A REAL LIVE VICTIM
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Conrad Brossard; a repeat offender on the joyride of Canada’s revolving door parole system (for a recap, click here .) Brossard had been convicted of numerous crimes and multiple murders. Each time he was sent away – for what the public considered was certainly the last time – Brossard would manage to be paroled again, and would kill again.
Brossard’s violence is lethal; there has only been one survivor to his attacks, a 22-year-old Montreal man who was highjacked at gunpoint by Brossard, shot in the liver and stabbed 17 times in the back. The victim managed to survive by pretending to be dead (and what else would you do after being stabbed 17 times?)
Victims often remain faceless and nameless. Frequently their stories go untold, it is the offender that garners most of the attention. In the very rare instance that a victim survives a murder they are usually very reluctant to come forward and tell their stories.
So imagine my surprize last week when I received the following message on my voicemail:
“Mr. Allore, my name is Marc Lapierre, I am the only surviving victim of Conrad Brossard, who you wrote about, I would very much like to talk to you.”
In so many ways, Marc Lapierre is a remarkable man. For twenty-four years he has watched Conrad Brossard dance in and out of prison, continuing to destroy people’s lives.
“I can’t understand how . . . Conrad Brossard can be constantly let out on parole… In 25 years, he will be out again, Brossard will be eighty and I will be in my sixties, I don’t want to be going out for coffee with this guy.”
Before the attack, Lapierre had a promising career in banking. After the attack Lapierre was never been able to work again. For twenty-four years he has had nightmares. Everytime he tries to leave the past behind (Lapierre no longer lives in Quebec), up pops Brossard again, newly sprung from prison, committing another murderous offence, in effect rubbing Lapierre’s nose in the horror of his past – now for ever his present and future. As Lapierre so aptly puts it, “Life Sentence – it’s the victims that receive it.”
Marc Lapierre has constructed a website to document his tragedy. On it he describes in excruciating and minute detail the events of his attack. Though much of the site is in French, Lapierre courageously has posted photos of the wounds on his body that speak a universal language.
The following link will take you to these photos. WARNING: THESE PICTURES ARE NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH. Lapierre has had himself photographed from the waist up showing the multiple attack wounds on his back and sides. The sight is a sobering reminder of the everlasting devastation wrought by violence.
I ask you to view these photos because this is what violence looks like. Not the tarted up version we see on television, but the real horror of violence. And so, to see Marc Lapierre’s photographs:
The sight is profound. They leave me speechless.