This is what the CBC found that Turley had done:
In 1975, Turley did what he describes as the “craziest, stupid, bizarre thing” he would ever do. California newspaper headlines from 1975 dubbed it a “wild abduction tale.”
In a stolen single-engine Cessna, Turley kidnapped Ed Iris, an 11-year-old Nova Scotia boy living in La Puente, Calif., whom Turley had met while visiting a local scout troop.
A day earlier, he’d shown up at Iris’s house, telling Ed’s mother he was “one of Canada’s top scouts leaders” and asking if he could show the boy around town.
“He had badges all over the place,” says Iris, now 47 and living in Ontario. “He had his Canadian scouting book. It was impressive to a kid.”
Turley took the boy on a fun-filled day in the San Diego area. That night, the two slept in a car inside Turley’s double sleeping bag covered in scouts merit patches, said Iris. Turley later admitted to molesting the boy, though Iris says he slept through it.
In the morning, Turley stole a Cessna at a regional airport, vowing to take Ed back to Canada. With the plane low on fuel, though, Turley was soon forced to land.
Turley, then 21, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to child stealing. At trial, a judge committed him to a state hospital as a “mentally disordered sex offender.”
Police files obtained by The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times show that Boy Scouts of America knew about the incident because they helped officers search for Iris and Turley.
Despite this Turley became a Scout leader in Canada and the U.S.
In November 1976, 18 months after Turley’s arrival at the Patton State Hospital, he was deemed well enough to be released. The judge ordered him to return to Canada and report for probation if he re-entered the U.S.
Within a year, Turley returned to Southern California to work at a Boy Scout camp near San Diego, an hour’s drive from the hospital. He spent the next three summers working for the camp.
‘Hopefully, he went back to Canada and that was their problem.’—Former Scout executive Buford Hill
On the last day of camp in July 1979, Turley arranged to stay an extra night with three boys from the Orange County troop. All three were molested that night, according to a confidential file later created by the Boy Scouts of America.
The next morning, one boy told his father, a scoutmaster, about the abuse.
The camp director, John LaBare, confronted Turley and “he readily admitted what he had done, expressed concern for his actions, immediately packed and returned to Canada,” according to a letter in Turley’s U.S. “perversion file.” The camp, meanwhile, was told Turley had returned home due to family problems.
Behind the scenes, camp officials requested that the Boy Scouts of America’s Texas-based national office create a “confidential file,” informally known as a “perversion file,” on Turley.
“The parents of the three boys agreed not to press charges if he would leave, but are quite prepared to do so if they hear of his involvement with scouting,” Scouts executive Buford Hill wrote.
Even Turley was surprised at the laxity:
When Turley was shown the 1979 confidential U.S. file created by the Scouts on him, however, he shook his head in amazement that officials had not contacted police.
“That probably would have put a stop to me years and years ago,” said Turley in an interview at an Alberta motel where he works as a manager and handyman.
“And yet I went back to the Scouts again and again as a leader and offended against the boys until they came forward.”
Turley returned to Canada and molested:
By August of 1979, Turley had returned to the Victoria area, and within a few years, he’d begun leading a local scouts troop.
Court records show that Turley took scouts on camping trips once or twice a month, often luring boys to his tent by offering warmth or comfort. He used skinny-dipping as a pretense to molest boys and plied them with alcohol.
In his Victoria home, stocked with ice cream, candy, alcohol and porn, he entertained an endless number of boys, including scouts.
In 1988, Turley sexually assaulted a child at a swimming pool. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and banned from associating with youth groups such as Scouts, YMCA and the Little League.
It was not until 1995 that police began their first large-scale investigation into Turley – 16 years after the Boy Scouts of America created a “perversion file” and nearly a decade after its Canadian counterpart put him on their “confidential list.”
In the end, it was not the Scouts organization that informed Saanich, B.C., police, but rather a suspicious girlfriend.
The Scouts have tried to deal with the problem, but Turley is dubious:
Scouts Canada also has a stringent “two-deep rule” requiring that two fully screened, registered leaders be present with youth at all times.
Turley recalls always having adult leaders present on his Scouts outings. “It didn’t stop anything,” he says.
Seattle-based lawyer Tim Kosnoff, who has viewed the U.S. “perversion files,” says historically the U.S. Boy Scouts “routinely” chose not to notify police when aware of child molesters, instead noting them in their own secret files.
Despite all the changes made to the Scouts organization, Turley maintains that “Scouting is still a flawed movement.”
“If I was a parent, I would never put my kids in Scouts.”