Doctor who killed kids has 'rage and anger' issues

A Quebec doctor who fatally stabbed his two children should be detained for at least one more year, according to a psychiatrist who evaluated him.

Hearing for killer MD

10 years ago
Quebec MD Guy Turcotte faces a mental health board of review after killing his two children 3:24

A Quebec doctor who fatally stabbed his two children should be detained for at least one more year, according to psychiatrists who evaluated him.

"The fragility is still there – It hasn't been dealt with, so, there is still a risk," said Guy Desjardins, who met with Guy Turcotte nine times for a total of 17 hours. 

"I feel he is delusional in that he thinks he can re-start his career, get a love life and [have] more kids without dealing with what led to the double murders."

Turcotte, a Quebec cardiologist, admitted to killing his two children. He was found not criminally responsible for their deaths.

He appeared before a mental health review board in Montreal on Friday to determine his fate.

Psychiatrist Pierre Rochette told the board that specialists still don't understand why Turcotte stabbed his five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter to death in 2009.

Turcotte still has "rage and anger issues" and is at risk of getting involved in an unhealthy relationship, Rochette testified.

The cardiologist hasn't undergone real psychotherapy, and would likely not get the right kind of help in the outside world, Rochette told the board.

He recommended Turcotte remain at the Philippe-Pinel Institute in Montreal  for at least 12 more months to sort out his psychological issues.

Rochette said Turcotte told him when he gets out, he would like to find love again and have more children.

Turcotte is also interested in resuming medical practice, Rochette said — but in another province.

Turcotte voluntarily resigned from the Quebec Order of Physicians after he was accused of murdering his children two years ago.

Panel to determine Turcotte's next move

The cardiologist's original review board hearing was abruptly cancelled last August after his sister submitted a letter to the committee, which delayed proceedings.

Turcotte's sister later claimed in media interviews that she wrote the letter because her brother had previously made threats.

Following the hearing Friday, Patrick Gaston, the brother of Turcotte's former wife Isabelle Gaston, said his biggest worry is that no one completely understands what Turcotte is capable of.

"I'm worried about the outcome of the commission and, if he gets out, who knows what he is going to do," he said.

"We don't know what is inside his head and he doesn't tell what's inside. He hides things."

Olivier and Anne-Sophie were killed by their father in February 2009. ((CBC))
The mental health panel will ultimately decide whether Turcotte should be freed, released with conditions, or whether he should remain in a psychiatric institution with a yearly review of his file.

Turcotte's verdict in his children's double-murder trial sparked widespread outrage in Quebec when it was handed down in July. A jury found him not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

The verdict lit up call-in show switchboards, and citizens held protests in front of courthouses across the province.

Turcotte admitted to killing his daughter Anne-Sophie, three, and son Olivier, five, but denied intent.

At his trial, the jury heard how Turcotte stabbed Olivier and Anne-Sophie a total of 46 times the night they died in their father's rented home in Piedmont, north of Montreal.

Experts called to testify disagreed whether Turcotte was in control of his actions at the time.

Turcotte testified at the trial he could only remember flashes of the evening of the deaths and that he was devastated by the end of his marriage to Gaston, also a physician.

The Crown intends to appeal the verdict.

The panel's written decision is expected at a later date. The hearing took place under heavy security at the Philippe-Pinel Institute, a mental health centre in Montreal.

Turcotte has been held at the institute since his verdict.