EDMONTON – An Edmonton man sent an email to his mental health worker confessing to strangling his wife the same day his house exploded, causing the deaths of two neighbours and himself.
In total, 40 homes were affected, and the blast on June 20, 2010, caused $3.5 million in damages and killed two men who lived next door.
A fatality inquiry heard that Dwayne Poirier’s mental health worker opened an email from him two days after the explosion.
The 46-year-old man wrote in the email dated June 20 that he went blank and choked Cathy Heard while they were arguing over how to divide their belongings.
Poirier also wrote that he couldn’t believe he killed her and said the disappointment he caused his family was unbearable for him.
Dr. Michelle Semenjuk said Tuesday that she saw Heard just two days before she was found dead, but Heard didn’t give any indication of relationship problems during that visit.
On Monday, Heard’s father George Robinson described a verbally abusive relationship between his daughter and Poirier.
“I suggested to her to get out of the relationship before she got hurt,” said Robinson. “We see and hear enough of relationships where there’s abuse … where the verbal abuse just goes on to violence.”
Edmonton homicide detective Dan Collins testified there were no police calls to the home for family violence between May 2009 and the date of the explosion.
A fatality inquiry does not lay blame, but is supposed to come up with recommendations to prevent similar deaths.