In late June of 2002, convicted murderer Native David
Resnickoff escaped from Beaver Creek Institution, provoking
a nation-wide warrant for the arrest of both Resnickoff
and his wife, Tanya. Resnickoff was serving a life sentence
for murder he had committed in British columbia in 1981.
11 years into his sentence he escaped from Frontenac
Institution, only to be captured and sent to the tighter,
medium-security facility of Joyceville. In 2000, after
good behaviour, he was then sent to the minimum-security
Beaver Creek Institution. Officials suspected that Resnickoff
was headed to BC after his escape, but disclosed little
about their investigation. Both the OPP and the RCMP
in British Columbia were involved in the case.
10 years before Resnickoff escaped, the institution
had come under attack from another escape attempt, this
time by convicted sex-killer Philippe Clement, who later
went on to rape and stab a mother of 5 in Gravenhurst.
Clemente was known among inmates as a "sick puppy,"
who had once grabbed a female prison guard while she
was performing a bed check on Cement's cell. Apparently,
there were allegations that the female guard was actually
having a minor relationship with Clement, but that was
never justified. Clemente later pleaded guilty to attempted
murder and sexual assault charges, and was given two
life sentences to be served in British Columbia.
Clement's post-escape victim, who was found wrapped
in a blood-soaked sheet on the side of the road, suffered
extreme psychological harm following the incident and
required counseling, hospitalization and medical treatment.
She went on to sue Correctional Services of Canada,
Beaver Creek's warden, the female prison guard, and
the treatment director at the sexual-behaviour clinic
at Warkworth Penitentiary where Clement had received
programming for about $3.75 million in damages (20 Aug
1994 The Globe and Mail). Apparently, significant information
on Clement's file had not been properly transferred
to Beaver Creek Institution from his previous sentence
at Pinel Institution in Montreal, and that this contributed
to his inappropriate placement in minimum-security.
Since Clement's escape, the prison facility, sometimes
called "Muskoka Hilton" because of its relaxes
rules and golf course, became more automated, but apparently
not enough to prevent Resnickoff from escaping (The
Canadian Press, 30 June 2002). Justice John Goodearle
of Ontario Court who gave the post-escape sentence Clement
said that correctional officials involved in the improper
placement were "magnificent buck passers"
in trying to treat Clement as a sexual offender. The
correctional facility that provided treatment to Clement
did not consider his responsivity by assigning to his
programming a female staff member who had been known
to be previously involved with romantic engagements
to offenders. Clement's psychologist, Howard Barbaree,
advised staff that if Clement was to placed in a minimum-security
facility that he be administered full-time treatment
as a sexual offender (17 Nov 1993 The Toronto Star).
In late July 1995, two men who escaped from Beaver
Creek were later caught by BC police in a police pursuit.
In March of that same year, 26 year-old Rodney Acres
walked away from the facility, but shortly after was
re-arrested at gun-point by OPP officers at a Red Carpet
Inn in Lindsay, just 100 kilometres south of Gravenhurst.
In the summer of 1986, 22 year-old inmate Robert Edward
Brown escaped from Beaver Creek, only to be found the
following year in March lying dead and decomposed less
than a kilometre away from the facility (25 March 1987
The Globe and Mail).
Suicides and Deaths
In July of 1986, one inmate died, one was blinded,
and two others were hospitalized after drinking methylated
alcohol present in windshield washer fluid. The inmate
who later died at Toronto General Hospital had been
serving a life sentence for murder (The Globe and Mail,
19 July 1986).