A publication ban has been lifted on the identities of three people killed in a crossbow-related attack that shocked a quiet neighbourhood in east-end Toronto last week.
Court records identified the victims as Susan, Alexander and Christopher Ryan, but do not specify the relationship between the three victims and the man accused in their deaths.
Toronto police responded to a call for a stabbing just before 1 p.m. Thursday at a home occupied by two men and a woman at 10 Lawndale Road, near Argo Road in the Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road area of Scarborough.
A crossbow was recovered nearby and 35-year-old Brett Ryan, once dubbed the “Fake Beard Bandit” by police in connection with a string of bank robberies in 2008, was taken to hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries before being charged with three counts of first-degree murder Thursday.
Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone said Monday police “located the lifeless bodies of three individuals” at the scene, adding that the woman and one of the men were located in a standalone garage next to the home and another man was located on the driveway near the garage.
Property records show the home where the incident happened is listed in the name of Susan Ryan. She previously co-owned the home with William Ryan, who records show died last year.
Carbone said the woman died from ligature strangulation and the two male victims found nearby were fatally stabbed in the neck with a crossbow bolt and an arrowhead in what he described as an “unusual” incident.
He added that autopsies were performed on the bodies Friday and Saturday and a male witness who was “in close proximity to the scene” was also taken to hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries.
Carbone said the triple homicide is also connected to a suspicious package investigation at a “secondary scene” at a downtown Toronto condominium Thursday that Brett Ryan lived in. Police secured the scene Thursday evening and Carbone said there was no “danger to any member of the public.”
Social media profiles show the accused was engaged to a registered physiotherapist. They were to be married in Hamilton on Sept. 16.
The couple, according to their registry page, met three years ago on a blind date in downtown Toronto. The woman was not among those involved in the bloody incident.
Ryan’s next court appearance is scheduled for Friday. He was charged in 2008 with a total of 29 counts of robbery, intent to commit a crime while disguised, and a weapons offence.
In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to eight counts each of robbery and intent to commit an indictable offence while disguised. The remaining counts were withdrawn. He was sentenced to 45 months in prison – less seven months for pre-trial custody. The court also imposed a lifetime weapons ban.
Police are appealing for anyone with information or who had contact with Ryan from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.