Clifford Olson

Clifford Olson

Clifford Robert Olson, Jr (born January 1, 1940 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a convicted Canadian serial killer who confessed to murdering two children and nine youths in the early 1980s.[1]


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On November 17, 1980, 12-year-old Christine Weller of Surrey, British Columbia was abducted.[2] She was found on Christmas Day, strangled with a belt and stabbed repeatedly. On April 16, 1981, Colleen Marian Daignault, 13, vanished. It was five months before her body was found. By then, Daryn Todd Johnsrude, 16, had also been abducted and killed; 16-year-old Sandra Wolfsteiner was murdered on May 19 and 13-year-old Ada Court in April.

Six victims followed in quick succession in July 1981. Simon Partington, 9, was abducted, raped and strangled on the second day of the month. Judy Kozma, a 14-year old from New Westminster, was raped and strangled a week later. Her body was discovered on July 25 near Weaver Lake.[3] The next victims were: Raymond King Jr., 15, abducted on July 23, raped and bludgeoned to death; Sigrun Arnd, an 18-year old German tourist, raped and bludgeoned the following day; Terri Lyn Carson, 15, raped and strangled; Louise Chartrand, age 17, the last victim identified, died on July 30.

Olson was an atypical serial killer in that he targeted both boys and girls. His victims were also of various ages.

Arrest and plea bargain

Olson, who had an extensive criminal history,[4] was arrested on August 12, 1981 on suspicion of attempts to abduct two girls.[2] By August 25, Olson had been charged with the murder of Judy Kozma.[3] He reached a controversial deal with authorities, agreeing to confess to the 11 murders and show police where the bodies of those not recovered were buried, in return for which he wanted $10,000 paid to his wife for each victim. His wife received $100,000 after Olson cooperated with police.[4] In January 1982, Olson pleaded guilty to 11 counts of murder and was given 11 concurrent life sentences to be served in Canada’s super-maximum security Special Handling Unit in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec, which houses many of the country’s most dangerous criminals.[1] Olson is a dangerous offender, meaning he is very unlikely to ever be released from prison.

Parole application

In 1997, Olson was denied parole, for which he applied under Canada’s “faint hope clause”, which allowed a parole hearing for convicts who had served at least 15 years.[4][5]

Canadian law allows inmates convicted of first-degree murder to apply for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years. Olson’s second parole hearing, on July 18, 2006, was also denied.[5] Olson made many bizarre and false claims, including that the United States had granted him clemency for providing information about the September 11 attacks and that the hearing had no jurisdiction over him because of that.[5][6] Under Canadian law, Olson is now entitled to make a case for parole every two years.

In the media

  • The Investigation, a TV movie, was made in 2002, focusing on allegations that Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) bureaucracy delayed the arrest of Olson. It starred Nicholas Lea, Reece Dinsdale, David Warner and Lochlyn Munro[7]. The film is based on the accounts of ex-RCMP officers.[8]
  • Olson’s controversial plea-bargain is referred to in a panel discussion at a serial killers’ convention in the second volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.[9]


  1. ^ a b Parole hearing being planned for Clifford Olson June 21, 2006. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Section source. Kerr, Jan Bouchard. Clifford Olson: The Case of the Missing Lower Mainland Children Court TV. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  3. ^ a b “Probe of 3 slayings continues, police say”. The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press (Toronto). August 25, 1981. 
  4. ^ a b c Clifford Olson The Beast of British Columbia CBC Canada. July 19, 2006. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Clifford Olson ‘will kill again’ if freed, parole board says in ruling CBC Canada July 18, 2006. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  6. ^ Serial killer Clifford Olson denied parole. July 18, 2006.
  7. ^ The Investigation (2002), Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  8. ^ Where Shadows Linger, ISBN 1895811929, by W. L. Holmes, Bruce Northorp
  9. ^ Page 154, panel 5. The Doll’s House, ISBN 0-930289-58-5, by Neil Gaiman

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