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Parole board decision notes Allan Legere planned escape in year of murder conviction

·3 min read

HALIFAX — A written decision denying Allan Legere's parole said he planned a hostage taking and an escape the same year he was convicted of multiple, brutal killings in Miramichi, N.B.

The eight-page decision that followed a Jan. 13 parole board hearing also noted that in May 2019, a weapon was found inside the television in the serial murderer's cell at the Edmonton Institution.

The 72-year-old convicted murderer, rapist and arsonist escaped from custody on May 3, 1989, while serving a life sentence for the murder of store owner John Glendenning during a 1986 robbery.

Mr. Legere created panic in the Miramichi area as he carried out four more brutal murders, several arsons and a sexual assault before being recaptured on Nov. 24, 1989.

He was convicted of the murders in November 1991, after DNA evidence confirmed his presence at the murder scenes.

During his hearing last week, Legere didn't accept responsibility for the beating deaths, saying others committed them; he blamed alcohol for his actions in tying up and sexually assaulting a woman, and he said he expected victims' families to forgive him and move on.

In the decision released Tuesday night, two parole board members wrote that Legere had failed to take accountability for his crimes and remained at a high risk to reoffend.

The written decision also added information from his Correctional Service of Canada file that hadn't been previously released, including a summary of his record of escape attempts.

"According to file information, you have a history of attempting to, and being successful in, escaping from custody," the decision read. "In 1987 you attempted to escape twice, in 1989 you did escape, and in 1991 you attempted once again to escape."

"In regards to the 1991 attempt, file information relays that your plan to escape custody included an intention of taking a female staff hostage."

After his 1991 escape plan, Legere was transferred to the special handling unit outside Montreal, and in 2015 he was transferred to Edmonton.

The decision said that after the transfer to Western Canada, Legere's behaviour was "problematic" though it said his violence decreased and that he managed at times to successfully participate in institutional employment programs.

Legere, however, continued to develop fixations on female staff members and to behave inappropriately around them, the report said.

"More recently, in May 2019, a weapon was found in your television during an X-ray. The board takes note that you have hidden contraband in your television in the past, and it is concerning that this behaviour has persisted over time."

During his 1989 escape, Legere had a television antennae hidden in his rectum that wasn't detected by guards before he was he taken out of the prison for a medical appointment.

The decision took issue with Legere's claims he hadn't committed violence and with his argument that he was ready to be transferred to a lower-security prison.

"The board is not confident at this point that you truly want to address the contributing factors to your offending, rather, you perceive yourself as someone who has already been rehabilitated. The board does not agree."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press