Warning: This story contains disturbing details that could be upsetting to some readers.
Christopher Hood of Abbotsford was stabbed to death two years ago after being lured to a local park by an aspiring serial killer who idolized the Columbine killers, Crown lawyers said Wednesday (July 5).
The information was revealed at a sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Abbotsford for Kevin Percy Wesley, 23, who pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder.
Second-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence, but parole eligibility can range from 10 to 25 years.
In Wesley’s case, Justice Dev Dley agreed with the joint submission from the Crown and defence lawyers, who recommended that Wesley remain ineligible for parole for 20 years.
The hearing was held exactly two years to the day that Hood’s body was found in the early-morning hours by a passerby at Clearbrook Park.
Crown lawyer Theresa Iandiorio said Hood and Wesley first connected through the social networking app Grindr in January 2021.
Hood was 45 years old at the time and a single dad who worked in the automotive industry. He and his kids lived with his sister and her family.
Wesley was unemployed and living with his family near Clearbrook Park.
Iandiorio said Hood and Wesley exchanged text messages and then met twice in person before arranging a third meeting on July 5, 2021 at the Clinton Avenue entrance to Clearbrook Park.
But Iandiorio said Wesley’s sole intention for this get-together was to kill Hood.
She said Wesley carried two weapons – a homemade garrote wire and a survival knife – to the scene and wore a glove on his left hand.
Wesley immediately tried to strangle Hood from behind, but the wire snapped. As Hood was trying to run away, Wesley stabbed him a total of 19 times in the back, torso and neck.
“This was a completely unprovoked, yet planned and deliberate, attack on Mr. Hood. This was a vicious and heinous attack,” Iandiorio said.
She said Wesley remained with Hood and watched him die of his injuries. Wesley then returned home and came back to the scene with materials he used to burn Hood’s face and hands in an attempt to hide any DNA evidence he might have left behind.
Wesley disposed of the garrote wire and hid the knife in his room, Iandiorio said.
Iandiorio said investigators were able to zero in on Wesley as the prime suspect after coming across text exchanges between an unknown man and Hood on Hood’s cellphone.
A photo of the unknown man matched with social media profiles of Wesley’s.
CCTV footage obtained from nearby homes showed Wesley in the area before and after the killing.
Iandiorio said police obtained a search warrant for Wesley’s home and, while they were executing it on Aug. 13, 2021, Wesley was interviewed by police. About two hours into the interview, Wesley stated, “I’m caught” and confessed to the killing, Iandiorio said.
He was arrested at that time and has remained in custody since.
Meanwhile, the search warrant resulted in the seizure of knives, lighters, items that later proved to contain Hood’s DNA and several of Wesley’s journals in which he detailed his thoughts before and after the killing. In one of the journals he had affixed a piece of crime scene tape from the murder scene.
Co-Crown counsel Melissa Rygus read several journal excerpts in court, including those in which Wesley wrote about his desire to become either a serial killer or an assassin. He also frequently referenced his “heroes” Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who gunned down 13 people and wounded 24 others at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 and then took their own lives.
“I think I’m close to becoming a murderer. I’ve been contemplating becoming a serial killer or an assassin, or maybe both, for about two months perhaps. I suppose I’ve always wanted to become a killer,” Rygus read from a journal entry dated May 25, 2021.
“…Now all I need are targets. I have a few of interest that shouldn’t have much trouble being brought out. But of course this all doesn’t come without doubts. I’m putting my freedom on the line, robbing people of their lives, and will go to prison for life …”
An entry from June 24, 2021 indicated that Wesley had a prior intended victim who “got away.”
“I think he knew something was up with me, maybe picked up on my warnings … but the target refused to come out so now I need to change my plans,” Wesley wrote.
An entry dated June 29, 2021 indicated that Wesley had “organized a hit” and another entry after Hood’s killing states, “I finally got my first kill – Chris. It was intense and incredibly violent.” He described the murder in detail.
Wesley wrote that his remorse and guilt were “short lived” and that he was “continuing to live like nothing happened.”
Wesley’s journals also showed that he was thinking of killing again. He wrote that he wanted to obtain a pistol with a suppressor so he could make “clean kills” and that it was “almost time to move on the next kill” perhaps by strangulation or asphyxiation.
“His actions certainly had the hallmarks of an aspiring serial killer,” Iandiorio said later in the hearing.
Eight victim impact statements were presented in court from Hood’s family and friends. Statements from Hood’s mom Beverly and dad Richard (who has since died) were read in court by the Crown.
“You have taken away a loving son, a good father, a sister’s best friend,” Beverly wrote.
Richard, a former police officer, wrote that his son was always “very kind and generous” and he enjoyed their share interests of the outdoors, canoeing and car shows.
“Since his murder each day has been a nightmare for us … I pray for justice for all the lives that have been destroyed because peace will never come,” he wrote.
Hood’s sister, Deanna, and her two daughters, Abby and Grace, read their own statements that detailed the grief they experience every day.
Deanna spoke of the “legendary” summer trips the family took together, how her daughters looked up to him as a father figure and how her brother was always up for an adventure.
“I miss his laugh, his smile, his sarcasm. I miss the sound of his voice and the strength of his heart,” she said through tears.
She said Hood’s own children were too devastated to provide victim impact statements but she held up a “memory board” they made of photos of him.