February 18, 2016 3:32 pm
Updated: February 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Family relieved murderer declines parole hearing


KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The man convicted of murdering two young girls, their parents and grandparents more than three decades ago in British Columbia has waived his right to an upcoming parole hearing, and it will be 2021 before he can apply again.

David Ennis, who has changed his name from David Shearing since the August 1982 murders, was due for a parole hearing in August.

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A spokeswoman for the Johnson and Bentley families says relatives of the victims are relieved at the cancellation, and are pleased that new federal rules mean Ennis can’t apply for another hearing for five years.

Tammy Arishenkoff says when parole hearings came every two years, the family could only relax for a short time between applications.

Ennis pleaded guilty to six counts of second-degree murder in 1984 for the murders of 13-year-old Janet and 11-year-old Karen Johnson, their parents, Jackie and Bob Johnson of Westbank, and Jackie’s parents, Edith and George Bentley of Port Coquitlam.

The six were camping in Wells Gray Provincial Park when they were murdered by Ennis, although he kept the two girls alive for several days after killing the adults, before slaying them and burning all six bodies in a remote area of the park.

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