Terror took root in central Saskatchewan on this day 40 years ago. On June 15, 1975, two children, 12-year-old Dahrlyne Cranfield and Robert Grubesic (inset), 9, disappeared while riding their bicycles along the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. Roughly a month later, Samantha Turner, 8, and Cathy Scott, 7, disappeared. Parents kept their children home behind locked doors. Finally, a tip led police to David Threinen, a truck driver with a history of sex attacks against children. He confessed and led officers to the bodies of his victims. He had strangled them and dumped them in two remote locations outside Saskatoon. A psychiatric report revealed in parole records (read document after the jump) would later describe Threinen as “a cold, amoral individual who felt compelled to offend sexually against children and who experienced no remorse for his victims even when he killed them.”
Russell Williams, the murderous former airforce commander who killed two women and who sexually assaulted two others will soon be subject to the sometimes incomprehensible rules that govern federal prisons and parole in Canada. In a courtroom in Belleville today he pleaded guilty to 86 crimes including the murders of Jessica Lloyd and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau. The lurid details of his deviant spree of fetish break-ins that culminated in torture and murder began to unspool in court, along with the release of bizarre photos taken by Williams himself. He will be automatically sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. His life sentence means exactly that – he’s subject to scrutiny for the rest of his life, even if he is one day freed from prison. But you might not believe just how soon he’s eligible to seek freedom.
Fifteen years after notorious sex slayer Paul Bernardo arrived at the country’s oldest federal prison, another infamous killer could be on his way to Kingston Penitentiary. Russell Williams, the former air force colonel who has admitted murdering two women and sexually assaulting two others, will soon be a federal inmate. Corrections Canada will not discuss his case specifically, but 175-year-old Kingston Pen still operates a super secure isolation unit where notorious offenders are segregated from fellow convicts.
What is it like to live for nearly three decades with the knowledge that you were nearly murdered by a serial sex killer? It is harrowing, at least according to this blogger.
I knew something wasn’t right. I can still feel it now when I remember looking at his face as he opened that door. It was all wrong. He was all wrong. But then his eyes were on me and somehow I couldn’t move.
The full post appears after the jump.
Four decades of agonizing uncertainty. Forty years of wondering why. It’s hard to fathom the torment endured in that span by the family of Jacqueline English (inset). The 15-year-old London, Ontario, girl was abducted, raped and murdered 40 years ago. Her murderer, perhaps a serial killer who preyed on young girls in the region during that time, has not been caught.
Sheryl Gardner (inset) was just 20, on the cusp of a promising career as a model in Toronto when 28-year-old Ralph Ernest Power schemed his way into her apartment, dressed convincingly as a telephone repairman. It was the evening of July 2, 1981. Power was a cleaner at a fast-food restaurant and an ex-convict released early from prison after serving part of a 10-year sentence for nearly killing a woman in a fire after he poured gasoline through a mail slot. He was a deeply troubled man with deviant sexual thoughts.
Child killer Clifford Olson is eligible to apply at any time for another parole hearing. Yet the publicity seeking, narcissistic psychopath has refused to exercise his legal right to beg for release from prison, as he did in 2006 (record of that hearing appears after the jump). According to the National Parole Board, he waived his right to a hearing June 2008. Although killers serving life sentences are eligible for parole hearings every two years once they pass their eligibility date – 25 years in Olson’s case – he can seek another hearing at any time because he voluntarily skipped the hearing in 2008. Another hearing will be scheduled for mid 2010.
It seems a cruel turn of fate that the Beast of British Columbia has outlived from behind bars his nemesis. Gary Rosenfeldt (inset), a man heralded as a pioneer of victims’ rights in Canada, died this week after a battle with cancer. In 1981, Clifford Olson abducted, raped and murdered Rosenfeldt’s 16-year-old stepson, Daryn Johnsrude. Daryn was one of 11 children Olson killed before he was caught and jailed for life in 1982. Olson turned 69 on Jan. 1 and remains behind bars. Rosenfeldt was 67 when he died this week. Olson is likely to die in prison. (UPDATE: Olson died behind bars in 2011 – after the jump, read a confidential prison document outlining claims Olson had made about other unsolved child murders).