Brett was just weeks away from marrying the girl of his dreams. He had a good job, lived in a waterfront condo, and had a bright future. Or at least he thought he did.
When Brett’s mother threatened to expose the lies he was keeping from his fiance, he decided there was only one solution. It involved betraying everyone close to him which ended in tragedy for the entire family…
When Brett met his girlfriend Kristen, he opened up everything to her, including his sketchy past. Years before meeting Kristen, Brett was in another relationship, and when it ended, it triggered a depressive episode in Brett’s life.
Fake Beard Bandit
He wound up committing a series of heists in Canada disguised as an elderly man. This was completely out of character for Brett, who many knew as being “sweet” and “popular.” The judge didn’t even think he was any threat to the community and when prosecutors recommended Brett serve a 10-year sentence, the judge rejected it…
He was given just 3 years and 9 months in prison and was released after just 15 months for good behavior. The Parole Board of Canada noted that Brett did not suffer from any major illness or have a history of violence, so he was free to go. They even noted that Brett’s time in prison, “reconnected” him to his family.
After seven counseling sessions as part of day parole, a psychologist deemed that Brett no longer needed therapy. “You remain a low risk for offending,” the board wrote in 2011 while granting him full parole. Brett shared this story with Kristen, but he failed to tell her the whole truth…
There were things that Brett wasn’t honest about. For starters, he told Kristen he had graduated from college, meanwhile, he never made it to graduation having dropped out months earlier. Then, he got a job at an IT company, only to lose it when employers found out about his bank robber past.
Ashamed Of His Reality
After being fired, Brett felt unable to tell Kristen the disappointing news so he simply pretended to work from home. The charade went on for months before Brett’s mother urged him to come clean about his job loss before the couple’s wedding, which was one month away. She decided to give him an ultimatum…
Instead of a bailout, Brett received an ultimatum, “Tell Kristen everything or I’ll do it myself.” Sue decided she wouldn’t give her son any money until he came clean. But this wasn’t an option for Brett. He feared Kristen might leave him if he told her the truth.
Getting Rid Of His Own Mother
Brett decided he wasn’t going to allow his mother to drag him down. Instead, he was going to kill her. But, first, he needed a weapon. Since the conditions of his sentencing made it illegal for him to acquire a firearm, he decided to buy a crossbow. It didn’t require a license and could be purchased by anyone over the age of 18…
Choosing A Murder Weapon
He chose a Barnett Recruit Youth 30, one of the cheapest and lightest crossbows available in Canada. Brett also made sure to cover his tracks by purchasing his weapon second-hand in order to avoid leaving a potentially incriminating record of the purchase.
Preparing For The Worst
In the days after the ultimatum, Brett visited his mother’s home to work on renovation projects. During one of his trips, he hid the crossbow in the garage behind some tools on a top shelf. He and his brothers had recently renovated their mother’s kitchen and their garage was a mess, so he knew no one would find the crossbow in the clutter. Then, one morning when Kristen left for work, Brett built a device that he hoped would provide an alibi for the crimes he was going to commit…
He propped his laptop against the wall with two 5 lb. weights, then he duct-taped a wooden spoon to a black cylindrical oscillating fan and placed it so the tip of the spoon lined up with the laptop’s enter key. He designed this to leave a digital trace so that the police would triangulate his home. No matter what happened that day, he would be able to say that he stayed home the entire time, watching YouTube videos and sending emails…
Putting His Plan To Work
But in order for his alibi to work, Brett needed to leave his condo without showing up on any security cameras, so he opted for the stairwell and then went out the back alley. Brett then took a train and walked 10 minutes to his mother’s home. Sue wasn’t expecting him to show up that morning because she had a cold. Brett hoped she might be able to see his perspective this final time…
An Argument Ensued
Sue held her ground and promised to tell Kristen everything if Brett didn’t. The argument got heated and Sue called her oldest son Chris on her cell phone, asking him to come over to help handle his brother. Brett realized the situation was getting away from him, so he marched out the back door and headed straight for the garage, while Sue followed him.
Since crossbows are difficult to load, Brett instead grabbed a broadhead bolt with three sharp blades and stabbed his mother in the cheek and the ear. Then he wrestled her to the ground, took a piece of yellow nylon rope and strangled her with it until she died. After he strangled and stabbed his mother to death, Brett knew his brother Chris was on his way and he needed to be prepared…
From “Fake Beard Bandit” To “Crossbow Killer”
He placed the crossbow nose-down on the ground and inserted the ball of his foot to hold the stirrup in place. When Chris came into the garage, Brett shot at very close range and fired the blades in Chris’s neck, which killed him immediately. By this point, the floor of the garage was covered in blood and Brett grabbed his brother’s body and stacked it on top of his mother’s.
Before Brett could change into the second pair of jeans he brought with him, his youngest brother A.J. came home. Brett left the garage and met A.J. on the walkway to the back door while carrying the crossbow in his hand. Brett realized at this point that he took things too far, so he figured why not attack A.J. as well…
Leighland Put Up A Fight
He stabbed his youngest brother in his neck and then headed to find his third brother, Leighland, who had been sleeping in his bedroom. Leighland heard the commotion going on outside and when he saw A.J. bleeding on the ground, he ran to call 911. Brett followed him into the house and attacked him, but Leighland managed to get away, although he sustained a head wound and bled profusely.
Waiting For Help
Meanwhile, A.J. was still alive and crawled down the driveway towards the street, while Leighland ran to a neighbor to get help. When his mother’s friends, Warren and Marie answered the door, Leighland yelled “Call 911…My brother’s bleeding in the driveway…Make sure the police come.” Right after relaying the message, Leighland passed out…
Confessed To The Murders
Brett was waiting in the kitchen calmly once police arrived and AJ was still alive when a first responder came to the scene. Unfortunately, he died before the paramedics got there, and Brett told them, “I should have driven him to the hospital.” He continued saying, “The guys in the garage are dead…Crossbow to the head…It was me.”
Brett was quickly arrested and was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his mother. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for Chris’s death and for A.J., he was convicted of second-degree murder. Leighland was Brett’s only surviving brother and now lives a life shattered by trauma. Brett received concurrent life sentences for each of the murders, plus 10 years for the attempted murder of Leighland. He will be eligible for parole in 2014 when he’s 60-years-old. All of this over a lie he just couldn’t bear to be exposed…