Child killer Clifford Olson is eligible to apply at any time for another parole hearing. Yet the publicity seeking, narcissistic psychopath has refused to exercise his legal right to beg for release from prison, as he did in 2006 (record of that hearing appears after the jump). According to the National Parole Board, he waived his right to a hearing June 2008. Although killers serving life sentences are eligible for parole hearings every two years once they pass their eligibility date – 25 years in Olson’s case – he can seek another hearing at any time because he voluntarily skipped the hearing in 2008. Another hearing will be scheduled for mid 2010.
Olson has now been locked in a box for more than 27 years, since his arrest in August 1981. He will likely die behind bars. He knows this. Despite his frothing and nearly illiterate rants through the decades, he is cognizant at least of the public revulsion he has attracted and the certainty that he’ll never be freed. But through more than a quarter century behind bars this awareness hasn’t dulled his ravenous appetite for attention. Parole hearings are a glorious opportunity to perform. Olson has done it just once, July 18, 2006, when he appeared before the board at the prison where he’s confined, Ste-Anne-des-Plaines penitentiary north of Montreal (though he also sought to have his parole eligibility reduced in a faint hope hearing in 1997). The parole board denied him release in 2006 (decision above), noting that prison staff who work with him believe his “murderous behaviour would be perpetuated in the event of a release to the community.” Experts have poked and prodded the aging beast, who turned 69 on Jan. 1, concluding he is the “quintessential psychopath,” a sexual sadist with a narcissistic personality, pedophilia and paraphilia (sexual perversion).
Olson is an infamous figure in Canadian criminal history because of a brief but frenzied nine-month killing spree in which he abducted, tortured, sexually abused and murdered eight girls aged 12 to 18 and three boys aged 10 to 16 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley regions of British Columbia. A dropout with a Grade 8 education, Olson had a lengthy criminal record before the murders and was well known to police. His notoriety was inflated by the revelations of police bumbling that allowed him to escape capture for nine months. More shocking was the disclosure that police paid $100,000 into a trust account for Olson’s wife in exchange for his confessions about where some of the bodies of his victims had been dumped. That payment touched off a court battle over the money.
While Olson languishes (rots?) behind bars, there has been another deeply disturbing, unresolved question: Did he kill more than 11 victims, as he has often claimed, and does he have knowledge that could solve other murders? [see related post on Olson’s claims]. Olson has insisted, for instance, that he can solve the now 31-year-old cold case of Debbie Silverman, a pretty 21-year-old Toronto, Ontario, woman who was abducted and murdered in 1978. In a series of communications roughly two decades ago, Olson told me that police refused to barter with him for the information that would solve the case.
Here’s the written record of the National Parole Board hearing held in 2006: