Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, killed on duty in Cloverdale in 1974. (RCMP photo)

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

A Surrey cop killer originally sentenced to death by hanging has had one of his parole conditions removed and two more imposed by the Parole Board of Canada.

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot in cold blood on 176th Street in Cloverdale, near the railway tracks, on March 29, 1974.

John Harvey Miller, 28, and Vincent John Roger Cockriell, 18, were drunk and hunting for a cop to shoot as they drove through Cloverdale in their 1964 Dodge. Cockriell wanted revenge, blaming the law for the death of his brother, who was killed during a high-speed police chase.

The pair threw a beer bottle through the police station window. After luring Pierlet out, and he pulled them over, the young Mountie told Miller to get out of the vehicle.

As Pierlet stood in front of the open car door, Cockriell, from his passenger’s side, squeezed off a shot from a 30-30 Winchester rifle. The bullet hit Pierlet in the chest, killing him almost instantly. It would have been the Mountie’s last shift before he went on leave to get married.

In Pierlet’s memory, the 176th Street overpass just south of Highway 10 was named after him and two bronze plaques were mounted on concrete pillars on its north end. Originally hailing from Montreal, Pierlet had been posted to what was then the Cloverdale detachment. He is buried in the RCMP’s graveyard at Depot Division, in Regina.

READ ALSO: How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

READ ALSO: New monument honours fallen Surrey RCMP officers

The two killers were originally sentenced to death, but these were commuted to life sentences after capital punishment was abolished in Canada in 1976.

Miller died of a stroke in 2009.

Cockriell, now 63, received full parole in 1998. On Oct. 1, 2019 the Parole Board decided to remove a condition requiring him to abstain from all intoxicants.

“Your health and medical issues are significant and have limited your daily functioning and mobility,” it reasoned. “The recommended change in special conditions does not alter the expectations of the Board that you abstain from substances and take medications only as prescribed.”

It imposed two other conditions: “Not to consume, possess or purchase alcohol,” and “not to consume, purchase or possess drugs other than prescribed medication. To be taken as prescribed and over the counter drugs taken as recommended by the manufacturer, excluding cannabis purchased, consumed and possessed in accordance with the Cannabis Act.”

The Correctional Service of Canada suspended Cockriell’s full parole in December 2000 for being intoxicated at a welfare office and suspended it again in June 2001 and sent him to a drug treatment program after he “blacked out” at a grocery store. This suspension was cancelled in July 2001 and he was returned to a community residential facility.

Outside prison, he has been on a disability pension for shoulder, neck and arthritis problems and also related to a cancer diagnosis. In October 2011 all of his teeth were removed, and he underwent surgery in January 2013 to have part of his esophagus removed and in March 2013, was put back into a residential facility for “over-using” prescription medications, and having a fall outside his home.

According to the document, Cockriell required hospital treatment on several occasions and his weight dropped to under 130 pounds. In August 2014, his parole was again suspended after police spotted him “having trouble walking,” slurring, and with two cans of beer and an empty bottle of pain medication that had been prescribed just five days earlier. He “transitioned” back to his own home and in January 2015 moved in with two other long-term offenders.

The board noted Cockriell had recently “self-reported” two breaches with marijuana after his parole officer smelled in on him. He said he was using it for “pain and nausea reasons.”

“Psychological assessment information on file indicates low risk to re-offend,” the board document states. “You completed all recommended programming many years ago.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read