Voices inside his head told Daniel Goodridge 'to kill anyone in his path'

A forensic psychiatrist and a forensic psychologist both say accused killer Daniel Goodridge should be found not criminally responsible for killing former co-workers because he was psychotic at the time.

Warning: This story includes graphic and disturbing details

Daniel Goodridge listens to testimony in his double first-degree murder trial. (Jim Stokes )

Daniel Goodridge couldn't sleep. The voices in his head got louder and angrier.

He went into the kitchen and pulled a 12-inch butcher knife off the wall and took it back to his room.

As the night grew darker he got more and more anxious. When he heard footsteps in the hallway outside his room, the voices in his head told him "now it's your chance."

Goodridge is on trial in Grande Prairie Court of Queen's Bench for the first-degree murders of Dave Derksen and Hally Dubois. 

The former cook admits he stabbed them both at an isolated northern Alberta work camp on June 30, 2015, but has pleaded not guilty due to a mental disorder.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lenka Zedkova concluded that Goodridge was in a psychotic state at the time of the killings and should not be held criminally responsible.

 "He did not know the moral wrongfulness of his acts," Zedkova wrote in a 16-page report. "He believed, based on his paranoid delusions, that the killing was morally justified as he was acting in self-defence.

"Therefore, on the balance of probabilities, Mr. Goodridge appears to meet the criteria for exemption from criminal responsibility on the charge[s] of first-degree murder."

'He felt like a hunter'

By the time Goodridge began working in the kitchen in June 2015, he had been off his prescribed anti-psychotic medication for months. He was becoming increasingly paranoid and delusional.

"He indicated to me that he was stressed out about two things," Zedkova testified. "He felt overwhelmed in his job. His cellphone wasn't working and he couldn't get hold of his family. He was feeling unwell and he just couldn't get any help."

Dave Derksen, 37, was killed on June 30, 2015. (Supplied)

Goodridge thought his co-workers were angry with him and was afraid of everyone at the camp.

"He stated to me that these voices were on a daily basis, and they were getting stronger and stronger," Zedkova said.

Derksen was murdered because he happened to walk down the hall when Goodridge finally listened to the voice in his head.

"His interpretation was that now it was his chance to kill or be killed," Zedkova testified. "He felt the voice was warning him and he needed to defend himself."

Goodridge stepped out of his room. When Derksen turned around, Goodridge stabbed him.

He had to kill anyone in his path ... He has to slaughter people-Dr. Lenka Zedkova

Derksen punched Goodridge and ran away. Goodridge chased him.

"He had this belief that he had to kill anyone in his path," Zedkova testified. "That he has to slaughter people. He kept repeating that he felt like a hunter and he needed to hunt.

"I think that was his mission from then on."

Goodridge caught up to Derksen outside and began stabbing him.

An autopsy later revealed the 37-year-old was stabbed or cut 70 times.

Hally Dubois tried to convince Goodridge to drop his knife. He stabbed her to death.

Hally Dubois, 50, in a posted obituary photo. (Wilson's Funeral Chapel )

"He was in this state of mind that he wanted to go on this killing spree until he stopped hearing the voices," Zedkova told the court.

Goodridge thought he was a surgeon

After Derksen stopped moving, Goodridge stood over his victim. He imagined that Derksen was wearing an anesthesia mask, and that he was a surgeon.

He cut into Derksen's abdomen but quickly realized he knew nothing about human anatomy and wasn't a doctor after all. Even so, he began to remove organs from the victim's body.

"Mr. Goodridge indicated that he kept cutting to see the inside of the body and to find the heart, which he would kill if it was still beating," Zedkova wrote in her report.

Goodridge is also charged with offering an indignity to human remains.

He also removed an eyeball from his victim because he wanted to see his skull. Goodridge later told the psychiatrist that he thought skulls "were cool."

Forensic psychologist Dr. Andrew Haag testified Thursday. He also concluded that at the time of the killings Goodridge was unable to understand that his actions were morally wrong and should be found not criminally responsible.

Haag was the final witness for the Crown. The defence called no evidence.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Ken Nielsen is expected to hear closing arguments next Tuesday.

The blood-soaked scene of the deadly battle between Dave Derksen and Daniel Goodridge at a work camp outside Fox Creek, Alta. (RCMP/Court exhibit )

About the Author

Janice Johnston is an award-winning journalist in Edmonton who has covered the courts and crime for more than two decades. You can reach her at janice.johnston@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @cbcjanjohnston