March 9, 2012

A bodybuilder suspected of killing an Airdrie woman began a pattern of domestic violence two decades ago, leaving a trail of battered and bruised victims in his wake.

This is a very well written article!  Thank You Herald for digging in and getting the past information on Doucette!  Unfortunately it shows what many of us already understand and know too well, that abusers do not usually just abuse 1 victim, and in fact can grow more violent until someone is killed.  I’m saddened that there wasn’t more information about the victim, Andrea Conroy, but I’m glad to see this information getting out there about the abuser so that maybe others will understand a bit more what goes on within the cycle of abuse. 

A bodybuilder suspected of killing an Airdrie woman began a pattern of domestic violence two decades ago, leaving a trail of battered and bruised victims in his wake.

Documents obtained by the Herald show Richard (Rick) Doucette, 41, has been in trouble with the law for the past 20 years, with charges ranging from assault to attempted murder.

The lone suspect in an Airdrie murder-suicide had a long history of violence that also included “assaultive, controlling and manipulative behaviour” toward the women he was involved with.

Doucette’s body was found by RCMP at a Nanton hotel on Saturday  afternoon, say sources.

Police confirmed the man, who committed suicide, is the only suspect in the death of Andrea Conroy, an Airdrie woman in her 30s who was found in her home Friday.

The two had been involved in a relationship, according to RCMP.

Prior to dating Conroy, Doucette had a record of domestic violence.

Parole documents from 1998 obtained by the Herald show Doucette had served time in Ontario for attempted murder of a girlfriend.

Previously, he had been convicted of assault, pointing a firearm and uttering threats.

The documents, written after Doucette was freed in 1997 on mandatory release at the two-thirds mark of his sentence, said a “significant concern” still existed with respect to domestic and family violence issues, noting he had been a “perpetrator of spousal abuse.”

Although the documents suggest he had a “good stable and happy childhood,” corrections officials noted Doucette was “impulsive, aggressive and has assertion problems.  He copes with stress poorly and is incapable of understanding the feelings of others.  He has poor conflict resolution.”

No one from Doucette’s family returned calls Monday.

In addition, the documents note that he’s “hostile and manipulative.”

An anger management program was recommended by the judge.  In addition, he was asked to abstain from the abuse of drugs – including steroids – and his future relationships were to be strictly monitored.

Stacey Burns, who married Doucette in 1998, told the Herald she had to get a restraining order against him in 2003 after being subject to beatings and other abuse.

“Just after we got married, the violence, the fighting (started),” said Burns, who has two sons with Doucette.

She now looks back with regret.  “I had known him for years.  I was very stupid, I’ll admit that.  I look back and my family just shakes their head at me,” she said.  “Everything about him was very charming.  My whole family absolutely adored him.”

Then, the abuse started.

“He would get so irate that he would bang his head off the floor.  He monitored what we ate, what we did.” she said.  “He would start having lots of affairs.  And then the abuse, the hitting, the battering.”

“We reconciled…a thousand times before I finally got the (restraining) order against him,” she said, noting she was living in fear of her husband before he moved to Alberta.  “I don’t have to be scared anymore.”

But court documents show Doucette continued to abuse other women he became involved with.

Doucette was convicted of assault for attacks on the same partner – two in September 2004 and a third on December 2005.

The woman had obtained a civil restraining order against Doucette following the first assault, which earned him a six-month jail sentence.

The 2005 assault was resolved by Doucette pleading guilty and entering into a one-year peace bond banning him from contact with the victim.

Experts say it’s a common scenario with women who become victims of domestic violence.

Some people get involved with partners who have a violent past believing they can change them, said Andrea Silverstone, executive director of Peer Support Services for Abused Women.

“Hope springs eternal.  We believe the person we fall in love with is the person of our dreams,” Silverstone said, not speaking specifically about the case.  “And perpetrators are often very charming and explain past behaviours, such as, ‘My partner was crazy’ or ‘I went to counseling and got better.’”

When women start becoming victims of abuse in a relationship, it’s not always easy for them to leave, she said.

“There’s hope and love for the individual, financial fears, fearing they’ll become homeless or poverty stricken, or there might be the belief that any father is better than no father at all.”

Doucette was convicted of extortion against a male victim in 2006 and received a 90-day sentence to be served on weekends.

Court documents stated Doucette threatened the victim in an attempt to extract $2,200 from him, though circumstances were unclear.

The provincial court judge also sentenced Doucette to one-year probation and imposed a lifetime weapons ban.

Original Article

Alberta homicide suspect found dead in motel

RCMP searched for man after finding woman dead in her home Friday
CBC News
Posted: Feb 26, 2012 12:47 PM MT

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Andrea Conroy, a single mother of a young child, was found dead in her Airdrie home on Friday afternoon. (Facebook)

Police have confirmed a man's body found in southern Alberta on Saturday is tied to an ongoing homicide investigation of a woman in Airdrie.

RCMP say the case now appears to have been a murder-suicide. The body of Andrea Conroy, a single mother in her 30s, was found in her Airdrie home on

Friday afternoon.

Airdrie is roughly 30 minutes north of Calgary.

The owner of the Double D motel in Nanton, Alta., located south of Calgary, confirmed that a body was taken out of one of the rooms by RCMP on Saturday. Police also took tapes from the hotel's security cameras, the owner said.

RCMP say there was no sign of foul play. The deceased man was in his 40s and was known to Conroy, they added.

"It is believed that the male was in a relationship with the deceased female," said Sgt. Tim Taniguchi.

On Saturday, RCMP executed a search warrant on a Big Springs-area in Airdrie that neighbours said belonged to Rick Doucette, a local bodybuilder and personal trainer.

Friends and coworkers say Conroy was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Doucette. The two worked together as trainers at an Airdrie gym named Sculptures.

Young daughter now with family

"One of the better people I've ever met," John Mills, who had Conroy as a trainer for three years, said of the woman.

But Mills said Doucette's temper became too much to handle, so he left the gym.

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"He was that sort of north-south personality," he said.

"Some days he was very nice to you, other days he could be quite aggressive and insulting. Towards the end, he became very aggressive towards me and I thought it was time to part ways."

Mills said he has a theory about Doucette's anger — steroids. Mills claims that he watched Doucette inject himself in the gym's washroom.

Mills said the whole situation is tragic, especially since Conroy leaves behind a young daughter.

"Very, very sorry to hear it," he said. "She was an extremely nice lady, a tremendous daughter, it was very upsetting to hear about it."

Conroy's seven-year-old daughter is now in the care of her grandparents.

Original Article

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