In 2009, a cardiologist with no history of mental illness killed his children in their beds. He stabbed his 5-year-old Olivier over 20 times. His 3-year-old daughter, Anne-Sophie, was stabbed 19 times.
Now, less than four years after his sentencing, Guy Turcotte is a free man, and many Canadians are expressing outrage at the court’s decision.
Many want to know “how a father who stabbed his children dozens of times could be free after 46 months of confinement,” reports CNN. Dr. Isabelle Gaston, Turcotte’s ex-wife and mother of the murdered children, joins in the questioning public.
Gaston is a physician and coroner. As she pores over her children’s autopsy reports, she knows what they mean. Her children, she knows, suffered “a long, gruesome death” at the hands of someone they should have been able to trust the most.
“I knew it was not a short death. You know, my little boy received 20 stabs of a knife, he had seven marks of defense,” she told CNN in an interview at her home. “He had no wound that was the one that gave him death,” she added, trying to hold back tears.
“My little girl, she had 19 wounds, maybe she was luckier? Because she had one that was more mortal than the other. But she felt 19 shots, that’s for sure,” Gaston continued.
Although Turcotte confessed to killing his children in February 2009, but testified that he was “distraught over his crumbling marriage and snapped.” He insisted that he blacked out and doesn’t remember killing his children.
The Canadian jury failed to convict him, finding his not criminally responsible “due to mental illness.”
When asked if she believed that her children’s father was mentally ill when he repeatedly stabbed his small children, Gaston responded:
“Why don’t I accept that he is mentally ill is when I look at the facts. We have a person that is a cardiologist that never had a psychiatric incident, not at all. I have trouble to understand how someone in five hours or six hours will do an interview of someone and have a conclusion that he is not a danger to society or is mentally insane.”
Just hours before his brutally murdered little Olivier and Anne-Sophie, the three were caught on surveillance at a local video store, preparing for a night of movies.
Turcotte was released on Wednesday — after only 46 months under psychiatric care — after a panel declared him ready for release. The alleged killer reportedly told the board that he is “looking forward to leading a normal life.” Turcotte added that he “hopes to practice medicine and have children again.”
The National Post reports that even Canadian government officials are irate with the decision to free Turcotte.
“Isabelle Gaston does not deserve to live in fear of her children’s killer and neither do other victims of similar crimes across Canada,” Heritage Minister James Moore said, adding, “Isabelle Gaston deserves better than this. The system has failed her.”
Moore reported that the government has plans to deal with high-risk offenders found not criminally responsible for their actions based on mental disorders.
Turcotte is reportedly not on any psychiatric medications. He is required to attend counseling and stay away from his children’s mother and her family.
“To know that my children faced the person that they should have trusted the most and they were left by themselves to die. No one holding their hand,” Gaston said. “I struggle, OK, I struggle all the days, every day of my life and I think till I die I will struggle.”
Do you think that Turcotte should go free?