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Westphal and his team spent 14 hours interviewing and testing Minassian before his trial. A Canadian psychiatric team, led by Dr. John Bradford, also examined Minassian. Bradford concluded that Minassian did not meet the criteria for a non-criminally responsible verdict.
In conversations with the Westphal team, Minassian discussed several motivational factors for his attack. He attached weight to his motivations.
He decided: Solitude, an affinity for the incel killer Elliott Rodger and support for an incel philosophy brand known as Men Going their Own Way (MGTOW) with 40 percent of its influence; his obsession with mass murderers by 25 percent; a desire for infamy by 20 percent; and anxiety about starting a new job by 15 percent.
Westphal said he did not attach much importance to Minassian’s reasoning. He said that when Minassian talked about his anxiety and loneliness at work, he seemed more genuine.
Minassian described in detail his desire for notoriety.
“It would have been the fact that I did something, that I brought something to my name,” said Minassian in an interview. “I did something to get attention, instead of failing at something.
“An example would be, if you’re walking on the sidewalk and slipping on a banana peel, and everyone is laughing at you, it’s not you doing something on purpose, it’s you failing. And by accident and it’s a mess. It’s like, you lost and now everyone remembers that, ”said Minassian.
“Whether you do something good or bad … say you make a really cool app for your job, or say you commit a mass murder. In these cases, it is not in the category of you slipping on a banana peel, it is you – you did something, you were proactive and you did something ”.
Westphal said it shows Minassian’s binary worldview, just two extremes with nothing in between.
Westphal remains on the bench on Thursday.