Monique Lépine is the mother of Marc Lépine, the perpetrator of the Montreal Massacre. Lépine murdered 14 young women at Ecole Polytechnique before turning the gun on himself.
In the quarter century since Lépine’s rampage, there has been a sea change in our understanding of early childhood development. We’ve come to understand the concept of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Simply put, the more trauma and toxic stress a child suffers early in life, the greater the level of dysfunction later. Marc Lépine’s early life was one long series of adverse experiences, some of which his mother shares here and reveals further in our documentary. She begins by explaining how abusive and violent Lépine’s father was.
We recognize that no one will ever know the full causes behind why Marc Lépine did what he did. And the inclusion of his childhood history here, through his mother, is not an attempt to excuse the horror of what happened on December 6, 1989. Rather, it is to illustrate that a childhood of Adverse Childhood Experiences can have impact that reaches far further than the individual.
Monique Lépine spent 17 years in silence after the killings at the Ecole Polytechnique. It was after the 2006 shooting at Dawson College in Montreal that she finally spoke out in hopes that by telling her story she could make a difference. She subsequently wrote the book Aftermath (Vivre in French), with journalist Harold Gagné. She speaks frequently now in schools, churches and prisons. Find out on more here (in French only).