CANADA

A killer’s day out on the town

JOHN HAY May 21 1984
CANADA

A killer’s day out on the town

JOHN HAY May 21 1984

A killer’s day out on the town

In his blue-grey jacket, Wayne Boden might have been a businessman enjoying a quiet lunch of baked pork chops with a friend in Montreal’s KonTiki restaurant. Certainly other patrons would not have guessed that Boden, a convicted sex killer, was out on a day pass from the Laval maximum security prison the week before last. Nor could they have known that Boden, 36, serving concurrent life sentences for murdering four women, had decided to get away from it all. Shortly before the check arrived, Boden departed—via a door in the restaurant’s men’s room. He left his escort, the prison’s art teacher, with the $23.55 tab and some explaining to do. Described by police as “extremely dangerous,” Boden was at large for 36 hours. Finally Montreal police picked him up in a bar close to the Kon-Tiki itself. Afterward, the episode raised serious questions about a multiple strangler’s bizarre day on the town.

In Ottawa last week Solicitor General Robert Kaplan demanded a report from the prison’s officials and threatened those responsible with possible firing. He added that the authorities should not have given Boden $300 of his prison earnings—ostensibly to buy books and an anniversary present for his parents. And, Kaplan said, Boden should not have been allowed to enter the Kon-Tiki washroom without his escort.

Boden went to prison in 1972. He became eligible for a parole hearing in 1981. The parole board rejected his bid for release then and again last June. “They were afraid he would kill again,” Andrew Roy, a board spokesman, told Maclean’s. But Correctional Service Commissioner Donald Yeomans told the Commons justice committee last week that prison officials had granted Boden the day pass because he was “no longer regarded as dangerous.”

Kaplan did not explain how Montreal police found Boden but he cited “good police work and... an anonymous tip.” Both the minister and American Express Canada Inc. want to know how Boden managed to obtain a credit card in January, 1978, and to renew it yearly, because prison policy bars convicts from obtaining credit. Quebec police found the card on the day of his escape among his belongings in a penitentiary locker. As it began its own investigation, American Express cancelled Boden’s card. A company spokesman doubted that a prisoner could get a card without falsifying his application. She added, “They are not our type of customer.” JOHN HAY in Ottawa.