Monday, October 3, 2011

The Beast is Off the Books

Clifford Olson, the Beast of British Columbia, finally is off the federal government books. He died of cancer Friday, in prison where he spent the last 30 years being clothed, fed, amused and cared for by taxpayers' dollars.

The tax pool from which money was drawn to look after him in prison was contributed to by all of us who pay taxes, including the relatives of the 11 children he kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered.

The cost of keeping a federal prisoner now is around $100,000 a year. So it cost us an estimated $2 million or so to look after Canada's most vicious and unrepentant serial killer. It's unfortunate we had him on the books for so long.

Olson was the classic case for capital punishment. He wrote to the parents of one of his victims, describing in detail what he did to him before he killed him. Also, he was allowed in prison to write manuscripts and make videos in which he described his victims' tortures, including pounding nails into their heads and asking them how it felt.

It was a good thing, for many reasons, that Canada abolished capital punishment. But many Canadians felt the ultimate penalty should have been retained for special cases. We shouldn't be executing those who kill in rage, passion and the other usual circumstances in murder.

But we should be executing admitted monsters like Olson. And, Robert Pickton, the B.C. pig farmer who murdered somewhere between two and four dozen women. And, Paul Bernardo (aka Paul Jason Teale) who with his lovely wife Karla Homolka raped, tortured and murdered decent young women, including Homolka's sister. 

State executions of course will never happen in Canada. All we can do is hope that their time on the federal books is much shorter than was Olson's. And more haunted, and more painful.

We also should obliterate the monsters' names and photos from our minds, and remember instead their victims. Young people who should never have suffered such horrific fates.

Two of dozens of innocents who suffered death by monsters:
Kirsten French and Simon Partington.

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