(Quebec) Carl Girouard’s macabre journey was almost entirely captured by cameras, which allowed the Crown to reconstruct the saber attack in Old Quebec on this second day of the trial.
Before the 11-member jury – one juror returned home because she was positive for COVID-19 – the prosecution presented the disturbing images collected by the police.
They show the killer parking his car in front of the Château Frontenac at 10:16 p.m. The man from Sainte-Thérèse then gets out of his vehicle dressed in black, with a black medical mask and a saber in his hands.
Then we see him rushing on his first victim, Rémy Bélanger, from Beauport, who falls to the ground in surprise. The killer fights with his sword, but the panicked victim manages to flee, climbs into the fountain in the Place d’Armes, then sows his assailant and escapes death.
He then sees François Duchesne, 56, who was just taking a walk in Old Quebec. He rushes at him with his sword.
We also see images of the killer as he rushes towards Suzanne Clermont, 61, who had come out in front of her house to smoke a cigarette. François Duchesne and Suzanne Clermont both lost their lives that evening.
Judge Richard Grenier issued orders to ensure that certain images could not be transmitted by the media. The Press chose to post only a short sequence, believing that the slashing footage was unnecessary.
As the footage was shown to members of the jury, relatives of the victims burst into tears in the courtroom. The killer was staring at the floor.
The Crown also filed several photos taken by the police, including the katana used for the killing. Girouard had bought it online a few months before the attack, for $400.
We also see on a picture two tattoos on the back of the accused, which seem to have been covered with ink. The 26-year-old man told two speakers in 2014 that he wanted to erase tattoos before doing his stunt, in order to be “pure”.
Girouard was finally arrested after killing two people and injuring five others, in the night, very close to Espace 400and.
Disturbingly, the police found in his car a receipt from a parking lot located a stone’s throw from the place of his arrest. It was dated October 31, 2018, two years to the day before his carnage.
Obsessions and fixations
The second day of Carl Girouard’s trial was also marked by the cross-examination of his former social worker.
The killer’s lawyer tried to understand why his client had not seen a psychiatrist more quickly given the disturbing remarks he was making. Carl Girouard pleads that he is not responsible for the actions he committed in Old Quebec, because he suffered from mental disorders.
“As of February 2015, you wonder if with Mr. Girouard we are facing a case of mental health? asked the defense attorney, Mr.and Pierre Gagnon.
“Yes, indeed,” replied Charles-André Bourdua. The social worker admitted that he detected “delusional components” in the speech of the man who was then in his early twenties.
Although Girouard seemed to him “polite”, “collaborative”, “without aggressiveness” and “without impulsiveness”, he noticed “obsessions” and “fixations”.
On Monday, two speakers indicated that Girouard had spoken as early as December 2014 of his idea of attacking people with a sword. Then over the months, his dark thoughts would have calmed down. The young man would have finally abandoned the idea of killing innocent people for fear of going to prison.
“He has already told me about his ideal world, his value system, less population, less pollution, fewer firearms, more peace, love and sharing,” said Charles-André. Bourdua on Tuesday.
Brought to speak of his suffering, Girouard replies “that suffering is temporary, but that honor is forever”.
Mr. Bourdua stopped following the young man in September 2015. He had been directed to the Mental Health Access Desk, the entry point for psychiatric follow-up.
Carl Girouard’s trial continues on Tuesday. It must last at least four weeks. He is charged with two first degree murders and five attempted murders.
According to the Crown’s thesis, the killer “wanted to be an agent of chaos, to demonstrate his courage by doing acts that others would not do”.