Henry McLaren killed his uncle with an axe last year.
He thought that Jimi Hendrix had told him his uncle was the devil. He thought that Jack Dempsey, the boxer, was talking through his uncle and wanted to kill him.
When he killed his uncle, he believed himself to be black and he’d learned from television that white people are the devil. He also believed he had to protect the coal in the house because coal was black. Apparently, what enraged him was the fact that his uncle had put a black peat briquette on the fire.
Everyone knows God is black, he said.
He believes he’s a champion golfer and that the Central Mental Hospital is building a golf course especially for him; he thinks Sinn Féin massacred the American Indians in the 19th century.
Mr McLaren was yesterday found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and I have no argument there.
He’s fucking nuts.
I’m reminded of the great Myles na Gopaleen’s column from years gone by. In one of his Cruiskeen Lawn pieces back in the Fifties, Myles was reflecting on the recent abolition of the death penalty where insanity was a factor in the murder.
I see we’ve stopped hanging insane people, he said. It seems to me that the very first people we should be hanging are homicidal maniacs.