Convicted wife killer Thatcher remarried
REGINA - Convicted wife killer Colin Thatcher, who once told the National Parole Board that he would be hesitant to let a woman have "power over him again," has apparently had a change of heart.
Newly released documents from the board say the 71-year-old former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, who is serving a life sentence and is out on parole, has remarried and is approaching his first anniversary with his new wife.
The documents, dated April 22, don't give any details about the woman or how the two met, but say things appear to be going well in the relationship.
"There have been no issues noted," the report reads. "From all appearances and file information, the marriage identifies no concerns from both your new wife and family."
Thatcher spent more than two decades in prison for the first-degree murder of one of his previous wives, JoAnn Wilson, in 1983 — a crime he has always denied committing.
Wilson was found beaten and shot to death in the garage of her Regina home following a tense breakup with Thatcher and a bitter custody dispute over the couple's three children.
The last time Thatcher was heard from publicly he was living on the family ranch near Moose Jaw. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The possibility that he could one day remarry came up at both his parole hearing in 2006 and his so-called faint-hope hearing in 2003, where he won the right to seek early parole from a jury.
At the faint-hope hearing, Thatcher didn't close the door on walking down the aisle again.
"At my age that is not very likely," he testified. "I'd say it's not likely, but who knows."
Three years later, he told the parole board he had all but ruled nuptials out, particularly because he had seen other parolees sent back to prison over fights with their wives.
"I'd be pretty hesitant to give somebody that power over me again."
Thatcher has had relationships with women while behind bars.
His faint-hope jury heard how one woman became his common-law wife for a short time in the mid-1980s. He married another — a pen pal — and then divorced her in the mid-1990s.
While on the stand, the rancher was confronted by the Crown with a letter the second woman had written in which she suggested he was being too controlling and she was "not one of his cows."
Thatcher denied control issues were behind the breakup of that marriage.
"Any prison marriage is difficult,'' Thatcher said. "In my situation, getting married ruined a good relationship.''
In light of his new marriage, the parole board has removed a condition that Thatcher report all romantic relationships to his parole officer.
However, the board still wants him to participate in counselling because of his history of violence against his Wilson.
It also cites pressure Thatcher may be facing over a recent ruling that he can't make money from a book he wrote about his case.
Thatcher recently penned "Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame" in which he argued his innocence. The Saskatchewan government then passed a law preventing convicts from profiting from the retelling of their crimes. Thatcher turned over his $5,000 advance cheque last month.
Thatcher has said that his time in prison gave him insight into how he treats women.
Testifying at his faint-hope hearing in 2003, he said he had come realize he was not always the best husband to Wilson.
"If you ever want a road map to stupidity, just look at what I was doing toward the end of my marriage," Thatcher told the jury.
"There is no question I lost my wife."
— By Tim Cook in Edmonton
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