Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content


Inside the mind of Kelly Ellard Add to ...

In junior high, she swore at teachers and was twice suspended. Later, in jail awaiting trial in the killing of Victoria teenager Reena Virk, young Kelly Ellard threatened inmates and once stabbed a fellow prisoner with a pencil.

In August, 2004, prison staff at a Surrey remand centre reported that they found a trace of cocaine on a piece of paper in her cell. Ms. Ellard, who was convicted of killing Reena under a Victoria bridge after a violent girl-gang attack in 1997, is also accused of orchestrating an assault on two girls by another four inmates, according to a prison incident report.

The unflattering allegations are contained in a stack of Crown documents released yesterday when a British Columbia Supreme Court judge removed a publication ban on them.

Crown Attorney Catherine Murray compiled the material in preparation for Ms. Ellard's sentencing hearing, scheduled to begin on July 5.

Dating back to 1997, the material documents Ms. Ellard's run-ins with authorities from junior-high-school officials to prison staff.

Together, the allegations in the documents, which her lawyer fought to keep out of public view, paint a picture of a manipulative and violent young woman who has routinely refused to accept responsibility for her actions.

Two drawings said to have been seized from Ms. Ellard's school locker contain violent images. One shows a before-and-after drawing of a girl whose hair is set on fire. Another is of a bank robbery shoot-out with a man in gangster clothing firing at a police officer with a machine gun. Body parts are shown strewn on a road.

Ms. Ellard's lawyer, Peter Wilson, had argued that the material was inflammatory and could endanger Ms. Ellard in prison.

Ms. Ellard, now 22, was convicted of second-degree murder in her third trial and the Crown is asking for seven years in prison before she's eligible for parole -- the maximum allowed because she was 15 at the time of the killing.

The judge at Ms. Ellard's first trial gave her a lighter sentence after accepting evidence that her attack on Reena was out of character and she had not been involved in violence before or since, Ms. Murray has argued. In fact, Madam Justice Nancy Morrison went so far as to say Ms. Ellard had gentle qualities.

That conviction was later overturned on appeal.

"She has never been violent," Judge Morrison wrote in her April, 2000, judgment, which allowed Ms. Ellard to apply for parole after five years. "There is no history or signs of violence before this event or after. She has always had and remains having an overwhelming love of animals, gentle and caring always with them."

Ms. Murray plans to argue at sentencing that Ms. Ellard's proclivity to violence began long before her attack on Reena.

The documents say that beginning in junior high, Ms. Ellard was suspended from school twice; once for drinking alcohol in a bathroom and another time for damaging a washroom.

She swore at teachers, was disruptive in class and was truant, according to records from Shoreline Community School in Victoria.

Ms. Ellard was arrested along with several other teenaged girls and a male classmate, Warren Glowatski. Ms. Ellard and Mr. Glowatski were convicted of second-degree murder. Several girls were convicted of beating Reena before the fatal attack.

From the outset, Ms. Ellard proclaimed her innocence and said fellow classmates set her up.

In jail, she stuck to that line, according to prison records. However, logs and incident reports say Ms. Ellard was as disruptive in prison as she was in school.

In a Vancouver Island youth facility not long after her arrest in 1997, an incident report says that Ms. Ellard was overheard saying: "Until I'm sentenced, I'm going to be good . . . because I have to. After that, I'm just going to go psycho in here . . . like in the dining room or something . . . cause there's guys in here I'd like to punch out . . . and girls too, they're trying to say it was all me . . . and that's bull.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not guilty . . . I have nothing to do with it . . . but I'm trying not to get in fights cause then they'll think 'she murdered this girl.' ''

Another incident report says that Ms. Ellard was again overheard in jail denying involvement in Reena's death.

However, she is quoted as saying, "Maybe she deserved to die."

Ms. Ellard was segregated for the pencil stabbing, which she maintained was an accident, according to an incident report.

In April of 2001, she was admonished after she admitted to setting up a fight in which two female inmates were assaulted by another four inmates, another incident report says.

Ms. Ellard was released to a halfway house in New Westminster, B.C. in December, 2003, as she awaited her third trial.

But she was jailed again after being charged with beating a woman in a park. That charge has yet to dealt with.

According to more recent prison logs detailing her behaviour, Ms. Ellard spent hours in her cell, sleeping and watching TV. She was segregated for seven days for the cocaine incident.

An entry in a prison log from the Surrey remand centre says Ms. Ellard complained of anxiety due to the high-profile nature of her case and used it frequently to get extra privileges.

She also said she could not share a cell with anyone during the trial because she did not want a stranger looking at sensitive court material.

At one point, she asked that another inmate be moved because she smelled bad and "has a horribly flawed personality."

When this inmate wasn't removed, she threatened to assault her.

Wrote one prison staffer in an incident report in May, 2004: She is "intelligent but appears very comfortable with violence as a solution to problems."

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail


Next story




Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular