Where Reena Virk’s killers are now almost 30 years on from her murder that inspired ‘Under the Bridge’

Where Reena Virk’s killers are now almost 30 years on from her murder that inspired ‘Under the Bridge’

Hulu’s “Under the Bridge” looks at the 1997 murder of Canadian teen Reena Virk.

The show is led by Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone as an unlikely duo investigating Virk’s murder.
Here’s where Virk’s killers are now.

In 1997, 14-year-old Canadian teenager Reena Virk was invited to a riverside party by a friend. She was then attacked by a group of teenagers, two of whom beat her unconscious before drowning her. Her death is the focus of Hulu’s limited series, “Under the Bridge,” based on author Rebecca Godfrey‘s book of the same name about the incident.

Riley Keough plays a fictional version of Godfrey in the show, as she helps the police investigate Virk’s death while writing a book about teenage girls.

She works with officer Cam Bentland (Lily Gladstone) to figure out what really happened by the river. Godfrey did not assist the authorities in real life.

Six teenage girls and one teenage boy were involved in the attack on Virk, which started when ringleader Nicole Cook put out a cigarette on Virk’s face. After Virk escaped, Warren Glowatski and Kelly Ellard followed her and continued beating her. Then, they drowned her in a body of water known as the Gorge Waterway.

The six girls, who were nicknamed the “Shoreline Six,” were given a variety of sentences for aggravated assault. But Glowatski and Ellard, who are played by Javon Walton and Izzy G in “Under the Bridge,” were tried as adults and convicted of murder.

Here’s where Glowatski and Ellard are now.

Glowatski was granted parole in 2010

Javon Walton as Warren Glowatski in "Under the Bridge."
Javon Walton as Warren Glowatski in “Under the Bridge.”Hulu

Glowatski was 16 when he took part in Virk’s murder, and a year later, in 1998, he was convicted of second-degree murder and given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after seven years.

While serving his sentence, Glowatski took part in restorative justice programs. He also discovered that he had Métis indigenous Canadian heritage, and worked with elders to use cultural techniques to take responsibility for the crime, including apologizing to Virk’s parents in a healing circle.

CTV reported in 2006 that Glowatski hugged Virk’s parents when he was granted unescorted temporary passes in 2006, aged 25. Virk’s mother, Suman Virk, wished him well.

“I am thankful and grateful you have taken responsibility for your actions,” she said at the time. “From here, you have to go forward. I hope you stick to your path and prove that you have learned from your experiences and will truly love and respect others for the rest of your life.”

He was later granted full parole at a hearing in 2010, where he told the parole board how much he regretted his actions.

“I hated myself. I think that night I turned that hate outward,” he said. “My co-accused held her head under water and I didn’t stop it. I didn’t set out in the morning to take part in a murder.”

Ellard is still in prison but has been granted day parole

Izzy G as Kelly Ellard in "Under the Bridge."
Izzy G as Kelly Ellard in “Under the Bridge.”Hulu

Ellard was convicted of second-degree murder in 2000, which was later overturned after an appeal. After her second trial was declared a mistrial in 2004, Ellard was given a life sentence in 2007.

CBC reported in 2016 that she was denied day parole in 2016 because the parole board didn’t think she had taken responsibility for killing Virk.

Patrick Storey, a spokesperson for the board, said at the time: “She still seems to be minimizing many aspects of the offence. We want to see more evidence.”

Ellard, who now goes by Kerry Sim, was later granted day parole in 2017, and in 2020 was allowed to live away from prison for up to five days. She has two children with an ex-partner.

Victoria News reported in 2022 that she waived her right to a parole hearing, and said: “situationally I’m not ready”

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