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Timeline: The life and crimes of Clifford Olson

VANCOUVER – Serial killer Clifford Olson has been diagnosed with cancer and is near death, say the families of some of his victims. Some key dates in his life:

Jan. 1, 1940: Clifford Robert Olson Jr. is born in Vancouver.

1957: Olson receives his first jail sentence, nine months behind bars for burglary. He soon escaped and was recaptured, a pattern that recurred at least six times over the next two decades.

Sept. 7, 1980: Olson is released from jail for the final time before his killings begin.

Nov. 17, 1980: Olson claims his first victim, 12-year-old Christine Weller. Police initially do not treat her disappearance as suspicious. Her body is found on Christmas day showing signs of stab wounds and strangulation.

Apr. 16, 1981: Olson abducts Colleen Daignault, 13, of Surrey, B.C. Her body is found five months later.

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Apr. 22: Daryn Johnsrude, 15, disappears while spending time at a local mall. The teen had only been in the Vancouver area for two days. His beaten body was found less than two weeks later.

May 15, 1981: Olson marries Joan Hale, the mother of his only child.

May 19: Olson picks up Sandra Wolfsteiner, 16, while she tried to hitch a ride from her boyfriend’s home and kills her in the nearby woods.

June 21: Ada Court, 13, disappears while en route to see a friend. Her body is found two months later.

July 2: Nine-year-old Simon Partington of Surrey disappears while riding his bike to a friend’s home. Police, having classified other disappearances as runaways, admit Simon was the victim of foul play.

July 7: Olson is charged with sexual assault on a teenage girl, but is not linked to the recent string of deaths.

July 9: Olson abducts and kills 14-year-old Judy Kozma after plying her with liquor and drugs. The next day, he leaves for a nearly two-week vacation with his family. Kozma’s body is found on July 25.

July 23: Olson lures Raymond King, 15, from a youth employment centre with a promise of work. He brutally beats King and dumps his body in a remote camping ground.

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July 25: Olson kills Sigrun Arnd, a 14-year-old student visiting Canada from Germany.

July 27: Olson kills 15-year-old Terri Lyn Carson, strangling her and abandoning her body in a wooded area along the Fraser River.

July 30: Olson picks up 17-year-old Louise Chartrand, drives her to an area near the Whistler, B.C., ski resort, kills her and buries her body in a shallow grave.

Aug. 12: Olson is arrested for attempting to pick up two hitchhikers.

Aug. 18: Olson is charged with the murder of Judy Kozma.

Jan. 11, 1982: Olson’s trial begins, but ends within three days when he reverses his initial plea of not guilty and instead pleads guilty to 11 counts of first-degree murder. He is sentenced to 11 concurrent life sentences, with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

Jan. 14: Media reports surface exposing the “cash-for-bodies” deal, under which Olson’s wife received $100,000 in exchange for his help in locating the bodies.

Aug. 19, 1997: Olson touches off a furor when he applies for parole under the so-called “Faint Hope” clause, a section of the Criminal Code which allows prisoners to seek early release after just 15 years of a life sentence. His application is dismissed in minutes.

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July 18, 2006: Olson again appears before the National Parole Board, this time after having spent 25 years in prison. This time, it takes half an hour for his application to be rejected.

Mar. 21, 2010: Reports emerge that Olson has been collecting more than $1,100 a month in Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments since turning 65 in 2005.

June 1, 2010: In response to the Olson controversy, the federal government introduces legislation that suspends benefit payments to prisoners until after they’re released.

Nov. 30, 2010: Olson applies for parole a third time, and is denied.

Sept. 21, 2011: Sharon Rosenfeldt, the mother of 15-year-old victim Daryn Johnsrude, says she’s been notified by Correctional Service of Canada that Olson is just days from death, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Sept. 30, 2011: Olson dies, aged 71. Brigette Kozma, a family member of one of Olson’s victims, said she was informed of Olson’s death by Corrections Canada.