MISSION (NEWS 1130) – Ele Anthonysz was 33 years old when she was brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2015.
Friends and family rallied in her honour Saturday, calling on the government to make changes after the man convicted in her death was allowed to transfer to a lesser-security prison.
Walter Ramsay hit Anthonysz over the head with a hammer, pinned her to her bed, and lit her mobile home on fire — while she and her two children were inside — three years ago in Mission.
The children managed to get out, but their mother didn’t make it.
Ramsay pleaded guilty to killing Anthonysz and threatening to kill her kids, and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years.
But after serving only two years at the Kent Institution, a maximum security facility, he was transferred to the medium security section of the Mission Institution — which is walking distance from where Anthonysz’s children go to school.
“We just find it’s outrageous,” Carole Watson, Anthonysz’s mother, says. “There’s just so many people walking away from prisons nowadays, and it’s just not right. After two years they said that he did his two year courses… and after that he’s supposed to be allowed to move to medium.”
The friends and family of Ele Anthonysz are calling for her killer to be sent back to a maximum security prison, after he was transferred to a medium security facility this summer. (Courtesy Wanda Fairbairn via Facebook)
She says it makes no sense that he was allowed to transfer after such a short period of time.
“In maximum security, he’s locked up for 23 hours a day, so how is it that he can do anything wrong when he’s locked up for 23 hours a day? How can they say that he’s ok now to be moved to medium. It’s ridiculous, and we just can’t understand why this is happening and why he’s not being moved back to maximum.”
Watson claims she and others have reached out to local politicians, from all parties, about their concerns but have seen no progress.
“They say they’re doing the best they can, and that’s about all,” she tells NEWS 1130. “I think it’s more an election issue.”
Ramsay was moved to the Matsqui Medium Prison after being granted a voluntary transfer, a petition page reads.
While his transfer out of town brought slight relief, Watson says the family still wanted him to be moved to a maximum security facility.
“My goal is to keep murderers in maximum prison, not in medium,” she adds. “They’re walking away from prison, and they’re murderers, and they’re hurting other people and it’s just not right. Our justice system is totally flawed. We just want him back in maximum.”
The mother of two’s family and friends rallied outside the Mission municipal hall to draw attention to the issue.
They’ve also started a petition.