Valery I. FABRIKANT
The Concordia University massacre
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Revenge - University shooting
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: August 24, 1992
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: January 28, 1940
Victims profile: Department Chair Phoivos Ziogas and professors Matthew Douglass, Michael Hogben, and Jaan Saber
Method of murder: Shooting (.38 calibre pistol)
Location: Montreal, Canada
Status: Sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole until 2017
Valery Fabrikant, 52, a former associate professor, armed with a pistol opened fire at a university, killing four people and wounding three.
Was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of four colleagues.
Valery Fabrikant (born 1940 in Minsk, USSR), is a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Concordia University. He is known for his murder of four colleagues.
Born in the Soviet Union, he immigrated to Canada in 1979 and began teaching at Concordia in 1980. Fabrikant blamed his colleagues for his being denied tenure on four successive occasions and for attempting to have his employment terminated. He also accused the university of tolerating the practice of academics being listed as co-authors on papers to which they have not contributed; in 1992, he had gone to court to try to have the names of several colleagues removed from works he had written in the 1980s.
A campaign of harassment aimed at members of faculty culminated in a shooting rampage on August 24, 1992 on the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall building at Concordia. Killed in the shooting spree were Departmental Chair Phoivos Ziogas and Professors Matthew Douglas, Michael Hogben, and Aaron Jaan Saber. A departmental staff secretary, Elizabeth Horwood, was injured.
Fabrikant represented himself at his trial. After several weeks of eccentric behaviour, the judge suspended the proceedings in order to conduct a hearing into Fabrikant's mental fitness to stand trial. He was eventually found fit, and after five months of proceedings, the judge stopped his defense, so the jury had no choice but to find him guilty.
Fabrikant is serving a life sentence at Archambault Prison in Sainte-Anne-Des-Plaines. Fabrikant is a notable usenet user known for posting in newsgroups, particularly can.general and can.politics, with his claims that he is the innocent victim of a conspiracy theory against him.
The Fabrikant incident resulted in a series of investigations and a formalization of research ethics guidelines by Canada's research funding agencies. An investigation on the conduct of the faculty in Fabrikant's department revealed that many of Fabrikant's claims were indeed true. The three researchers who were the primary target of Fabrikant's allegations have since had their research accounts frozen by NSERC for misappropriating research funds and have been forced to take early retirement.
Valery I. Fabrikant (born 28 January 1940 in Minsk, USSR), is a Jewish Belarussian émigré and former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. On August 24, 1992, he shot and killed four colleagues and wounded one staff member, after years of increasingly disruptive behavior at the university.
Born in the Soviet Union to a Jewish family, he immigrated to Canada in 1979 and began teaching at Concordia in 1980. Fabrikant blamed his colleagues for his being denied tenure on four successive occasions and for attempting to have his employment terminated. He also accused the university of tolerating the practice of academics being listed as co-authors on papers to which they have not contributed; in 1992 he went to court to try to have the names of several colleagues removed from research papers he had written in the 1980s. That case was not concluded until November 2007, when it was dismissed by Quebec Superior Court Judge Nicole Morneau, who used a provision of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedures to dismiss cases that are found to be frivolous or unfounded.
By August 1992 Dr. Fabrikant faced a contempt of court charge due to his behavior during his suit. In addition, he had been conducting an email campaign against numerous members of the university. He claimed fears of being killed in jail.
On August 24, 1992 Fabrikant took concealed weapons and ammunition with him to the Engineering Department of the university, where he went on a shooting spree on the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building. He killed Department Chair Phoivos Ziogas and professors Matthew Douglass, Michael Hogben, and Jaan Saber; and wounded Elizabeth Horwood, a departmental staff secretary.
Phoivos Ziogas lived for a month in a coma before he died of massive internal injuries from the bullet ricocheting within his body.
Trial and psychiatric assessment
Fabrikant represented himself at his trial. After several weeks of eccentric behaviour, the judge suspended the proceedings in order to conduct a hearing into Fabrikant's mental fitness to stand trial. He was eventually found fit and after three months of proceedings by two psychiatrists, the judge stopped his defense and he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Despite two psychiatrists ruling in his favor, Fabrikant thought he was insulted by these two psychologists, and, according to Dr. Louis Morisette, asked to meet with Morisette, working at Philippe-Pinel Institute specializing in legal psychiatry (prison for the mentally disturbed) where Fabrikant spent several days during the time of his trial.
Morisette spent several hours over a few days with Fabrikant. "Fabrikant wanted my help to counter argue the two psychiatrists opinion on him in court, and to help him argue that psychology has no scientific basis and proves nothing." Morisette does in fact disagree with the two psychologists, noting that co-workers' and students' satisfaction reports had always been fine until Fabrikant's leave of absence for a heart attack. Problems reported by students coincide with his return in 1992. "Mr. Fabrikant suffers, in my opinion, from more than a simple personality disorder, […] he could be treated by pharmaceutical products, a treatment he always refused." "We often push the trial dates of people who suffer from complications because of heart attacks. In my opinion Fabrikant is not fit to stand trial."
Concordia's Board of Governors had earlier adopted a policy banning firearms on the university campus. After Fabrikant's murders, the university joined the Coalition for Gun Control and gathered signatures for a petition calling for tougher national gun laws. In March 1994 Concordia representatives presented members of Parliament with a 200,000-signature petition to ban the private ownership of handguns in Canada.
Concordia University commissioned two independent inquiries into events surrounding the murders. This followed university review of scholarship guidelines. The university improved its administrative procedures and research ethics guidelines, as did Canada's research funding agencies. An investigation of faculty research in Fabrikant's department revealed that some of Fabrikant's claims about mismanagement of grants funds were factually correct. But, he did not challenge colleagues' work until he was well into his attacks against the university.
The Cowan report, which studied the interactions between university officials and Fabrikant from a personnel management perspective, found that "The warnings and strictures placed upon him [Fabrikant] which directly related to his behavior, (when they existed at all), were too mild, too vague, or (finally) too slow and ponderous."
The NSERC froze the research accounts of the three academics whom Fabrikant had accused of mismanaging funds. Two were temporarily suspended and one took an early retirement. One was re-hired as a research professor.
In addition, the university adopted new rules governing financial accountability and scientific integrity, improvements already in process at the time of the August 1992 events. The Internal Audit function was also restructured.
In 1995 the university adopted "The Code of Rights & Responsibilities" and named an Advisor on the Code. It set out standards of conduct for all members of the University. Further work was done on a new code of ethics, resulting in adoption in 1995 of a partial version of "The Code of Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Actions". In 1997 the full version was adopted.
The university created initiatives related to civil behaviour and conflict resolution, including the Peace and Conflict Resolution Series that began in 2003.
Fabrikant is serving his sentence at Archambault Institution in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec. He continues academic research at prison.
Fabrikant is a usenet user known for posting in newsgroups, particularly can.general and can.politics, as well as on his website, which contain trial transcripts, as well as his version of events. He has claimed to be the innocent victim of a conspiracy. From prison, he has managed to circumvent restrictions on his communications to argue his case through a website and other media. He filed numerous legal proceedings with the court system until 2000, when the Quebec Superior Court declared him a vexatious litigant. The Court dismissed his bid to clear that status in 2007.
In part because Fabrikant carried out his assault on a university campus, and societies have witnessed rising workplace violence, the case has been extensively studied. Later analysis concluded that "Fabrikant often displayed classic behavioral warning signs indicating potential violence." Within three years of the university's hiring him, Fabrikant had established a reputation of being "a difficult, argumentative and unpredictable individual- and one who seemed to set no limits on his own behavior." The university failed to address his behavior early on, and his harassment of students and colleagues increased over the years. The university attempted to change its guidelines for dealing with personnel. The case showed the problems of academic institutions, whose administrators were more used to assessing research, than in managing the behavior of difficult staff.
Fabrikant murders inscribed in Concordia’s past
Remembering the 1992 killings of four Concordia professors—the first in a two-part series
By Melanie Meloche-Holubowski - The Link
Fourteen years ago, the hallways of the ninth floor of the Hall building were chaos as engineering professor Valery Fabrikant, angered by thoughts of conspiracy and intellectual theft, took one of four shotguns from his briefcase and chased his colleagues. On Aug. 24, 1992 Fabrikant killed three people, injured another and took two people hostage. A fourth professor died a month later in hospital.
Today, students are milling around the Hall Building’s first floor granite table, few aware that what they represent are the lives of four Concordia professors—Matthew Douglass, Michael Gorden Hogben, Aaron Jaan Saber and Phoivois Ziogas.
At 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, Fabrikant was out to settle some unfinished business. He walked into his office where he was to meet with Michael Hogben and shot him three times with his .38-calibre pistol. Hogben’s colleague, Jaan Saber, called from across the hall, worried. Fabrikant crossed the hallway and shot him twice.
As Fabrikant continued his path through the hallways, he shot Elizabeth Horwood in the thigh, but she survived. Searching for his ultimate targets—the professors who he held a grudge against—he ended up in the office of Phoivos Ziogas, who was with Otto Schwelb. Ziogas was shot twice but did not die immediately. Professor Matthew Douglass then tried to reason with Fabrikant. He was shot four times.
Another professor and a security guard, Daniel Martin, were taken hostage. Fabrikant called 911 at 2:35 p.m. to inform them that he had committed several murders and wanted to explain his motives. An hour later, as he tried to adjust the phone, he let go of his gun, giving the professor and security guard the chance to overtake him.
None of the professors murdered had been initial targets for Fabrikant—rather, they had been victims of his terrible rage against the university. Fabrikant was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole until 2014.
A bureaucratic battle between Fabrikant and the school was brewing for years, but no one was able to stop the 1992 disaster. Since his arrest and trial, the reasoning behind the shooting has emerged.
Fabrikant firmly believed he was pushed to commit his actions and that his life was in danger—he claims his colleagues were out to kill him with a heart attack.
“Clearly, these people did so much harm to me, that killing them was more important, than the threat of dying in jail,” writes Fabrikant on his website.
According Sam Osman, who was the chair of the mechanical engineering department at the time, Fabrikant was at one time considered “one of the top ten international researchers in his area.” How did a brilliant mind turn to violence to resolve a conflict?
A history of violence
Valery Fabrikant was born in the USSR in 1940 and immigrated to Canada in 1979 under the pretense that he was a dissident. He had actually been fired. He met with the chair of Concordia’s mechanical engineering department, Tom Sankar, for a job. He had a PhD and had published several research papers, so Sankar hired him as a research assistant.
It was not long after that Fabrikant’s extreme personality would come through. In 1981, he applied for a position at the University of Calgary. He was not selected, so Fabrikant harassed the U of Calgary professor. In 1982, a student complained that she had been sexually harassed by Fabrikant, but no formal complaint was ever lodged, to maintain the student’s privacy.
At the same time, Fabrikant continued his research at a phenomenal pace; he produced over 25 original research papers in three years, on which Tom Sankar was listed as co-author. The university was impressed by his work and kept him on board.
In 1983, Fabrikant harassed the professor of a French class he was taking. The bullying became so intense that the professor threatened to quit and Fabrikant was told to stop attending class. Defiantly, Fabrikant returned to class, read his notice of expulsion out loud and sat down. He was then ordered to stay away.
After this incident, Sankar’s request to have Fabrikant upgraded from a research assistant to a professor was denied.
In 1985, Fabrikant was appointed to Concordia’s Computer-Aided Vehicle Engineering Centre (CONCAVE). From this point on, Fabrikant no longer put anyone as co-author on his research papers. In 1987, Tom Sankar stepped down as chair and Sam Osman took over. Sheshadri Sankar, Tom’s brother, was head of the CONCAVE project.
A year later, Sheshadri Sankar advised Fabrikant that his contract with CONCAVE would end in one year. A furious Fabrikant accused the department of shortening his contract because he was no longer attributing co-authorship to the chair of the department. He began taping conversations with other faculty members to prove his conspiracy theories regarding the university’s procedures. He threatened legal action.
In a conversation with Fabrikant, Tom Sankar claims to have told him, “Did I ask you to put my name on any of your papers? You did it voluntarily.” Strangely enough, Sankar gave Fabrikant a two-year contract despite the accusations.
According to Catherine Mackenzie, the executive assistant to the rector in 1989, Fabrikant threatened that the “only way to get what you want in North America is to buy a gun and shoot a lot of people.” The university was now concerned about his behaviour, but no one was willing to confront him with a formal warning.
The beginning of the end
In 1990, Fabrikant was to receive a tenure-track position for his academic successes but was later rejected. In 1991, Fabrikant was given the largest bonus of the department for his accomplishments. The engineering department fought to have him fired, as no one wanted to work with him, but the rector refused because there was no paper trail of his violent behaviour. They renewed his contract until June 1992.
In June 1992, Fabrikant swayed the dean to give him one more year of work, considering his academic achievements, although the engineering department tried nonetheless to have him fired or to retire him for his continuous threats.
That year, he accused Sheshadri and Tom Sankar of misappropriation of authorship and misuse of research money and brought them to court. In an e-mail campaign attempting to warn others of the university’s alleged wrongdoing, Fabrikant wrote, “I am no longer afraid of anything or anybody. We all have to die one day. Whenever I die, I shall die an honest person... I cannot fight all the crooks in the world, but I shall not rest until the bogus scientists in this university are exposed.”
In another e-mail, Fabrikant referred to the judge in his lawsuit as “Chief Injustice.” He was to appear in court on Aug. 25, 1992 for contempt of court.
But just before his contempt of court hearing, Fabrikant acted on years of threats and walked into the Hall Building on Aug. 24 in search of the people he had been fighting, to shoot them. He was arrested that same day.
The Muppet Show trial
Fabrikant’s trial was almost a farce; he fired 10 lawyers until he decided to defend himself. He ridiculed the judge and bullied witnesses in an attempt to prove that the court should be deliberating not whether or not he was a murderer, but why he was pushed to the brink of killing four people. “I was the victim, not a perpetrator, I acted in self-defense” was his motto.
Fabrikant spent hours questioning witnesses to show the police had planted evidence and that the court was in bed with the university. He even argued about having a sandwich instead of a warm lunch one day, accusing the Judge of trying to starve him. His strategy was defiance and disruption.
Fabrikant was cited six times for contempt of court, calling the procedures a “monkey trial,” calling the judge a “biased crook” and welcoming the jury “to the Muppet Show.”
Psychiatrists determined he was not insane, something Fabrikant agreed with. “I was never insane, I knew perfectly well what I was doing and I knew why I was shooting each individual. There was not a single innocent person harmed. I did not hear voices and did not imagine devils.”
After five months, the judge had had enough. He stopped all procedures, and seven hours later, the jury convicted him of first-degree murder.
From his jail cell, Fabrikant had his son, Isaac, post messages on chat groups and on his website. He still claims innocence and continuously tries to convince people he is the victim of a massive conspiracy between the university, the police and the court.
“I was abused for 12 years, and when my life was threatened, the abusers succeeded in provoking me,” he writes. “I lived so far 62 years, during which I never displayed any violent behavior, I never had even a speeding ticket. There were three minutes in my life when I killed four people. Should I be judged by these three minutes or [the] remaining 62 years?"
Was Fabrikant Right?
Remembering the 1992 killings of four Concordia professors—the second in a two-part series
As details emerged from the history behind the shootings after August 24, 1992, Concordia University began to get flack from all sides, many wondering why someone known to have an erratic temper would continue to work for the school and if, indeed, Fabrikant’s allegations of plagiarism and misuse of money were founded.
Fabrikant clearly admitted guilt in the shootings. He insisted that the trial should not be about his guilt—rather that it should be an inquiry as to why he was pushed to the brink. Some wondered if he was not a whistleblower on Concordia’s disorganized administration.
Concordia commissioned two independent reports about the Fabrikant affair that were released in 1994. The Cowan report dealt with Fabrikant’s employment history as well as the University’s actions in regards to his behaviour, and the Arthurs report looked into academic and scientific integrity among professors.
What the conclusions of the reports conceded was that Fabrikant was partly right and that the University had acted poorly and waffled on an issue that should have been dealt with years before.
Rose Sheinin, Concordia’s vice-rector academic at the time, and Rector Patrick Kenniff were sharply criticized for not taking action, although they had the powers to do so. Sheinin said that the reports were inadequate and the responsibility lay with the mechanical and engineering department.
In the aftermath, Kenniff resigned, Sheinin’s contract was not renewed and the three professors at the centre of Fabrikant’s allegations—Dean Srikanta Swamy, Tom Sankar and Sheshadri Sankar—were quietly asked to leave their positions.
Lacking centralized power
The Cowan report was largely critical of the University’s inability to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Several people had been threatened by Fabrikant over the years, but no one had ever filed a formal complaint against him. Cowan criticized the administration, writing that “there is no institutional memory … universities are vastly more decentralized than other enterprises. There is no central clearing house for important information.”
Indeed, it was only on October 30, 1992, in an emergency meeting, that “members of the administration, who in the past never had much information about Dr. Fabrikant’s bad behaviour outside the faculty, were learning more and becoming more fearful.” Fabrikant’s file contained little record of his erratic behaviour and threats.
Heads of departments were also sharply criticized for their lack of knowledge in dealing with employee/employer relations. Professors are not administrators and “when faced with the challenge of a ‘bad’ colleague, whose behaviour is disruptive, threatening or merely unethical, they do not generally know what their powers are, and are massively risk-averse when it comes to exercising those powers, even when they are aware of them.”
This was the case time and time again, as there was a struggle from either side of the administrative spectrum. From being described as a genius to irrational, no one knew if he was really dangerous or just an eccentric professor. No one could decide if he should be promoted or fired.
On September 1, 1983, Fabrikant was promoted to research associate professor. Twenty-six days later, he was described as being “irrational.” In 1989, Fabrikant received a merit award, a raise and a congratulatory memo on his new book. In 1990, he was refused promotion to research professor despite good reviews.
“The absence of a collective approach to decision-making even for the most significant matter is necessary,” writes Cowan. “Each senior officer decides in isolation about questions which arise.”
In addition, senior administrators never gave proper warning to Fabrikant until it was too late. A letter to Fabrikant was sent out one week before the shooting, warning him to cease his harassment campaign via email. No one is certain whether he ever even received it.
Cowan also indicates that the university should have investigated Fabrikant’s allegations of conflicts of interest and misuse of co-authorship to appease the professor’s anxieties and deal with the ethics and integrity of scientific research.
Pressure brings unethical ways
The Arthurs report dealt specifically with the allegations Fabrikant had against his colleagues, namely Dean Srikanta Swamy and professors Tom Sankar and Sheshadri Sankar. Fabrikant alleged they had conflicts of interests with their university contracts and their deals with private enterprises. He was also furious that he was forced into giving co-authorship to these supervisors when they did not contribute to the work.
With regret, Arthurs admits that Fabrikant was accurate on certain allegations.
Fabrikant considered himself a “scientific prostitute,” saying he was forced to put Prof. Tom Sankar’s name on several articles from 1980 to 1985. Arthurs says that although Sankar had discussed several articles and findings with Fabrikant, “Prof. Sankar could not have made a substantive scientific contribution” in all cases.
Arthurs pointed to the strong pressures of scientists being prolific in their work and “that those pressures may in turn lead to the adoption of strategies for being as prolific as possible, and that some of these strategies may promote undesirable behaviour.”
Naming colleagues, even with little contribution, was a way for many researchers to up their publication records and gain more grants and projects. It was a way for colleagues to help each other out in the cutthroat world of research. Yet, in a taped conversation with Fabrikant, Sankar asked him, “Did I ask you to put my name on any of your papers? You did it voluntarily.”
Fabrikant and his colleagues were all somewhat guilty of wrongful co-authorship, explains Arthurs. Fabrikant might have been forced to put co-authors even when they did not contribute significantly, but Fabrikant was also guilty of re-using previous articles he published in Russia as new data.
The report harshly criticized the school, stating that “Concordia appears to have no policies or standards of scientific and academic integrity.”
Sankar was also found guilty of conflict of interest with certain private contracts he obtained. University researchers should give priority to their academic obligations before undertaking any private research. The university was lax on how much was too much—private contracts were simply a way to obtain a bigger salary and recognition.
For example, Sankar obtained a contract from Transport Canada to study liquid tanker stability through his company Sheshadri Sankar Inc, even though the university had bid for the same contract. Arthurs criticizes Sankar for not being loyal to the university and that the contract was “well in excess of any limit which might be reasonable for someone who was the director of a major university research center.”
Also, the efforts of at least one research student “were used to generate a private profit for Professor S. Sankar,” writes Arthurs. Tom Sankar, S. Sankar’s brother was also put on the payroll for the project, although none of his work was included in the final report.
These were some of several discrepancies with research projects, and unethical behaviour that angered Fabrikant. Both reports scolded the administration for not inquiring earlier into Fabrikant’s allegations.
Dealing with today’s pressures
The reports were a harsh criticism of Concordia’s administration and the university’s lack of accountability and ethical behaviour in scientific research. The university listened carefully and has since changed its stance on dealing with incidences of violence or threatening conduct.
“In hindsight, there were a lot of warning signs,” says Peter Cote, director of Concordia’s Rights and Responsibility Department, of the shootings. “They were not properly and effectively acted on.”
This new department was created in 1996, mostly as a response to the events of 1992. It is a central place where people can report any strange behaviour or case of harassment. “I am the one person who has the big picture, instead of bits of information in different offices.” By doing so, Cote can see patterns emerging and decide when to act.
In the event of an emergency situation, Cote can quickly gather a team from the university, from security agents to health services employees, to heads of departments, to act rapidly to protect the students and staff of the university.
The University now errs on the side of caution when threats are made—Cote would rather deal with the possibility of the school being sued, a union taking action or the possibility of bad press in the event of a mistake than to leave a situation unattended.
Luckily, he says, his department doesn’t have to deal with such situations very often, but adds, “it’s a big world out there. It’s a normal part of any kind of institution."
Two dead in shootout at Montreal University
August 25, 1992
A professor armed with a pistol opened fire at a university Monday, killing at least two people and wounding three before being captured, police and witnesses said.Some witnesses described the gunman as cool and controlled, apparently stalking predetermined victims and ignoring others in the halls of Concordia University. "He was in a very, very scary mood," said student Rafic Chehouri. "He was very calm in his walking . . . I thought he would shoot everyone in front of him, and I was in front.
Prpfessor shoots, kills 2 in Montreal, police say
August 25, 1992
MONTREAL -- A professor armed with a pistol opened fire at Concordia University yesterday, killing two persons identified as school staff members and wounding three before being captured, police and witnesses said. Canadian Press quoted unidentified witnesses who said the assailant was Valery Fabrikant, a professor of mechanical engineering angry that he might lose his job. Police said the gunman was arrested an hour after he began shooting at the downtown campus.
Professor's shooting spree kills 2 on downtown Montreal campus
The Commercial Appeal
August 25, 1992
A professor opened fire at Concordia University on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding three before being captured, police and witnesses said. Canadian Press identified the assailant as Valery Fabrikant, professor of mechanical engineering. Police spokesman Constable Claude Forget said the gunman was arrested about an hour after he began shooting at the downtown campus.
Montreal professor held in Hallway shootings
The Press of Atlantic City
August 25, 1992
A professor armed with a pistol opened fire at a university Monday, killing at least two people and wounding three before being captured, police and witnesses said.
Some witnesses described the gunman as cool and controlled, apparently stalking predetermined victims and ignoring others in the halls of Concordia University.
Montreal professor kills 2, injures 3, police say
August 25, 1992
MONTREAL - A professor armed with a pistol opened fire at a university Monday, killing at least two people and wounding three before being captured, police and witnesses said. "He was holding the gun in front of him walking like a robot," said Concordia University student Rafic Chehouri, who took cover in an office. Unidentified witnesses quoted by Canadian Press said the assailant was Valery Fabrikant, a professor of mechanical engineering.
Another professor dies
Canada campus deaths now stand at 3
Philadelphia Daily News
August 26, 1992
A third professor gunned down in a Concordia University shooting rampage died yesterday, shortly after one of his engineering-department colleagues was arraigned for the slayings.
The latest victim was Jann Saber, 46, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. Another professor and a secretary remain hospitalized with wounds after the Monday shootings.
Third professor dies in Montreal
The Boston Globe
August 26, 1992
MONTREAL -- A third professor wounded in a Concordia University shooting rampage died yesterday, shortly after one of his engineering department colleagues was arraigned for the slayings. The latest victims was Jann Saber, 46. Another professor and a secretary are hospitalized with wounds after the Monday shootings. Valery Fabrikant, 52, a professor of mechanical engineering, was arraigned yesterday on charges ranging from first-degree murder to illegal use of a firearm.
August 12, 1993
Valery Fabrikant, 53, a former engineering professor at Montreal's Concordia University, was found guilty of murder yesterday and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of four colleagues in the Aug. 24 shooting rampage last year.
August 24, 1992
On August 24, 1992, an armed man opened fire on the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building resulting in the death of four professors. That day, two professors died: Civil Engineering Professor Matthew McCartney Douglass and Chemistry Professor and President of the Concordia University Faculty Association Michael Gorden Hogben. Mechanical Engineering Professor Aaron Jaan Saber died of his wounds the next day. Phoivos Ziogas, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair, succumbed to his injuries a month later on September 23. Mechanical Engineering Secretary Elizabeth Horwood, also wounded on that day, recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
Mechanical Engineering Professor Valery Fabrikant was arrested and later convicted for the murder of his colleagues.
This incident led the university to launch two Independent Committees of Inquiry. The first inquiry was conducted by John Scott Cowan of the University of Ottawa. The report of this inquiry is entitled "Lessons from the Fabrikant Files". Released in May 1994, it studied Fabrikant's employment history at Concordia. This report is frequently referred to as the Cowan Report. The second inquiry was led by former York University president Harry W. Arthurs. It investigated Fabrikant's charges against colleagues within the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. This inquiry report was called "Integrity In Scholarship". It was released in April 1994 and it is frequently referred to as the Arthurs Report.