An incarcerated murderer who escaped prison eight years ago, aided by his pretty prison psychologist-lover, has made a startling admission to authorities. The revelation raised alarm about the risk posed by killer Andrew Wood, who fled penitentiary after Erin Danto, his secret sweetheart, smuggled him a cellphone, equipped a campsite hideout for him and schemed to conceal his whereabouts.
A veteran Liberal MP who once oversaw Canada’s federal prison system says at least one convict-run penitentiary farm among six shuttered by the Conservatives should be reopened and he’s pushing his caucus to do it. “I’m certainly encouraging it be done and I hope the government, when they do their financial analysis, see the worth of doing that,” Wayne Easter (inset) told me, in a recent interview. Easter was Public Safety critic leading up to the October 2015 election. He was solicitor general in the Chretien government in 2003, with responsibility for the Correctional Service. Easter said he planned to meet this week with the new Liberal Public Safety minister, Ralph Goodale.
Through my late teens and early 20s – in late 70s and 80s – heavy-duty plastic milk crates had one notable use, as containers/carriers for long-play, 33 rpm records. Albums fit perfectly into the rugged, square containers that were designed to transport jugs and plastic bags of milk and other products from dairies to retailers and restaurants. It turns out the crates have an entirely unexpected use inside a federal penitentiary, as the raw material for fabrication of a sturdy and lethal prison shank. I dug out of my personal archive a photo I snapped of one of these marvels of convict engineering (inset, in full after jump), after seeing a recent decision of a Federal Court judge who tossed out the internal prison conviction of an Ontario inmate after a five-inch long Fibreglas knife was found inside the convict’s cell.
It’s been roughly a year since the Harper government shuttered six convict-run penitentiary farms across Canada, despite howls of protest. Opponents said the farms were a useful, low-cost rehabilitative tool. The Tories ignored the critics and protesters and closed the farms. But the opponents won’t go away or stay silent. More than 100 people returned Monday evening, August 8, 2011 (see video after jump), to the main gate of Frontenac Institution in Kingston, Ontario, where two dozen people were arrested a year ago in a failed bid to block the closing of the pen farm at Frontenac. No one was arrested this time, though three Kingston police cruisers appeared just as the demonstration was winding down at 8 p.m.
Former NHL player Rob Ramage (inset) is likely to be paroled today, eight months after he began serving a four-year prison sentence. The one-time captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs went to prison in July last year after he lost an appeal of his conviction for driving drunk and crashing his car, killing his passenger and friend, former Chicago Blackhawks star defenceman Keith Magnuson.
A provincial police riot squad, backed by about 30 Kingston police officers arrested 15 protesters in a confrontation outside a federal prison in Kingston, Ontario today (video after the jump). The protesters were trying to block trucks from removing 300 Holstein cattle from Frontenac Institution, one of six Canadian penitentiaries where inmates operate a farm. The Conservative government ordered all six farms shut down, claiming they lose money yearly and fail to teach inmates marketable skills. The trucks got through the blockade today. The protesters were charged with mischief. Eight protesters arrested Sunday faced the same charges.
On a darkened rural road about 30 kilometres north of Kingston, Ontario, late on the evening of June 18, escaped murderer Andrew Wood (inset) was being handcuffed and hauled to a police car by a bevy of cops who had tailed his girlfriend to the secluded meeting spot, despite her devious efforts to shake them. As Wood was being separated from the petite woman with the thick mane of dark hair, he called out: “I love you Erin.”
This was no average girlfriend. It was Erin Danto, 35, a full-time psychologist working for the Correctional Service of Canada at Frontenac Institution in Kingston. She too was handcuffed and hauled away by police. Yesterday, just 32 days after the dramatic capture, Danto pleaded guilty to helping Wood, 42, escape from prison June 13 and she pleaded guilty to breach of trust, in part because of her romance with Wood.
Murderer Andrew Wood (inset), who escaped a minimum-security federal prison in Kingston, Ontario, June 13 and was caught in a car five days later with his pretty, female prison psychologist, has pleaded guilty to escaping, but more significantly, he has not admitted to having a “love affair” with the psychologist, Erin Danto, as police allege.