A psychiatric expert says a man who believed he was a godlike warrior dispatched to kill vampires should not be held criminally responsible for murdering two Halifax men in 2007, but Dr. Hy Bloom says he's still troubled by certain "red flags" in the bizarre case.
Bloom told Nova Scotia's Supreme Court on Thursday that it was difficult for him to reconcile the fact that Glen Race had the self control to fatally stab his victims, hide their bodies and vehicles, then flee to within 12 metres of the Mexican border in two weeks, even though he was apparently suffering from intense psychotic delusions.
In a brief submitted to the court, Bloom said he was initially concerned Race could be exaggerating symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Glen Race believed he was waging war on demons, court told
- Glen Race motivated by religious delusions
"He appears to have considerably more wherewithal than one might generally attribute to an individual who was purportedly psychotically disturbed enough to commit the killings," Bloom wrote.
Race approached much of what he did in a calculated way, Bloom said. The accused, he said, excelled at hiding evidence, evading police, making getaway plans that spanned 5,000 kilometres and seeking information about his court proceedings.
Bloom also cited recorded telephone conversations Race had with his father while he was in jail awaiting trial. During those conversations, Race was particularly interested in learning more about the process of being found not criminally responsible for his crimes.
"It troubles me," Bloom told the court. "I don't think I'm able to resolve this to the 'enth degree."
After reviewing a huge court file and interviewing Race for 20 hours earlier this year, Bloom concluded that Race has suffered from schizophrenia and psychotic delusions for more than 12 years.
"I had no concerns that this was conjured up after the jig was up," Bloom said.
Pleaded guilty in September
The Toronto-based psychiatrist also found that Race, 32, is a highly intelligent man who could suppress his delusions when focused on a specific task.
"I think he was fairly gifted at being able to do that," Bloom said, comparing Race's mind to a computer program that can flip from one screen to the next.
Race pleaded guilty in September to first-degree murder in the death of Trevor Brewster and second-degree murder in Paul Michael Knott's death.
However, defence lawyer Joel Pink filed an application to have his client declared not criminally responsible because he suffers from a chronic mental illness that Pink says left him incapable of appreciating that the murders were morally wrong.
Bloom said there's no question Race knew what he did was legally wrong, given the efforts he made to avoid arrest. However, Bloom said Race has indicated in previous interviews that he knew the murders were morally wrong, a key test for the application of a not-criminally-responsible defence.
In one instance, Race said he hated having to kill the two men. In another interview, he said what he did was "terrible."
Still, Bloom said that he concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that Race couldn't have made that rational decision at the time of the killings.
"Although Mr. Race had some sense of the legal and moral wrongfulness of his action … my opinion is that he wasn't able to make a rational choice at the time due to the intensity and all-encompassing nature of his psychotic symptoms."
Race was extradited from the United States in October 2010 to face the charges in Halifax after he was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of mechanic Darcy Manor in Upstate New York. That murder happened three days after Race killed Brewster in a Halifax-area industrial park, and nine days after he stabbed Knott to death.
The court hearing concludes Friday with final arguments from the Crown and defence.