The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

April 19, 2007

The Lunatic Fringe

I tried, I really tried, to come up with a positive post, a titillating tale, a humorous homily, to get off the gun control and wild wacko issues in the wake of V-Tech.

I could not. I played football with myself last night...does that count? Nope, but getting outside and running around a bit helped.

Used to do that as a kid. Made me feel, for an hour or so, like a kid again, running on a grass field, kicking a ball around, taking in the early evening sun.

Revelling in being alive.


1. Parts of someone's body found in plastic bags inside SUV in Montreal. Fleeing man arrested.
2. Teen male pleads guilty in Alberta in horrific animal abuse case.
3. Hundreds of Iraqis killed in religious fighting; story virtually ignored because of V-Tech killings.
4. South Korean in V-Tech killings committed to mental institution in 2005 as danger to himself and others; released, able to buy guns, kills 32 people.
5. Mentally ill child molester escapes custody while taken out with other mental patients to Toronto Blue Jays game, still at large.

A few details on some of the above:

DIDSBURY -- A 17-year-old Alberta youth pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty in a horrific case of abuse that made national headlines.

A Lab-border collie cross named Daisy Duke was found barely alive and had to be euthanized by a veterinarian in October 2006.

The dog had been dragged behind a car with a rope around her neck, a bag over her head and all four legs bound. She suffered injuries including a broken neck, back and pelvis.

Tamara Chaney, an outraged animal lover in Didsbury, collected 110,000 signatures from across Canada on a petition calling for new legislation on animal abuse. The petition was later presented to Parliament.

Sentencing arguments for the youth's conviction on the animal cruelty charge will be heard May 10, the same day that a second charge against the youth of causing death or injury to an animal will be dealt with.

Current laws allow for a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine for a conviction under animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code.


From Patti Jacobs, a junior at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., saddened by the shootings at V-Tech, was alarmed when she also came across Web pages that included hateful, sometimes racist remarks toward shooter Cho Seung-Hui, other Asians and his family.

"This is not about just one guy and his problems," Jacobs wrote. "Yes - he alone is accountable for all the damage and pain caused yesterday - but the reason for this was not his race, his child-rearing by his family or his girlfriend breaking up with him....

"How much of our society is accountable as well?"


Then today, this guy:

Patient who molested young girls at large

A schizophrenic mental-health patient being detained indefinitely for sexually molesting two young Toronto girls six years ago is on the loose after slipping away from his escorts at a Rogers Centre baseball game Tuesday night.

Police issued a public alert for 31-year-old Mylvaganam Vaasuhan, an illegal immigrant and diagnosed pedophile, and voiced concern that without his medication, which he does not have, the fugitive could pose a threat, particularly to children.

Officials at the Whitby Mental Health Centre, where Vaasuhan has been a patient for the past four years, issued a five-paragraph statement saying that Toronto police were alerted "within minutes" of Vaasuhan disappearing.

In 2002, Vaasuhan was found not guilty of sexual assault on grounds of diminished mental capacity and has been held at the centre since 2003, most recently in a minimum-security ward.

He vanished while on a day trip to the Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays were playing the Boston Red Sox. Thirteen patients were under the supervision of five staff.

A citizen of Sri Lanka, Vaasuhan is held under authority of the Ontario Review Board, an independent tribunal that oversees all individuals in the province found unfit for trial or not criminally responsible for a crime.

Every person under its jurisdiction is assessed annually. In March of last year, the board concluded that Vaasuhan remains in denial about his past and poses "a significant threat to the safety of the public."

Vaasuhan came to Canada early in 2001 but has "no status" in this country, Immigration Canada told the review board.

His detention stems from an incident in May of that year when he accosted two girls, 8 and 5, at a Toronto playground. He took them both by the hand, hugged them, kissed the younger girl and tried to kiss the other.

He then told them he wanted them to visit what is described in the review board documents as "his dungeon." The older girl's father, however, intervened and chased Vaasuhan away.

Two days later, the children spotted him nearby and he was arrested and charged with sexual assault. In January, 2002, he was found not criminally responsible for his actions and was placed in the sprawling Whitby centre in March 2003.

With a staff of close to 1,000 and an annual budget of about $88-million, the centre dispenses a wide range of psychiatric expertise, and Vaasuhan's prognosis did not appear good.

"Upon admission he presented as aggressive, threatening and unpredictable, especially toward female staff," the board found.

"He is reported to have displayed sexually aggressive behaviours, including grabbing a female staff's breast and groin area. He masturbated openly in the presence of other patients almost every day during the initial two weeks."


There are joyous stories around...

In Winnipeg, an 89-year-old woman whose scooter overturned while she was crossing railway tracks was pulled from the path of an oncoming train by a female hero who was injured herself.

But otherwise, it's mostly been a day of UGH...