Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Doug Booth

A magazine piece that I worked on through the summer is finally on the streets. It's certainly one of the more bizarre ones I've written. It's about Doug Booth, who committed his single major crime -- murder of a 73-year-old woman -- in 1965, when he was 37. Booth was sentenced to death, won a new trial on appeal, and lost the second trial. Again, he was sentenced to death. Booth might have hanged in 1966, but four days before he was scheduled to die Parliament got rid of the death penalty for everyone but cop-killers and Booth's sentence was commuted.
Booth served some 13 years in prison, then skipped out while on a weekend pass and went up to the DEW Line to join his girlfroend in a construction camp. He was there for four years, sometimes working weekends guarding prisoners at the RCMP lock-up. He came back to Ottawa for a while, then ran a group home for troubled teenage girls. That's where the cops found him.
He went back to jail for about three years, then got parole and found work as a handiman at a seniors' home. Today he's retired, except for some volunteer work cooking at a shelter for unwed mothers.
Nice enough guy, in great shape for his 76 years. He has a lot of signs of a narcissist and a sociopath. He's bold, he's utterly shameless, but I still wonder why he just went off that one time.

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