Shocking murder of B.C. teen Reena Virk subject of new Hulu series |


WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

A new Hulu miniseries is set to bring light to one of the most shocking crimes in B.C.’s history.

Under the Bridge is a series based on the murder of Reena Virk and the book of the same name.

Virk was only 14 years old in 1997 when her remains were found in the Gorge Waterway in Saanich.

Two teenagers, Kelly Ellard and Warren Glowatski, were convicted of beating and drowning her.

Glowatski, convicted of second-degree murder, was granted full parole in 2010.

Ellard, who now goes by Kerry Sim and was also convicted of second-degree murder, was granted extended day parole in 2022, however, she remains behind bars.

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Sim was 15 years old when she and a group of teenagers swarmed and beat Virk, and her trial heard she and her co-accused later followed the girl to continue the beating and drown her in the Gorge waterway.

Click to play video: 'Reena Virk killer Kelly Ellard is pregnant behind bars: report'

Reena Virk killer Kelly Ellard is pregnant behind bars: report

In 2018, Suman Virk, Reena’s mother, died in what her family described as a tragic accident.

Since Reena’s death, the Virk family has worked tirelessly in the fight against bullying, speaking at schools and community events in an effort to prevent others from being victims of bullying and violence.

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The upcoming miniseries will debut on April 17 and feature eight episodes.

It stars Riley Keough as author Rebecca Godfrey and Lily Gladstone as Cam Bentland, one of the only women of colour on the Saanich police force.

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Click to play video: 'Global BC at 60: The Reena Virk murder'

Global BC at 60: The Reena Virk murder

The shocking real-life crime became a catalyst for change, sparking anti-bullying and youth violence prevention initiatives, the creation of a research centre at the University of Victoria and art created to contribute to Reena’s legacy.

Chris Horsley, a retired staff sergeant from the Saanich Police Department, was the media liaison officer when Virk was killed.

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“At the time that Rena was murdered, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) was taking place in Vancouver, so we had a lot of international media, which normally wouldn’t be in our area,” he told Global News.

“So it was a huge story, and for the rest of my career was still the biggest story that I think the Saanich Police Department has ever really undertaken as far as the media strategy.”

Horsley said he is not surprised by the Hulu series as they had never seen that “level of youth violence.”

But he cautioned about the glorification of such a shocking crime.

“One, I don’t believe any of the investigators were ever contacted to find out sort of the true nature of the investigation,” he said.

“And two, and probably more significantly, is I don’t want people to lose sight that a 14-year-old girl was murdered and lost her life. And now, almost 30 years later, we’re making it into entertainment.”

Horsley suggests watching the series with the knowledge that it is a TV show and there are many liberties taken with the story.

“One thing we do know, that in Canada, almost 30 years later, youth crime has fallen,” he added.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. father says more action needed to stop bullying'

B.C. father says more action needed to stop bullying

Dean Murdock, the current mayor of Saanich, was in high school at the time of Virk’s death.

“At the time, it rocked the community,” he said.

“The idea that something so horrific could happen in our community, it was really upsetting and very unsettling. And I think the release of this series is probably going to surface a lot of those feelings for some folks in our community. And it may be a challenge or maybe challenging to watch some of that material or deal with those feelings.”

Murdock said as a high school student at the time, it had a profound impact.

“It was a very saddening, a very sad and unsettling thing for people to be dealing with,” he added.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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