A public memorial will be held for the Lall family: (from left) Rochelle, 3, Joshua, 34, Alison, 35, holding baby Anna, who survived, and Kristen, 5. ((Courtesy Lall family))

In their first public statement, the family of Joshua Lall thanked Calgarians for their caring, and acknowledged they may never know what led him to fatally stab his wife, two of his daughters, a tenant, then himself.

"The warmth, generosity and caring from Calgarians has been overwhelming and has helped us cope with this tragedy," the Lall family said in a statement released by the Calgary Police Service.

Joshua Lall killed his wife, Alison, two of their daughters, Kristen, 5, and Rochelle, 3, and Amber Bowerman, a journalist renting the family's basement suite, before taking his own life Tuesday night in their home.

Police said Joshua Lall was found lying on the floor of a nursery, next to a crib holding his one-year-old daughter, Anna, who was unharmed.

"We may never know for sure what caused this tragedy; we do know that Joshua's life record is one of love and devotion to his wife and family," the Lall family said Monday.

The baby girl will be taken care of by an extended family member, the statement said.

'We may never know for sure what caused this tragedy; we do know that Joshua's life record is one of love and devotion to his wife and family.' — Lall family statement

Friends and relatives have said that Joshua Lall, an intern architect, had been under stress as he prepared for his accreditation exams to be registered as a professional architect.

E-mail hints at father's troubles

Last Tuesday, Lall took the week off from the Calgary firm where he was working. In an e-mail sent that day, several hours before police said she was killed, Alison Lall told the family's part-time babysitter not to come for her usual shift.

"Sorry if I worried you," Alison Lall wrote to caregiver Katie Blewaska, who released the e-mail to CBC News. "We are all fine. Joshua has had a lot of stress at work and was unable to sleep for a prolonged time and it became quite worrisome.

"He needed me to be with him for support today. He has had some good help so far from a number of people, and as a result, I think he's finally on the mend. Thanks so much for your concern."

The victims were found by police the next day, Wednesday morning.

Public memorial planned

Joshua and Alison Lall, whose maiden name was Fisher, both grew up in the Guelph, Ont., area but moved to Calgary in 2002.

"We were provided accommodation and assistance from people we have just met. While standing outside the home, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support shown by the multitude of flowers, sympathy cards and toys," the Lall family statement said.


Amber Bowerman was a local writer who was renting the Lall family's basement suite. ((Alberta Views Magazine))

"Complete strangers asked us to pray together while we stood outside of the home. Neighbours and friends greeted us to offer condolences and well wishes.

"Now we truly understand why Joshua and Alison loved Calgary as a place to live with their children."

No details have been released yet on a public memorial service planned for Calgary, while a private ceremony for the Lall family members will be held in Ontario.

The statement also acknowledged that people across the country were grieving with the family.

The Calgary police victim assistance unit scheduled a community meeting Monday night to help neighbours, colleagues and even strangers cope with the multiple deaths.

Bowerman's funeral has been set for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at McInnis & Holloway's Park Memorial Chapel. A tree will also be planted in the 30-year-old's memory in Fish Creek Provincial Park.