Warning: This story contains disturbing details about rape, murder and mutilation
One of two young men who brutally sexually assaulted and killed a Vancouver Island teen in 2010 has been denied day parole.
Kruse Wellwood, now 25, had applied for day parole and escorted temporary absences from Mission Institution, where he is currently incarcerated.
He and his co-accused, Cameron Moffat, were 16 and 17 years old when they murdered Kimberly Proctor in March 2010. She was 18 at the time.
Proctor was lured to a home where she was raped, tortured and mutilated. An autopsy showed she died of asphyxiation.
Wellwood and Moffat put her in a freezer, then carried her body in a bag on a public bus and went to a local trail where they lit her remains on fire.
Moffat and Wellwood were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 after pleading guilty, with no chance of full parole for 10 years.
In their decision, the parole board found Wellwood still poses an undue risk, even with a correctional officer escorting him, and noted a recent psychiatric evaluation determined he has “ongoing psychopathic traits”.
When asked by parole board member Ian MacKenzie whether he thought he should be out of prison less than 10 years after the murder, Wellwood replied: “I don’t think it’s about should or shouldn’t … It’s about trying to rehabilitate myself.”
Outside the prison, Proctor’s parents spoke about how difficult it was to go through this process. Her father, Fred Proctor, described it as a monkey on their backs.
“You’re healing, you’re getting on with life, you still think about this every day, but this just drags so much more of it out,” he said.
“People like this should just be locked up permanently. Key thrown away.”
Her mother, Lucia Proctor, said the idea of Wellwood out in the community again has been her nightmare.
“I just don’t want this guy out there,” she said.
“We’re just happy with the decision and everybody that was involved, and hopefully there won’t be a next time.”
During the hearing, Wellwood told the board he met his co-accused, Moffat, when he was about 11. He described him as an older kid who seemed “cool and experienced”, and added they bonded over video games, particularly online fantasy games.
Wellwood said Moffat also introduced him to different pornographic internet sites, including sites involving violence. Wellwood told the board he was drawn to the "riskiness."
When asked why, he mentioned how he had experienced "trauma," and referred to the crime his father, Robert Dezwaan, had committed during his childhood. Dezwaan was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Cherish Oppenheim in 2001.
“I think it affected my thinking. It affected my perspective,” Wellwood said.
Wellwood said he and Moffat would discuss violent fantasies when they were as young as 11 and 12, and would sometimes commit offences such as vandalism and arson and get into fights.
Wellwood said he knew Proctor because she had dated a friend of his and they attended the same school. He said he had once asked her out, but she ultimately rejected him. When asked by MacKenzie whether that had anything to do with what happened, he said no.
Wellwood then said Proctor was actually their “third choice” for a victim. He told the board he and his friend group “bullied” Proctor. When asked why, he responded: "pack mentality," and then added it was because his friend had broken up with her.
MacKenzie asked Wellwood if there was something that ultimately pushed him to act out one of his violent thoughts.
“It came out of a throwaway fantasy,” Wellwood eventually said, also referring to his rape fantasy as a “passing thought”.
“The novelty was what made it interesting,” he said.
Wellwood said his first serious sexual relationship, which ended when he was about 14, involved blood-letting and asphyxiation, but added they were interests that his partner had.
When asked if there was a connection to what he did later, Wellwood said the acts in that relationship were consensual, but added “later it became about non-consensual behaviour”.
Wellwood said he remembered calling Moffat sometime before the killing to discuss his fantasy, and that’s when he said they began “playing ideas off each other”.
“That’s when it became a lot more real,” he said. “It was planned but I don’t think either of us considered the reality of it.”
Of the crime, Wellwood said: “ I don’t like to talk about it because it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.”
When asked why he degraded Proctor’s body, he responded he and Moffat "had to go all the way."
“We were going to check boxes,” he said. “We were going to make it worth our while. It was a part of the offence that added to the extremeness, the taboo.”
“I know for myself it had to do with getting the gratification I was looking for,” Wellwood said, and added at the time he felt there was power in taking a life.
“It was an emptiness in my soul. I didn’t have a purpose in life,” Wellwood said.
A priest who spoke in support of him at the hearing later said Wellwood has become an Orthodox Christian while in jail.
“I think I ultimately felt powerless,” Wellwood said. “I wanted to be powerful.”
When questioned by the board, Wellwood said he doesn’t believe he is a sexual sadist or a psychopath. He said he no longer has “deviant” thoughts and fantasies.
Proctor's mother, Lucia Proctor, submitted a victim impact statement, which was read by an RCMP officer.
“Kim was a happy person looking forward to her future,” the statement read, and questioned why Wellwood should be given the freedom to be heard and be free.
Proctor's grandmother, Linda Proctor, wept as she read her statement, with the victim's grandfather next to her.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Kim and weep,” she cried, and added Proctor had great plans for after graduation.
“I don’t think the public is safe from him.”
She also read a statement from her husband which read: “Please don’t let him out, as I fear for every young woman out here.”
Proctor's aunt, Jo-Anne Landolt, read her statement as well.
“It makes me feel sick that this monster is trying to walk our streets,” Landolt said. She told the board when she was notified of the hearing, it made her feel sick.
“The only way Kruse Wellwood should be free to leave prison is in a bag,” Landolt said.
Wellwood said he didn’t expect Proctor’s family would be supportive of any kind of release, but he hoped they would support him in becoming a better person.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” he said, concluding his statement.
In delivering the day parole decision, board member MacKenzie said he understands these hearings are difficult and acknowledged “there’s anger at the system."
Before denying Wellwood’s requests, MacKenzie noted he had the legal right to apply.
“You’ve got a lot more progress to make, in our view,” MacKenzie said. “You are capable of brutality that can’t be described.”
MacKenzie added Wellwood was “overconfident” in his ability to manage his risk, and added he didn’t see any emotion in his face during the victim impact statements.
Wellwood will be eligible to apply for full parole in June 2020. Moffat has not yet made any parole applications.