A man convicted of the mass murder of a family nearly 40 years ago will seek his release once again when he appears before the Canadian Parole Board today.
David Shearing, who now goes by the name David Ennis, shot and killed George and Edith Bentley; his daughter, Jackie; and her husband, Bob Johnson, while the family was on a camping trip in Clearwater Valley near Wells Gray Provincial Park, about 75 miles north of Kamloops, BC, in 1982.
He kept the Johnsons’ daughters Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, alive for nearly a week and sexually assaulted them before taking them into the woods, one at a time, and killing them.
The BC man then put the six bodies in the family car and set it on fire.
Shearing, 62, pleaded guilty in 1984 to six counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The judge at the time described the killings as “a senseless and cold-blooded execution of six defenseless and innocent people.”
Man responsible for one of BC’s most horrific mass murders may apply for parole again in July
Ennis applied for parole in 2008 and again in 2012. His applications were rejected because he still had violent sexual fantasies and had not completed sex offender treatment.
He applied again in 2014, but withdrew his application a month before the hearing was to take place.
Mass murderer waives parole hearing
Friends and relatives of the victims have launched an online petition before the last hearing at the Bowden Institution in central Alberta urging the parole board to keep Ennis in prison.
“We, the undersigned, feel that the release of David Ennis, formerly David Shearing, into the community would endanger the safety of all citizens, but more importantly, our children. Furthermore, the heinous nature of their crimes should preclude any possibility of release, ”reads the change.org petition, which has about 100,000 signatures.
If Ennis were granted one day’s probation, she would be allowed to live in a rehab home. If you were granted full parole, you would be allowed to live in the community.
© 2021 The Canadian Press