The Family of Convicted Killer Kelly Ellard Never Stopped Believing She Was Innocent

Kelly Ellard's mother found comfort in the arms of Reena Virk's mother during a particularly kind moment of her daughter's trial.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 29 2024, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

According to the Times Colonist, Kelly Ellard's day parole was extended another six months, with special conditions. She was initially granted day parole in November 2017, and in 2020 she was allowed to "live away from a ­residential facility for up to five days each week." Despite losing that privilege for two months in 2021, after not reporting intimate partner violence to the parole board, Ellard has continued to follow the established rules of the prison where she is confined.

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This behavior is a far cry from the rule-breaking teen who swore at teachers and was suspended twice, per The Globe and Mail. In November 1997 she was one of six girls who beat 14-year-old Reena Virk. Ultimately, Ellard was the one who held Virk's head under water until she drowned. While she was in prison awaiting her trial, Ellard's penchant for violence continued. While all of this was happening, her parents never wavered in their support of the troubled young woman. Here's what we know about them.

Kelly Ellard after being granted day parole in 2017
Source: YouTube/CTV News (video still)

Kelly Ellard after being granted day parole in 2017

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Who are Kelly Ellard's parents? Her mother was a civil servant who was devastated by what happened.

The Globe and Mail reported that Ellard's parents, Susan and Lawrence, divorced when she was quite young. Soon after, her mother married a former professional soccer player by the name of George Pakos. In April 2005, Ellard's grandmother Helen Sims spoke with the outlet about what it was like for her family since her granddaughter's final conviction in March of that year.

At the time, Susan was working at city hall which is a public-facing job. "You can imagine how hard that's been on her," said Sims. "I mean you're embarrassed and ashamed but you still have to be there for your daughter ... You can't just abandon her and say she doesn't belong to you any more. No, Susan, to her credit, has been there for Kelly every step of the way, the same with George, Kelly's stepdad."

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Ellard was initially tried in March 2000. When that conviction was overturned in June 2003, the result was a hung jury. Sims said her daughter Susan was hoping the third trial would end similarly. When it did not, Susan phoned her mother while crying. "Mom," Susan said to her, "it's over. She's guilty. Please phone the family." Sims proceeded to call her other children. The whole ordeal left Susan a shell of her former self, though there were small moments of comfort for her.

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During the trial, Virk's mother approached Susan and gave her a hug. Sims said that small act of kindness meant a lot to her daughter, and said it was probably one of her best days out of a string of terrible ones. "I think there was a bond there as mothers," said Sims, who also had a moment with Virk's grandmother. Sims apologized to her which prompted Virk's grandmother to say, "Well, you lost a granddaughter, too."

Kelly Ellard's stepfather was once a professional soccer player.

Before Ellard was sentenced in July 2005, her stepfather George Pakos told the judge that she is a "harmless 15-year-old girl frozen in time and isn't a danger to society." When the prosecutor disagreed and said Ellard led a ruthless attack on an innocent girl, George angrily left. "Rapists and pedophiles are a danger to society," he told The Globe and Mail. "She's not a danger to society, I'll tell you that. She's just a young girl. You can put that in your paper." Well, they did.

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Five years after her conviction, The Globe and Mail took a look back at George's impressive soccer careers. He still was still on the field but it was as a referee, not a player. George loved soccer and had been playing since he was 10 years old. He undoubtedly got his talent from his own father Zenon Pakos who, says the outlet, "played professional soccer in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War."

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George himself got a later star at nearly 30 but he managed to play in one World Cup in 1986 at the age of 33. Afterward, George wanted a quiet life with his new wife and her daughter until that was shattered in November 1997. Whether it was love for his family, or a history of never giving up on one's team, both George and Ellard's mother never stopped believing in their daughter.

Though not much is known about Kelly's biological father, Lawrence, he reportedly also supported his daughter throughout her trial, and was seen in the courtroom alongside Susan.

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