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Fire in Old Montreal: the suspect, a notorious criminal

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Denis Bégin, a 63-year-old murderer, is the SPVM's main suspect in the criminal investigation into the deadly fire in Old Montreal.

  • Pascal Robidas (View profile)Pascal Robidas

Denis Bégin was until recently one of the 25 most dangerous and most wanted criminals on the BOLO program list. He is now the main suspect in the case of the arson of a building in Old Montreal which left seven people dead last March.

The criminal profile of Denis Bégin, nicknamed the “Halloween Killer”, is blood-curdling, according to documents from the Parole Board of Canada.

The 63-year-old man, originally from Gatineau, received this nickname after being convicted, on May 8, 2003, of the assassination of Riccardo Jezzi, who died 10 years earlier, on October 31, 1993, during a Halloween party in a Montreal bar.

Bégin wore a goalie mask like that of Jason Voorhees' character in the Friday 13 film serieswhen he opened fire among the revelers and shot his victim with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Radio-Canada was able to confirm, as l& #x27;first revealed La Presse, that the murderer is the main suspect identified by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) for several weeks in the case of the deadly fire in Old Montreal.

According to our information, circumstantial evidence obtained using surveillance cameras in the area would show him leaving the scene quickly after the appearance of flames following an explosion.

On the run for four years after his escape from a minimum security prison, he was caught by the SPVM last May on the sidelines of the investigation into the fire, for which he was not arrested. is not accused. Denis Bégin had used a false identity to escape the police until the time of his arrest, which occurred in the southwest of the metropolis.

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The serious fire which claimed the lives of seven people last March is being treated as arson. The SPVM homicide section is handling this case.

Six documents from the Parole Board of Canada confirm Denis' public danger profile Begin. We learn that he was denounced in 1995 by his wife at the time for the bloody murder of Riccardo Jezzi.

The latter confessed after filing a complaint for domestic violence and fleeing with their two children. She told police that she had been beaten, strangled to the point of unconsciousness and sexually assaulted several times in addition to being threatened.

Convicted once, Bégin was able to obtain another trial after appealing the first instance decision. It was only in May 2003, after a second trial, that he was finally sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 10 years, for murder committed a decade earlier.

However, his legal past began well before the murderous evening of October 31, 1993.

Already in 1979, Bégin had been involved in arson, according to the Parole Board. Your criminal file, which began in 1979, includes crimes for fire as well as several related to fraud, theft and others related to driving a vehicle and custody or control. drunk, we write about him.

In the years following his imprisonment in a maximum security penitentiary in 2003, he was twice described as a psychopath during an evaluation by a psychiatrist.

Violence and manipulation were perceived by you as legitimate methods for resolving conflict situations with others and for achieving your ends, the commissioners assessed in writing.

The recent psychological evaluation, carried out in January 2008, reported a diagnosis of mixed personality disorder. The psychologist also highlights your narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders which are still very present and which are reflected both in your speech and in your attitude and behavior. She noted that your capacities for introspection are limited and that you demonstrate rigidity, indicates the evaluation report of the Parole Board of March 19, 2008.

You have qualified on the Hare psychopathy scale, which represents a high, frequent and rapid risk of violent recidivism.

A quote from Excerpt from the Parole Board Evaluation Report, March 19, 2008

In June 2015, he was transferred to the minimum security Leclerc establishment in Laval. A year later, he failed in a first escape attempt.

Your behaviors demonstrate a tendency to seek power and control, occasionally using lies and manipulation while taking advantage of the ambiguity you generate, to the detriment of honesty, transparency and frankness.

A quote from Excerpt from the Parole Board Evaluation Report, March 19, 2008

After several attempts, it was month of February 2019 that he finally managed to escape with an accomplice. It was detention center staff who noticed his absence during the daily dinner count of detainees.

Bégin was on the run until #x27;upon his arrest for escape in May 2023.

The SPVM did not want to comment on the report by La Presse as well as the information obtained by Radio-Canada.

The investigation continues. That being said, the SPVM never comments, with rare exceptions, on ongoing investigations in detail, in order not to harm their progress, declared Mélanie Bergeron, communications officer for the SPVM.

The lawyer who has represented Denis Bégin since last May, when he returned to court, did not call Radio-Canada back .

With the collaboration of Charles Lalande, journalist for criminal affairs at ICI Ottawa-Gatineau

Source : Decisions of the Parole Board of Canada

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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