WARNING: This story contains graphic details.
A 23-year-old Markham man charged with four counts of first-degree murder allegedly posted details of the deaths in an online chat community, including photos of what are believed to be his dead family members and how they were killed.
Police said officers were called to a home on Castlemore Avenue, a residential street near Major MacKenzie Drive East and Markham Road, just before 3 p.m. on Sunday. A man at the front door of the home was taken into custody after officers arrived and police said they found three women and a man dead inside. Investigators didn’t identify the victims or confirm the suspect’s connection to them.
Officers charged Menhaz Zaman with four counts of first-degree murder.
In a series of posts shared to several players of a private gaming server called Perfect World Void and provided to Global News in the form of screenshots by a member of the site, a user by the name of “Menhaz” described how he skipped university after failing multiple courses. Global News was not privy to the original messages.
The user, who had a profile photo that neighbours told Global News was Zaman, said he became depressed and visited the mall and went to the gym most days instead of going to school.
A post detailed how he wanted to kill his parents so they didn’t “feel the shame of having a son like me.” He later said, “what’s done is done and what had been planned has been concluded.”
“I choose to kill them instead of my out of cowardess (sic) due to me being an atheist. I believe that this is the only life we get,” the user wrote.
The post said the deaths were planned for three years. The user went on to apologize for making community members upset, asking them to “remember the good times.”
When asked for proof of the deaths, “Menhaz” allegedly posted photos of four victims inside the house after their deaths.
The photos, which Global News is choosing not to publish due to the graphic nature of what was depicted, haven’t been independently verified.
One of the photos, which was blurred out, reportedly showed the “Menhaz” user name written on a paper pad as it was held over one of the bodies.
Another picture shared among community members appears to show Zaman dressed after showering and holding a knife covered in blood.
The user also reportedly posted a message advising police were at the house before saying “good bye” (sic).
A person listed as an administrator on the Perfect World Void website posted a public statement on a platform message board about the “Markham massacre.”
“Menhaz has been a part of the Nexus-Void journey since it’s beginning. The Void staff is (sic) very shocked by his recent actions, as are the majority of the players who know,” the statement read.
“None of us expected him to go that far, none of us had any idea of his plans. Menhaz has been known as the “troll” for long, joking about the little and the extreme but has never shown any sign or intention of committing a homicide.”
The administrator wrote the user was banned from the game platform earlier this month for being “more offensive than the usual.” It’s alleged the user used “self-devaluing” screen names, such as “sub-human” and “don’t deserve life.”
“Speaking personally as his online friend, I (Maroon) have never thought that Menhaz would be capable of doing this. He has always been a chill guy with a maybe extreme sense of humor (sic). He has been depressed lately, and I failed to consulate or attempt to support him,” the administrator wrote on the site.
“Regardless of if he was my friend or not, your friend or not, murder is selfish. Murder can never be justified.”
They went on to write that “as of now” any “abnormal behaviour,” “threats,” “improper harassment,” “personal attacks,” or “talks of this very incident within the Void platforms will NOT be tolerated.” The administrator said anything “seemingly suspicious” will be reported to authorities and will result in a ban from the game’s server.
Global News was told that some of the users who received the messages contacted authorities hours before police arrived at the Markham home.
York Regional Police said officers were contacted with a report multiple people may have been injured inside the house, but a spokesperson declined to disclose who called in the report when asked Monday morning.
Police were asked if the accused posted details online, the spokesperson said there was a lot of information and since the matter was before the court he could not discuss evidence.
Meanwhile, Zaman appeared in court on Monday and was remanded into custody. The allegations haven’t been proven in court.