The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)

Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

Crystal Brendzy has launched a petition to keep the man who murdered her aunt behind bars.

James Shortreed, who is incarcerated at William Head Institution, bludgeoned Iris McNeil to death while she slept before stuffing her body into a freezer on July 23, 1997.

Brendzy said she organized the petition because Shortreed is up for full release in May.

At the time of her aunt’s murder, no one in the family knew about Shortreed’s violent history, which included assault, rape, and forcible confinement, Brendzy said in an interview with the Gazette in 2018.

The family of Iris McNeil, who was murdered in 1997, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered her in 1997. (Family photo)

Brendzy has launched a petition, “Parole Board of Canada: Stop James Shortreed (Murderer) – Keep Him incarcerated,” with a goal of reaching 2,500 signatures. More than 1,730 people had signed the petition as of April 9.

RELATED: Family fights to block killer’s parole request at William Head

“We want to protect the women and public in Victoria and surrounding areas,” Brendzy said in an email. The petition is at chng.it/Ycxs8cJVRN.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board of Canada said they are not permitted to provide information on a specific case. They did confirm that Shortreed was eligible to apply for day parole in 2007, and full parole in 2010. His sentence does not expire because Shortreed is serving an indeterminate sentence.

“Parole is not automatic, and the paramount consideration in all Parole Board of Canada (PBC) decisions is the protection of society,” PBC said in a statement to the Gazette.

Parole decisions are made in accordance with specific criteria set in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and with a thorough assessment of the offender’s risk to re-offend.

Board members must consider all relevant and available information from a wide range of sources when making their decisions. That may include, but is not limited to, information from correctional authorities, such as parole and program officers, victims of crime, police, courts, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

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