“Honey, I’m just going to go pick up Carolanne at work. Be right back,” she called out to her husband, who was, say, occupied in the washroom.
“OK, sweetie. Drive carefully,” he replied from behind the closed door.
She would never return home, because within 15 minutes she was dead.
I can’t say the last act of her life with her husband, Denis, went down as described above. But I can say with certainty that as this mother, Chantal Cyr, waited outside her daughter’s place of employment for Carolanne to finish work in Montreal on Sunday night, a crazed young man, 21, is alleged to have shot her in her vehicle before stealing it and driving off.
Chantal died shortly afterward.
The accused in the case, one Frédérick Gingras, has also been accused in the death of another person, James Jardin, in his 20s, and shooting and wounding a 64-year-old man. All of this happened, and more, during what is being described as a frenzy of violence complete with high-speed chases and crashes. Gingras faces two first-degree murder charges, among others.
So on Sunday night, three families and numerous friends and relatives were forever affected — just weeks before Christmas — by the senseless violence of, allegedly, one man.
I don’t know any of the victims in this case, but my heart hurts for them so much. I cry for them, as so many other Quebecers are doing this week. And I am so angry, like so many other are. I wish Canada had the death penalty right now . . . because, you know, if this happened to somebody I love, I might just . . .
I have felt this way before. At least twice since 2009.
I’ve mentioned Denis Blanchette here before. He was a stage technician working at the Parti Quebecois headquarters on election night in 2012 as Premier-elect Pauline Marois and her party celebrated their victory at the polls that day. It was a historic moment in Quebec: we had just elected our first female premier.
Denis and some colleagues were outside the venue having a smoke when one Richard Henry Bain pulled up in a vehicle and started shooting. Denis died, and another man was seriously injured before police subdued and arrested Bain.
It was one of the saddest times in Quebec history. Denis was the father of a young girl, and many in the province came together to raise money to help the child have some sort of future . . . without her dad.
Richard Bain, now 64 (I believe), was finally brought to justice this year, and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 20 years. But with time already served multiplied by 1.5, he could be eligible for parole in 14 years, by my calculation.
But Denis Blanchette’s daughter will serve a life sentence of not having had her dad.
I have cried for for Denis Blanchette and his daughter, as have so many Quebecers . . . And I am still angry at the man who hurt them and all who love them, as are so many other Quebecers. Yes, I wish Canada had the death sentence . . .
And then there was cardiologist Guy Turcotte, who was angered by the fact his marriage had broken up and his wife was seeing another man. So, he stabbed his 5-year-old son 27 times and his 3-year-old daughter 19 times as they slept in their bedrooms in 2009 — to get back at his wife, you see.
A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in the first trial. But the Crown appealed, and a second trial and jury convicted Turcotte. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 17 years in December 2015.
I’m not sure how much time served he had chalked up during the trial processes and his stay in a psychiatric institution. But it would not surprise me if he is out of prison in 10 years or so.
I cried for those children, as did so many other Quebecers. And I am angry at the man who took the lives of those children and hurt so many other people in the process, as are so many other Quebecers. Yes, I wish Canada had the death sentence . . .
Canadians, Americans, Britons and others hear stories like this all the time. Murders such as these are all too common these days. Sure, some states in the U.S. have the death sentence, but even there, it takes years stretching into decades sometimes before murderers are actually executed.
I’m guessing that in the United States, when a murderer is sentenced to life, they are never released in most cases. But in Canada, a life sentence can be as short as 10 years with parole factored in and seldom longer than 20 years.
So, all of the killers mentioned in the first three segments of this post will probably be on the streets again — though, Bain may die in prison given his age.
There have been other murderers in Canada whose crimes were so horrific — Paul Bernardo, among them — that they have been deemed dangerous offenders and can be held indefinitely as a result. But the vast majority of murderers are released, to walk under the blue sky again while their victims lie in their graves.
So, why do we hold these people in prisons? Why don’t we march them out to the town square after all of their appeal processes have been exhausted and execute them by firing squad?
Yes, I know some of you will say the death penalty is not a deterrent. People will still commit murders.
I disagree. It will be a deterrent if we execute murderers quickly rather than let them languish in prisons for 10 years or more before sending them to a small chamber to be executed in front of a handful of people.
A public execution, for all to come and witness and jeer at the murderer, would send very loud messages to everyone else, and perhaps would make at last one potential murderer change his or her course.
And there is also the economic factor. Why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for murderers to have three square meals a day, access to fitness facilities and recreation centres and health services etc.? Why should we pamper these scumbags?
You might argue that we do not have the right to take a life, but that would overlook the obvious: Mankind kills people as a matter of course in “justified” war, and he kills animals and all manner of living things. We as a species have no qualms about killing when we feel it is justified. Are not “justice” and “justified” synonymous?
And for those who say the judging should be left to God, I say that we are acting on behalf of God or, put another way, we are acting as the instruments of karma and would actually be doing the murderers a favour by executing them. The law of karma: you reap what you sow. If you kill, you shall be killed in a similar way, if not in this lifetime, then in another. So, by executing them right away, karma, or God, is served. And the murderer can start anew in whatever lies beyond the pale.
OK, so you may not buy into the spirituality of all this. And perhaps you think that by sparing their lives and reforming murderers, they might become good contributors to mankind upon their release.
Maybe. But probably not. They’ll probably reoffend, perhaps take away someone else’s mom or dad or children.
And the people who have lost loved ones because of the murderers will still be scarred for life. And those they murdered will still be denied the life experience they could and should have had . . .
No excuses for cold-blooded murderers. Why they did it should be irrelevant, even if they are deemed mentally ill — because anybody who murders is obviously mentally deranged.
People who commit premeditated, cold-blooded murder should be executed quickly after they are convicted, with the public as witnesses.
Canada needs a death penalty again, to rid us of scumbags like those mentioned above. When they end somebody else’s life, they should forfeit theirs. It is an abomination to pamper them in prisons and allow them to walk the earth again.
A gofundme campaign has been started to help the husband and daughter of Chantal Cyr. Click here to read more.