Canadians were shocked when they first heard the story: a 14-year-old girl beaten and drowned by her peers and it happened not in a big dangerous North American city but in an idyllic suburb of picturesque Victoria, B.C.
Reena Virk was murdered on November 14, 1997, after being lured by friends to a party under a secluded bridge. Six youths were later charged and convicted of aggravated assault; two were tried for second degree murder. All were between 14 and 17 when the crime was committed, seven of the eight were females.
Warren Paul Glowatski, the only male involved in the crime, was convicted in adult court in 1999 of the murder of Reena Virk and given a life sentence. In April 2000, Kelly Marie Ellard, only 14 years old when the crime was committed, was also convicted of second degree murder and given a life sentence.
The public was horrified by the apparent lack of feeling and the brutality of the young murderers, and in the months following Reena s death Canadians engaged in a public debate in the media over numerous controversial and at times conflicting issues. The violent and cruel death of Reena Virk has disturbed something deep at the core of Canadian society. Reena Virk was a troubled and lonely youth. In a society that worships thinness and beauty, Virk was seen as chubby and not considered attractive in the contemporary sense of the word, especially in the adolescent sub-culture. In a community that was mainly Caucasian, Virk was also a member of a visible minority.
She wanted desperately to fit in, but was constantly being bullied; some believe she was bullied to death…