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‘Brutal’ Surrey killing becomes instructional film

Clip chronicling Maria Catroppa murder to educate the public about domestic violence.

They new something was wrong with their mom, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was going on.

Maria Catroppa was 69-year-old mother of four and grandmother of seven, whose world sank in 1973 when her husband was killed in a hunting accident.

In 1999, she married Sebastiano Damin, but there was something the kids didn’t like about him.

Maria Catroppa told her daughters Jay Tuason and Piana Osterman, things were just fine.

Little signals told them differently.

Tuason invited her mom to an important speech she was giving at Kwantlen in September, 2009. Catroppa came for the speech, then quickly left, Damin would be concerned if she was out too long.

Then, while visiting her mom’s home, Osterman found a pair of long knives wrapped in a towel, in a drawer where they weren’t usually kept.

Catroppa told her daughter she was afraid her husband would hurt himself.

Then there were the whispering phone calls from the home closet, the stories of Damin standing over Catroppa’s bed up to five times a night, just watching her.

It was a progression of signs that ended up in an extremely brutal murder on Nov. 24, 2009, where Damin stabbed Catroppa 126 times.

The crime, described by a judge as a “brutal, frenzied attack” is the subject of a short film called “The Honest Truth,” produced by Alison Soroka and John Banovich.

The film was shown Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Surrey Coalition Against Domestic Abuse at Kwantlen’s Surrey campus.

Tuason said after the viewing that she and her sister had the opportunity to see it the day before.

It brought the expected tears, but also a feeling of resolve that their mother’s death is going to be used for some good, to educate people about he prevalence of domestic violence.

The film will be shown at http://endingabusemedia.com/ and will include contact numbers for people who may be needing help to end domestic violence in their own families.

@diakiw