Man charged in Calgary park death was 'low moderate' risk to reoffend: parole documents

Calgary police released this photo of Judy Maerz, 58, who was found dead in a Calgary park last month.   (Submitted by Calgary Police Service - image credit)
Calgary police released this photo of Judy Maerz, 58, who was found dead in a Calgary park last month. (Submitted by Calgary Police Service - image credit)

WARNING: This article contains distressing details and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

A Calgary man who served time for killing a woman during sex in 2009 — and now faces a second-degree murder charge — had been deemed a "low moderate" risk of reoffending, according to parole documents obtained by CBC News.

Police said Thursday that Christopher Ward Dunlop, 48, has been charged with second-degree murder and indignity to a body following the death of 58-year-old Judy Maerz, found dead by a passerby in a northeast park last month.

Dunlop's charges came less than a year after he served time for manslaughter for killing a woman nearly 14 years ago. Parole Board of Canada documents show Dunlop was due for legislated release in December 2019.

Calgary police told CBC News that Dunlop was released from jail in April 2020, with conditions until June 2022.


In 2009, Laura Furlan was found strangled in Fish Creek Provincial Park, a crime to which Dunlop later confessed.

Parole documents said that Dunlop choked Furlan while he was having sex with her.

The 2019 documents outline Dunlop's history with alcohol abuse, detailing a past impaired-driving conviction and parents with substance abuse issues.

The same documents say that according to a psychological risk assessment done in 2017, Dunlop was considered "low moderate" risk for sexual recidivism.

Sexual recidivism is the reoffending of sexual offenders who have already had contact with the criminal justice system.

"It is reported you took full responsibility for your offences. It appears that you have the motivation for continuing to maintain necessary behavioural changes to help with lowering your risk," the document read.


However, the report noted it was not until Dunlop was in sex offender programming that he was honest about his previous offences. A substance abuse assessment identified a link between substance abuse and Dunlop's crimes.

During his 2015 trial, Dunlop pleaded guilty to manslaughter and indignity to a body. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with 6½ years credit for the time already served.

Those conditions, according to the parole documents, were to not to drink alcohol, to follow a treatment plan, report all relationships (sexual and non-sexual) with women, avoid contact with Furlan's family, and a restriction on pornography.

On Thursday, Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson said Maerz, a mother of two, was the victim of a tragic death.

"We spoke with the family this morning and they're just — somebody's been torn from their life," he said.

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.