It was a brutal killing that shocked downtown Toronto almost three years ago. This week, after years in the system, and several contradictory decisions, the accused was found fit to stand trial. Rohinie Bisesar’s trial will start Friday, on a count of first-degree murder, in the fatal stabbing of Rosemarie Junor in a Shopper’s Drug Mart underneath the city’s financial district. A story that has transfixed a city will finally inch towards an ending.

The brazen nature of the crime caught the public’s attention, and the fact that the accused was an apparent career woman, well-educated and known to dozens of people working at Bay Street firms only brightened the spotlight.

Behind those factors, though, was the darkness of a mental illness that would later be diagnosed as schizophrenia. In the days after the encounter, as Junor remained on life support, a manhunt for Bisesar raged. After her arrest and Junor’s death, questions turned to how our courts would handle a case like this. How much culpability can be assigned to someone who was clearly not in their right mind at the time of the alleged crime? How much difference should that make to a judge? To the family of the victim? And why does this killing linger in the collective memory of a city that sees dozens of homicides every year?

GUEST: Raizel Robin, Toronto Life, The Walrus

 

 

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