Petition to keep mass murderer behind bars reaches 78,000 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Petition to keep mass murderer behind bars reaches 78,000

Six members of the Johnson and Bentley families from Westbank were brutally murdered at Wells Gray Provincial Park while they are on a camping trip in August of 1982.
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April 04, 2021 - 8:00 AM

An online petition launched to keep the man responsible for the murder of a Westbank family has collected more than 78,000 signatures.

In the summer of 1982, David Shearing, now David Ennis, stalked and murdered the Johnson Bentley family during their camping trip near Wells Gray Provincial Park.

READ MORE: West Kelowna family relaunches campaign to keep mass murderer David Ennis behind bars

On Aug. 2, 1982, he shot George and Edith Bentley and Bob and Jackie Johnson and kidnapped Janet, 13, and Karen, 11. He held the girls hostage and sexually assaulted Janet before he killed them too.

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

The organizer of the effort to keep him in prison, Tammy Arishenkoff, said in a previous interview with iNFOnews.ca she wanted to reach 35,000 on her Change.org petition, addressed to the Parole Board of Canada. 

A Parole Board of Canada hearing has been set for July to give consideration for full parole for Ennis, according to the petition.

If day parole is granted, he will be allowed to live in a halfway house. If full parole is granted, he will be allowed to live among us in the community, Arishenkoff wrote in her petition.

Since his first parole hearing in 2008, Arishenkoff has led the charge to keep Ennis behind bars with petitions and letter campaigns. She was a friend of the Johnson family.

The petition will be open until April 16 and now Arishenkoff is hoping to reach 100,000 signatures.


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