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article imageConvicted murderer overpowers guard and escapes

By Lynn Curwin     Mar 11, 2011 in Crime
Police in the Edmonton area are searching for a 402-pound convict who escaped after overpowering a guard, and is believed to be armed and dangerous.
William Wade Bicknell, 42, was on a temporary absence pass from the Drumheller Correctional Institution when he overpowered an escort guard on Thursday evening. He had been in Edmonton during the day, but Corrections Canada would not say why he had been there.
CBC News reported that Bicknell, who is 6'6" and weighs 402 pounds, gained control of the vehicle and held the escort hostage while he returned to Edmonton and obtained firearms and ammunition.
He then drove to a rural residence northeast of Edmonton, where he forced his way inside and demanded keys to a vehicle.
"Prior to leaving the residence, Bicknell disabled the vehicle and disabled the telephone from the residence," CTV News quoted RCMP Sgt. Tim Taniguchi as saying.
Bicknell disabled the telephone and the Correctional Services vehicle before leaving in a grey 2009 Chevrolet Impala Alberta with the Alberta licence CXE - 602.
Neither the homeowner or the corrections employee were harmed.
Bicknell killed 37-year-old Angela Steer in 2001. He admitted to the murder while talking to an undercover RCMP officer who he believed was the boss of a crime organization that was interested in hiring him.
The Calgary Herald reported that Bicknell told the undercover officer he killed the woman because she was threatening to report his involvement in growing marijuana, but The Westlock News stated that reports from the trial state the two got into an argument over a bank machine scam.
Bicknell tried to claim he acted in self-defence because Steer, who was 5-foot-4 and weighed 130 pounds, struck him with a bat before he struck back with one.
The judge didn't accept that and convicted him of second-degree murder in 2004.
A Correctional Service of Canada press release states that Bicknell "has brown hair and hazel eyes with a fair complexion. He has a number of tattoos including full sleeves on both arms, a unicorn on his left shoulder, a cobra on his left arm, and a heart on his chest."
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