Tragic life cut short by murder

Daniel MacEachern
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The family of C.B.S. shooting victim says their daughter’s killer kept her under strict control for years

First in a two-part series

The murder of two people in a shooting in Conception Bay South last month was the tragic end to a 15-year nightmare of mental and physical abuse, say the parents of one of the victims.

The Hibbs family is speaking publicly for the first time since Brian Dawe shot Juliane Hibbs and Vince Dillon dead at Villa Nova Plaza in Conception Bay South before turning the gun on himself. They say the system failed Juliane, who was estranged from them for many years at the hands of the controlling and threatening Dawe, long before he killed her.

“I think of a very gentle, loving person. Very mild-mannered, very unassuming, non-judging,” said Juliane’s father, Philip Hibbs, at his Topsail home, this week, remembering his daughter as an avid reader who wrote poetry and stories from an early age.

“She was smart, she was happy, she was very thoughtful to others. She was very caring to others. She never raised her voice, she never got mad.”

Juliane met Dawe — eight years her senior — in 1994 when she was still a high school student at Queen Elizabeth. Her parents say their daughter was flattered by the attention from an older man, but her grades started to drop as she spent more time with Dawe — telling her parents that she was spending time at a friend’s house.

When the Hibbs learned of the relationship, they were concerned about the age gap.

“He seemed like he was putting Juliane on a pedestal, in a way. He was all over her, and this and that,” said Philip.

“We thought this strange for a person at 24. I mean, you’re not out looking for 16-year-olds. It gave us a wrong vibe.”

They were also concerned — as they learned from asking around, as recounted in statements they later made to police — that Dawe hung with a rough crowd, hadn’t finished high school and didn’t have a job, but seemed to have an endless supply of money and multiple cars and motorcycles.

“He was into illicit activity of any kind — disposing of stolen goods, drugs, and anything and everything that goes along with that,” said Philip.

School counsellors at Dawe’s former schools further alarmed them, warning the Hibbs that Dawe was controlling and manipulative.

The family struggled with trying to intervene in the relationship while being concerned that too forceful a position would only push their teenage daughter closer to Dawe.

After Juliane turned 17 in January 1995, say her parents, Dawe stepped up his manipulation and control and began encouraging Juliane to leave home.

“While she was struggling to try to see what we were telling her, Brian was on the other hand countering that with sweetness, and saying, ‘That’s only lies,’ and she was confused,” said Philip.

“She didn’t see the bad in people,” added Debbie, Juliane’s mother.

Things got worse when the Hibbs refused to grant permission for Juliane to stay the weekend at Dawe’s house. Unbeknownst to them, Dawe had begun picking Juliane up at school at recesses and lunchtimes and taking her home with him.

When Juliane didn’t come home after school one day, Debbie and Philip went to Dawe’s house, where Dawe told them that Juliane — who would sit by silently and, according to the Hibbs, looked frightened — was not coming home with them.

After they threatened to involve the police, Dawe eventually relented and Juliane returned home.

But the tug-of-war would play itself out over and over.

“Brian had just instilled so much fear in her,” said Debbie. “She just couldn’t make decisions and we just couldn’t seem to reason with him, and we could not get any help, no matter where we turned — from counsellors, to friends, to police, to lawyers — there was nothing anybody could do.”

Things came to a head a couple of days after Juliane’s midterms that year, when she didn’t come home after school. When her parents went to Dawe’s house, Dawe’s mother told them Brian and Juliane weren’t there, but refused to say where they were.

They later received a call from the police, who had been tipped off by a front-desk employee at the Kilmory Resort in Swift Current, who had reported to the police that a man had checked in to the resort with a woman who seemed to be there against her will.

The Hibbs arrived at the resort Sunday morning after stormy weather relented enough for them to make the drive, and what ensued was a bizarre, six-hour negotiation in which Dawe spoke for Juliane and said he was going to provide for her from now on.

“He started to dictate terms to us under which he would allow Juliane to come back home,” said Philip.

“He would allow her to come home if we agreed that she could spend half the week living at his house, and she could come home for half the week.”

Eventually, the Hibbs agreed to discuss things further at dinner at their house Sunday evening, and everyone agreed to return to C.B.S.

But instead of Juliane and Dawe coming for supper that evening, the Hibbs received a call from him saying Juliane wouldn’t be coming home.

Dawe brought Juliane to school the next morning and instructed school officials that her parents were not to speak to her or pick her up. The Hibbs received a call from the school alerting them and they rushed to the school to talk things over with Juliane and the school counsellor.

Dawe came back and demanded to see her, and was ordered to leave the building. He left and sat in his car in front of the school doors, waiting. Philip wonders what might have happened if they or the school had called police then.


Series: Violence at home

“There’s a series of things that just did not get done by people in authority that might have made a difference. I don’t know. In retrospect, it might have made a difference,” Philip said.

They left with Juliane — Dawe followed them home in his car — and kept her out of school for the next couple of weeks, during which time they don’t believe Juliane had any contact with Dawe.

“Everything seemed like it was getting back to normal,” said Philip.

When they thought it was safe, they took Juliane back to school. Philip says he thought Juliane was a little nervous, but he insisted she return, thinking the problem was over and wanting her to continue her Grade 11 studies.

“Biggest mistake I ever made,” said Philip, his voice faltering.

Juliane’s first day back at school was her last one.

“He went to the school and got her, and she never came home after that.”


Monday: a life lived in fear

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel



Organizations: Villa Nova Plaza, Kilmory Resort

Geographic location: Conception Bay South, Topsail, Swift Current

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Recent comments

  • Notowell Am.
    September 25, 2014 - 01:38

    When I hear or read articles like this it just breaks my heart and brings back alot of bad memories.Part of my life I rarely talk about but I know the fear that someone can instill in a person,I have been there I have felt it,and unless you go through something like that you have no idea what Julianne was dealing with,The fear is unbelieveable and to constantly told everyday you are worthless,I will kill you and no one know.You are living in constant fear and looking over your choulder every minute of everyday.....It is really sad that the police did notdo more,maybe if they have intervened earlier maybe it would have been a different outcome.You do not know..Anyways hopefully now Juliane can find the peace that she could not find down here on earth.... R.I.P. Juliane he will not hurt you anymore...

  • Lesley Ross
    November 11, 2013 - 14:43

    I agree there should be more services available for families in situations like this. Teenagers so often are greatly influenced by people like Dawe and need protection. I am very sorry for your loss. Thank God for the last two years you had together.

  • Joshua Barnes
    November 09, 2013 - 22:16

    How can school officials and parents not have the power to invoke a police response in the case of such obvious abduction? It is not right that Juliane’s father blames himself for taking her back to school. There should be no threat in attending school. Obviously, authorities failed to help young Ms. Hibbs when there was a clear violation of her personal safety.

  • sharon mccleese
    November 09, 2013 - 21:29

    my dear sweet cousin Vincent Dillon I will miss you deepley

  • Rosemary Rousselle
    November 09, 2013 - 19:40

    Sorry for your loss. Sad to know that this ended with such tragedy. It's hard enough to loose a child, but even worse under these circumstances. I thank you for sharing your story, cause I know it's not easy for you. I hope your story bring public awareness to these type of people, who for some reason are above the law and take advantage of venerable people. My daughter started out on a similar path as your daughter and it is a life long struggle to keep her from people like Mr. Dawe.

  • Cassie daumie
    November 09, 2013 - 19:16

    Tragic story could be any family and I guess it is more common than we think. The law only applies to those who keep sad.

  • Glenys Dunn
    November 09, 2013 - 17:32

    Broke my heart to read of your anguish....... May our Heavenly Father give you His peace.......

  • Cassie Daumie
    November 09, 2013 - 15:52

    Such a tragic story and there must be something we can do to prevent this from happening again or do we have to continuing saying the law only applies to people who obey sad.

  • Joe Scanlon
    November 09, 2013 - 15:35

    one plus one does not make two

  • seanoairborne
    November 09, 2013 - 14:21

    If this had happened in Texas this jerk would have been walking around without a shadow a long time ago!RIP young lady!God Bless!!

  • s richards
    November 09, 2013 - 14:06

    this is so sad!

  • Unknown
    November 09, 2013 - 13:06

    I feel so terribly for this family to have to endure this terrible tragedy. I know from several experiences with an ex partner of over 6 years (me being older as well) that these situations don't often get taken seriously in the eyes of the authorities. I know after a 6 year battle I am still batteling with hopes that it will never get to this point. Upon several times of contacting the RCMP they say "we'll what do you want us to do?" "I want you to be a police officer and do your job!" I can't imagine what this family is going through I hope through thoughts and prayers they can deal with this difficult time.

  • Coalition Against Violence
    November 09, 2013 - 10:38

    To say this entire ordeal has been heart wrenching for the Hibbs family cannot begin to describe what they have endured. It is so sad to watch this type of behaviour play out time and time again when young women interpret jealousy, possessiveness and control as love. It is the opposite of love! If something doesn't feel right in your gut, it's likely not right. This family is sacrificing their privacy to help educate others - please learn about the dynamics of abuse so you can protect yourself.

  • Kimberly Flight (Wilson)
    November 09, 2013 - 08:44

    My heart goes out to all the families/friends affected by this fatal incident.