Mar 13, 2009 06:01 PM
IROQUOIS FALLS, Ont. – A man who pleaded guilty this week to the 1970 murder of a 12-year-old girl was found dead in his prison cell Friday, just two days after being sentenced to life.
Provincial police say Barry Manion was found dead at the Monteith Correctional Complex in northern Ontario on Friday morning.
"Mr. Barry Manion, convicted murderer, was located in his cell at approximately 5 o'clock this morning," said Ontario Provincial Police Const. Marc Depatie. "He was vital signs absent at that time."
Manion, 61, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years after pleading guilty to killing Katherine Wilson, his cousin's daughter.
Wilson went missing in October 1970 on the outskirts of Kirkland Lake, Ont., and the case went unsolved for nearly four decades.
Depatie would not say how Manion died or if he was alone in his cell at the time, but said police were not aware of any underlying medical conditions.
"The nature by which Mr. Manion died is still subject to investigation," Depatie said.
"We do not speculate on the cause of death until such time as a thorough post-mortem examination and the results from that examination have been made available to the Ontario Provincial Police."
A post-mortem is scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death.
Court had heard that Manion, of London, Ont., had sexual contact with Wilson several times in the year leading up to her murder.
Manion, who worked at a car dealership, was arrested in January by provincial police in London and taken Kirkland Lake, where he lived in the 1970s.
An agreed statement of facts filed with the court says Manion picked up the girl in his truck and drove her to a quiet area, where he fondled her and asked her to perform a sex act. She refused and ran away, but he chased her into a wooded area where he strangled her before burying her body.
Although Manion led police to where he believed the body was buried, investigators have said the search for the girl's remains will have to wait until after the spring thaw.
Manion earlier waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and lawyer Aaron Harnett had said he was instructed to resolve matters quickly.
Monteith Jail's nearest big town is Timmins. Northern Ontairo is famous for small towns with generations of police corruption and powerful local officials who "know" someone who works at Monteith where it is very easy for "someone" to whisper the right words in a prisoners ear to have another prisoner commit suicide, beaten up or murdered. The odds of this death being an innocent death is entirely remote. Also entirely remote is the probability of any success run by the South Porcupine OPP Detachment that will be "called in" to "investigate"
13:20 March 14, 2009