Calgary stabbings: Councillor wants Brentwood property turned into park

Coun. Diane Colley-Urqhart wants the scene of what police call the worst mass murder in Calgary's history to be turned into a park.

Northwest Calgary home listed on MLS for $489,900

The house stands on the corner of Butler Crescent in Brentwood. (MLS)

Coun. Diane Colley-Urqhart wants the scene of what police called the worst mass murder in Calgary's history to be turned into a park.

The Brentwood home — which is now up for sale — is where five young people were killed in April.

Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Lawrence Hong, 27, Kaitlin Perras, 23, ​Jordan Segura, 22, and Joshua Hunter, 23, died after Matthew de Grood, 22, stabbed them at a party in Calgary's Brentwood community in 2014. (Facebook)

"It's a constant reminder to those who live on that street about the tragedy that unfolded that night," Colley-Urqhart said. 

"That's why in my view I was really hoping that we could turn this into a memorial commemorative park."

She says the proposal is supported by Calgary's police chief. 

Ideally she would like to see a philanthropist buy the home and donate it to the city. But if that doesn't happen, she would like the city to consider buying it.

Colley-Urquhart plans to work with the ward councillor to bring a motion forward this fall when council resumes.

Neighbours react

While the future of the Brentwood house is still uncertain, some neighbours are supporting the idea to turn it into a memorial park.

For next door neighbour Vern Shipp, it's not just a house — it's a haunting reminder of the tragedy.

"I would love to see it turned into a memorial," he said. "There's some challenges, but we've been looking into it and if we can get co-operation from the city and the community we will see what we can do with it." 

But Scott Hobbs, who lives in the neighbourhood, disagrees.

"It's just a house — right?" he said. "So leave it the way it is I guess."

The house located on Butler Crescent in the city's northwest is listed at $489,900, and makes no mention of the tragedy that took place there but cites the home's "massive lot" and "potential" as buying points.

Bill Kirk, the president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, says it may have been the seller's lawful instructions to not disclose the information because it has no bearing on the property.

He says the listing agent is — by law — working for the seller.

"Obviously our intention is that an informed buyer and an informed seller reach an agreement on the property," said Kirk. "The grey area that realtors find themselves in in this instance is that we need to disclose as much as possible, we want to disclose as much as possible, but of course, the seller's instructions are paramount." 

Kirk says the notoriety of the home means a buyer will most likely be aware of what took place there, but it's up to the buyer's agent to disclose the information. 

Mental health tests underway

Lawrence Hong, 27, Joshua Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, Zackariah Rathwell, 21, and ​Jordan Segura, 22, died after Matthew de Grood, 22, allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at the party in the early hours of April 15.

De Grood had been an invited guest at the party, which had about 30 people at its peak.

He has now been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and has already undergone one court-ordered psychiatric evaluation aimed at determining whether he was fit to stand trial.

De Grood was found to be fit and last week, was ordered to undergo a second mental health assessment to determine if he meets the criteria for being declared not criminally responsible for the killings.

He will appear in court again on Aug. 29 and a preliminary hearing in the case has been set for sometime next March.