Twenty-five years ago an emotionally disturbed young man with a grudge against women walked into the École Polytechnique in Montréal and began to shoot and in many cases kill helpless students who were attending classes that day. By the end of his rampage 14 women had lost their lives and 10 women and 4 men had been injured. At the end of his killing spree Marc Lépine took his own life. M. Lépine claimed to hate “feminists” and blamed them for most of his problems. The fourteen young women who died at the hands of this madman were:
- Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
- Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
- Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
- Barbara Daigneault (born 1967) mechanical engineering student.
- Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student.
- Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student.
- Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the school’s finance department.
- Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student.
- Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student.
- Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student.
- Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student.
- Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student.
- Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student.
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student.
The oldest was 31 years old and the youngest were 21. There is no right age to die but these ages are far too young. There is no sensible reason to die prematurely but dying so young at the hands of an anti-feminist psychopath is beyond anything that could possibly make sense. My two daughters are in this age bracket and I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose one of them, let alone to a deranged heartless killer with an agenda that makes no sense. 25 years ago Lépine caused 14 families immeasurable pain, pain that I am sure continues to this day.
Lépine had a suicide note in his pocket which gives us some insight into his psyche:
“Forgive the mistakes, I had 15 minutes to write this. See also Annex.
Would you note that if I commit suicide today 89-12-06 it is not for economic reasons (for I have waited until I exhausted all my financial means, even refusing jobs) but for political reasons. Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker. For seven years life has brought me no joy and being totally blasé, I have decided to put an end to those viragos.
I tried in my youth to enter the Forces as an officer cadet, which would have allowed me possibly to get into the arsenal and precede Lortie in a raid. They refused me because asocial [sic]. I therefore had to wait until this day to execute my plans. In between, I continued my studies in a haphazard way for they never really interested me, knowing in advance my fate. Which did not prevent me from obtaining very good marks despite my theory of not handing in work and the lack of studying before exams.
Even if the Mad Killer epithet will be attributed to me by the media, I consider myself a rational erudite that only the arrival of the Grim Reaper has forced to take extreme acts. For why persevere to exist if it is only to please the government. Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men.
Thus it is an obvious truth that if the Olympic Games removed the Men-Women distinction, there would be Women only in the graceful events. So the feminists are not fighting to remove that barrier. They are so opportunistic they [do not] neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men through the ages. They always try to misrepresent them every time they can. Thus, the other day, I heard they were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontline during the world wars. How can you explain [that since] women were not authorized to go to the frontline??? Will we hear of Caesar’s female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50% of the ranks of history, though they never existed. A real Casus Belli.
Sorry for this too brief letter.
So what did we learn from Lépine’s senseless act of mayhem and murder? Twenty-five years later and a madman can still buy a gun and wreak havoc, like Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did just this October. Twenty-five years later and a psychopathic serial killer can murder at least 49 women like Robert Picton did in Port Coquitlam BC. Twenty-five years later and women are still the targets of harassment, assault and countless other needless sex-oriented crimes. Twenty-five years later and almost 1200 aboriginal women have been murdered or are missing. It would appear that we have learned nothing or at least as a society we are not willing to do anything about it. Marc Lépine will quite likely happen again.
Twenty-five years ago there the word radicalised had not been invented and North Americans joining radical Islamic jihadists was virtually unheard of. One has to wonder if an evil killer like Lépine might have been attracted to the darkest-side of Islam? Every time I hear about some Canadian joining the jihadists I wonder what came first, becoming radicalised or being a psychopath with a propensity for murder. One of Lépine’s heroes was Denis Lortie another madman with a gun who shot up the Québec National Assembly in 1984. Lépine claims to have actually tried to join the Canadian Armed Forces to gain access to the type of firepower that Lortie had access to. Lépine failed the psychological assessment. If he had an alternative like ISIS or Al Queda would he have joined their ranks? We will never know.
But today is neither about Marc Lépine and other murderous psychopaths nor about sexual-abusers like Jian Ghomeshi. Today is about remembering and honouring their victims and there is no better way than to take a stand against violence everywhere.