Twenty-nine years after serial killer Clifford Olson was led away to serve a life sentence for a rampage that left 11 young people dead, he will try to persuade parole authorities that he is safe for release.
Mr. Olson will mount his case for freedom from the confines of a caged enclosure at the front of a hearing room at the ultra-secure special-handling unit of the Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., penitentiary.
Based on his initial, 2006 parole hearing – when Mr. Olson, 69, was quickly denied parole – the self-styled Beast of British Columbia will sneer, snarl and hurl abuse at authorities.
Few believe that Mr. Olson has the slightest chance of winning his release, but that hasn't stopped him from asserting his legal right to a hearing and basking in the publicity it brings him.
Sharon Rosenfeldt, the mother of one of Mr. Olson's victims, 16-year-old Daryn Johnsrude, said in an interview she will be at the hearing to oppose Mr. Olson's application.
"This is a soapbox for him to grandstand," Ms. Rosenfeldt said. "I have always felt that I will be at every parole hearing to represent Daryn until either Clifford Olson or I die. I believe that Daryn would have wanted this man in prison for the rest of his life.
"It really doesn't get any easier," Ms. Rosenfeldt added. "I got such a chill last time because he is so evil to look at. I focus not on his face, but on his hands."
Ms. Rosenfeldt said that she lives in fear that one day, parole authorities will feel that Mr. Olson is too old to represent a threat to the public. The recent death of her husband, Gary, underlined her concern that there will be fewer and fewer victims around to oppose his release, she said.
"My daughter said not to worry, 'If something ever happens to you, I'll be there for my brother as well,'" Ms. Rosenfeldt said."I see it as always a risk. It scares me. … When he becomes 83, 84 or 85, the parole board may feel he is too old to commit further crimes."
Arrested in the summer of 1981, Mr. Olson pleaded guilty a year later to the murders of eight boys and three girls, ranging in age from nine to 18, in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.
At his 2006 parole hearing, the board was told that psychiatric assessments found Mr. Olson to be a sexual sadist with narcissistic tendencies who feels no remorse for his victims or their families.
His prison record includes a stint in a special protective unit in 1992, after guards discovered he had a handcuff key, two razors, some tape and a broom end sharpened into a weapon. Mr. Olson's disciplinary record also includes offences involving possessing sexually explicit material and blocking visibility into his cell.
Toward the end of the 2006 hearing, Mr. Olson refused to re-enter the hearing room to hear the board's decision. In his absence, board chairman Jacques Letendre said Mr. Olson's violent history, lack of remorse and continuing dangerousness made it probable that he would kill again if given the chance.
In the past couple of years, Mr. Olson has made news on account of a controversy over his eligibility for Canada Pension Plan cheques and because he attempted to sell his signature and paraphernalia on an auction website.
In keeping with normal procedures, correctional officials will start Tuesday's hearing by recommending whether Mr. Olson should or should not be released. The board members will likely question Mr. Olson, deliberate and return with an immediate decision.
There will almost inevitably be outbursts from Mr. Olson, who has a penchant for outrageous and objectionable behaviour. In his only prison interview – a brief encounter at his cell bars in 1989 – an agitated Mr. Olson tried frantically to interest a Globe and Mail reporter into helping him publish his memoirs.
"How the hell did you get in here?" he rasped, diving toward the barred door of his cell. "I've been trying to get to you guys for years." His face scrunched against the bars, Mr. Olson brandished a file filled with his writings: "You publish it, and we split 40-60," he said.
Visible in his small cell were large colour photographs of children, set off by a poster captioned: "Comfort is being with the ones you love."