June 27, 2012
Double murder in Montreal psych ward
By Eric Thibault, QMI Agency
MONTREAL - A psychiatric patient is in custody after two elderly patients were strangled and a third was nearly choked to death last week.
The attacks happened on three separate days in the psychiatric ward of Notre-Dame hospital in the city's north end, police said.
Investigators only found out about the murders Friday afternoon after they responded to a report of an attempted murder, police spokesman Daniel Lacoursiere said.
Staff had surprised a man choking a patient and called police.
"(Officers) met a 71-year-old woman who said somebody attempted to kill her," Lacoursiere said.
Police arrested 31-year-old man who was arraigned Wednesday on an attempted murder charge.
He was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Hospital workers also told the officers about the mysterious deaths of two other patients, aged 69 and 77.
"We're talking about a couple of people who died by asphyxiation," Lacoursiere said.
The case was transferred to the homicide squad which determined the two patients were killed, but the suspect had not been charged with the murders as of Wednesday evening.
Investigators spent much of the day Wednesday interviewing nurses and other psych ward staff.
The hospital had no immediate comment.
- With files from Brian Daly