A murderer who shocked the nation three decades ago when he killed six people, including two children, inside Wells Gray Park has again applied for parole.
A hearing has been set for Sept. 18 in central Alberta to give consideration for day parole and full parole for David Shearing, now known as David Ennis.
Parole Board of Canada released documents Monday outlining the scheduled hearing. Those documents indicate Shearing has applied for day parole and full parole.
In October 2008, a three-person parole board denied his request, saying he continues to pose too great a risk to society.
Shearing is serving a life sentence for killing six members of a family while they camped near Wells Gray Provincial Park in August 1982.
He confessed he shot four adults at the campsite to gain sexual access to two young girls, the children and grandchildren of the adults. He later shot the two girls as well.
Killed were George and Edith Bentley, Jackie and Bob Johnson, and their daughters Janet and Karen in August 1982, in Clearwater.
The 53-year-old offender is serving a life sentence.
Day parole allows offenders to live in a halfway house, where they must abide by curfews and conditions. Under full parole, offenders can live in the community.
Shearing’s release on a temporary escorted pass four years ago — three weeks after being denied parole — became a national controversy. Then Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan publicly questioned the decision by Corrections Canada.
A fact sheet from Parole Board of Canada states protection of society is paramount in any release decision. The public body will grant parole only if an offender does not present an undue risk to society.
When it denied Shearing parole in 2008, the board cited a number of unresolved problems. It also said he was diagnosed with mild indications of psychopathy.
"The board is concerned that you still struggle with pornography issues and have limited insight into the role substance abuse has contributed to both your sexual deviancies and violent offending,” the board said at the time.
The report also questioned whether Ennis understands the full impact of his crime.
"Although you verbalize accepting responsibility for your violent crimes, you minimize your actual actions until more closely challenged on different occasions by the board.
"Considering you have previously addressed these issues through programming/counselling, your continued minimization demonstrates a lack of insight and understanding of key factors that contributed to your offending."