WARNING: This story contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
A judge has found a man not criminally responsible for the stabbing deaths of two people at a northern Alberta work camp.
Daniel Goodridge, 31, had pleaded not guilty due to a mental disorder to charges of first-degree murder, assault with a weapon and interfering with human remains.
Experts testified during the trial that Goodridge had been hearing voices and believed his co-workers wanted to assault him. Court also heard he was diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia and had mental health issues dating back to Grade 7.
“For half of his life, Mr. Goodridge clearly suffered from mental health issues,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ken Nielsen said in his ruling Thursday.
“Likely, for a combination of reasons, he did not get the help that he so desperately needed.”
David Derksen, who was 37 and from La Crete, Alta., and 50-year-old Hally Dubois of Red Deer, Alta., were killed at a Canada North oilfield site near Fox Creek in June 2015.
The trial heard that Goodridge stabbed Derksen more than 70 times, cut off parts of his body and set him on fire. Some of his remains were never found.
Witnesses said Dubois had tried to help Derksen. Her body was found curled up in a trailer. She had been stabbed or cut 11 times.
Some workers hid in their rooms while others fled into the bush as Goodridge ran around the remote property with a large knife.
“His desire was to ‘kill or be killed,’ and to slaughter anyone in his vicinity,” said the judge. “He believed doing so was necessary to defend himself and to get rid of the angry voices he was hearing.”
When RCMP arrived, Goodridge refused to drop the knife and lunged at an officer. Mounties fired 12 shots and wounded Goodridge.
Nielsen said Goodridge gave bizarre explanations for interfering with the remains.
“He described himself as being a surgeon or paramedic, that he was there to help Mr. Derksen from a surgical perspective or to help him pass on and that he wished to see a skull and a burned corpse,” said the judge.
Nielsen ordered Goodridge to be held at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton. He must appear within 45 days before the Alberta Review Board, which will determine if and how long he should be detained.