Allan Legere's transfer to lower security raises fears in Miramichi
Deputy mayor to request motion calling for serial killer's return to special handling unit
The deputy mayor of Miramichi and former New Brunswick public safety minister, John Foran, is raising concerns about the transfer of serial killer Allan Legere to a lower-security facility and the risk of escape.
Foran plans to ask Miramichi city council to approve a motion that the mayor contact the Correctional Service of Canada on behalf of the citizens of Miramichi and request Legere be returned to the special handling unit at the maximum security prison in Ste-Anne-Des-Plaines, Que.
Foran says council's protective services committee is scheduled to discuss the matter at a meeting on Feb. 9.
Legere was convicted of murdering five people in the Miramichi area about 25 years ago.
Although the Edmonton facility if farther away, Foran worries Legere will use the move "as some kind of a method to get transferred back to the Miramichi area at the Atlantic Institution," as he has requested in the past, and ultimately escape.
"He could escape any institution, I think, if the opportunity comes along, and I'm sure for the last 25 years that's where his mind has been all the time, trying to connive and think of some way that if he ever gets the opportunity how he would go about doing it," said Foran.
In 1979, Legere escaped custody while being held in connection with violent incidents at two Miramichi area bars.
He was arrested in Ontario and taken home to face trial.
Ten years later, he was serving time in Renous for the murder of shopkeeper John Glendenning, and brutal beating of Glendenning's wife Mary, when he got away during a trip to a medical appointment in Moncton.
Caused 'Reign of Terror'
The next seven months are known as the "Reign of Terror" in Miramichi.
Legere was found guilty of killing four other people while on the loose — shopkeeper Annie Flam, sisters Linda and Donna Daughney, and Father James Smith. He was arrested trying to make his way back to Miramichi in late November, 1989.
Residents are still not over it, said Foran.
"They don't want to hear tell of him. They think that he was put there 25 years ago and he should stay there until the day he dies in the special handling unit," he said.
Foran worries Legere's new captors don't know what he's capable of.
"I really believe that the opportunity could be there for him to escape. And a lot of those officers, I feel, would not look at him the same as the ones who were there 25 years ago. If they're between, say 25 and 35, they wouldn't know who he was or remember what he did, " he said.
Foran says in his role as public safety minister around 2009, he was given assurances Legere would never be transferred out of the special handling unit.