STE-ANNE-DES-PLAINES, Que. — Clifford Olson, one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, declared that he would never seek parole again after having his request for freedom rejected Tuesday.
Olson appeared before the National Parole Board for the second time in four years.
The decision came as no surprise. The last time he tried, in 2006, Olson was swiftly rejected and, again Tuesday, the parole board concluded he still represented a threat to society.
“This is the final time,” Olson said after hearing the verdict.
And, as the child-killer left the room, he said, “And I’m out.”
It is highly unlikely Olson would ever have seen the outside of a jail anyway, having shown no signs of remorse and twice having been found by the parole board to represent a threat despite decades of incarceration.
Some family members said they wanted to be there in person Tuesday, to see him being turned down.
The families of some of his 11 young victims, killed in the early 1980s, say Olson shouldn’t be allowed any more time in the spotlight.
This year he became embroiled in a clash with Ottawa when the government tried to strip him of his pension.
Olson, now 70, has served 25 years of a life sentence for murdering 11 young people in British Coumbia in the early 1980s.
According to parole rules, Olson now has the right to request an audience before the board every two years.
The families of his victims have said in the past that he seems to relish the idea of dragging them back.
During his first hearing in 2006, parole officials took only about half an hour to deny Olson parole, saying he posed a “clear and present danger” to the public.
A three-member board agreed with recommendations by correctional staff that Olson would surely murder again if released.
Citing recommendations from correctional staff, board member Jacques Letendre said in 2006 that the risk posed by Olson hadn’t diminished in nearly three decades behind bars.
“Mr. Olson presents a high risk and a psychopathic risk,” Letendre said four years ago. “He is a sexual sadist and a narcissist.”
“The (correctional team) believes that if released, he will kill again.”
While new federal legislation is in the works to do away with automatic parole hearings after 25 years, the legislation won’t be retroactive.
That means that Olson, the self-described “Beast of British Columbia,” is able to get on a soapbox every two years and argue his right to be free.
But victims’ families would be pleased if he stuck to his word and never surfaced again.
Sharon Rosenfeldt, whose son Daryn Johnsrude was Olson’s third victim, compared Olson to a famous fictitious serial killer.
“Hannibal Lecter — that’s what comes to my mind,” Rosenfeldt said.
“Although he was fictional, Clifford Olson is not. He is real.”
The hearing took place under tight security in Canada’s only super-maximum security prison, where Olson is locked up, north of Montreal. The Special Handling Unit is reserved for the most dangerous inmates.
Despite being kept in isolation, Olson has managed to stay in the news through a fight with Ottawa over pension cheques he’s receiving; a few years back, he also attempted to sell his personal effects on a website.
Olson was sentenced to life in prison in 1982 after he confessed to murdering eight girls and three boys ranging in age from nine to 18. He struck a deal with authorities and was paid $100,000 to lead police to their bodies. The money was given to his ex-wife and son.
At his 2006 hearing, Olson appeared delusional.
He refused to return to the room to hear the board refuse his release. He also rambled during that hearing about information he had on the 9-11 attacks.