Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why did this Hamilton family live with a dead man for months?

Yesterday, the Hamilton Spectator reported that a man who had been missing since earlier this year was finally found dead in his apartment.

Which raises the exceedingly obvious question: What took so long?

Peter Wald and his family shared their home with two other families. According to the article, there are 13 people living in the house. And none of them, including his wife and six children, seemed in any rush to report that they were living with a decomposing body (the article also describes a "constant cloud of flies" around Wald's bedroom window).

Story continues below advertisement

Indeed, Wald's body was only discovered because an employee of a foreclosure company had come to evict his family, who neighbours say had become increasingly reclusive.

One, Brenda Dennis, said she and her husband had noticed "strange behaviour" from his family. This included an incident, apparently several weeks ago, when she and her husband "watched them gather in the back yard, wearing dark cloaks, dancing and chanting."

The article suggests that the family could not be reached and are staying with neighbours in the Niagara region.

The employee of Pro-Check Home Services has also declined to comment – although he shared his experience with the Twittersphere on September 17. "Found my first body. Died in March. Still in house," he wrote (the tweet was six syllables short of a haiku).

Accounts from neighbours paint Wald as a religious man whose van was covered with "Jesus Loves You" messages. Dennis noted that he suffered from various health problems.

The coroner told The Spectator that this was not a recent death nor was it deemed suspicious.

Still, the story is both unsettling and gruesome. You have wonder why and how Wald's body could have been disregarded that way and whether it was deliberate or not. As for the foreclosure employee, well, hopefully he won't be tweeting about a second body anytime soon.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨