Representing Homicide Assignment: The Brentwood Five
On April 14th, 2014, Matthew de Grood was invited by a friend to attend a university party in Brentwood, a neighbourhood in northwest Calgary, after finishing a late-night shift at Safeway supermarket. De Grood, a student at the University of Calgary, stabbed and killed 5 other students in their mid-twenties with a kitchen knife and claimed that he was “the son of God reincarnated” and that the victims were werewolves and apart of the Illuminati. However, De Grood was found to be not criminally responsible and plead not guilty to five counts of first-degree murder as he suffered from a mental illness. De Grood had struggled with addiction to cocaine and ecstasy in the past and attended counselling throughout high school, however, he did not have any history of mental health issues prior to the attack. In the podcast, published by Canadian True Crime, de Grood’s mental state before, during, and after the massacre, are unveiled and the burdens that the families of the victims live with are disclosed. Discordance between the families of the victims and Alberta’s justice system transpire as they feel that the entirety of the justice process is flawed, and the voices of the victims’ families do not matter. De Grood’s case and his eligibility to reintegrate back into society without ramifications are compared to Vince Li, who was found to not be criminally responsible for killing Tim McLean and was granted an absolute discharge. In this paper, I will connect course material to the type of homicide de Grood committed and discuss the possibility of him becoming a threat in society if he is granted an absolute discharge.