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Ennis waives parole hearing 34 years after murdering family in Wells Gray Park

David Ennis' next eligibility for full parole won't be until 2021.
David Ennis

David Ennis will spend another five years in prison for murdering three generations of the same family, including Port Coquitlam grandparents Edith and George Bentley, in Wells Gray Provincial Park in 1982.

Ennis waived his right to his 2014 parole hearing and has also withdrawn the application for this year's review, which would have been held in August.

His last hearing was in 2012, when Ennis was denied both day and full parole after a two-member National Parole Board panel found he had limited insight into his crimes.

The board determined Ennis, who was known as David Shearing when he committed the murders, should re-enrol in a high-intensity sexual offender program before he could be released, and that he needed to spend time in a minimum-security institution to establish credibility during temporary absences before he could be paroled.

"Regardless of the gains that you have made since your incarceration, you are not a low risk for public safety," the board wrote.

And although Ennis has spent nearly 30 years behind bars and participated in several programs, his "sexual deviance in fantasy" remained, the board found, noting he does not fully understand the risk factors for his behaviour or how to manage them.

In August 1982, Jackie and Bob Johnson of Westbank were camping at Wells Gray with their daughters, 13-year-old Janet and 11-year-old Karen, and Jackie's parents, Edith and George Bentley of PoCo, when Ennis murdered the four adults. He kept the girls hostage for several days before killing them as well, then burned all six bodies.

Ennis will not be eligible for full parole again until 2021 under the new Fairness for Victims Act but, because he has passed his eligibility dates, he can apply for day parole again in about a year, according to an National Parole Board spokesperson.

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