Man convicted in B.C. park killings granted escorted leave

The family of the victims of killer David Shearing said they were shocked to learn the convicted murderer has been granted a four-hour escorted pass from the Bowden Institution, near Red Deer, Alta.

The family of the victims of killer David Shearing said they were shocked to learn the convicted murderer has been granted a four-hour escorted pass from the Bowden Institution, near Red Deer, Alberta.

Shearing, who changed his last name to Ennis while in prison, murdered six people in Wells Gray Provincial Park, B.C., in 1982.

Shelley Boden, a relative of the victims, told CBC News she was alerted on Monday morning that Shearing would be allowed to leave the prison temporarily this coming Wednesday, but said she wasn't told why.

The National Parole Board has refused to explain the reason for the leave from jail, but temporary absences are usually granted for medical or bereavement purposes.

Just three weeks ago, Shearing was denied parole after serving 25 years of a life sentence for the murders.

He pleaded guilty to the murders in 1983.

Bob and Jackie Johnson, their daughters Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, and Jackie's parents, George and Edith Bentley, were found dead after they failed to return from a camping trip near Clearwater.

Shearing shot the adults and allegedly held the girls captive for several days while he sexually assaulted them. He then put the bodies in the family car and set it on fire on a remote logging road.

With files from the Canadian Press