KELOWNA - The father of slain Armstrong teen Taylor Van Diest sees no remorse in the face of his daughter’s accused killer.
The first 72 minutes of a police interview was shown in Kelowna Supreme Court Thursday afternoon. It’s the tape in which Matthew Foerster, 28, who is charged with first degree murder, confesses to killing 18-year-old Van Diest. Raymond Van Diest, the victim’s father, is seeing the video for the first time. From what he’s seen so far, he says Foerster reacted like he got caught, not like he felt sorry.
“It is a little hard to watch this.... Man up (to the crime), plain and simple,” he said outside court.
During the video, which unedited is seven and a half hours long, Foerster appears uncommunicative and despondent, sobbing for long periods of time. When he speaks, the words are muttered and difficult to make out.
Two police investigators take turns speaking to him. Sgt. Mark Davidson, the first of two cops in the video and the only one named so far, testified Thursday that certain information was withheld from Foerster during the interview, which took place in a small, sparse room at the Kelowna RCMP detachment in April of 2012, shortly after his arrest in Collingwood, Ontario.
Foerster didn’t know police had linked his DNA with the crime scene, or that they knew Van Diest was attacked in more than one way.
In the video, the cops are friendly and candid, offering Foerster coffee, asking him how conditions in his cell are, saying they can try to arrange a meeting with his family. There are newspapers in the room, and the investigators talk about the impact not just on Van Diest’s family, but on his own parents and siblings.
Asked how he thinks his family is doing, Foerster says he feels they are likely being harassed by the media. The cop tells him he’s probably right.
At one point, Davidson embraces Foerster in a hug, telling him, “Let it out, let it out.... How many times have you cried out for help?” Foerster sobs into his arms.
Foerster is asked which family member he would most like to send a message to, and if it could be arranged, what he’d like to say. He says he’d like to speak to all of them, but mostly his dad. He wants them to know he loves them.
“I think there’s stuff that’s been buried for a long time, you’re able to release it now,” Foerster is told.
The investigators tell him he’s not a bad person, say they believe in him.
“You really surprised me today, Matt,” said the second cop. “I didn’t think you actually cared.... I didn’t see this coming on your part.”
But Foerster’s mood in the video, and in the present, ring hollow for Van Diest’s father.
“(It) doesn’t look like there’s any remorse there whatsoever,” he said.
The remainder of the video will be shown Friday morning. The part where Foerster allegedly confesses to killing Van Diest has yet to come.
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