John Schneeberger

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Dr. John Schneeberger
Born1961 (age 59–60)
Criminal statusReleased
Spouse(s)Lisa Dillman (divorced)
ChildrenTwo children, plus one stepdaughter and one stepson
Criminal chargeRape, administering a noxious substance, obstruction of justice,
PenaltySix years

John Schneeberger (born 1961) is a North Rhodesian-born former physician who drugged and raped one of his female patients and also his stepdaughter while a physician in Canada. For years, he evaded arrest by implanting a fake blood sample inside a plastic tube in his arm, which confounded DNA test results.

Early life[edit]

John Schneeberger was raised in Northern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and received his medical degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. In 1987, he moved to Canada. He lived in the town of Kipling, Saskatchewan and practiced in the Kipling Medical Centre.

In 1991, he married Lisa Dillman, who had two children from a previous marriage. Schneeberger and Dillman had two daughters during their marriage.[1] In 1993, he acquired Canadian citizenship and still retained his other citizenship.

Rape case[edit]

Schneeberger was accused of serious sexual crimes, and convicted after successfully foiling DNA tests several times.[2]

On the night of 31 October 1992, Schneeberger sedated his 23-year-old patient, Candice (known on Forensic Files as "Candy") , and raped her. While Versed—the sedative he used—has a strong amnesic effect, Candy was still able to remember the rape. She reported the crime to the police.[3]

Schneeberger's blood sample was, however, found not to match the samples of the alleged rapist's semen, thus clearing him of suspicion. In 1993, at the victim's request, the test was repeated but the result was negative as well. In 1994 the case was closed.[3]

Candy, still convinced that her recollections were true, hired Larry O'Brien, a private detective, to investigate the case.[4] He broke into Schneeberger's car and obtained another DNA sample, which this time matched the semen on the victim's underwear and pants. As a result, a third official test was organized. The obtained blood sample was found too small and of too poor quality to be useful for analysis.

In 1997 Lisa Schneeberger found out that her husband had repeatedly drugged and raped her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage. She reported him to the police, who ordered a fourth DNA test. This time, multiple samples were taken: blood, mouth swab, and hair follicle. All three matched the rapist's semen.

During his 1999 trial, Schneeberger revealed the method he used to foil the DNA tests. He implanted a 15 cm Penrose drain filled with another man's blood and anticoagulants in his arm.[5] During tests, he tricked the laboratory technician into taking the blood sample from the place the tube was planted.

He was found guilty of sexual assault, of administering a noxious substance, and of obstruction of justice, and received a six-year prison sentence.[6]

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan stripped Schneeberger of his medical license and his wife divorced him. She also reported him to the Canadian immigration authorities.

In 2003, Schneeberger was released on parole after serving four years in prison. He was stripped of his Canadian citizenship (granted in 1993) due to having obtained his citizenship illegally, as he had lied to a Canadian citizenship judge in claiming that he was not the subject of a police investigation. In December 2003, Canada authorities revoked his citizenship and ordered his deportation.

Being a permanent resident of South Africa, he was returned there in July 2004. He moved to Durban to live with his mother.[7] According to a report by the Mercury News in Durban, Schneeberger applied to the Health Professions Council of South Africa to work in medicine less than three weeks after his arrival in Durban. The Council was considering the former doctor's registration until Schneeberger suddenly withdrew it in mid-October.[8]

In media[edit]

His case was depicted in a 2003 true crime series, 72 Hours ("The Good Doctor") on CBC, and in Canadian film, I Accuse.[9][10] It was also featured in an episode of Forensic Files ('Bad Blood') on Court TV, now TruTV.[11]

The case also inspired works of fiction, including "Serendipity", a fifth season episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,[12] and the first episode of the 2009 Japanese drama Kiina.[citation needed]

The case was featured on Autopsy episode 7, "Dead Men Talking" (2001) on HBO.[13]


  1. ^ Wente, Margaret (26 May 2001). "The endless nightmare of Lisa Dillman". The Globe and Mail Inc. Canada: Phillip Crawley. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Sask. doctor sentenced for rape". Regina, Saskatchewan: CBC News. 2000-11-10. Archived from the original on 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  3. ^ a b Morton, James (2015). "13 False Forensics?". Justice Denied: Extraordinary miscarriages of justice. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9781472119414. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  4. ^ Pacholik, Barb; Pruden, Jana G. (2007). Sour Milk and Other Saskatchewan Crime Stories. University of Regina Press. pp. 115–116. ISBN 9780889771970. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  5. ^ Khan, Dr. Firdos Alam (2011). "9 - Medical Biotechnology". Biotechnology Fundamentals. CRC Press. p. 303. ISBN 9781439897126. Retrieved 18 January 2018. It turned out that he [Schneeberger] had surgically inserted a Penrose drain into his arm and filled it with foreign blood and anticoagulants.
  6. ^ SWANK, MORGAN (22 March 2014). "10 Baffling Forensic Cases That Stumped The Experts - Listverse". Listverse. Listverse Ltd. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018. Schneeberger was convicted of rape—as well as obstruction of justice—and was sentenced to six years in prison.
  7. ^ "Saskatchewan's sexual assault doctor now in South Africa | CBC News". CBC News. CBC/Radio-Canada. 22 July 2004. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2018. A Zambian-born doctor who planted a tube in his arm filled with someone else's blood to divert a Saskatchewan sexual assault investigation arrived in South Africa Wednesday after Canada deported him.
  8. ^ "Schneeberger seeks work in new home". CanWest News Service. The StarPhoenix. 12 November 2004. Archived from the original on 12 November 2004. Retrieved 12 March 2020. A notorious former Saskatchewan doctor, John Schneeberger, jailed for drugging and raping a patient in a rural Saskatchewan hospital, applied to work in medicine days after being deported to his South African homeland from Canada.
  9. ^ "Film based on Schneeberger airing as parole begins". CBC News. Saskatchewan, Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada. 24 November 2003. Retrieved 19 January 2018. I Accuse, traces the courageous battle that a woman engaged in getting her family physician charged and convicted of sexually assaulting her in a small rural town.
  10. ^ Reporter, Staff (22 June 2004). "Disgraced SA doctor expelled from Canada". The M&G Online. Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2018. A TV documentary titled "I Accuse" follows his first victim, Candice Foley, then 23, who found herself ostracised by a small-town community that resented her "false" charges against one of its most respected members.
  11. ^ "The best of Forensic files - NLM Catalog - NCBI". U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2002–2004. Retrieved 18 January 2018. —Bad blood : the Dr. John Schneeberger case --
  12. ^ "10 Real-life Crimes That Became Fictional TV Episodes". HowStuffWorks. InfoSpace Holdings LLC. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2018. Seem far-fetched? It is. But not very. In 1992, Dr. John Schneeberger, a physician living in Saskatchewan, drugged and raped Candace Foley.
  13. ^ ""Dead Men Talking"". Autopsy. Episode 7. United States. 2001. HBO. Retrieved 18 January 2018. ...a beloved doctor whose rapes might have gone unpunished had it not been for a persistent victim

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