‘Under the Bridge’ Has Fully Turned Its Eye on Kelly Ellard

izzy g as kelly ellard
‘Under the Bridge’ Has Turned to Kelly EllardDarko Sikman

Kelly Ellard made headlines in 1997 when she was accused and later convicted of murdering Reena Virk. Ellard was fifteen years old when she attacked and drowned Virk with the help of fellow teenagers. Virk’s body was found eight days later, according to CBC News. The coroner likened her injuries to those sustained by car-crash victims.

Virk’s story has since been turned into the best-selling novel Under the Bridge, which inspired Hulu’s latest television series. On the show, Ellard is played by Izzy G., who portrays her character as icy, manipulative, and devoid of any empathy for the Virk family or remorse for her crime. The series finale will detail Ellard’s trial.

Since its premiere, Under the Bridge has garnered positive reviews from critics (including yours truly). However, the real Ellard—who changed her name to Kerry Marie Sim—doesn’t feel the same way. According to CBC News, she expressed her disdain for Under the Bridge at a recent parole hearing, where she reportedly called the show “disrespectful” and expressed concern for the Virk family.

Ellard is now forty-one—with two children of her own—and has spent most of her adult life behind bars. Keep reading for everything we know about what happened to her after her conviction.

What Was Kelly Ellard’s Sentence?

Ellard was initially charged with second-degree murder. She was tried as an adult in 2000 and convicted, but that decision was overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeals in February 2003. The following year, Ellard had a second trial. That time, the jurors were deadlocked and couldn’t make a decision, leading to a mistrial. Finally, she had her third trial in April 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison.

Where Is Kelly Ellard Today?

Ellard was granted day parole in 2018—which is a conditional release under Canadian law that offers prisoners the opportunity to reenter society during the day and return to prison or a halfway house at night. Her conditional freedom proved to be difficult, though. In the years since, Ellard has attended numerous disciplinary meetings with her parole board for domestic violence and a positive drug test. CBC News reports that in 2021, she was arrested for behavioral issues. Court documents said she is considered a “high-moderate risk for future violence over the long term and a relatively low risk over the short term.”

Last month, Ellard’s day parole was extended due to her recently expressed remorse for Virk’s death. “Your [community management team] indicates you admit to having a greater role in [Reena Virk’s murder],” states the court document, which was obtained by CBC News. “You recently also demonstrated some remorse and victim empathy after a discussion about an upcoming television series based on your crimes. You said the series is disrespectful to the victim and her family and that the index offense was so horrendous that it would re-victimize the victim’s family.”

Ellard currently lives in a residential facility in Maryland. Parole documents obtained by CBC News detail her difficulty acclimating to her surroundings. “You have also expressed frustration and anxiety about your situation,” the decision says, noting Ellard’s complaints about the high cost of living and her parenting struggles as a single mother. Her ex-husband reportedly abandoned her and their children.

According to CBC News, the parole board extended Ellard’s day parole for an additional six months with three conditions: She may not drink, use drugs, or contact the Virk family.

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