Murderer Kelly Ellard is one of the lucky ones – a killer permitted freedom despite her refusal to tell the truth about the central role she played in a savage murder. In 1997, 14-year-old Reena Virk was beaten by a group of teens and drowned near Victoria, B.C. Ellard was convicted of murder after a trial heard that she held Reena’s head under water until the badly injured, struggling girl fell limp. Ellard has come timidly to the precipice of a full confession, too cowardly to plunge fully forward. Despite this, she is free from prison on parole, clinging to denials and rationalizations.
Imprisoned murderer Paul Bernardo claims that he has “cured” himself of the aberrant thinking that drove him to rape and murder young women and girls, and that’s why he should be set free. Bernardo also claimed, in an October 17 parole hearing that, although he may have once been considered a psychopath, sexual sadist and narcissist, now, he’s a “nice and compassionate guy.” The outlandish claims are documented in the written record of the hearing (read the full doc after the jump). The Parole Board rejected Bernardo’s assertions and denied him any form of release.
The last time Micky McArthur was free from prison, he armed himself with a high-powered rifle, robbed a bank in a small central Ontario town and tried to kill three police officers blocking his getaway. He shot two others. Now, 24 years after the bloody bank heist, the career criminal has convinced authorities to give him unsupervised release from prison. He is serving four life sentences, among 200 convictions. His freedom comes despite longstanding objections of police, who believe McArthur also got away with murder. It is well known publicly that investigators believe McArthur kidnapped and murdered a man, 24-year-old Tom Gencarelli, in Kingston, Ontario, in 1982. Cancrime learned that McArthur is a suspect in a second unsolved homicide, a 35-year-old case long shrouded in mystery and tied to the federal prison system.
Since posting recently about the 40-year-old unsolved murder of Christine Ziomkiewicz, I’ve learned that investigators approached a family member in the past few years and discussed leads that were being tracked. Bernie Ziomkiewicz, a younger brother of the missing Kingston, Ontario woman, says he met with a Kingston Police officer. He also revealed that he provided DNA samples to police.
The parole board has altered conditions of release imposed on a freed hockey coach who committed hundreds of sexual assaults on young players. The change, made in a decision June 21, 2018, would permit Graham James to meet face to face with his victims or their families, if they choose, as part of a restorative opportunities program. The meetings are arranged and closely monitored by a facilitator. The parole board decision (read a written record of it, after the jump) also reveals how James has fared in the community since he was granted full parole in September 2016.
The middle child of working class, immigrant parents, Christine Ziomkiewicz built a comfortable and promising life by the time she reached her mid 20s. She had a bachelor of science degree, a good job at a lab at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a loving and close family. On Father’s Day weekend in 1978, she baked a cake for her dad, Stefan. The following Friday, June 23, Christine bought groceries after work, chatted with a neighbour as she arrived home at her apartment and went inside. No one has seen her since. Police say she was murdered, though they have not found her body or a crime scene.
Kristopher Guenther slapped a strip of industrial strength tape across the mouth of former fiancé Lacey Jones McKnight – because she was struggling and begging for her life, pleading that she still loved him. He tied her arms and legs with rope. He yanked a plastic bag over her head. He choked the life from her with his bare hands, telling her he was sorry “it had to be this way.” Six years later, Guenther proclaims, with stunning impudence and shamelessness, that it was a “regrettable mistake” because, really, he’s a “respectful, caring, open-minded guy.”
Serial rapist Rene Bourdon may die behind bars, because of a court decision this week in Kingston, Ontario. Bourdon – who incapacitates women with drugs, then rapes them while they are unconscious – was declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indeterminate period in custody. It means he can be held in prison until he is considered no longer a danger. Dangerous offenders comprise a tiny percentage of convicted criminals. Few are ever released. Most die in custody.