Where is Mass Murderer David Shearing aka David Ennis Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Case That Haunts Me: Murder Round the Campfire’ chronicles the story of David William Shearing, now known as David Ennis, a mass murderer convicted of second-degree murder. He has been convicted in 6 counts of the charges. He had killed 3 generations of a family, allegedly imprisoned 2 little girls, murdered adults, and sexually assaulted them for almost a week before killing them too.

This episode gives us a brief account of the brutal crime, the massive investigation, and the monster who committed the gruesome murders. So, who is this David Shearing? let’s find out.

Who is David Shearing?

David William Shearing was born in 1959 and came from a respectable family. A high school graduate with a heavy mechanic course under his belt, David was the brother of a sheriff and his late father served as a prison guard. He had several run-ins with the law and faced prior arrest for driving under the influence, drug possession and assault.

Image credit: Ottawa Citizens

On August 2, 1982, Bob Johnson, 44, his wife Jackie, 40, and their two daughters, Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, from Kelowna, Wells Gray Park, British Columbia, visited their maternal grandparents George. 66, and Edith Bentley, 59. The retired Bentley loved camping and had recently purchased a 1981 Ford Camper Special. Three generations of the family had planned a fun two-week camping vacation, complete with a 10-foot aluminum boat that they tied to the top of their camper.

On August 18, 1982, when Bob failed to report to work on schedule at Gorman Brothers Lumber in Westbank, his colleagues became suspicious. Bob reportedly hadn’t missed a single day of work in the past 2 decades, and the family was reported missing a week later. Police found that the family had last contacted one of Edith’s other daughters on August 6, 1982. Police searched extensively in Wells Gray Park for the missing campers and their two automobiles, but could not locate them for nearly a month.

On September 13, 1982, they finally found Bob’s vehicle at the tip of a mushroom picker. The car was burnt and there were 4 adult bodies lying between the burning metal and glass. All of them were shot with a .22 caliber shotgun. But the most surprising thing happened to the investigating officers when they opened the trunk of the car and found two girls jammed there. They were burnt so badly that only fragments of the skull could be made. His killer probably used the accelerator to generate such scorching heat.

Image credit: Weird Outdoors

Police began searching for the Ford camper, while some located the campsite about 20 miles from where Bob’s vehicle was found. Law enforcement officials used an enormous amount of resources to run a replica of a tourist truck, from helicopters to thousands of posters, in a part of the country where multiple witnesses claimed to have seen such a vehicle. A $7,500 reward was also announced for any information on the truck.

More than a year later, two forestry workers found the burnt camper on a deserted logging road on Trophy Mountain, a few miles from the murder site. The camper’s location led police to believe the killer was likely from the Clearwater area as it was nearly impossible for outsiders to be familiar with the maze of logging roads in the area. The police also had about 13,000 suggestions about a possible killer, but one name emerged – David William Shearing. The 23-year-old had a long criminal record and a history of violence, including allegedly beating Rapp after being involved in a hit-and-run death a year earlier.

David had also been a lifelong resident of the Clearwater area, living on his parents’ farm, and was familiar with all the parks and streets. But the most pertinent clue came when police received a notification that David was inquiring about the process of re-registering a Ford camper and fixing a hole in its door. Reportedly, it was never made public that there was a bullet hole in the door of the camper truck, and investigators finally had their man.

Where is David Shearing today?

Upon being brought in for formal questioning, David breaks down and confesses his brutal crime to investigators. On November 19, 1983, David was arrested and charged with six counts of second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to all counts on April 16, 1984, and was sentenced to 6 concurrent life sentences with no parole eligibility before serving 25 years. It was the first time in the country’s history that the maximum punishment was given to a criminal convicted of second-degree murder.

It was only after the trial that David revealed the true nature of the crime – he had chased and killed the victims on August 10, 1982, but kept the two girls, Janet and Karen, alive. He sexually assaulted Janet for a week before shooting her on August 16 with his .22-caliber Remington Model 572 pump-action rifle, murder weapon, and Karen the very next day.

David first qualified for initial parole eligibility in 1999 after serving his 15-year sentence, but was denied by the parole board. He applied again in 2008 and 2012 but was repeatedly denied. He applied in 2014 but reportedly withdrew his application before the trial. His parole application was again denied in September 2021 on the grounds of harboring “perverted sexual fantasies”. By September 2021, David had changed his name to David Ennis and was in his mid-60s, imprisoned at the Bowden Institution in central Alberta.

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