Rachelle Denis might have lived out her years in obscurity, in a routine life, no matter how disturbed, if not for the morning of July 2, 2010.
Until then, she was a mother of five who once ran a daycare at her home in Hunt Club and was far removed from the killer of the headlines.
In and out of hospitals and their psychiatric units, Denis had more doctors than friends. Renowned forensic psychiatrist Hy Bloom, who literally wrote the book on the specialty, said Denis, now 43, and ensconced at the notorious Innes Road jail since her arrest, had more mental disorders than most of the thousands of patients he’d assessed in his storied career, including during his time as chair of the Ontario Review Board, the panel that keeps tabs on those found not criminally responsible for their crimes.
For seven weeks at the Elgin Street courthouse, Denis stood trial on a charge of second-degree murder. On Thursday, a jury of eight women and four men instead found her guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. They concluded she didn’t intend to kill her ex-lover, Tony El-Kassis, the 60-year-old owner of Tony’s Chip Wagon, a fixture on Perth Street in Richmond.