A serial pedophile and suspected triple murderer found hanged in his jail cell four years ago feared being classified as a dangerous offender and repeatedly said he was going to kill himself, a coroner's inquest was told yesterday.
But staff at the jail knew nothing of those suicide warnings, the inquest heard.
"He was adamant," Detective Ken Drover of Peel Regional Police told the five-member jury probing the death of Donald Douglas Moore at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex.
"He said, 'It'll be over soon, I know I won't get out. ... I can't go to jail. ... I'm going to have eternal sleep. ... I'll be a dead sex pedophile,' " Det. Drover testified, recounting a series of long conversations with Mr. Moore before and after his March, 2004, arrest on 11 charges of sexually assaulting children living in a Caledon foster home.
As well, Mr. Moore was being investigated in the disappearance of three young men subsequently found slain and he seemed in despair, Det. Drover testified.
But a week after his arrest, Mr. Moore, 36, was taken off a suicide watch at Maplehurst, a sprawling detention centre in Milton, west of Toronto. On April 2 he was discovered hanging from a door hinge in his shared cell, his wrists and ankles tethered with strips of ripped bed sheet.
"That wasn't in his file," Maplehurst mental health nurse Corinne Drohan said of Mr. Moore's statements to police that he planned to end his life.
Mr. Moore's death left behind a tangle of unanswered questions.
He was the chief suspect in the killings of Joey Manchisi, 20, of Milton, and Mr. Manchisi's close friend Robert Grewal, 22, of Mississauga, who both vanished in November, 2003, and whose mutilated bodies were found south of Montreal without their heads and hands.
Police believe René Charlebois, 15, also of Mississauga, whose body was found in a dump near Orangeville four months later, was killed by Mr. Moore.
Mr. Moore's former spouse and a 14-year-old boy were both convicted of two counts of accessory to murder after the fact and given six-month prison terms.
Mr. Moore's prison records, moreover, show that notwithstanding a record of sexual assaults stretching back to 1986, he was deemed by the National Parole Board in 1997 to have been rehabilitated and was released into the care of a Hamilton halfway house.
At the time, he had six months left to serve of a four-year prison term for raping a 14-year-old Toronto boy.
None of that history is under the scrutiny of the inquest, the sole mandate of which is to examine Mr. Moore's demise.
But outside the hearing at Hamilton's ornate courthouse, the inquest's narrow scope drew anger and contempt from parents of two of the young men believed slain by Mr. Moore.
"How come this guy came to be back on the street and living in Mississauga?" demanded Mr. Manchisi's father, Joe, who says he is astonished to learn Mr. Moore was not under constant watch at Maplehurst.
Mr. Grewal's mother, Jatinder, was also scornful.
"This is a waste of time," she said. "He said he was going to commit suicide and he did."
Mr. Moore was found hanged with a braided rope, the inquest heard yesterday.
And while the fact that his hands and feet were bound might raise suspicions that someone else was involved, the working theory is that he killed himself and that he tied himself up to ensure he did not save himself at the last moment, Crown attorney and coroner's counsel Brian O'Marra told the hearing, presided over by David Evans.
Pathologist John Fernandes testified that he had encountered similar situations before. As well, Dr. Fernandes said, Mr. Moore weighed almost 200 pounds and the absence of any defensive wounds made it unlikely he had been attacked.
Mr. Moore had been tracked down and arrested at a Burlington motel by a Halton Regional Police tactical squad who smashed his door down, lobbed in percussion grenades and subdued him with a taser, testified Constable Allan Knights, who fired the taser when Mr. Moore failed to put his hands up from beneath the bedclothes, as ordered.
That tactical squad, too, had been advised that the "extremely dangerous" Mr. Moore was regarded as both homicidal and a suicide risk, Constable Knights said.
Once detained at Maplehurst, he was initially put on a suicide watch, meaning rigorous isolation and monitoring, Ms. Drohan, the nurse, told the inquest.
But when interviewed a few days later by her and the doctor who lifted the suicide watch, Mr. Moore spoke normally, gave good eye contact and "said he wasn't suicidal and had no intention of killing himself," she testified.
Since then, scrutiny of potential suicide risks has been enhanced at Maplehurst, Ms. Drohan said.
The inquest continues today.