Warning: This story contains disturbing details of a murder.
The aunt of a teen murdered 10 years ago is outraged that a parole hearing for Kimberly Proctor’s killer is going ahead today, despite the fact that neither the family nor the media will be present due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kruse Wellwood’s hearing for day parole and escorted temporary absences from the medium-security Mission Institution prison should be shut down, Jo-Anne Landolt said Thursday.
“Why are we even doing hearings at this time when everything is closed down? Why are we still allowing offenders a say as to their hearings? It puts even more of a burden on the victims.”
In March 2010, Wellwood, then 16, and Cameron Moffat, 17, lured Kimberly, a Grade 12 student, to Wellwood’s home in Langford, tied her up, gagged her, sexually assaulted her, beat her, suffocated her and mutilated her body with a knife over several hours.
They then put her body in a freezer. The next day, they travelled to the Galloping Goose Trail and set the body on fire. Kimberly’s badly burned body was found under a bridge on the Galloping Goose Trail on March 19, 2010.
The teens pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and were given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 10 years.
They were both eligible for day parole in 2018. Moffat has waived his right to a parole hearing.
The Proctor family was shocked when Wellwood applied for day parole and escorted temporary absences. The parole board denied his request at a hearing in August 2019.
Landolt said she’s unhappy and stressed about going through another parole hearing not even a year later, and so soon after the 10th anniversary of her niece’s murder on March 18. She said because of the pandemic, the family couldn’t even get together to mark the anniversary.
“I haven’t seen my family for two months because of the virus,” said Landolt, noting that last year the family attended the hearing together. “This is a time we should be there. You should be able to support your family.”
Family members including Kimberly’s parents, Fred and Lucia Proctor, and grandmother Linda Proctor, will be able to listen to the hearing on a conference call, but Landolt doesn’t think that’s good enough.
“I want to be able to see him. You can get a lot of sense of an offender when you see his demeanour. You get a sense of what was going through his monstrous mind,” said Landolt.
“We’re not talking about a petty crime. This was a horrific, brutal crime.” Landolt said the family has the right to be present for the hearing and the media should also be there to ensure the story stays in the public eye.
“We don’t want people to forget what happened to Kimmy. There are new people coming into the community who don’t know what happened and they should know.”
The Times Colonist asked to be able to listen to the hearing, but the request was denied. The Parole Board of Canada said via email that media representatives can request written copies of parole board decisions. It said the board has a legislative obligation to provide alternative means for victims to attend hearings.
Landolt has submitted her victim-impact statement by video because she wants the National Parole Board members to see her.
Kimberly’s grandmother, Linda Proctor, will read her victim-impact statement over the phone. She said the conference call will be less stressful than going to the Lower Mainland.
“It makes everything all raw again and it’s hard on the family,” said Linda Proctor. “It just brings everything right back up to the surface again. But it has to be done.”
Wellwood was advised at his last hearing not to apply for parole for five years, but he doesn’t take advice, said the grandmother.
“I think he enjoys the attention. He likes to brag about what he’s done.”
At the last hearing, a parole board member confronted Wellwood, Linda Proctor recalled.
“She said: ‘You stated the only thing women were good for was for sex and to clean up after you.’ What do you think they’re good for now?’ And he sat there and did not say a word. He couldn’t answer her.”
Since Kimberly’s murder, her family has been advocating for reforms to help prevent what happened to her from happening to anyone else.
They have proposed mandatory treatment and counselling for any young person who is identified as a threat, calling it “Kimberly’s law.”
“We’re still trying to get the provincial government to listen to us,” said Linda Proctor. “We’ve been fighting this for 10 years and we’ll continue.”