Letisha Reimer, 13, was fatally stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016. (Facebook photo)

Letisha Reimer, 13, was fatally stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016. (Facebook photo)

Abbotsford school killer says he saw ‘monsters’ when he stabbed 2 girls

Gabriel Klein testifies on first day of ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Convicted killer Gabriel Klein testified in court on Monday morning (Nov. 9) that he stabbed two girls, killing one, at an Abbotsford high school in 2016 because he thought one was a zombie and the other was a witch.

“I don’t know how to explain why I acted on my thoughts. I didn’t know these girls, I wasn’t angry at these girls … I felt like the voices in my head gained control over me,” he said.

A hearing is being held in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster to determine whether Klein was “not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder” (NCRMD) at the time he killed Letisha Reimer, 13, on Nov. 1, 2016 and seriously injured her 14-year-old friend (who can’t be named due to a publication ban).

The pair were attacked while they were sitting in the rotunda of Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

A trial into the matter concluded earlier this year, at which time the NCRMD defence was not used. In March, Klein was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. His sentencing hearing was scheduled to take place Sept. 23 and 24, but, instead, the families of the two girls were informed the week before that Klein had been granted an NCRMD hearing.

The proceedings began Monday and are expected to run for eight more days in November and December.

Under questioning by defence lawyer Martin Peters, Klein, who was 21 at the time of the stabbings, said he first began hearing voices in his head at the age of 16, and they grew increasingly worse over the years.

He said he heard two or three voices on a daily basis, and he described hearing a “good voice” and a “bad voice.”

“I felt like these voices controlled my life … I felt like the bad voice would torture me, push me to doing wrong,” Klein said.

He said he began having delusions in the fall of 2016 – when he was living in Alberta – that he was being followed by white supremacists, the Hells Angels and the RCMP, so he fled to Vancouver and then to Abbotsford.

While in the community, Klein illegally crossed the border at one point – another effort to keep away from this pursuers, he said. After his release back to Canada, he went to Abbotsford Regional Hospital because he thought his brain was “swollen” and that he might have meningitis.

He said he also told a social worker that he was suicidal, but he was released “without any treatment whatsoever.”

Klein said he was referred to the Lookout homeless shelter in Abbotsford, where he stayed overnight.

The next day was Nov. 1, 2016, and he said he woke up feeling “very depressed,” angry about his situation and hearing voices again.

He said he shoplifted alcohol from a local liquor store and took three “shots.”

Evidence presented at Klein’s trial indicated that he then stole a hunting knife from the local Cabela’s store, but he did not touch on this during his testimony on Monday.

RELATED: Gabriel Klein guilty of 2nd-degree murder in Abbotsford high school stabbing

Klein said he then began making his way to Abbotsford Community Library — located inside of Abbotsford Senior Secondary – because he wanted to access a computer to contact his mom, who has since died, and let her know he was feeling suicidal.

While walking down the street, he said he was screaming and yelling and stepping into traffic. He continued to hear the voices in his head, and thought shadows were following him, he said.

Klein said when he arrived at the library, he couldn’t find a seat, so he sat down in the school rotunda.

“As soon as I sat down and looked to my left, I saw two people that I describe as monsters,” he said.

Klein described one as looking like a zombie with maggots coming out of her back and the other as a witch.

He said he heard a voice named “Lucy” yelling, “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

Klein said he took the knife out of his backpack, unsheathed it and first stabbed the “zombie” and then the “witch.” The second victim, who was Reimer and had been stabbed 14 times, fell to the ground. Klein said he dropped the knife and heard a voice in his head say, “You’re going to hell now.”

He sat down and was tackled by the school principal. Klein said he quickly realized it was two girls, not monsters, that he had stabbed. It was while he was in the police car after his arrest that he felt remorse and sadness, he said.

But Klein said he later became uncooperative with authorities and refused to talk.

“I felt like I completely bottomed out and lost everything in my life. That’s why I didn’t want to cooperate – I felt like I had nothing left,” he said.

Klein said he has been housed at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam for the last three years and his current treatment regimen has resulted in him no longer hearing voices or having hallucinations or delusions.

The Crown’s cross-exam of Klein began on Monday afternoon.

The courts previously heard that Klein was diagnosed with schizophrenia and delusions. He was at first found unfit to stand trial, but was then found fit in January 2019.

RELATED: No defence witnesses in trial of man charged in killing of Abbotsford student

RELATED: Accused Abbotsford school killer found fit to stand trial



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC Supreme CourtCrime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gabriel Klein sits in the prisoner’s dock during the first day of his trial on Oct. 7, 2019 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Gabriel Klein sits in the prisoner’s dock during the first day of his trial on Oct. 7, 2019 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Just Posted

Phyllis Stenson, a mainstay of the local arts scene and the Harrison Festival of the Arts, passed away earlier this month. Stenson was crucial in setting up the foundation for relationships, funding and more that continue even now to echo well past her retirement in 2013. (Contributed Photo/Harrison Festival Society)
Harrison Festival, Fraser Valley arts icon Phyllis Stenson mourned

Stenson passed away in late November, leaving lasting legacy of passion for the arts behind

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)
Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, pictured here in 2017, has harsh words about the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says Liberal government is leaving millions of Canadians behind

Strahl delivered a blistering critique of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read