The double cop killing that shocked the nation

James Hutchison (jumpsuit) and Richard Ambrose (hat) are led into court in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Dec. 16, 1974. All photos courtesy, Moncton Times and Transcript

Thirty-five years ago, Canadians were stunned by a ruthless murder in Moncton. The picturesque east coast city was rocked by the slayings of two city police officers, Cpl. Aurele Bourgeois and Const. Michael O’Leary, who were pushed into shallow graves by a pair of kidnappers, then shot in the head. The killers were condemned to hang, but their sentences were commuted to life in prison when Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976. One of the killers, Richard Ambrose, has been free on parole, but is back behind bars. The other man, James Hutchison, who was fingered by investigators as the mastermind behind the kidnapping and the killings, is behind bars in Ontario but is working his way toward freedom, for the second time. After the jump, the parole records of both killers, the memories of an RCMP officer who caught the murderers, and the exclusive story of Hutchison’s pending transfer to a prison with no fences.

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