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Canada Stephen Reid, bank robber and author, dead at age 68

23:56  13 june  2018
23:56  13 june  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Notorious Canadian bank robber - author Stephen Reid talks to media in Victoria on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Reid provided a harrowing account of the Victoria bank robbery that led to his current sentence, saying he was living in a fantasy world fuelled by CTV National News: Age -defying sprint.

Notorious Canadian bank robber - author Stephen Reid talks to media in Victoria, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. VICTORIA - Stephen Reid says he's transformed his life from a drug-addled bank robber who was once on the FBI's most wanted list into a clean and sober grey-haired grandfather who writes


Stephen Reid, who wrote an award-winning novel about his past as a bank robber, is shown in this 1998 file photo portraying a security guard during production of the film Four Days.© RYAN REMIORZ Stephen Reid, who wrote an award-winning novel about his past as a bank robber, is shown in this 1998 file photo portraying a security guard during production of the film Four Days. Stephen Reid — Stopwatch Gang bank robber, author of Jackrabbit Parole and husband of poet Susan Musgrave — has died.

His death, at the age of 68, was confirmed on Facebook by Denise Bukowski, his agent as well as that of his wife.

Reid first met Musgrave while he was in prison in the mid-1980s. He began writing and sent his manuscript to Musgrave, while she was the writer-in-residence at the University of Waterloo. They began a correspondence, fell in love and married in 1986, while he was still in prison.

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Reid was paroled in 1987, but he was back behind bars after being handed an 18-year-sentence for the 1999 Victoria bank robbery . MORE:a crowbar in the buddhist garden bank robber wins book prize British Columbia cp stephen reid stephen reid author stephen reid bank robber stephen reid

Notorious Canadian bank robber - author Stephen Reid talks to media in Victoria, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Reid had been a member of the Stopwatch Gang, who robbed 140 banks across the U.S. and Canada during the 1970s and 1980s of up to $15 million, including stealing $785,000 worth of gold bullion from the Ottawa airport in 1974. For that offence, he was serving time in the Kent Institution in B.C. before being paroled in 1987. Jackrabbit Parole, published in 1986, a semi-autobiographical account about life in the Stopwatch Gang won literary praise when it came out.

Despite living a happy life with Musgrave and two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and remaining crime-free for years, he relapsed into heroin use and, in 1999 he was again sentenced to prison, this time for the attempted murder of Victoria police Corporal Bill Trudeau after a bank robbery and shootout with police.

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Article excerpt. Bank robber , author Reid denied full parole. -- VICTORIA - Stephen Reid says he's transformed his life from a drug-addled bank robber who was once on the FBI's most wanted list into a clean and sober

It seemed Stephen Reid 's story might have a Hollywood ending. But real life isn't so kind. The master of the quick get away, Reid couldn't escape the life everyone thought he'd left behind. Canada's most famous bank robber is now back on the inside, serving out an

Before that, he was a member of the board of PEN Canada and often counselled other prisoners about drug use.

In an interview with the Star at the time he said: “I had glimpses of grace ... I have two wonderful children. I’m married to one of the most interesting people in the world. I lived in a vine-covered cottage by the sea ... I’m not a stupid person. How could I end up in this catastrophe?

“I’m as confounded as anyone.”

He was rejected for full parole in February 2015, instead remaining on day parole and in a halfway house near Victoria, B.C., although he hoped to spend more time with Musgrave at their home on Haida Gwaii. He was eligible for statutory release in August of that year.

Reid again received literary accolades in Oct., 2013, winning the Butler Book Prize for his collection of essays A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison.

With files from Star wire services

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