BANFF – The man who stabbed and murdered Banff cab driver Lucie Turmel in 1990 has had his full parole revoked by the Parole Board of Canada.
Following the November hearing, parole board members had concerns with a string of incidents that led them to believe Ryan Jason Love, 51, once again posed a risk to the community.
“The CSC recommends that your parole be revoked, and is of the opinion that your risk in the community became unmanageable. They emphasize their inability to accurately assess and manage your risk due to your risky behaviour and your dishonesty,” the board’s decision states.
Love was charged and ultimately convicted for robbing Turmel for her earnings of $130 that night, stabbing her 17 times and stealing her taxi, which was later located a few kilometres away from the crime scene. She was 23.
At the time, Love worked as a housekeeper at the Banff Springs Hotel and was 18. He had moved to Banff with friends after dropping out of high school.
The case went unsolved for about two years until a tip led police to charge Love. He received a life sentence in June 1994 for second-degree murder – the bulk of which was at the William Head Institution in British Columbia. At the time, the parole eligibility was set at 20 years.
He received day parole in 2011 to a community residential facility and full parole in 2012, with conditions to avoid drugs and alcohol, undergo psychological counselling and have no contact with Turmel’s family.
“Judge’s comments on file described the murder offence as brutal and insensitive,” the parole board decision wrote. “They highlight the victim’s vulnerability, her young age, and the impact on her family and local community. Your young age at the time of the offence was the only mitigating factor noted.”
“The grieving parents express the horrific shock of learning that their child had been murdered. They describe the life-changing trauma from this event on family members and the impact on their small community.”
The board’s decision stated from 2012 to 2019, there were no parole concerns, and ultimately, the condition to attend psychological counselling was removed in October 2019.
In May 2020, Love began a relationship with a woman with whom his parole officer and family members found “to be negative and unhealthy” and led to frequent arguments and conflicts.
It included paramedics being called and Love’s girlfriend at the time needing medical attention after he pushed her and she injured her knee. Ultimately, his parole officer told him to have no more contact with her.
“You went against this direction and continued to see this person,” it noted in the board’s decision. “The board found that (despite programming on violence, and a long time to reflect and learn from this incident) you continue to view yourself as the victim."
The two continued to see one another and Love was charged with mischief on Jan. 3, 2021, when he smashed multiple windows on her vehicle with a baseball bat. Love pleaded guilty and served a 30-day sentence, with a March 2021 parole hearing leading to a written reprimand and requiring him to take part in mental health counselling, report and relationships with women and avoid his ex-girlfriend.
A new parole officer took over Love’s case in 2021, and it was then learned he helped his former girlfriend evade police contact in 2020.
“He reported that you tend to withhold pertinent information, probing questions are needed when interviewing you and your ‘stories’ change. He said it was difficult to trust what you reported. He also expressed concern about your lack of effort in community programming,” the board’s decision stated.
On Aug. 22, 2022, Love was pulled over by police in a “high-risk downtown area” of an unnamed city with a drunk woman. Love told police they were out for a drive because the summer heat was making it hard to sleep and a male friend had asked him to pick up the woman who needed a ride home.
“Your parole officer noted that your cell phone history did not match this story and noted that you had a much closer connection with this “acquaintance” than you implied,” states the decision.
“Upon further questioning, you said you had been at his residence when he had asked you to pick up the female. You said you lied about this because you knew he was a negative associate.”
Warrants were then issued for Love’s apprehension.
In a following interview with his parole officer, Love said the woman was “from the wrong side of the tracks” and that the parole officer had “no confidence” in Love’s version of events because he frequently changed his story.
Love’s parole officer recommended his full parole be revoked because he was becoming “increasingly difficult to manage because of your dishonesty and breached conditions.”
The board expressed disappointment in Love’s decision-making and his ability to take responsibility for his actions.
“You did not seem to appreciate the importance of a trusting working relationship with your new parole officer. … You told the board that you disagree with CSC reports that say you had returned to your crime cycle. The board finds that your decision-making and behaviour leading up to the current suspension was consistent with your crime cycle.
“You associated with negative peers, placed yourself in high-risk situations, failed to properly report a female of interest, were dishonest and did not report police contact promptly as required.”
Lisa Saether, the regional manager of community relations and training for the Parole Board of Canada’s pacific region, said she was unable to speak to specific cases due to the Privacy Act but that when a person has either day or full parole revoked the parole board has “determined their risk is no longer manageable in the community and therefore the offender remains incarcerated.”
The board’s decision factored in Love’s several years of compliance to his parole conditions and that when released, he would live with his parents and he had taken steps to file for bankruptcy.
Love also told the board at his hearing he had started taking medication to help manage depression and anxiety.
The board decision added Love had letters of support from an employer, a co-worker and a farmer.
However, his “index offence is extremely violent and resulted in death of an innocent victim. This crime was committed over 30 years ago, but shows a capacity for extreme unprovoked volatility.”