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article imageOp-Ed: 22 years ago blood flowed at Canada's École Polytechnique

By KJ Mullins     Dec 6, 2011 in Crime
Montreal - Inside Room 303 at École Polytechnique sat 58 students shortly after 5:00 p.m. Ten of the students were women. Not one of the women would leave that classroom untouched on December 6, 1989. Canada's bloodiest evening was about to take place.
He was hunting small game. That's what Marc Lepine told the store clerk when he bought the rifle that would become the murder weapon in the worst Canadian massacre. Twenty-two years ago 14 women were the small game.
Lepine knew he was not going to survive his crime, a hand written suicide note was tucked into his pocket. He had his mission, kill women. He believed that feminists had ruined his life and left him unhappy for seven years. They were about to pay.
Marc grew up with an abusive father before his parents divorced. His father died when he was 18. His sister Nadine was known to taunt Marc. He was not a happy young man. His unhappiness would later be studied by many trying to find a reason for a crime that made no reason.
When Lepine walked into Room 303 he was not going after his most wanted list, women who were in key positions in politics, city services and the like. He had decided to make his statement against feminists by using students.
One victim was already dying. Maryse Laganiere was killed in a corridor. Lepine fired shots into the ceiling as he entered the classroom demanding that he wanted the women. He sent the men out of the room at gunpoint and lined the women up against the wall. He shot each one. Six of those victims died.
Lepine wasn't finished. He left the bloody classroom using his rifle to fire a trail of fear towards the cafeteria. He aimed at Anne-Marie Edward and two of her classmates there, killing them. He still hadn't finished, Lepine went back to the third floor into Room 311.
In 311 students were not aware of the horrors outside the door. They were giving their oral presentations that would round out the semester when Lepine came into the room. A blaze of bullets sent students diving for cover. Lepine stalked the female students shaking under their desks. Four of those students would be dead by the time Lepine stopped.
Twenty minutes after the first shot Lepine blew off the back of his own head. Fourteen women were dead. Nine other women and four men were wounded.
The murdered women were:
Geneviève Bergeron, aged 21;
Hélène Colgan, 23;
Nathalie Croteau, 23;
Barbara Daigneault, 22;
Anne-Marie Edward, 21;
Maud Haviernick, 29;
Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31;
Maryse Leclair, 23;
Annie St.-Arneault, 23;
Michèle Richard, 21;
Maryse Laganière, 25;
Anne-Marie Lemay, 22;
Sonia Pelletier, 28; and
Annie Turcotte, aged 21.
Tonight, 22 years later vigils will take place honouring those who died. Stories will appear in the media about violence against women. Much will be written about domestic violence.
Lepine's mission to kill women did not get the results he wanted. His name is forever linked to stopping crimes against women and bringing awareness to the violence women face. His horrific act lives on as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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