BROADCAST DATE : Dec 1, 1999

Montreal Massacre : Legacy of Pain

It was December 6, 1989 - the last day of classes before midterm exams at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. Around 4 p.m., a man entered a classroom with an assault rifle.

“He ordered the men - the students and the professors - to go on the right side of the class, and the girls on the left side,” said Adrien Cernea, one of the teachers in class at the time.

Fourteen women were shot dead in all. The gunman, Marc Lepine, then took his own life.

In 1999 the fifth estate conducted an investigation into Lepine’s life, and just what it was that led him to pick up a gun and attack complete strangers. But the gunman’s plans extended beyond women he had never met. Lepine also left behind a list of other women he’d planned to kill - many of them well-known in Quebec.

Francine Pelletier, host of the CBC’s fifth estate, was on that list.

Pelletier delves into Lepine’s past, speaking with his aunt, friends and roommates, and discovers factors that may have led him to act as he did. Pelletier also also sits down with relatives of Lepine's victims.

Jean-Francois Larivée lost his wife, Maryse Laganière. They’d been married only three months.

“I didn’t spend time hating him, trying to kill him in my dreams or making him pay for what he did,” Larivée told Pelletier.

“I believe that the external influence - maybe friends, his father - things happened in his life to make him very aggressive towards people, and especially women.”

More than ten years after the painful tragedy, the fifth estate takes you, along with the victims’ families, to Place du 6-Décembre-1989 - the Montreal park commemorating the 14 women killed that day.