Mentally Ill Man Kills Beloved Gay Activist In Nova Scotia

A mentally disturbed man has been arrested on second-degree murder charges in connection with the murder of a gay activist in Halifax, Novia Scotia, CBC News is reporting.

Raymond Taavel (right), the former chairman of Gay Pride week and an editor for Wayves magazine, was found lying bleeding in the street outside a gay club, Menz Bar, shortly before 3am Tuesday morning. Paramedics were called but Taavel died on the scene. 

A police spokesman told reporters that investigators believe Taavel was trying to break up a fight between two men, one of whom, Andre Noel Denny, began attacking him. Witnesses told police Denny used anti-gay slurs during the assault. Denny is a psychiatric patient who failed to return to the East Coast Forensic Hospital  after a one-hour leave. He has been diagnosed with  paranoid schizophrenia and grossly psychotic with a history of aggressive impulsivity and unpredictability.

A vigil is being held tonight at 7pm outside Menz Bar and members of Youth Project are asking people to hang Rainbow flags and placards in their windows in Taavel’s honor.

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  • jonjon

    OMG. Terrible news. I mourn the passing of a good man. (And I cast a suspicious sidelong glance at the East Coast Forensic Hospital for somehow losing a patient who is a danger to others…)

  • walterpc

    What? The attacker had been “diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and grossly psychotic with a history of aggressive impulsivity and unpredictability,” and yet he was given a one-hour UNSUPERVISED leave? What is the matter with these people? Will no one at the hospital be charged with criminal neglegence? Probably not–“after all … he just killed a fag, that’s all.”

  • dave

    Canadian Liberalism kills again. Andre Noel Denny belonged in a rubber room for life. Now he belongs swinging at the end of a rope. But since, he is a Canuckle-head he will get a stern lecture and finger waggin from a judge before being sent on his way.

  • William

    Holy negligence batman

  • Pinya

    @dave: He’s a paranoid schizophrenic…being liberal has nothing to do with it. Sure, maybe someone made a mistake letting him out and about; killing someone is never the answer.

  • Derek

    Ideally mentally ill patients recover and are released from mental hospitals. This is one incidence. Imagine if YOU were scizophrenic…although you’d think there would be have been a search for him since I doubt his leave was anywhere around 3 am

  • Charles the Great

    @dave: I could agree. The government of Nova Scotia knew the condition of the person who committed this crime and the risks he had to the Public but gave him the one hour pass anyway. Personally I think this is just the tip of the iceberg on this case and with the Canadian Justice system. Also if he had lived and killed the person who did this crime Raymond Taavel would be going to jail.

  • Charles the Great

    @walterpc: In Canada the system allowed him out on a pass and the East Coast Forensic Hospital is under the authority of the government of Nova Scotia. Most likely the person who gave him the pass will never be charged sadly.

  • Kamuriie

    In these comments: a bunch of people baselessly assuming they know everything about the mentally ill man, and are in a position to make judgments about the hospital staff’s actions, from reading a two paragraph news article. Yawn.

  • Mike

    @Kamuriie: And it sounds like you’re defending a murderer. What’s your point?

  • Gr1zz

    I’m sure there’s a lot to this story that has yet to be revealed.

    The particular facility, memory serving, was intended to take over a large part of the load form the (now closed) Sackville Correctional Center. It’s located at the edge of an industrial park, and bus service there is often on either a half-hour or hourly schedule, so a one-hour pass would get you off of the site, but unless you had a friend with a car, you wouldn’t be going far (if you were going to return within the hour).

    Capital Health (the ones that run the hospital part of the facility) have a no-smoking-on-premises policy. At some of their other locations, it leads to people in wheelchairs with I.V. polls at the side of the road, with snowbanks (and sometimes even oxygen masks!) In this case, it results in the nearest bus terminal being littered with cigarette butts, from patients on what is effectively a smoking pass. The staff members who are smokers generally go to their cars, instead of standing outside in the cold, on the edge of the property line.

    If this was a contributing factor to the terrible events, I hope they find a better solution to the problem, and wish they would have done so before it ended up costing lives.

  • Belize

    @Mike: “And it sounds like you’re defending a murderer. What’s your point?”

    Of course it sounds like that… if you’re one of the people who assume “they know everything about the mentally ill man, and are in a position to make judgments about the hospital staff’s actions, from reading a two paragraph news article.”

    As Kamuriie said: YAWN.

  • David Myers

    In your objecting to people who you claim “assume they know everything about the mentally ill man and are in a position to make judgements about the hospital staff’s actions ….” you have twice used the work “Yawn”, making it clear to me that that is actually your opinion of this murder because the victim “was only a gay man”. Shame on you. You should be just as distrurbed by this murder, regardless of your involvement in mental health as you would be for any victim. I’ve worked in emergency psychiatric assessment for the last fifteen years and I can see absolutely no justification for your cynical use of your “Yawn” comments.

  • [email protected]

    As a gay woman who happens to live in the community affected, all of you talking about how this man should be locked up for life or killed because he’s schizophrenic should seriously reconsider your priorities.

    Unless he was psychotic at the time of the attack he should be charged with a hate crime, and if he was it doesn’t change his homophobia but the focus will change to disease management. I’ve known many lgbt people who have been attacked in this town unfortunately, and other than this they were all attacked by mentally healthy, hateful people. You don’t have to be mentally ill to commit a hate crime, and unless you also support pre-emptive jailing of bigots, you should step off the soap box about the same treatment for those with schizophrenia.

    I’ve finally gotten up the will to read some of the media coverage on this because it was so upsetting when it happened, and everywhere I go I see a hideous media orgy all centered on a crazed mentally ill killer, instead of where it should be: on the virulent, violent homophobia that most Canadians would like to pretend no longer exists.

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