Anne Norris blamed mental illness for beating Marcel Reardon to death with a hammer: See No Evil investigates

Anne Norris in court
Anne Norris admitted to killing Marcel Reardon, but she was found to not be criminally responsible due to ill mental health. Pic credit: CBC/ YouTube

This week See No Evil travels north of the Canadian border to St. Johns in Newfoundland and Labrador to investigate the 2016 killing of Marcel Reardon outside his apartment.

The 46-year-old Reardon was brutally beaten to death with a hammer by friend and neighbor, Anne Norris. This was a fascinating and tragic case in which the culpability of someone with mental illnesses needed to be addressed in a court of law.

In the early hours of May 9, 2016, Norris, Reardon, and a number of other people had been partying in downtown St. Johns when Norris left to buy a hammer from a nearby Walmart.

When Norris rejoined the group, she and Reardon took a taxi home to the apartment complex where they both lived. Reardon is alleged to have been passed out drunk on the sidewalk beside the apartments when Norris began striking him repeatedly on the head with the hammer she had bought earlier.

She then dragged his corpse under the apartment stairs, where he was discovered the next day. Norris placed the hammer along with some bloody clothes in a backpack, which she then threw into the St. Johns harbor. The backpack was recovered two days later.

Anne Norris found not criminally responsible

In an emotional and highly publicized trial in February 2018, Norris admitted she was guilty of killing Reardon; however, a jury ultimately found her not to be criminally responsible for her actions.

The defense team argued that Norris was in the grip of a severe mental breakdown at the time of the trial and should not have been deemed mentally capable. They pointed to her long history of psychiatric care and medication. In 2012, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which included psychotic symptoms.

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The Crown prosecution had argued that she had committed a premeditated, thought out, planned murder. However, the jury of six men and six women disagreed with that argument.

The Crown appealed, but it was dismissed in May 2019.

Norris was subsequently transported to a mental care hospital where she will remain until the Newfoundland and Labrador Review Board deem she is fit for release.

More from See No Evil

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on See No Evil.

Previously on See No Evil, Michael Russo had been harassing staff members at his local 7-Eleven store for some time. Then in 2015, he entered the store and shot dead 18-year-old store clerk Kyle Farishian before attempting to set the premises on fire.

Yale student Annie Le was brutally raped and murdered in a university faculty building by lab technician Raymond Clark. His attack was so violent he broke her jaw and collarbone before stuffing her remains behind a laboratory wall.

See No Evil airs Wednesday at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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3 years ago

I have no idea how Anne Norris was found Not criminally responsible! She knew what she was doing because 1- She HID his body under the stairs out of site, 2- she got rid of the murder weapon in the canal 3- she went to get another hammer so she could say she still had the hammer in question- she wanted to steal the 2nd hammer so it would show that she only bought one before the murder, not showing she bought another after but she was caught stealing it. She lied after saying he left to go to a nightclub. She lied to cover her butt because she knew what she did wrong. Marcel deserves justice.

3 months ago
Reply to  Tara

I was thinking the same thing and the fact that she bought a hammer five days prior to the murder made it sound like she was planning to murder all along she got away with murder and it’s disgusting

3 years ago

That was a good move by her lawyer to forbid Marcel’s family from viewing the body, they should demand a re-trial and demand to see the photos and let the jury see them. Andrea Brown and Tamika Riley are very similar cases and I think Andrea was prosecuted so free her too!

3 years ago

Maybe I can condense all of the virtue signaling that always accompanies crime stories and save some people some trouble. EVIL, blah blah blah, ANIMAL, blah blah blah, KILL THEM THE SAME WAY THAT THEY KILLED, blah blah blah, PRISON ISN’T PUNISHMENT ENOUGH, blah blah blah, SUBHUMAN FILTH, blah blah blah, NO TRIAL JUST KILL THEM RIGHT AWAY, blah blah blah, LOOK AT ME I’M AGAINT MURDER THAT MAKES ME SPECIAL

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