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Lunatic Axe-Killer Acquitted

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.

20 replies on “Lunatic Axe-Killer Acquitted”

McLaren is described as a “text book” paranoid schizophrenic. It’s the equivalent of an Alzheimer’s sufferer setting fire to a house. It maketh not for a homicidal maniac …

But he’s not culpable. Paranoid schizophrenics are generally only violent out of fear. Hence the word “paranoid”. Last I heard, it’s not a crime to be ill.

I’m with you Norah. A society that abdicates responsibility for its mentally ill, or poor or even criminal by killing them refuses to acknowledge its part in their making.

Myles’ vision could turn into a Final Solution pretty quickly, it seems to me.

Typical Bock, trivialising the plight of societies’ homicidal maniacs who are some mother’s children. Some of my best friends are paranoid schizophrenics and it’s always interesting watching rugby with them. (Never ever shout for the other crowd, actually never shout). Anyway Bock, you’re so insensitive and it’s true what that other Bock site is saying about you, insensitive and lacking sensitivity. And everyone knows Myles was a fascist blue shirt who wanted to take over the world and deliver the final solution. Bock, you’re so insensitive.

Why is it always violence some of them turn to ? I have known, and still know some perfectly mad people and not one of them is violent in any way whatsoever. They’re much more likely to iron the curtains or spend a huge amount of time looking to match-up the odd socks scattered around their homes.

I wonder if his uncle had defended himself against McLaren and killed him would the uncle be charged with murder?

Bock, are you really saying that someone swinging an axe at you and calling you the Devil looks like a duck walks and sounds like a duck quacks? Cos well…you know…maybe you’ve been spending too much time with the Children of Lir.

“Why is it always violence some of them turn to ? I have known, and still know some perfectly mad people”–Andrew

Who are some of “them”? And who are these “mad” people? There are no mad people, only mentally ill people. And care and facilities for the mentally ill are seriously deficient in this country. Are you aware that some form of mental illness affects 1 in 3 of the population at some point in their lives? God, I thought we’d moved beyond this kind of talk long ago.

Nora, now I’m getting mad. It’s so uncaring to be able to laugh at the human condition? Read a bit of the great writer to understand his humour.

dan, get as mad as you like. There is much suffering involved in paranoid schizophrenia. Many commit suicide. Do you laugh at suicide?

You have no idea what I’ve read, mate. Don’t even attempt to patronise me.

And the great god Jimi did descend from the west and lo with one strum of his mighty instrument didst utter:
“Hey Joe…………, Where you going with that Axe in your hand….”

‘Listen Nora, regarding patronising, I’m not your mate’

Right. So don’t presume to advise me on reading matter or the ‘human condition’. Thanks.

I’d be interested in what gets done with those found NGBRI *instead* of jail? Do the insane get discharged onto the street to go and be insane some more? Because, culpable or not, they’re obviously the kind of cannon that should not be rolling loose, and I think lack of clarity/specificity on that point brings the insanity defense into disrepute.

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