B.C. man who killed four people granted full parole, plans move to Vancouver Island


The person responsible for the murders of four people more than two decades ago when he was a teenager has been granted full parole and plans to live on Vancouver Island.

James Ruscitti is serving a life sentence for the execution-style killing of his adoptive parents, his brother’s 17-year-old girlfriend and a tenant of their home near 100 Mile House in central B.C. in 1996.

Ruscitti was 15-years-old and a drug user at the time he and his accomplice Chad Bucknell, who was 14, committed the crime.

In its decision, the Parole Board of Canada looked at positive aspects of his life, including a full-time job as an electrician and his plan to live with his girlfriend and her daughter in their Vancouver Island townhouse.

The exact location has not been released.

The board says it considers the 37-year-old to be a moderate risk to re-offend.

Although Ruscitti was a drug user when he and Bucknell committed the crimes, the parole board said he was sober when he shot the victims and left his two-month-old baby niece near death in a room next to her dead mother.

Several conditions are included in his parole, including Ruscitti must not consume alcohol or non-prescribed drugs nor have any contact with the victims or anyone in their families.

He must immediately report all relationships and friendships with females to his parole supervisor.

In it’s written decision, the board said it is concerned Ruscitti is still not clear what motivated him to commit the crimes but is satisfied he is struggling to understand his actions.

The board says a psychiatric assessment from 1996 prepared for trial indicated the offence was directly linked to Ruscitti’s strong antisocial and narcissistic personality.

However, the board says Ruscitti has remained compliant with conditions of his release and respectful to his parole supervisors in the three years since he was granted day parole.

He completed community-based programming while he was on day parole, but the board also outlined some issues of concern.

“Reportedly, your greatest identified challenge was managing your risky thinking,” it says.

“Your most recent correctional plan update was completed in June 2018. It indicates you require a moderate need for improvement in the areas of personal/emotional orientation and marital/family issues,” the board says.

When Ruscitti was asked about the murders, he initially told the board they were not planned but later said he thought about carrying them out for a day or so.

“You added that around that time you were suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety and that you hated yourself. You denied simply leaving the child in the room with one of the victims but said that you had left food for the child and had later tried to get close family members to go to the residence to help her.”

The child was found in the home two days after the murders and doctors said she was hours from death because of dehydration.

The board says Ruscitti also mentioned day parole was a very big transition for him and important changes are very stressful for him.

However, it says Ruscitti managed to handle a stressful situation appropriately when the Children’s Ministry initially refused to allow him contact with his girlfriend’s child and suggested the girl would be removed from her if she continued the relationship.

“You appealed the decision and are now able to have contact with both the mother and the child.”

Bucknell has also been granted full parole and the board lifted an alcohol restriction imposed on him last year.

With files from the Canadian Press.


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!