Man kills family over fears they would expose lies to fiancée

A Canadian man once arrested of robbing banks admitted to killing his mother and two brothers with crossbows over fears they would expose his lies to his fiancée before his wedding.

Brett Ryan pleaded guilty Friday to first and second-degree murder in the grisly 2016 slayings of his mother 66-year-old Susan Ryan, and brothers Christopher and Alexander, Toronto’s The Star reported.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to murder his older brother Leigh, 38. The 36-year-old was sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole for 25 years.

An agreed statement of facts detailed the chilling moments leading up to the murders in the family’s Scarborough, Ontario, home on Aug 25. 2016.

It reveals Brett Ryan planned to murder his mother because he was worried that she would tell his fiancée he was jobless. He feared that his fiancée would not marry him. His mother urged him to tell the woman the truth before their wedding or she would cut him off financially.

Ryan also lied about graduating from college in April 2016, despite him dropping out, the document cited by CBC states. His fiancée knew about Ryan’s criminal past, according to the TV station.

In 2009, Ryan, once deemed as the “Fake Beard Bandit,” was arrested and charged with engaging in a nine-month spree of bank robberies. He served nearly four years in prison.


A body lies covered in front of a house in Scarborough, Ontario, on Aug. 25, 2016.

(Chris Young/AP)

The Star reports that Ryan had lost his job at an IT company last June due to his criminal past. He told his mother he was lying to his fiancée, saying he was working from their Queens Quay home all summer.

Days before the triple murders, Ryan hid a crossbow in his mother’s garage and set up an iPad and iPhone to create an electronic footprint in his home, according to police.

Ryan intended to confront his mother on the day of the killing. However, they got into a heated argument, prompting her to call her other son, Christopher, for help. Ryan retrieved the crossbow and stabbed his mother with a bow before strangling her with a rope in the garage, according to the document.

When Christopher arrived, Ryan fatally shot him in the back of the neck with an arrow. He hid the bodies under a tarp in the garage. Afterward, Ryan fatally stabbed his younger brother Alexander with an arrow.

Leigh, who was home at the time, emerged from the house to the gruesome sight of Ryan standing over Alexander’s body. The older brother tried calling for help but was set on by Ryan, too. Leigh then managed to escape back outside, and neighbors called 911.

Ryan’s life sentences for the murders will run concurrently.

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