In the playground of a Montreal private elementary school, in Quebec, Canada, young pupils are gathered round, innocently petting a woman’s dog. The children’s parents mill about, oblivious to the dark secret lurking hidden in their midst. Somehow, one of the country’s most notorious criminals has inveigled her way into the daily lives of their offsprings.
Greaves Adventist Academy can trace its history back to 1899, when the English Church School was founded in the Montreal neighborhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grace. More than a century later, the area remains an important center of culture and commerce for the English-speaking residents of Canada’s second largest city.
The institution grew to become a leading educational facility with strong connections to the church. Having changed its name to Greaves Adventist Academy, in honor of Sylvia Greaves its longest-serving principal, the school nowadays teaches between 250 and 275 students, and it welcomes pupils of all faiths and none.
Until March 2017, life at Greaves was just like that of countless other schools across the world. Parents or carers would arrive to drop off or collect their children, and would often mingle with each other in the schoolyard. Some of them would also volunteer or be invited to take a more active role in the running of the school and its activities.