The family of a Vancouver murder victim is speaking out, as they prepare to face the man who killed their loved one at his upcoming parole hearing.
It’s been almost 20 years since Iris McNeil, a 50 year old customs agent, was murdered by her husband James Shortreed after just 31 days of marriage.
But every time Shortreed comes up for parole McNeil’s niece, Chrystal Brendzy, says the family is forced to relive the ordeal.
“Having to go through this process every two years, and sometimes it’s even less than that, is incredibly gut-wrenching.”
Shortreed murdered McNeil with a knife and a hammer on her birthday, then dismembered her and stuffed her body in the freezer of their kitchen fridge.
He is seeking guided day parole from the William Head Institution outside Victoria, but Brendzy and the rest of her family are fighting the release.
“The reason why I go to the parole board hearings when they do come up is because my number one worry is the women in Victoria, and he’s someone who will re-offend.”
Prior to the 1997 murder, Shortreed had convictions for assault, rape, and forcible confinement.
Brendzy says says the way the parole system is set up is unfair to victims, both in terms of how often they must face their tormentors and in terms of how much information they’re given ahead of time.