Ferndale Institution inmate Gordon Michael Pawliw has died of apparent natural causes at the age of 65, reported assistant warden Tanis Kinney on Thursday.
Pawliw died on Nov. 10 at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
At the time of his death, Pawliw was a third-time federal offender serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in a Duncan killing and conspiring to commit an indictable offence. His sentence began April 26, 1985.
According to a 2010 Nanaimo Daily News report, Gordon Michael Pawliw was 37 when he was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for the murder of the killing of Diana Van Dooren, 57, of Duncan, on May 27, 1984.
Roderick Myles Camphaug, 34, at the time, and Roderick Edwin Schnob, then 31, were also found guilty in a jury trial for the crime.
Court testimony revealed that the men had been hired to commit a contract killing on her husband, Dennis Van Dooren, but had bungled the hit.
At a 15-week trial at the time in Nanaimo, Crown counsel Jim Taylor theorized that Pawliw, who had drug dealings with Dennis Van Dooren, had sent the other two men to the couple's country home to kill him. Instead, Dianna Van Dooren was shot in the head.
Dennis Van Dooren was later fatally shot in Cowichan Bay with his own unregistered handgun during an April 8, 2009 altercation he apparently instigated, the Times Colonist reported on May 2, 2009.
Pawliw’s next of kin have been notified of his death.
As in all cases where an individual dies while in custody, the police and coroner have been notified. In addition, the Correctional Service of Canada will review the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Ferndale Institution is a minimum security federal prison in Mission.