From the Toronto Star Story:
Clifford Olson’s history of violence
November-July 1980: Clifford Robert Olson, a 41-year-old Coquitlam, B.C. construction worker, terrorizes the Lower Mainland, torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering eight girls and three boys between 9 and 18 years of age.I am still trying to figure out what to say about this story. As a Catholic, I am to rejoice when a sinner repents and returns to God. He says he did (in Dec. 89), but you read other stories, about how he tormented the families even from Prison, and I wonder. But is isn't for me to know the state of his soul. As a Catholic I am to pray for such as he that he not insist on Final Impenitence.Christians are called for the redemption of all, so I will pray for him, that he makes his peace with God, and thus be redeemed and spared from "the fireside seat" (As The Toronto Sun, puts it).
On Christmas Day 1980, the body of Olson’s first victim, Christine Weller, 12, is found strangled and stabbed in Richmond, B.C.
Aug. 12, 1981: Olsen is arrested by the RCMP on Vancouver Island.
Late 1981: Olson reveals locations of victims’ bodies to RCMP after brokering a $100,000 deal for his wife and son — $10,000 a body. He offers the whereabouts of his first victim as a “freebie.”
January 1982: Olson recants his initial not guilty plea, confessing to 11 murders in what was dubbed the “trial of the century.”
Jan. 14, 1982: B.C. Supreme Court hands down 11 simultaneous life sentences.
May 2, 1986: Olson sends a letter to the parents of 16-year-old victim Daryn Johnsrude, detailing their son’s murder.
Dec. 15, 1989: Imprisoned at Kingston Penitentiary, Olson says God has forgiven him. “I’ve asked for forgiveness, I’ve been forgiven and that’s the end of it.”
March 11, 1997: Olson invokes the “faint-hope clause” to request an early parole hearing after serving 15 of his 25-year sentence. A jury takes less than 15 minutes to say no. Victims’ families petition to eliminate the “faint-hope clause,” which gives murderers exhibiting good behavior the opportunity for early parole. The clause is amended in 1997, making Olson the last serial killer to call for early parole.
June 1997: Olson transfers from a Saskatchewan prison to Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, north of Montreal.
Aug. 21, 2001: A National Parole Board jury needs 17 minutes to agree Olson will stay behind bars.
July 18, 2006: At another parole hearing, Olson claims he struck a deal with the U.S. attorney general regarding 9/11 information and will be extradited. His parole is denied. “Mr. Olson presents a high risk and a psychopathic risk,” the National Parole Board said. “He is a sexual sadist and a narcissist. If released, he will kill again.”
March 2010: Olson, now 70, informs the Toronto Sun he earns over $1,000 a month in old age security benefits, sparking nationwide outrage. The federal government ceases pensions for prisoners locked up longer than two years. Security benefits are eliminated the following year.
Nov. 29, 2010: Olson flunks third parole hearing. He says it will be his last.
Sept. 2011: Victims’ families are notified Olson is dying of cancer in a Quebec hospital.
Am I sad that he is dying? No, I am sad for the 11 (of which we know) who died before him, at his hand. But nor am I rejoicing. I am numb at his dying. I am bound to pray for him, so I will. I will never know if he truly submits to God. That will be between Mr. Olsen and God. Mine is not to know if or why, mine is to pray when death is nigh.
Praying for his soul, is a Christian duty.
So is forgiving him. Forgiveness, aye even, no especially, for him, is Christ's mandate.
Christians are called to forgive. He said that he asked for forgiveness, and God forgave him. If true, then I know heaven greatly rejoiced that day. But down here on earth: forgiveness is more difficult. My forgiveness means nothing. Infact I don't think I can forgive him. None of his victims were known to me, none was my friend, none was my sibling, none was my child. He never destroyed my family. He has done nothing to ME for which I need to forgive him. Those who are called to forgive him are his victims and their families.
Now for those who will undoubtedly ask: Could you , would you forgive him if it was your child, sibling, friend that Olsen killed? The only answer I can give is "I don't know, but I would pray that I could."
The victims cannot let us know when or if they have forgiven him. And as for the families, I am loathe to tell them that they need to forgive him, but that is exactly what I am going to do
Some victims' family members have said that his death brings no closure. Inadvertantly these family members have touched on something very important. Olsen's death will not heal their wounds. In order for them to heal they will need to do the impossible. They will need to forgive Olsen. As I have stated elsewhere on this blog: forgiving someone is NOT a FEELING, it is not CONDONING, it is not FORGETTING.
Forgiving is, oversimplified, releasing the grudge, banishing the hatred. Forgiveness is CLOSURE.
Another story here: