Little Bits of History

Sugar and Spice

Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 14, 2011

Reena Virk

November 14, 1997: Fourteen-year-old Reena Virk is murdered. She was born in India and emigrated with her family to Saanich, British Columbia, Canada. There was a community of East Indian émigrés, but most of them were Sikh while the Virk family were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Reena was estranged from her family and even spent time in a foster home, where she was introduced to the gang lifestyle. She craved acceptance but was met with ostracism, bullying, and teasing from her peers. She was an overweight teen who didn’t fit. There is some question as to whether race and religion also played into her troubles.

Reena was invited to a “party” at Craigflower Bridge, a local teen hangout. She accepted and met seven girls there. They talked, drank, and smoked marijuana. The party turned hostile when the seven girls attacked Reena. Warren Glowatski was nearby and joined in the beating, even though he had never met Reena before. Reena had several burns from where cigarettes were ground out on her skin. Her hair was singed.Warren kicked her at least twice in the head. One girl called for a halt to the abuse. They took Reena’s backpack from her and allowed her to stagger away. The party broke up and most of the girls went home.

Warren and Kelly Ellard followed Reena and dragged her back under the bridge. They had her take off her shoes and jacket. They began to again beat her.Warren claims that Kelly smashed Reena’s head into a tree, knocking her out. They dragged her to the edge of the water where Kelly held Reena’s head down. As Reena struggled, she was attacked again with Kelly breaking Reena’s arms and then successfully holding her head beneath the water until Reena died.

A week later, all eight participants were arrested. Six of the girls were found guilty of assault causing bodily harm. Warren and Ellen were found guilty of second-degree murder. Both were teens at the time of the assault and both received life sentences with the possibility of parole after seven years. The coroner ruled that death was by drowning but the autopsy revealed that Reena had suffered several fractures and that her head injury was severe enough that it would have caused death if she had not been drowned first.

“There is a great streak of violence in every human being.  If it is not channeled and understood, it will break out in war or in madness.” – Sam Peckinpah

“What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another?” – Alan Paton

“The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable.  What he wants above everything else is safety.” – Henry Louis Mencken

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” – Buddha

Also on this day:
Nellie Bly – Woman Journalist – In 1889, Nellie Bly left for her trip around the world.
The Big Barbecue – In 1957, a Mafia meeting was held in Apalachin, New York.

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