Convicted killer who escaped on day pass, took hostages sentenced to life

EDMONTON - A convicted killer has received a second life sentence for escaping while on a prison day pass and taking several people hostage in Alberta.

William Bicknell, who is 45, was first sentenced to life in prison in 2003 for the beating death of a British Columbia woman.

He was granted an escorted pass in 2011 from the minimum-security section of Drumheller Institution to visit his sister in Edmonton.

On the ride back, he pulled a knife on the lone guard who was driving and, over the next 10 days, held the guard and three other people hostage in their homes at various times.

Bicknell was taken back into custody after a dramatic car chase and shootout with RCMP during which he was shot twice in the head.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including unlawful confinement, escaping lawful custody, robbery and weapons offences.

Court heard that he didn't hurt his captives, but along the way collected an arsenal of guns and ammunition.

He is now being held in solitary confinement in a Quebec prison.

His siste


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