Life in prison, no parole for 20 years for trailer park fire murder

The man who confessed to murdering Mission’s Eleanor Anthonysz and attempting to kill two children, will spent the next 20 years in jail.

Eleanor Anthonysz

Eleanor Anthonysz

A Deroche man who confessed to murdering Mission’s Eleanor Anthonysz and attempting to kill two children in a Shook Road mobile home, will spent the next 20 years in jail.

Walter Ramsay, 43, stared at the judge and showed no emotion as he was handed a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 20 years.

He was also given two 18 year sentences, to be served concurrently, for the attempted murder of  a boy and a girl, whose identities are protected by a publication ban.

Friends and family members of Anthonysz, who attended Friday’s sentencing held in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack, clapped and cried when Justice Neill Brown made his decision known.

The judge said the case, in his opinion, had the needed “extraordinary factors” to deny parole for 20 years.

He noted examples of Ramsay’s persistence in committing the crime which included binding the victim with zap straps and knotted sheets, which were found by her neck and ankles, striking her head with a mallet and the fact that he left the victim and the girl bound in the bedroom momentarily and then returned before setting the trailer ablaze.

He said Ramsay was “morally culpable.”

Anthonysz, 33, died last April after her Hatzic-area home was set ablaze in the middle of the night. Two children also sustained injuries in the blaze.

Ramsay and Anthonysz had previously lived together, but had broken up two years before the killing, according to a statement of agreed facts submitted in court. Ramsay was described as “a screamer” and an alcoholic. He was also known to take the narcotic pain killer Percocet.

Police were later told that in the early hours of April 17, 2015, Ramsay entered the home, had pinned Anthonysz in her bed and beat her with a hammer or mallet.

A girl who came to help was also struck with a mallet and she and Anthonysz were bound with zap straps and torn, knotted sheets.

Ramsay then doused the home with an accelerant and set it ablaze. He told Anthonysz, “I’ll see you in hell,” then left the building.

Anthonysz and the girl managed to free themselves, and as they attempted to leave with the boy, who was also in the home, Anthonysz fell. An autopsy later determined she died from smoke inhalation.

The children were able to get out and banged on a neighbour’s home for help.

The boy suffered smoke inhalation, while the girl had serious burns and injuries to her face. The home, meanwhile, had become engulfed in flames.

Outside the court house, friends and family hugged each other and cried with a mixture of relief and sadness.

While they did not wish to speak with media, one person yelled out “we got what we wanted,”  while another said “it’s the most you can get, but it’s still not enough.”

– with files from Tyler Olsen