Psychiatrists at the Antipodes on the Motives of the Murder in Old Quebec

This week’s trial of the author of the attack in Old Quebec plunges into the heart of the fundamental debate: mental health. Was the suspect in full-blown psychotic delirium at the time of committing his crimes? Or would you rather be a narcissist without a serious diagnosis?

Last week, defense expert Gilles Chamberland argued that 26-year-old Carl Girouard was delirious on the evening of October 31, 2020 when he violently killed two people and wounded five others with a Japanese sword.

In the eyes of this psychiatrist, the accused suffers from both an autism spectrum disorder and symptoms of schizophrenia.

In his testimony, he also insisted that the killer had no tendency to pose as a victim, like the perpetrators of crimes with narcissistic traits. “Throughout his personal history, he never puts it on the backs of others. Other types of killers ‘feel they are victimized by everyone’, ‘build up anger, resentment, want revenge. He doesn’t,’ Mr Chamberland said.

But now, as of Monday, the prosecution’s expert witness is proposing practically the opposite. According to neuropsychologist William Pothier, it is “unlikely” that Carl Girouard is on the autism spectrum or suffers from schizophrenia.

According to him, the suspect has quite narcissistic tendencies and he suffers from anxiety disorders. While developing his assassination plan, he is said to be “obsessed with his self-image”.

To confirm this, the psychologist relies on an interview lasting several hours with Carl Girouard, as well as on two tests aimed at defining the psychological profiles and recognized in his field (a questionnaire and images of inkblots to be interpreted).

A “bad Carl” to relieve himself of responsibility

Mr. Pothier also went back on the accused’s statements in court that “two Carls” cohabited in him and that it was the “bad Carl” who had killed people, while the “good” took part in the trial.

In the eyes of the expert witness, this is a way for him to pretend to be a victim and get rid of his responsibility. “In the end he doesn’t blame the others, but another Carl that he is not,” argued Mr Pothier. “In the narcissism here, the split again serves to protect the esteem. I take all my qualities, I put them in a box; my mistakes, i put them in another box and i’m not. †

Remember that in the context of this trial, the accused acknowledges the crimes he has committed and the debate is elsewhere. The jury must determine whether he knew what he was doing that night or whether he cannot be found criminally responsible for a mental disorder, as his attorney advocates.

On Tuesday, the last, Mand Pierre Gagnon sought to bring to light the inconsistencies in William Pothier’s testimony and drew the jury’s attention to his young experience as an expert witness.

Mr. Pothier explained that he had worked at the University Institute of Mental Health of Quebec (IUSMQ) since 2018 and that he was mandated by psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher to review Carl Girouard’s file.

mand Gagnon also wanted to know why the neuropsychologist had not taken into account an expert report prepared when Girouard was a child. The author of this report, quoted by the Dr Chamberland, attributed the little boy’s “morbid ideas” and a “very important intra-psychological problem”. After a very close questioning, Mr Pothier explained that he did not find this “very relevant. †

On Monday, the Pursuit had done a similar exercise with the Dr chamberland. The Public Prosecutor of the Director of Criminal and Criminal Prosecution (DPCP), Mr.and In particular, François Godin had claimed that the Dr Chamberland had “hypothesis confirmation bias”, that is, he resorted to his preconceived ideas.

With the Canadian press

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