April 15, 2019 1:54 pm

Dark Poutine podcast recap: Roch Thériault and the Ant Hill Kids

Roch Theriault is shown in this 1981 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP

Roch Theriault is shown in this 1981 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP

THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP
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On this week’s episode of the Dark Poutine podcast, we learn about Roch Thériault, the enigmatic cult leader who led a small religious group, the Ant Hill Kids, in Burnt River, Ont., between 1977 and 1989.

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Thériault was a self-proclaimed prophet who went by the name of Moïse or Moses and he founded the doomsday cult, based on Seventh-day Adventist Church beliefs, first in the Quebec towns of Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce and Saint-Jogues, then moved to Burnt River.

READ MORE: Prisoner charged in cult leader’s death was serving time for two other deaths

He fathered 22 children with women in the cult and had many wives. Thériault’s rule was brutal and totalitarian, which led to horrible acts of violence, sexual abuse, torture, and murder.

On August 14, 1989, an emaciated Gabrielle Lavallee, who was known to police as a member of the cult, emerged from the woods near the tiny town of Burnt River. She was favouring the stump of a recently severed arm and had a terrifying tale to tell, which included the gruesome murder of Thériault’s wife, Solange Boilard, whom he disemboweled with a kitchen knife as part of a cult ritual.

He was arrested for assault in 1989 and was convicted of murder in 1993 in the death of Boilard. Thériault received a life sentence, which he was serving when he was murdered at Dorchester Penitentiary in 2011.

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Sources:
Savage Messiah by Paul Kaihla and Ross Laver
Roch Theriault wikipedia
Macleans Magazine – The Ant Hill Kids (1993)
cvltnation.com
Cults That Kill by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe Agasr
InfoSect – Examples of Problematic Group Functioning
Cult Leader Roch Thériault aka The Deadly Messiah (Crime Documentary)
New York Daily News

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