A former Prince George Citizen reporter who killed two people in a courthouse in the Philippines this week wrote a series of letters to media in his adopted country detailing his legal problems.
John Pope frequently wrote letters to the Sun Star newspaper in the city of Cebu talking about the charges he was facing for possessing illegal weapons and his possible deportation from the southeast Asian country. He ended one such note with an ominous paragraph about the nature of violence.
"If there is any general lesson to be learned here, it has to be that violence begets violence," Pope wrote in April but published in the Sun Star on Wednesday. "That if a person, be it Filipino or foreigner, is allowed to be harassed 250 times with the last 200 coming after it was common knowledge that the senior citizen had suffered a heart attack, without any help from neighbours, police or the courts, you should not be surprised to see an escalation of the problems as the dying person fights for justice."
Earlier in the letter to the paper, Pope described himself as a senior citizen who had suffered a heart attack.
On Tuesday, Pope killed two people - his lawyer and a local pediatric surgeon who had filed a weapons complaint against him - and injured a prosecutor in a shooting spree in a court facility. Pope died after he was shot by police, but the fatal blow may have come from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Pope was born in the United States on Jan. 23, 1946 and grew up in St. Cloud, Minn., but he left his native country and came to Canada to avoid serving in the Vietnam War, according to former colleagues who worked with him at the Citizen.
Although privacy laws prevent the federal government from providing any biographical details, a former colleague who used to receive letters in the mail from Pope identified his signature from a Manitoba driver's licence released by Filipino police.
During his time at the Citizen, Pope wrote on a variety of topics including general community news. According to archival records, Pope first starting writing for the Citizen in April 1976 and a story under his byline last appeared in the paper in July 1981.
Former staff members said they believe Pope then moved to Windsor, Ont., where he briefly worked at the Star on the news desk. Two retired staff members at the southwestern Ontario newspaper said a John Pope did work there in the early 1980s.
According to other media reports Pope may have also worked as a speechwriter or researcher for the Manitoba Progressive Conservative party in the early 1990s, before leaving for the Philippines.
The shooting occurred one day before Pope's 67th birthday.