'NO FAIRY TALE ENDING': Ex-NHLer's parents' killer granted day parole
August 27, 2019
August 28, 2019 12:16 PM EDT
Former NHL goaltender Don Edwards's parents, Arnold, 63, and Donna 61, who were murdered by George Harding Lovie in their Glanbrook, Ont. home on March 21, 1991. (file photo)
GRAVENHURST — Standing a metre behind the man who murdered his parents — close enough to touch the convicted killer — Don Edwards choked back tears remembering how his mom read fairy tales to his children when they were young.
“For the Edwards family, there is no fairy tale ending,” the former NHL star said Tuesday, his anger palpable as he delivered his victim statement at George Harding Lovie’s parole hearing.
His prophetic words still hung in the air at Beaver Creek Institution — the prison in Gravenhurst Lovie has called home in recent years — when board members Suzanne Poirier and Lynne Van Dalen approved the 61-year-old’s application for day parole.
“It feels like we’ve had our hearts ripped out,” Edwards said after the hearing of the gut-punch his family has awaited for 28 years since his mom was gunned down and his dad savagely stabbed.
Edwards, 63, who won a Vezina playing goal for the Buffalo Sabres and spent a few seasons in Calgary before wrapping up his NHL career in Toronto in 1986, and other family members took turns reading victim statements detailing the grisly double murder and how it continues to impact their lives.
Don Edwards, now 63, played goal for the Buffalo Sabres from 1976 to 1982 before spending a few seasons with the Calgary Flames and ultimately wrapping up his NHL career stopping pucks for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1986. (file photo)
But it was his youngest sister Michele’s retelling of that fateful morning on March 21, 1991, that was perhaps the most powerful.
She recalled walking out of her home in Glanbrook — south of Hamilton — to go to work, seeing Lovie pop out from under her porch armed with a rifle and running for her life to her parents’ house down the street.
Through tears, Michele vividly described how her parents — still in pajamas — tried in vain to barricade the door and keep Lovie out, hearing windows shatter, wood explode, her mom’s screams and her ex-boyfriend yelling, “How d’you like me now?” while plunging a knife into her dad’s chest, then having to jump over her mother’s lifeless body to escape the carnage.
“The events of that day are still raw in 2019,” Michele said. “Therapy has become a necessary part of my survival.”
Just five weeks before Donna Edwards, 61, and Arnold Edwards, 63, were slain, Lovie was arrested for allegedly raping Michele at knifepoint in her home — a charge that was never prosecuted and an allegation Lovie continues to deny.
He was released on bail a day later and ordered to stay away from his ex but began stalking Michele soon after.
Lovie was later convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 25 years to life for each count.
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Surviving Edwards family members have lived in hiding ever since, afraid Lovie may one day make good on threats to kill them too.
Lovie sat emotionless throughout much of his hearing until he was given a chance to speak.
Without looking back at the dozen or so relatives of his victims seated behind him, he began his statement briefly apologizing to those he has hurt.
“I’m extremely sorry,” Lovie said, pausing momentarily to compose himself. “I regret my actions.”
Tannis Edwards, Don’s wife, later said it was the first time she had seen Lovie show remorse in nearly three decades, but she didn’t buy the “self-serving” apology.
Lovie will move to a halfway house in Sudbury once a bed is available and his day parole will be reviewed in six months.
“We poured our hearts out and we did everything we could to keep him in there,” a disappointed Don Edwards said. “But now he’ll be out, he’ll be free, and if he keeps his nose clean for six months he’ll be able to walk the streets anywhere in Canada.”
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