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Parole revoked for man who killed Collingwood woman in 1989

James Brown was convicted of killing Debbie Timlock in 1992 and was granted full parole in 2018, which has now been revoked
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The man convicted in the brutal murder of a Collingwood woman in 1989 is back in jail after a board revoked his parole last week. 

James Brown is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for killing Debbie Timlock, a 33-year-old single mother at the time, in her home on Oak Street on June 19, 1989. Brown, who was in his 20s then, was tried and found guilty in 1992. During a parole hearing in 2010, he admitted to the murder. 

Brown, now 58 years old, was given full parole on Oct. 16, 2018, which was revoked by the Parole Board of Canada on Feb. 13, 2024. 

The board gave multiple reasons for its decision, stating Brown was involved in instances of physical violence related to anger, including a physical fight with three men, a road rage incident that got physical, and pushing a young woman in her early 20s, who he referred to as an "adopted daughter," up against a wall. 

The parole board categorized Brown's relationship with the young woman as lacking "healthy boundaries," and showing a "high degree of fixation." Further to this, the board was not convinced Brown's release plan was reliable. 

The board noted that Brown was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the 2023 incidents of violence; a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol and drugs was one of the conditions of his parole.

In summary, the board was satisfied by recent events and facts that Brown presents an "undue risk" to society of re-offending. The life sentence remains, and Brown is back in prison. 

According to federal reporting on parole outcomes in Canada, about 88 to 90 per cent of full parole outcomes were successful in Canada between 2016 and 2021, meaning the person on full parole did not have their parole revoked. 

In approximately 10 per cent of full parole cases from 2016 to 2021, parole was revoked because of breach of conditions (between seven and 9.6 per cent of cases), because of a non-violent offence (between 1.9 and 2.9 per cent of cases), or because of a violent offence (less than one per cent of cases). 


Debbie Timlock’s murder in 1989 was a mystery for several months. In the years leading up to Brown's arrest, investigators focused on two key pieces of evidence: a squished tomato in the grass outside Timlock’s window that still bore the markings of a herringbone pattern stamped into it from a shoe, and a pair of eyeglasses.

An episode of Forensic Files includes details of the investigation and how those on the case used both the tomato and the glasses to connect Brown to the murder.

Brown was formerly Timlock’s neighbour. He had tried to break into her apartment three years before killing her. 

When he did break into the basement apartment in 1989, he struck Timlock on the head and stabbed her several times. The parole decision document also states there was evidence of asphyxia and sexual assault.

Brown was under the influence of both alcohol and drugs when he murdered Timlock and had been drinking in a bar earlier that same evening. 

Timlock called police from her apartment, but died before emergency responders arrived.

The judge in the case called Brown's crime a "murder of rage and sexual degradation, fuelled by alcohol and unrequited obsession." 

He was convicted of first-degree murder and assault causing bodily harm. The second charge came from Brown kneeing a correctional officer in the stomach during a routine search. Brown had past convictions dating back to 1985 for assault (four counts), assault causing bodily harm (two counts), property offences (two counts), and failure to comply with recognizance, according to the parole document.


More on this story from the archives: 

Parole condition lifted for man who murdered Collingwood woman in 1989

Full parole granted for man convicted in brutal 1989 Collingwood murder

Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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