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HUNTER: Why the soft touch for accused mass killer Myles Sanderson

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Myles Sanderson is accused of slaughtering 10 people in cold blood. Cops say he did it up close, in tight, with a knife, personal.

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The 30-year-old is suspected with his now departed brother, Damien, of embarking on a bloodlust-fuelled rampage in their north central Saskatchewan reserve of James Smith Cree Nation before moving on to the tiny town of Weldon.

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Besides the 10 dead, 18 more were injured — three are in critical condition.

Investigators in protective equipment examine the ground at a crime scene in Weldon, Sask., on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.
Investigators in protective equipment examine the ground at a crime scene in Weldon, Sask., on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Photo by Heywood Yu /THE CANADIAN PRESS

But the justice system knew all about Myles Sanderson even before we did. They knew he was extremely violent and had amassed 59 convictions for assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, assaulting a police officer and robbery.

Someone thought that Myles Sanderson could be transformed into a functioning member of society.

In Parole Board of Canada documents from February of this year, Sanderson’s sad history was laid bare along with the justice system’s apparent willingness to enable him. He had already been banned for life from having weapons.

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According to reports, the documents weave a tapestry of woe. Hooked on booze and cocaine by the time he was 14 years old, experts agreed that Myles’ brains were fried.

Myles Sanderson, seen in a police handout photo, is described by police as six-foot-one and 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police say Sanderson, who has a violent criminal record and is considered dangerous, remains on the loose, but he may be injured.
Myles Sanderson, seen in a police handout photo, is described by police as six-foot-one and 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police say Sanderson, who has a violent criminal record and is considered dangerous, remains on the loose, but he may be injured. Photo by HO /The Canadian Press

There were stabbings, beatings, and kicking a cop in the face. He had the usual lousy childhood. He had a tough time in the slammer, as well, getting pinched for a number of infractions.

Then, despite everything, despite bloodshed being telegraphed north, south, east and west, someone in corrections had the idea in February 2021 to lower Sanderson’s security classification.

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Next stop, was a healing lodge even though he was considered a high risk to re-offend.

In August 2021, he walked out of a minimum-security federal prison on stat release. In November, his ex-wife confessed they were living together. Sanderson was sent back to jail.

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In March, he was sprung again with the usual conditions. Get help for the addictions and domestic violence, stay away from these people, get a job, see a shrink, embrace your culture.

The parole board panel suggested that Myles Sanderson’s risk factors were manageable — despite some concerns.

They eventually cancelled the November suspension of his release. Instead, Sanderson got a reprimand.

They wrote: “It is the board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released on statutory release and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration to society as a law-abiding citizen.”

They were oh so very wrong.

In May, Crime Stoppers said he was “unlawfully at large.” He stopped meeting his caseworker. Cops didn’t pick him up.

And now it’s too late.

It’s certainly too late for the 10 victims whose funerals are now being planned.

Contrary to popular belief, I do believe the rehabilitation of criminals is a worthy pursuit. Like small-time dope dealers, thieves, drunks, people whose only real crime is growing up poor.

But in the matter of Myles Sanderson and others of his ilk, my heart hardens.

Or are we all just guinea pigs in a twisted social studies experiment?

The figurative test tube explodes and the bureaucrat offers only a cursory “whoops.”

[email protected]

@HunterTOSun

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Article content

Myles Sanderson is accused of slaughtering 10 people in cold blood. Cops say he did it up close, in tight, with a knife, personal.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The 30-year-old is suspected with his now departed brother, Damien, of embarking on a bloodlust-fuelled rampage in their north central Saskatchewan reserve of James Smith Cree Nation before moving on to the tiny town of Weldon.

Article content

Besides the 10 dead, 18 more were injured — three are in critical condition.

Investigators in protective equipment examine the ground at a crime scene in Weldon, Sask., on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.
Investigators in protective equipment examine the ground at a crime scene in Weldon, Sask., on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Photo by Heywood Yu /THE CANADIAN PRESS

But the justice system knew all about Myles Sanderson even before we did. They knew he was extremely violent and had amassed 59 convictions for assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, assaulting a police officer and robbery.

Someone thought that Myles Sanderson could be transformed into a functioning member of society.

In Parole Board of Canada documents from February of this year, Sanderson’s sad history was laid bare along with the justice system’s apparent willingness to enable him. He had already been banned for life from having weapons.

Advertisement 3

Article content

According to reports, the documents weave a tapestry of woe. Hooked on booze and cocaine by the time he was 14 years old, experts agreed that Myles’ brains were fried.

Myles Sanderson, seen in a police handout photo, is described by police as six-foot-one and 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police say Sanderson, who has a violent criminal record and is considered dangerous, remains on the loose, but he may be injured.
Myles Sanderson, seen in a police handout photo, is described by police as six-foot-one and 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Police say Sanderson, who has a violent criminal record and is considered dangerous, remains on the loose, but he may be injured. Photo by HO /The Canadian Press

There were stabbings, beatings, and kicking a cop in the face. He had the usual lousy childhood. He had a tough time in the slammer, as well, getting pinched for a number of infractions.

Then, despite everything, despite bloodshed being telegraphed north, south, east and west, someone in corrections had the idea in February 2021 to lower Sanderson’s security classification.

Recommended video

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Next stop, was a healing lodge even though he was considered a high risk to re-offend.

In August 2021, he walked out of a minimum-security federal prison on stat release. In November, his ex-wife confessed they were living together. Sanderson was sent back to jail.

Advertisement 4

Article content

In March, he was sprung again with the usual conditions. Get help for the addictions and domestic violence, stay away from these people, get a job, see a shrink, embrace your culture.

The parole board panel suggested that Myles Sanderson’s risk factors were manageable — despite some concerns.

They eventually cancelled the November suspension of his release. Instead, Sanderson got a reprimand.

They wrote: “It is the board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released on statutory release and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration to society as a law-abiding citizen.”

They were oh so very wrong.

In May, Crime Stoppers said he was “unlawfully at large.” He stopped meeting his caseworker. Cops didn’t pick him up.

And now it’s too late.

It’s certainly too late for the 10 victims whose funerals are now being planned.

Contrary to popular belief, I do believe the rehabilitation of criminals is a worthy pursuit. Like small-time dope dealers, thieves, drunks, people whose only real crime is growing up poor.

But in the matter of Myles Sanderson and others of his ilk, my heart hardens.

Or are we all just guinea pigs in a twisted social studies experiment?

The figurative test tube explodes and the bureaucrat offers only a cursory “whoops.”

[email protected]

@HunterTOSun

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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