Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marc Lépine's Gendercide: The Montreal Massacre

On the Road to Destruction

Lépine grew up reclusive, with few friends. He became obsessed with computers, electronics, and military weapons, and although he had occasional girlfriends, he wanted them to obey him and do things as he directed. Although reputed to be bright, his life was filled with false starts: a computer programming course, a science program, an attempt to join the Canadian army. With each failure, his frustration grew. Even when women had nothing to do with it, he often blamed them.

Annie Turcotte
Annie Turcotte

Lépine's violent act in December 1989 was inspired, say Thomas Walkom in the Toronto Star, by neo-conservatism, "the ideological event of our times." It was a philosophy that derived from a focus on family values that stipulated a woman's exclusive role as homemaker, with all her significant decisions made by her husband. "Its centre pin has become anti-feminism," Walkom stated, because feminism was supposedly ruining the nation. Women filled boys with poison by trying to curb their aggressive instincts and turn them into girls. Women also increase the country's reliance on immigration for economic stability, because they refuse to have children and become proper mothers.

Annie St-Arneault
Annie St-Arneault

Apparently Lépine accepted these tenets, and in 1986, after he was rejected by the École Polytechnique, he blamed affirmative action that favored women for slots that were rightfully his. Life probably looked pretty bleak. Although he had quit one job, probably because it paid so badly, he apparently told people that a woman had fired him and that a woman had also replaced him. Both accounts were untrue, but what was true was that he had proved himself a difficult employee wherever he went. He disliked authority and was considered to be rude, obnoxious, and disruptive. He mentioned in his suicide note that the army had rejected him because he was "asocial."

Ann-Marie Lemay
Ann-Marie Lemay

During the fall of 1989, Lépine let his financial resources run out, not bothering to even look for a job, because he knew well in advance that he would no longer need money. He was ready to die. His plan took months of preparation, but his long-standing hatred held him to the course. On several occasions before December 6, he had even cased out the school. Although he had a scraggly beard that hid his bad acne, people recalled seeing him. He had approached it like a military mission and carried it out in the same manner.

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