Toronto Sun

Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Killer in control: Doc


Ralph Hadley did not "snap" the morning he broke into his former Pickering home to murder his estranged wife before killing himself, a coroner's inquest heard yesterday.

"I think the snap or the major change occurred two-to-three weeks before the murder," said Dr. Harold Merskey, a psychiatrist and professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario.

The inquest has heard a depressed and angry Hadley became very calm about two weeks before he shot Gillian Hadley to death June 20, 2000 before taking his life.


"I might think his depression had gone away," Merskey said. He was called as an expert witness by parents' group Fathers Are Capable Too (FACT). "I would also have to look and see if he had decided on a suicidal course of action."

Patients can become "almost cheerful" after deciding to take their life because they see an end to their troubles, Merskey said.

Coroner's counsel Al O'Marra said Hadley's actions two weeks before the tragedy suggest "a set of purposeful actions" to kill Gillian and himself.

Those actions included buying a handgun, recording a suicide message, writing a checklist of his plans, and assembling a "rape kit," O'Marra said.

"Does that suggest a person who had snapped?" he asked.

"Not immediately before the events, no," Merskey said.

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.