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

Sinclar Group curtailing all sawmill operations temporarily

Nechako Lumber, Apollo Forest Products and Lakeland Mills to be curtailed for three weeks starting April 5.

Fraser Lake launches campaign to support local businesses

Businesses have adapted and are providing delivery options, says economic development officer of the Village

Letter: Update on post spring-break plans from SD91

By Manu Madhok, Superintendent of Schools Dear Parents/Guardians, As we officially end… Continue reading

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read