Elaine Cece, 41, admitted to fatally stabbing Toronto Police Det. Const. Bill Hancox in 1998.
Credits: FILE PHOTO
TORONTO - Kim Hancox thought she had suffered through everything the widow of a slain police officer could possibly handle.
Then she received a bizarre letter in the mail. It was from Correctional Service Canada concerning one of Toronto Police Det. Const. Bill Hancox's murderers.
"This letter is to notify you that the warden of this offender's institution has authorized four additional escorted temporary absences" and "we will not be notifying you every time this offender leaves the institution."
It was like a punch in the gut.
"You end up reliving it again and again" said Kim who back on Aug. 4, 1998 was suddenly a single mom with a three-year-old daughter and eight months pregnant with the couple's now 13-year-old son.
Meanwhile, has anybody in British Columbia seen vicious cop-killer Elaine Rose Cece walking freely in one of her escorted releases from the Fraser Valley prison?
Keep your eye out. Just 14 years into a life sentence for second degree murder, she has been getting regular "absence" passes for "personal development" since late last year.
And not because the parole board said she could but due to some obscure wording in legislation that allows her to usurp the system.
Under Section 36 of the Act it states "Escorted Temporary Absences may be granted to ...... offenders who were sentenced on or after July 26 to a life minimum, where they have more than three years to serve before their parole eligibility date."
It means the warden of the institution has the power to grant the releases.
If that's not galling enough for the public to digest, for Kim Hancox it's repulsive.
"No one told me about this," said Kim.
In fact the parole board in 2010 ruled Cece, who stabbed Hancox to death in a sneak, ambush attack orchestrated by Taylor, had a "low level of insight into her crime" was involved in "unhealthy inmate relationships" and a "lack of understanding."
Yet, miraculously, a year later, a warden decided "this offender will be permitted to be absent from the institution for personal development."
"We have added it up to be releases four times a month," said Kim. "By her being able to go around the parole board it leaves me and Bill's family out of the process and unable to express our displeasure and concerns."
She has been vigilant in paying attention to what happens with her "fun-loving" high school sweetheart's murderers. For example after Cece and her co-convicted lover Mary Taylor were sent to prison she found them to be housed in together in a love shack set up at Quebec's Joliet Prison.
Her complaints resulted in them being split up.
Now her sights are on stopping these passes.
"I feel I am Bill's voice on this," she said in an interview. "It's a matter of principle. There is a loophole in the legislation and I don't understand why an inmate given a life sentence is accountable to the parole board until the last three years where they are able to sidestep it."
It's a shame that someone who has been through so much has to go public with their concerns. It's especially upsetting for her to do it on this day since it was her and Bill's son Quinn's graduation from eighth grade.
He never met his father as he was born three weeks after the Aug. 4, 1998 murder in Scarborough.
"He does know him though, as do my other kids, since Bill is still very much part of our daily lives," she said.
Kim Hancox also had a daughter with Bill and has had a second daughter with her new husband, who she describes as "very supportive and understanding."
She does not have revenge in her heart and "I don't want anybody burned at the stake." She just wants transparency and for the system to be consistent.
"It does not make any sense for murderers to be able to go around the system by waiting until the last three years before their eligibility," she said. "I have written Minister Vic Toews and I hope he suspends the authority of wardens to do this until parliament can look at this in the fall."
This is a national disgrace and outrage and Kim Hancox is not going to let this go.
"I try to not be consumed by this part of my life but when issues like this come up its hard for it not to be all consuming," she told me.
It's not easy knowing while both killers are working their way to a second chance at life, a great copper in Billy Hancox will not be getting one.