted to test out how much of an annoyance the planes would be. On another occasion, as they drove by in Tim’s pickup, he had assured her, “It’ll be fine.” Seconds later, five fighter jets roared overhead. She glared at him, skeptical. “OK,” he laughed, “that never happens, I swear.”
So on that summer afternoon, they had tossed their lawn chairs in the back of Tim’s pickup and headed for the lot. Even as the planes flew over, Tim was drawing blueprints for the house in his head. The Trinity Road lot was for them. And within days of sealing the land deal, Sharlene accepted her country boy’s nervous marriage proposal.
Life became a whirlwind. By February, they were married, and by March, they were expecting a baby. Sharlene, a builder’s daughter, was just as excited as the guys about the construction of the house. Even with a growing belly, she swept sawdust and hammered nails as the place slowly came together that summer. When the crew — mostly friends and family — sat around at the end of the work day over a cooler of beer, pregnant Sharlene would join them, teased for her O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer.
At night, she and Tim slept in a trailer on the lot. It was tough for the newlyweds, especially with a baby on the way and a puppy sharing the small space. But their future was being built in front of their eyes, and they were excited. By October, they had a home: a big, grey country house with a three-bay garage and a back deck overlooking the sprawling cornfields they’d sat in just a year earlier, when all of this was still a dream.
On Christmas Day, 2010, their daughter was born, and they began to plan camping trips and amusement park visits, family get-togethers and a growing small business. They looked forward to watching their daughter grow, to growing their family.
But all that has been shattered now. Two men have been charged with Tim Bosma’s murder. Sharlene and their little girl live alone on Trinity Road, with parts of their dream home still unfinished. A large wrought-iron gate cuts off their long gravel driveway from the road now, with security cameras keeping careful track of anyone coming in or out.