This is an update to “Out of the darkness,” published in May 2018. Read the original article here.

William Shrubsall, the notorious American fugitive who embarked on a series of violent assaults and sexual assaults in Halifax before police caught him in 1998, has begun seminary studies and hopes to become an ordained minister.

That detail comes from the Parole Board of Canada’s latest decision, which was released Nov. 7. Shrubsall was granted parole and will be shipped off to the U.S., where a seven-year sentence for sexually assaulting a minor awaits him. He’ll also receive additional prison time for having fled Niagara Falls, New York, in 1996 when he was on trial for that crime. Shrubsall left a suicide note that said he was going to jump off Niagara Falls. Within days, he’d checked into the Metro Turning Point shelter in Halifax and began living his life under different aliases.

This parole application was Shrubsall’s fifth since 2012. He now goes by the name of Ethan Simon Templar MacLeod.

The latest decision says Shrubsall, 47, poses “a high risk to re-offend sexually” that is “unmanageable on any form of release.” It also says Shrubsall claims to review victim impact statements from time to time to understand the impact of his actions. “The Board is sceptical of your explanation as your crimes were so serious that you should carry with you at all times the horror of what you did,” says the decision.

The board says that while Shrubsall has no problem acknowledging the violent side of his crimes, “you still have a harder time recognizing the sexual component of your crimes, as you argue that your crimes were not sexually motivated.” In one of the Halifax crimes, Shrubsall beat a woman so violently that her contact lenses had to be surgically removed. He then masturbated on her pants and underwear.

As a teenager, Shrubsall beat his mother to death with a baseball bat.

The decision doesn’t state when Shrubsall will be deported.

Halifax Magazine