An Edmonton mother is warning families to lock their doors and windows at night, especially if a teenage girl is part of the family.
Six years ago, Susan and her 14-year-old daughter were victimized when Gordon William Adams broke into their house overnight. Susan's identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.
Adams is a convicted sexual predator. According to parole board documents, he has a "long-standing and well-established sexual deviancy toward masturbating with stolen, used underwear of adolescent females."
In 2016, Adams was convicted of breaking and entering Susan's home along with break and enter with intent at another house where a 15-year old girl lived.
He served every day of his seven-year sentence and the Correctional Service of Canada had no choice but to release him in late July.
The Edmonton Police Service issued a public warning when he was released, stating they have reasonable grounds to believe he will commit another sexual offence.
"Adams has a history of surveilling homes that belong to unknown women, including children under 16-years, breaking and entering the houses to steal female undergarments and watching the sleeping victim," EPS said in its news release.
"Adams also has a history of voyeurism and exhibitionism perpetrated against young women."
Susan told CBC News that Adams' release from prison has opened up old wounds for her and her daughter, because she felt much safer when he was behind bars.
'I kind of became a prisoner in my own home'
Susan's life changed forever the night her tiny box terrier suddenly began to bark ferociously at 3 a.m. in September 2014.
She knew she had closed her bedroom door, so she was confused when her other dog entered the room and also began to bark and growl.
"I happened to look up and I did see a silhouette, but I just assumed it was my son," she said.
The noise woke up Susan's daughter, who had a bedroom on the main floor. Susan and her 10-year-old son had bedrooms in the basement. Eventually, they all went back to sleep.
The next day, while Susan was making supper, she noticed the window over the kitchen sink was open more than usual and the screen was missing.
Then she noticed a footprint on the wall just below the window and a trail of pine needles leading to her daughter's room.
"It was very unsettling," she said. "Somebody was there that night and it didn't click until the next day."
She reported the incident to police. A couple of weeks later, EPS detectives told her Adams had been arrested and charged. Officers also revealed his deviancy and troubled criminal history.
In 2008, Adams was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to several charges including sexual assault, break and enter with intent to commit sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.
'I could barely leave the house'
Susan's life began to spiral out of control. She began to have panic attacks.
"I ended up getting worse to the point I could barely leave the house," she said. "I would just be in a grocery store and I'd have to leave my full cart. I kind of became a prisoner in my own home."
She began to stay awake all night so she could watch the kitchen window and make sure everything was locked and secure. Susan slept during the day while her children were at school.
She went on disability leave and ultimately quit her job.
Her daughter developed obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
"Every night she would routinely go and check all the doors, all the windows, all the locks," Susan said. "Then about 10 minutes later, recheck it. 10 minutes later, recheck it again."
Susan asked for monetary compensation from the Criminal Injuries Review Board, but was turned down because break and enter is not a crime listed in their regulations.
It was yet another blow for Susan and her family as they struggled emotionally and financially.
"It made me really mad that basically she would have had to have been molested or assaulted or something in order for them to help us," she said.
Both Susan and her daughter sought therapy and they currently remain on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.
'Be vigilant and remember his face'
Close to the end of his sentence in 2020, the parole board rejected an early release.
"You remain a very high risk for sexual re-offending," the March decision states.
"You remain a high risk to public safety and low reintegration potential. You have no community supports, no employment and overall no release plan prepared."
Adams made no submissions to the parole board. He was released from prison four months later.
According to Edmonton police, the 38-year-old will face a number of strict court-ordered conditions, including a curfew and an order to stay away from any places where children under the age of 18 are likely to congregate.
He will not be allowed to possess any weapons, pornography or female underwear.
Edmonton police will appear in court on August 25 to seek a two-year judge's order that will allow the Behavioural Assessment Unit to constantly monitor Adams and would require him to report to the unit regularly.
Your victim pool is adolescent females -Parole Board of Canada
Adams once told the parole board he was addicted to sex.
"The adrenaline rush and power and control are important factors in your offending," a 2019 parole board decision states. "You confirmed that your victim pool is adolescent females as you are more readily able to exert power and control over this population."
The parole board members asked Adams if he ever had any thoughts of strangling or murdering one of his victims.
"You responded by saying that your heart tells you that you do not think you would but in your head you know that it is a possibility," the decision states. "Your strategy in dealing with your victim pool while in the community is to walk away."
Susan isn't convinced Adams will be able to walk away.
"Some people just can't be fixed," she said. "Just be vigilant and remember his face."