Effort to keep mass murderer behind bars gains steam

The fight to keep mass murderer David Ennis behind bars has earned some political clout.

The fight to keep mass murderer David Ennis behind bars has earned some political clout.

MP Dan Albas is supporting the petition aimed at stopping Ennis’s bid for freedom and reiterating his support for a bill that would keep serious felons ineligible for parole for a longer duration.

Petitions will be at his local office, and the bill has already been introduced in Ottawa.

“There are always improvements that can be made to the (legal) system,” said Albas of Private Members’ Bill C-587, Wednesday.

The Bill seeks to extend the parole eligibility period for those convicted of the abduction, heinous acts of sexual assault and murder of an individual from the current 25 years, up to a maximum of 40 years.

If it passed, it would allow for judicial discretion, which its proponents say would ensure charter compliance.

Albas pointed out it’s stories like the slaying of the Johnson and Bentley families that inspired him to support the bill, and efforts from the community make a big difference to the people in Ottawa.

“Since I was first elected, I would travel the riding, I would hear the story of the Johnson and Bentley families throughout,” he said. “It’s important that people bring up their cases with their MPs so people in parliament can see the pain and suffering that are unintended consequences of how the system is put together.”

Tammy Arishenkoff is leading the local charge against Ennis being released after his upcoming Sept. 4 hearing with the National Parole Board.

Her latest round of efforts started little over a week ago and she’s already collected 2,380 signatures.

In a recent interview, she pointed out that the fact that the family of the Johnson Bentley clan are continually asked to deal with Ennis is a form of victimization.

“We can’t heal because we will have to go in (September)  and listen again to all of the details, to him talk about how he committed the crime,” she said. “They review everything from the beginning, everything involving this case has to be reviewed by the parole board.”

She will be in attendance at the upcoming hearing. It will be the second time she faces Ennis, who had his  first hearing in 2008, waived his right to a 2010 hearing and attended his 2012 hearing.

At the last hearing, the National Parole Board said Ennis still had violent sexual fantasies, hadn’t completed sex offender treatment and was not ready for freedom. This September, Arishenkoff doesn’t expect a significantly different response, but she’s not leaving anything to chance.

In August 1982  three generations of the Johnson and Bentley families—George and Edith Bentley of Port Coquitlam, their daughter Jackie Johnson and her husband, Bob, of Westbank and their two daughters, Janet, 13, and  Karen, 11,—gathered for a camping trip Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Janet caught Ennis’s eye, so he stalked the family for at least two days before going to the campsite and shooting the four adults, so that he could kidnap the two young girls.

Over the better part of a week Ennis kept the girls hostage and sexually assaulted Janet. He eventually took them into the woods, one at a time, and killed them, also.

He  loaded all the bodies into one of the family’s vehicles and torched it in a secluded area of the park. Their remains were discovered on Sept. 13, 1982. It was another 14 months before investigators tracked down Ennis.

The facebook page: Justice for the Johnson-Bentley Families: Keep Their Killer Behind Bars!

 

Just Posted

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

UPDATED: Man dies after struck by vehicle

A man died after being hit by a vehicle in West Kelowna

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read