A man in northeastern New Brunswick who murdered two teenagers and left another dead near Miramichi in the late 1980s has been granted full parole.
Kenneth Esson, 58, of Neguac was serving a life sentence for first- and second-degree murder, attempted murder, and sexual assault in 1986.
The Canadian parole board granted full parole to Esson in a Jan. 5 decision provided to CBC News on Monday.
The decision was, “The board found you had reached the stage of life imprisonment and, even though you were allowed to move to full parole, did not endanger the public at undue risk for your reoffending.” No,” he said.
Esson has been out on parole since 2018, except for a brief period that was revoked in 2020. The board had denied him full parole that year.
Words cannot adequately describe the callousness and brutality of the crime.– Decision of the Canadian Parole Board
“Your…crime was obviously horrific, but you’ve come a long way in a period of time.”
Esson was convicted in 1987 after pleading guilty to murdering a 13-year-old and a 19-year-old and attempting to murder a 14-year-old. His parole eligibility was set at 25 years.
The parole board’s decision states that “words cannot adequately describe the callousness and brutality of the crime.”
The crime began in August 1986 after an argument with a spouse. The parole board’s decision states that he left home to take drugs and alcohol.
While driving, I noticed two teenage girls riding bicycles on a dirt road in Lower Newcastle. He grabbed a knife and ran after them.
He stabbed both girls multiple times and raped the surviving 14-year-old girl.
After choking a 19-year-old girl, he drove her to a gravel pit and pushed her out of the car. She hit her head against a rock. Then he killed her.
Esson fled the state but returned and was later arrested.
Pain remains for victims and bereaved families
According to the ruling, the victim impact statement describes the “shock, trauma, pain, loss, anger and grief” suffered by the surviving victims and their families.
One recent statement from the victim’s family “makes it clear that the damage you have caused has not diminished over time.”
He was ordered not to consume, purchase, or possess any non-prescription alcohol or drugs. He was also ordered not to appear in front of women under the age of 18 unless accompanied by an adult who knew his criminal history.
He must also report sexual and non-sexual relationships or friendships with the person responsible for parenting the girl child and report any changes in relationship or friendship status to the parole supervisor.
“Access to young women must be strictly controlled and monitored to manage the risk of recidivism,” the decision said.
Esson was prohibited from contacting any surviving victims or members of the victims’ families.
He was also ordered not to relocate to mainland British Columbia. CBC previously reported that Esson was living in a house in the middle of Victoria during his parole.