The untold story of Justin Bourque

He was a middle-class kid from a devout Christian family. Two years ago, his disturbing descent began and now three Mounties are dead.

Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Update: Aug. 8, 2014:  Justin Bourque has pleaded guilty to three first-degree murder charges in the fatal shootings of three RCMP officers in Moncton. Bourque, 24, also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in the wounding of two other officers during his appearance in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Moncton. 

Behind the window of his rented trailer, shielded by bedsheet curtains, Justin Bourque prepared for a battle only he understood. It was June 4, a Wednesday, and the clocks in Moncton, N.B., were approaching 7 p.m. In his mind, twisted as it is, the time had come.

Bourque pulled on a camouflage army jacket—the green sleeves rolled up to his elbows—and tied a matching bandana around his mop of brown hair. He grabbed some large knives and an ammunition belt, and slung the strap of a pump-action shotgun across his chest. Bourque then reached for his prized firearm: an M305 semi-automatic rifle, ordered from an out-of-country supplier. (The weapon took more than six months to get across the border. “I remember when it finally got released from Customs, and how happy he was,” recalls one close friend. “He was stoked he could finally take his new rifle and go test it at the range.”)

As Bourque walked outside the trailer and onto his dilapidated porch, children played nearby. Barbecues were grilling.

“He just had this blank stare on his face, just a dead look in his eyes,” says Virginia Boudreau, a friend and neighbour who first spotted the rifle-toting 24-year-old. “He was calm as could be. He was just walking at a steady pace. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t slow. He did not waver, not even to avoid a pothole.”

Outside with her two young kids, Boudreau immediately phoned police. She decided to call the local Codiac RCMP detachment rather than 911, “in case it was just some punk trying to scare people.” Even the dispatcher seemed skeptical it was anything more than a false alarm. “They kept asking: ‘Are you sure it’s a real gun?’ ” Boudreau says. “ ‘What makes you think that he’s a threat?’ ”

In hindsight, Bourque’s alleged plan worked to perfection. Confused, then panicked, other witnesses started phoning police about the strange man strolling down the street, armed to the teeth. The trap was set.

A lone officer arrived within minutes and Boudreau pointed him toward the end of a dirt road, where Bourque had disappeared into a thicket of trees that separates the trailer park from Pinehurst, a high-end Moncton subdivision full of two-storey houses and neatly trimmed lawns. “He sped off really fast and as he was pulling away I yelled out: ‘He’s heavily armed and the bullets are real,’ ” Boudreau recalls. “That’s what broke our hearts the most. We knew he was alone and we sent him down there.”

When the first wave of gunshots pierced the air, Kerry Fitzpatrick, another trailer-park resident, sprinted outside. “I asked my neighbour what he looked like and she described Justin to a T,” he recalls. “I thought: ‘Oh God, that’s him.’ ”

A former co-worker, Fitzpatrick headed straight for Bourque’s trailer (number 13), hoping his hunch was wrong. “His door was open and I saw he had a wallet on the table just laid out for basically everyone to see,” he remembers. “I took a step in and I could see the gun cabinet; it kind of looked like it was left ajar. Then I came back outside and the key to the gun cabinet was on the steps.”

By sundown, three RCMP officers had been executed, two others wounded, and a massive manhunt was on. At 10:30 p.m., with the north end of town completely locked down, the Mounties tweeted the first photo of their camouflaged suspect, rifle in hand. “Its justin,” one friend wrote on Facebook.

“F–k he lost it,” typed another.

A fugitive for 30 terrifying hours, Justin Bourque is now behind bars after being cornered in a backyard near the killing zone. (“I’m done,” he reportedly told the arresting officers.) He is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one for each constable he allegedly gunned down—Fabrice Georges Gévaudan, 45; Douglas James Larche, 40; and David Ross, 32—and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the officers who survived.

For devastated loved ones left behind, no explanation will ever be enough. Although investigators have already begun the exhaustive task of retracing Bourque’s final steps, the answers won’t turn back time. Three Mounties are gone, and they shouldn’t be.

But the question inevitably lingers, as it always does after senseless tragedies like this: Why? Why would a witty, intelligent young man with loving parents, supportive siblings—and a legendary knack for hilarious pop-culture impressions—allegedly load his guns and go hunting for cops? What could have triggered such unthinkable violence?

Only Justin Bourque knows for sure (and even he may not). But his downward spiral appears to have begun more than two years ago, as he grew increasingly fixated on faraway wars and the right to bear arms. He talked to buddies about the looming apocalypse, and his desire to “live off the grid.” Some friends feared that Bourque, a regular pot smoker, had turned to much harder substances, fuelling his paranoia.

“Ask yourself, would you fight for the future of your children or grandchildren, or your family and friends sons and daughters?” he wrote on his Facebook page April 7, two months before the rampage. “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.”

Bourque’s parents were concerned enough about their son’s odd behaviour—his growing anxieties, the guns, his fanatical talk about perceived injustices—to reach out to retired friends in the police. Nothing could be done, they were told. “I don’t know what caused this,” Victor Bourque, Justin’s father, tells Maclean’s. “A gentle soul like him who wouldn’t hurt a fly all of a sudden flips over, so there’s something there that’s unanswered and we’ll only find out as time goes along. Everybody will have to be patient.”

In the meantime, one chilling possibility has emerged: that Bourque was bent on revenge, seeking supposed “justice” for a dead Moncton man, Dan Levesque, who was shot four times last July by a pair of RCMP officers. At a press conference just two weeks before Bourque walked out of his trailer for the final time, investigators cleared the two Mounties of any wrongdoing.

At least one of Levesque’s friends seemed convinced that Bourque was out for revenge that bloody night. “He’s doing this for us I love this guy,” the friend posted on Facebook, while the drama was still unfolding. “He’s righting all the wrongs.”

Related:

Fallen RCMP remembered for the way they lived

Moncton mourns: Images from the regimental funeral

Media, motives and mass shootings

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Justin Christien Bourque is the third of seven children (five girls, two boys) raised in a tightly knit, deeply devout Roman Catholic family. Neighbours marvelled that such a large clan could fit into their relatively small house, located in a leafy middle-class neighbourhood near Moncton’s core. By all accounts, life at the Bourques was idyllic. Father Victor worked two jobs, walking to his shifts at a nearby dental office and doubling as a parking attendant downtown. Mother Denise, a talented cook, home-schooled all seven kids.

She ran her lessons like any typical school. Neighbours would see the children bouncing on the backyard trampoline during short recesses and again when classes let out around 3 p.m. Victor tells Maclean’s that the decision to home-school the kids was driven by their strong religious values. “The public schools have good things, but unfortunately there’s a lot of lack of morality in a secular society,” he says. “So we chose to move our children away from that.”

To suggest that home-schooling somehow contributed to his son’s alleged killing spree is deeply misguided, Victor says. Above all, the Bourques taught their children to treasure the sanctity of human life, strongly condemning abortion, euthanasia and all forms of violence. “Public schools don’t teach you how to shoot, nor do we,” Victor says, standing outside the family home, a Jesus emblem hanging on the front door. “If we revere life, these things won’t happen.”

On Sundays, the whole clan would attend morning mass at nearby Christ-Roi Church. “The children would look like little ducks in a row,” one neighbour remembers.

Bourque shared a bedroom with his younger brother, and although many have described him as shy and awkward, he was a funny kid. His impersonations were priceless, from Bill Cosby and his Jell-O pudding pops to Herbert from Family Guy. “He did the greatest impression of Beavis and Butt-head that you can imagine; it was spot-on,” says Tim Doucette, who first met Bourque, then 19, when they worked together at Wal-Mart. “He was a really big comedian.”

They didn’t share the same taste in music (Tim, a cashier, liked country and hip hop, while Bourque, a cart collector, wore heavy-metal T-shirts), but they became fast friends, spending countless hours playing the video game Call of Duty in Bourque’s bedroom. “His family welcomed me with open arms,” Doucette recalls. “They are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” He ate untold suppers at the Bourques’ table, where the family always thanked God for their food and shared stories about their days.

Doucette certainly wasn’t the only outsider to join them for dinner. Friends of all the children would regularly drop by, engaging in long, deep discussions as they enjoyed the meal. “People and friends that we know here, they were always welcome,” Victor says. “They would call us mom and dad. They feel welcomed here. They feel at peace. We’re not afraid to show our friends, our children, and the people around us that we pray.”

Even back in 2009, Bourque had a passion for weapons—including that brand-new M305 rifle. In those days, at least, Bourque was a serious sportsman who preached safety above everything else. Each of his guns was properly registered, and he had all the necessary firearms and hunting licences. “I’ve gone shooting with him, and he was the safest person with a weapon,” Doucette says. “If you were not safe handling his weapon, you were never handling his weapon again.”

If nothing else, Doucette says, Bourque was a genuine, loyal friend. When a pal’s mom suddenly passed away, he was a key source of support. One night, Doucette phoned his buddy at 2 a.m., asking for a ride because his truck had died on the outskirts of the city. Bourque didn’t hesitate to come pick him up. “There was nothing different about him,” says Doucette, now 22. “He was exactly like you and me: a nice person all around.”

In 2010, Bourque took a job at Kent Distribution Centre, a building-supplies warehouse where he first met Kerry Fitzpatrick, his eventual neighbour in the trailer park. Like so many others, Fitzpatrick remembers Bourque’s uncanny impressions. “He liked to joke around, he liked to have fun,” he says. “He never talked about guns, never talked about hating police.”

Despite outward appearances, all was not well inside. Victor Bourque says the family began noticing a troubling change in his son’s behaviour a few years ago. “It started to happen slowly and gradually,” he says. “His worries and anxieties. His restlessness. His concerns over injustice and wars and stuff like that going on. [He was] over-concerned. I wouldn’t say paranoid, but very worried.” The family even sought the advice of people in law enforcement. “The police are limited in what they can do; they can’t confiscate guns until something happens,” Victor says. “We’re not psychologists, we can’t see everything. We asked questions and thought: ‘Well, maybe we’ll try to give him a chance.’ ”

By 2013, Bourque had moved out of the family home and was living in a rented house with a group of friends. His bed was the couch. “He was a great guy, very chilled, very down-to-earth,” says one friend from that period, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He liked to play video games and have a puff or a drink with the guys.”

He was a huge fan of the heavy-metal band Megadeth. He baked “special brownies.” And he often went on “Ted Nugent rants,” channelling the aging conservative rocker and National Rifle Association champion who famously proclaimed he would be “dead or in jail” if U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012. But Bourque was still the same laid-back jokester—and safety-conscious hunter. “If he saw anybody around wearing orange, he automatically dropped his weapon,” says the friend, who once went quail hunting with Bourque. “He would let them pass through, and gave them the head’s up that other hunters were around.”

In early 2013, Bourque also made another decision that, in hindsight, offered a window into his shifting personality: he cancelled his original Facebook account, wiping away all his old friends and photos.

Later that summer, something else happened that some say may have contributed to Bourque’s disturbing mindset.

In the early morning hours of July 13, RCMP officers responded to a complaint of a man armed with a knife near the Moncton Coliseum. According to police, 30-year-old Dan Levesque had tried to get into a parked car in which a man, unknown to Levesque, was napping between work shifts. Police found their suspect roughly an hour later; though bleeding heavily from still-unexplained stab wounds, the two Mounties say he was acting aggressively and ignored their orders to drop the knife.

They shot Levesque four times. Like many others in the community, Bourque was furious—unaware at the time that it wasn’t the officers’ bullets that actually killed Levesque.

“I know he was upset when that happened,” says the friend who does not want to be identified. “His exact words were: ‘This is absolutely bulls–t that the cops can get away with this.’ ”

 

The Moncton trailer-park home of shooting suspect Justin Bourque. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The Moncton trailer-park home of shooting suspect Justin Bourque. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

By Christmas, Justin Bourque had settled into his white and brown trailer in Ryder Park, a two-bedroom unit he shared, over time, with various friends. The new arrivals had no furniture, so some neighbours helped them knock on doors to scavenge for spare tables and chairs. Bourque returned the favour, helping one neighbour free a visitor’s car that got stuck in the snow.

Trailer 13 was the kind of place where “the lights were off all day and on all night,” says another neighbour. There were frequent early-morning jam sessions and many hours spent playing video games. Heavy-metal band posters decorated the walls, as did a red, blue and white Confederate flag.

Though long gone from the house where he was raised, Bourque did spend last Christmas Eve with his family—at one point, squeezing onto the couch with his siblings for a group photograph. He was dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, red and green.

As Victor says now, the changes in his son’s personality remained a major source of concern. In and out of jobs, he was also struggling financially, so much so that his parents worried he’d be unable to afford a decent suit for his sister’s September wedding. “We’d ask him to come in, sit down, talk, but he wouldn’t,” Victor says. “I don’t know if he realized it, but we noticed it. He was going down, down, down low and there was just nothing we could do to reach him. He wouldn’t want to go for help. It’s like an alcoholic: they’ve got to go but you can’t push them.”

Six weeks after Christmas, Justin Bourque suddenly reappeared on Facebook. His profile picture, taken over the winter, shows him standing among dozens of spent shell casings in a snowy forest, gripping a black firearm and wearing what appears to be the same green army coat he donned on the night of June 4. Standing beside him, striking a similar pose, was his friend Nate Plewes, who worked in the gun department of a Moncton outdoors shop, Worlds End Warehouse. Another friend, Mike Barkhouse, also posed for a photo with Bourque that day, guns raised. (Barkhouse could not be reached for comment, and Plewes, approached in his driveway, declined to be interviewed. “I’m not trying to be rude,” he told Maclean’s. “I’m just really upset.”)

The Justin Bourque who liked to get high, play guitar and imitate Bill Cosby had become increasingly silent, replaced by an angry man who railed against police and saw a state conspiracy in every corner. “If we are born poor, we die poor,” he wrote on Feb. 27. “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.”

“In today’s society anger and aggression are not allowed,” he typed later that same day. “What other basic instincts and emotions are they gonna take next[?]”

Bourque’s posts touched on everything from the salaries of politicians to the conflict in the Ukraine. He said the “U.S. army improvised munitions handbook should be a New York Times best-seller!” 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.” And he uploaded cartoons lambasting liberal 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,” said another, “but you’re upset I have a rifle that holds 30 rounds?”

On March 26, a Wednesday, Bourque shared a photo of a portly police officer eating a donut—one of his many jabs at law enforcement. “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.”

Tim Doucette, who moved to Alberta for a job last year, exchanged some private messages with Bourque in late April. Bourque mentioned he was behind on his cellphone bill, but appeared to be the same guy Doucette visited so many times at the Bourque home. He even offered his old friend a place to stay if he ever came back east for a visit. “When I asked him what he was up to, he told me he had just made some brownies,” Doucette says. “Everything seemed normal.”

If the ensuing investigation unearths any connection to Dan Levesque’s death, May 23 was a critical day. The Fredericton Police Service, called in to investigate last July’s shooting, held a press conference that Friday, exonerating the RCMP officers who shot Levesque. In fact, Insp. Gary Forward said none of the Mounties’ four bullets struck a vital organ—and that Levesque ultimately died of the knife wounds he sustained prior to being shot, not the bullets. (Who stabbed Levesque, and why, is still under investigation.)

The same day as the news conference, Bourque’s mom and dad posted a quote to their joint Facebook account. “Sometime you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting,” it read. “Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.”

Twelve days later—June 4—Justin 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?” 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 attack.)

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.

By suppertime, Bourque was putting on green fatigues and loading his guns.

Photograph by Scott Munn

Photograph by Scott Munn

Like millions of Canadians mourning the loss of three brave police officers, Victor Bourque is still trying to understand what may have driven his son over the edge. “We’ll only find that out as time goes along,” he says. “Anything I would say right now would be sheer speculation, so it wouldn’t be just to him or to anybody to speculate. When a person gets a troubled mind, you can’t pinpoint one thing.”

One thing, though, does appear certain: everyone who knows Justin Bourque—even those who listened to his anti-establishment, anti-cop rants—never truly believed he was dangerous. He seemed a big talker, nothing more.

Dozens of friends and acquaintances contacted by Maclean’s did not want to talk about Bourque, having already endured hateful, ignorant messages from so many Facebook strangers. Some friends (including Nate Plewes) actually changed their profile pictures, expressing their deep condolences to the families of the murdered Mounties.

But in the early moments of the manhunt, as friends realized who the alleged killer was, their utter shock filled social media.

“Jesus,” wrote one.

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

On Bourque’s Facebook page, still active at press time, friend Phil Hache wrote: “You knew this wasn’t the answer…”

Was the Levesque investigation the final straw for Justin Bourque? Was he so unconvinced by the official conclusions—that Levesque wasn’t killed by an RCMP officer’s bullet—that he felt compelled to do something about it?

Bourque never mentioned Levesque’s case on his Facebook page (or at least on any threads that weren’t deleted) and Stella Arsenault, Levesque’s girlfriend, has said neither of them ever met Bourque. But others, including Levesque’s friend Joey Leblanc, literally cheered Bourque on during the dramatic manhunt. “He’s doing this for us,” he wrote on Facebook, multiple times.

Levesque’s mother, Marie-Anne Murray, agreed. “It’s cruel to say but I’m going to agree with u Joey,” she wrote. (Neither Murray or Leblanc responded to interview requests from Maclean’s.)

Another of Bourque’s acquaintances, Jasper Stam, wrote on his Facebook page that his “most respectable” friend felt it “necessary to take justice into his own hands and set things right for the family and loved ones of the dead boy”—an apparent allusion to Levesque. (The RCMP has since charged Stam with uttering threats in connection with an unrelated incident that occurred last month.)

Asked about the potential Levesque connection, Bourque’s father says he has heard the same rumours, but did not know who Dan Levesque was until after his son’s arrest. “It’s nothing more than speculation,” he says. “We don’t know if he did know [him], or whether or not he tried to justify that or to do something to try to vindicate. I don’t know. Nobody knows.”

Tim Doucette has heard the same rumours, but at this point he doesn’t know anything more than what people are saying. “I really don’t know what happened, but I really wish I did know,” he says. “I wish there was something I could have done along the way to steer him away from this. If I had the chance to sit down and talk with him for just a couple of hours, I would want to know what happened—and why he didn’t reach out to somebody who could have helped him through any rough time he was having.”

Now living in Alberta, Doucette contacted the RCMP in New Brunswick as soon as he saw the photo of his old pal. Over the next few days, he was inundated with messages from reporters and strangers, many with nasty words for a person who kept such a notorious friend. Doucette agreed to speak to Maclean’s because he wants Canadians to understand that the Justin Bourque they’ve come to know was not always that man in the picture.

“Never once did I think he would be capable of doing something like this,” Doucette says. “He is not the monster that people are making him out to be, but my thoughts and prayers are definitely with the officers’ families and their colleagues.”

Victor Bourque says he is also praying for the loved ones of the fallen, and every other Moncton Mountie who “thanklessly put their lives at risk.” Despite such terrible circumstances, he says police have been nothing but respectful of his family, their pain and suffering now linked by a shared tragedy. “I was speaking to one of the chief officers of the investigation and he was almost crying on the phone,” Victor says. “That’s a human being.”

Victor hopes the media and the public can find it in their hearts to let his family grieve in peace, too. The Bourques spent five days in protective custody after the rampage, and have yet to be able to visit Justin in jail. Shattered in their own way, they must now pick up the pieces and plan for a fall family wedding that will now be celebrated by only six of the seven children.

“We are victims,” he says. “We didn’t ask for this at all. Our feelings are strong for life and we want to preserve it at all costs. Nobody has the authority to take a life.”

He also hopes that somehow, something positive will emerge from such horror. Perhaps his son’s case will spur changes to the law, allowing police more powers to intervene when someone appears to be dangerous but hasn’t yet committed a crime. And perhaps his son will get a full psychiatric evaluation, a first step toward finally receiving treatment.

“I hope my son does get the help that he needs so he’ll be able to live with himself after and forgive himself and seek the forgiveness that he has to,” his dad says. “Like Jesus said, you can take the easy road or the hard road. It’s going to be the hard road for him.”

For so many others, left to wonder why—knowing the answer won’t change a thing.




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The untold story of Justin Bourque

  1. No education, no employment, male, paranoia…we’ll likely see a lot more of this.

  2. The ideology of this guy sounds eerily similar to US conspiracy personality Alex Jones. Interestingly enough, Dave Mustaine of Megadeath appears frequently on his Internet radio broadcast. Read the through the websites Prison Planet and Infowars. I would bet money that this guy was listening either to Jones or somebody similar in the American “patriot” movement. There is a large community of disillusioned young people that buy into this stuff.

    • Funny how the left media always highlights political positions when it suits them. Fact is most psychopaths are left leaning, like Loughner of the 2011 Tucson shooting rampage, was a democrat, left, communist, socialist ranter.

      But hey, statism CBC (corporate welfare) did post a article insinuating a liberty political position and anti-statism was the cause. It wasn’t, Liberty and Libertarians are in the belief of low government interferences and value liberty of individuality. It isn’t libertarian to kill other people, any more than it is for a Liberal or Socialist, its a mental/anger/psychopathy disorder.

      • Idiotic comment. There is no “left media”. And this case has nothing to do with the pseudo left-right bogus political spectrum.

      • “Most psychopaths are left-leaning.” Guess you’ve never heard of that wacko group called, “The Minutemen.” Left leaning was not a part of their vocabulary.

  3. “Trying to understand” isn’t that, if reasons offered are discounted. He isn’t the first and he won’t be the last. Matthew Murray is another one of many. There is a pattern that runs through his actions that is common to all the others – one that taken a step further is documented by FBI profilers.

    1. Strongly religious home with home schooling for “morality” reasons.
    Religion is part of the story, right from the beginning
    2. Personality changes prior to event.
    3. Concern with end times and the need to arm and protect the “good” against the evil, even to avenge evils.
    4. Evidence of influence by conspiracy theorists in the media – often end times survivalists.
    5. Inability to hold a permanent or meaningful job with depression and paranoia.

    • QUOTE: Loughner’s high school friend Zach Osler said, “He did not watch TV; he disliked the news; he didn’t listen to political radio; he didn’t take sides; he wasn’t on the Left; he wasn’t on the Right……………He noted that conspiracy theories had a profound effect on Loughner, particularly the online film Zeitgeist: The Movie, with which friends claimed Loughner held an obsession.[16][49] He was a member of the message board Above Top Secret, which discussed conspiracy theories; members of the site did not respond warmly to his posts.[50][51][52] Loughner espoused conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks,[47] the New World Order, and beliefs in a 2012 apocalypse, among other controversial viewpoints. Reports appearing after the shooting noted similarities between the statements made by Loughner and those publicized by the conspiracy theorist David Wynn Miller.[53][54][55] The Anti-Defamation League’s report also confirmed Loughner’s longstanding interest in conspiracy theories

  4. Right from the moment this tragedy occurred my thoughts were with Justin’s family (though please don’t misunderstand, I am also deeply saddened for the families of the RCMP officers. It definitely should never have happened!).I suspect a psychiatric assessment will uncover some interesting facts about this case. Frankly, no sane person would commit such an act. Justin is mentally ill. He was probably showing signs for years, but if you can’t lock up someone for having delusions, what can you do? Does it have to take something like these murders to get this young man the help he needs? Evidently, it does! Justin made mistakes because he is sick, not because he wanted to hurt his family.

  5. M305 is Chinese made, banned from importation to Canada including its munitions that are restricted. I guess CBSA was more interested in collecting $45 billion in hidden taxes per year than stopping the importation.

    But guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Be it guns, knives, autos, bats, hockey sticks, poisons….people kill people.

    No reason for this narcissistic, sociopath psychopathic criminal to go to a wedding, needs a life in jail. Sorry, I do not grieve for the perps family one bit, they raised him and didn’t intervene.

    While I agree we should not vilify the family in any way, I am also against giving any latitude to the perps access, bail or release under any circumstances, as he has proven he is a danger to society beyond repair. Maybe in 25 or 50 years…they can visit him in jail.

    • The M305 has been legally imported into Canada by various retailers and sold for years. It fires the .308 round which is a popular hunting round. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info from…

  6. HAHA! What a spin piece. Im not saying going on a rampage against law enforcement is a good thing, but do you honestly expect people to believe this bullshit. Hey, here is maybe a wild idea, it’s carcinogenic media like you that creates people like Bourque. You espouse these nonsensical tropes, slogans and memes that reinforce submission, compliance, and apathy. Everytime you promote and present any controversy or scandal it’s not for the purpose of truth, its for giving the left-right mill more grist and line your pockets.

    For God’s sake the past decade of foreign policy has been Midas’ touch in reverse. Despite raping the countryside for industry, the national deficit is not shrinking. If you honestly believe the Internal Affairs report that the man died of stab wounds, I got a bridge in brooklyn to sell, real cheap. The country is going to hell in a basket and there are no solutions, just your average politicians vomiting bromides that could be summed up as “there is no better way” while you and your ilk discredit everyone challenging the mainstream as “extremist, radicals, unelectable.” If you keep painting the dissidents and outcasts, they eventually are going to accept the label and become the extremist and radicals you paint them to be.

    This is the bed you have made, now lay in it.

    • You’re insane.

  7. Perhaps Tamsin McMahon, Michael Friscolanti or Martin Patriquin can use actual scientific research to explain to me what relevance pot smoking has to this? “Some friends feared that Bourque, a regular pot smoker, had turned to much harder substances, fuelling his paranoia.” COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Stop being lazy and do some bloody research. Please tell me ONE street drug that would cause paranoia to the level that would contribute one tenth of one percent to someone committing such a heinous act. Another instance of lazy journalists using old wives tales to help fill their story. Oh, he’s a DRUUUGGG USER. Here’s an idea, talk to a scientist and ask them if any sort of street drug could contribute to a person committing an act such as this. I can answer it for you if you like. Possibly a slight factor. This person has some sort of mental illness that has been building for years. Many of these cases begin with misguided morals, depression and then build over time. Their repeated skewed thinking accompanied by depression, insecurity and potentially abuse by a family member set the person on a toxic path reinforcing anti social thinking and behaviours. But of course the sexy topic of the day is MARIJUANA and its role as the gateway drug causing paranoia. Marijuana’s paranoia is rare and lasts the length of the high. Now if he were depressed, didn’t have a busy/productive life, he may have smoked marijuana daily. While smoking daily he may have had a run in with police who were arrogant pricks to him. He may have started watching videos or researching police brutality etc and decided to finally take some horrible course of action. This would take years to manifest. But a more logical conclusion than your drugs.
    So what are these mystery other drugs you have linked and decided cause long term paranoia after their effects have subsided? Cocaine….no paranoia….heroin…nope….LSD? That is more likely, but being both in science and law enforcement, if you know where to get LSD in this country you’re pretty much the only one. A short blurb like you have inserted in to this article will have the majority of the uninformed public saying the second they read it, “Oh! There it is, he’s a junkie! It was the marijuana.” Your lazy journalism just perpetuates the stereotype. I haven’t smoked marijuana in 15 years but when you put crap like this in the media it does nothing but contribute to making people’s lives more difficult. People will ask the question, “Well, if someone is smoking marijuana medicinally and has some slightly radical thoughts will the marijuana make them more paranoid, and then this drug will be a gateway to others and they will shoot up a school.” This argument is used ALL THE TIME and it’s you LAZY, “award-winning” journalists that help perpetuate this myth. I am not saying that you draw these conclusions, but I’m soooo surprised that you didn’t put down that he played video games. By including these facts as part of the story you are saying that there is a relationship without drawing conclusions. If you are going to include the drugs do some homework. If there was a single oxycontin pill found in his dwelling I’m sure that would be in the headline because I think it’s tied for the sexiest media drug of the day.
    It’s because of this type of journalism that I have an extremely difficult time simply filling a very low dose opiate prescription for my back. I was even asked by HR if I was capable of working while taking the prescription because she had read in the paper that it “impairs judgement”. Please do not hide behind the, “just presenting facts” crap. You are supposed to be the best and you are nothing but lazy. I can’t wait to read the rest of the article…….

    • http://www.ukcia.org/culture/effects/psychosisandschizophrenia.php

      Medications of several types can and DO cause an organic psychosis. This is seen in people who have reactions to morphine or codeine after surgery or to the anesthetic used in the surgery. They lose touch with reality for a period of time. People can also have a brief psychotic episode related to use of street drugs or if they are predisposed to mental illness, it might trigger a mental illness that was already under the surface. Further, brain trauma, tumors and an imbalances in neuro-transmitters in the brain can cause psychotic episodes. Even severe hypothryoidism can cause major depression. The brain is a complex and sensitive organ. That is why when a person presents with what appears to be a mental illness, they get a full physical workup and drug testing as standard procedure.

      • Hmm…mental illness. Is this how we should explain cops when they murder people?

  8. 1. Where did he get the guns?
    2. Did others know he had them?
    3. No job and at the shooting range all the time?
    4. Are there others out there like this?

    • 1) Legally, he was a hunter
      2) see 1
      3) He had to eat and sleep sometime, no.
      4) Yes.

  9. You only need to know someone with schizophrenia to know that this young man had/has long untreated schizophrenia. All the symptoms were there. Early psychosis intervention could save so many lives (usually the lives of the ill as they rarely try to hurt others, it’s themselves they hurt most times).
    Nothing “made him snap”. He just sought out information that aligned with his delusions. The longer he went without proper anti-psychotic meds, the more afraid be became and the more he lost logical thinking.
    Psychopathy is hardly ever the case (and is actually a rare condition), although it’s the overreported one that we’ve watched in movies.

    • You are diagnosing and psychobabblizing someone after the fact. Your comment is classic Soviet Psychiatry. If someone resists the state, they must be crazy.

  10. Officer Ross’ name was Dave. Not David.

  11. Whatever problems he had he snapped when he found out the police who killed Levesque were found not guilty of his death after an investigation by the Fredericton Police Dept. So you can all stop grasping at straws. While I don’t agree with what Justin did, clearly it was wrong, the incident with his Levesque should have been handled better. They should have tazed him, then apprehended him and sent him for a psych assessment. Police are not properly trained to deal with people who have mental issues. There should be some form of training course or something so that in the future officers can better deal with such situations or have special officers with such training on call in the event that when it comes to dealing with the mentally ill, they’ll be better prepared and people will be less likely to get hurt.

  12. ughhh

    justin didnt know this guy the cops shot

    did it piss him off , ofcourse !just the principal of it should.

    his parents had plenty of time to help him before they threw him out
    in the cold with no where to go but his car .

    how do i know this , because whose couch do you think he crashed on
    when his family turned their back him during because they didnt agree
    with his lifestyle choice’s .

    justin and i didnt get along very well because of his downward spiral
    and darkening views which was why in the summer 2013
    he was told to get his shit together and move out off the couch.

    again his family opted not to help him in this situation either .

    after that i dont know as i was going to distance myself from him as
    far as possible because he was on a road for a meltdown.

    but threw all that i always thought justin was more harm to
    himself then anyone else ,that he would commit suicide or something
    as one last “fuck you” to religion .

    i never once took him for the type to actually go as far as he did
    as most of his desire to keep weapons comes from the desire
    to protect and not the desire to kill.

    im not trying to give him an excuse or a way out

    but point out each and every one of us who has been in contact with
    justin over the past 2-3 years knew something bad was gonna happen
    and not one single person did something about it .

    that being said , i wouldnt have changed my actions
    but perhaps if he would have had a normal childhood
    with school yard experience’s he would have had a greater
    support system outside of the one his family chose on his behalf
    that failed him so miserably .

    p.s im not gonna debate or respond to or about this statement
    those who know me , and know these’s truth’s know im right .

    • Bill, I’m sorry.

      I think I have a potential Borque on my hands. My younger brother is an avowed anti-imperialist. Well, anti-American. He speaks dispargingly of police (“pigs”), enjoys playing with guns, and is preparing for a career in the police force (what?). Leftist, centre-right to Guevara, I think.

      Borque is a tragedy close to home for a lot of Canadians. But he isn’t the only one. There’s those leaving to fight on foreign soil, against Canadian allies.

      • I think I have a potential cop on my hands. My cousin is an avowed authoritarian and law and order creep. He speaks disparagingly about native people, freedom and human rights or anyone who disobeys the law. He plays with guns and is becoming radicalized by the Sun News Media. He talks about how cool it would be to tazer peaceful protesters or kill the homeless. I’m afraid he might actually join a police gang and wind up killing someone.

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  14. Let`s cut all the BS and cut to the chase. There are millions and millions of Canadians who strongly feel the RCMP needs an over-haul and reasonable accountability. Out of all of those Canadians, how many have decided that killing 3 innocent constables would somehow improve the force… one.

  15. He was a normal man and lived happily with others. However, the RCMP do have a problem shooting and tasering people for no obvious reasons and even harassment, which many people know. They killed his friend and as usual the RCMP officer get off the hook easily. since he could not go anyone or get justice from the RCMP, he decided to take on them. I am not trying to justify what he did. However, this is what happens when cops end up killing civilians for no good reason. They killed his friend and he killed the RCMP offers. He will spend the rest of his live in jail, but he got justice his own way, which nobody could have delivered. I am grateful that he never killed a civilian. The cop cry on t.v all the time when their own brothers and sisters die. However, what about people who have been killed by the RCMP, there are many examples. There families not only cry all their lives but get not justice because in most cases the perpetrators ( officers) gets off the hook easily. There are psychopaths in the RCMP as well. However, the difference is that our legal system projects them.

  16. RCMP are domestic tax funded terrorists.

    Put on a uniform and carry a gun, you are a combatant, plain and simple.

    There will only be more of this as Harper and the Military Industrial Complex take over Canada.

    Too bad he gave up and didn’t get more of the pigs.

    • Wow! You may soon be getting a knock on the door with two guys in black suits and sunglasses waiting for you to open it. Or perhaps the door will be kicked in by strange looking guys in flak jackets and multi armament. Good luck, dude.

  17. When I see the phrase, “Devout Christian family,” my suspicions are mostly confirmed.

  18. Why waste hunderds of $Millions of Taxdollars on this “decisively-failed” excuse for a human. ?!

    Instead,
    - Move him from solitary to GP, and let fatal (ehm) accident happen? :)
    - The remaining carcass would be of more use as fertilizer/food for worms.
    Result:
    - No more notoriety, …, for Bourque, and All remaining peace will hopefully go to victims, where it belongs.
    - Save Taxpayers hundreds of $millions, where a portion of that would be better served donated to possibly help prevent these kinds of horrific acts of violence.

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