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Terry Driver

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Name  Terry Driver

Misty Cockerill smiling while wearing black jacket

Similar  Paul Bernardo, Richard Cottingham, John Wayne Gacy

Born  1965 (age 56)

Terry Driver Video

Terry Driver (born 1965), alias the Abbotsford killer, is a convicted Canadian murderer who attacked a total of four teenage girls with a baseball bat, killed one, then taunted police in Abbotsford, British Columbia with letters and phone calls.


Terry Driver wearing white t-shirt

Crimes and investigation

Misty Cockerill wearing stripe shirt and her mother wearing turtle neck sleeves and coat

Driver attacked two 16-year-old girls with a baseball bat in 1995. One of the girls, Misty Cockerill, attempted to fight back and ultimately survived, but with severe skull fractures. Her companion, Tanya Smith, was beaten, sexually assaulted, and thrown in a river where she drowned, although she would have died of her beating in any event.

Terry Driver's tight lipped smile

After the attack, Driver engaged in a course of bizarre behavior that eventually led to his capture. He made a series of telephone calls to police and emergency services in which he refused to give his name, but clearly identified himself as the killer, and threatened more crimes. Driver, whose father had been a police officer, had an obsession with scanners, and used one to monitor police responses to his telephone calls. He attended the funeral of Tanya Smith, and then later stole her tombstone and put it on the hood of a car belonging to a radio station. He also threw a wrench with a note to police through a stranger's front window. The note mentioned three other similar assaults for which he sought credit. He had left a thumbprint on some tape around the package, and he had left DNA on the body. Police arranged for the broadcast of recordings of the telephone calls, and Driver's brother recognized his voice. His mother concurred in the identification. Police determined that Driver's thumbprint matched the one on the tape, and he was arrested in 1996.

Trial and imprisonment

Trial and imprisonment for Terry Driver

After his arrest, Driver denied that he had beaten the two girls. He claimed he happened upon them after the crime, raped the unconscious Tanya, and threw her body in the river. He claimed he drove Misty to the hospital. At trial, he did not raise an insanity defense, but claimed he had Tourette's Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, and urged these impairments be considered to explain his actions. He used this argument to explain that the confessions he gave were false and the product of his disorders. Because of the emotional response that was inevitable in a trial, Driver elected to be tried in front of a judge instead of a jury. The judge was unpersuaded by Driver's arguments and he was convicted in 1997 of the first-degree murder of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill, declared a dangerous offender, and received a mandatory life sentence from Judge Wally Oppal. He appealed, but in 2001, lost.

Terry Driver's serious face while wearing blue shirt

In a later trial, Driver was convicted of two of the assaults he mentioned in the letter that he threw through the window.

In 2006, Driver was transferred from protective custody at Kent Institution to the Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre in Abbotsford for treatment. Corrections Canada came under criticism for this move.


Terry Driver Wikipedia