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  • Victim Impact Statement

    The third anniversary of Brian's brutal murder has come and gone. Since I never got the chance to address his incomprehensible death in court, I thought I would do it this way.

    The Victim Impact statement in Canada is nothing like its US counterpart in several ways.

    In Canada is it a condescending act bestowed upon the peons by the judicial aristocracy with the hope that you will simply fade away into oblivion. The Judicial aristocracy doesn't want your input; they have been forced to allow minimal trespassing of the electorate in their courtrooms by the lobbing of victim impact groups.

    The presiding judge wants your Statement well in advance of the trial and then he/she will maybe allow only 1 or 2 people to stand up in court and tearfully recite it.

    In Canada,

    1. The trial judge and jury do not give any weight to Victim Impact Statements. They do in the US.

    2. The Victim Impact statement in Canada is censored by the trial judge. He/she edits your statement. He/she tells you what you can say or cannot say. You are told that you can only talk about how the violent act affected your life.

    3. You cannot call the offending act a 'murder' even though it is.

    4. You cannot get into the witness box and tell the offender what you think of him/her. You cannot tell the offender that you think he/she is a piece of garbage and hope he rots in hell. You would get thrown out. In the US, you can do that.

    If the charges against the perpetrator had not been stayed, the trial for the murder of Brian would be happening right about now.

    There were four of us who were preparing a Victim Impact Statements; myself; Brian's daughter, Mikita; Brian's wife, Karen; and Brian's sister, Heather. Ron elected not to do it because of the hypocrisy surrounding this court event.

    Of the four of us, I have no idea if I would have been allowed to do this.

    Rather than talk about how this catastrophic event shaped our lives (it was all negative) I decided to accentuate the positive. Especially in a murder trial - whereby the defence attorney trashes the victim and drags their name through the mud - all in the game to get his client set free.

    Good idea - put him back out on the street where he can perhaps commit armed robbery next.

    This is what I would have said………

    Good Morning. I am Angela Ludwig, Brian's mother.

    On behalf of my husband, Ron and myself, rather than take you on a verbal journey into the horror that Brian's violent death has thrown us, I want this court and the jury to know more about the son we lost and to recognize how extra-ordinary he truly was.

    Other than his uncommon natural athletic ability and his mathematical genius, his most remarkable qualities were his human ones.

    Brian was born smiling and with a natural love for all people; Brian never met a person he didn't like and in return, almost everyone who met Brian liked him back; he had a very kind and gentle nature.

    He was very kind to animals.

    He didn’t just enter a room..........he burst into a room with gusto...........no matter how many people were in the room, he claimed it.

    As a family, we always thought he was special, but since his death, many of his friends and acquaintances have verbalized to me that “we didn’t know what we had until we lost him”.

    To quote a business associate of ours, Hank Wieler, an older gentleman who has no children, and who worked with Brian for many years, said to me one day "Brian is the nicest young man I have ever met. He is a good man. If I had ever had a son, I would want him to be just like Brian….."

    Sometimes the words of other people can convey a more adequate testimony to someone's character than a parent. If I can, I would like to read some funeral cards that many of Brian's friends took the time to fill out at his funeral:

    Richard said " My favorite memory of him is his smile - always big, bright and sincere……….."

    Dave said "when times got tough [in team competitions], Brian always brought us up…[when we were losing], he would say, don't worry about it….he always had the right things to say….."

    Bob said "my favorite memory of him is that wonderful smile, quick wit and intelligence….."

    Daryl said "I consider myself a good judge of character. In Brian's case, I was a good judge of great character. Brian was Loving, Understanding, Devoted, he was a winner, he had integrity and he was giving……I have known Brian for only 3 years, but I am envious of the friends and family that have known him for so long…."

    Bryan and Jenn said "Brian always had a permanent smile on his face, even when he wasn't intending to. He will be greatly missed! ....."

    Rod Jenkins, his friend for over 30 years said "I can tell you with confidence that Brian was not a bully. He didn’t have to be, he was a big man and he knew that would protect him. I have seen him in the bar before and he would never have started the fight but was not one to back down from one. I can see Brian holding the guy back with one hand and not even throwing a punch……."

    When Brian became a devoted and doting father, his uncle, Scott Andrew, remarked "I didn't know Brian was going to be such a good father……I didn't know he had that in him……."

    And finally, a high school teacher, Brian Utley, once said to me "Brian is such a well-behaved and well-mannered young man."

    When his life at the age of 42 years was snuffed out so brutally in the early Sunday morning hours on the 26th August, 2012, by a single cowardly punch to the back of his head, he was just starting to hit his stride. He had dreams - a 20 year vision - that he was enacting upon.

    For the last 3 years of his life, he had been involved with city planners and environmentalists about a 53 acre parcel of land that he was going to develop into recreational lots. He dreamt big.

    Yes he had dreams and he was following his dreams.

    Brian was everything we could have wished for in a son and more…..

    Thank-you for listening to me.

    ANGELA LUDWIG

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  • LUDWIG FAMILY HONORS THEIR SON BY SUPPORTING SAIT STUDENTS:

    It was a balmy night in August 2012. What started as an evening of fun and philanthropy ended in tragedy.

    Brian Ludwig, 42, and his team of friends had been playing in a charity golf tournament; in fact they won. They gathered at a local pub to claim their prizes, to celebrate and to socialize. As the evening progressed, a discussion about baseball with another group of customers escalated into an argument. It continued into the parking lot where, without warning, a person came from behind and punched Brian.

    He fell and hit his head on the pavement. Brian died from his injuries. Manslaughter charges were laid, but no one was convicted.

    When Brian died, it left his family heartbroken; it also made headlines and shocked the City of Calgary.

    Since Brian’s parents created the Brian Ludwig Foundation to preserve his memory, promote non-violence and support education.

    Brian’s mother, Angela Ludwig, says the family chose to support SAIT because of Brian’s love of woodworking and construction. She says, even though he never attended SAIT, her son appreciated the practical aspects of the industry.

    Brian had created a thriving home renovation business, combining his knack for business and his love of woodworking and construction. He was also an avid sports enthusiast. As a young man, Brian played hockey at the Junior A level, did some coaching and even played in a European league in his early twenties. In his forties, he opted for more recreational sports, enjoying the social aspects and exercise on the golf course.

    Thanks to the Ludwig family, SAIT students can now apply for two new student awards at SAIT – one for athletics and one in the School of Construction. The $500 School of Construction award goes to a student who is in financial need and demonstrates academic achievement. The $500 athletic award goes to a Trojans hockey player who is also a full-time student, who is in financial need and who also demonstrates community leadership.

    Angela Ludwig says her family chose SAIT because its programs are the ones that fuelled her son’s passion. We hope our contribution will help young people who are financially distressed. We are optimistic our contribution will make a difference in their lives.

    She says the Ludwig family has plans to expand their support of SAIT in memory of Brian. They have pledged to endow a third award and grow the other two. Angela and her husband also say they plan to leave a bequest to SAIT in their wills.

    Individual and Legacy Giving:

    Some people assume they have to be wealthy to create a legacy at SAIT Polytechnic. In fact the majority of SAIT's bequests (gift in a will) are from people of more modest means who want to help our students. Bequests to SAIT can support a range of areas—student awards, curriculum development, equipment purchase, tutoring services, library material and many more.

    There are various ways to plan a legacy gift and we can help you plan your strategy. We can show you how tax laws encourage giving and how donating gifts, such as registered securities, can significantly reduce your taxes and achieve your charitable intentions. The many ways to give a legacy gift to SAIT include:

    • Cash

    • Wills and bequests

    • Publicly traded securities - fill out the Gift of Securities form.

    • RRSPs and RRIFs

    • Life Insurance

    • Real Estate

    • Collections (art, books, etc.)

    • Gifts in kind (equipment and learning tools)

    For more information visit our Ways to Give page or contact Anthony Salekin, Senior Development officer: 403.284.7046 : anthony.salekin@sait.ca

    http://www.sait.ca/alumni/making-a-donation/impact/fall-2014/brian-ludwig-memorial.php

    https://brianludwigfoundation.wordpress.com/author/adludwig/

    http://www.brianludwigfoundation.com/#/brians-story/4573689741

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  • 26th August 2014

    To commemorate the second anniversary of Brian's untimely death, we hosted our 'Family and Friends' golf tournament followed by a 'pot-luck and pool party' on Saturday past.

    The golf tournament was small, but feisty. The overall winners of the tournament were Scott Andrew, Trevor Rickards and Mauraine Montgomery who came in under par. Longest drive went to a gal - Laraine Andrew - out-driving all the guys. Closest to pin went to Brian's Dad - Ron Ludwig and longest putt went to Ian Montgomery from Kelowna, BC.

    At our silent auction, Trevor and Tracy Rickards out-bid the other bidders for the bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac). Their very sizable bid will fund the first scholarship at SAIT for this fall. A special 'thank-you' to this very special couple.

    And finally, thank-you to everyone who shared this day with us.

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  • Error of Impunity:

    Around 9:00 AM Friday, June 27th, 2014 Deputy Assistant Crown Prosecutor, Michael Ewanson, fired a scud missile into the Ludwig Camp.

    He called to inform us that the Crown was going to drop (stay) the charges against the man who threw the deadly punch to the back of Brian Ludwig's head in the early morning hours of the 26th August 2012 outside Swig's Pub, knocking him semi-conscious. Brian had been involved in a disagreement with another man that had ended and he was walking away when, he accused threw a 'cheap shot' to the back left side of his head according to two witnesses at the preliminary hearing in April of this year.

    As Brian lay on the parking lot pavement, with his eyes fluttering, moaning and in cardiac arrest, this man and two of his cohorts stood over him screaming "you got what you deserved you f$@#&^*g a$@#&^*e". These 3 then got into 2 vehicles and sped away.

    Ewanson told us that the Crown was 'staying' the charges because of the contradicting testimony of his two prime witnesses at the preliminary hearing in April of this year. This contradiction is problematic, he said, and if this case were to proceed to trial, in all likelihood will not result in a conviction for the accused. He also said that there were at least 20 other people milling around who witnessed the crime but have not volunteered to come forward to testify. He also said in the event that one or more of these witnesses come forward, then the case will be re-opened. If not, within one year, the charges will be dropped entirely.

    There is an entrenched discrimination within our Canadian legal system towards One Punch Homicides. The jurisprudents (the judges and all attorneys) who work within the legal system can't seem to make an assessment of what category a One Punch Homicide falls into. They repeatedly ask the question 'is it a near accident or a near murder?' An example of this is the judge who presided at the preliminary hearing in April. At one point during the proceedings she referred to the 'One Punch Homicide' of Brian Ludwig as an accident. It baffles me how a punch to the head that causes a death can be deemed an 'accident'.

    What enables this type of thinking within the walls of the Canadian legal system? Many of these "One Punch Homicides' occur at or near a drinking establishment. Quite often, both the killer and the deceased are drunk. And there is a tendency to partially blame the victim for his own death.

    Because of this underlying discrimination, these learned people seem to place the manslaughter charge that is inevitably levied against the One Punch Homicide crime at the bottom end of the manslaughter scale. This manifests itself in several ways. First, sometimes a very light prison sentence is levied - example, two years less a day. Sometimes only house arrest is given to the perpetrator; sometimes time served; and sometimes, as in this case charges are dropped because of a technicality and the cost of a trial is very high.

    The cost to take this to trial is very high and the Crown thinks they don't stand a good chance of a conviction because of contradicting testimony.

    It is every Canadian citizen's basic right to face your attacker in a court of law. However, that courtesy is not going to be extended to us.

    The end result of this 'stay' is that one man is walking away as an innocent man, unencumbered to enjoy the rest of his life.

    Innocent men are put in jail wrongly; the antithesis to that is that guilty men walk away free.

    Brian Ludwig got to only live one-half a life.

    Ron, Heather, Mikita, Phoenix, Karen and I have been given a life sentence.

    Angela Ludwig

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  • We are very happy to announce that the Brian Ludwig foundation has initiated our first of three Memorial Endowments. The first Memorial Endowment has been set up with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and is called "The Brian Ludwig Legacy Fund".

    The intent of this endowment will be to set the total value of the award at an amount that is equivalent to 3.5% of the principal invested in the award. The larger the endowment or the growth of the endowment will generate a larger student award. The balance of the interest earned will be turned back into the endowment.

    It is our goal to grow this endowment large enough to be able to commit to one or more financially stressed students to pay their entire fees for their education.

    Criteria Selections for this award has been set at:

    • General award in the School of Business;

    • Enrolled in the third semester;

    • 100% financial need;

    • Canadian Citizen.

    In addition to the endowment, The Brian Ludwig foundation has initiated our first two student Awards with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and is called "The Brian Ludwig Memorial Student Award".

    The first student award is scholastic:

    1. General Award in the School of construction;

    2. Value of $500.00;

    3. Completed third semester;

    4. 100% financial need;

    5. Canadian Citizen.

    The second student award is athletic:

    1. Member of SAIT's Trojan Hockey Team;

    2. Value of $500.00;

    3. Completed third semester;

    4. 100% financial need;

    5. Canadian Citizen;

    6. Full time student;

    7. Preference given to athlete who displays community leadership through the Trojans Outreach Program (TOP).

    It is estimated that these two awards will be given out in 2014.

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