Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun
A convicted killer who pledged to turn her life around has been granted day parole for a third time — after violating conditions on two previous releases from prison.
Joanna Larson, now 45, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the brutal 2001 slaying of Annette Allan in a Surrey crack shack that police has dubbed “the little house of horrors.”
The Parole Board of Canada ruled Aug. 26 that Larson’s risk in the community could be managed as long as she was on strict conditions.
“Given the lack of violence for many years and your overall progress, improved compliance and strong motivation, the board concludes your risk is not undue on day parole,” the board said in a written ruling released Monday.
Larson let Allan into the notorious crack shack in the 13000-block of 108th Avenue on April 21, 2001.
She stuck her in a chair and accused the Surrey prostitute of “being a rat.”
“After using cocaine, you assaulted the victim by stabbing her multiple times and hitting her on the head with a hammer,” the parole board noted.
Larson and her co-accused then put Allan in the trunk of a car, pretending to take her to the hospital.
Instead, as Allan tried to escape, they drove her to the Fraser River and “used rocks to weigh the victim’s body down, gagged her mouth and bound her hands behind her back before tossing her in.”
Allan’s body was found six weeks later. The house where she was tortured has since been demolished.
Larson was handed a 13-year sentence after time served, which she began on June 2, 2005.
She first got day parole in 2009 but was sent back to prison for drinking, going unlawfully at large and other parole violations.
Allan’s family opposed Larson’s release this time around, as did officials from the Correctional Service of Canada who told the parole board her “risk is not manageable on the proposed release plan.”
“They note your problematic history on conditional release … and your ongoing problematic behaviours in the institution,” the parole ruling said.
But the board also reviewed support letters for Larson, as well as her own submission highlighting “the positive changes you have made, your work with the Elders and your release plan.”
Larson has taken responsibility for her criminal history, including the vicious slaying of Allan, the board said.
“You have participated in institutional and community programming to develop an understanding of the factors that led to your offending and how to manage your risk,” the board said.
Larson will not be allowed to drink alcohol, take illicit drugs or associate with anyone she knows is involved “criminal activity and/or substance misuse.” She must follow a treatment plan to deal with her substance abuse issues and past traumas, the board ruled.
And Larson must stay away from Allan’s relatives who live in Winnipeg and on Vancouver Island.
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