Cult leader was ‘victim of his past’

Roch Thériault, the former doomsday cult leader who was killed in his cell over the weekend, paid dearly and often for his crimes, his lawyer says.

The Montreal Gazette writes:

Renée Millette, a Montreal lawyer who represents inmates for procedures such as parole hearings, said Thériault was assaulted often by other inmates over the last two decades while he served time for amputating the arm of one of his followers and killing another. Millette said the assaults include others at Dorchester Penitentiary, the medium-security institution near Moncton, N.B., where he died Saturday. He had been incarcerated there since 2000.

“He was often a victim of his past. The assaults had nothing to do with how he acted while incarcerated. It was because of his past,” Millette said, adding Thériault had regrets about his time as the spiritual leader of a group he began in Quebec in 1978 and later moved to Burnt River, Ont., where the cult became known as the Ant Hill Kids.

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This post was last updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM, Central European Time (CET)