A Calgary murder case has established a significant Canadian precedent. For the first time, a multiple murderer has been sentenced to 75 years in prison without parole eligibility in a case in which the bodies of the victims were not found. A judge imposed the crushing penitentiary term – three consecutive life sentences – on Douglas Garland (inset) in February 2017, after he was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin Liknes, 66, and Kathy Liknes, 53. Only a handful of Canadian killers have been sentenced to prison terms longer than 25 years, under changes to criminal law that came into force in 2011.
The parole board has recommended the laying of a criminal charge against a serial sex offender living in Vancouver because he breached conditions designed to protect the community. The board also imposed new conditions on him as it struggles to control the psychopath with a 30-year record of crimes including sexual assault and accessory to murder. Donald Gazley (inset), who is living at a halfway house in Vancouver, already is subject to an onerous 10-year supervision order, a rarely used form of close observation imposed on the most dangerous criminals. Gazley, 56, was diagnosed in prison as a “classic psychopath” and is considered a high risk to commit new sex offences. His last federal penitentiary sentence expired in December 2015 and he was released to a halfway house. His 10-year supervision period began at that time. In the roughly 13 months that he has been free from prison, Gazley has been repeatedly caught engaging in worrisome behaviour that appears designed to test the boundaries of his legal leash and put him in a position to procure new victims.
Seven years ago, one of Canada’s most notorious imprisoned child killers, Saul Betesh (inset), began pursuing penpals on a U.S.-based website for lonely inmates. Betesh is now into his fourth decade behind bars and he’s still hunting friendship by letter. The reviled sex murderer has posted another online ad soliciting penpals, this time on a Canadian-based site. Betesh’s ad (screenshot after the jump) reveals that he’s no longer in Ontario – he was at medium-security Warkworth Institution near Campbellford, Ontario when he posted his 2010 ad – but he’s now at Pacific Institution, about 80 kilometres east of Vancouver. Six years ago, Betesh slyly concealed the horror of his crime. His ad described his offence only as “assault.” Now, he’s shown the temerity to confess he’s serving time for first-degree murder and acknowledges that “my crime was bad.”
A psychopathic sex offender has been set free again in British Columbia, after being briefly detained, despite the revelation that he was “harassing a vulnerable female” near the halfway house where he’s under supervision and other troubling discoveries. Authorities expressed “significant concern” after learning that Donald Gazley (inset) secretly struck up a pen-pal relationship with a female sex offender in a U.S. prison – a woman who helped a man abuse her daughters. Gazley has a three-decades long criminal record that includes sex crimes against children and vulnerable adults and a conviction for involvement in a murder. He appears to be a rare and particularly dangerous offender – a sexual psychopath who preys on children and adults, male and female. Most offenders like him resist treatment and never stop committing crimes.
Psychopath and sex predator Don Gazley – who is profiled in Episode 4 of the podcast – is back behind bars, weeks after he was released from a federal institution in British Columbia, Cancrime learned. “Don Gazley is currently in custody at a federal institution,” Jean-Paul Lorieau, a B.C.-based spokesman for Correctional Service of Canada told me today (March 10). Lorieau won’t say why Gazley’s release was revoked. Gazley was deemed a high risk to commit new sex crimes against children so he was kept locked up until he had served every day of his last sentence, an eight-year term for sex crimes committed in Ontario.
There may be 3,500 psychopaths behind bars in Canada’s prisons, roughly one quarter the male penitentiary population, according to researchers. They are conscienceless predators and manipulators driven only by a desire for self-gratification. Until recently, Don Gazley (inset) was among them. Gazley (listen to him, after the jump, in manipulation mode, in Episode 4 of the Cancrime podcast) has a two-decade history of sex crimes and involvement in a murder. He’s been diagnosed a “classic psychopath” who poses a high risk to commit new sex crimes. Yet Gazley was released in early January from a penitentiary in British Columbia, in part, because the top legal official in Ontario, where he was last sentenced, chose not to seek to keep him locked up forever through a dangerous offender designation. Gazley’s treatment by the criminal justice system isn’t unusual. A Canadian expert on psychopaths, forensic psychologist Stephen Porter, says the system must take psychopathy “much more seriously.” His research reveals that, although psychopathy is one of the most powerful predictors of criminal recidivism, psychopaths win conditional release 2.5 times more often than non psychopaths.
John Gallienne (inset), a pedophile who exploited his trusted position as choirmaster and organist at Anglican churches across Canada to prey on young boys sexually, has been charged again with abuse committed decades ago. Now 71, Gallienne is charged with three counts of indecent assault on a boy in Kingston, Ontario between 1975 and 1978, when the victim was 10 to 12 years old, according to this story by reporter Sue Yanagisawa. It’s not surprising that another victim has come forward now, years later, and more charges have been filed. Gallienne has been affiliated with at least four churches across Canada, including Ottawa and Victoria, B.C. Past convictions have established that he was an insatiable predator with many victims. It is possible that there remain hundreds of victims who have never reported the abuse to police. Several of his Ontario victims committed suicide. There is no statute of limitations in Canada for reporting sexual assault and national surveys suggest most abuse is never reported to police.
Pedophile James Alfred Cooper (inset) knew that he was being watched closely while he was out of prison on early release. Yet he still schemed to procure children while he was free in 2014. The depth of Cooper’s deviousness is detailed in the internal parole records (read them after the jump) of the Ontario man who tortured and raped children. Cooper was convicted only of 16 crimes involving six children over a span of 17 years but it is likely there are other victims. Most predatory pedophiles do not abuse just a handful of victims. The six victims for whom convictions were registered were aged seven to 14 at the time of the abuse that included whippings and beatings and forced sex including intercourse. Five of them, four girls and one boy, were his stepchildren from two of his marriages. One was a neighbour’s daughter.
When they found six-year-old Michael Kent (inset), he was motionless, lying face down in the muddy snow on the west side of the parking lot of the arena in Elmvale, a small community 120 kilometres north of Toronto. The fair-haired boy, one of five Kent siblings, was still wearing his navy blue and white tuque and his navy blue ski jacket but it was now covered with mud and blood. Michael had been stabbed seven times, four times in the abdomen and three times in the back. There was no indication he had been sexually assaulted. Police later surmised that the small boy’s face had been held down in the mud while he was killed on that winter day, February 11, 1966. A half century later, Michael’s murder remains unsolved.
The Parole Board of Canada has released the written record (read it after the jump) of a decision last week to grant freedom to sex predator Graham James, 62, (inset), a former hockey coach who exploited and abused young men he coached, including several who went on to successful professional careers in the National Hockey League. James was granted day parole after a hearing January 25 in Quebec, where he is completing a seven-year sentence for sexual assault, the latest in a series of convictions related to hundreds of incidents that date to the early 1970s. It is his second federal prison term.
(UPDATE: In a decision in September 2016, James was granted full parole. Read the decision here.)