Paul Rose, a key figure in Quebec’s October Crisis who served 11 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Pierre Laporte, died today of a stroke at the age of 69.

Rose was the leader of the Montreal-based Chénier cell of Front de libération du Québec, the militant nationalist organization behind the 1970 kidnapping of then-Quebec labour minister Laporte and British diplomat James Cross.

Laporte was found in the trunk of a car nearly two weeks after the October Crisis began.

Rose was sentenced to life in jail for the murder, but was paroled in 1982, two years after the Duchaine report found he was not present at the time of the murder.

After his release, Rose worked as a union representative and for l’Aut’journal, a sovereigntist French-language newspaper.

He was also a member of several left-wing Quebec political parties, including Québec Solidaire.

In an interview later on in his life with Bernard Derome, the former host of Radio-Canada’s Téléjournal, Rose said Laporte’s death was not premeditated and that it could have been avoided.

"I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an accident," he said in the interview.

Later on, he said, "We did this because we believed in the advancement of society."

Rose died earlier today at Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal.