Corrections Canada has confirmed serial child killer Clifford Robert Olson is days away from dying of cancer.
Known as the Beast of B.C., the 71-year-old Olson was transferred from a Quebec prison to a hospital in Laval earlier this week.
CBC News reported his cancer has metastasized and he isn’t expected to live more than a few days.
Over several months from 1980-81, Olson abducted, raped and murdered eight girls and three boys aged between nine and 18.
Olson preyed on victims across the Lower Mainland and dumped bodies in remote areas from Chilliwack to Whistler.
The first victim, 12-year-old Christine Weller, was abducted near her Surrey home while riding her bike in November of 1980. Her body was found on Christmas Day, strangled and stabbed.
Three others were also picked up in Surrey – 13-year-old Colleen Daignault, 16-year-old Sandra Lynn Wolfsteiner and nine-year-old Simon Partington.
Daryn Johnsrude, 16, Judy Kozma, 14, and Raymond King Jr., 15, all vanished from New Westminster. Ada Anita Court, 13, and Sigrun Arnd, 18, were picked up in Coquitlam.
Louise Chartand, 17, was picked up walking in Maple Ridge and Terry Lyn Carson, 15, was found strangled in Chilliwack.
During his murder spree Olson lived in an apartment in Surrey on King George Highway and then later at one in Coquitlam.
Olson was arrested near Ucluelet in the summer of 1981 in a rented car with two female hitchhikers.
The 1982 deal securing Olson’s guilty plea – and sparing families of his victims the pain of a long trial – included a controversial $100,000 trust fund payment to his wife and infant son.
Olson led police to the undiscovered bodies of his victims.
Outraged families felt Olson profited from his crimes.
Prosecutors defended the arrangement as one that ensured he went to jail and did not run the real risk that he might be acquitted.
Olson had been in and out of jail for decades of lesser offences before turning to sadistic sex crimes.
In recent years, fresh controversy surfaced when it was made public that Olson – along with other prisoners – was receiving in trust $1,170 a month in federal pension benefits while behind bars.
The federal government vowed last year to strip federal inmates of old-age pensions while they’re in jail. Benefits would resume on release if the change is enacted amid other justice system reforms.
Olson’s case also inspired calls to eliminate the faint-hope clause that guaranteed him a parole hearing in 1997, after 15 years.
He was denied – the parole board rated him a high risk to kill again – and Ottawa banned the clause’s use by future serial killers.
Olson was last denied parole in 2010 and said he would not re-apply.
Families had dreaded having to fight his release every two years.