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House of Horrors killer back in jail for breaking parole

SURREY - A routine SkyTrain fare check has landed a convicted Surrey killer in some more hot water with the law.

Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan said police officers checking fares at Gateway SkyTrain Station in Whalley in the early evening of Jan. 25 caught a woman with an expired fare."She refused to give a true name," Drennan said. After some sleuthing, she said, the officers realized the woman was Joanna Lee Larson, who killed Surrey prostitute Annette Allan after torturing her at Whalley's "House of Horrors" crack shack in 2001.Drennan said Larson, 43, is now back in prison after being wanted on a warrant for failing to comply with her parole conditions."We arrest a lot of people on warrants as a result of fare checks," Drennan noted. "She failed to return to her day parole facility. She's been at large since November."The Parole Board of Canada had revoked Joanna Lee Larson's parole in 2012 after it determined she'd threatened to beat another woman and had smuggled contraband into prison.Her sentence expires in 2018. Larson is serving an 18-year sentence for manslaughter. When she was 33, she and Francis Joseph Gauthier were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Allan's death. Both pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and were sentenced to 18 years, which in Larson's case worked out to 13 after credit for time served.Larson had stabbed Allan, 27, nine times and beat her with a hammer, on the mistaken belief she'd "ratted out" her pal to police. She and Gauthier then tossed Allan into a trunk and drove around for about 12 hours before throwing her into the Fraser River.Allan was still alive. Wrapped in a blanket and weighted down with rocks, she pleaded for her life.The Now interviewed Larson in 2011, in her home."I'm not that person any more," she said at the time. "I wish I could take it back, but I can't."I want to change my life around," she told the Now. "I've got to heal."

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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