View Full Version : New article on "Thelma & Louise" duo profiled on UM

06-16-2008, 02:15 PM
Apparently one of the duo is from Canada and her family is complaining of how far away she is from them (she's in a Texas prison).

Sun, June 15, 2008

After serving 13 years in Texas, let the Canadian half of the infamous 'Thelma and Louise' crime duo come home, her three sons pleadBy MARK BONOKOSKI

Now that Mexican convict-celebre Brenda Martin is back in Canada, and mercifully all but gone from the headlines, will the Canadian government reconsider bringing home the Canadian half of the infamous "Thelma and Louise" crime duo, now in her 13th year in a Texas prison?

Rose Marie Turford's last transfer request was denied back in February, via a form letter -- in both official languages -- from Correctional Services Canada at the behest of Stockwell Day, minister of public safety.

It was addressed to Turford as Inmate No. 748050, at the Mountain View Penitentiary in Gatesville, Tx.

"This (denial) is based on the fact that 'the offender's offence involved the use of a firearm' and the transfer of the offender to Canada would threaten the safety and security of Canada and its citizen," read Corrections Canada's letter.

As an aside, the firearm in question was never loaded during the twosome's well-publicized crime spree and run from the law -- not that it appears to matter.

Rose Marie Turford, now 48, was a registered nurse and suburban housewife from London, Ont., living in Houston with her husband, who drove her children to baseball practice.

Joyce Carolyn Stevens, now 43, was an unmarried psychiatric technician described as the "timid and mousey daughter of a Texas preacher."

Back in the early-to-mid Nineties, shortly after becoming fast friends in Houston, these two women set up a scam against men seeking sexual favours, robbed them at gunpoint, and then hit the road to play out the game, with Turford leaving her husband and three children in the wake.

The pair -- dubbed Thelma and Louise after the 1991 Hollywood film starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, in which two women kissed their middle-class lives goodbye and allegedly went on a crime spree across the U.S. -- were finally arrested in Toronto in 1994, after jumping a family-posted $500,000 bail in Houston, thereby setting off an international dragnet aimed at their capture.

Their five-month run from the law had them hitting the big leagues when it comes to celebrity outlaws -- eight minutes on Unsolved Mysteries, a segment on A Current Affair and, as one report cited, their pictures on wanted posters "from Corpus Christi to Calgary."

Sightings were aplenty. The fugitives had been seen posing as nuns in Toronto, playing the casinos in Michigan, performing as topless dancers in two-bit strip joints, sometimes as blonds, sometimes as redheads, and working as phone sex operators.

Or none of the above.

Stevens, the acknowledged ringleader who invented a mysterious enforcer named "Avery" to keep Turford under her control, avoided trial by rolling over on Turford and pleading guilty to three cases of aggravated robbery. She got 10 years in prison, and has long ago been free.

Turford, who refused to plea bargain, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced in March 1996, to 30 years in prison for aggravated robbery by Judge Mary Lou Keel, and ordered to serve 15 years before applying for parole.

Kyle Turford is Rose Marie Turford's 26-year-old son, and a computer systems student at Fanshawe College, in his mother's hometown of London, Ont.

"My mother has been a model prisoner and has become certified to transcribe textbooks into braille," he says.

"Stockwell Day has cited that my mother is a dangerous criminal because there was a firearm involved in the robberies. I understand that. Firearms are a big problem in Canada.

"But we are not asking him to negotiate her release," he says. "We are just asking him to move her back to her home country, and I am asking your help to get my mother a fair shot at a meaningful relationship with her family.

"I don't think our fight can be won on our own anymore, no matter what my stubborn pride tells me," he says.

"At the end of the day, I'm just a scared kid who misses his mom, and who wants to start mending the tattered bond that we share."

In a handwritten letter last summer to the International Transfer branch of Corrections Canada, Rose Marie Turford wrote of having no ties with the United States.

"All my immediate family are in Canada," she wrote. "I see my parents and my children once a year. My youngest son is 16 years old.

"I believe justice ultimately strives to reintegrate offenders back in society and I desperately need a chance to prove I can be a valuable part of my Canadian society again.

"I want nothing more than to return to the loving arms of my family," she says. "I want to pick up the pieces of my life, and rebuild a positive future.

"I beg you for that opportunity."

Liz Durocher, 69, is Rose Marie Turford's mother. She and her husband, Ernie, a retired buyer for Syncrude now living in London, sacrificed $310,000 of their life savings -- $100,000 in lost bail, the rest for legal fees -- in supporting their wayward daughter.

"We just want to have her closer to home," she says. "We love her. She was a good person all of her life, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what happened back then.

"But we can't get this government to budge," she says, indicating that her daughter's sons -- Kyle, Ryan, 25, and 16-year-old Cory -- make a yearly journey to visit their mother in that Texas jail.

Melisa Leclerc is the senior spokesperson for Stockwell Day who, as minister of public safety, has final word on prison transfers.

Citing privacy concerns, however, Leclerc refused to discuss the specifics regarding the case of Marie Rose Turford, and her most recent denial for transfer to a prison here in Canada -- even though she is nearing her eligible parole date in Texas.

"While I cannot comment on specific cases for privacy reasons, I can tell you that all applications for transfer back to Canada are carefully considered in accordance with the terms of the International Transfer of Offenders Act, which received Royal Assent in 2004," says Leclerc.

And, with that, all correspondence came to an end.

04-27-2016, 03:11 PM
Well I have looked under the Texas DOC website and the federal inmate search and there is no Rose Turford so i'm thinking maybe she is in Canada....

01-09-2017, 05:26 PM
Actually, she got out a few years ago for good behavior/parole (and possibly also overcrowding.) She lives in Ontario and translates English books into braille.

If you're interested in Rose's first person "account," check out the profile: "Prisoner of Love" by Robert Hough (source: Saturday Night; May99, Vol. 114 Issue 4, p60)