Calgary woman worried about her safety as ex-boyfriend is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant
A local woman says she fears for her safety after learning the man who severely beat and nearly killed her two years ago is now the target of a nationwide manhunt.
Dianne Denovan met Michael Richard Cole through an online dating service she used in 2016.
At first, it was a normal relationship and there was no indication that he could be violent.
However, seven months later, they got into an argument and Cole ambushed her in her home and beat her for several hours until she finally managed to escape.
Denovan nearly died from the injuries she suffered in the attack but Cole was only given two years for the aggravated assault.
At the parole hearing, Denovan says she learned about his extensive criminal history, including a number of domestic assaults, dating back to 1987.
“They did not go into detail about them then but some were in a bar [and] some were somewhere else. Those are the ones we know about. What about the ones where people were afraid?”
Following the hearing, Cole was released and ordered to live at a halfway house in the city but Denovan was told that he went missing about a week ago.
“They just told me that he didn’t check in on the 15th. I asked why he didn’t have an ankle bracelet on if he was such a high risk of reoffending.”
She says she was shaking when she got to work and was really upset that he’d gone missing.
“The only thing I asked for was that he wasn’t put in Calgary and now he’s loose here.”
A Canada-wide arrest warrant was then issued for Cole on December 19, 2018.
Dianne says no matter how hard she tried to forget about it, the knowledge that Cole is out in the public became the focus of her holidays.
“We were fearful even before,” she said. “If I see him in a grocery store, what am I going to do? I knew where he was staying when he got out this time, but I wouldn’t tell the boys. They went searching for him the last time.”
Dianne’s daughter Nikola then posted a warning online about Cole’s disappearance and it’s since been shared thousands of times.
“It included the photos of the damage that he had done to her that shows the physical injuries, but in no way does that show the psychological and emotional trauma that she has been put through,” Nikola said.
Dianne does take a bit of solace in the fact that if Cole gets into trouble again, he’ll be sorry because of her daughter’s online posts.
“We’ve gotten messages from inmates. So when he goes back, he won’t like it this time. They didn’t know what he was in there for.”
She hopes that by sharing her story, she can also help other women avoid a similar situation.
“I ignored every red flag about him. If I could go back and do it again, I would not ignore those,” she said. “Nikola says, ‘Mom, you’ve always had that gut instinct’ but he treated me well and if I could tell other women, it would be not to ignore those.”
Anyone who may know where Cole is asked to contact Calgary Police or leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers.
(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)