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'Complete his mission': Criminal psychologist speculates on Sask. mass killer's motives

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Myles Sanderson was most likely on his way to kill his ex-partner and “complete his mission” when officers forced him off the highway and arrested him, according to a criminal psychologist.

Dr. Matt Logan authored a post-mortem behavioural analysis report on Sanderson. He was the last witness to testify at the inquest into Sanderson’s in-custody death on Thursday.

Sanderson died on September 7, 2022, just three days after he killed 11 people in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

Earlier the inquest heard Sanderson died of an acute cocaine overdose about an hour after he was arrested, but Logan believes his death was an accident.

“It was likely that the cocaine toxicity was not a suicide, but an accidental cocaine overdose,” Logan said.

The inquest heard Sanderson had 10 times the lethal amount of cocaine in his system when he died. When the arresting officers pulled him from the vehicle, he was reportedly clutching a bag of coke with a rolled up bill inside it.

Logan believes Sanderson was under the mindset of “why waste good cocaine” and “if I’m going out, I’m going out my way”.

The inquest heard Sanderson was travelling to Saskatoon on Highway 11 when police chased him.

Logan said while it’s possible Sanderson was on his way to seek refuge at his father’s house, it’s more likely that his goal was to kill his former common-law spouse Vanessa Burns.

During the high-speed police chase that lead to his arrest, Sanderson was reported to be travelling, at times, upwards of 160 kilometres an hour against oncoming traffic, aiming for other vehicles.

Logan believes Sanderson didn’t care if he lived or died.

“I think he always wanted to complete the mission, but at some point, the death ambivalence took over,” he said.

Whether Sanderson’s death was accidental or a suicide will be a main point for jurors to consider. The jury began deliberating early Thursday afternoon.

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