A man who says he grew up with Matthew Mallinson is still in shock over the murders of Matthew and his father Alan.
The long-time family friend travelled with his wife to Barrie court for the appearance Wednesday of the Mallinson's accused killer Robert Twiss.
"It's still surreal what has happened. It still hasn't sunk in," said the man who asked not to be identified out of respect for the Mallinson family. "More shock than anything else. Until I actually saw the names online that's when it really hit."
Twiss, 45, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of indignity to a body and flight from police in the deaths of Allan Mallinson, 73, and his son, Matthew Mallinson, 39.
Both men were stabbed to death and their bodies found by police at their Eden Drive home in the early hours of Jan. 26.
Police said Twiss had been living at the Mallinson home.
Clad in an orange jumpsuit, Twiss appeared in court via videolink and was remanded in custody to Feb. 16.
Gary Pickard, the lawyer acting for Twiss at the appearance, had no comment.
The family friend said the Mallinson's were "great people" who did not deserve such a violent fate.
He recalled fondly Alan's wife and Matthew's mother Susan who he said died in her sleep in the same home in 2012.
The man also noted how vulnerable the murder victims would be, especially the elderly Mallinson.
"There was no way he could've defended himself at all," the man said of Alan. "I know he used a walker. I'm not sure what health issues he had but he just seemed very frail. They had absolutely no chance in my opinion from what I've seen."
He says he feels for Matthew's daughter because she has now lost her father, grandfather and grandmother all in the same house within four years.
The man plans to follow the court case to the end.
"It's too close to home," he said.