Death of suspect in quadruple murder leaves unanswered questions

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew

Martin Godin died Sunday night in a Quebec City hospital, three weeks after trying to shoot himself to death.

The dark shadow of suicide, with its tragic aura of failure, was deepened by the fact Godin's death frustratingly left us with unanswered questions. For Godin also allegedly murdered his two young daughters, his ex-wife and her boyfriend.

Godin, always the prime suspect in the killings, never spoke. His death leaves police in the Chaudiere-Appalaches region south of Quebec City trying to fill in the missing pieces of what's thought to have been a murderous love triangle before they close the file.

[ Related: Suspect in Quebec quadruple slaying dies in hospital ]

Godin was always the prime suspect, but investigators will have to turn up other sources to reveal what finally may have driven him to annihilate his family and the timeline for his rampage, which covered two communities 70 kilometres apart.

The Montreal Gazette reported shortly after the killings that the Sûreté du Québec believed Godin's pending divorce from Nancy Samson, signalling a final end to their relationship, may have been the trigger.

“It’s one hypothesis being studied among many others, but for sure, at first glance it seems the most plausible,” SQ spokesman Sgt. Jean Tremblay told the Gazette.

The public facts so far are sparse.

As Postmedia News reported, police responded to a 911 call the night of Feb. 1 from Samson, Godin's ex-wife, from her St-Croix home. When they arrived, they found her dead, along with her new partner Benoit Daigle, outside the house, The Canadian Press reported.

Their investigation took them to Godin's home in St-Isidore. There, just after midnight Feb. 2, they found Godin suffering from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Nearby, his eldest daughter, 13-year-old Medora Godin, lay dead and her 11-year-old sister Beatrice, also mortally wounded. Beatrice would die three days later.

[ Related: Double-murder suicide gunman had AK-47, body armour ]

The Gazette cited reports Godin objected to Samson taking up with Daigle, who a couple of years ago pleaded guilty to sexual assault and sexual interference involving a pre-school boy and girl back in 1990, when he was 16.

Godin would cling to life until Sunday night but never talked to police.

Perhaps we don't need to know any more than that. Police will want to fill in the factual blanks to get a more precise picture of chain of events. Beyond that, the story is depressingly familiar.

Perhaps there will be an inquest that will shed more light on Godin's thinking.

Meanwhile, friends and relatives of the victims are left to wrestle with what looks like a supreme act of narcissism by a man who apparently thought his ex-wife was his possession alone, and his daughters' lives had no meaning beyond his own.