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Child killer's ex-wife speaks out against his release

Kaitlynne Schoenborn, 10; Max Schoenborn, 8; and Cordon Schoenborn, 5, are shown in a composite image taken from framed picture at the memorial wall in Merritt, B.C on Thursday April 10, 2008.

Killers like Allan Schoenborn should remain locked up and not receive the privilege of escorted releases, his ex-wife says.

Her declaration came as the B.C. Review Board was to meet Thursday to reconsider a decision earlier this month to allow Mr. Schoenborn – confined to a Port Coquitlam psychiatric hospital for murdering their three young children – escorted leaves after he expressed an interest in going to a pool, a mall or coffee shops.

The board approved the leaves without being aware that his former wife Darcie Clarke lives nearby and announced a new hearing after learning of that point.

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In a handwritten statement prepared for a community rally Wednesday in support of her situation, Ms. Clarke urged people to sign a petition that sets out several goals, including no release for Mr. Schoenborn "at this time."

She also called for reforms to the laws and practices that allowed him to come up for release.

"Please sign our [petition]to keep killers like this [locked]up," she wrote.

Three years ago, Mr. Schoenborn murdered Kaitlynne, 10, Max, 8, and five-year-old Cordon at their home in Merritt, B.C. At the conclusion of a trial, he was found not criminally responsible for his actions because of a mental disorder.

In the statement, Ms. Clarke thanked the community for its support, not only for herself but for everyone who has been in a similar situation.

She said her three children were everything to her and that they gave her a purpose in life.

"They were what life was about," she wrote. "I loved being their mother and it was something I feel that I was good at."

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Ms. Clarke settled with family in Coquitlam long before the trial that saw her ex-husband ordered held at the forensic psychiatric hospital nearby. Her cousin has said the family never expected Mr. Schoenborn to end up in the community because they expected he would be sent to jail.

City council in Coquitlam has unanimously passed a motion calling for changes to the system.

"Our community has serious concerns over safety, but the concern over the remaining victim – a Coquitlam resident – is enormous," Mayor Richard Stewart said in a statement earlier this month.

While expressing relief at the review, Mr. Stewart went on to say, "We need to know how this outrageous decision could have been made in the first place."

In an interview Wednesday, he said the city helped organize the rally to show solidarity with Ms. Clarke.

While he said the city is supportive of the work being done at the hospital, there are concerns about Mr. Schoenborn's situation. He said Mr. Schoenborn should receive more treatment before being eligible for release.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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