Editor's note: This story contains graphic details. Reader discretion is advised.
Today, the Brendzy family is making a trip to Vancouver Island they would rather not make.
It's not for a vacation. In fact, it's for a reason most people couldn't even imagine.
The Coquitlam family is heading to Victoria to make sure the man who brutally murdered their sister and aunt stays behind bars.
In 1997, James Shortreed bludgeoned Iris McNeil to death just a month after the couple married.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1999 and sent to William Head Institution, but he's now applying for unescorted temporary absences. The family plans to be at the hearing Wednesday to tell the parole board Shortreed shouldn't be granted his request.
The family spoke to The NOW on Monday, prior to the hearing.
McNeil's sister Delores Brendzy isn't convinced her sister's killer can ever be rehabilitated.
"You can't cure people like this. There's no cure," she said. "He doesn't attack for a reason. He just attacks."
Prior to his marriage with McNeil, who worked as a customs officer, Shortreed, now 57, had a history of attacking and raping women, which he kept secret from both his wife and her family.
The Brendzy family is worried for the public's safety if Shortreed even gets an hour of freedom.
"We basically want to get the word out that he could be out on the street," Delores said.
"Everything he's done in the past has been calculated," added McNeil's niece Crystal Brendzy.
McNeil's nephew Ryan Brendzy, who flew in from Qatar for the hearing, said family members couldn't live with themselves if they didn't speak up and Shortreed reoffended during a pass.
Though they hope the application will be denied, the family has been told to prepare for the worst.
McNeil's murder was particularly brutal and has had a devastating impact on the entire family. Shortreed dismembered his wife's body, leaving it in a freezer in their apartment for 10 days before turning himself in to police.
In the years that followed, the family has struggled to cope with the loss of a sister in such an unimaginable way.
Delores said she spent years in a fog.
"You change, your family changes, it doesn't have the joy that it did," she said.
While the family has tried to move on, the hearing has brought back painful memories.
Delores said she won't even be travelling to Victoria with the rest of her family because of heart problems related to the stress of the hearing.
Shortreed had made a similar application previously, but withdrew it before the hearing.
Ryan said the whole parole process means the family has to relive the ordeal every couple of years.
No matter how difficult, though, the family intends to be at every hearing.
"He'll become part of our life now," Delores said.