OT-"Beast of British Columbia,"up for parole

Started by outdoors, Nov 28, 2010, 02:37 PM

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funny-i watched a documentary about him last night-talk about timing

Victims' families brace for serial killer Clifford Olson's parole hearing
Published: Sunday, November 28, 2010 | 12:00 PM ET
Canadian Press Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL - He is one of Canada's most notorious serial killers, locked away in the country's most secure prison unit designed to keep him far from everyone -- including other inmates.

But Clifford Olson, the self-styled "Beast of British Columbia," will manage once again this week to cause pain to his victims' families.

He is scheduled to go before the National Parole Board on Tuesday, exercising his right to seek parole every two years.

It is highly unlikely the child killer will ever see life outside of jail again.

At his last parole hearing in 2006, officials declared he presented a "clear and present danger" to the public and agreed with correctional staff that Olson would surely murder again if released.

A board member said Olson, 70, presented a "psychopathic risk" and deemed him a "sexual sadist and a narcissist."

But he will try again at Tuesday's hearing in the prison at Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que.

That means some of the families of his 11 young victims will be making their biennial trek to the prison north of Montreal and once again stare down the man who ruined their lives.

They will deliver victim-impact statements.

"Every two years, it's very, very difficult. It's ridiculous," said Sharon Rosenfeldt, whose son Daryn was murdered by Olson nearly 30 years ago.

"There's legislation that's going to do away with this but it's not retroactive. So what that means is I'll have to do this every two years until Clifford Olson dies or I die."

The federal government reintroduced legislation this year that would make it tougher for multiple murderers to get parole.

But the new legislation isn't retroactive. So Rosenfeldt expects continued journeys every two years to the sprawling Quebec prison complex where Olson is housed.

The last time Olson went before the board was in 2006 -- his first attempt at parole after serving 25 years. He rambled on during the brief hearing, using it as a personal soap box.

A hearing was abruptly cancelled two years ago. But Olson has managed to stay in the news regardless.

In 2008, personal items purportedly belonging to him wound up for auction on a web site. Some of those items, described online as "murderabilia," remain on sale today.

This year, Olson has been in the news over his pension when it was reported the child-killer was eligible to collect an $1,100-a-month old-age security and income supplement benefit.

Ottawa is enacting legislation to strip him and about 400 other federal inmates of their old-age security, a move that Olson has apparently vowed to fight in court.

His antics, long tiresome for victims' families, are only magnified by parole hearings.

"If our justice system made any sense, this wouldn't be happening ever," said Raymond King, whose 15-year-old son Raymond was killed by Olson.

"He would have gotten 11 consecutive life sentences and we would have been free of him.

"Any time his name even comes up, we relive the whole thing again and it's getting really, really tiresome. He manipulates from his cell and I don't know why we allow that.

"It's just another slap in the face."

Olson was sentenced to life in prison in 1982 after he confessed to murdering eight girls and three boys, ranging in age from nine to 18. The killings shocked Canada in the 1980s.

He currently resides in the Correctional Service of Canada's Special Handling Unit, the super-maximum security prison reserved for about 90 of the country's worst inmates.

While Rosenfeldt tries not to look at him, she says her gaze is often drawn to his hands, hands that snuffed out numerous lives.

"The most difficult part of it is to have to see the man that took my son's life," Rosenfeldt said.

Last time, five families were represented at the hearing.

Rosenfeldt and King said it will always be important for officials to hear from the victims, so they're reminded why Olson should never be allowed outside a prison again.

Rosenfeldt said she knows her son would want her there to speak on his behalf.

"Where my son is involved, where the killer is involved, then I will be there as Daryn's mum to represent him," she said.

The Canadian Press, 2010

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