Matthew de Grood back in Calgary 10 years after killing 5 at Brentwood house party

Click to play video: 'Matthew de Grood returns to Calgary a decade after tragic Brentwood deaths'
Matthew de Grood returns to Calgary a decade after tragic Brentwood deaths
WATCH: It’s been 10 years since Calgary’s worst mass killing and some of the families of the five young victims say they worry every day about running into the man who killed them – Apr 9, 2024

A decade after the biggest mass killing in Calgary’s history, the families of the five victims face the new fear of running into the man who fatally stabbed their loved ones.

Global News has confirmed Matthew de Grood is now living in a group home at an undisclosed location in Calgary.

Crime Beat Podcast: Global News’ Nancy Hixt’s in-depth coverage as the ten-year anniversary nears of the killing of five young people at a house party in northwest Calgary.

Story continues below advertisement

Lawrence Hong, Kaiti Perras, Jordan Segura, Josh Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell were killed on April 15, 2014, while celebrating the end of university classes at a small off-campus house party in the northwest neighbourhood of Brentwood.

Early that morning, a friend of one of the party’s hosts launched a violent, unprovoked attack on each of the five young people. De Grood, who was 22 years old at the time, took a large chef’s knife and stabbed Zack, Josh, Jordan, Kaiti and Lawrence.

Moments later, police caught de Grood running frantically from the crime scene.

Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin (Kaiti) Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27, died after being attacked and stabbed at a house party in April 2014. Global News

Zack, Josh and Lawrence died at the scene, Jordan and Kaiti were rushed to hospital but later died from their injuries.

De Grood was initially charged with five counts of first-degree murder and his state of mind at the time of the stabbings became the focal point of the criminal case.

Story continues below advertisement

He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia.

A judge found de Grood was experiencing a psychotic episode when he killed all five victims and that he believed himself to be “the son of God and Hitler reincarnated” and that the victims were Illuminati, werewolves and medusas.

On May 25, 2016, a judge found de Grood “not criminally responsible” or “NCR” — a ruling that ensures people with mental disorders are treated, not punished.

Every year de Grood’s progress is assessed by the Criminal Code Review Board (formerly the Alberta Review Board) which decides if there is still a significant threat to public safety. To determine that risk, the board looks at the likelihood de Grood will have another psychotic episode and tries to assess what he would likely do if he did. There are three legislated options for the board to consider for individuals deemed NCR:  they can be held under a full warrant; granted a conditional discharge; or granted an absolute discharge.

Over the years, de Grood’s freedoms have increased and in October 2023, he expressed a desire to leave Edmonton and return to Calgary. That move was approved and he’s now in the city in a group home described as “highly structured with 24-hour supervision.”

“I was a realist, I assumed it would happen at some point,” Gregg Perras, Kaiti’s father, told Global News.

Story continues below advertisement

“This is still a pretty small city,” Perras said. “The chances of one of the families not running into him is pretty low. It’s going to happen and it’s going to set off, you know, a lot of anxiety and PTSD … when you see someone that’s killed your child.”

De Grood has been seeking an absolute discharge but to date that has not been granted. He is scheduled to have another review in the fall of 2024.


Sponsored content