Everything was finally going well for a 35-year old man to put his life back in order- fresh from completing his university studies, landing a job in an IT company, and weeks off from marrying the woman of his dreams who loved and accepted him in spite of his checkered past. Except that the only thing that’s true is the wedding part, and all the others are but lies. Fearing that his fiance would back out from the wedding and leave him should she find out the truth behind his lies, the man resorted to the most drastic, most criminal, most unforgivable act to cover his deception: murdering his own family with a crossbow.
Brett Ryan was three weeks away from marrying his girlfriend, physiotherapist Kristen who had supported his university studies and accepted him and his past of being an ex-convict. He was earlier imprisoned for five years after pleading guilty to eight bank robberies across Toronto and the Durham region. Ryan resorted to such a criminal act to support his lavish lifestyle of designer clothes and cars then.
Due to ‘good behavior’, Ryan only served half of his prison term. A year after, he met Kristen, confessed his past sins, vowed to start a new life, and enrolled in a university. In 2016, Ryan lied to Kristen that he graduated from his studies already. Then months after went on to land a job with an IT company. But his employer found out about his criminal record even before he could start work and terminated his contract.
He did not share to Kristen his job loss. He kept up with the deception, telling her he could work from home. His mother promised to support him but warned him he should tell his fiance the truth about his status. She said she’ll tell Kristen herself, if he refuses to do it himself.
In order to prevent his own mother from blowing his cover, Ryan did the most horrific act. He plotted to kill his own mother- and actually went on to carry out his murderous plan. He went to his mother’s house and they had a heated argument that mother Sandra had to phone an elder son Christopher to come home.
While his mother was busy on the phone, he grabbed the crossbow from the garage. He took a bolt from the crossbow and stabbed his own mother. Not content, he strangled his mother with a yellow nylon rope. Christopher arrived just as his mother was dying but even he was not spared. His brother Brett also shot him in the back of the neck with the same crossbow.
Brett then dragged the dead bodies of his own mother and brother to the garage and hid them under a tarpaulin. As if the horror was not enough, another brother, the younger 29-year-old Alexander arrived to witness what Brett was doing. The two fought but Brett also managed to stab Alexander with the same crossbow on the driveway. It was literally a bloodbath, and Brett killed three of his family members- his mother and two brothers.
A third brother, Leigh, 38, was at home all along, but hadn’t heard what was horrifically going on until it’s too late. When he saw what Brett did, his murderous brother also tried to attack him, but he managed to run to a neighbor’’s house to call 911.
Brett confessed to the police when they arrived at the scene of the crime, with the dead bodies of the mother and her two sons.
In July this year, Brett pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his brother Christopher and two counts of second-degree murder for his mother Susan and brother Alexander, as well as to the attempted murder of older brother Leigh.
Brett was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and in court he admitted that his only motive for killing three members of his own family including the mother who gave him life is to prevent her from telling his fiance that he lost his job.