WEST KELOWNA (NEWS1130) – They have six weeks to figure out how they’re going to keep one of Canada’s most notorious killers in prison.

David Shearing, who killed a family of six while they were on a camping trip at Wells Gray Park nearly 30 years ago, is applying for parole on September 18.

Now friends and family members of the victims are mobilizing to fight against his release.

Shearing, who has changed his name to David Ennis, admitted to killing George and Edith Bentley, Jackie and Bob Johnson and their two daughters Janet and Karen in August, 1982.

Both girls, who were 11 and 13 years old, were sexually assaulted before they were killed.

Tammy Arishenkoff was in Janet’s grade 7 class and is gathering signatures on a petition from people who are opposed to Shearing’s release.

“We’ve got just over 20 businesses in West Kelowna that have the petitions at their location and people are signing it,” Arishenkoff says.  “There are also people in Kamloops and Clearwater that have it as well and we’re getting a great response from the public.”

There is also an online version of the petition and a Facebook group.

When Shearing applied for parole in 2008, a petition with more than 9,000 signatures was presented to the parole board.

Arishenkoff says matching that number could be a challenge because they weren’t given as much notice this time.

“From the time the letter was sent from the parole board to the time we have to have everything in is exactly two months,” Arishenkoff says.  “If you knock a week off on either side for mail to get here and for things to get going, we’re essentially left with six weeks.”

Family members are keeping a low profile as the petition circulates.

Arishenkoff says some are undecided on whether they will attend the hearing in person in central Alberta like they did in 2008.

“For some of the people in the family, especially the older ones, it’s just too emotional for them,” Arishenkoff says.  “With this being a possibility every couple of years they never really get a chance to move forward or put it out of their minds.”

Shearing pleaded guilty to six murder charges in 1984 and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.