Crimes: Murder, Arson.
Cassandra Kaake, 31, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada was looking forward to the birth of her baby girl she was going to name Molly.
The mother-to-be worked to support herself. She’d split with the father of her baby but they were still good friends. She lived in a quiet neighbourhood on Benjamin Avenue where she and her unborn baby should have been safe, but they weren’t.
At 2:45 a.m. on December 11, 2014, firefighters were called to a blaze on Benjamin Avenue. It was Cassandra Kaake’s home. The 7-month pregnant woman’s body was inside.
The poor woman didn’t die in the fire — she was already dead. Somebody had choked, punched, beaten and then strangled her until she was unconscious, and then had stabbed her repeatedly before slitting her throat. There were 45 different injuries on her body. Cassandra Kaake died of blood loss caused by severe trauma.
After she was dead, the killer had cut off all her fingertips, doused the body in gasoline and set it on fire.Now why the hell would anyone want to butcher a lovely, pregnant woman who hadn’t an enemy in the world? The answer to that question is disgusting and pathetic.
Fortunately for investigators, the killer had cut off his victim’s fingertips but he’d dropped one as he made his escape. The precious evidence had not been destroyed in the blaze, and police were able to get the hellbeast’s DNA from it.
Police officers went house to house in the area asking residents to voluntarily donate blood drops for DNA testing. Within a week, over 500 people had complied.
In February 2015, the DNA from the fingertip led police to Matthew Brush of LaSalle, a bedroom community of the City of Windsor. The 26-year-old was charged with break and enter, arson causing property damage, arson with disregard for human life, possession of incendiary material for arson, 1st-degree murder and indecent interference with a dead body.
So who was this Matthew Brush? Well, he had been working at Canadian Tire but lost his job. He was a friend of the victim’s brother. He also liked to break into homes to steal marijuana and women’s underwear. He used the stolen underwear as a masturbatory object.
So how did this freaky creep go from break and enter and panty theft to full-fledged murder? The night of December 10, 2014, Matthew Brush had broken into Cassandra Kaake’s home. She was out planning a baby shower. Unfortunately, she returned home early, only to find this evil little bastard naked and masturbating.
Matthew Brush could have run for it. He could’ve turned himself in — he didn’t have a criminal record and the break and enter was relatively harmless. But no. Instead he chose to launch and horrific, brutal, vicious attack on a pregnant woman and didn’t stop until she was dead.
As the police interrogated Matthew Brush, the whole disgusting tale was told. He confessed to the break-in, the murder, and his attempts to cover it up. He told how he had left the scene of the crime only to return with shears to remove the fingertips. He told how he dumped the fingertips in the Detroit River, and had set the body and house on fire.
Matthew Brush wound up pleading guilty to 2nd-degree murder and arson in November 2016. He faced an automatic life sentence. All that was to be determined was the time he had to serve before being eligible to apply for parole. It ranged between 10 and 25 years.
During sentencing in January 2017, the murderous hellbeast was at a loss to explain his actions. “Me, who never harmed an animal, killed a woman,” he said. The monster also admitted his actions were “unforgettable, selfish and terribly brutal”.
Matthew Brush said, “I ask you all not to hate me.” He went on to say, “I will hate myself forever for what I’ve done.”
Deputy Crown Attorney Belinda Pagliaroli asked Justice Bruce Thomas to imprison the POS asswipe to the maximum time. “The level of cruelty and brutality is almost imaginable,” she’d said. She also pointed out that in his confession, Matthew Brush hadn’t expressed remorse for the murder, but had “expressions of regret at not doing a good enough job at getting away with murder”.
The defense attorney asked the judge to consider that his client had had no prior criminal record and he’d pled guilty.
“He chose to save himself from a relative minor offence and — to save himself — he butchered her and her fetus,” said Justice Thomas during sentencing. Cassandra Kaake’s pregnancy was considered an aggravating factor.
After all was said and done, Justice Thomas sentenced Matthew Brush to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 22 years for the murder charge, and 5 years for the arson charge. They are to be served concurrently.
Matthew Brush will be eligible for parole in 2037. He’ll be 48 years old then.
I hope and pray that the outcome will give those who knew and loved Cassandra Kaake some solace. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends. RIP, Cassandra and Molly.
And I hope that Matthew Brush will grow a heart and a soul before he’s released. It’s probably too much to hope for that he perishes behind bars, albeit that’s what he deserves.
Windsor Star article – victim pregnant
National Post article – body identified
National Post article – charges laid
CBC News article – 1st-degree murder charge
CBC News article – guilty plea
CBC News article – testimony
CBC News article – sentencing
Windsor Star article – sentencing hearing