A man who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in 2001 during a sidewalk assault on a Langley City street has been denied parole after saying “they’re dead, everybody dies, get over it.”
William James McCotter, now 58, is serving a life sentence for second degree murder in the killings of John Cleaveland Heasman, 37, and Linda Lee Anderson, 39.
Anderson’s restraining order against McCotter had just expired when he attacked her and Heasman.
He knocked them to the ground outside her apartment building, kicked them in the head, then beat them both to death with a 2X4.
The sentencing judge was “hard pressed to remember a more violent attack,” describing McCotter as “a very dangerous person.”
Details of the Jan. 25 Parole Board of Canada decision show McCotter’s most recent psychological assessment in September 2021 found him at “high risk for violent recidivism especially spousal violence.”
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McCotter’s most recent Correctional Plan Update (CPU) quoted him as commenting ‘they’re dead, everybody dies, get over it’ in response to questions regarding remorse.
The report also shows McCotter maintains Anderson caused him “serious harm” by not, in his belief, being faithful to him.
“The problems in your attitude have been identified as your poor interpretation of events and your belief there is a hostile intent,” the decision said.
“You blame people quickly and take a victim stance.”
McCotter denied jealousy was a factor in the deaths, saying the victims ‘ended up dead because he “hit them with a 2 X 4” but “it wasn’t out of malice.”
McCotter claimed that he only went to talk to the female victim about where he stood in the relationship, and while admitting he was wearing a new jockstrap and cup, he refused to “admit to knowing there might be a fight [and preparing for it].”
McCotter suggested that what he called the ‘incident’ resulted from an adrenaline surge, arguing they were not murders and he should have been convicted of manslaughter.
An appeal of his sentence was dismissed in 2012.
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When he was challenged during the hearing, McCotter became agitated.
“You used vulgarity in the hearing; your demeanour suggested that you will be a challenge to supervise in the community as you appeared defensive and attempted to talk over the board members at times.,” the decision said.
In denying McCotter’s application, the parole board said he continues to use “minimizing and deflecting language when describing the crimes” and his insight into his actions are “extremely limited.”
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