The full, twisted story of Justin Bourque

In hindsight, all the alarm bells were blaring, waiting to be heard


Two months before he walked out of his trailer in Moncton, N.B. — a rifle in one hand, another slung over his shoulder, and the sleeves of his green camouflage jacket rolled up to the elbows—Justin Bourque updated his Facebook page. “Ask yourself, would you fight for the future of your children or grandchildren, or your family and friends sons and daughters?” he wrote April 7. “The answer is: no you’re too stupid to know what to fight for, cause we’re already losing the silent war you don’t wanna believe is happening.”

By then, the 24-year-old’s Facebook account was dripping with cop-hating, liberal-bashing, pro-gun propaganda. Bourque’s profile picture, snapped over the winter, shows him standing among dozens of spent shell casings in a snowy forest, gripping a black rifle and wearing what appears to be same green army coat he wore on Wednesday evening, when he allegedly executed three New Brunswick RCMP officers.

“in today’s society anger and aggression are not allowed,” he wrote on Feb. 27, two days after uploading that profile pic. “what other basic instincts and emotions are they gonna take next[?]”

People, of course, are infinitely more complex than their Facebook pages, and the full, twisted story of Justin Bourque—who he was, who he is, and why he seemingly snapped—certainly goes far deeper than a collection of anti-establishment Internet rants. But, in hindsight, all the alarm bells were blaring, waiting to be heard. “if we are born poor, we die poor,” he wrote in one posting. “we live under their reign, under crownless kings. Unless the people take notice, fight, and destroy the 1% the battle for the futur [sic] is lost, because the new age of the tyrants is already upon us.”

Bourque said the “U.S. army improvised munitions handbook should be a New York Times bestseller!” He obsessed over a potential Russian invasion, mocking “the youth in Canada” who naively believe “everyone loves us, and we’re special, and that the world is in a new era of peace and understanding.” He uploaded ads and cartoons lambasting gun-control advocates. “Free men do not ask permission to bear arms,” one said.

“So you’re okay with the government having the weaponry to annihilate all life on earth,” read another, “but you’re upset I have a rifle that holds 30 rounds?”

Photo gallery: Police search for a shooter

On March 26, a Wednesday, Bourque posted a photo of a police officer eating a doughnut. “Obey the state, it’s the law,” the caption read. “Using the phrase ‘it’s the law’ to validate government is a fallacy. As if a codex of pompous and incomprehensible legalese magically validates coercion, theft, intimidation and violence.”

On June 4, Bourque’s account was especially active—and prescient. He uploaded an image of officers in riot gear, lamenting the “international militarisation” of police. He shared a joke from comedian Dave Chappelle: “You ever notice a cop will pull you over for a light out, but if your car is broke down they drive right past you?” And in his final post as a free man, Bourque typed the lyrics from Megadeth’s heavy metal song Hook in Mouth. (Matthew de Grood, the 21-year-old University of Calgary student who allegedly stabbed five people at an April house party, also posted Megadeth lyrics to his Facebook page just hours before the rampage.)

“You say you’ve got the answers, well who asked you anyway?

Ever think maybe it was meant to be this way?

Don’t try to fool us, we know the worst is yet to come.

I believe my kingdom will come.”

Later that evening, local police received numerous 911 calls about an armed man, dressed like Rambo, wandering neighbourhood streets in Moncton’s north end. By sundown, three Mounties were dead—Const. Fabrice Gevaudan, Const. Douglas Larche and Const. David Ross—and a massive manhunt was on.

Conflicting details about the fugitive slowly trickled out: one of numerous children (four, five or seven, depending on the report) home-schooled by Roman Catholic parents. A talented guitar player who dreamed of starting a band. A hilarious impressionist. A former Wal-Mart employee who, according to one colleague, “always said he wanted to go out with a bang and bring people with him.” Mike Campbell, who grew up in Bourque’s neighbourhood, told reporters he last saw his old friend a few weeks ago. They drank whisky in Campbell’s garage. “I told him: ‘Get hold of me later.’ And he was like: ‘I don’t know . . . You take care, Mike. You have a good life.’ ”

According to some reports, Bourque’s personality took a disturbing turn within the last six months, after he moved out of his parents’ house and into a trailer park. He started experimenting with hard drugs, one friend said and, in February he deleted his old Facebook account and opened the page that is now as infamous as he is. On the day of the murders, Bourque’s page boasted barely 40 “friends.”

“F–k he lost it,” wrote one of those friends, after Bourque’s photo hit the news Wednesday night.

“U were a friend man,” wrote another. “give up it’s horrible what u did give up.”

Trever Finck, another colleague who worked with Bourque at Wal-Mart, asked people not to “demonize” his friend. “Don’t create him into an icon,” he wrote. “Don’t allow the media to run their imaginations with him. If you talk to the media, be honest about him. It’s an honest feeling to want to elevate him above us or distance him to make us feel as though he’s inhuman, that we couldn’t succumb to similar violence. Fact is, every person has the capacity to commit violence on this scale.”

When Bourque was finally apprehended early Friday morning, he was unarmed. A woman who witnessed the midnight takedown heard the alleged killer utter two words: “I’m done.”

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The full, twisted story of Justin Bourque

  1. What he needed was an education, a job and some travel.

    • If only it were that simple…

    • A nut-job who goes to school and travels comes back a well-educated, well-travelled nut-job.

      • He needed a purpose, and some status in his life….and enough education to ignore the redneck crap.

        The ‘lone nut-job’ theory is no longer valid.

  2. So he’ll be remembered as a nutjob piece of garbage that ended the lives of three people much, much better than him. Firearms, the ignorant equalizer.

    • Well we didn’t want a gun registry apparently.

      • 911: man, dressed like Rambo, wandering neighbourhood streets with registered rifles…

        • Rambo is a well-known American gun culture character.

          Nice Canadian boys don’t do Rambo. We don’t have a gun culture.

          • We most definitely have a gun subculture though.

          • Any rural area in Canada has some level of gun culture, out of necessity if not for sport. Generalizations are generally unfair. I like to believe that an education that promotes open minds, discussion and critical thinking would not result in situations like Bourke’s but we cannot legislate nor educate against illness. The tools used, whether guns, knives, bows or clubs is irrelevant when compared to the intent… former co-worker Trevor Finck’s comments are very apt.

          • Diana:

            Rambo bears no resemblance to yer average duck hunter. Or deer/moose hunter. Or varmint killer.

            Entirely different world view as well.

          • Look at the number of gangs on the west coast, Toronto and Montreal.
            The number of people who hunt for fun.
            The number of men, women and children, who have died by shootings all across Canada.

            I am not sure which area of Canada you are referring to, but it seems that there is indeed a very active “gun culture” all across the country, in all classes of people.

          • you are a dreamer …only in black and white

      • A firearms registry wouldn’t have helped.
        If someone wants a gun, registry or not- they are going to get it.
        Canadian Tire and Walmart aren’t the only places to get a gun.

        • We’ve always had guns…..landed with them.

          We don’t have the ammosexuals and gundamentalists of the US.

          Like I said, Rambo is not a Canadian image.

          • Maybe they just aren’t as visible here as in the U.S. – but they are out there.

          • Caanda is right above the U.S
            Many Canadians have American relatives.
            We grew up with American media influences, as much as our media and goevernemnt would try to make us believe we have our own identity, we really don’t.
            We are the more polite version of Americans. We are both countries of immigrants- first from Europe, then later on Asians.
            You really can say we are all that much different.
            TV & the internet has eliminated a lot of “borders”, and created their own subcultures, like it or not.

        • Canada has more guns than the US.

          It’s the CULTURE that’s different.

          That’s why we had a gun registry….to help prevent a gun culture creeping over the border.

          • Canada does not have more guns in the hands of civilians than the USA does, Sherlock

    • Who can say that someone is better than another one.
      Maybe if these sick people had attention paid to them before they went out and did something horrible that would affect so many people, this sort of incident could be averted.

      Seems like a lot of his “friends” knew he was a bit of a nutjob- but didn’t know where they could turn to get him looked at.

      I had a brother who went off the rails a few years back, and we were told by the authorities when we tried to get him committed to a mental hspital before he hurt anyone- he had to turn himself in.

      Don’t know if this is still the policy, but the attitude seems to be “pass the buck” whenever possible.
      Why do we have so many social workers on the public payroll, if they can’t do anything to get these people into facilities where they can get help – or at least be kept off the streets.

      • Because if every jackass who made dumb anti-government remarks were reported and held by the police, half of rural Alberta would be in jail.

        • LOL good one!

          • I wasn’t aware this man was from Alberta…

        • Come on now that is not helpful. The truth is that families can call a crisis line and get advice. In most provinces one can call the police IF a person is overtly psychotic and they will be transported under the provincial mental health act for assessment to a local ER for assessment by a psychiatrist. Also, there is often the option to swear out a warrant under the mental health act before a judge to have a person taken in for an assessment. The thing is that the person has to meet criteria…they have to be suffering from a mental illness and have to be a danger to themselves or others. Ranting and raving doesn’t necessarily indicate a clear and acute danger. That is really the problem. People call them “red flags” and in hindsight they seem to be obvious but many people rant for years and are never violent toward others or themselves.

  3. I’ll bet he was a member of the survivalistboards. thse guys are so anti government, pro gun they think people should carry automatic rifles everywhere

    • You’d find that stuff on his Facebook page

      His parents were devout Catholics, and also have a Facebook page ( Victor et Diane Bourque)

      Maybe they prayed for him to become a sane person?

      • Not much comment regarding the religion angle. Growing up in a quiet, devoutly religious home raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

  4. Maybe the writers should have done a little research before posting the story.
    First- he appears to have six siblings from his parents’ Facebook page.
    They were devout Catholics,and proud Acadians, who apparently home schooled him.
    Kind of makes you wonder if there were problems that were not taken care of earlier on in life.
    Like his problems with authority figures mentioned in many of the quotes in other news stories.

    Obviously, from the number of people who came forward with their impressions of him, there were people who knew he was a very disturbed individual.
    Did anyone try to intervene at any point in his life?
    It’s hard to believe that one person gets so warped in such a short period of time.

    Sadly, many people take the “subway attitude” of ignoring those who have mental issues- believing that someone else can take care of it…..
    Instead of reacting with scorn and disgust, and flowers for the victims after the fact, perhaps we should be pushing for easier access to mental health services for those that we see who are potentially violent.

    People can create any sort of persona on Facebook that they choose. Obviously, some – like this guy- get carried away, and take that persona way, way too far.

    Instead of waiting for an eruption – like this one- or the one where the Quebec surgeon killed his kids, or Vince Li slaughtered the young man on the Greyhound bus out west – people should be able to report someone who is behaving erraticly and should be closely monitored.

  5. On a gun control level, the most interesting thing about this case is what is says about the effectiveness of arming the populace as a way to prevent gun crime (I know, I know, but there are people who swear by it).

    A guy went after the only people in Canada who regularly carry prohibited guns legally in the street, and who all get training in how they’re used, and for whom being alert to danger is a constant job requirement.

    he killed three, wounded two, and got away.

    • Another good point.

  6. And what media refuses to talk about….those are NOT civilian weapons…sure look like government issue to me.

    I also get a kick out of CBC labeling him a “libertarian”, nothing librarian about him as libertarians want liberty not death, and repspect each others rights in well being and in liberty of having a good life.

    That is, psychopath anarchist is not a Libertarian any more than its Liberal or NDP, even though they are statism rude people.

    • single shot rifles are civilian no matter how big and scary they may look to you; just go change your panties and let the rest of us live in peace, dude.

  7. Toronto g20 1.1 billion dollars spent on security….a “riot” breaks out…..not a cop to be seen, man can’t speak English, he’s tasered to death at an airport…..a woman with cerebral palsy, who is visably disabled pushed to ground by and left there by police. Cops shoot man outside his home 9 times while he holds a shovel….Ashley smith 19, incarcerated for throwing apples is watched by guards while she strangles herself. Auto manufacturers bailed out by public funds, politicians vote themselves 33% pay increases. Illegal entry and war in a preemptive attack on a foreign nation for non existent weapons of mass destruction…politicians get caught stealing money and traveling there family around…they promise to pay it back.

    Only in this inverted totalitarian state.is Justin bourque considered “crazy”

    • you said it

    • Fuck you, those cops were people. Bourque is a psychopath.

  8. Also want to add that in a supposed free nation with the fundamental right to freedom of thought,speech,expression and conscious that its ironic when people say that “warning flags” should have been going up because someone happens to notice there’s something wrong in this country and our in neighbours to the south country (where the tasering of teen girls is common place) I’ll assume that Mr bourque should have been apprehended for speaking against “authority” despite his right of speech,thought,expression and conscious ….I’ll assume the gustapo shall be coming to my home to forceably remove me for not agreeing that Mr bourque is a sick and twisted individual.

    • Why do you assume that anyone wanted Justin Barque apprehended for speaking out against the government? Had someone reported his recent changes in behaviour and postings on facebook, he would have been investigated as a possible danger to himself and others and probably offered help. Just maybe the murder of these three RCMP officers, the wounding of two and the terror inflicted on the people of Moncton could have been averted.

      Considering the government has not assessed Mr. Barque as being “sick” or “twisted”, you can save your fear that the gestapo will be coming for you for another occasion.

      • yeah, we cant have people thinking forbidden thoughts, now, can we?

        And how do you know the Mounties were murdered? Yes, they were killed, but did you witness the circumstances? Do you know for a fact that the Mounties did not pose a life threatening situation and failed to ID themselves?

        Police going after otherwise law abiding citizens and flagging them for verboten thought; that IS the Gestapo, dude.

    • you’re on a roll, great post

  9. what might be pertinent and germane to your full and twisted story is
    What was catalyst for the interaction between Justin Bourque and the 5 RCMP Officers ?
    Perhaps the fact that Justin Bourque must have believed he had no other option of redress for perceived or expected injustices.
    In Penticton BC a bomb exploded and a second one was discovered and exploded by police. Bomb maker arrested.
    All avenues of redress in Canada have been closed to the citizens, including the Charter Right of Equal Access to the Courts.
    Perhaps this is why people are “Taking it to the Streets”, out of desperation.

    • The corporations have their lock on power. The people are now just a herd of consumers, to make the corporations profitable.

      So I guess we all need to learn to shut up, eat our ‘stuff’ and die peacefully of type 2 diabetes when the system is done with us and we cost more money than we consume.

  10. Lol, if you think he is crazy for not giving up his guns, you folks have a very rude surprise coming if you push that fascist nonsense here in the US as far as the fascist pushed it in Canada.

    No joke, folks.

    The US is never going to just lie down an d give up its guns, no matter how many times you gun grabbing fascists play your Big Lie tales.

    Truth to power.

  11. Pre trial publicity of any kind is not what we should expect from the 5th estate, Simply turn it off you lugnuts, and allow justice to prevail.

  12. As soon as I read he came from a quiet, devoutly religious home, alarm bells rang in my head. Why would he leave a devoutly religious home and immediately become a rangy tang and a great concern to his parents? Who knows what went on behind those devoutly, religious doors? Raises the hairs on the back of my head.

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