Convicted killer, sex offender given brief leave
Croteau attends relative’s funeral
A convicted killer and sex offender serving a life sentence for murder was recently granted a brief leave from a federal penitentiary so he could attend the funeral of a relative under heavy guard and in restraints.
Guy Croteau, 56, convicted in 2004 of first-degree murder in the 1987 death of Sophie Landry, 17, was recently granted the leave so he could be taken to a funeral home on Aug. 10.
A source within Correctional Service Canada said the leave was carried out without incident.
The deceased person’s relation to Croteau was redacted from a written summary of the Parole Board of Canada’s decision to grant the leave. But the summary states the leave was requested as a compassionate temporary absence, which are normally granted so inmates can attend the funerals of close relatives.
The deceased was only referred to in the decision as someone Croteau should con- sider “a model for (him) to follow” if he sets goals toward rehabilitation.
The leave was granted under a section of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act which allows for an “inmate to be absent from penitentiary, escorted by a staff member or other person authorized by the institutional head, for medical, administrative, community service, family contact, personal development for rehabilitative purposes, or compassionate reasons.”
The conditions set out for the leave indicate Croteau is still considered a very dangerous man.
Besides being convicted of killing Landry, a stranger Croteau abducted and raped in 1987 before stabbing her 173 times, he is also serving a concurrent 18-year sentence for sexual assaults of three other victims.
In one case, in July 1999, Croteau picked up two 16-year-old girls who were hitchhiking and sexually assaulted both at knifepoint.
In the other sexual assault case, Croteau abducted a 10-year-old girl at knifepoint, in 2000, after pretending he needed her help to look for a lost dog. He sodomized the girl after taking her to a wooded area.
A Sûreté du Québec investigation, dubbed Project Probe, ended with his arrest in 2002 and found Croteau, who was working as a janitor at a high school at the time, was possibly involved in other sexual assaults and abductions on the South Shore between 1995 and 2000.
Landry was abducted from South Shore La Prai- rie, but Croteau left her body in a cornfield in St-Rochde-l’Achigan, 40 kilometres north of Montreal.
The investigation used DNA found on the clothes of the 10-year-old girl Croteau sodomized to link him to Landry’s murder and the assault on the hitchhikers.
The parole decision reveals Croteau is detained at a medium-security penitentiary somewhere in Quebec and that he collaborates well with corrections staff. But he is still considered a high risk to reoffend with little potential for being paroled, which won’t be an option until sometime after 2027.
The decision states Croteau meets regularly with a psychiatrist and a psychologist to deal with mental-health problems.
In 2004 he was diagnosed as suffering from chronic depression (he tried to kill himself in a courtroom after he was convicted of murder) and paranoia. He is also on a waiting list to take part in programs to treat sexual deviance and drug addiction.
To address the threat he posed, the parole board ordered that Croteau’s leave to the funeral home be limited to less than eight hours, with 30 minutes for lunch.
The board also ordered that he be escorted by two armed guards at all times and transported in a vehicle used to transfer inmates. The board also required that Croteau be kept in handcuffs and leg shackles while at the funeral home.
“Considering the measures foreseen to constrain you, your case management team is of the opinion that the risk can be managed adequately during the escorted leave that they recommended,” the board noted in its decision. “All of the necessary verifications were done relative to the victims and they raised no particular preoccupation with the leave.”
The SQ released these 10 photos of Guy Croteau in 2002 so that victims of unsolved sexualassault cases might recognize him and contact police.