Man who stabbed mum, siblings 146 times found not guilty of murder
A Perth man who was hearing “voices from gods” when he slaughtered three members of his family has been cleared of murder on the grounds of insanity.
Teancum Petersen-Crofts, 21, killed his mother Michelle Petersen, 48, brother Rua, nine, and sister Bella, 15, at their Ellenbrook home in Perth in July, 2018.
WA’s Chief Justice Peter Quinlan today ruled the then-19-year-old was suffering schizophrenic hallucinations when he carried out the frenzied stabbing.
“The voices were telling you that you must kill your family to save yourself and to save the world,” Justice Quinlan said.
“Those commands were delusions, but I find they were real to you at the time, as real as I am speaking to you now.”
The trial heard Ms Petersen had become “terrified” of her son and was trying to get him help in the lead-up to her death.
A day before the killings, Petersen-Crofts turned up to his local police station claiming his neighbour was a serial killer.
He was sent to hospital but discharged the next morning, with doctors declaring him “no risk of harm”.
That night, he stabbed his mother and two siblings 146 times with a kitchen knife.
“We, the whole community, have failed you,” Justice Quinlan said.
Petersen-Croft’s grandmother Anna McLean told reporters the process has been “exhausting”.
“The outcome has come, what more can we ask for? And his mother up there is looking down on him,” she said.
Petersen-Crofts will be held in a psychiatric unit indefinitely.