FREDERICTON — One of Canada's most notorious killers — who murdered three RCMP officers and wounded two others — has taken to an online matchmaking website where he portrays himself as "a blue collar dude with a passion for music.''
Justin Bourque — who is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years for his 2014 shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B. — posted a profile Tuesday on Canadian Inmates Connect.
"I am single and looking for someone to be with,'' Bourque wrote on the profile, which lists his expected release date as 2089.
The site aims to hook up lonesome convicts with potential companions on the outside.
Melissa Fazzina, who runs the site, said many of the inmates are just looking for friendships and she hopes the connections can help make them better people.
"I've seen how important this service is, just being able to connect people that are incarcerated with the outside world. It does a lot to change their lives for the better while they're inside prison and often for when they're coming out,'' she said.
Fazzina said she started the site a few years ago after seeing sites in the United States and realized there was nothing similar in Canada.
Bourque, who is serving his sentence at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., killed constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche, and left constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen injured.
Bourque's online profile says he likes television and movies, and is looking for women to correspond with.
"So send me a letter and a photo or two and we'll see where it goes from there,'' he wrote.
While the site is Internet based, inmates in Canadian jails and prisons have no Internet access. Anyone wishing to correspond with the inmates have to write and mail letters directly to the prison where they are being held.
Rampage launched 28-hour manhunt
An agreed statement of facts, filed with the court during his trial, said Bourque's actions were both "planned and deliberate'' when he used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot the police officers in a Moncton neighbourhood.
He had targeted police in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.
A 28-hour manhunt for Bourque left much of Moncton paralyzed until his arrest.
Watch: Moncton community mourns but bonds after shooting
He pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 75 years, the harshest sentence in Canada since the last executions in 1962.
When contacted by The Canadian Press Friday for reaction to the matchmaking profile, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said: "This is not a matter for the RCMP to comment on.''
The Correctional Service of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dating site owner defends service
Canadian Inmates Connect charges $35 per year to display the profile of an inmate.
In 2015 it made news for posting the profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, the convicted killer whose grisly crimes made headlines around the world. He's serving a life sentence for the 2012 Montreal killing and dismemberment of university student Jun Lin.
Magnotta's profile said he was looking for a "prince charming.''
I feel bad for these victims, and I'm sure they don't want these guys to have any extra benefits to enjoy nice things like communicating with somebody on the outside.Melissa Fazzina
Fazzina said she wants to help the inmates and give them hope through her service, but she also thinks about the victims.
"I feel bad for these victims, and I'm sure they don't want these guys to have any extra benefits to enjoy nice things like communicating with somebody on the outside. I understand that, however, I just believe that with everybody, their punishment is they are in prison,'' she said.
"Sometimes it's easy for those of us on the outside to just want to keep punishing. Maybe that makes us feel better. Maybe by corresponding with people on the outside it can help them become better people.''
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