Family and friends of murder victim Ele Anthonysz held a second protest on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The group wants Walter Ramsay – the man convicted of murdering Anthonysz and trying to murder two children – sent back to a maximum security facility.
Anthonysz, 33, was murdered on April 17, 2015 after her Hatzic-area home was set ablaze in the middle of the night. Two children also sustained injuries in the blaze. Ramsay pleaded guilty to killing Anthonysz in April of 2016 and was handed a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 20 years.
After spending two years in Kent Maximum Institution, Ramsay was transfered to the Mission Medium Institution.
Anthonysz’s family and friends were upset that the transfer occurred and held a protest at the end of July 2018.
After the protest, Ramsay voluntarily transferred to Matsqui Institution, also a medium security facility.
According to organizer Lori Maginnis, the protest, which included a car cavalcade and rally, is to “bring awareness to the communities of the lack of compassion and sensitivity and support shown to the families of murder victims by Correctional Services Canada.”
In a message, sent to the Mission Record, Maginnis wrote “Ele Anthonysz’s family and friends are still putting their lives together after Ele was taken from them by a senseless and pre-meditated act of murder. Walter Ramsay received support and counselling in the two years he was in Kent Maximum Prison. Now the Parole Board has decided he is ready to transfer to Medium Security.”
She also wrote that the friends and family object. They believe “murderers who are charged with first degree murder should have to serve a longer amount of time in maximum security prison” before being able to enjoy the rights and freedoms accorded to inmates in medium security prison.
“We believe that there needs to be more accountability to the families of murder victims to ensure that the progress they’ve made in trying to move on with their lives is not set back by thoughtless decisions made by a faceless bureaucracy.”
Maginnis said the protesters want Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility.