Home Crime Minassian’s thoughts ‘similar to psychosis’: defence expert assessment

Minassian’s thoughts ‘similar to psychosis’: defence expert assessment

by Matthew Best

Crown to close case, Minassian’s father expected to testify Monday

Alek Minassian faces 10 counts of murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. (LinkedIn)

Alek Minassian had a thought process that was “concrete and inflexible” and his autism distorted his thinking in a way “similar to psychosis” during his 2018 van attack, according to an expert assessment.

That assessment and its implications for the Crown served as the crux of the second day of Minassian’s judge-only trial before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The assessment was read to the court by the Crown as it argued for the right to access the recordings used to make those assessments, rather than relying on the notes the defence had provided.

Minassian has pleaded not criminally responsible to 10 counts of murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. The psychiatric assessments lay the groundwork for the defence’s argument that although Minassian committed the acts, he was incapable of differentiating between right and wrong.

The Crown said it was “never advised these interviews were on audio or on video,” adding that the manner in which certain things are said or expressed is critical for the Crown’s own experts to assess the conclusions drawn by the defence experts.

After hours of recess and arguments by Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan and defence counsel Boris Bytensky on why the defence should or should not need to disclose the recordings, Justice Molloy ruled that the Crown must have access to the recordings if the defence is going to call the experts as witnesses. 

“It’s producible the instant they’re put in the box,” Molloy told Minassian’s defence team.

Day started with definitions of incels

The morning started as the Crown delved into the history of inceldom, its presence in online forums and its peculiar jargon, such as “Chads” (sexually successful men), “Stacys” (sexually successful women) and “betas” (so-called “beta males,” sexually unsuccessful men).

As covered by the Ryersonian’s prior reporting on the trial, the court heard how the “incel,” or involuntary celibate movement, began in the late ‘90s as a gender-and sexuality-inclusive support group founded by a Toronto woman to share frustrations over unfulfilled desires for sexual and romantic affection. The court heard how the movement is dominated by heterosexual males.

The court then heard of Minassian’s admiration for the mass killers (first touched on in his interview with the Toronto Police Service) Elliot Rodger and Chris Harper-Mercer. Rodger killed six people and injured 14 before killing himself in Isla Vista, Calif. in 2014. Harper-Mercer killed nine people and injured eight before killing himself after being wounded by police in Roseburg, Ore. in 2015. Both mass murderers expressed anger at their sexless lives.

Minassian claimed he had communicated with both Rodger and Harper-Mercer, though forensic analysis by police could neither confirm this nor rule it out. Minassian himself claimed to have first come to 4chan, one of the online forums where he discussed his incel views, on May 23, 2014, the day of Rodger’s mass murder. Rodger killed himself in the attack, and it’s unknown how Minassian would have communicated with him before this.

The victims

(Photos from Facebook and LinkedIn)

Minassian admitted he killed 45-year-old nutritionist Beutis Renuka Amarasinghe, 33-year-old account executive Andrea Bradden, 83-year-old Avon saleswoman Geraldine Brady, 22-year-old University of Toronto student So He Chung, 30-year-old financial analyst Anne Marie D’Amico, 94-year-old retiree Mary Elizabeth Forsyth, 45-year-old chef Chul Min (Eddie) Kang, 22-year-old Seneca College international student Ji Hun Kim, 85-year-old Jordanian retiree Munir Najjar (in Toronto visiting family) and 80-year-old retiree Dorothy Sewell.

Minassian admitted he intended to kill Xiaolong An, Robert Anderson, Amir Kiumarsi, Aleksandra Kozhevinikova, Mavis Justino, Morgan McDougall, Hyeon Jeong Moon, Jun Seok Park, Samantha Peart, So Ra, Catherine Riddell, Dina Risin, Sammantha Samson, Beverly Smith, Amaresh Tesfamariam and Yunsheng Tian.

The trial resumes Monday Nov. 16, when the Crown is expected to close its case and Minassian’s father is anticipated as a witness.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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