NEWS
09/30/2011 04:14 EDT | Updated 11/30/2011 05:12 EST

Clifford Olson, Infamous Serial Killer, Dead: Reports

CBC

Serial killer Clifford Olson has died, according to various media reports.

The parents of some of Olson's victims said last week that they had been told the 71-year-old was dying of cancer and likely wouldn't live until the end of the month.

Olson pleaded guilty to 11 murders in 1982, bringing to an end more than a year of horror that gripped British Columbia as the young victims disappeared.

The case became even more controversial when days later, media reports revealed police paid Olson's wife $100,000 in exchange for leading officers to the bodies.

Sharon Rosenfeldt, whose son Daryn was one of the first victims, has said Olson's death will bring her some peace, but it won't bring her son back.

Dubbed the 'beast of British Columbia', Olson was one of the most notorious killers in Canadian history.

"Mr. Olson presents a high risk and a psychopathic risk," National Parole Board panel member Jacques Letendre said at Olson's parole hearing in 2006.

"He is a sexual sadist and a narcissist,'' said Letendre. "If released, he will kill again.''

Journalist Peter Worthington, who was contacted by Olson over a series of years recounts this chilling quote. "Peter, I can never be released. If I was I'd kill again. Don't know why, but I would. I'd have executed me if I was on the jury," Olson said.

When reports of Olson's latest bout with cancer emerged just more than a week ago, Canadians offered little sympathy.

"I won't lose any sleep over his death," wrote one Huffington Post community member.

"Normally, I do not wish such things on people," added another commenter. "We have cancer in our family. However, in his case, he can suffer a good long time."

As it turns out, Olson's bout with cancer wasn't a long one. His legacy, however, may live on in the judicial sphere. Olson's long odyssey through the country's legal system has certainly left some bruises.

His case inspired the Liberals to introduce legislation denying the 'faint hope' clause for multiple murderers -- a clause that allowed offenders to apply for parole after 15 years in prison.

"Clifford Olson, I would say, is singularly responsible for defeating most lifers' chances for early release by way of the 15-year faint-hope clause," lawyer John Hill told The Canadian Press this month.

But Olson was keen to try to exploit the fact that the revision wasn't retroactive. He tried to convince a jury that his pre-1997 crimes were still eligible.

Although he wasn't successful in his bid, he made legal history again in 2010, when he admitted to collecting Old Age Security Benefits to the tune of $1,200 per month.

The Conservatives wasted no time in introducing legislation denying benefits to inmates. Olson's other legacy, however, remains the most chilling - the scar he leaves on families of the children that he killed.

It's a mark that still appears a long way from healing.Raymond King, whose 15-year-old son was murdered in 1981, expressed some relief, earlier this month, upon hearing that Olson was terminally ill.

"It's been really difficult for us to heal with him interfering in our lives over and over and over again when ever he chose," King told The Canadian Press.

"It will close some doors. At least he'll be out of our face."

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