Brentwood Stabbings

April 15, 2014 3:17 pm
Updated: April 15, 2014 8:53 pm

Calgary’s worst mass murders


Police say the stabbing deaths of five people at a home in northwest Calgary is the worst mass murder in the city’s history.

A suspect is in custody after three people were pronounced dead at the scene; two others later died in hospital.

READ MORE: 5 killed in stabbing at northwest Calgary home

The city has seen similar tragedies in the past.

In 2008, five people died in a murder-suicide. On May 27, 34-year-old Joshua Lall fatally stabbed his wife Alison, his two daughters aged three and five, and a tenant in the home, 30-year-old Amber Bowerman.

He then committed suicide.

A third daughter, one-year-old Anna, wasn’t hurt. There was speculation Lall spared her life because of her age.

Alison and Joshua Lall

Above: Alison and Joshua Lall

Joshua Lall was studying to become an architect and was an intern at a local company.

Police believe the stabbing happened at dinner-time in the house, when something made Lall snap.

He killed Bowerman first; his wife died trying to save the children.

Amber Bowerman, an editor of the SAIT student newspaper, was among four people stabbed to death by Joshua Lall in May, 2008.

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It was the worst mass murder in 30 years, so gruesome officers called to the scene received counselling.

It’s believed Lall was mentally ill. Calgary police confirmed that just days before the murder, Lall told his father he was hearing voices in his head.

Lall had called in sick the day of the murders.

READ MOREHow stabbings are different from other homicidal attacks

There was another mass murder at a Lake Bonavista home in 1998, when Ian Gordon took an axe and killed his common-law wife, along with his daughters from a previous marriage, 14-year-old Kayla and 9-year-old Liane.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Ten years earlier, in July 1988, Russell Rafuse went on a rampage at a party in an apartment.

He shot five people, killing four, including a 15-year-old boy and his mother.

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