Man held in Montreal nun's murder

  • August 15, 2007

{mosimage}MONTREAL - A man with a history of psychological problems is being held in the brutal beating death of an 80-year-old Montreal nun.

Sr. Estelle Lauzon was found dead on the morning of Aug. 13 in a wing at the Sisters of Providence's east-end Maison de la Providence convent that acted as a halfway house for men recovering from drug and alcohol or psychological problems. Sr. Lauzon cared for addicts and mental patients at the convent’s transition centre.

The residence also houses elderly people on its third and fourth floors. Sixty of the sisters live at the convent.

Martin Rondeau, 31, a resident of the transition centre for about a year, was arraigned at the Montreal courthouse Aug. 14 on a charge of second-degree murder. He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on Sept. 24.

Rondeau is a recovering drug addict, who according to his lawyer has suffered with psychological problems in the past.

{sidebar id=2}Montreal police say that Sr. Lauzon and Rondeau were alone in the second-floor wing of the convent at the time of the attack. Nearby residents called police when they heard noise coming from the area. Rondeau was found at the scene dressed in boxer shorts and a t-shirt with blood on his hands, police say.

Isabelle Bourdon, the convent's administrative secretary, said the Sisters were reeling from Lauzon's slaying.

"Everything in here is in turmoil," she told the Montreal Gazette. "Imagine it. We've never had anything like this happen and these ladies have been together for 60 years. Most of them are 85 now.

"We're in mourning. We don't want to drag our business out into the public. This is private for the sisters."

Police said they found no weapon and suspect that Sr. Lauzon was beaten to death with bare hands.

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