Barrie constable Angie Butler, left, escorts Amber Chrysdale and Lance Black from their home on Virgilwood Cres. Monday as families streamed in all morning collecting belongings they need as they prepare to stay out of their homes for an unspecified time.
Credits: J.T.MCVEIGH/QMI AGENCY
Cops and bomb experts have finished their probe of the home belonging to William Feldhoff, where police found 29 rifles and shotguns, 80 incendiary explosive devices and a mess of wires and chemicals used for bomb-making, along with food supplies, all stashed in the basement and a backyard bunker.
Feldhoff, 75, is charged with accessory to murder. Police said they expect to lay more charges after they completed their search.
But the senior who kept a cache of weaponry is a just a survivalist who suffered through massive bombings as a child of war, his lawyer said Thursday.
"He definitely never, ever intended to hurt anyone," said lawyer Bernard Cugelman moments after his client appeared in court by video.
Feldhoff's son, Donald, 54, turned himself in to police last week and confessed to the cold-case murder of Michael Traynor, who was bound and shot to death in 1978, when he was 26 years old. The son implicated his father and sent police to the elder man's home, where they discovered the dangerous materials and had to evacuate nearby homes in the interest of safety. Nearly 60 residents have been out of their homes for a week.
"He's very remorseful about that, he never meant for all of his neighbors to be put out of their homes," said Cugelman standing outside of court.
And Cugelman insists he never meant to hurt anyone with either weapons or bombs. He said his client grew up in Germany during the Second World War and that his only intent was to be safe if a war ever broke out again.
"He grew up in the war and his community was subjected to massive, massive bombing - he was just a little boy at that time and it was very traumatic," Cugelman said, adding his client may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and will have to undergo psychological testing.
The murdered man's family scoffed at the PTSD "excuse."
"What about our stress?" said the victim's brother, Andy Traynor, whose family has wondered for decades why Michael was murdered in what looked like an execution-style killing.
"I just knew he was going to fall on that excuse," said Andy's wife, Gail. "We have been suffering post traumatic stress disorder for 34 years - what about us? Is their any remorse for us?"
Feldhoff will be back in court by video July 27. He was ordered to have no communication with his son, who is charged with first-degree murder and has a court date set for July 31.
Meanwhile, police said Thursday his displaced neighbours will be able to sleep in their own beds tonight, now that authorities have deemed the property and neighbourhood safe.
The city, anticipating the evacuation might last a while longer, had pledged to pick up the tab for the evacuees' accommodations and food, which until now has been covered through a Memo of Understanding with the Canadian Red Cross.