A man who fatally shot five of his relatives and a business associate before killing himself wrote letters in which he spoke about his sons and wife joining him in paradise, police said yesterday.
Police also gave details that suggest a methodical, premeditated three-day slaughter by John Bauer in two Montreal neighbourhoods.
"I won't reveal all the details but he spoke of shooting his family and setting the house on fire so they could all live in paradise," Montreal police Commander André Bouchard told a news conference yesterday.
Cdr. Bouchard said Mr. Bauer, 51, wrote at least three letters to family members outside Quebec, but that the letters were likely mailed Monday or Tuesday -- too late for the massacre to be prevented.
All the victims were shot, Cdr. Bouchard said. He added that police found a stolen .22-calibre revolver.
Mr. Bauer killed his wife, Helen, 50, on Tuesday.
Sons Jonathan, 22, Wesley, 18, and Justin, 14, were killed later that day, Cdr. Bouchard said. They were all shot in the family home in suburban Kirkland.
Mr. Bauer then shot his father-in-law, Elmer Carroll, 75, on Wednesday, in the west-end Notre-dame-de-Grace neighbourhood.
The horrible carnage continued Thursday when Mr. Bauer killed business associate Lucio Beccherini, 43, at the house before committing suicide.
Police believe Mr. Bauer shot some unsuspecting family members after they entered.
"We were able to establish that each person was shot not knowing that he was about to be shot," Cdr. Bouchard said.
"All of them were shot in the back of the head and then their bodies were displaced."
The bodies were found scattered throughout the house on Thursday.
Police said Mr. Bauer and Mr. Beccherini had a financial stake together in at least two companies.
In an interview published yesterday in Le Journal de Montreal, Mr. Beccherini's daughter, Laura, said Mr. Bauer owed her father a large sum of money.
There were also indications yesterday that the number of victims could have been higher.
Alain Chaput, Mr. Bauer's boss, told radio station CJAD he was also invited to Mr. Bauer's home Thursday morning.
He said he likely would have been gunned down had he not had a previous engagement.