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Descent into violence chronicled

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IT is a question everyone connected to the horrible case is asking: How could a young man descend into such madness?

There were plenty of warning signs and attempts to intervene, which failed miserably and were unable to save an innocent family of four from a night of sheer terror.

The first occurred in April 2010 when the then-17-year-old was caught by police walking through the Exchange District carrying a knife and an energy drink. He was wearing a red bandana, tuque and sunglasses, even though it was just past midnight. Police charged him with carrying a concealed weapon and expressed concerns about his mental state in their formal report, advising that he should be seen by a doctor prior to being released.

He was released on bail and began getting psychiatric help, disclosing homicidal fantasies to his parents and a team of doctors who worked with him. He spoke about an "overwhelming urge" to hurt others, claimed he was hearing voices.

The man has now admitted he was scouting for victims in advance that night, just as he did again in September 2010 when he followed a young woman home. He had written extensively in his diary about wanting to kill her, but changed his mind upon discovering she lived in an apartment and not a home.

"He followed a number of victims until he found the perfect one. We don’t even know how many there were," Crown attorney Kusham Sharma said Tuesday.

His doctor contacted the crisisstabilization unit later that month when he disclosed his murderous thoughts. He was hospitalized but released days later when he showed marked improvement while medicated. He also claimed he’d made up stories to seek attention. Upon returning home, he handed his mother and stepfather a torture kit he compiled that included shears, duct tape and a goalie mask. But family members say he quickly descended back into a "dark place."

— Mike McIntyre

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