Families of double-killer’s female victims warn Abbotsford of upcoming ‘supervised’ release

Terrence Burlingham killed Denean Worms, 20, and Brenda Hughes, 16, near Cranbrook in 1984

A man who killed a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old woman 35 years ago in Cranbrook will enjoy a taste of freedom in Abbotsford, despite having been deemed a “high risk to reoffend” less than a year ago.

Terrence Burlingham brutally raped and killed Denean Worms, 20, and Brenda Hughes, 16, within the span of three months in 1984. While Burlingham’s original murder conviction for Worms’ death was vacated by the Supreme Court due to police misconduct, he was convicted of Hughes’ murder and has remained in prison since. (He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Worms’ death.)

Last year, the Parole Board rejected his request for an escorted absence from prison, determining that Burlingham remained a “high risk to reoffend,” according to Hughes’ father. The News has not yet been able to obtain a copy of the Parole Board decision.

Family members of both Worms and Hughes say that, although the Parole Board had previously taken a dim view of Burlingham’s rehabilitation prospects, the convicted killer has now been approved for “escorted temporary absences” from Mission Institution, where he has been held.

Ray Hughes says he is both worried that Burlingham might bolt from his supervisors while out in the community, or use good behaviour during the escorted absences to make a play for day parole and then full parole.

“I’m a firm believer of people getting rehabilitated,” Hughes said. “But there’s no hope for him to be be turned around.”

He called Burlingham a “sociopath,” and said he had refused to apologize to the family in the past.

Family members say that Burlingham attacked a case worker, while in prison, several years ago after feeling sexual urges.

“It’s absolutely appalling that this two-time murderer is going to be walking on the streets,” Jim Ramsay, Worms’s uncle, said. “He has not been rehabilitated, which is why he has never been paroled.”

Burlingham sexually assaulted Worms and Hughes, and shot both twice with a shotgun. He was arrested soon after.

The family has been told that Burlingham will be permitted out of jail between the hours of 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, 12, 19 and 26. Burlingham will also receive four escorted leaves in each of October and November.

Ray Hughes said guards will be unarmed and only within eyesight while Burlingham is in the community for “personal development” time.

Ramsay said he is concerned about the possibility that Burlingham could bolt and re-offend.

“Our concern is only about safety and keeping him in jail,” Ramsay said. “I think the people of Abbotsford have a right to know what’s going on.”

The News has placed a call to officials at Mission Institution but not heard back.

RELATED: B.C. man convicted of kidnapping and raping girl, 11, granted unsupervised day trips

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Smithers contractor refurbishes sailboat for Northwest Passage adventure

Ron Smith, who has been working on the “Obsession” for 12 years, will put her in the water this week

Complaints of checkpoint debris spark controversy

Gidimt’en say camp still in periodic use; Indigenous relations ministry says no action to be taken

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Most Read