Canada
Politicians, citizens react to release of Quebec killer ex-doctor

Minister James Moore and Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu speak to the media at Parliament Hill Dec 13, 2012 as they comment on the release of Guy Turcotte.

Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY

BRIAN DALY | QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL - Federal politicians, furious in-laws and regular citizens vented their outrage Thursday at Quebec's most infamous free man.

Former doctor Guy Turcotte was released from a mental hospital Wednesday after killing his two young children. His exact whereabouts weren't immediately clear.

The ex-cardiologist faces the tough task of blending into a society angered at the fact that he's on the streets.

A board of examiners ruled that he could leave the hospital on the condition that he continue psychological treatment, live at an approved location and have no contact with ex-wife Isabelle Gaston.

The decision stirred up the same anger that rained down last year after an 11-member jury found Turcotte not criminally responsible for stabbing five-year-old Olivier and three-year-old Anne-Sophie in a rented home north of Montreal in February 2009.

Some Quebecers talked about vigilante justice Thursday.
"He better go into hiding or he may catch a few beatings!!" wrote one poster to a news website.

Turcotte's ex-wife called for calm and said revenge won't bring back her children.

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is not something I support," she told QMI Agency.

"Take your anger and take a photo of your child and send it to the prime minister or the justice minister. All of these organizations need to correct the problems in our system."

Turcotte's release reverberated all the way to Ottawa, where Heritage Minister James Moore called the review board's decision "unacceptable."

He made the comments alongside Conservative senator and victims' rights advocate Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, whose daughter was murdered in 2002.

Boisvenu said the Tories will table a bill in the spring that would tighten rules governing the release of violent offenders.

"It's not normal that a victim like Mrs. Gaston lives in fear for months and months knowing that the mental health committee often makes decisions based more on the rights of criminals ... than on the rights of victims," he said.

Turcotte could be sent back to the mental hospital if he shows signs of dangerous behaviour.

Gaston says the killer will have another burden to bear - his guilt.

"Olivier and Anne Sophie had the horror the fear, they were betrayed so now I think he'll carry on his shoulders the fear and the horror that he made them live through."

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