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Family of 4 people who died in murder-suicide near Neudorf, Sask., to host private funeral

Pictured here are the four people who died in a murder-suicide on March 26 on a farm near Neudorf, Sask: Joanne Bender, front left, Andrew Bender, front right, Gary Bender, back left, and Cory Bender, back right.  (Joanne Bender/Facebook - image credit)
Pictured here are the four people who died in a murder-suicide on March 26 on a farm near Neudorf, Sask: Joanne Bender, front left, Andrew Bender, front right, Gary Bender, back left, and Cory Bender, back right. (Joanne Bender/Facebook - image credit)

The family of the four people who died in a murder-suicide incident on March 23 on a farm near Neudorf, Sask., has announced a private funeral to take place on Friday.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gary Clifford Bender born December 9, 1957, his wife Joanne Lorene Bender born November 22 1965, and their two sons Andrew Gary Bender born December 11, 1989, and Cory James Bender born August 17, 1993," said the family in an obituary published by the Regina Leader-Post Wednesday morning.

While police would not release the names themselves, RCMP did confirm last week that two men, ages 67 and 30, and a woman, age 58, were victims of a homicide.

Police said the fourth person, a 34-year-old man, died from self-inflicted injuries. According to the birthdate listed in the obituary, Andrew Bender was 34 at the time of the incident.

On Wednesday, CBC reached out to Saskatchewan RCMP for more details, but was told police would not be releasing any further information. Meanwhile, the Benders' family has asked for privacy at this time.

In the obituary, the family included a quote saying, "Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for all of eternity."

The private funeral service will be held in Neudorf on Friday for family and close friends at Trinity Lutheran Church at 1 p.m. CST. For all others who knew and loved the family, there will be a celebration of life at CN Community Centre in Melville following the service between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. CST.

"Their absence will be deeply felt by their remaining family and friends," said the family in the obituary. "In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to Saskatchewan Mental Health Association or an addiction treatment centre of your choosing."

Joanne and Gary Bender died in a murder-suicide on March 23. A funeral is being held for them and their two sons in Neudorf, Sask., on April 5.
Joanne and Gary Bender died in a murder-suicide on March 23. A funeral is being held for them and their two sons in Neudorf, Sask., on April 5.

Joanne and Gary Bender died in a murder-suicide on March 23. A funeral is being held for them and their two sons in Neudorf, Sask., on April 5. (Joanne Bender/Facebook)

Andrew Bender had a criminal record.

According to court documents, he was convicted of assaulting his father Gary Bender on Sept. 25, 2022, and sentenced to jail time. That same month, Andrew was charged with possession of various weapons, including a revolver handgun and a machete.

On Nov. 22, 2022, Andrew violated the conditions of his release by contacting Gary and returning to his Neudorf property, according to court documents. Andrew was also charged with mischief, which involved damaging a kitchen chair that belonged to Gary and Joanne Bender. Andrew returned to the property the very next day and had contact with Gary, this time committing mischief by damaging his parents' garage door and a bedroom door, documents say.

On Dec. 3, 2022, Andrew was charged once again with violating the conditions of his release and contacting Gary. He was also charged with evading the police in an arrest attempt.

Then in September 2023, Andrew was accused of damaging property and assaulting three family members. He was found not guilty on all charges in this incident, court documents say.