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.
Gazley was taken into federal custody on February 16, 2016, seven weeks after he was released from a penitentiary in British Columbia. Sources tell me that Gazley had been released to a community residential facility, a site similar to a halfway house, in North Vancouver. His eight-year sentence for sex crimes committed in Ottawa, Ontario had expired but he was subject to a 10-year supervision order that included seven special conditions. The supervision order is a seldom-used legal leash reserved for dangerous, persistent criminals, particularly sex offenders who resist treatment.
In late April, the parole board reviewed the troubling discoveries about Gazley’s behaviour during his seven weeks of freedom and decided to turn him loose again. His case management team recommended to the board that the suspension of his release be cancelled, even though the board was given “no further details about who you apparently harassed or how you harassed her,” according to the written record of the April 21, 2016 parole decision (read entire document below).
Gazley denied the harassment allegation.
“At your post-suspension interview when you were told by [Correctional Service Canada] that you were harassing a vulnerable female to the point in which she felt concerned for her safety, you claimed you had no recollection of doing so,” the parole document states.
Gazley is an admitted, chronic liar and manipulator. He confessed, during his testimony during a murder trial in Ontario in 2002, to lying “almost … all the time” when talking to police about the murder, before striking a deal for a lenient sentence in exchange for his testimony against the killer. Gazley was diagnosed in 1991, during a prison evaluation by a psychiatrist, as a “classic psychopath with all the typical features of superficial charm and good intelligence, manipulativeness, lack of true remorse, untruthfulness and insincerity.” (Learn more about Gazley’s past and psychopaths in this story and podcast).
Gazley has continued to reoffend despite going through many treatment programs during his multiple terms in prison and jail. His criminal record begins in 1977. Treatments given to sexual psychopaths “have shown little or no reduction in recidivism rates,” according to research by forensic psychologist Stephen Porter, an expert on psychopaths. His research shows that Gazley fits into a category of criminals who “can be expected to offend early, persistently, and often violently across the lifespan.” (Porter appears in Episode 4 of the Cancrime podcast)
Gazley was turned loose again by the parole board despite the alarming discoveries about his behaviour. New conditions were imposed that require him to continue living at a community based facility for another year, to immediately report any attempts to initiate sexual and non sexual friendships with females, not to associate with anyone involved in criminal activity or substance abuse and not to be “in, near or around places where children under the age of 18 are likely to congregate such as elementary and secondary schools, parks, swimming pools and recreational centres unless accompanied by an adult previously approved in writing by your parole supervisor.”
In addition to his sex-offending pen pal and his harassment of a female, authorities also found in his room at the halfway house a pamphlet for a youth business program. Many of Gazley’s victims have been boys and girls aged 11 to 14. A search of his room also turned up a list of names of federal offenders, including their confidential FPS (fingerprint sheet) numbers. Gazley claimed he was given the list when he was a peer counsellor in prison.
The new conditions were imposed on Gazley’s renewed freedom because he appears to be testing the boundaries of his supervision order and challenging authorities charged with watching him.
Despite his history of abusing vulnerable adults and children, and despite specific direction that he cannot “take on any role of trust, coaching or volunteering with community members,” he asked, after his release from prison in December, if he could volunteer as an English teacher for refugees. He was refused permission. He also has asked if he can work at a university campus in a position related to prison health care. On another occasion, Gazley asked staff at the halfway house to help him apply for a pass to attend a community centre so he could exercise and go swimming. Gazley also argued with his case management team, according to the recent parole record, when he was told he could not socialize with other sex offenders in the community. His case management team “notes the concern is significant given that associates have been a factor in your offending.”
Gazley has proven problematic for staff supervising him. He has complained that they have “spoken down” to him. He claims that he has been “isolated in the community” and he has expressed frustration at the way his case has been managed. The parole document reveals that, before Gazley was released from penitentiary in December, another inmate accused Gazley of sexually assaulting him.
The parole board decided to set Gazley free again because it concluded that he does not presently pose “a substantial risk of reoffending.”
“You are clearly a challenge for your [case management team] to manage,” the board stated. “You are argumentative and oppositional but to date you have apparently not breached any of your special conditions or disregarded the clear instructions of your CMT to the point that you have become unmanageable or that you were preparing to do so.”
The written record of the decision by the Parole Board of Canada April 21, 2016, lifting the suspension of Gazley’s release: