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

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

Shuswap pet nutritionist and raw diet advocate to be in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

Fires ignite on Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie; Kamloops Fire Centre blazes holding

Crews working throughout region over holiday weekend to contain wildfires

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Roots & Blues festival trades Salmon Arm stage for screens province-wide

Although COVID-19 has halted a live festival, it can be watched digitally on Black Press Media sites

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Reported Big White wildfire dubbed ‘smoke chase’

Crews responded to the area but could not locate a fire

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Wildfire in West Kelowna’s Rose Valley grows to 3 hectares

The fire was first reported at around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

Man found dead in van on Okanagan road

Foul play not suspected in death of 39-year-old West Kelowna man found in Vernon Saturday, Aug. 1

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read