DORCHESTER, N.B. — A man who killed a five-year-old girl in Calgary 17 years ago has been found dead in his prison cell in what Corrections Canada says is an “apparent suicide.”

In a news release issued today, Corrections Canada says Gleason Bennett Williams died Thursday at Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick where he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

Williams, a native of Prince Edward Island, was 36 when he strangled and slit the throat of Shannon Dawn Morrissette, who was hearing-impaired and couldn’t speak, in his basement suite in southeast Calgary in 1992.


Two weeks ago, the National Parole Board denied a request from the 54-year-old for escorted day passes.

Members of the victim’s family attended the hearing and told board members how their lives have been devastated by the murder.

Parole board officials told Williams he showed little insight into his behaviour and posed a risk to reoffend.

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