"Chamber of Horrors"

THE PRESS promoted the fact that evidence of insanity was kept from the jury at Morin's second trial, in a manner which suggested that the holdback reflected nothing beyond a calculating defence ploy. The potential ramifications of this cynical view are so disturbing, that it caused Globe and Mail journalist Kirk Makin, to report;

One of many troublesome questions in the wake of the retrial is whether jurors found out about the insanity plea at the first trial and became poisoned toward the defence.44

Denied the opportunity to be disputed, challenged or explained, rumours of insanity have a life of their own, and the only survivable assurance is an imprint of the horror provoked by popular misconceptions about retardation. When you couple misconceived horror with the cynical view that a calculating defence had secured unfair advantage, the potential to seriously prejudice a jury, is rather obvious. Nobody likes to be taken advantage of, and anyone who caught wind of the so-called insanity plea ploy, was probably more willing to neutralize a perceived unfair advantage, by responding in kind. If, for example, the defence could pull these kinds of so-called gimmicks, then it was alright to let the prosecution get away with one or two of its own. But as all eyes focused upon the significance of ploy and counter-ploy, the nature of the so-called insanity evidence was ignored.

There is a certain "perverse logic" to the claim that Morin is insane, but that hinges on the belief that Morin is in fact a murderer. If, for example Guy Paul Morin murdered Christine, then he must also be insane, because he has evidently suppressed all memory of the crime. So-called "normal" people do not rely upon a psychic, repressive mechanism, to protect the mind from intolerable memories. "Normal" people often respond to the need to relieve anxiety by lying. People who are insane, erase every trace of a traumatic memory and are genuinely not able to recall it. It is therefore reasonable to assume that any psychiatrist who sought to reconcile the fact that Morin was charged with murder, and the belief that his denials were authentic, could not skirt around the conclusion that if Morin was actually guilty, he was also insane. Indeed, that is what the psychiatric evidence evidently suggested. As Dr. Basil Orchard, a specialist in criminal psychiatry, indicated to the jury; "If he did it, it has been repressed out of his capacity to recover or remember it."45 What is most striking about the evidence introduced at trial, is the circuity of the psychiatric theories and assumptions. If, for example, Morin did it, then he is insane and capable of brutal murder, and if he is such a perverted murderer, then the abduction and murder of Christine Jessop, was simply a matter of opportunity. The horrific assumption that Morin is capable of killing a little girl produced sensational headlines, and understandably created extreme prejudice against Guy Paul Morin.

Prejudicial assumptions aside, the claim that Guy Paul Morin is capable of bizarre murder is rather preposterous. Unfortunately, repulsive murderers come in all shapes and sizes. They do not float into a neat little psychiatric theory or psychological murder profile which focuses upon the merits of speculative theory and ignores the specifics of a particular case. The observations of criminologist John McGoff, a former detention centre superintendent, define the evident dilemma of any investigator who seeks to identify a murderer when he says;

The most vivid recollection I had, in terms of working with this population (of murderers), I guess is just how ordinary they really were. I don't know what I was expecting but they were not different from any other young person in our custody. To the naked eye, you couldn't distinguish between the child who was skipping school and the individual who had committed murder -who had slaughtered his family, who had decapitated his best friend. They were strikingly ordinary in their presentation and in their appearance. And I remember that feeling that I could never walk down the street again and really understand which person who passes me, has that capacity to kill.46

If they are strikingly ordinary, they are clearly not all peculiar or eccentric or weird. And if we dare to penetrate the prejudices which lead us to suspect Guy Paul Morin, there is absolutely nothing which even remotely suggests that he is capable of, let alone guilty of murder? As a matter of fact, only a serious lapse in reason, could lead a person to confuse an honest, naive, creative human being who has found a constructive outlet through his music, and an extremely deceptive, uncaring, perverted, calculating, cold-blooded murderer.

44Globe and Mail, 31/7/92, p. A 8..
45The Toronto Star, 4/2/86, p.A 7.
46CBC News-A film by Daniel Nearing, August 1992.






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