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

Seeds of Change Surrey to launch two new programs

United Way of the Lower Mainland donated $77,000

White Rock RCMP to host free bicycle registration clinic

Stolen registered bicycles are easier to return to proper owner if recovered

White Rock Concerts subscription series plans to weather pandemic

The White Rock Concerts series cancelled its 2020-21 season due the uncertainty of health risks

Surrey firefighters extinguish blaze near Fraser Surrey Docks

Crews used aerial truck to contain Friday evening fire

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

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

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

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

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

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

VIDEO: One wounded in Maple Ridge gun battle

Two vehicles reportedly traded shots while driving down street

Most Read

l -->