Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Review Board to Get Update on Calgary Mass Killer's Mental- Health Treatment

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Review Board to Get Update on Calgary Mass Killer's Mental- Health Treatment

Article excerpt

Board to weigh stabber's treatment progress

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CALGARY - A panel is to get an update this week on the mental-health treatment of a man who stabbed five young people to death at a house party three years ago.

A judge found Matthew de Grood not criminally responsible in the deaths of Zackariah Rathwell, 21; Jordan Segura, 22; Josh Hunter, 23; Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27.

Justice Eric Macklin said in his ruling that de Grood was suffering from a mental disorder at the time and did not appreciate his actions were wrong.

Ronda-Lee Rathwell, Zackariah's mother, said preparing for the Alberta Review Board hearing scheduled for Thursday and Friday has been a painful ordeal, especially with the anniversary of her son's death a week later.

"This is the only voice that I have," she said of a victim impact statement she is trying to finish in time for the hearing.

"I hate that all I can do is write a victim impact statement stating how much I miss my son, how hard it is to live without him."

De Grood's trial was told he heard what he thought was the voice of the Devil telling him to kill and believed the end of the world was coming before he grabbed a knife from the kitchen in a Calgary home and fatally stabbed the five students.

Two psychiatrists who testified said de Grood's psychosis was probably caused by schizophrenia, while another said that was one of a few possible diagnoses.

At de Grood's last board hearing in July, panel members were told he was responding well to treatment for schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The board can decide to keep de Grood in a secure hospital, allow him into the community with conditions or grant him a full discharge.

Rathwell said she and other victims' loved ones want de Grood to be deemed high risk, a designation that could mean hearings would take place as long as three years apart and unescorted passes into the community could be denied.

"I don't believe that he can be cured or that he can ever be safe in the public and not able to do this again."

She said she was upset when she heard about a full discharge granted earlier this year to Will Baker, formerly known as Vince Li. …

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