Marc Lepine – Psychology Perspective

Topics: Psychology, Attachment theory, Mary Ainsworth Pages: 6 (2046 words) Published: July 16, 2012

Marc Lepine, a 25 year old boy entered the corridors of Montreal's École Polytechnique University and started separating boys and girls. He then opened fire and killed 14 girls (The Montreal Massacre – Gunman massacres 14 women, 1989). Looking into Marc’s case deeply and studying his childhood reveals that his actions can be significantly explained using psychological theories such as Miller and Dollard’s Four Stage theory, the idea of lacking empathy and Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s attachment theory. This paper not only depicts the effect of the psychological deviant behaviours but also its connection to above mentioned theories. Steps have been taken to take this paper beyond the classroom teachings by researching various books, news articles and journals.

What will go through one’s mind if he/she hears a boy killed 14 girls at once? A normal person would think “was he crazy?”, “was he out of his mind?” and more phrases like this. A very similar event happened on December 6th, 1989. Marc Lepine, a 25 year old boy entered the corridors of Montreal's École Polytechnique University and started separating boys and girls. He then opened fire and killed 14 girls (The Montreal Massacre – Gunman massacres 14 women, 1989). His words such as “I want women”, “I hate feminists” show his hatred towards women and his cause for committing this crime. Just before killing women, he justified his actions by saying “You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists” (Eglin and Hester, 2003). Marc’s home and his family atmosphere were the major contributors towards the crime committed by Marc. EMPATHY

Empathy is the basis of all morality and social life. The best and most appropriate time to learn empathy is childhood. Parents are the main ‘teachers’ in this case. The lack of empathy makes a person selfish, cold, inhumane and as a result they often don’t experience guilt, identification and remorse. To build empathy, understanding the other person’s point of view is very important. The lack of empathy can have devastating results, as the people who lack it show its effects later in their lives. Killers lack principles or they do not feel remorse towards their victims. In some cases, killers gain personal pleasure from physically dominating and over powering their victims. This is the reason why murderers and serial killers can carry out day to day tasks even after committing homicides. All of this links to the fact that they have never learned to feel empathy for others in their childhood. His family, specially his dad, was a major contributor for the lack of empathy, as he was brought up in highly dysfunctional family (Craig, 2007). The revelation of Marc’s father’s behaviour by his mom in a court “He was a brutal man, who did not seem to have any control over his emotions... It was always a physical gesture, a violent gesture, and always right in the face” (Ramsland), shows the connection between Marc’s actions and his upbringing. This sort of childhood exposure is likely to have negative effects, especially concerning empathy. Marc’s action clearly showed no empathy. His brutal actions and murdering fourteen girls showed no signs of empathy, sympathy, love and compassionate feelings, especially towards women. The lack of empathy towards women was also a result of his father’s nature. Marc’s father believed that women only existed to serve men (Ramsland). Also, his father was a “frotterist (he used to rub his genitals up against women)” (Craig, 2007). The actions of his father, and his abusive and dominant behaviour towards women, especially Marc’s mother arouse the same feelings in Marc. The harder he tried to run away from it, the more closely it captured Marc.

Due to the lack of empathy, he was never liked by girls. This can be clearly seen, as he did not have a lot of girlfriends, and the few he had, never stayed with him for a...

Citations: (1989, 12, 06). The Montreal massacre – Gunman massacres 14 women. CBC Digital Archives, Retrieved 07 25, 2009, from
Eglin, P, & Hester, S (2003). The montreal massacre.
Cherry, F (1995). The 'stubborn particulars ' of social psychology. London: Wiley
Ramsland, K Gendercide: The Montreal Massacre. Tru TV Crime Library, Retrieved 07 26, 2009, from
Craig, L (2007, 05, 17). Can we prevent tragedy?. Folio Focus, Retrieved 07 26, 2009, from
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Wagner, K Attachment theory. Psychology, Retrieved 08 04,2009, from
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