The killing at the Grand Mosque of Quebec is a crime “marked by racism”, even if Alexandre Bissonnette does not see it, says the psychiatrist Gilles Chamberland. But also a crime too “selfish” to be described as terrorism, adds the expert of the Crown.
Dr. Gilles Chamberland met with Alexandre Bissonnette for four hours Wednesday afternoon at the request of the Crown.
He arrives at a diagnosis that was not mentioned by the psychiatric experts of the defense, that is that Alexandre Bissonnette suffers from a borderline personality disorder.
This problem of mental health would explain, in the eyes of the expert, Bissonnette’s immense fear of being abandoned by his parents, his anxieties, his recurring suicidal ideas.
For Dr Chamberland, who had been heard in court during the trial of the killer Luka Rocco Magnotta, the personality disorder of Bissonnette played a lot in the drama.
Since adolescence, life has become more and more difficult and cumbersome for the young man, victim of intimidation. Suicidal thoughts become the solution to his problem.
Then, reading articles about mass killings in the United States generates excitement in the young man’s dreary life. “He wants to show that he too can win, that he too can take revenge,” says Dr. Chamberland.
The weapons become the center of his quest and a real obsession, says the psychiatrist. Bissonnette is losing interest in school and work. Only his project occupies it.
The young man fails to realize his project just days before his 27th birthday, in November 2016, in the underground parking of Laurier Quebec.
In January 2017, on the eve of his return to work, the tension is maximum, estimates the psychiatrist.
Alexandre Bissonnette has a “false and totally racist” construction in his head, the psychiatrist explains, targeting Muslims at the Center culturel islamique de Québec.
In the eyes of the Crown psychiatrist, the killing of January 29, 2017 is a crime “marked by racism, even if sir does not see it.”
But if asked if it is terrorism, the psychiatrist answers in the negative. “It’s a selfish crime to be terrorism,” Chamberland says. Sir has no concern to change things, to bring a cause. It’s done only according to him. ”
Alexandre Bissonnette made a mass murder because he was driven by revenge, after accumulating years of insults, says the psychiatrist. The idea of having a power of life and death over someone was also present, believes the expert.
The Alexandre Bissonnette met in prison is very suffering, summarizes the psychiatrist. “From the moment he did not commit suicide, he did not plan to be in this situation. He is very unhappy because of what is said about him, he is very concerned about his parents. Because of his personality, he remains with a tendency to see himself sometimes as a victim in there. ”
The psychiatrist is not surprised that Alexandre Bissonnette did not end his days after the killing, even though he tried several times to do so in the past. “To die is a total abandonment,” says Dr. Chamberland. Because of his borderline personality, it’s a huge step to take. ”
No alcohol at stake
A psychiatrist of the defense Dr. Marie-Frédérique Allard considered that drunkenness of Alexandre Bissonnette had been a factor in Bissonnette’s passage to the act.
Dr. Chamberland does not believe the young man who said he had consumed at least one bottle of sake, five ounces of strong alcohol and Smirnoff Ice before the kill.
At the low weight of the murderer, this consumption would have led to an intoxication rate of 0.33, four times the legal limit for driving. This scenario is incoherent with the images of the surveillance camera of a convenience store, where we see Bissonnette perfectly in control of his actions.
Dr. Chamberland is struggling to comment on the killer’s rehabilitation potential.
Yes, the young man is smart and the federal prison system offers a lot of therapy programs. “But he has a rigid personality and (therapy) requires a lot of questioning, notes the psychiatrist. I’m not sure he sees therapy as the solution to his suffering. ”
Should we leave Bissonnette hope to get out of prison while he is alive so that he wants to change? “Of course it takes hope to change,” says the Crown psychiatrist. But is the hope of going out in 25 years a driving force for him to go to therapy? I do not think so. ”