Escaped murderer arrested in Alberta after stand-off

An escaped murderer convicted of bludgeoning a former Abbotsford woman to death in 2001 was captured by police after an armed stand-off near Grand Prairie, Alta. Saturday night.

An escaped murderer convicted of bludgeoning a former Abbotsford woman to death in 2001 was captured by police after an armed stand-off near Grand Prairie, Alta. Saturday night.

William Wade Bicknell, 42, was apprehended after holding an Alberta woman hostage and leading police on a high-speed chase through rural northern Alberta.

Police believe Bicknell forced his way into an elderly woman’s residence north of Grand Prairie Saturday morning, holding her hostage until she was able to escape around 4 p.m. The woman¬†contacted police, who arrived as Bicknell was leaving the home in a stolen Chevrolet Impala, and a high-speed chase ensued.

Police chased Bicknell for more than 20 km and allege he shot at the pursuing officers, disabling a police vehicle.

Bicknell crashed his vehicle into a ditch and opened fire on police, injuring a five-year RCMP member, who was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

Bicknell, too, was injured in the exchange of gunfire, and eventually surrendered to police.

He was flown to an Edmonton area hospital, where he continues to receive medical treatment. The extent of his injuries are yet to be determined.

Charges are still pending.

Bicknell escaped from custody March 10 by taking a guard hostage during an escorted temporary absence from the Drumheller Correctional Institution, where he was serving a prison term for the second-degree murder of Angela Steer, 37, of Maple Ridge.

Bicknell was found guilty in 2003 of brutally murdering Steer, who lived in Abbotsford from 1978 to 1998, and sentenced to life without parole for 25 years.

Steer’s beaten body was found on the side of a road in Mission.

Bicknell confessed to her murder in an undercover police operation during which officers pretended they were recruiting him into an organized crime gang.

On those tapes he explained how he struck Steer in the head with a baseball bat, then drove to Chilliwack and back with her body in garbage bags before dumping it.

Bicknell also claimed that she hit him first and threatened to tell police about his alleged involvement in marijuana grow operations and a debit-card scam.

Bicknell’s sister, Sandra Lynn Myshak, 47, of Edmonton, faces seven criminal charges, including assisting a person in escaping custody, aiding in a kidnapping with a firearm, robbery with a firearm and breaking into a home to commit an indictable offence.

Abbotsford News