Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, killed on duty in Cloverdale in 1974. (RCMP photo)

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, killed on duty in Cloverdale in 1974. (RCMP photo)

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

A Surrey cop killer originally sentenced to death by hanging has had one of his parole conditions removed and two more imposed by the Parole Board of Canada.

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot in cold blood on 176th Street in Cloverdale, near the railway tracks, on March 29, 1974.

John Harvey Miller, 28, and Vincent John Roger Cockriell, 18, were drunk and hunting for a cop to shoot as they drove through Cloverdale in their 1964 Dodge. Cockriell wanted revenge, blaming the law for the death of his brother, who was killed during a high-speed police chase.

The pair threw a beer bottle through the police station window. After luring Pierlet out, and he pulled them over, the young Mountie told Miller to get out of the vehicle.

As Pierlet stood in front of the open car door, Cockriell, from his passenger’s side, squeezed off a shot from a 30-30 Winchester rifle. The bullet hit Pierlet in the chest, killing him almost instantly. It would have been the Mountie’s last shift before he went on leave to get married.

In Pierlet’s memory, the 176th Street overpass just south of Highway 10 was named after him and two bronze plaques were mounted on concrete pillars on its north end. Originally hailing from Montreal, Pierlet had been posted to what was then the Cloverdale detachment. He is buried in the RCMP’s graveyard at Depot Division, in Regina.

READ ALSO: How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

READ ALSO: New monument honours fallen Surrey RCMP officers

The two killers were originally sentenced to death, but these were commuted to life sentences after capital punishment was abolished in Canada in 1976.

Miller died of a stroke in 2009.

Cockriell, now 63, received full parole in 1998. On Oct. 1, 2019 the Parole Board decided to remove a condition requiring him to abstain from all intoxicants.

“Your health and medical issues are significant and have limited your daily functioning and mobility,” it reasoned. “The recommended change in special conditions does not alter the expectations of the Board that you abstain from substances and take medications only as prescribed.”

It imposed two other conditions: “Not to consume, possess or purchase alcohol,” and “not to consume, purchase or possess drugs other than prescribed medication. To be taken as prescribed and over the counter drugs taken as recommended by the manufacturer, excluding cannabis purchased, consumed and possessed in accordance with the Cannabis Act.”

The Correctional Service of Canada suspended Cockriell’s full parole in December 2000 for being intoxicated at a welfare office and suspended it again in June 2001 and sent him to a drug treatment program after he “blacked out” at a grocery store. This suspension was cancelled in July 2001 and he was returned to a community residential facility.

Outside prison, he has been on a disability pension for shoulder, neck and arthritis problems and also related to a cancer diagnosis. In October 2011 all of his teeth were removed, and he underwent surgery in January 2013 to have part of his esophagus removed and in March 2013, was put back into a residential facility for “over-using” prescription medications, and having a fall outside his home.

According to the document, Cockriell required hospital treatment on several occasions and his weight dropped to under 130 pounds. In August 2014, his parole was again suspended after police spotted him “having trouble walking,” slurring, and with two cans of beer and an empty bottle of pain medication that had been prescribed just five days earlier. He “transitioned” back to his own home and in January 2015 moved in with two other long-term offenders.

The board noted Cockriell had recently “self-reported” two breaches with marijuana after his parole officer smelled in on him. He said he was using it for “pain and nausea reasons.”

“Psychological assessment information on file indicates low risk to re-offend,” the board document states. “You completed all recommended programming many years ago.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

‘It was a great week for Jan Pullinger, MLA. She accompanied Andrew Petter, the new Minister of Health to Lake Cowichan. He credited her with saving the Youbou mill. Left to right, Jan, Petter and Sam Beldessi, president of the Cowichan Seniors. Pullinger and Petter were visiting the Seniors’ Centre.’ (Lake News, March 6, 1996)
Lake Flashback: A new library, Peewee sports, and a resignation

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Pedestrians have rights to use highways

A highway is not the exclusive domain of drivers.

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read