Kostelniuk, James 1946-
KOSTELNIUK, James 1946-
Born August 2, 1946, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; son of Michael S. (a prairie grain farmer) and Nellie (a farmer; maiden name, Walchuk) Kostelniuk; married Kim Evans, January 27, 1973 (divorced, 1979); married Margaret Erhart, June 13, 1981; children: (first marriage) Juri, Lindsay. Ethnicity: "Ukrainian/Polish." Education: Attended University of Winnipeg. Politics: Libertarian. Religion: "Interested in Christian mysticism." Hobbies and other interests: Spanish language and culture.
Home—788 Scotland Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M1X6, Canada.
Author of nonfiction. Worked various jobs; established janitorial business in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, c. 1970s; Winnipeg Transit, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, bus operator, 1980-2001; retired.
Twenty Years' Safe Driving Award, Winnipeg Transit.
Wolves among Sheep: The True Story of Murder in a Jehovah's Witness Community, HarperCollins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Bad Moon Rising, for Harper-Collins; also currently working on a novel, a parody of Ernest Hemingway's life and works.
After the murder of ex-wife Kim Evans and their two children, Juri and Lindsay Kostelniuk, James Kostelniuk had a difficult time moving on from the tragedy. Based on the recommendations of a staff psychologist, Kostelniuk began keeping a daily journal in which he would describe the often violent nightmares he was having. This journal slowly took on character and evolved into the book Wolves among Sheep: The True Story of Murder in a Jehovah's Witness Community.
Kostelniuk's life dramatically changed on August 29, 1985, when he—then an undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg—was informed of the murders by a policeman. Wolves among Sheep tells the story of the events leading up to the death of Kostelniuk's children and ex-wife, and how his life changed forever from that point forward. "This is a book that will follow you through the night while you are reading it and will remain with you, unsettling and harrowing, after you've put it down," stated Howard Engel in a review of Wolves among Sheep for Toronto's Globe and Mail. Kim Kostelniuk's second husband, Texas-born Jeff Anderson, was convicted and sentenced for the three murders, and in his book Kostelniuk discusses the unhealthy relationship of the couple, who were separated at the time of the murders. Evidence following the murders suggested that Anderson had possibly molested one of Kostelniuk's children, and Kim was caught up in a complex test of her Jehovah's Witness faith. In his book Kostelniuk also shares his own feelings of guilt concerning the murders, and describes his correspondence with the incarcerated Anderson. Darcy Henton in the Toronto Star stated that "Kostelniuk has unearthed minute details of the crime and shone a light on the bitterness that ate away at the killer's soul."
Since publishing his book Kostelniuk has continued to find a creative outlet in writing, and has branched out into fiction. He told CA: "I am thoroughly committed to the daily business of writing. That means writing every day. Passion and commitment does produce results."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), August 27, 2000, David Roberts, "Searching for a Balance between Rage and Forgiveness," p. A1; October 14, 2000, Howard Engel, review of Wolves among Sheep: The True Story of Murder in a Jehovah's Witness Community.
Toronto Star, October 1, 2001, Darcy Henton, review of Wolves among Sheep.
Toronto Sun, November 5, 2000, Anouk Hoedeman, review of Wolves among Sheep, p. 81.
Vancouver Sun, September 23, 2000, Ken MacQueen, review of Wolves among Sheep.