Greg Simard pleads guilty in attempted murder of autistic boy

6 May

This is one of those stories that is so awful as to be unbelievable. The full story is at Greg Simard pleads guilty to attempted murder. An autistic boy was in a residential placement. On one of his last days before going back to his family full time, a worker in the placement took the autistic boy out into the woods and beat him and left him to die. There are also questions of sexual abuse. The assailant’s explanation:

“He’s a drain on society. His life is meaningless. It’s no big deal,” Greg Simard, 24, told police. “I did it for my country. . . . Um, maybe someone should come and shake my hand. . . a few pats on the back. . .”

Simard discussed the event itself:

“I just grabbed him by the hand and said come for a walk. . . . I hope he’s dead. He’s a drain on society,” Simard told Det. Amanda Pfeffer.

Questioned about the boy’s underwear being torn off, Simard said, “I didn’t sexually assault a retarded kid. That’s disgusting.”

I can’t express enough the sorrow that I feel for the child and his family. And I offer them my apologies as I make this point:

This is one big reason why people fight to destigmatize disability. The biggest reason is because it is just the right thing to do. But when the message is put out in public, over and over, about the disabled as burdens on society and somehow worth less than non-disabled citizens, people like Greg Simard are listening. And there are many more who won’t go to such an extreme, but still will accept and act on dehumanizing rhetoric.

By Matt Carey

12 Responses to “Greg Simard pleads guilty in attempted murder of autistic boy”

  1. Katie Mia May 7, 2013 at 00:51 #

    Both the Crown Psychiatrist and the Defense psychiatrist both agree that there was likely psychosis at the time this statement was made in the police report by Simard.

    The Defense psychiatrist suggests Schizophrenia as the origin of psychosis and the Crown Psychiatrist suggests substance abuse as the origin. The statement with the quotes about the young man’s life as meaningless and a drain on society, from the investigative report at the time of the crime was read in the courtroom. The statement was not provided in verbal testimony by Simard when he showed no expression of emotion on his face.

    The article you quoted did not provide fuller context of the police investigative report at the time of the crime that was read in the courtroom. Fuller context provided in a link in the discussion below I will link, provides another part of the investigative report where Simard stated he was hearing voices, being controlled by the government and was committing the act of violence in service to his country.

    He also mentioned he was receiving orders from God, he was not God, but he was receiving orders from himself, along with stating that the victim was his master and he was his slave, per his less eloquent term (b***h). Additionally, observed as running around naked before the crime, and threatening one of his co-workers with death while stating the co-worker knew what happened.

    You quote two details in your analysis above as rational statements; however, given the context of the rest of the investigative report read in the courtroom, they are two more details of incoherent thought from what is described by both the defense attorney and prosecuting attorney as an experience of psychosis. The question in dispute now, per determination by the judge is was he mentally competent at the time of the crime in understanding the difference between right and wrong.

    I don’t like hearing people like Michael Savage spreading prime time “extremist” right wing rhetoric on FM Radio that people receiving disability assistance from the government are worthless and a drain on society; however, unfortunately as long as there are people out there that want to hear that message, it is going to be continued in our society.

    It is part of the right to freedom of speech that we all benefit from, and some people are bullied for as a cost of that same liberty.

    The only effective way to counter this is with a positive message of acceptance and awareness of the challenges and abilities that people with disabilities have.

    Not likely many people are going to comment on this article you present here, but unfortunately, in areas like Facebook, the net effect and unintended reality is further stigmatizing of people with disabilities, such as Schizophrenia.

    The evidence of that is clear in the origin of discussion on this link on Facebook, below, which is now shared among scores of other people in the public.

    If there was any place where one would hope that individuals with Schizophrenia would not be further stigmatized it would be in the origin of discussion at the link below.

    It doesn’t take much logical inference, I think, to imagine the fuller net results shared among areas on Facebook that don’t have proper awareness to understand the challenges and positive abilities of people with disabilities like Schizophrenia.

    One cannot hold you reasonably responsible for this in exercising your freedom of speech.

    One also cannot reasonably hold Michael Savage responsible for exercising his freedom of speech, if he was the one Simard was listening to on the night shift on FM radio at his place of employment, if there could be any potential correlation per the incoherent and irrational thought process manifest in the statement Simard made in the police investigation report read during the trial.

    It is part of the price of liberty. However, I know you care about people with disabilities so it is worth the effort for me to bring it to your attention.

    The only one person possibly responsible for this crime, per current written and read testimony provided in court is Simard.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) May 7, 2013 at 00:57 #

      “You quote two details in your analysis above as rational statements”

      I quote them. Not as rational statements, for they clearly are not.

      • Katie Mia May 7, 2013 at 05:00 #

        To clarify I was not suggesting that your personal assessment of the statement was rational. My point was that you did not identify and present the context of the psychosis identified in the article in your Op that was described in the investigative report as part of what generated the irrational statements.

        Many people do not go to the effort or trouble to read linked articles in Internet Ops.

        I appreciate the clarification that you clearly do not believe the statements are rational. However, one cannot reasonably hold the messages or practices of society responsible for the language or actions generated during an identified episode of psychosis.

        It would be like suggesting that the practice of owning domesticated Dogs is responsible for the “Son of Sam” killings. That is an extreme analogy but it is part of human nature that can have no rhyme or reason. There was a correlation in a neighbor owning a dog and Berkowitz’s observance of the dog as demon possessed and giving him direction to kill, but no identified causation.

        Almost every time an article like the one about Simard is amplified and shared in society, it is either schizophrenics or those with emotional deficit disorders that are further stigmatized in society. More recently, it was Asperger’s syndrome. After the Boston killings, the emphasis has moved to restriction in immigration, not related to disability but serving a political agenda.

        I am not sure you observe that cause and effect, but it was clearly present in the discussion I linked, and predictable within three comments. Those were not psychosis generated comments, as far as I know, but I do not agree with the logic/emotion used to generate them.

        Most people seek to find rhyme and reason, even when there is none. That too is part of human nature that people can control to some degree with conscientious cognitive efforts.

  2. krissy May 8, 2013 at 02:00 #

    In Nazi Germany there was a lot of talk about eradicating “defective people”. The holocaust no doubt killed many on he autism spectrum. Whenever these hate movements flare up, along with their love of weaponry, we must protect our most vulnerable.

    • Katie Mia May 8, 2013 at 03:05 #

      Krissy, It bears notice that it was accomplished, in part, by censoring the freedom of speech in society by dictatorship. Free speech is the price of freedom as a proven effective “prevention”/”cure” for potential holocaust.

      We cannot afford to silence people like Michael Savage, because it would mean all potential voices of reason could also be silenced.

      In this one case highlighted from the article there is already an identified risk of psychosis and substance abuse for violence in research where a solution has already been provided in effective screening and appropriate treatment to reduce the potential of violent acts for people with these identified factors of risk.

      Blaming society, demons, or “Nazi’s”, is akin to looking away from reality, in this case, illustrated in the topic linked article.

    • neverdefiled May 12, 2013 at 00:06 #

      In Nazi Germany there was a lot of talk about eradicating “defective people”.

      What? Seriously, “talk”? Wow. Disabled people were the first targets of the Third Reich, years before anyone else was targeted.

      Look up “Aktion T4”. When you have read even one article about it then maybe you’ll see why your comment is so profoundly depressing in its ignorance. Your breaking of Godwin’s law aside, I despair that someone able to use the internet to imply that Hitler might have targeted people with ASDs is incapable of going one step further and educating themself about the reality of the situation.

  3. Science Mom May 9, 2013 at 02:49 #

    Thank you Katie for your thoughtful comments and additional information.

  4. Saraquill May 11, 2013 at 14:12 #

    If this man is deemed to be mentally ill, his statements will be painfully hypocritical.

    Also, I would like to know why the facility the boy was staying at didn’t do a better job of screening its employees.

  5. Connie Harrison (@girlofcelje) June 7, 2013 at 19:20 #

    In Ontario th dregs are hired to look after our kids People with records and little education This guy will be out in a jiffy

  6. shaun heskett June 28, 2013 at 16:11 #


  7. dennis June 28, 2014 at 04:24 #

    Simard’s speech speaks of common sentiments, as does the usual propaganda put forth by the ‘media’. It’s all of a piece.

    In fact, it’s instinctual behavior -building up the ingroup, circling the wagons so as to keep the hated enemy at bay.. Down, away, under the feet of the blessed… Normal is holy, psychopathy is sanctified… priest, king, and god of the Normalistic world, the fullest expression of Archetype…

    We (autists) can be none of those things. Why? It is believed that we chose to be as we are – and that if we are beaten enough, tortured enough, poisoned enough, we can ‘forsake our (moral) insanity, and rejoin the land of the living, er, righteous’.

    To most Normies, (that being their preferred term; it speaks of their choices and effort to become Normal) we are Dead – in fact, Zombies of a strange and threatening sort. What Simard did, in their eyes, was merely attempt to manifest the already a existing ‘thought-form’ – to cause a preexisting construct fully formed in the magical domain of the unconscious to ‘break on through’ into the physical world. So he had to ‘manifest’ the corpse…

    Good enough, if you are Normal.

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