Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, September 04, 2015

Parenting and Matricide

"I don't know what I was thinking She tried to fight back and I grabbed a knife from the kitchen. I was trying to finish her off."
"It was weird. I was really tired. That’s when I went to grab a knife from the kitchen."
"I went up to her. She was still clearly alive and breathing. I started to stab her. ...Once or twice in the back. Then one kind of on the side. It went in kind of deep. And then I cut her neck."
"I love my mom. I miss my mom. I think about her every day. I hope she can forgive me, wherever she is. I'm sorry for the suffering I've caused."
"I hope I can get closer to you, Dad. I want to get better and make something of my life."
Chris Gobin, 19, Orleans, Ontario
Image for the news result
"Luce and I did our best at being your parents. We had a nice home and provided for you and your sister. When you showed an interest in something, whether football, martial arts, we signed you up."
"We didn't enforce our own rules on video-gaming because that was the only thing at the end that interested you. It was clear since an early age that school was a struggle for you, but Luce and I believed it was important that you at least finish high school. It always bothered Luce and me that you were always so unhappy, that you never smiled, but we were hopeful that you would get past what was bothering you so much."
"It was heartbreaking to us that you were so alone by shutting everyone out. I guess you wanted to sort things out on your own. But you couldn't work things out on your own, and things just kept building up."
"I'm afraid we can't forget what happened, nor will we forget Luce. We will forgive you so long as you're doing your best, as long as you're showing you care about something productive, as long as you're letting people try and help you, as long as you're not shutting people out, especially the ones who care about you the most. Because when you stop doing all of those things you are forgetting what happened."
Jacques Gobin, father of Chris Gobin

Luce Lavertu, left, was found by her husband Jacques Gobin, right, in their home on April 22, 2014, suffering from a stab wound to the throat. She was later pronounced dead and the couple's son, Chris Gobin, was later charged with first-degree murder.
Luce Lavertu, left, was found by her husband Jacques Gobin, right, in their home on April 22, 2014, suffering from a stab wound to the throat. She was later pronounced dead and the couple's son, Chris Gobin, was later charged with first-degree murder. (Facebook)
"Nothing could be more tragic and brutal ... She did nothing to deserve this."
"My hope for you is that you realize that you have hope ... Don't let this ruin your life. There's a long way to go."
I hope today is a small step in the long journey of healing. I don’t know if there’s a destination."
"What I’ve heard today is people love you. You seem to be willing to accept help. That’s how you’re going to heal." My hope for you is you realize there’s some hope for you. I hope that the prison doesn’t swallow you up."
Superior Court Justice Patrick Smith

Now 19, Chris Gobin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his mother over a year ago. He had confessed his guilt just hours after the murder, and after his arrest, under questioning by a police interrogator. In court on Thursday, the video of his interview with police was played back to him, and left him sorrowfully emotional, confessing how much he missed his mother's presence in his life. She had been his life-line to whatever stability he could find within himself.

The presiding justice obviously viewed the young man with compassion. He was mentally unstable, and gradually became more so; withdrawn and aloof, unable to unburden himself of his confusion and his feelings to his parents. Fearing and hating having to attend school where he never felt himself an integral part of anything, not society, not the academic year, not his neighbourhood, and barely his family from whom emotional estrangement arose through sullen silence.

On the morning of April 22, 2014, his mother, 49-year-old Luce Lavertu, frustrated that he would be late again for school, loudly berated and threatened him. He would have preferred to remain at home; nothing at school attracted him. The young man described the scene, that his mother grabbed his neck, attacking him. He responded by pinning her to the floor and choking her. He didn't stop, not even when he heard a strange sound emanating from her as she choked to death.

What he did then  was to enter the kitchen from the foyer where they had been struggling, to return with a knife. With it, he repeatedly stabbed his mother, and finally slit her throat. Covering her head with a garbage bag, he tied her arms behind her back to enable him to move her body more readily, to drag her into the living room. He paced back and forth for hours, attempting to come to terms with what had happened and what he should do next.

What he did next was to obtain marijuana from a neighbour, then returned to the house. Soon afterward friends of his mother arrived for a visit that had been pre-arranged. The young man locked the front door securely. When there was no response to their doorbell ringing, the friends were perturbed and contacted her husband at his workplace. Jacques Gobin returned home, calling for his wife and son before finding his wife's body in the living room. He dialled 911.

And then Chris Gobin ran from the house to attempt to evade a police search. Finally, hearing the police everywhere in the neighbourhood, where he hid in various backyards and sheds, he walked out where police officers found him and handcuffed him The young man who had struggled with mental health disequilibrium for years, fearing he was a psychopath, had finally surrendered to a psychotic episode that left him and his sister motherless and his father without his helpmate and companion.

Withdrawn, depressed, regularly missing school, the death of his mother capped his mental disintegration. For the past year he has been taking medication for anxiety and depression. When Justice Smith sentenced the young man he also recommended mental health treatment throughout his incarceration. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for twelve years. 

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