Calgary man murdered mother, stepfather a week after killing girlfriend, judge told in plea

A Calgary man has admitted to murdering his girlfriend, mother and stepfather in 2018. New details about the killings are contained in an agreed statement of facts filed unexpectedly in court Tuesday just days before the jury trial for Dustin Duthie was set to begin. Warning: This story contains details that may be too disturbing for some readers.

Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence that may be too disturbing for some readers

Officers lead Dustin Duthie into the Calgary Police Service's arrest processing unit in 2018. New details of how Duthie killed his girlfriend, mother and stepfather are contained in an agreed statement of facts filed in Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

A week after Dustin Duthie slit his girlfriend's throat and then tucked her body into bed as if she was sleeping, he fatally stabbed his mother and stepfather as police were planning to question the killer about his partner's disappearance. 

These are some of the details contained in an agreed statement of facts filed in Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday as part of Duthie's guilty plea, which came unexpectedly just days before the jury trial was set to take place.

Duthie, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his girlfriend, Taylor Toller, and mother, Shawn Boshuck, and one count of first-degree murder for the planned killing of his stepfather, Alan Pennylegion.

Toller, 24, was killed in her apartment in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood of Applewood Park on July 25, 2018. 

Boschuk and Pennylegion were murdered a week later, on July 31, at their home in Calgary's northwest. Duthie lived in their basement.

Domestic violence 'can happen to anyone'

Toller's family released a statement Tuesday, expressing their grief and condemning domestic violence.

"We loved Taylor very much," said the family. "The opportunity to see her grow and thrive was taken from her family, and we are heartbroken. 

"Domestic violence is insidious, and it can happen to anyone. If you have a friend or loved one at risk, know that it can take many attempts to leave, and the most dangerous time can be after that decision is made."

According to the agreed statement of facts, the day before Boschuk and her husband were killed, she messaged Toller's grandmother expressing concern about how her son would react to police contacting him about the young woman's disappearance.

Duthie stabbed his mother six times by the back door of her home and then dragged her across the room and covered her with a plastic sheet.

Police determined Pennylegion had gotten out of bed to find Duthie cleaning up blood in the kitchen. It was then he was attacked.

Duthie has admitted to killing his girlfriend of five years, Taylor Toller, 25, his mother, Shawn Boshuck, and his stepfather, Alan Pennylegion. (From left: Taylor Toller's Facebook page/Shawn Boshuck's Facebook page/Supplied)

Duthie stabbed Pennylegion repeatedly and dragged him into the main floor bathroom with his dog, Odie, which he also killed.

Over the years, Duthie had threatened violence against his stepfather, and the two had a tense relationship, the statement of facts said.

Duthie called 911 just before 11 a.m. MT on July 31 and confessed to the murders.

That's when police discovered the three bodies in the two homes. Toller was found in her bed.

Duthie and Toller had been together for five years.

Toller crying hours before death: video

Security video from Toller's apartment building gathered as part of the investigation shows Toller and Duthie together the day before and morning of her death. 

The couple were seen coming and going from Toller's Applewood Park apartment, at times holding hands. 

Just after midnight, Duthie pulled a knife on Toller and took her cellphone away. Still images captured from the video show Toller crying. 

Between midnight and 4 a.m., the two were seen coming and going from the condo four times. 

At 5:14 a.m. on July 26, Duthie left the apartment alone, carrying a black bag and pulling a "bed in a box." He locked the door behind him. 

Police eventually found a blood-stained towel in the "bed in a box" in the trunk of Duthie's car. 

Toller was killed hours after this still image shows her crying in her apartment hallway after Duthie pulled a knife on her. (Court Exhibit)

Boschuk's last communication with anyone was a text message sent to a friend at 5:53 a.m. on July 31. 

Duthie killed his mother and Pennylegion some time between 6 a.m. and 10:40 a.m., when he stopped to buy alcohol near Toller's apartment.

At 10:50 a.m., Duthie called 911 and confessed to all three murders. When police arrived, it became clear Duthie was contemplating "suicide by cop." 

He was taken into custody about 30 minutes after officers arrived.

Inside Duthie's black satchel, police seized a six-inch knife with white hockey tape on the handle. It was covered in Pennylegion's blood. 

A date for sentencing will be set on Friday.


Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at or follow her on Twitter.


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