Prison officials move to block sale of murderer's artwork
Roch Theriault led bizarre cult in Burnt River, Ont., from 1977 to 1989
Canadian officials have put an end to the sale of art by federal prisoner Roch Theriault on MurderAuction.com, a U.S. website that calls itself a "true crime auction house."
The Correctional Service of Canada is preventing Theriault's work from leaving New Brunswick's Dorchester Penitentiary, where he is serving a life sentence for murdering one woman and maiming another.
The Canadian Press wire service first reported last year that Theriault's work, including poetry and drawings of flowers, was available on MurderAuction.com.
Work and memorabilia related to serial killer Clifford Olson, serving time in Quebec, were also available on the website.
Theriault led a bizarre cult at Burnt River, Ont., between 1977 and 1989. He killed his wife through disemboweling her, and chopped off the hand of another woman.
The news that his work was for sale prompted Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to express concern that that killer was benefiting from work done in prison.
He wrote to then head of corrections Keith Coulter asking that the practice be stopped.
"Under no circumstances should any offender be permitted to be affiliated with any individual or group that glorifies their crime," Day said in his letter.
The MurderAuction.com site features memorabilia related to murders, as well as art and writings from prisoners.
A correctional service spokeswoman said "measures have been put in place to address this issue."
An internal document imposes "restrictions on the dissemination and distribution of artwork and hobby and craft items, as well as written materials such as memoirs, bibliographies and/or public communications."
"The restrictions are to reduce public notoriety primarily to prevent negative consequences for victims and their families as well as to decrease risk to personal security in the institution and to facilitate eventual reintegration," the document reads.
With files from the Canadian Press