Thursday, October 27, 2011

Alison Parrot

Alison Parrott (September 28, 1974 - July 25, 1986), was an 11-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Toronto, Canada. Her remains were found two evenings later in a densely-wooded area of Kings Mill Park.

At about 11 o'clock on the morning of July 25, 1986, she received a phone call at her Summerhill Avenue home in midtown Toronto. A male caller, claiming to be a photographer, asked her to meet him at the University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium where, he said, he would be taking publicity photos of her and her teammates: Alison, a member of the Tom Longboat Roadrunners, was to participate in an international track-and-field meet in Plainfield, New Jersey, on 1 August, exactly a week later. She phoned her mother, Lesley, at work and got permission to attend the session (the same man had called 11 days earlier, while Alison had been at summer camp, asking for her). She then left to keep the appointment, leaving word with the family housekeeper. When she failed to return home by six p.m., Peter and Lesley Parrott inquired among their neighbours, none of whom had seen her; they then called police. Alison was found dead two evenings later in a densely-wooded area of Kings Mill Park, on the Humber River just below the Old Mill subway station: she had been raped and strangled.

In May, 1987, Lesley Parrott, aided by colleagues at the advertising agency where she worked, launched the Canada-wide "Stay Alert...Stay Safe" program. Aimed at children aged seven through 10, the program's main objective was to attune children's instincts to dangerous situations, whether at home or elsewhere: eventually it extended even to promoting safety on the Internet.

Almost exactly a decade after Parrott's murder, Francis Carl Roy was arrested for the crime on July 31, 1996. Roy, a Native Canadian from Manitoulin Island, was an avid runner with a keen interest in photography. He also had a long criminal record which included such offenses as burglary, petty theft, fraud, assault and rape. At the time of Alison's death, Roy had been on parole after serving only two and a half years of an 11-year sentence for the rapes of two teenaged girls, 19 and 14 years old. DNA evidence found in Alison's body linked him conclusively to Alison's death.

Roy's only explanation for the DNA evidence was that he had discovered Alison's naked body while looking for a place to urinate while on a run in the park, once discovering the deceased body of Alison Parrott in the brush, he had a sudden urge to stick his finger inside her. Since he was uncircumcised, Roy had to push back the skin on his penis; having masturbated earlier that day, he still had semen on his hands.

The jury deliberated for six days, and on April 13, 1999, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for 25 years. He will be eligible in 2024.

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