Loading articles...

B.C. mass murderer David Ennis denied parole for third time

Last Updated Sep 15, 2021 at 3:15 pm PDT

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden, Alta., Thursday, March 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

BOWDEN, Alta. — A B.C. man convicted of killing six members of the same family has once again been denied parole.

David Shearing — who now goes by David Ennis — is one of province’s most notorious killers.

In 1982, George and Edith Bentley, along with their daughter Jackie and her husband Bob Johnson were shot and killed while the family was on a camping trip near West Gray Provincial Park — north of Kamloops.

He kept the Johnsons’ daughters Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, alive for almost a week and sexually assaulted them before taking them into the woods, one at a time, and killing them.

Ennis then put all six bodies in the family car and set it on fire.

Ennis, 62, pleaded guilty in 1984 to six counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. The judge at the time described the murders as “a cold-blooded and senseless execution of six defenceless and innocent people.”

Ennis applied for parole in 2008 and again in 2012. His applications were both rejected because he still had violent sexual fantasies and hadn’t completed sex offender treatment.

He applied again in 2014 but withdrew his request a month before the hearing was to take place.

Friends and families of the victims launched an online petition ahead of the latest hearing at Bowden Institution in central Alberta that urged 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 jeopardize the safety of all citizens, but, more importantly, our children. As well, the heinous nature of his crimes should preclude any possibility of release,” reads the change.org petition which has close to 100,000 signatures.

If Ennis was granted day parole, he would have been allowed to live in a halfway house. If full parole had been granted, he would have been allowed to live in the community.