Canadian Who Killed Son While on Medication Joins Forces With U.S. Dad Who Killed Twins

Kermit Cole
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David Crespi is serving a life sentence following his 2006 slaying of his five-year-old twin girls while being treated with antidepressant medications. David Carmichael, who has been found not criminally responsible and given an absolute discharge by the Canadian government for his 2004 slaying of his son, travelled to North Carolina earlier this month to address a symposium – organized by David Crespi’s wife Kim – to discuss the dangers of anti-depressant drugs and to support the “Crespi Family Hope” campaign to win David’s release.

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Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
I have modified the above post to reflect that David Carmichael was given a discharge by the Canadian government. I have left the reason out; that the government has decided he was “not criminally responsible” is something that might be reasoned from various perspectives; some would argue that he was insane, others that he was insane at the time because of the medications he was being given. Some would argue that questions of sanity are irrelevant and that one is responsible for one’s actions regardless of any possible mitigating circumstances. All are reasonable and defensible viewpoints.
I believe it is of interest to the readers of this website that these events occur, and that there be a lively conversation about them.  I also believe there is evidence for violent actions taken by people against themselves or others that could be reasonably investigated for the role that medications may have played. I believe that this website’s purpose is for the pursuit of that conversation and investigation.
I hope that those who are struggling with issues related to this will find information and dialogue that helps in finding the truth for themselves, and that this conversation can be pursued with respect for the struggles each of us has in facing these wrenching and complex questions.
Whatever your viewpoint, I assume most people come to this website (or work on it) because their lives have been affected by the issues discussed. I hope, therefore, that all commenters will respect the struggles of even those they disagree with, understanding that the issues are more complex than any one of us has a right to claim a dispositive opinion about.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

22 COMMENTS

    • Don’t forget Bernie Madoff was on antidepressants throughout his years of ponzi scheme, drugs caused that, too.

      And the recent Canadian young girl who was bullied and killed herself, she was on drugs too, so we ought to blame the drugs not the bullies and not her for that.

      What else, let’s see, I’m sure we could find some child molesters who were on psychiatric drugs.

      If we can excuse the child killers in this article, surely we can excuse child rapists…. I mean the drugs are basically completely responsible for these crimes of course.

      The drug blaming on this site has reached a new escalated level.

  1. Your are wrong Kermit.

    This that Kermit wrote: “who has been found not criminally responsible and given an absolute discharge by the Canadian government for his 2004 slaying of his son, by reason of the antidepressant medications he was taking at the time.”

    Does NOT allign with any of the facts of the case I’ve been able to find, including the murderer’s own website where he writes:

    “In November 2004, I was diagnosed by one of the leading forensic psychiatrists in the world as being in a “major depression” with “psychotic episodes” when I killed Ian. In May 2005, his assessment was supported by another leading forensic psychiatrist, who was hired by the crown attorney. On September 30, 2005, I was judged to be “not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder” for murdering Ian.”

    On account of mental disorder sounds like Canada’s plain old vanilla insanity defense Kermit, NOT “by reason of the antidepressant medications he was taking at the time”.

    I don’t agree a psychiatrist can prove Carmichael didn’t intend to kill his victim, and I know that nobody in the entire world can prove that Paxil magically placed these thoughts, actions and intentions into Carmichael’s mind.

    Carmichael belongs in prison for 20 years. He is a murderer.

    Don’t expect all of the readers of this site to swallow a murderer being lumped into the already questionable current of simplistic, pat, drug blaming that runs through this site. When you bring actual child murderers in, you alienate people.

    “On July 31st, 2004, David took Ian to a hotel in London, Ontario, and strangled him.”

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/over-the-edge-1.238161#ixzz2ABwt4bvx

    If you can book a hotel and hand your credit card over, and wear clothes, and go to the toilet where you’re supposed to go to the toilet, you can not kill your kid.

    He belongs in prison. It doesn’t matter what any brain blaming quack said in his trial, it doesn’t matter what any drug blaming quack says today.

    “What wasn’t brought up in court, was whether the drug he was on at the time had anything to do with David’s psychotic state.

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/over-the-edge-1.238161#ixzz2ABxTKT45

    IT WASN’T BROUGHT UP IN COURT. Carmichael has MANUFACTURED though PR this story about drug blaming in his case.

    “Dr. John Bradford, forensic psychiatrist with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, does not subscribe to the theory that Paxil triggered David’s psychosis. He was one of the first to assess David’s mental health after the tragedy.

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/over-the-edge-1.238161#ixzz2ABxk61ry

    I am very disappointed that the drug blaming on this site has escalated to seemingly excusing MURDER of one’s own child.

    As to the other guy who is still in the can serving his sentence, GOOD. He belongs there.

    • Dear Anonymous,

      I can completely understand your perspective as 16 years ago I probably would have shared your views.

      I would ask that you please consider the case of Ryan Ehlis.

      In 1999, ten days after Ryan began taking Adderall to control his Attention Deficit Disorder, he slipped into a psychotic fog, shot and killed his infant daughter, then shot himself in the stomach. He said God told him to do it.

      Ehlis was found innocent after testimony by a psychiatrist and by Shire US, Inc., that the “psychotic state” was a very rare side effect of Adderall use.

      Various doctors testified Ehlis suffered from an “Anphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder”. (DSM-IV Code 292.11)

      Medical experts and Shire US, Inc., the manufacturer of Adderall, commented that “despite the slaying, Adderall remains a safe and effective drug for controlling AD/HD.”

      You can read more at this link:

      http://isepp.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/23/

      For many reasons, an individual can experience a manic or psychotic state. No human being is immune from the possibility of experiencing mania/psychosis. Under the right circumstances, it can happen to anyone.

      While in a psychotic/manic state, the possibility exists that an individual will act in a way that can inflict harm.

      The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists codes for substances that are known to induce psychosis/mania.

      292.11 Substance [Amphetamine, Cannabis, Cocaine, Hallucinogen, Inhalant, Opioid, Phencyclidine, Sedative*, Other (or Unknown)]-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Delusions Substance

      292.12 Substance [Amphetamine, Cannabis, Cocaine, Hallucinogen, Inhalant, Opioid, Phencyclidine, Sedative*, Other (or Unknown)]-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Hallucinations

      A substance-induced psychotic disorder, by definition, is directly caused by the effects of drugs including alcohol, medications, and toxins. Psychotic symptoms can result from intoxication on alcohol, amphetamines (and related substances), cannabis (marijuana), cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, phencyclidine (PCP) and related substances, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, and other or unknown substances. Psychotic symptoms can also result from withdrawal from alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, and other or unknown substances.

      Some medications that may induce psychotic symptoms include anesthetics and analgesics, anticholinergic agents, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antihypertensive and cardiovascular medications, antimicrobial medications, antiparkinsonian medications, chemotherapeutic agents, corticosteroids, gastrointestinal medications, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, other over-the-counter medications, antidepressant medications, neurleptic medications, antipsychotics and disulfiram . Toxins that may induce psychotic symptoms include anticholinesterase, organophosphate insecticides, nerve gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and volatile substances (such as fuel or paint).

      The speed of onset of psychotic symptoms varies depending on the type of substance. For example, using a lot of cocaine can produce psychotic symptoms within minutes. On the other hand, psychotic symptoms may result from alcohol use only after days or weeks of intensive use.

      Kim Crespi is a friend of mine and we have had many long conversations about the tragic loss of her twin 5-year-old daughters.

      Her husband David was so obviously over-medicated that the 911 operators picked up on it immediately and repeatedly asked if he was on any psych meds.

      In my opinion, psychiatric medications could have also played a role in the filicide cases of Dena Schlosser, Otty Sanchez, Julie Schenecker and Chevonne Thomas.

      Kind Regards,
      Maria Mangicaro

      posted on Mad in America dot com on 10/28/12

      • No one says that these drugs cannot cause such responses. BUT in these cases such things did not happen. These people were in FULL and TOTAL control right up to the second before the offence took place and the second it ended, they were also in FULL and TOTAL control. Fact is NO DRUG or MEDICATON or ANYTHING ELSE, allows a person to be in full control for days and weeks on end, and only loose control for 2 seconds. The case you presented the person was in a psychotic state, that was not a psychotic state for 2 seconds, it was a psychotic state for DAYS on end. There is NOTHING in ANY of the cases presented here, or in 99.9% of the cases in which this is used as an excuse.

        Please explain how anyone can experience a drug induced psychotic state that lasts for a total of 2 seconds, from a substance that they have consumed daily for weeks, and months, and was last consumed over 12 hours before the offence took place.

        Drug induced psychosis does not last for 2 seconds. It lasts the WHOLE the time the person is ON the substances. HOW was it that these people which you claim are ALL innocent, were not in a psychosis at ANY time except for the 2 seconds in which the crime took place. How could it have resolved itself 100% by the time the offence was over, yet they had absolutely no idea at all of what went on at the time of the attack.

        You and others like you keep saying that DRUG induced psychosis can last for less than 2 seconds, and can occur at any time after a substance is taken. PLEASE provide some evidence of such claims. And also please provide a psychiatrist or anyone else that would be willing to seriously claim that a person can have absolutely no side effects from a medication for days, weeks and months. They can be in total and utter full control of ALL that they are doing, and then suddenly without any new substance entering there body they can loose ALL control and have absolutely no idea at all of what is going on, but the second the offence is committed, they immediatley regain FULL 100% control again. You claim there is PLENTY of evidence to support such situations. So the question is, provide the evidence to support it.

        What you are doing is linking to things in relation to drug induced psychosis. That is NOT and NEVER has been something that lasts for 2 seconds. Hence you must be claiming that these cases are caused by something else. What else has caused these things. Or how has a new form of drug induced psychosis occured. Does that mean that I can induce a substance and 20 years later commit a crime and say the drug I took 20 years before caused it. WHEN does the drug I took stop being responsible for the actions of someone. Since the time of ingestion has nothing at all to do with how a person fucntions or acts.

        • Belinda,

          I do not mean to upset you and I welcome discussion.

          From personal experience, side effects of medications can come about quickly. They can build up in your system and suddenly cause a homeostatic imbalance.

          Delusions can also start up for days and either subside or completely take over the thought process. A person in a delusional state can be perceived as normal by others.

          Ryan Ehlis was found not guilty of murder because the drug company and his treating psychiatrist admitted Adderall induced his psychotic state. He was on the medication for 10 days. The symptoms began shortly after he starting taking it but the crime took place on day 10.

          Stephan Antonsson, the Senior Vice-President of Shire Richwood, a British-owned corporation that makes Adderall stated Ryan’s case was “the most severe case that’s ever occurred.”

          I am very familar with David Crespi’s case as I am friends with Kim and have had very long conversations with her.

          David Crespi’s 911 call used to be posted online but I can no longer locate it. During the call it was clearly evident to the 911 operator that David was overmedicated. David was suicidal and about to kill himself. It took years for David to wean off of medications and be back to a normal state of mind.

          The police removed over 560 psych meds from the home of Julie Schenecker. It was clearly visible upon her arrest and friends also testified that Jule suffered from tardive dyskinesia resulting from the long-term use or high dosages of anti-psychotic drugs.

          In August Chevonne Thomas killed her young son by cutting his head off and putting it in the freezer before killer herself. She was on Prozac. You can listen to her 911 call for yourself.

          Fat tissue does store 33% more toxins than lean body mass. Weight loss, or sweating can cause a release of substances such as medications into the blood stream that we have taken in the past.

          Dr. Charles Gant is an MD that would be able to answer your questions, also other doctors involved in Integrative Psychiatrists/Functional Medicine would be able to explain more.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDQPb6cV8Jw

          http://isepp.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/cases-of-filicide-do-911-operators-easily-recognize-medication-induced-psychosis/

          Posted on Mad in America dot com on 10/30/2012

  2. Anonymous,

    Do you feel that there is ever a situation where a drug can cause someone to engage in criminal behavior that wouldn’t have occurred if they hadn’t taken the drug?

    By the way, I agree with you that we have to be careful about blaming meds for all crimes. I say that as a general statement not being familiar with these cases.

    However, I get the sense that you don’t think it is possible for drugs to ever cause people to commit crimes who might not have done so if they hadn’t taken the meds. So that is why I am asking for clarification.

    By the way, I heard someone being interviewed on Peter Breggin’s show who ended up serving a 10 year jail sentence for robberies he committed under the influence of Paxil. He said before this happened, he would have sworn that people were responsible for their own behavior and there was no way that a drug could be the cause.

    Sadly, he learned that wasn’t the case.

    AA

    • “Do you feel that there is ever a situation where a drug can cause someone to engage in criminal behavior that wouldn’t have occurred if they hadn’t taken the drug?”

      It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to say. Can we say a particular bar fight would not have been caused if not for a brewery manufacturing beer? Some bar fights a kicked along in their probability by the alcohol (drug), some aren’t. But never is it appropriate to give a substance the whole blame. A simple, short space of time, impulsive action, like a punch in the face, may be helped along by disinhibition factors of a drug, alcohol in this case, but a carefully coordinated action like going armed to a place, selecting a targeted place like a robbery, is just BS IMO.

      As to the Peter Breggin

      “By the way, I heard someone being interviewed on Peter Breggin’s show who ended up serving a 10 year jail sentence for robberies he committed under the influence of Paxil. He said before this happened, he would have sworn that people were responsible for their own behavior and there was no way that a drug could be the cause.”

      There are millions of criminals in prison who would jump at the chance to be guests on Breggin’s show and have the stigma of being a convicted robber cleansed from them. The man has a strong vested interest in evading responsibility. I highly doubt a complex, coordinated campaign of multiple robberies, came off the production line in pill form at the drug company plant.

      “Sadly, he learned that wasn’t the case.”

      He didn’t learn it was the case, he cleaved to a pat catch-all excuse that sounds to some plausible because it comes with the imprimatur of Peter Breggin’s prestige.

      That’s about all I can see going on that story. I’m glad the guy went to prison for 10 years. It’s a shame he didn’t learn from his wrongdoing and instead did what millions have done and doctor shopped until he found a psychiatrist and any pseudoscientific authority stamp to blame either his brain or drugs.

      No complex human behavior can be blamed solely on any real disease, or any drug. At best, drugs are a factor in dis-inhibiting or inhibiting, and not an exculpating factor IMO in a string of robberies, nor a plan to murder a helpless young disabled boy as in the Canadian murder case.

      African warlords give child soldiers cocaine to loosen them up and numb them out to the task of being a child soldier they are being coerced into. This doesn’t mean we need to look for the origin of a pile of blood soaked bodies in a coca plant.

      Human life and motivation is far more complex than blaming something on a drug.

      “Do you feel that there is ever a situation where a drug can cause someone to engage in criminal behavior that wouldn’t have occurred if they hadn’t taken the drug?”

      Why stop at criminal behavior? Did marijuana WRITE the best rock albums of the 60s and 70s or did people? People are responsible for actions. Was it the 3rd or 5th joint smoked that coincided with the creative idea to write that song lyric? or was the artist capable of doing it without the weed? It is not a thing anyone can nor should speak to, there are no people who can prove it either way.

      To some young kid, whose mother is on antidepressants, if the mother engages in the behavior of loving her child and reading it a story book, is that real love, is that the mother doing that or the drug doing that, the world is full of mothers who would testify that “wouldn’t have occurred if they hadn’t taken the drug”

      Then instead of a story book and a loving kiss goodnight, they draw a bath and drown the kid, we blame the drug, and it seems so much more “clear cut” to people for some reason, not to me.

      Millions of people are under the influence of drugs regularly in their lives, from nicotine and caffeine to alcohol to heroin to the psychiatric pharmacopeia. These people put their pants on one leg at a time, drive cars, have sex, love their kids, hate people, go to work, come up with ideas, make mistakes, keep good habits, keep bad habits, jump off bridges, drive safely across bridges without incident, the drug blaming line of thought, invariably cherry picks the bad things, usually the appalling kinds of tragedy that have been with humankind since time immemorial, and applies a pat, never-fully elucidated theory of direct drug action causality, to only the things they seek to conveniently blame on the drug companies.

      I don’t buy it.

      Prisons have always been full of those convicted of crimes of passion, sudden, unexpected tragedies we look for answers for, it’s just that nowadays the troubled people among us, are more likely to have their extreme actions coincide with something that is very common, being on psych drugs.

      Of the infinitely unknown and unknowable number of thoughts and intentions and things running through another’s mind, a criminal or a person just living another regular day of their lives, to take one known fact, that a drug was in their system, and completely blame a drug, is to me just not something that can be supported by any science today.

      I think in some cases we feel we know enough facts to discount the role of drugs, and because we know those facts and can relate to them, we don’t disappear down the rabbit hole of drug blaming. Other cases that seem so alien to people, that seem inexplicable, for that reason alone, drugs get wheeled in as the default go-to explanation.

      “In Hitler’s bunker there was a “doomsday” mood alleviated only by alcohol and food from the Reich Chancellery cellars” says a historical source about the last days in Hitler’s bunker, yet we don’t blame alcohol for the suicides that followed.

      In my opinion because the psychiatric drug compounds represent “medicine” and “science” and because they scare people in their guesswork actions on the brain, people are far too likely to just imbue these mystical drugs with magic powers to hijack free will and turn people into complex automatons. It’s simply not true.

      Earlier this year we even had David Healy blaming these drugs for the carefully planned massacre in Colorado. It never ends with the drug blaming.

      I say intentionally to be provocative… if the Canadian child murderer can blame Paxil for a child murder in which he, after experiencing financial troubles and the distress of a disabled young son for a couple of years, he and the child checked into a hotel, an intentional human action requiring interaction with the hotel staff, purposefully bringing about a situation where the father was alone with his son in a locked, isolated room, purposefully strangling and poisoning his son (who was epileptic), and then showing remorse to the authorities upon capture….. later to get let out of the psychiatric hospital where he was committed, and start a website blaming Paxil. It should also be noted that at the time of the crime, this father was said to be “self-medicating” on Paxil, that is, he was not at the time prescribed this drug, he used an old supply from an earlier time, to drug himself with, according to his story. I am not aware of any urine samples or blood tests taken by the authorities in the aftermath of the crime to even prove murderer David Carmichael’s claims that he was on Paxil. Maybe there was proof, but the authorities never, and the defense never, tried the case on the notion that this was a Paxil “caused” murder. All the talk about Paxil and the David Carmichael case was INITIATED by David Carmichael himself. He sought out a few others to bolster the momentum of his chosen story.

      Carmichael admits on his website that he started planning, key word, planning, his own suicide, and then a murder-suicide, and finally reverting to planning just the murder of his son. If both had died, there would have been a guy who was on Paxil a while ago, and no living David Carmichael to CLAIM that he decided to put himself back on the drug using an old supply without doctor’s supervision.

      This is the Canadian killer alleged personal story of “psychosis”:

      http://www.davidcarmichael.com/throughpsychoticeyes.shtml

      “I killed Ian at 3:00am on July 31, 2004. After he was dead, I moved his body to the centre of the bed, kissed him on the lips and told him ” I love you, I’m really going to miss you, but you’re in a better place now”. I didn’t cry. I walked out of the room in the hotel suite and turned on the television. I watched it until after 6:00, without any emotion. At 6:30, I shaved, showered and took off my wedding ring. I didn’t want the police to have it, so I put it in my bag, which I thought would end up with my wife. At 7:30, I packed up Ian’s bag and my own. I took both bags to the van. The only items that I left in the room were Ian’s epilepsy medication, the sleep medication that I mixed with his orange juice the night before, the left over orange juice, my Paxil medication, and my wallet and keys. At 9:00am, I called 911. I calmly told the dispatcher that I was reporting a homicide, and that I had killed by son. She kept me on the line. I told her that I wasn’t suicidal. Towards the end of the call, I moved away from the phone to put a plastic cup under the door so the door would be open for the police. I didn’t want them to break down the door or come in with their guns out. I just wanted to go to jail. My mission was completed. I was ready to spend 25 years in prison. The police put my hands behind my back, handcuffed me, and sat me down in a chair. I was charged with first-degree murder and taken to the police station.”

      This website, is blessed to have many people with personal experience of “psychosis”. I’m not sure any of them apart from killer David Carmichael can tell you down to the half hour on a clock what they were thinking and doing, years after the fact, along with years of intervening heavy drugging which Carmichael certainly had. I certainly couldn’t.

      I say provocatively to prove a point, to pose a point, that if a child murderer can excuse himself with a self-initiated story of drug blaming (the Canadian authorities nor the forensic psychiatrists involved in his case agree with him), and be taken seriously as a “campaigner” and travel to the United States (why did the state department even give him a visa) and address a room full of people who believe in the diabolical free will destroying, felony committing “side effects” of drugs, then, why not a Canadian child molester?

      If you can kill a kid and blame drugs and be a guest on antipsychiatry radio shows, what’s stopping a child molester once they get out of a facility, starting a website blaming paxil?

      And if we are now at a place on MIA.com where we take seriously child killers who blame drugs, how far away from the day when the child rapist who blames drugs comes along?

  3. http://www.thecomputermechanics.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-4044.html

    ‘”Mr. Carmichael is not criminally responsible for the murder of his son because he caused Ian’s death at the time when he was suffering from a mental disorder that rendered him incapable of knowing that it was wrong,” said Rady.’

    Which totally aligns with Carmichael calling the cops and reporting a crime immediately after he did it right?

    Now this below is the best blog item I could find on this sordid Carmichael case:

    ” Father Who Killed His Son on trial for 2nd Degree Murder. Can someone explain to me why this case isn’t 1st degree murder?

    Please see note at the end of text.

    When i saw this story this morning i was absolutely outraged. A father has killed his son with epilepsy to end his son’s “hell”. Which includes really liking to ride his BMX bike and do fancy tricks on it only a few weeks earlier. It’s a no brainer as far as I’m concerned, although reading the whole article may be required. My only question is given the details why the father wasn’t charged with first degree murder once you get down to the details in the article. . I’ll admit i don’t have the full story yet as the trial has just started. I would like to know why they charged him with second degree murder although i don’t suppose that will turn up in the news. Does anyone know if this type of information shows up in Access to Information law?

    Father killed son to end boy’s ‘hell’

    Child suffered seizures, trial told
    Accused was on antidepressant

    ISABEL TEOTONIO
    STAFF REPORTER

    LONDON, Ont. – Renowned Toronto physical fitness expert David Carmichael thought his 11-year-old son would be “better off in heaven” when he strangled him to end the “hell” of his brain seizures, a court heard on the opening day of his first-degree murder trial.

    In a taped interview with police played in court yesterday, Carmichael admitted to killing Ian, who suffered from seizures that caused him to be developmentally delayed.[emphasis mine]

    “I feel like I took him out of his misery,” Carmichael told Det. Andy Whitford, adding neither his wife Elizabeth nor daughter Gillian ever suspected his intentions. “I thought he’d be better off in heaven.”

    In his opening remarks, defence lawyer Philip Campbell argued Carmichael isn’t criminally responsible for the murder of his son “on the basis of mental disorder,” and is not guilty of first-degree murder.

    As the Crown called police witnesses to the stand, court heard that Carmichael, 47, was suffering from depression and was on the antidepressant Paxil when he drugged and strangled Ian for 20 minutes on July 31, 2004.

    In videotaped interviews with Whitford in the days following his arrest, which were shown in court, Carmichael admitted to killing his son.

    He said he did so to put an end to Ian’s “hell,” explaining the boy suffered from brain seizures that caused him to be developmentally delayed.

    Carmichael believed that the left temporal lobe in his son’s brain had atrophied and scarred because of the seizures, causing him to become increasingly violent and unpredictable.

    He also asked Whitford if taking Paxil may have had an effect on his actions.

    Court heard Carmichael, who admitted having suicidal thoughts, was first prescribed the drug in the summer of 2003. He stopped taking it in February 2004 and then resumed taking it in early July without his doctor’s knowledge. He also chose to increase the daily dose from two 20-milligram pills to three.

    In the video, Carmichael recalled a conversation he’d had with his son five days before his death. He said the pair discussed Ian’s behaviour at camp that day, where he whipped volleyballs at younger children.

    Carmichael said the boy broke down in tears, complaining that other kids made fun of him and said Ian told him that he sometimes wished he were dead.

    The next day, Carmichael went to a drugstore and purchased a package of Sleep-Eze, which are over-the-counter sleeping pills. He returned home, cut open the gel capsules and emptied the liquid into a small container.

    I’m sorry but there seems to have been some planning involved here. Isn’t planning a murder first degree murder. Ok it isn’t certain yet i suppose, read on…

    Three days later, Carmichael and his son left their North Toronto home for London, where they checked in at a Holiday Inn near Highway 401.

    Carmichael told Ian, a competitive BMX bike rider, they were en route to nearby St. Thomas, which has an indoor bike park that Ian enjoyed.

    Hmm Ian enjoyed riding his bike. Has bad days and some health problems but certainly nothing to kill someone over. And it’s ridiculous to even try to call this a mercy killing (not that i support those either).If he is still enjoying parts of his life what gives his father the right to decide to kill him? If he can still enjoy his bike i wouldn’t say he was living in “hell”. Lots of people can’t even do that and have very satisfactory lives.

    After ordering room service, Carmichael mixed some of the Sleep-Eze with orange juice at around 10:15 p.m. and gave it to his unsuspecting son.

    Ian drank the mixture and took valproic acid, a treatment used for childhood seizures. He had been prescribed the medication after suffering seizures in December 2003 and January 2004.

    But rather than fall asleep, Ian began hallucinating and remained awake until about 2:30 a.m., court was told.

    At about 2:40 a.m., Carmichael began strangling his son. He stopped at 3 a.m., only after he was certain Ian was dead.

    So let me get this clear. First he tried to put his kid to sleep with an overdose of an over the counter sleep medication. Also the kid is taking another medication and nobody has checked if the two work together well. In fact it seems to me that the father was hoping they would work together, or that it would be easier to kill his child while he was asleep.

    Carmichael waited until 9 a.m. to call police, when he figured the day shift would have started, court was told.

    As he waited for officers to arrive, he arranged on a coffee table all the items he thought would be necessary in the investigation [nope no planning involved ahead of time]: the bottle containing Sleep-Eze, a bottle of Minute Maid orange juice, a coffee cup from which Ian drank the mixture, his car keys, his wallet and a bottle of Paxil that had been prescribed to him a year earlier.

    Seated in the prisoner’s box yesterday, Carmichael cried as an audio recording of the 911 call he placed was played.

    “Emotionally (Ian) was going through hell,”

    So each time a kid is having emotional problems it’s up to the parents to decide if they should live?

    Carmichael told the operator, with whom he remained on the line until police arrived. “My wife is going to be quite shocked at this.”

    In the courtroom, many of Carmichael’s supporters, including his mother and brother, also appeared deeply affected by the audio and video clips that showed Ian pulling off impossible stunts with his BMX bike on a ramp in the weeks leading up to his death.

    Outside, friends and family described Carmichael as a caring father who loved children. Carmichael, who is well known in Ontario as a physical activity and sports consultant, was a national project director for ParticipAction, a defunct federal program that encouraged children to get fit, and ran similar programs across Toronto.

    At one point during the taped interview with Whitford, Carmichael said, “I’m a child advocate which is the irony in this. All the work I do is based on self-esteem,” adding he couldn’t help his own son’s plummeting confidence.

    However, Whitford told Carmichael that based on interviews with Carmichael’s wife and other relatives, Ian didn’t appear to be in the depths of misery that he described. Instead, they painted Ian as a boy who did struggle with some difficulties but was most often a happy, compassionate and non-violent child.

    Whitford suggested that perhaps it was Carmichael himself who was incapable of dealing with his son’s needs.[This sounds to me like what the case is about]

    “There doesn’t sound like there’s any logic to this,” the detective said, pointing out that many children have learning difficulties, adding that “being dumber than the other kids isn’t a reason to die.”

    “A lot of it sounds like you were having the hard time dealing with your son,” said Whitford.

    “My son was living through hell and if my wife wasn’t aware of it then I’m sorry,” said Carmichael.

    Lead investigator Sgt. Stephen Williams testified yesterday that a computer belonging to Carmichael was seized from his house with a search warrant. A scan of the hard drive showed that between March and June 2004 various websites had been visited including one on abnormalities of the left temporal lobe, brain disorders and Paxil and its various side effects.

    The scan also showed that on July 28 someone visited web pages about life in prison, Corrections Canada, HIV/AIDS in prison, definition of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and infanticide. Never was there a search for the term “not criminally responsible.”

    This is the kicker in the case as far as i’m concerned. The guy takes three times the dose of Paxil he was originally prescribed, after he was no longer taking it to his doctor’s knowledge. He looks up how Paxil can effect him. Even if he looked it up after he started taking the Paxil it seems to me that he knew something was wrong—or that he was planning how he could say it went wrong. Oh yes and while we are at it he decided to look up what life in prison would be like. Can someone please tell me why this is not a first degree murder case?

    If Carmichael is found guilty of first-degree murder he faces life in prison with no parole for 25 years. But if he is found not to be criminally responsible the matter will go before the Ontario Review Board.

    Seems to me he is trying to plead something similar to temporary insanity. Very convenient since it will go away as soon as he stops taking his Paxil. And the government doesn’t keep people locked up in hospitals when they become sane. Nice little arrangement he seems to be trying to get!

    The trial, expected to last until week’s end, is being heard by Superior Court Justice Helen Rady without a jury.

    This is beyond belief. A clear first degree murder charge on what looks to me like it was very planned. A father claiming his son was in so much misery he should die—but the kid is happy to go riding on his bmx. Even if his kid was living in misery that doesn’t give the father the right to kill his child.

    If his father couldn’t deal with having a son with health problems or a disability there are other options. He could talk with his wife about it. Maybe his wife would want to split with him if he wanted to stop having his child in his life. Maybe she would have stayed with him. Regardless there is a place where children can go if they’ve got parents who can’t care for them. It’s called the Children’s Aid Society. Now loosing your parental rights through a court case isn’t always pretty—but neither is going to trial on second degree murder. Trials are much measier than civil court cases on custody of children where there are no criminal charges laid.

    Heck they seem well enough off they could send him to boarding school if it came to that. Yes it would require sacrifice in money. But it would solve a lot of the problem of dad not being able to deal with him having epilepsy. Or maybe dad could have gone and had counseling before he decided that Ian didn’t have a right to live. Yah, his kid said something about wanting to die a few days before. That’s fairly common though and if he felt it serious enough well he could have gotten Ian counseling.

    The child might have become developmentally delayed, but that is not a reason to kill your child.

    How selfish can a parent get?

    This doesn’t even get close to euthanasia and it was well planned. Why is it second degree murder not first? All sorts of people live with disabilities and developmentally delayed people can have a life that has happiness in it. I think his claim it was the drug is bogus given the planning and the fact that he looked the drug up, changed the dose and was taking it without a doctor’s knowledge. I’m not just outraged that he killed his son Ian. I’m appalled at a system that would allow him to go to court on a second degree charge in a case like this. The trial will decide if he is guilty or not. But how this could be second degree murder is beyond me.P

    Sept. 28 2005″

    I quoted http://politicagrll.blogspot.com.au/2005/09/father-who-killed-his-son-on-trial-for.html in its entirety.

    Carmichael googling what life in prison is like, and researching internet paxil “side effect” claims BEFORE the murder, SAYS IT ALL.

    In fact the Arizona shooter googled what life in prison was like before his crime too.

    What the world think it knows about so called insanity defense trials, is mostly wrong.

    Carmichael’s case stinks to high heaven.

    It reminds me of the Goebbels family who poisoned their kids because they didn’t want their kids to live in a world where there was no Reich.

    Carmichal’s premeditation, his hard drive, his laying out the Paxil bottle from a long time ago that was previously prescribed to him the year before, the research about Paxil side effect claims, looks like the perfect crime.

    • ” Three days later, Carmichael and his son left their North Toronto home for London, where they checked in at a Holiday Inn near Highway 401.

      Carmichael told Ian, a competitive BMX bike rider, they were en route to nearby St. Thomas, which has an indoor bike park that Ian enjoyed.”

      Horrific.

      So, what caused the boy’s brain seizures? Failed previous attempt on his life?

      • No, autopsy showed it was epilepsy.

        The father used to be the head of a high profile federal Canadian government program about childrens’ fitness.

        David Carmichael’s face was the last face a trusting 12 year old boy saw when his “loving” dad handed him a poison laced glass of orange juice.

        Now he’s a crusader for “drug side effect awareness”.

        If Ian Carmichael were alive today, he’d be 20 years old.

        I wonder what Ian Carmichael would make of the hard drive evidence on his murderer’s computer, where his Dad sought out websites “including one on abnormalities of the left temporal lobe, brain disorders and Paxil and its various side effects.

        The scan also showed that on July 28 someone visited web pages about life in prison, Corrections Canada, HIV/AIDS in prison, definition of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and infanticide.”

  4. Anonymous,

    I can appreciate your passion about not “blaming” psychiatric drugs for behavior.

    I think people need to accept responsibility, and would agree with you, except for one fact: psychiatric drugs alter the mind, and I think that once the mind is in such an altered state, all bets are off with what they may do.

    Do I think psychiatric drugs can *cause* someone to kill themselves or somone else?

    Hell, yes.
    These drugs can make someone go outta their mind.
    All bets are off with their behavior.

    Duane

    • Duane, it is true that these drugs can cause SOME people to go out of there mind. BUT this is where it ends.

      Out of your mind, means exactly that. It does not mean that you are in 100% full control of each and everyone of your actions for months leading up the crime, including the planning of the attack, and that you are in total 100% control of your actions the second after the attact and for eternity there after. Yet this is what you claim.

      In EVERY SINGLE ONE of the crimes in which people are saying the “drugs made me do it”, they were in total 100% control of EVERYTHING, INCLUDING PLANNING THE ATTACKS!!!! Sorry but if someone is so far out of there mind that they have no control of there actions it is very obvious to EVERYONE around them, and no one would say anything else.

      If I am to believe you and others like you, then these drugs do as wonderful a job as the pharmacuetical companies claim. They calm people down, so they can concentrate like never before. They can plan out the most initmate details of anything at all, in ways that were simply not possible before the attacts. Except you claim that the ONLY things they are capable of planning and mass murder?? Doesn’t quite make sense, and doesn’t add up. They spend months and often YEARS planning these attacks, they order in supplies, they organise the location, they organise the events surrounding it, right down to the very last second. How can a person “out of there mind” do things along those lines. Fact is they can’t.

      These drugs can push someone over the edge, difference is these people were not pushed over the edge. EVRYONE of these crimes was VERY VERY CAREFULLY PLANNED. That is not someone out of there minds. That is someone in full and total control of everything going on around them.

      And of course the response of these people afterward does not show remorse. Someone who is truly remorseful cannot live with what they have done. These people instead ask for get out of jail free cards!! Any real human being would be killing themselves.

      Why don’t you look at the statistics for train drivers who kill someone who jumps in front of the moving train. Over half of them never work again, over 10% kill themselves because they cannot live with what they have done. Are they responsible for not being able to stop 100 tonnes of steel sliding along steel?? No human being would say they are, but they feel guilty.

      As a child I had a friend whose mother never drove. She was infact scared of getting in any car at all, and rarely if ever walked outside. I never understood why, until I was a teenager. Just after my friend was born, her mother was driving when a 2 year old run out from between 2 parked cars and my friends one run over and killed the child. NO ONE blamed the woman. There were hundreds of witnesses, including the child’s parents who had the common sense to say it was our fault for allowing our child out there, she was not at fault. No amount of counselling or anything else could help her. She would never allow herself to drive again. She blamed herself decades later and could not live with herself and nothing could make her see differently. The parents of the child who died a few years later even offered to pay therapy costs for her, such was there distraught over the way she was coping. It did nothing. Fact is she felt guilty and she placed herself in her own prison for life.

      One half decent psychiatrist I knew, had for a number of years worked in forensic psychiatry. They started believing that the high doses of medications, and the cominations of them (she happily prescribed them alone and in low doses!!) had contributed to them committing these crimes. She really wanted to help them. What she got was something very differently. The ONLY remorse shown by any was in court and/or to the police. They were not willing to take any responsibility for any actions at all. She did in the thousands of people she saw and assessed come across two who were drug affected, but by a illicit drugs and prescribed medications, a lethal comination. They were so psychotic as to have no concept of anything at all. They could not even find a toilet and could not feed themselves. They did not medicate them, but rather withdrew them and allowed them to sobar up. When they came aware of what they had done they became so acutely suicidal that nothing could persuade them otherwise. They had to restrain them and/or keep them in isolation and under at least 2 on one supervision (as one person was never enough to watch them) at all times for over 3 years. 10 different therapists of all manner of persusians could not change there views. In the end they removed the controls, knowing they would kill themselves as what they were doing was murdering them while they were alive.

      The simple fact is NO real human being can go out and commit murder and then say ” guess what I murdered 100 people, but I don’t give a rats arse about it”. Yet that is what this man and others who say the “drugs made me do it” are saying. If they were truly remorseful they simply what not be able to live with what they have done. There is no way at all I could live knowing that I had murdered someone. I would want to die and I do not for one second believe that anything at all would ever change that. I would never ever for one second want to be alive knowing I had killed another human being. I would punish myself for life. These people could not care less, and yet ALL of the attacks were very very carefully planned right down to the millisecond. That is not the actions of someone outta there mind. Outta your mind does not enable you to plan your actions. And if planning to such amazing lengths is what these drugs do, then you are giving them reason to prescrib them more, after all they would do a great deal to improve school performance, work focus and the like.

  5. Well put, Wileywitch. Certainly not EVERYONE who claims a drug caused them to commit a violent act is telling the truth, and because this Carmichael has given multiple explanations for killing his son he deserves some extra scrutiny.

    But I fail to see how we can accept the idea that these drugs might inspire suicidal acts (lethal violence against self) without being capable of inspiring homicidal acts (lethal violence against others). Particularly when the violence, as in David Crespi’s case, is sudden, short-lived and followed by immediately turning oneself in. I think the awful impulsive character of these acts is one reason why murder-suicides figure so prominently among the violent acts alleged to be caused by SSRI’s. Immediate horror at what one has just done is one credible explanation. In addition to completely out-of-character acts, there are also crimes triggered when a drug prompts you to act on violent impulses that you would ordinarily be able to suppress. Few of us could say we have never in our lives entertained any violent thoughts, even if only fantasies.

    I was a prison visitor for several years on Illinois’ Death Row, and got the chance to get to know a variety of murderers. As near as I can tell, they are not a separate species from the rest of us. Some were very remorseful, some less so. A few I would have welcomed as neighbors; a few I thought should only leave prison feet first; most were somewhere in between. I certainly heard about murders that would probably not have taken place without the influence of cocaine, PCP or alcohol. At least the men who drank or did coke knew they were taking intoxicants that could lead to trouble. Most takers of SSRI’s have no such warning.

    Finally — if I committed murder would I “have” to commit suicide, and does that show what a good person I am? I think not. I understand the thought but I do not think we should EVER see suicide as an obligation, a way to pay your debt to society or restore your reputation. Too many of us live with some degree of shame that we “never had the guts” to commit suicide and I for one have decided that I will throw that notion out the window. The simple urge to keep on living is never a sign of weakness or a superficial or amoral nature. It is a sign of life and strength. Period.

    • I am not saying that one should commit suicide, if they have committed murder. And of course it is very very common for people to become remorseful when on death row. People will do anything when they face their own death. They are also very good at telling people who they believe can help them.

      I personally do not believe in the death penality and am proud to live in a country that does not have it. We have very few people sentenced to life imprisionment, the vast majority of our murders are given release dates, be they in 20 or 30 years time, although most will also be on parole for life and hence under some level of supervision.

      There is however a big difference between not feeling that you should in any way be punished for the most voilent and horrendous act, and committing sucide. To say that you can say, hey guess what I killed 100 people and I don’t give a shit and I don’t think I should in any way, shape or form be held accountable for ANY of those actions is a far far cry from normal behaviour.

      While it is true that people are usually prescribed these drugs they have also been on them usually for weeks, months. In ALL the cases I am aware of NONE of them have EVER gone back to a doctor to complain about side effects or the like. When I was prescribed antidepressents and I felt like shit and was ready to kill myself, I was on the phone to doctors and demanding appointments every single day. If I had thoughts of voilence against others, that is not something I would “happily” live with and not give the slightest bit of concern about. The other reality is the affect the drugs had no me was ALL the time, not for 2 seconds, which is what is being claimed in ALL of these cases. I hear but they had immediate remorse afterward? HOW?? How can they have been so outt control for one second and so in total control the next second because of some toxic substance. That is what is not adding up. People rarely if ever commit serious crimes without some level of alcohol or drugs in there system, but the fact is they were out it for a period of time. They do not claim the alcohol only affected them for 2 seconds, the PCP only affected them for 2 seconds, and yet that is exactly what is being said here. They were in total and utter control of everything that was going on around them right up the second of the crime, including the planning of it, and of course they were also in total control the second after the crime? That is not and never has been a side effect of these drugs.

      These drugs can and do cause aggitation. Difference is it is a CONSTANT feeling, not a one second feeling, which is what is being claimed in EACH and EVERYONE of these cases.

  6. For those saying the drugs did it, the underlying issue you need to be able to explain is this: How is any drug or substance able to cause a person to be able to function at a much higher level for days, weeks and months on end and without any issues at all for them or those around them and then suddenly without any warming at all the substance, without any additional levels of it, or it take in any different ways causes them to loose all control for a total of 2 seconds. At the end of that 2 seconds they immediately regain 100% control of everything and are able to function once again, at normal or above normal levels??

    That is one amazing substance and all I can say is that I would love to see the science justifying how a substance can do that to someone.

    Agitation is a common side effect, difference is those that experience it, experience it ALL the time. Suicial thoughts are also a very common side effect, but again those that experience them, experienece them ALL the time. These drugs can make people out of control, difference is they are out of sinc, ALL the time. They are not in perfect control for weeks and months and then loose 2 seconds and then in perfect control again.

  7. Pharmaceutical companies under report, misreport, or simply neglect to accurately report side effects from taking our psychiatric drugs, or the extreme dangers while coming off them. At 58, and finally off my meds I am a calm, compassionate, caring person. On my drugs especially mixed with Klonopin I became a raging, psychotic, violent maniac. Enduring multiple, horrific psychiatric drug withdrawals I not only became suicidal but I became homicidal as well. I was planning on murder knowing I was going to die in the process. This is not normal thinking or behavior. They induced every mental disorder listed in the DSM including schizophrenia. When they refer to ‘mental instability’ this is such an understatement I can’t believe they’re allowed to say this. It was mental torture. I see very and understand extremely clearly why people kill themselves while taking the drugs or kill someone else. These psychiatric drugs are no laughing matter. And why they are given to children is beyond my comprehension. If I at my age (50-58) was not able to recognize and articulate my drug-induced crippling depressions, high anxiety, mania’s how on earth are we expected for children to understand why they feel the way they do? Sadly, most don’t. They commit suicide. All the while our doctors are telling us that what we’re experiencing is our own mental illness surfacing when it is nothing more than severe, debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Thus, blaming the patient even further. While piling on more drugs. This is completely insane to me. Off the drugs I now have a chance at living a quality filled life. I haven’t had that in over 35 years from taking my medicine that psychiatrists have prescribed.