Original article not available.
By Jason van Rassel, Calgary HeraldMay 14, 2009
SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that
antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.
The alcoholic haze Scott Morrison was in when he shot his estranged wife 13 years ago still obscures his memory of the event, but he says time has afforded him a better understanding of why he did it.
Morrison told a parole board considering his application for escorted passes from prison that a lifetime of repressed anger — in addition to a volatile mix of booze, depression and prescription medication he was taking to treat it–affected his thinking and behaviour.
It culminated in him carrying out the ambush killing of his estranged wife, he said.
He waited hours in a downtown Calgary parkade and gunned down Janice Mae Morrison as she walked to her car on July 28, 1995.
“It makes me so sad that I found this out now and not way back then,” a sobbing Morrison said during a hearing Wednesday at Drumheller Institution, 140 kilometres northeast of Calgary.
“If I had known this (in 1995), Janice wouldn’t be dead.”
Morrison is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years for killing Janice, 39, who had ended their four-year marriage –his second–a month before he killed her.
“One cannot avoid opening your file and not being immediately struck by the offence,”parole board member Mike Halko told him.
Morrison spiralled down into depression and was binge-drinking— an act that has prevented him from ever offering a full account of the hours up to and including his crime.
Morrison, now 60, told the two-member parole hearing he remembers a yellow house where he bought a sawed-off shotgun prior to the killing–but not the transaction; he said he also remembers arriving at their marital home in Dalhousie and leaving — but not destroying many of Janice’s possessions inside.
“It would be so much easier for me if I remembered everything,” he said.
Counselling and working with a psychologist have helped Morrison understand his murderous rage had deeper causes than the alcohol he abused and medication he took prior to the killing, he said.
During his time in Drumheller, Morrison has received escorted passes to perform community service that included renovations to an area church and restorations to a schoolhouse museum in nearby East Coulee.
“There are lots more things I could do there if I had time,” Morrison said.
The parole board granted him that, and agreed to extend his escorted absences for another year.
More freedom, however, is a long way away for Morrison: he isn’t eligible for unescorted passes or day parole until 2017.
In the meantime, Morrison said he has the support of his two adult sons and his first wife, who visit him in prison.
“This is like a mission to me–to find out what happened to me, to understand,” he said.