Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Life Is Getting Bizarre! Crossbow Killings In 21st Century?

Life sentence for Toronto man convicted in 'crossbow killings' of mother, brothers
Brennan Doherty, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 29, 2017
TORONTO -- A Toronto man was formally handed a life sentence Friday after pleading guilty to the so-called "crossbow killings" of his mother and two brothers last August.
According to a statement of facts agreed upon by both the Crown and defence, Brett Ryan, 36, decided to kill his mother after she threatened to expose that he'd been lying to his fiancee about his education and work history.
He had told his fiancee that he graduated from the University of Toronto with a physics degree in April 2016, and that he'd secured a job at an IT company a month later, the statement said.
In fact, the statement reads, Ryan had taken a semester off from school at the start of the 2015 fall semester, and he was let go from the IT job before it even began because of his criminal record -- in 2009, he pleaded guilty to robbing eight banks over an eight-month stretch.
Five days before the murders, he told his mother, Susan Ryan, that he didn't have a job and that he lied to his fiancee, the statement said. Susan Ryan she'd support him financially for a short time but insisted that he admit his lies to his fiancee.
Brett Ryan planned to marry in September 2016, but he worried that if his fiancee found out about the deceit, their relationship would be finished.
So Ryan planned to kill his mother, the statement reads, and days before her death, he planted a crossbow in his mother's garage.
The statement said Ryan visited his mother on Aug. 25, 2016, to try and convince her -- through threats and force, if necessary -- not to expose his lies.
An intense argument between the two led the mother to phone her eldest son, Christopher, asking him to come over and help her deal with Brett Ryan.
During the argument -- it isn't clear exactly when -- Brett Ryan stepped into the garage and got his crossbow. His mother followed, the statement said.
Brett Ryan then stabbed his mother with a crossbow bolt and strangled her to death with a yellow nylon rope, according to the autopsy. When Christopher Ryan arrived at the house, Brett Ryan shot him in the back of the neck with a crossbow, the statement reads.
He hid both of their bodies under a tarp in the garage, the statement said.
Another of the brothers, Alexander Ryan, confronted Brett Ryan as he left the garage. The statement said Brett Ryan then stabbed him with a crossbow bolt and left him bleeding on their driveway.
He later died of his wounds, autopsy reports said.
Leighland Ryan, a third brother, was inside the house when the murders happened. He called for help after seeing Brett Ryan standing over Alexander Ryan's body, the statement said.
Brett Ryan followed him back into the house and assaulted him, the statement reads, to get rid of any witnesses. Leighland Ryan survived, fled the house and managed to get to a neighbour's house, who called police.
The statement said Brett Ryan was arrested by police near the front steps of his mother's home.
"The guys in the garage are dead. Crossbow to the head. It's me. I'm admitting to everything," Ryan said to police at the time, according to the statement.
Ryan pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree murder and attempted murder, as well as two counts of second-degree murder.
John Rosen, one of Ryan's defence lawyers, said he could have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 61 years, but the judge gave Ryan concurrent sentences.
First and second degree murder convictions carry automatic life sentences.
Eric Amaral pleads guilty in Kitchener crossbow shooting death of Michael Gibbon
'Eric Amaral was using Michael Gibbon for target practice,' judge says
By Kate Bueckert, Melanie Ferrier, CBC News
Posted: Apr 06, 2017
Eric Amaral had been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the arrow shooting death of Kitchener, Ont.'s Michael Gibbon in 2015. (Facebook)
Eric Amaral has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2015 crossbow shooting death of Michael Gibbon in Kitchener.
Court heard the macabre details of how Amaral was carrying his crossbow in a wooded part of Kitchener, saw a stranger out for his morning walk, then got down on one knee, took aim and shot the man in "a random and unprovoked killing."
Amaral also pleaded guilty Thursday to shooting a police officer with a BB gun in a related incident.

A man walking his dog found Gibbon on the front lawn of a home in Kitchener's Mount Hope-Breithaupt Park neighbourhood with a bolt sticking out of his chest at about 7 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2015.
The crossbow bolt had penetrated Gibbon's left lung and his heart.
Gibbon was rushed to hospital and a statement of facts presented in court Thursday said he told paramedics, "I'm fine," and, "It hurts."
His condition quickly deteriorated and he underwent emergency surgery, but was pronounced dead at 8 a.m. that day.
Justice Gerald Taylor called the attack just before dawn "shocking" and said Amaral lacked "any reason for the taking of a human life."
"Eric Amaral was using Michael Gibbon for target practice," Taylor said.
Amaral was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole in 14 years. He will also serve another two years concurrently for the shooting of the police officer.
Amaral addressed the court Thursday. "I truly apologize for the death of Michael Gibbon. Nothing I could say can change the death of Michael Gibbon. I'm truly sorry for that."
Michael Gibbon, 60, died after he was shot with an arrow on Oct. 5, 2015. (Amanda Grant/CBC)
'Random and unprovoked killing'
The agreed statement of facts said this was "a random and unprovoked killing. There is no link whatsoever between the victim Michael Gibbon and the accused."
In his own account, provided in the statement of facts, Amaral said he bought the crossbow and had been doing target practice in his apartment. But this was "impractical."
On Oct. 5, 2015, Amaral decided to go to a wooded area in the Breithaupt neighbourhood of Kitchener to experiment with his crossbow, but it was too dark for target practice.
"Amaral exited the bush and was across the road from the sidewalk that Michael Gibbon was walking on. From one knee, he fired the crossbow at Michael Gibbon," the statement of facts said.
Amaral knew he had hit Gibbon, but did not try to help him.
"Amaral acknowledges that he targeted and shot Gibbon intending to cause him bodily harm that he knew was likely to cause death and was reckless as to whether death ensued," the statement said.
Amaral went back to his apartment and had little contact with anyone prior to his arrest. He made plans to kill himself, but was unable to go through with his plan.
In an agreed statement of facts, Eric Amaral said he got down on one knee and shot Michael Gibbon with a crossbow. He knew he had hit Gibbon, but Amaral made no attempt to go help the stranger. (Facebook)
Crossbow dumped at gas station
Investigators learned the crossbow bolt had been purchased from Shooter's Choice in Waterloo. They identified Amaral as having purchased the bolt on Sept. 22, 2015.
At the time, Amaral was prohibited under court order from possessing or carrying any weapons.
Police set up surveillance on Amaral on Oct. 13 and followed him as he dumped the crossbow in a gas station's garbage bin. After Amaral drove away, the officers retrieved a Barnett Recruit compound crossbow, a 20-inch Carbon Express piledriver bolt with one white and two green fin guides, and a Barnett Recruit Easton Carbon bolt with one white and two orange fin guides and a missing piece on the end of the arrow.
The piledriver bolt had the same production stamp date as the bolt removed from Gibbon.
Amaral then drove toward Toronto in an attempt to flee the country, but had to turn around because he forgot his passport, the statement of facts said.
Confrontation with police
Police attempted to pull Amaral over, but he initially refused. When he was pulled over, Amaral fired a BB gun at Det. Doug Buckley, who returned one shot from his service weapon. The bullet went into Amaral's dashboard and did not hit Amaral.
"Amaral armed himself with a non-lethal pellet gun and triggered an exchange of fire with the police upon his arrest in an attempt to prompt the police to kill him," the statement said.
When it appeared Amaral was going to shoot Buckley a second time, a tow truck driver who was parked in front of Amaral's car quickly backed into Amaral's vehicle. The action startled and distracted Amaral and he got out of his car and he was then arrested.
Police seized a number of items from Amaral's home and car, including other bolts, a folding knife, cellphone, a receipt for a crossbow and a prescription for the anti-depressant sertraline.
The cellphone showed a number of web searches for crossbows, murders in America, recruitment with the Canadian Armed Forces, the Australian Massacre and "how long does it take to check fingerprints."
Insp. Mike Haffner of Waterloo Regional Police said Thursday the force would not comment on the outcome of the case.
"This was a tragic event in our community and our sympathy goes out to the family of Michael Gibbon," Haffner said in an email.
Neighbour held his hand as he lay dying
Gibbon's sister Linda Leinweber told CBC Radio's As It Happens her brother was working the night shift and walking was the only exercise he got.
"He was born... [in] that neighbourhood, and that was the neighbourhood he's been walking around in since he could walk so there was no fear of anything happening," Leinweber said.
Leinweber said a woman saw Gibbon on her yard and went out to help.
"She looked out the window and he was laying there – and she went out and when she saw, I mean the arrow was sticking out of him. And so she went in right away and got her son right away, she was just shaken. He called the ambulance," Leinweber said.

"This is the only comforting part for me: She went out and covered [Michael] with a blanket and held his hand and talked to him because my brother was still conscious at that point."
Weston Man Murders Wife and Son With Crossbow Before Killing Himself: Broward Sheriff's Office
Weston man who murdered his son and wife and tried to kill his other son found dead in hotel: Authorities
By Keith Jones, Bobby Brooks and Christina Hernandez
Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
A Weston man who murdered his wife and teenage son with a crossbow and tried to kill another son was found dead in a Lake City hotel room Wednesday, authorities said.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Pedro Maldonado Sr., 53, was found dead around 2 a.m. at the Cabot Lodge on W. U.S. 90.
The BSO had been searching for Maldonado since Tuesday, when 17-year-old Pedro Maldonado Jr. and 47-year-old Monica Narvaez-Maldonado were found dead in the home at 4266 Vineyard Circle.
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Authorities say Maldonado's violent rampage began Monday, when he shot his wife and son with a crossbow that shoots small arrows.
He then headed north to Tallahassee, where his other son, 21-year-old Jose Maldonado, attends Florida State University.
Just after 7 a.m. Tuesday, the father attacked his son, shooting him in the ear with the crossbow and trying to choke him, the BSO said.
Jose Maldonado was able to get away from his father but didn't report the attack.
Around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Maldonado Sr. called a friend in Miami and admitted to killing his wife and son, the BSO said.
Deputies and the BSO SWAT team went to the home and found the bodies inside. The victims died in a “very violent manner,” according to the BSO.
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The BSO began a massive search, considering Maldonado armed and dangerous.
"If anyone encounters him, they should call 911 immediately. They believe he might be driving a black Volvo SUV,” said BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella.
Maldonado's vehicle was discovered at the hotel by Columbia County Sheriff's Office SWAT team members, according to the BSO.
Negotiators tried to reach Maldonado Sr. for hours before they entered the room and found his body. He had apparently slit his own throat, the BSO said.
The Maldonado home is located in the Courtyards in the Grove subdivision, next to Cypress Bay High School, where Pedro Maldonado Jr. attended.
The school tweeted condolences late Tuesday.
"RIP to Cypress Bay student, Pedro Maldonado, who lost his life in a double homicide. You will always be remembered, Pedro," @CB_Athletics tweeted.
At the school Wednesday, reality was setting in for the friends of the teen.
Student Dillon Perez said Pedro Maldonado Jr. was popular and was well known for his role in Cypress Bay's marching band.
"He was close with everyone in band, he was always in the band room and I think his girlfriend was also in band," Perez said. "Every single time that he would come into the band room or something like that people would swarm around him and he had a lot of friends."
This isn't the first time that students at Cypress Bay have mourned the death of a classmate. In 2011, two students died in a car crash. In August 2012 a recent graduate was hit by a car and killed, and this year a student died of a drug overdose.
"We live in a society where kids are dying that easily. It shouldn't be happening," 17-year-old Shana Popper said. "I should be going to school to see my classmates, not a missing seat."
Crossbow cannibal serial killer: Stephen Griffiths admits murdering three prostitutes
A PhD student calling himself the Crossbow Cannibal has admitted the serial killings of three prostitutes he lured to his flat on the edge of Bradford’s red-light district.
By Paul Stokes
21 Dec 2010
Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths pleaded guilty to murdering Suzanne Blamires, 36, by firing a crossbow bolt into her head when she tried to run away from him in May this year.
He also admitted murdering Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, 43, but police believe he might also be responsible for three unsolved murders after he indicated in an interview that he had killed six women in total.
He claimed he had cooked and eaten parts of his first two victims, boiling one in a pot, and ate the third one raw.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of murder at Leeds Crown Court this morning. He stood in the dock to enter his pleas surrounded by five security guards.
Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he said "yes" when asked to confirm his name. He then said "guilty" in a quiet voice when the clerk put each of the three charges to him. Griffiths then sat with his head on his chest.
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The judge, Mr Justice Openshaw, told the court the defendant's mental health had been carefully examined and there was "no question that he was fit to plead".
Griffiths’ macabre crimes were uncovered after a security guard checked silent CCTV footage from the third-floor corridor in the flat where he lived during a routine check for any evidence of petty crimes.
It showed Griffiths firing a bolt into his last victim’s head, before “toasting” the death by raising a can of drink to the CCTV camera.
Griffiths videoed another of the killings on his mobile phone, the Daily Telegraph has learnt.
He had lost it on a train, someone had picked it up and it had twice been sold on before it was traced by police.
From left: Susan Rushworth, Suzanne Blamires and Shelley Armitage Photo: PA
Still on it was video footage which one senior detective described as the most disturbing he has ever seen.
It showed a dead woman thought to be Miss Armitage, naked in a bath and also “hog-tied” on cushions with her hands tied behind her. She had been sprayed with black paint with the words “My Sex Slave” on her back.
Griffiths gave a running commentary saying: “I am Ven Pariah, I am the Bloodbath Artist. Here’s a model who is assisting me.”
It allowed police to establish that Miss Armitage must have died before 1am on April 28. A small piece of her spine was found in the same stretch of river as Miss Blamires’ remains were found.
The only evidence relating to Miss Rushworth, who is thought to have been killed with a hammer, is a trace of blood found in Griffiths’ bathroom.
Griffiths was arrested by armed police immediately after they were alerted to the CCTV recording showing Miss Blamires’ death at the block of housing association flats in Holmfield Court, Bradford, in May.
It showed Griffiths walking into his one-bedroom flat with Miss Blamires, who worked locally as a prostitute. Within minutes she ran out and he gave chase, armed with a crossbow, before felling her and firing a bolt into her head.
Griffiths then turned to the camera and held the crossbow aloft in both hands in triumph before dragging the body out of view.
He re-emerged with the drink can which he showed in a celebratory way to the camera while putting one finger in the air and is later seen carrying bin bags and a rucksack in and out.
The previous night he had written on his MySpace social networking page, under the unexplained pseudonym Ven Pariah, that he had “finally emerged into the world”.
Griffiths wrote: “What will this pseudo-human do, one wonders. Poor Stephen, pretended to be me, but he was only the wrapping.
“He knew towards the end, that I supplied the inner core of iron. Hatred Bound Tightly In Flesh. At very long last, the time has come to act out.”
When his flat was searched, two crossbows and bolts were recovered from the flat, along with books on serial killers, and attempts made to clean-up with carpets lifted and tiled removed around the bath.
The next day a member of the public discovered female body parts, including a head in a rucksack, in the River Aire five miles away in Shipley.
They were identified as those of Miss Blamires, the third prostitute to be reported missing in the area within 11 months.
Also found nearby was a “killer’s kitbag”, a case containing hacksaws and knives which could be used to dismember bodies.
Griffiths was later to confess in interview: “I or part of me is responsible for killing Susan Rushworth, Shelley Armitage and Suzanne Blamires, who I know as Amber.”
Detectives have found no evidence to corroborate his claims of cannibalism, which they believe were made in an attempt to increase his own notoriety.
Griffiths was quick to seize on a tabloid headline when he made his first appearance in court accused of triple murder, stunning everyone present by giving his name as “Crossbow Cannibal”.
He also referred to himself as the “SF” killer, which again has not been explained.
Scenes of crimes officers were able, however, to discover blood traces from all three of his victims in the flat.