An ex-spouse of Marc-André Grenon says she is “only half surprised” to learn that the man could have killed Guylaine Potvin, she who says she has already been abused by the alleged murderer. “Seeing that, I count myself lucky today,” she sighs.
“Marc-André Grenon, 47, of Granby, is charged with the murder of Guylaine Potvin and attempted murder, in addition to aggravated sexual assault.” Hearing those words come out of the television last Wednesday, Nancy Gatz was giddy, but seeing the photos of the suspect left no room for doubt.
The alleged monster is indeed the man with whom she shared her life between 2006 and 2008.
“When I say that I was half surprised, it's because I had a hard time believing that it was until a murder , but at the same time, I'm not surprised given how he was with me,” says Ms. Gatz, who hosted Le Journal in her apartment in Granby.
The woman describes Grenon as a possessive, controlling individual with a clear streak of dominance in all areas of his life.
“He wanted control. It was like a psychological warfare that he was waging on me all the time.”
Nancy Gatz met Marc-André Grenon for the first time in 2003 when she accompanied a friend to a meeting for people living with addiction. She had no further contact with him until he approached her on a dating site three years later.
“He came for a coffee, he was not drinking Plus, he was super quiet, and a relationship developed between us,” recalls the woman.
But as soon as the couple moved in together, Grenon changed.
“The little spikes started quickly. Comments on what I was doing, who I was talking to, etc. Then he became more and more possessive and he started drinking again,” explains his ex-spouse.
After a few moves, Nancy Gatz finds herself estranged from her family and Grenon's grip tightens , psychological violence turning into physical and sexual violence.
“He was drinking in secret, and things started to stir. Sex for him was “when I want it, I take it”, even when I didn't feel like it, when I didn't feel or even when I was sleeping”, describes the woman, who says she is still broken by these behaviors.
“There is no cure for that. I keep the consequences in my life as a couple, that he used it when I didn't want to.”
The lady finally manages to end the relationship in 2008, saying that Grenon would have once again struck her in the face in addition to throwing her to the ground.
She said she feared at this time for her three children, not knowing how far man can go in his violence.
“I stood up to him and hit him again. He told me that I was crazy to do that. As if he was telling me: “I could kill you and you dare to hit me?” But at the same time, it grabbed him and it ended there,” recalls the petite woman, but with a strong character.
“I had become a mother who protected her little ones, but I realize today that if I had not reacted, I might not be here either. I don't know how it could have ended”, drops Nancy Gatz, who is the first person to testify to the personality of Marc-André Grenon since his arrest.
Standing up in front of the horror
Besides, why publicly tell this difficult part of his story when even those close to him were unaware of the details? Why dive back into it after having buried this violence so deeply and never having filed a complaint? Quite simply to help other women who could have been victims of the man and encourage them to denounce him.
So that together they stand up to the horror.
“I had not filed a complaint because I had gotten rid of it and that part of my life was behind me. […] There are many things [to which] I was happy not to think anymore, but with all that, I realize that it is from him that certain things have changed in me and that I affects today. Something broke, and it must be said,” insists Ms. Gatz.
And she also speaks for the victim of Quebec, this young woman sexually assaulted and left for dead in her apartment in July 2000, only a few months after the murder of Guylaine Potvin. To tell her that she understands to a certain extent what people will never really be able to understand about her story.
“Like I said, she will never recover from this either. But I'm telling her today, 'You're not alone.'”
Nancy Gatz on…
… From the moment she left Grenon
“Me, it stopped there. You won't touch me anymore, you won't control my life anymore. I'm proud to have put my foot down because I don't know today how it could have ended.
… Man's moves after their relationship< /strong>
“Every time I moved after our separation, he always appeared not long after. When I left for East Angus, I learned that he had gone to Sherbrooke. When I returned to Laval, he wrote to me on Facebook afterwards to tell me that he was moving there too. And when I came to Granby with my daughter, a year later, he appeared. […] I was afraid that my children would cross paths with him.”
… Of the violence she allegedly suffered at the hands of Grenon
“He punched me in the face. […] He once pushed me down an outside staircase at a friend’s house. […] He has already squeezed my neck as if to strangle me, to warn me that he would have no trouble doing it.”
… From the parents of Guylaine Potvin
“When I think of it, I think of my own daughter. It is our flesh, it is a part of themselves that he stole from them. Losing a child is the worst thing a parent can go through, but when you know how violently their daughter died, I can't imagine what they went through.”
… Procedures awaiting Marc-André Grenon
“I want karma to take care of him and take it for a long time. I wish him that if he has other victims, that we know it and that he has to live with it on his conscience for as long as possible.
… On the possibility that there are other victims
“I really wouldn't be surprised if there were more. There was a clear dominance, it was dominance in everything. […] He was not a psychopath on a daily basis, he was good with the children, when there were people, but as soon as we were alone, isolated, he regained control.
< h3>Reminder of the Marc-André Grenon affair
Last Wednesday, October 12, Marc-André Grenon was arrested in Granby by the Sûreté du Québec in connection with the murder of Guylaine Potvin, which occurred in April 2000.
The young woman, who was 19, was sexually assaulted, violently beaten and strangled in her apartment in Jonquière.
DNA evidence was able to link this heinous crime to another similar assault, which occurred a few months later, in July 2000, in Quebec. Grenon is said to have entered the apartment of a young student before sexually assaulting her, beating her and then strangling her, leaving her for dead. The latter, however, survived.
Marc-André Grenon, now 47, was formally charged last Thursday with first degree murder, attempted murder and two counts of aggravated sexual assault. He must return to court on November 21 for further disclosure of evidence. The accused has not yet entered a plea in these two cases.
The Sûreté du Québec has also issued a notice in recent days to find other potential victims of the man.
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128