MANDEL: PATH stabbing accused left blood-stained knife on counter
November 2, 2018
November 2, 2018 9:12 PM EDT
It was 24 seconds of horror that would end the life of one young woman and leave another facing a first-degree murder charge.
Now Justice John McMahon will decide next week whether accused PATH stabber Rohinie Bisesar should be found not criminally responsible for the death of newlywed Rosemarie “Kim” Junor three years ago.
In an agreed statement of facts, Bisesar has admitted plunging the knife into Junor’s chest. But both the defence and the Crown agree she was suffering from schizophrenia and “commanding hallucinations” at the time and should be found NCR.
However, Junor’s family is angry at the joint recommendation that Bisesar should be found not guilty due to a mental disorder. Once an Ontario Review Board is satisfied that her illness is under control, her freedom is assured.
“There’s no justice,” said Junor’s brother Richard. “She got no justice. We all know that.”
Richard Junor, the older brother of the PATH stabbing victim Rosemarie Junor, in front of 361 University Avenue Courts where the accused was in court today, on Wednesday February 8, 2017. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
They were two strangers who should never have met that tragic day.
Pretty and petite, Bisesar was a brilliant student who did two undergrad degrees – cell biology and commerce – as well as an MBA. She had a long-term boyfriend and a job at York University.
But beginning in 2008, symptoms of her schizophrenia began to appear and by March 2014, she had to be hospitalized after threatening to burn down her family’s home.
Called by the defence, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Ian Swayze told the court Bisesar was held involuntarily at Toronto East General for about a month. And then she was released against medical advice.
According to her chart at the time: “It was felt that the patient is not behaving properly and had numerous delusional beliefs, but there was no evidence of any self harming or suicidal ideation. There was no homicidal ideation.”
Rohinie Bisesar is pictured in this undated handout photo.
A year later, the transient, unemployed woman had run up $150,000 in debt and was a fixture in downtown coffee shops, dressed in her business suit while spending her days on her laptop and “networking” with men.
She kept hearing the voices in her head, Swayze explained, but she believed she was the victim of some larger conspiracy that had imbedded “nanotechnology” inside her body.
Her family had washed their hands of her. Her former boyfriend would spot her on Bay St. and described her as looking like a bag lady and a character from My Beautiful Mind.
Meanwhile, Junor had just married her longtime sweetheart in August, moved into a new home and was working as cardiovascular ultrasound technologist at MedCan.
“Dear God, Thank you for another day of Life,” she had posted on Facebook earlier that year. “Thanks for another day of waking up healthy and happy.”
Rosemarie Junor (Toronto Police handout)
According to the agreed statement of facts, surveillance footage shows a small woman dressed in a dark jacket and a lavender shirt carrying a large red shopping bag entering the Shoppers beneath Bay and Wellington Sts. at 2:55:24 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2015.
“As the woman makes her way through the store, another surveillance camera clearly depicts a facial shot of the woman carrying the red bag. The woman is Rohinie Bisesar,” said Crown attorney Bev Richards.
Rohinie Bisesar deemed fit to stand trial in PATH stabbing
Woman accused in PATH stabbing ‘markedly better’
Accused PATH stabber gets another 60 days of treatments, tests for ‘abnormalities’
MANDEL: NCR defence a bitter pill for PATH victim’s family to swallow
Junor was on a break and shopping in the store while chatting on her phone with girlfriend, Devika Singh. She told her that she just needed to pick up some lotion for her husband Lenny.
Suddenly Singh heard screaming over the phone.
A witness saw Bisesar approach Junor “as if she knows her” but later investigation would show the two women were complete strangers.
“According to surveillance footage, at 2:56:40 p.m. Rosemarie Junor turns away from the direction she had begun to walk; she backs out of the aisle she was about to enter and Rosemarie Junor is clutching her chest,” Richards said.
“Rohinie Bisesar had stabbed Rosemarie Junor once directly in the heart.”
Bisesar was then seen leaving the blood-stained knife on a cosmetics counter before casually exiting the store.
Junor staggered toward a Shoppers employee. “I just got stabbed,” she said. A few days later, she would succumb to her injuries.
According to her psychiatrist, Bisesar said the voices had ordered her to go uptown to buy a knife from a dollar store on Sheppard Ave. and then return downtown.
Her recollection of the stabbing is chilling.
“The voice said, if you mean it, do it,” Swayze quoted Bisesar as saying. “The voice and movements raised my hand, pushed forward…It was like the knife was sticking to my hand and couldn’t be dropped.”
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Ian Swayze speaks to media after Rohinie Bisesar pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing of Rosemarie Junor on Friday November 2, 2018. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
“I thought this was just an activity, didn’t think it was legal or otherwise because I was spending all my energy fighting the voice and communications…Fighting the invisible entity….As soon as it happened I wanted to get away…Traveled back home…The voice said I should have kept the knife.”
She later wrote the judge and insisted she wasn’t to blame.
“At the moment of the crime, it said ‘If you are going to kill someone do it like you mean it’ and moved my hand/arm forward.”
Since being compelled to take anti-psychotic medication in 2017, Bisesar is no longer hearing voices and her other symptoms are in remission, the psychiatrist said.
“Ms. Bisesar has developed significant insight into her major mental illness; schizophrenia,” Swayze wrote in his report. “She also is reflective, empathic and remorseful when discussing the index offence.”
He then goes on to quote her: “I did not plan to go murder someone…It was just like time stopped with all the chaos in my mind…I feel sorry for the person (victim) caught in my illness.”
In court, she showed no emotion at all.
In this excerpt from Rohinie Bisesar’s psychiatric assessment, the accused PATH stabber recalls the day of Dec. 11, 2015:
“The day started as usual…I showered and dressed…was reading business newspapers to keep up my knowledge…I don’t recall how I got downtown…I heard the voice downtown in late morning…was saying words… It said what is the worst thing you can do…I was really agitated and upset…phased out, not thinking, like those river stones again…stepping one at a time.”
She was not entirely sure where she first heard the voices but stated: “I’m usually in the Starbucks at Adelaide St., East and Yonge Street…It’s easy to sit and do work, I had my laptop…I pretend to read but I’m zoned out…distracted by the voice and the movements and communication.”
She stated: “The voice said to get a knife…went to the Dollar store to buy the knife…I’m familiar with the place and it’s close to the subway.”
She then indicated: “I went back through King or St. Andrew subway entrance…went to the bathroom in First Canadian place…didn’t want to hurt someone…A lady asked if I was okay…I’m in the concourse, moving from one bench to another…Then the voice, communication and movements made me sit up, turn, walk straight into the Shopper’s fast…I was not an agreeable participant…went right up to the person (victim) with no hesitation, barely took it (knife) out of the bag…My arm was in L-shaped.
“The voice said, if you mean it do it…The voice and movements raised my hand, pushed forward…It was like the knife was sticking to my hand and couldn’t be dropped…I thought this was just an activity, didn’t think it was legal or otherwise because I was spending all my energy fighting the voice and communications…fighting the invisible entity…As soon as it happened I wanted to get away…traveled back home…The voice said I should have kept the knife.”