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Denis Bégin is suspected of being the author of the fire in a building in Old Montreal which left seven people dead and nine injured in 2023.

Escape: Denis Bégin, nicknamed the “Halloween killer”, pleads guilty

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Denis Bégin, 63, escaped from a Laval detention center in 2019 where he was serving a life sentence for murder.

    < li class="mt-2 flex first:mt-0">Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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The murderer Denis Bégin, who escaped from prison in 2019, received an additional sentence of 18 months in prison on Thursday, at the Laval courthouse, after pleading guilty to a charge of escape from legal custody.

Denis Bégin, who has a long criminal record, was among the 25 most wanted criminals in Canada when he was arrested in May 2023, by the SPVM, after a run of more than four years.

He was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder at the Leclerc penitentiary in Laval when he fled on February 15, 2019, with the help of an accomplice.

Following his plea, the Court accepted a joint suggestion from the defense and the Crown by imposing on him a prison sentence of 18 months. This is a concurrent sentence as it will be served at the same time as the life sentence already imposed on him.

The lawyer for Denis Bégin, who appeared by videoconference from Port-Cartier prison, made no comments.

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Suspected of being the author of the major fire which left seven dead and nine injured last winter in Old Montreal, Bégin then deceived the SPVM sleuths by assuming the identity of a homeless person. He was subsequently unmasked by investigators.

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The investigation into the major fire which cost the lives of seven people last March has now passed to the SPVM's major crimes unit.

Nicknamed the Halloween Killer, Denis Bégin has a long criminal past. He had dressed up as the character Jason, from the films Friday 13, on the evening of the 31st October 1993 before shooting a man dead in a Montreal brasserie.

He had been arrested and accused of murder in the spring of 1996 after being denounced by his partner at the time.

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Denis Bégin drags a heavy legal past.

Convicted of murder, he appealed and obtained another trial in 2003 during which he pleaded guilty to second degree murder. He had received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 10 years.

Several years before, in 1984, Bégin was also convicted of conspiracy and extortion after attempting to extort $100,000 from a bank by sending a package containing a fake bomb.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (Consult the profile)Stéphane BordeleauFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116