One of the men convicted in the mass murder of six men in Surrey is looking for love on a website that aims to connect prisoners with people on the outside.
Matt Johnston, found guilty last year and sentenced to life in prison for the 2007 execution-style killing, says in his profile on canadianinmatesconnect.com that he believes in making the best of a negative situation and is looking for a “special girl” to share his love and strength with.
In prison since his arrest six years ago, Johnston is now 30 and says he’s watched himself grow and has learned a lot from “a few very good people” in jail.
“All the good I hold on to as I continue to improve,” he writes from Donnacona Penitentiary in Quebec.
Johnston also says he loves hockey, is a great cook, is learning French, is an honest and positive person and never turns his back on a friend.
Johnston and fellow Red Scorpion gang member and co-accused Cody Haevischer were convicted of six counts each of first-degree murder and one of conspiracy to murder in the largest gangland slaying in B.C. history.
The two planned to kill rival drug dealer Corey Lal, but also shot to death Lal’s brother Michael and Lal’s associates Ryan Bartolomeo and Ed Narong, who were all in a 15th floor suite in the Balmoral Tower apartment building. Also killed were neighbour Chris Mohan, a 22-year-old who was headed out to play basketball that afternoon and was pulled into the death suite, and Ed Schellenberg, 44, who was servicing gas fireplaces in the building.
While the inmate profiles usually say what they’re in prison for (ie. murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, etc.), there are no details about their crimes.
Johnston notes in his profile that while his expected release date is 2033, he has an appeal pending.
Both he and Haevischer are appealing their convictions.
The prisoner matchmaking site garnered attention earlier this week when it was discovered Luka Rocco Magnotta, who made headlines worldwide for the grisly killing and dismemberment of a university student in Montreal in 2012, had posted a profile. Being held at another Quebec prison, Magnotta says he’s looking for his “prince charming” for a long-term, committed relationship.
The website has been criticized by Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, who has asked that Correctional Service Canada ensure dangerous and violent criminals aren’t able to further exploit individuals.
“This website is outrageous and offensive to victims of crime,” said the minister’s spokesman Jeremy Laurin. “The operator of this website should seriously reconsider the platform she is giving to convicted criminals.”