The psychology of school shooters: The Montreal experience - Part 1

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 6th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

This series will deal with some of the questions and answers concerning why some people become lone gunmen and take it upon themselves to go out and shoot innocent school children or college and university students.


We all remember the terrible tragedy which happened at Columbine High School. On April 20, 1999, in Jefferson County Colorado where two young men, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide. The world reeled from the tragic events, the media took hold of this senseless massacre considered to be the second worst school shooting in United States history. Hollywood sensationalized the tragedy and documentaries and movies followed. America may never get over that senseless tragedy.

Canadians shook our heads in disbelief, and many people were convinced that this sort of thing would never happen in Canada. We are a peaceful country we have gun control. We can afford to be smug and point fingers at our American cousins. But how many Canadians even knew that Canada already had its own Columbine, right here in my own beloved city, Montreal?

Ecole Polytechnique Montreal University massacre

Ecole Polytechnique Montreal University massacre

On December 6, 1989, at the École Polytechnique of the University of Montreal, a lone gunman, Marc Lepine, walked into the university on a killing rampage. He entered a class room armed with a lightweight Sturm Ruger Mini-14, .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle. He ordered the men to leave and the 10 women presented in this engineering school classroom to stay. He killed six of the women. He left the classroom and continued shooting women as he saw them in the corridor. In the end he had shot and killed a total of 14 women before killing himself. Why did these women have to die? Their only crime was that they were "feminists." He hated feminists and did not feel they had the right to become engineers.

Montreal's Concordia University and the Fabrikant murders

It did not end there. Montreal's Concordia University became the scene of another mass shooting when this time, an engineering professor, Dr. Valery Fabrikant, killed four colleagues and wounded another in August of 1992. He was angry because he did not make tenure and had made accusations that his work was stolen and fraudulently published by the then chairmen of the department. Dr. Frabrikant is serving a prison sentence.

It happened on the 10th floor of the University Hall building. A month later this Montreal I started classes on the 10th floor as a new student of the university.

All photos taken from the public domain

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Columbine Shootings, Concordia University Murders, Dr Valerie Fabrikant, Ecole Polyvalente, Marc Lepine, School Shooter, School Shooters, University Of Montreal

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Deepizzaguy
6th Apr 2015 (#)

I have heard from news reports on the television one reason for school shootings is that the student who engages in killing his fellow students and teachers is because they have bullied by another student or they have been given bad grades by their teacher in school so they think by killing a student or teacher they have achieved their goal of revenge instead of seeking help for their problems from a counselor or best friend.

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author avatar Carol Roach
6th Apr 2015 (#)

all of that is true and I covered in it in the series I wrote previously

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author avatar Kingwell
7th Apr 2015 (#)

Lack of self-esteem, bullying and the like often start at a young age. It is so important that children and young people get help before their thoughts turn towards getting revenge. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent! Blessings.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
10th Apr 2015 (#)

Carol, great article. I've been wanting to read your series and I went back to find the first one in this series. I've been writing two stories at the same time and I never realized how time consuming it is. I've usually done one story at a time. What possessed me to start two I have no idea but I'm glad I read your article. The events you write about I did not know about. It is so sad.

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author avatar Carol Roach
10th Apr 2015 (#)

yes it is demanding to write two stories at the same time, I wrote two books, I do have a few short stories to put up here if I can find them. But I have a treat coming, I am going to put my book up here for sure.

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