Giant Mine bomber Roger Warren dead at 75
Warren served 18 years in prison for 9 counts of 2nd-degree murder
Roger Warren, a former miner convicted of killing nine workers in a bombing 27 years ago at the now-defunct Giant Mine just outside Yellowknife, has died.
Warren served 18 years in prison for nine counts of second-degree murder for one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history. He was granted day parole in British Columbia in 2014 and full parole in 2017.
A death certificate obtained by CBC News states a Roger Wallace Warren died on July 24 at the age of 75 in Abbotsford, B.C.
A spokesperson with the Correctional Service of Canada told CBC that offenders serving a life sentence, like Warren, are under the jurisdiction of the department until they die. The spokesperson confirmed that Warren was no longer under the department's jurisdiction.
Shortly before 9 a.m. local time on Sept. 18, 1992, an underground blast rocked Giant Mine, whose workers' union was in a bitter labour dispute with mine owner Royal Oak. A bomb on the tracks exploded under a railcar carrying nine miners. Three of them were replacement workers and six were Giant Mine employees who had crossed the picket line. All of them were killed.
Warren's conviction was controversial. Many believed he did not set the explosives, or that he did not act alone. After confessing to police in 1993, Warren recanted. During his criminal trial, he maintained it was a false confession, that he had wanted to end the strike and struggled with depression.
[He is] a very good man who made a mistake and he has put his time in.- Patty Johnson, Warren's daughter
In 1997, Warren tried unsuccessfully to appeal the conviction, and for years in prison he maintained he was not guilty. His case even garnered the attention of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.
However, in 2003, nearly a decade after Warren's initial conviction, he confessed again. Warren told the parole board it was cowardice and the fear of letting down his family that caused him to maintain his innocence. He said he thought of himself as a despicable person and said his behaviour was shameful.
At his day parole hearing in Mission, B.C., in 2014, Warren said going to church was the highlight of his week and he also did volunteer work, such as fixing equipment and painting the halfway house.
At the time of his hearing, Patty Johnson, Warren's daughter, called her father "a very good man who made a mistake and he has put his time in. The justice system isn't an eye for an eye.
"I know he wouldn't have intended to hurt anybody. That's why we have stood by him. But you can't change the past, I wish you could."