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Dead convict raped, murdered a child

Cops say death in cell at Stony Mountain Institution a homicide

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files 
Duane Edward Taylor, who was found dead in his cell Saturday, spent most of his adult life in prison.

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files Duane Edward Taylor, who was found dead in his cell Saturday, spent most of his adult life in prison.

He would have been at the bottom of the inmate food chain: A child rapist and killer who spent most of his adult life behind bars.

While the list of potential suspects is no doubt lengthy, Manitoba RCMP must now figure out who killed Duane Edward Taylor in Stony Mountain Institution this past weekend.

Taylor, 53, was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday evening. Staff members began performing CPR, but could not resuscitate him. Police have deemed his death a homicide, but have made no arrests. A cause of death has not been released.

Taylor was serving an indeterminate sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder for the 1981 abduction, sexual assault and killing of two-year-old April Marie Morrison in Kingston, Ont.

Details of the attack were revealed in a 2010 hearing before the National Parole Board, where federal officials denied Taylor release. It's not clear when Taylor was moved to Stony Mountain, but there's no doubt his type of crime would have made him a target for other inmates.

Taylor admitted randomly approaching the girl while she was playing outside her home, just down the street from the halfway house where he was living.

"I asked her if she would like to go for a walk. She said, 'Yes' so I took her to my house," Taylor told the parole board in documents obtained Monday by the Free Press.

He then described how he raped the girl, punched her in the throat and sat on her until she stopped crying.

"When I got up she was dead. That's it," he said.

Taylor admitted to several previous sexual assaults on children, beginning when he was a teenager. He spoke of hunting for victims at playgrounds.

"You cared little for the damage you were doing despite knowing your behaviour was wrong," the parole board wrote.

Taylor was first convicted in 1978 of trying to sexually assault a young girl. He was given a four-year prison term. He was released from custody and sent to the halfway house just 11 days prior to the murder.

In their decision to deny release, the parole board noted Taylor had continued to be a menace while in custody.

He had been charged six different times with institutional offences by 2010, including two acts of violence with other inmates. His other offences involved being abusive towards staff members.

Taylor was seeking a return to the community despite admitting he had no real plan or support on the outside.

"I don't have any skills but I like animals," he said in the parole documents.

He had taken sex-offender programs and other counselling since beginning his sentence, but prison officials say he still suffered a lack of insight into his offending behaviour. He was permitted to re-apply for parole following his 2010 denial but never did.

Now the focus has shifted to who is responsible for his death.

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