Richard Ambrose, who was convicted of murdering two Moncton police officers more than 40 years ago, complains that a parole officer at a B.C. penitentiary where he’s confined lied to the parole board, his prison files are rife with errors and it’s unreasonable that he’s being kept in prison. Ambrose (who changed his name to Bergeron) was denied parole during a hearing in February 2017. He appealed the decision and a judgment on the appeal has been released (read it in full after the jump).
The Parole Board of Canada rejected Ambrose’s appeal of his February parole denial, ruling that the the decision was reasonable. It noted that the board was satisfied that there’s “sufficient reliable and persuasive information to reach the conclusion that you are still capable of extreme violence.” Because of the decision, Ambrose will stay behind bars in British Columbia. This is the second time in the past two years that Ambrose has been turned down for parole and rebuffed on an appeal.
In 1974, Ambrose and career criminal James Hutchison shot two Moncton, N.B. police officers in the head and buried the bodies in shallow graves. (Full story of the murders). The officers were investigating the abduction of the son of a local businessman. Quickly caught and convicted, Ambrose and Hutchison were condemned to hang but the sentences were commuted to life in prison after the abolition of the death penalty in Canada. Hutchison died behind bars in 2011.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell where the truth and self-serving fabrications begin and end with Ambrose.
For the first 17 years of his prison sentence, he refused to speak to prison officials about the murders. He did not admit his role in the killings until 1992, when he told a prison psychologist that he fired one of the fatal shots. In recent years, he has claimed he didn’t shoot either one of the murdered police officers, Const. Michael O’Leary or Cpl. Aurele Bourgeois. He now insists that he was only hired to “bury something” – he just didn’t know “something” was the bodies of two policemen. This new certainty about his lack of culpability for the killings is dramatically at odds with previous claims that he couldn’t remember anything about the murders because of a brain injury he suffered while he was free from prison on parole in Alberta.
In prison, Ambrose has been aggressive, hostile, confrontational, threatening and belligerent. At Ambrose’s most recent parole hearing, the board noted that “you have continued to make threats towards those you feel have wronged you.” Ambrose threatened a lawyer who had worked for him. “The lawyer believed that you may be able to carry out such threats, so police and your [case management team] were both advised,” the written record of the hearing states.
Ambrose has told the parole board that he wants to live on Vancouver Island, if he’s released.
You can read more about his troublesome conduct and his parole rejections in several previous stories on Cancrime.
The written record of the June 2017 denial of Ambrose’s parole appeal: