The family of a little girl kidnapped and murdered in Calgary almost 40 years ago is outraged. As of Friday night, her killer will be out on his first weekend pass.
“It makes me sick actually … sick to my stomach because I’m so afraid that it’s going to happen again to somebody else and nobody – nobody – should have to go through what our family has gone through,” Evelyn Thompson told Global News.
Kimmie Thompson was on her way to Kindergarten on Jan. 24, 1980. It was the first time she’d ever gone by herself. But she never made it to school.
The five-year-old was kidnapped by Harold Smeltzer, a pedophile who went on to drown her in a bathtub. He dumped her tiny body in a nearby garbage.
Smeltzer has been on day parole in Regina for about eight years.
At one point that was revoked when officials found a video in his possession that contained sexually explicit content.
But the Parole Board of Canada recently expanded Smeltzer’s freedoms to include one weekend pass per month.
In its Oct. 7 decision, the parole board said Smeltzer has worked in a casual capacity at an agency next to a park. This required a supervision and safety plan.
“Reports on your work have been positive and you are viewed as an asset to their organization,” the board said.
Psychologist therapy notes from 2015 said Smeltzer has been active in utilizing supports and has put time and effort in a self-management plan.
As he begins one of those passes this weekend, Thompson worries this is creating a whole new level of risk to the public.
“How do we know that he’s not going to sneak out at night when everybody’s sleeping? We don’t know that … One of his triggers, in his first parole hearing, was he couldn’t walk past a school without getting aroused. What does that tell you?” Thompson asked.
She has tried to stop the increased freedoms from happening but the board continues to support his reintegration into the community.
“I personally don’t believe he should be on the street, period,” Thompson said. “I believe he should spend his life in jail.
“He’s going to do it again and somebody else is going to suffer … I’m terrified,” she said, wiping away tears.
The family has tried to push for legislation they call “Kimmie’s law” that would see anyone given a life sentence stay behind bars until they die.
Smeltzer has to follow a list of conditions and he is subject to possible curfew checks by police.
The 60-year-old can’t be around anyone under the age of 18 unless they are accompanied by an adult who is aware of his criminal history and have approval from his parole supervisor.
He can’t be anywhere children congregate and is not allowed to access pornography or contact his victims or victims’ families.
He is to report all intimate sexual and non-sexual relationships with individuals who have responsibility for children.