Did Warren Glowatski Meet Reena Virk’s Parents? Did They Forgive Him?

Warren// Image Credit: MSNBC

Hulu’s ‘Under the Bridge’ reimagines the events surrounding the brutal murder of Reena Virk and its chaotic aftermath. When the truth about what happened that night comes to light, the tight-knit community of the small Canadian town is shaken. The age of the culprits and the mercilessness of their actions raise a lot of questions about the community and violence among teenagers. Retracing the steps of Reena’s life, we see that her parents had been dealing with her haphazard lifestyle as she tried to figure out where she fit in and who her real friends were. The patience that her parents showed continues as the investigation proceeds, and when the identity of the culprits is revealed, the true extent of the Virks’ big hearts is revealed as well.

Suman and Manjit Virk Forgave a Repentant Warren Glowatski

It is impossible to imagine how someone would react when they come face to face with a person who killed their child. Forgiveness might not be the first thing on their mind, but in the end, this is what Suman and Manjit Virk gave to Warren Glowatski, though it must be noted that their forgiveness was not simply given away. Glowatski worked for it.

On the night of November 14, 1997, Warren Glowatski and Kelly Ellard killed Reena Virk after she had been badly beaten by a group of girls, which included Ellard. Glowatski and Ellard were eventually arrested and sent to life in prison. During and after the trial, Glowatski expressed deep guilt for his actions on that November night and expressed shame for being responsible for Reena’s murder. In prison, he got to meet Reena’s parents as a part of the restorative justice program, which brings offenders face to face with the families of their victims to face the true extent of their crimes and take accountability for their actions.

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The Virks revealed that this meeting allowed them to process a lot of their feelings, and it was much harder for them to go through them emotionally. When they asked the boy why he had attacked and killed Reena, he didn’t have an answer. “He just said he got caught up in the moment. There was no real motive,” Suman Virk revealed. This meeting allowed both sides to make peace with certain things. In June 2007, the Virks were also present at the parole hearing of Warren Glowatski. When he was released on full-day parole, he hugged and shook hands with Reena’s parents, who approved the court’s decision.

When asked why they forgave him, Suman Virk revealed that it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Initially, they “wanted him dead for taking [their] child away,” but when they met him, all they saw was “an angry, scared little kid who was trying to prove something in a negative way” and his “very troubled upbringing likely contributed to what happened.” With time, they saw that he had taken responsibility for his actions and [was] trying to amend the wrong that he did.” They saw him feel “genuine remorse.”

Being Jehovah’s Witnesses also helped the Virks be more open to forgiveness because this is what their religion teaches them. Moreover, for all the potential that was lost with their daughter’s death, the Virks said they wished that their forgiveness would allow Warren “to move on, to let go of his nightmare,” so he could do better with his life. He added that if they didn’t forgive him, “he’d carry a heavy heart around with him for the rest of his life.” Not one to take the gift of their forgiveness lightly, Warren Glowatski expressed how grateful he was for their support. He hoped to “one day be able to be as caring and selfless” as them and would never take their kindness for granted.

Image Credit: The Canadian Press/Youtube

While the Virks forgave Glowatski, the same did not happen for Kelly Ellard. Reportedly, Suman Virk reached out to Ellard, too, but she didn’t respond. This made it harder for the Virks to extend the same forgiveness to her, though Reena Virk’s mother did feel sorry for the girl, who she thought was “so obviously messed up.” The Virk family also couldn’t move past the fact that despite being convicted of the crime and spending years in prison, Ellard never really accepted responsibility for killing Reena, unlike Glowatski, who had apologized for it several times.

A fourth trial for Ellard was averted in 2009 by a Supreme Court decision, but the Virks, while expressing forgiveness to Glowatski for admitting his role, were frustrated Ellard did not acknowledge the part she played in Reena’s death. It wasn’t until her 2016 parole hearing that she expressed any sense of guilt for the murder, but it was not enough to convince the Virks and gain their forgiveness.

Read More: Kelly Ellard: Reena Virk’s Murderer is a Mother of Two Today