The night of October 31st, 1992 in the town of Kipling in Saskatchewan Canada, unraveled in a web that would leave one woman fighting for justice for over 7 years.
Candice otherwise known as Candy (I'm not sure if either are her real name) had been visited by her at work by her ex-boyfriend. The encounter wasn’t great, they argued (as they had in the past) and as he drove away, Candice put a footprint in the side of his pick-up truck. Overwhelmed and upset about the argument, Candice left work and decided to visit her friend at the Kipling Hospital.
Unfortunately, her friend was not working that day, if she had been, maybe everything would have been different. Candice spoke to a nurse instead. The nurse could tell that Candice was upset and asked if she would be interested in seeing a doctor. Candice agreed. The nurse called the doctor on call, Dr. Schneeberger.
John Schneeberger was a highly respected doctor in the town of Kipling. He was known as charming and a professional. He was trusted and looked up to. John had been born in Zambia and after graduating from university in South Africa, moved to Kipling to practice medicine. Where he quickly winning over the community and obtaining a glowing reputation.
Candice and Dr. Schneeberger knew each other, he had treated her about 20 times, in fact, he had actually delivered her child a few months earlier. Dr. Schneeberger offered to help calm her by giving her a sedative, Candice agreed. But then he pulled out a large syringe. Candice had expected to get a few pills, not a syringe - but she trusted him and therefore let him give her the injection.
Within a few seconds, Candice became dizzy - John helped her to the examining table where she lay down. And now the worst part, she was sexually assaulted.
At this point, Candice was pretty out of it, she was hardly conscious and couldn’t tell who was assaulting her but she knew it was happening. She said “ I had no control of my muscles. I was scared. I tried to scream”
The next day, Candice confronted Dr. Schneeberger about the incident.
She asked the name of the sedative that he had given her, and do you know what he responded? He said “Why, did you have wild dreams?” and then walked away.
The same day, Candice called him again and said that something really really bad had happened to her the night before at the hospital. She wanted answers. His second response was just as bad as the first, he said that there were elderly patients (he referred to them as “Wanderers” that were known to occasionally crawl into bed with other patients. Candice knew better, she knew that she had been assaulted by Dr. John Schneeberger.
Later that day, Candice went to a different town and underwent a pelvic exam where semen had been collected. She also spoke to a RCMP officer about the incident.
On November, 16th 1992, the RCMP requested a blood sample from Schneeberger. An officer was in the room when the blood was taken and watched the needle being inserted into the “inner curl” of Johns's arm. Months later, the DNA results came back and they did not match Schneeberger's DNA.
Candice couldn’t believe what she was hearing, she knew it was John and vowed to get to the bottom of it. After some months, she finally convinced the RCMP to ask for a new blood sample for Johns's blood - she had claimed that she believed the officer had conspired with Schneeberger.
On August 6th, 1993 a second blood test was taken, and the results were the same as the first. At this point, the town had come up with their own opinions and believed that Candice had just made up the allegations, they were angry about it. This was their beloved "Dr. John".
The Crown Prosecutor Dean Sinclair said “She was socially ostracized. She was forced to leave her community, the community she was born in. She was subject to malicious rumors.” John Schneebergers wife, Lisa, even went so far as to referring to Candice as a “slut” on TV!
Investigations halted in 1994, but Candice was a strong woman, and she never gave up on seeking justice for herself.
She hired a private investigator.
Rumors of the private investigator got John nervous, his wife once saw him wetting envelopes so that he wouldn’t lick them and have his DNA be present. When she saw this John said, “You can never be too careful when people are trying to accuse you of doing something you didn't do.”
On November 20, 1996, John voluntarily went to get his blood drawn a third time.
Serology (which is the study or examination of blood serum) expert, Jean Roney motioned for John to give her his finger to prick. Schneeberger asked that she not get the blood from his finger as he had a rare syndrome where his fingers would bruise easily, Jean agreed.
She inserted the needle into Johns's left bicep, she noticed that the being looked uncommonly hard and very large. A brown fluid came out of the vein, it was tested and for the third time, the DNA didn’t match the semen.
I don’t know if you have watched the Forensic Files episode on this but this interaction was actually recorded, and once Jean is in the back looking at the vial of blood, she looks confused and even says something about how it looks kind of… not fresh… she once said “The only time I’ve seen the blood that color is when it’s old”.
Around this time, Candice’s private investigator caught a break. He had broken into John’s car and taken his ChapStick. The DNA came back, and it was a match. Finally. But how could this be possible, how was the blood that came from his arm not the same DNA than his saliva on the ChapStick?
One of Candice's main concerns, throughout the entire 7 years of her fighting this case was that she worried there would be more victims. And even though she tried her best to make her truth known, a second victim soon came forward.
On April 25th, 1997 a 15-year-old girl came forward saying that John had touched her.
She claimed that she couldn’t remember much of the events because she had been drugged
Lisa Schneeberger knew this girl, she trusted her and felt that she would not have lied. She knew this because the girl that came forward was her daughter. She confronted her husband. After supporting her husband for 4 years, Lisa changed her mind and had him move out.
She then handed over boxes of items she had found in her home and at their cabin. The boxes were filled with medical supplies such as needles, alcohol swabs, condoms, and various drugs. One of these drugs is a sedative called Versed. This is the drug he had given Candice.
Versed is used to sedate patients during minor surgeries, dental work or other procedures.
On December 16th, 1997 RCMP officers confronted John with a warrant for hair samples. They collected 25 hairs and another DNA test where the blood came from his finger and I believe a mouth swab. It was a match.
John was charged with sexual assault for the young girl and Candice and on September 14th of 1999, John went to trial. The Crown demanded to know what had happened with the blood, how was Johns DNA different in his arm than in his fingertip? They claimed that John had put another man's blood into his arm. And, believe it or not, it was true.
Finally, John came forward with his truth and told all.
John said that he had collected blood from one of his patients and he put it into a 15-centimeter plastic tub. Hours before the DNA tests he had put the tub into his bicep.
Later, when he realized a third blood request might come, he inserted the tube again and left it in his arm for 8 months.
After admitting to this, he started to make excuses. He said that he was protecting himself and that he believed Candice had broken into his home, stolen a used condom and put the contents onto her underwear and clothes which were then tested…All to frame John for something he didn't do. The jury didn't buy it.
On November 25th, Schneeberger was found guilty of sexually assaulting Candice and drugging her. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter and obstructing justice. Guess how long he was sentenced to prison for? Six years. Less time than Candice fought for justice.
He was stripped of his medical license and obviously Lisa divorced him.
At the end of the Forensic Files episode, Candice gets a call saying that Schneeberger had been denied parole, so she is extremely excited but he wasn't denied for long.
In 2003, Schneeberger was released from prison after only serving 4 years in prison
He moved to the same town Candice lived in and worked on a demolition crew. Not long after his release though, he was also stripped of his Canadian citizenship, which he had obtained illegally because he hadn't disclosed that he had been investigated for rape.
Even after everything that had happened, his lies and what he had done to the two women. People still loved him. There was even a woman that refused to go to a doctor that wasn’t John. His friends began a campaign to the immigration minister to reverse the deportation and let John say goodbye to his biological daughters who were 5 & 6. And they won.
John’s ex-wife, now Lisa Dillman, was forced to take her daughters to see their father, in a quote, she stated “At least I can say to my girls when they’re older ‘I tried’. They will know that Mummy at least tried to keep us away from him… I still blame myself. Maybe if I had believed Candy, none of this would have happened to my daughter.”
He was deported in December of 2003 and now lives in Durban, which is the third biggest city in South Africa. The people in Canada might have loved him but in South Africa, his new nickname would be “Dr. Rape”.
He tried to get jobs in the medical field but thankfully he was denied every time.
As of 2018, Candice is happily married and works for addiction-services in Canada.
Some interesting facts:
- This case was highlighted in a few different shows, obviously in the Forensic Files episode “Bad Blood” but also in an episode of 72 Hours called “The Good Doctor” and a Canadian film called “I Accuse” where actress Estella Warren plays Candice.
- It inspired an episode of Law & Order SVU (my fav) called “Serendipity”
- And it was also featured on an episode of Autopsy called “Dead Men Talking”
Most of the facts from this episode are found from the article "Fire and Ice: The Long Road to Justice." by Mike O'Brian
1. O'Brien, Mike. "Fire and Ice: The Long Road to Justice." The Leader Post, 11 Dec. 1999.
2. "What Happened to Dr. John Schneeberger?" Forensic Files Now,
4. "John Schneeberger." Wikipidia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Schneeberger.