I know Dr. John Butt. He is a good man:
The man who committed a random sex killing that shook Calgary in 1993 is seeking temporary passes from prison.
Luc Yoland Gregoire abducted 22-year-old Lailanie Silva as she worked at a northeast Calgary convenience store, raped and strangled her before dumping her body in a ditch.
Gregoire, who is now 51 years old, was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25-years at an undisclosed federal prison in his native Quebec.
Although Gregoire has not reached the point when he’s eligible to apply for early release, the Parole Board of Canada said he is seeking escorted temporary absences.
Corrections legislation allows offenders temporary passes — under escort or unescorted — prior to earning parole.
Most decisions regarding escorted release are left up to the warden of the institution, but offenders under life sentence must have their cases referred to the parole board for a hearing.
A date for Gregoire’s hearing hasn’t been set, said Louis-Philippe Moisan, a parole board spokesman in Quebec.
Privacy regulations prevent officials from revealing details of Gregoire’s application, though they will be disclosed at his hearing.
Generally speaking, escorted absences are granted to inmates for compassionate reasons, family visits, or personal development and community service designed to prepare them for release.
Silva was washing the windows of a 7-Eleven store on Rundlehorn Drive N.E. when Gregoire grabbed her shortly after midnight on May 3, 1993.
A passerby found her body in a ditch along 80th Avenue N.E. in an area that was at the edge of the city back then.
Dr. John Butt, who was the chief medical examiner at the time, testified he’d rarely seen a murder as brutal as Silva’s.
“I’ve never seen sexual injuries like this before,” Butt told the court.
“These are very forceful injuries.”
Gregoire strangled Silva with such force that it crushed her larynx and pushed it to the back of her spine, Butt testified.
Gregoire was a former member of the Canadian Airborne Regiment who was working as a roofer in Calgary after leaving the military. A co-worker of Gregoire’s later recalled that the stocky ex-soldier easily handled 35-kilogram bundles of shingles and worked for hours without stopping.
Silva and three of her siblings had arrived in Canada from the Philippines a few months before the killings, and their parents were days from joining them in Calgary.
Trained as a teacher in her native country, Silva was working at 7-Eleven to save money to return to school.
The killing touched off intense criticism of authorities when it was revealed Gregoire was on supervised release and should have been returned to prison for breaching his conditions prior to killing Silva.
A Correctional Service of Canada report later found that a clerical error on Gregoire’s parole records mistakenly said his supervision ended in 1990 — not 1993.
As a result, Gregoire was released on bail twice after being arrested by Calgary police: first for impaired driving in January 1993, and again in three months later when he was charged with assaulting a prostitute.
In both cases, no one notified the parole office of the new charges, which would have likely resulted in him being returned to prison for violating his conditions.
Gregoire also served a two-year prison sentence in after he was convicted in 1981 of forcible confinement and indecent assault for attacking a woman outside a Quebec nightclub the previous year.