A 19 year-old teenager named Teancum Vernon Peterson-Crofts has been charged with the murder of his eight year-old brother Rua, his 15 year-old sister Bella, and their 48-year-old mother Michele Peterson.
At 1:30 AM on Sunday morning Teancum asked the shop attendant at a nearby 7-Eleven to call 000. When the police arrived, Teancum led the police to the suburban house in Ellenbrook, 30 minutes northeast of the Perth CBD.
Upon arrival, detectives discovered Rua and Ms Peterson dead while his sister Bella was struggling in the backyard from critical injuries. An ambulance was called to the scene but the teenager died on the way to Royal Perth Hospital.
Assistant Commissioner Paul Steel told reporters that a senior homicide squad officer said it was “the most horrific crime scene he has ever been called to.”
It was reported that police officers discovered a large pair of scissors 30 metres from the house.
A neighbour told the ABC that he was woken by the tragedy. “I just heard a lot of screaming and yelling and a bit of fighting... it was real loud yelling and screaming. It sounded pretty bad. It sounded like a man.”
Teancum appeared in the Midlands Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with three counts of murder.
He defied the judge’s warning not to speak when he appeared in court without a lawyer. It was reported he looked around the public gallery before announcing that “a criminal wanted to take me out bush, he did it and came for my family.”
Apparently confused by the statement, the judge reiterated that Teancum didn't need to make any statements. To this the teen argued: “I have to ‘cos mamma is with me.”
After some more nonsensical rambling, the judge ordered Teancum to be sent to a psychiatric centre. Teancum, however, continued to confuse the courtroom saying, “I was painting a picture of Jesus and stayed there for two months. He punched me in the head so hard. I left because I had to. I was that scared he was going to kill me. Mamma told me to save myself.”
It was reported that after the hearing, Teancum gestured to the guard by his side and asked, “What are you looking at, serial killer? He looks like a serial killer.”
A report in the WA Today claims that on Saturday night, less than 24 hours before the fatalities, Teancum had gone to the St John of God Midland public hospital in a “psychotic” state, only to be turned away because his symptoms were not a “medical problem.”
A former schoolmate told WA Today that, “he was definitely weird, but nothing I would’ve thought would lead to this. He was into his animes like Dragonball Z.”
Teancum has been remanded in Frankland Centre, a high-security facility, on a hospital order that will prepare a report on his mental fitness.