Toronto Sun

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Not a crime of passion

Hadley was not depressed: Psychiatrist


Killing his estranged wife was not a crime of passion for Ralph Hadley but the final act in a "path of assassination," a forensic psychiatrist told an inquest yesterday.

"Certainly not (a crime of passion), in my opinion, because of the amount of pre- planning involved," said Dr. Peter Collins.

Because Hadley prepared a will, made an effort to trick his parents into thinking he was still in their house and brought a rape kit to the murder scene, he was aware of what he was doing and not mentally ill, Collins testified.


"Based on my review of the material I did not feel he had any psychiatric illness," Collins said, adding he never examined Hadley but was basing his diagnosis on the coroner's brief. He said there was reason to find Hadley criminally responsible for his actions.

Hadley, 34, shot to death his estranged wife Gillian, 35, then took his own life at her Pickering home in June 2000.

"Everything in my professional experience indicates to me that he was not depressed," Collins said, calling his October 1999 diagnosis of clinical depression more likely an "adjustment disorder" resulting from the breakdown of the marriage.

"Theoretically, if Gillian Hadley had said 'Let's get together,' he would have been happy again," he said.

Collins -- who works primarily for the OPP but also consults for Interpol and the RCMP -- said Ralph's actions could be traced along a path of assassination that closely mirrors threats to public figures.

Ralph progressed from a grievance stage onward through planning and research, preparation and finally killing Gillian.

If he had done a risk assessment when Ralph was originally arrested for assault, he would have predicted repeat behaviour, Collins said.


"We would have not been able to predict the disastrous consequences ... but certainly at the very least there were enough indicators there to say to us this man is at high risk for repeating the stalking behaviour," he testified.

Only seven people with the OPP are qualified to do risk assessments and local police services are just starting to establish threat-assessment branches, he said.

The inquest continues today.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.