Index of related unsolved murders in Quebec in the 1970s – Repost

INDEX

18 women

RELATED UNSOLVED MURDERS AND DISAPPEARANCES IN QUEBEC IN THE 1970s

(click on the name for detailed case information)

  1. Alice Pare – Drummondville – April 26, 1971
  2. Norma O’Brien & Debbie Fisher – Chateauguay – 1974-75 (solved / provided for context)
  3. Sharron Prior – Montreal / Longueuil – April 1, 1975
  4. Lise Choquette – East End Montreal / Laval – April 20, 1975
  5. Louise Camirand – Eastern Townships – March 25, 1977
  6. Unidentified (Johanne Lemieux) – Longueuil – April 2, 1977
  7. Jocelyne Houle – East End Montreal / St. Calixte – April 17, 1977
  8. Johanne Danserau – Missing from Fabreville – June 14, 1977
  9. Sylvie Doucet – Missing from East End Montreal – June 27, 1977
  10. Claudette Poirier – Drummondville – July 27, 1977
  11. Johanne Dorion – Fabreville / Laval / Montreal North – July 29, 1977
  12. Chantal Tremblay – Montreal North / Rosemere – July 29, 1977
  13. Helene Monast – Chambly – September 10, 1977
  14. Katherine Hawkes – Montreal North – September 20, 1977
  15. Denise Bazinet – East End Montreal / Saint Luc – October 23, 1977
  16. Manon Dube – Eastern Townships – January 27, 1978
  17. Lison Blais – East End Montreal – June 3, 1978
  18. Theresa Allore – Eastern Townships – November 3, 1978
  19. Unknown Victim 2 (Maria Dolores Brava) – Dorval, Montreal – June 2, 1979
  20. Nicole Gaudreaux – Montreal  – August 3, 1979 
  21. Coda: Tammy Leakey – Dorval, Montreal – March 12, 1981

THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED

  1. The bodies of Sharron Prior and Unidentified were both found on Chemin du Lac in Longueuil. Prior was found April 1, 1975, Unidentified was found April 2, 1977, almost exactly 2 years to the date of the discovery of Prior.
  2. The murders of Prior and Houle are very similar, their crime scenes are practically identical.
  3. Chantal Tremblay took the bus to the Henri Bourassa metro station and disappeared. The bus that Johanne Dorion used to commute to/from Cartierville and Laval was on the Henri Bourassa transit line. Dorion worked in Cartierville, took the bus home, then disappeared. Katherine Hawkes lived in Cartierville, and was commuting home on the bus from downtown Montreal the night she died.
  4. A tape exists of Katherine Hawkes’ killer’s voice. Her assailant called in to police twice the evening that she died to tell them the location of the body. The police recorded it. However it took police almost 18 hours to investigate the location (and this only after 2 citizens had found the body).
  5. Denise Bazinet lived approximately 3 blocks from Lison Blais in Montreal’s East End.
  6. A purse matching the description of the one Lison Blais owned was recovered at the Louise Camirand dump site in Austin. Quebec. This is the same location where clothing matching the description of those last worn by Theresa Allore was also found by hunters.  Finally, the remnant of a shoe was found at the same location matching the description on Chinese slippers last worn by Theresa Allore
  7. Tammy Leakey’s body was found in Dorval less than a mile from where Unknown Victim 2 was found 1 1/2 years earlier.

INVESTIGATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Investigate the deaths of Sharron Prior, Jocelyn Houle and “Unidentified” as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #1, The Longueuil Killer). This will require cooperation between the Longueuil and Surete du Quebec police forces.
  2. Investigate the murders Louise Camirand, Helene Monast, Denise Bazinet, Lison Blais, Theresa Allore and Sharron Prior as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #2, The Bootlace Killer). This will require cooperation between the Longueuil, Montreal, and Surete du Quebec police forces.
  3. Investigate the murders Chantal Tremblay, Joanne Dorion and Katherine Hawkes as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #3, The Commuter Killer). This will require cooperation between the Laval, Montreal, and Surete du Quebec police forces.

Here is a map (click to go to interactive link):

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PUBLIC SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Only three things that can solve a crime:

  1. An eyewitness
  2. A confession
  3. Physical Evidence.

The perpetrators in these cases would have to be – at best – 60 years old today. More than likely they are much older or already dead. Quebec police cannot realistically expect citizens to come forward with new information on these cases when the public is not even aware that the murders occurred, or –  when in some situations – the police refuse to acknowledge that crimes were even committed. Through attrition the Quebec police will ensure that any possibility of a confession or eyewitness testimony in these matters is eliminated. Everyone who touched the case will have died. 

This brings us to the second matter of the destruction of physical evidence. We already have confirmation of evidence destruction by the Surete du Quebec and the Longueuil police. Just yesterday we learned of the recent destruction of evidence by the Montreal police. We suspect that these actions have long been accepted practices by Quebec police. 

By destroying case evidence, by limiting the opportunities of a confession or eyewitness testimony, Quebec police forces have engaged in investigative genocide.

The following actions should be taken immediately:

  1. In addition to Helene Monast and Theresa Allore, the following cases should immediately be added to the Surete du Quebec’s L’équipe des Dossiers non résolus:  Alice Pare, Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Claudette Poirier, Denise Bazinet, and (if it is in their jurisdiction), Chantal Tremblay.
  2. A unified cold-case task force needs to be created for all of Quebec to ensure cooperation / coordination between Quebec police agencies.
  3. Access to cold-case information for family members of victims needs to be granted immediately. It should not be that I have access to my sister’s case information, while a family like the Dorions or Blais’ are denied access by Laval and Montreal police forces. All Quebec police agencies should be required to provide the same level-of-service to all victims.
  4. An inquiry needs to be made by the Quebec government into the systematic destruction of cold-case physical evidence by Quebec police agencies to ensure the integrity of public safety in the province.
Category:

MEURTRES NON RÉSOLUES ET DISPARITIONS AU QUÉBEC DANS LES ANNÉES 1970

INDEX

18 women

MEURTRES NON RÉSOLUES ET DISPARITIONS AU QUÉBEC DANS LES ANNÉES 1970

(Cliquez sur le nom de l’information de cas détaillée)

  1. Alice Paré – Drummondville – le 26 Avril, 1971
  2. Norma O’Brien et Debbie Fisher – Chateauguay – 1974-1975 (résolu / prévu pour le contexte)
  3. Sharron Prior – Montréal / Longueuil – 1 Avril, 1975
  4. Lise Choquette – East End Montréal / Laval – 20 Avril, 1975
  5. Louise Camirand – Estrie – 25 Mars, 1977
  6. La Victime Inconnue (Johanne Lemieux) – Longueuil – 2 Avril, 1977
  7. Jocelyne Houle – East End Montréal / Saint-Calixte – le 17 Avril, 1977
  8. Johanne Danserau – Absent de Fabreville – le 14 Juin, 1977
  9. Sylvie Doucet – Absent de East End Montréal – 27 Juin, 1977
  10. Claudette Poirier – Drummondville – le 27 Juillet, 1977
  11. Chantal Tremblay – Montréal-Nord / Rosemere – 29 Juillet, 1977
  12. Johanne Dorion – Fabreville / Laval / Montréal-Nord – 29 Juillet, 1977
  13. Hélène Monast – Chambly – 10 Septembre, 1977
  14. Katherine Hawkes – Montréal-Nord – 20 Septembre, 1977
  15. Denise Bazinet – East End Montréal / Saint Luc – le 23 Octobre, 1977
  16. Manon Dube – Cantons de l’Est – le 27 Janvier, 1978
  17. Lison Blais – East End Montréal – 3 Juin, 1978
  18. Theresa Allore – Estrie – Novembre 3, 1978
  19. Victime Inconnue 2 (Maria Dolores Brava) – Dorval, Montreal – June 2, 1979
  20. Nicole Gaudreaux, East End Montreal, le 3 Août, 1979
  21. Tammy Leakey – Dorval, Montréal – 12 Mars, 1981

Que nous avons appris

  1. Les corps de Sharron Prior et la victime “non identifiées” ont tous deux été trouvé sur le chemin du Lac à Longueuil. Avant a été recherche 1 Avril 1975, la victime “non identifié” a été trouvés 2 Avril 1977 presque exactement deux années à compter de la date de la découverte de Prior.
  2. Les meurtres de Prior et Houle sont très semblables, leurs scènes de crime sont pratiquement identiques.
  3. Chantal Tremblay a pris le bus jusqu’à la station de métro Henri Bourassa et disparut. Le bus qui Johanne Dorion utilisé pour se rendre à / de Cartierville et Laval était sur la ligne de transit Henri Bourassa. Dorion a travaillé à Cartierville, a pris le bus à la maison, puis a disparu. Katherine Hawkes vivait dans Cartierville, et faisait la navette maison sur le bus du centre-ville de Montréal la nuit elle est morte.
  4. Une bande existe de la voix de l’assassin de Katherine Hawkes. Son agresseur a appelé à la police deux fois le soir où elle est morte pour leur dire l’emplacement du corps. La police a enregistré. Cependant, il a pris la police près de 18 heures pour enquêter sur l’emplacement (et cela seulement après 2 citoyens avaient trouvé le corps).
  5. Denise Bazinet a vécu environ 3 blocks de maisons de Lison Blais dans Montréal Est.
  6. Un sac à main correspondant à la description de l’un Lison Blais a possédé a été récupéré sur le site de décharge Louise Camirand à Austin. Québec. Ceci est le même endroit où les vêtements correspondant à la description de ces derniers portés par Theresa Allore a également été trouvé par les chasseurs. Enfin, le reste d’une chaussure a été trouvé au même endroit correspondant à la description des pantoufles chinoises dernière portés par Theresa Allore
  7. Le corps de Tammy Leakey a été trouvé à Dorval moins d’un mile de l’endroit où la victime inconnue 2 a trouvé 1 1/2 ans plus tôt.

RECOMMANDATIONS INVESTIGATIVE

  1. Enquêter sur les décès de Sharron Prior, Jocelyn Houle et la victime “Non identifiés” comme des dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 1, “Le tueur Longueuil”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces de Longueuil et de la Sûreté du Québec.
  2. Enquêter sur les meurtres Louise Camirand, Hélène Monast, Denise Bazinet, Lison Blais, Theresa Allore et Sharron Prior que les dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 2,”The Bootlace Killer”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces Longueuil, SPVM, et la Sûreté du Québec.
  3. Enquêter sur les meurtres Chantal Tremblay, Joanne Dorion et Katherine Hawkes comme des dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 3, “The Commuter Killer”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces de Laval, SPVM, et la Sûreté du Québec.

Voici une carte (cliquez pour aller à lien interactif):

 

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RECOMMANDATIONS DE SÉCURITÉ PUBLIQUE:

Il y a seulement trois choses qui peuvent résoudre un crime.

  • Un témoin oculaire
  • Une confession
  • Evidence Physical.

Les auteurs de ces dossiers non résolus devraient être – au mieux – 60 ans aujourd’hui. Plus que probablement, ils sont beaucoup plus âgés, ou déjà mort. Les policiers du Québec ne peut pas espérer de façon réaliste les citoyens à se présenter avec de nouvelles informations sur ces dossiers non résolus lorsque le public ne sait même pas que les meurtres ont eu lieu, ou – lorsque, dans certaines situations – la police refuse de reconnaître que les crimes ont été commis même. Par attrition, la police du Québec veillera à ce que toute possibilité d’une confession ou le témoignage oculaire de ces questions est éliminé. Tout le monde qui a touché le cas sera mort.

La deuxième question est la destruction de evidences matérielles. Il y a déjà la confirmation de la destruction de evidences par la Sûreté du Québec et la police de Longueuil. Récemment, nous avons appris la destruction de preuves par la police de Montréal dans une affaire de SVPM actuelle impliquant l’agression sexuelle et de tentative de meurder d’un enfant âgé de 11 ans. Nous pensons que ces actions ont été longtemps accepté les pratiques par la police du Québec.

En détruisant les evidences, en limitant les possibilités d’une confession ou des témoignages oculaires, les forces de police du Québec engagent dans le génocide d’enquête.

Les mesures suivantes doivent être prises immédiatement:

  1. Comme les dossiers d’Hélène Monast et Theresa Allore, les cas suivants doivent être immédiatement ajoutés à L’equipe des Dossiers Non Résolus de la Surete du Quebec: Alice Paré, Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Claudette Poirier, Denise Bazinet, et (si elle est en leur compétence), Chantal Tremblay.
  2. Un groupe de travail unifié pour les dossiers non résolus doit être créé pour l’ensemble du Québec pour assurer une coopération / coordination entre les services de police du Québec.
  3. L’accès aux dossiers pour les membres de la famille des victimes doit être accordée immédiatement. Il ne faut pas que j’ai accès à l’information sur les cas de ma sœur, tandis qu’une famille comme le Dorions ou Blais ‘sont vu refuser l’accès par les forces policières du Laval et SPVM. Tous les services de police du Québec devraient être tenus de fournir le même niveau de service à toutes les victimes.
  4. Une enquête doit être faite par le gouvernement du Québec dans la destruction systématique de froid cas des preuves physiques par les services de police du Québec pour assurer l’intégrité de la sécurité publique dans la province.
Tags:

Let Them Be Hunted Soundly – WKT2 #28

I am honoured to receive the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal “in recognition of my valuable service to the nation.”

But fortune is a wheel…

Site of pizza parlor where Sharron Prior was headed 1975

Andree Bechard, Pierre Boisvenu and Michel Bergeron

Madame Colette Roy, former Mayor of Lac Magantic

Bikers Against Child Abuse


Music / Let Them Be Hunted Soundly – WKT2 #28

I was originally also going to use Depeche Mode and Queen’s Get Down Make Love. I cut way back.

The music is De Natura Sonoris from The Shining, because it references so much we’ve used / talked about: Beatles Day In A Life, Pedro The Lion Winners, Pat Metheny, ELO, Genesis’ Revine (which references Ken Burns’ Vietnam), Syd’s I’ve Got A Bike (then Floyd’s Time).

I wanted to go back to something simpler, not so polished… my old (not-so-confident, stuttering ) self. Where you’re not completely sure where the soundtrack will come in = tension:

Category:

The Survivor Experience – Sherbrooke Record, November 27, 2018

This is the full editorial in today’s Sherbrooke Record I wrote for 16 Days of Action to End Sexual and Gender-based Violence:

There’s a case of an unsolved murder of a 19-year-old CEGEP student from Jonquière, Quebec.  On the morning of April 28, 2000, Guylaine Potvin was found dead in her basement apartment near the college campus. Elements of the investigation have shown certain similarities with another file concerning an event in Sainte-Foy in July 2000, in which another student living alone was assaulted in her apartment. This student – who was left for dead – was more fortunate, she survived.

Last Spring the survivor of the second assault reached out to me.  She had heard that I had a website and podcast where I regularly feature obscure and forgotten Quebec cold cases and illuminate them.  She asked if I would consider doing a program recounting the events of her own sexual assault, and the murder of Guylaine. Like many survivors, after 18 years, she was still looking for answers.

I spent many weeks considering the matter. I made many excuses and arguments about why this was a bad idea. My podcast is in English, its largest audiences are in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.  Too much time had passed, the cases couldn’t be solved.  She countered that none of that mattered. The cases had been featured in the French media, but largely ignored in Quebec English communities. Besides, police had once been tracking a suspect who resided in the United States; we might get lucky. She continued that she’d given up with the usually channels of investigation; discouraged by the apathy of police, tired of endless interactions with social services intake “specialists”, she’d take her chances with me.

One more obstacle. I took the matter to Kathryne Owen of the Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre.  I explained the situation, my reluctance to become involved, the very real fact that I have absolutely no training in the interaction with sexual assault survivors. Kathryne argued that she wasn’t surprised that the victim approached me given my history of championing cold cases. I didn’t need training, just the willingness to offer a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear.

So that’s what I did. Over the summer we got to know each other. I’d ask questions, if something was too personal, we mutually agreed that she did not have to respond.  We started with a name. I call her Isabeau, though that’s not her real name.  After a painstaking and graphic, iterative process, one day Isabeau sent me a poem describing her experience. She offered,  “you can read it on the podcast if you like.”

The poem is a stunning expression of the survivor experience. I insisted that I could not read it, she must record it. After many refusals, she eventually did:

Je me souviens d’une voix de femme : « Reste avec nous ». 

Qui est-elle ? 

Pourquoi me dit-elle ça ? 

 Où suis-je ? 

 

Je me suis ouvert les yeux, une pièce inconnue, l’hôpital, un médecin.

J’ai demandé une seule question : « Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Comme seule réponse : « Tu es arrivée avec des policiers, tu leurs parleras plus tard ». 

« Non, tout de suite ».

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanché.

 

Un homme, debout près de moi : « Je suis policier »

« Dis-moi qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Une réponse, celle que je ne voulais pas : « Je ne le sais pas »  

« Comment on va faire pour le savoir ? »

Je me souviens de la feuille de déposition, du crayon, de la tablette improvisée.

Je me souviens de ma question : « Tu veux que j’écrive quoi ? » 

J’ai écrit, peu.

 

Je dormais dans mon lit, dans ma chambre.

Je me souviens de tes mains sur ma gorge. 

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

Je me souviens de toi. 

 

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanchée.

 

J’ai ouvert les yeux.

Une nouvelle pièce : où suis-je ? 

Qu’est-ce qui s’est encore passé ? 

Devant moi, un policier, le même.

Ses yeux bleus, muets.

Sur la table du lit, une boîte blanche.

« Qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans la boîte ? » 

J’ai cru qu’on m’emmenait une réponse,

 Une trousse médico-légale.

 

Un nouveau policier pour prendre des photos de mes blessures.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger, lui a photographier.

“Place-moi comme tu veux, je ne peux pas t’aider” 

“Tu me dis si je te fais mal” ;  j’ai rien dit. 

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

 

Examen gynécologique.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger. 

Une médecin, enceinte, à genoux sur le pied du lit.

“Ok, vient, on va le faire comme ça”

Elle me tire par les jambes.

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

 

Un appel du policier 

« J’ai des collègues qui veulent te parler » 

Un espoir : on t’a trouvé.

On m’a montré une photo.

Jeune, belle, souriante. 

Tu l’avais choisie elle aussi.

Elle ne se souviendra jamais, elle, de tes mains, de ton odeur. 

J’ai compris : on te cherchait déjà. 

 

L’enquête.

L’espoir, les jours, les cris, les pleurs.

Des amis questionnés, partis.

Le désespoir, une promesse : « On se boira du porto ».

Des maladresses : « Dans l’autre cas, au moins on a une autopsie » 

Des départs, un cold case.

Et la vie, encore la vie.

 

18 ans déjà.

Je me souviens de chacune des nuits de rage.

Je me souviens d’elle, de chacune de ses photos : 

son gâteau d’anniversaire, son chat.

La couleur de son carnet de téléphone, ses gribouillis, son écriture.

 

Je me souviens des yeux du policier : bleus, muets.

Je me souviens de ma question.

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

To hear the poem recited by Isabeau listen to the podcast here:

 

Category:

Mélanie Decamps : souvenirs douloureux et révélations inédites

L’histoire originale du Nouvelliste / l’assassinat de Mélanie Descamps par Stéphane Lévesque: WKT2 #27:

Mélanie Decamps : souvenirs douloureux et révélations inédites

Mélanie Decamps : souvenirs douloureux et révélations inédites

Une foule de bénévoles ainsi qu’un hélicoptère dans le but de retrouver Mélanie Decamps.

Crédit photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole

(Par Stéphane Lévesque, collaboration spéciale)

JUSTICE. Camping du parc des Voltigeurs, 9 août 1983. Une mère s’absente quelques minutes. À son retour, sa fille, Mélanie Decamps, est disparue. Douze jours plus tard, la fillette sera retrouvée morte, bâillonnée et attachée à un arbre. Retour sur ce tragique événement survenu il y a 35 ans.

Le mardi 9 août 1983 est une belle journée ensoleillée à Drummondville. Elle va cependant s’assombrir rapidement.

«J’étais au travail quand l’appel est entré», se souvient Gilles Thériault, le responsable du poste de la Sûreté du Québec (SQ) à Drummondville à cette époque.

Sans tarder, des patrouilleurs se rendent au terrain de camping du parc des Voltigeurs pour rencontrer les parents et effectuer, en vain, des recherches aux alentours. Le périmètre de recherche s’agrandit et une demande d’assistance est adressée au niveau du district. C’est maintenant les crimes contre la personne qui s’occupe de l’affaire.

Un groupe de bénévoles fouillant de fond en comble le parc des Voltigeurs pour retrouver Mélanie Decamps, disparue à Drummondville en 1983. (Photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole)

«On avait une disparition ou un enlèvement. À ce moment-là, on ne le savait pas encore», fait observer M. Thériault.

«Je faisais des vérifications régulières au poste de police», se rappelle Gérald Prince, journaliste à La Tribune pendant 27 ans et dans de nombreux hebdos qui ont jalonné l’histoire de Drummondville. «Ce jour-là, j’appelle et on me dit qu’une petite fille est disparue au parc des Voltigeurs. J’ai tout de suite envoyé un texte à La Tribune. Ç’a passé le lendemain matin dans le journal.»

À la recherche de Mélanie

Rapidement, l’équipe de la SQ en provenance de Trois-Rivières s’installe au poste de Drummondville. Barrage routier, plongeurs dans la rivière Saint-François, fouille complète du parc et des environs, tout sera déployé pour retrouver la petite Mélanie. C’est Michel Beaudoin qui est responsable de l’opération.

L’enquête s’amorce. «Premièrement, nous avons rencontré à nouveau Jacqueline Decamps, la mère de Mélanie. Elle m’explique qu’elle est allée au dépanneur du camping pendant 15 minutes en laissant sa petite fille sur une balançoire. À son retour, l’aînée de ses trois enfants n’était plus là. Après, on a fait le tour du parc et des environs. Rapidement, on a diffusé une description de la petite fille», se rappelle Michel Beaudoin.

Dès le lendemain de la disparition de la fillette de cinq ans, un témoin rapporte qu’il a vu, le 9 août, une petite fille tenant la main d’un homme à proximité du pont de fer qui enjambe la rivière Saint-François. Sur la base de cette observation, un portrait-robot est établi et diffusé. À la vue de celui-ci, un informateur déclare : «Ce gars-là, il ressemble à Michel Déry».

Ne faisant ni un, ni deux, Michel Beaudoin charge un de ses enquêteurs de rencontrer l’homme de 24 ans demeurant à Drummondville. Le policier revient faire rapport à l’enquêteur en chef : «Oublie ça, c’est pas lui pantoute. C’est un p’tit nono religieux qui parle de la Bible, pis toute sorte de patentes», avait-il lancé.

Les parents de Mélanie, Jacqueline et Daniel Decamps, en conférence de presse et lançant un appel à l’hôtel de ville de Drummondville. (Photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole)

Gilles Thériault, dans les jours suivant la disparition, croisera également la route de Michel Déry au poste de police de Drummondville. «Une journée, je me rappelle, je sors de mon bureau, je vois un jeune homme assis-là. En passant, je demande : “Qui s’occupe de ce monsieur-là? Est-ce que c’est un visiteur. Quelqu’un qui vient pour une plainte?” Puis, un policier de Nicolet arrive. “C’est notre client. C’est une arrestation pour un vol d’auto. On monte avec pour le faire comparaître”. C’était un jeune homme qui avait l’air d’un enfant. Il était très petit. Ça reste de même. Il a comparu et il a été libéré. C’était Michel Déry, mais il n’était pas connu de la police à ce moment-là», se souvient-il avec précision.

Le vendredi 12 août, une conférence de presse avec Daniel et Jacqueline Decamps, les parents de Mélanie, s’organise. Gérald Prince et des journalistes de Montréal y étaient.

«Dès que les gens voyaient un homme avec une petite fille, ils le signalaient à la police. C’était devenu une vraie folie. Il y avait même des diseurs de bonne aventure qui se prononçaient. Ça dépassait la raison. C’était vraiment une période où il y avait beaucoup de stress dans la population. Je le sentais», indique le journaliste drummondvillois.

Beaucoup d’appels sont acheminés aux autorités policières. M. Beaudoin cite en exemple : «”La petite fille est icitte, mais je veux deux billets pour Diana Ross pis 200 piastres”. Des ostie de patentes de même», dévoile-t-il dans son langage coloré. Bien que non crédible à première vue, chacune des informations recueillies est analysée. «On était à peu près 100 qui travaillaient là-dessus. À Drummondville, mais aussi à Montréal, à Chibougamau, partout à travers la province, c’était le dossier de l’année. Des enlèvements d’enfants de même, il n’y en avait pas tous les jours.»

Malgré les efforts déployés, on n’a toujours pas de nouvelles de Mélanie Decamps. C’est un hasard, mais surtout un enquêteur de talent qui va résoudre l’affaire : Jean-Paul Prince. Dans l’après-midi du 20 août, il roule dans les rues de Trois-Rivières, après avoir été dépêché sur une scène de crime à Louiseville, avec un collègue trifluvien. «J’allais le reconduire à sa résidence. En descendant, un moment donné, mon confrère me fait remarquer qu’il y a un gars qui ressemble à Michel Déry qui fait du pouce. Il est sur le boulevard des Chenaux à Trois-Rivières. On s’est arrêté. J’ai ouvert ma fenêtre et je me suis identifié. C’était bien lui.»

Jean-Paul Prince invite Michel Déry à bord et une conversation s’amorce, en route vers Drummondville. «Je lui parlais de filles pour voir qui il était. Je lui racontais toutes sortes d’histoires. Je lui ai dit que j’avais déjà arrêté du monde qui avait commis des meurtres, mais que ces individus-là, ce n’est pas toujours de leur faute. S’ils ont tué c’est parce qu’ils sont malades», révèle M. Prince.

En lui faisant des confidences sur le plan personnel, il tente de l’amadouer. «Il m’a confié qu’il avait été battu par ses parents. Il se faisait jeter dans la cave. Il m’a dit qu’il était resté à Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et qu’il était demeuré un moment donné sur la Rive-Sud de Montréal». Une information qui ne tombe pas dans l’oreille d’un sourd et qui sera utile ultérieurement.

Un groupe de personnes à l’endroit où le corps de Mélanie Decamps a été retrouvé attaché à un arbre à sept kilomètres du parc des Voltigeurs. (Photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole)

Progressivement, peu avant la sortie 181, Jean-Paul Prince se met à parler de la petite Mélanie Decamps. Puis, le policier se dirige vers le parc des Voltigeurs. Il y avait là une clôture brisée où l’équipe d’enquêteurs présumait que le suspect s’était esquivé avec la fillette. Arrivé devant, c’est à cet instant que le policier dit : «C’est ici que la petite fille a été enlevée et qu’elle est sortie par-là». Rapidement, il constate que Déry est nerveux. L’homme sur lequel l’étau se resserre ne se sent vraiment pas bien dans sa peau. Jean-Paul Prince revient à la charge en lui demandant s’il l’a enlevée et tuée.

«Il a répondu faiblement : “Oui, mais je l’ai pas tuée, pas tuée!”» relate M. Prince.

L’enquêteur tente de se faire rassurant en lui évoquant la possibilité qu’elle soit encore en vie. L’ayant convaincu qu’elle n’était pas décédée, Jean-Paul Prince amène Michel Déry au poste.

D’autres détails fusent en chemin vers le lieu où se trouverait Mélanie Decamps. Michel Déry explique aux enquêteurs qu’au départ, il avait amené jouer la fillette dans un parc et qu’ensuite, il l’avait amenée chez lui, dans son appartement du 285 rue Brock où ils ont dormi. À ce sujet, les différentes discussions avec Déry et l’état dans lequel a été découvert le corps n’ont pas permis de conclure qu’il y avait eu agressions sexuelles sur l’enfant. Toujours selon ce qu’a rapporté l’homme de 24 ans, le lendemain, le 10 août 1983, il souhaitait ramener Mélanie au parc des Voltigeurs. En voyant les hélicoptères déployés par la SQ dans le ciel, il a eu peur. Il est entré dans un bois, près du chemin Hemming, ramassé des rubans servant à identifier des arbres puis a attaché la jeune Decamps à un arbre, à quelques kilomètres au sud du pont Curé Marchand, près des tours d’Hydro-Québec, à environ 300 mètres de la fin de la rue Reid.

Un groupe de personnes de la SQ en conférence de presse, dévoilant l’endroit exact où a été retrouvé le corps de Mélanie Decamps. (Photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole)

En raison de la noirceur, la recherche ne trouvera pas son aboutissement. Le lendemain, à 5 heures du matin, les recherches reprennent avec d’autres policiers en renfort et l’escouade canine. Des équipes arpentent la forêt, secteur par secteur. On quadrille systématiquement la zone de forêt indiquée par Michel Déry. En raison de forts vents qui nuisent à la détection des odeurs, c’est seulement en soirée, à 21 h30, que Mélanie Decamps est retrouvée morte attachée à un arbre avec ses bas enfoncés dans la gorge et un bandeau sur la bouche. Ces informations viennent en contradiction avec la rumeur voulant que Déry l’ait attachée pour «jouer» et qu’il l’ait «oubliée» où il l’avait laissée. Pour Jean-Paul Prince, il est très clair qu’il l’a attachée et étouffée. «C’est sûr qu’il l’a étranglée.»

La vue de la fillette attachée, gonflée par des journées d’exposition à la chaleur, n’est pas sans provoquer des réactions de rage et de colère.

«Ça marque quand tu vois ça sur place (…) Pour tous les policiers qui sont allés jeter un coup d’œil, au moins 80% sont revenus avec la larme à l’œil. Moi, le premier», témoigne avec émotions Gilles Thériault.

Le procès

Le 22 août 1983, Michel Déry est amené au Palais de justice de Drummondville sous forte escorte policière pour sa comparution où il est formellement accusé de meurtre au premier degré, de l’enlèvement et de la séquestration de Mélanie Decamps. Le procureur de la Couronne, Me Alain Perreault, recommande au juge Yvon Sirois que le prévenu subisse un examen psychiatrique. Déry est jugé apte à subir un procès. L’homme de 24 ans, par l’intermédiaire de son avocat, Me Yves Bolduc, opte pour un procès avec jury.

Le journaliste Gérald Prince se rappelle que des gens l’attendaient à l’entrée du tribunal et l’invectivaient. À l’intérieur, dans la salle de cour, M. Prince rapporte que Michel Déry avait l’air absent.

Michel Déry lors de sa comparution devant le juge Sirois à la salle d’audience du palais de justice pour le meurtre de Mélanie Decamps. (Photo : Société d’histoire de Drummond, fonds de La Parole)

Cette absence, cette folie, cette aliénation mentale supposée sera au cœur des débats présidés par le juge Pierre Pinard. Différents spécialistes, psychiatres et psychologues témoigneront sur la capacité de Michel Déry à distinguer le bien du mal. C’est finalement pour la thèse de la non-responsabilité qu’optera le jury après moins de quatre heures de délibération, le 28 mai 1984.

Déry revient dans l’actualité le 12 juillet 2001 lorsqu’il a réussi à fausser compagnie aux gardiens de l’Institut Pinel, dans le cadre d’un programme de réinsertion sociale. Il a vite été retrouvé et ramené à l’établissement.

Cet acquittement pour aliénation mentale, 35 ans plus tard, laisse toujours un goût amer chez les intervenants rencontrés, dont Jean Fortier. «Je n’ai jamais cru ça l’aliénation. Pas assez fou pour mettre le feu, mais pas assez fin pour l’éteindre. Il était entre les deux», souligne celui qui a couvert l’entièreté du procès pour l’hebdomadaire Allo-Police.

Bref, la disparition et la mort de Mélanie Decamps ont profondément marqué la population. Tant pour Michel Beaudoin que pour Jean-Paul Prince, c’est le dossier le plus marquant de leur longue carrière dans les forces de l’ordre. «C’est l’enquête qui m’a le plus touché. Ça m’a marqué parce que c’est un enfant. Quand tu côtoies les parents comme on les a côtoyés, on vit leur peine. Ça fait 35 ans et j’y pense encore», dit Jean-Paul Prince d’une voix basse empreinte d’émotions.

Soulignons en terminant que l’auteur de ces lignes a tenté en vain de joindre les parents de Mélanie Decamps. Seule une cousine a été informée de la publication de cet article.

Michel Déry, un récidiviste?

Bien que Michel Déry soit détenu, les enquêteurs de la Sûreté du Québec, Michel Beaudoin et Jean-Paul Prince, continuent d’investiguer. C’est ainsi qu’on apprend qu’au parc des Voltigeurs, deux ans auparavant, une petite fille était disparue, mais avait été vite retrouvée.

«La femme qui s’est fait enlever son enfant n’a pas porté plainte à la police parce qu’elle était avec son amant au camping! En portant plainte, elle aurait été obligée de dire avec qui elle était. Michel Déry, c’est lui qui avait enlevé cette petite fille-là», affirme sans ambigüité Michel Beaudoin.

Jean-Paul Prince se rappelle également avoir été rencontré Michel Déry à la prison de Sherbrooke durant le procès. «On a fait sortir tous les cas non élucidés dans la région et les environs. Il y a un autre cas qui est ressorti à Saint-Hubert : Chantal de Montgayard».

Une discussion amènera Déry à avouer que c’est lui qui avait enlevé la petite fille de quatre ans alors qu’il était adolescent. Selon ce qu’il a indiqué aux enquêteurs, le 4 juin 1972, il l’avait amenée dans un petit bois derrière une église à Saint-Hubert, l’avait attachée après «un ti n’arbre», mais ne l’avait pas tuée, selon ses dires. À l’exception du lieu, c’est un scénario qui ressemble à s’y méprendre à celui de Mélanie Decamps.

Les policiers d’expérience que sont MM Beaudoin et Prince ont évidemment validé la véracité de cette confession. Il faut savoir que dans ce type de dossier criminel, il y a des informations qui ne sont jamais communiquées aux médias. Une de celles-ci, dans le cas de Chantal de Montgayard, c’était la couleur de ses sous-vêtements.

«Il nous a donné la couleur des petites culottes de Chantal de Montgayard et c’était exact. Quand l’enquête a été effectuée à l’époque, en 1972, il n’avait pas été rencontré, car les parents de Déry étaient déménagés à Saint-Léonard-d’Aston quelques jours plus tard. Le corps n’a jamais été retrouvé. Effectivement, il y avait un petit boisé en arrière de l’église, mais ç’a été déboisé pour construire des maisons. On a parlé au procureur de la Couronne, mais comme il a été acquitté dans un cas, ça n’aurait pas donné grand-chose de l’accuser dans un autre. Et à part sa déclaration et sa connaissance de la couleur des sous-vêtements, on n’avait rien pour corroborer», divulgue un Jean-Paul Prince qui croit que Michel Déry a minimalement deux meurtres à son actif.

 

 

Category:

The Sire of Sorrow / Mélanie Decamps – August 9, 1983 WKT2 #26

 

Voltigeurs Park campground, August 9, 1983. A mother is absent a few minutes. Upon her return, her daughter, Mélanie Decamps, is missing. Twelve days later, the girl will be found dead, gagged and tied to a tree trunk.

This is Who Killed Theresa?

Today I want to discuss the 1983 murder of 5-year-old Mélanie Decamps. It’s a case that is not unknown in Quebec, in fact, just last summer, marking the 35th anniversary, the Drummondville newspaper, L’Express did an investigative piece about the murder. It is a great long form piece by a journalist I am not familiar with, Stéphane Lévesque.  I only wish there were more stories about cold cases coming out of Quebec like M. Lévesque’s. Today’s story is in part a translation of that piece, including some additional information I’ve uncovered through research, however, what I’m going to ultimately suggest and add to the story has not been featured in any publication.

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Tuesday, August 9, 1983 is a beautiful sunny day in Drummondville.

Gilles Thériault, the head of the Sûreté du Québec  station in Drummondville at the time recalls that he, “was at work when the call came in,”

 

Without delay, patrolmen go to the Voltigeurs Park campground to meet the parents and search for the girl. The search perimeter is expanding and a request for assistance is sent to the district level. The case is quickly handed over to the major crimes unit.

“We had a disappearance or kidnapping. At that time, we did not know it yet, “notes Thériault.

A group of volunteers rummaging through the Voltigeurs Park searching for Mélanie Decamps

 

“I did regular checks at the police station,” recalls Gérald Prince, a journalist for  La Tribune newspaper for 27 years.  “That day, I call and I am told that a little girl has disappeared in the Voltigeurs Park. I immediately sent a message to La Tribune.”

THE SEARCH FOR MELANIE

Quickly, the SQ team from Trois-Rivières came to the Drummondville substation. Roadblocks are established, divers search the adjacent Saint-François River: they complain that the thick pollution prevents them from examining the river bottom.  A thorough search of the park and the surrounding area are completed. The SQ’s Michel Beaudoin is responsible for the operation.

“First, we met again with Jacqueline Decamps, Melanie’s mother. She explains that she went to the campsite’s convenience store for 15 minutes, leaving her little girl on a swing. When she returned, the eldest of her three children was no longer there. After, she went around the park and the surrounding area with a description of Melanie” recalls Michel Beaudoin.

The day after the disappearance of the six-year-old girl, a witness reports that he saw, on August 9, a little girl holding the hand of a man near the iron bridge that spans the Saint-François River. Based on this observation, a composite photo is established and distributed in the community. Seeing it, a man from Drummondville declares: “This guy, he looks like Michel Déry”.

Michel Beaudoin instructed one of his investigators to meet the 24-year-old man living in Drummondville. The policeman returns to report to the chief investigator: “Forget it, it’s not him. this guy’s a religious nut who speaks of nothing but the Bible.”

Les parents de Mélanie, Jacqueline et Daniel Decamps

 

In the days following the disappearance, Gilles Thériault has a chance encounter with Michel Déry at the police station in Drummondville. “One day, I remember, I come out of my office, I see a young man sitting there. So I ask: “Is someone taking care of this gentleman? Is he a visitor? Someone coming for a complaint? “Then, a policeman from Nicolet arrives. “It’s our client. It’s an arrest for a car theft. ” He was a young man who looked like a child. He was very small.  He appeared, and he was released. It was Michel Déry, but he was not known to the police at that time.”

On Friday, August 12, a press conference with Daniel and Jacqueline Decamps – Melanie’s parents – is organized. 

Police accept offers from several hypnotists, parapsychologists, and a “radiosthesiste” who sought hints of the little girl using a pendulum, a map and a photo of her.

A Drummondville journalist commented, “As soon as people saw a man with a little girl, they would report it to the police. It had become a real madness. There were even fortunetellers who were pronouncing all kinds of things.  It was beyond reason. It was really a time when there was a lot of stress with people. I felt it”. 

Many calls are routed to police authorities. Mr. Beaudoin quotes as an example: “” The little girl is here, but I want two tickets for Diana Ross and 200 piastres “, reveals Beaudoin in his colorful language. Although not credible at first glance, all of the information collected had to be analyzed. “There were about 100 people working on it. In Drummondville, but also in Montreal, Chibougamau, everywhere across the province.”

Police drain a portion of the St-Francis River in the hunt for traces of Melanie Decamps.Two hydro electric dams were completely closed for several hours so police can get a closer look at the  rocky river bottom. 

Despite the efforts made, there was still no news of Mélanie Decamps. It is the work of an especially  talented investigator who will solve the case: Jean-Paul Prince. On the afternoon of August 20, he was working the streets of Trois-Rivières, Prince was sent to a crime scene in Louiseville, with a colleague from Trois-Rivières. “I was going to take him back to his residence. While going down this road, all of a sudden my colleague points out to me that there is this guy hitchhiking who looks like Michel Déry. He is on the boulevard des Chenaux in Trois-Rivières. We stopped. I opened my window and I identified myself. It was him. “

Jean-Paul Prince invites Michel Déry aboard and a conversation begins, en route to Drummondville. “I talked to  him about girls just to check him out. I told him all kinds of stories. I told him that I had already arrested some people who had committed murder, but that it was not always their fault. If they killed it is because they are sick, “says Prince.

By confiding in him,  Prince tries to coax him. “He told me he was beaten by his parents. He was thrown into the cellar. He told me that he had stayed in Saint-Léonard-d’Aston and that he had remained at one point on the South Shore of Montreal “. Information that does not fall on deaf ears and will be useful later.

A group of people where the body of Melanie Decamps was found tied to a tree seven kilometers from the Voltigeurs Park.

 

Gradually, just before exit 181, Jean-Paul Prince starts talking about Mélanie Decamps. Then, Prince goes to the Voltigeurs Park. There was a broken fence where the team of investigators assumed that the suspect had ducked through with the girl. Arriving in front, it is at this moment that the Prince says: “It is here that the little girl was abducted”. He quickly notices that Déry is nervous. The vice is tightening. Jean-Paul Prince asks Dery directly  if he has kidnapped and killed Melanie Decamps.

“He answered weakly,” Yes, but I did not kill her, I did not kill her! “

The investigator tries to be reassuring by evoking the possibility that she is still alive. Convinced that she was not dead, Jean-Paul Prince brought Michel Déry to the police station.

Other details emerge as Dery is brought to the place where Melanie Decamps would be found. Michel Déry explains to the investigators that from the beginning, he had brought the girl to a park and then brought her home to his apartment at 285 Brock Street where they slept. On this subject, the various discussions with Déry, and the state in which the body was discovered did not lead to the conclusion that there had been sexual assault on the child. According to the 24-year-old man, the next day, August 10, 1983, he wanted to bring Melanie back to the Voltigeurs Park. Seeing the helicopters deployed by the SQ in the sky, he was scared. He entered a wood, near Hemming Road, picked up ribbons used to identify trees and then attached the young Decamps to a tree trunk, a few kilometers south of the Curé Marchand bridge, near the Hydro-Québec towers, about 300 meters from the end of Reid Street.

A group of people from the SQ in a press conference, revealing the exact place where Melanie Decamps’ body was found.

 

Due to the darkness, the search cannot continue. The next day, at 5 o’clock in the morning, the search resumes with other police reinforcements and the canine squad. Teams survey the forest sector by sector. The forest is  systematically cordoned in the area indicated by Michel Déry. Because of strong winds that hinder the detection of odors, it is only in the evening, at 9:30 pm, that Mélanie Decamps is found dead tied to a tree trunk with her stockings stuffed down her throat and a banner in her mouth. This information contradicts the story  Déry told that he tied her to “play” with her and then”forgot” where he left her. For Jean-Paul Prince, it is very clear that he tied her up and choked  her. “For sure he strangled her.”

The sight of the bound girl, swollen by days of exposure to heat, provokes reactions of rage and anger.

“For all the police officers who had to work that site, at least 80% of them came back with tears in their eyes. Me, the first “,  states Gilles Thériault.

THE TRIAL

On August 22, 1983, Michel Déry was brought to the Courthouse of Drummondville under a heavy police escort where he is charged with first degree murder, abduction and kidnapping of Melanie Decamps. The Crown Attorney, Alain Perreault, recommends to Justice Yvon Sirois that the accused undergo a psychiatric examination. Out of this, Déry is judged fit to stand trial. The 24-year-old – through his lawyer – Yves Bolduc, opts for a trail by jury.

The journalist Gérald Prince remembers that people were waiting for him at the entrance of the court and insulted him. Inside, in the court room, Mr. Prince reports that Michel Déry looked vacant.

 

Michel Déry during his appearance before Judge Sirois in the courtroom of the courthouse for the murder of Mélanie Decamps.

 

This absence, this madness, this supposed insanity will be at the heart of the debates chaired by Judge Pierre Pinard. Various specialists, psychiatrists and psychologists will testify on Michel Déry’s ability to distinguish between good and evil. The jury opts for a verdict of non-liability after less than four hours of deliberation, May 28, 1984.

Déry is incarcerated at the Phillipe Pinel Institute for the Criminally Insane in the East end of Montreal. He returns to the news on July 12, 2001 when he manages to trick the guards at the Pinel Institute, and escape. He is quickly found and brought back to the establishment within 24 hours.

 

Michel Dery’s escape and recapture, 2001

 

This acquittal for insanity, 35 years later, still leaves a bitter taste among the stakeholders, including Jean Fortier, a reporter with Allo-Police who covered the trial. “I never thought he was crazy. Not crazy enough to put in the fire, He was in between.”

The disappearance and death of Mélanie Decamps deeply affected the population. For both Michel Beaudoin and Jean-Paul Prince, this was the most memorable case in their long careers in law enforcement. “It’s the one that touched me the most. It struck me because she is a child. When you come in contact with the parents as we came in contact, we live their pain. It’s been 35 years and I still think about it, “said Jean-Paul Prince in a low voice full of emotion.

MICHEL DERY, A RECIDIVIST?

Although Michel Déry is detained, Sûreté du Québec investigators Michel Beaudoin and Jean-Paul Prince continue to investigate. Two years before Melanie Decamps, again in Voltigeurs Park, a little girl went missing, but was soon found.

“The woman who had her child kidnapped did not complain to the police because she was with her lover at the campsite! In filing a complaint, she would have had to say who she was with. Michel Déry, it was he who had kidnapped this little girl, “said Michel Beaudoin without question.

Jean-Paul Prince also remembers meeting Michel Déry at the Sherbrooke jail during the trial. “We have brought out all the unsolved cases in the region and the surrounding area. There is another case that came out in Saint-Hubert: the disappearance of Chantal de Montgayard “.

 

Chantal de Montgayard

 

A discussion lead Dery to confess that it was he who had kidnapped the four-year-old girl when he was a teenager. According to what he told the investigators, on June 4, 1972, he took her to a small wood behind a church in Saint-Hubert, tied her up, but did not kill her. It is a scenario very similar to Melanie Decamps.

M et Mme Claude Montgayard

 

The experienced police officers  Beaudoin and Prince have obviously validated the veracity of this confession. You should know that in this type of criminal record, there is information that is never communicated to the media. One of these, in the case of Chantal de Montgayard, was the color of her underwear.

Comments Jean-Paul Prince, “He gave us the color of Chantal de Montgayard’s panties and that was correct. When the investigation was carried out at the time, in 1972, he had not been interviewed as a suspect because Déry’s parents had moved to Saint-Léonard-d’Aston a few days later. The body has never been found. Indeed, there was a small woodland behind the church, but it was deforested to build houses. We spoke to the Crown Attorney, but since he was acquitted in one case, it would not have yielded much to accuse him in another. And apart from his statement and his knowledge of the color of the underwear, there was nothing to corroborate. “. Jean-Paul Prince believes that Michel Dery has at least two murders to his credit.

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Well, maybe three. If this case sounds familiar to you, it should. Because there are stark similarities with another case from Drummondville, the 1977 disappearance of Claudette Poirier.

We’ve spoken about the Claudette Poirier case before on this podcast, but it would help if I briefly summarized the particulars. I’ve added new information that has not until this point been disclosed:

15-year-old Claudette Poirier lived with her parents at 1190 Monfette in Drummondville. In the summer of 1977 the family decided to do some camping about 7 miles south of Drummondville along chemin Hemming. On July 27th, 1977 the blond haired, 5/’5″ 110 pound girl was  riding her bicycle along 3e Rang de Simpson on her way to a babysitting job on St-Charles boulevard near her home back in Drummondville. 

 

IMG_0545From that point Claudette disappears. About a week after the disappearance, on August 3rd, 1977, Claudette’s bicycle is found along Rang 3e,  Saint Cyrille,  about 3 miles from her camp site, midway between the camp site and her home in Drummondville.  The bike is off its chain. The man who owns the adjacent property states that the bike – which is in full view at the side of the road – was not there all of the previous week.

The police who investigated the case were the Surete du Quebec forces from Trois Rivieres and Drummondville. After an exhaustive search they are unable to find any trace of Claudette.

 

 

On December 8th, 1977 in a chilling article in Quebec’s La Nouvelliste, reporter Yves Champoux suggests that Poirier might have met a similar fate as that of Denise Therrien. In August 1961, 16-year-old Thierren disappeared one morning while disembarking from a bus in Shawinigan. Four years later,  Marcel Bernier, confessed to her murder and agreed to guide the police to the victim’s remains, abandoned in the woods. Some speculated that for the 4 years she was missing, Thierrien was sold into child prostitution. On June 20th, 1962, La Presse featured an article about the “Montreal Paramount Booking” agency, a prostitution ring that would “recruit” 15 and 16 year old girls from Quebec and sell them into sex trafficking in the United States. In the Nouvelliste article, Champoux similarly speculated that Claudette Poirier might have met a similar fate.

 

 

 

IMG_0544

9 years after her disappearance on October 9th, 1986, 2 hunters find a skull, other bones and women’s clothing about 15 meters from the road at La Reserve, Saint Lucien about 4 miles from south of the site of Claudette’s disappearance. (I have heard it reported that the bones were charred, as if her remains were burnt). The remains are analyzed by Dr. Andre Lauzon at the SQ medical lab at Parthenais in Montreal and identified as Claudette Poirier. Given the length of time that has passed the cause of death is undetermined.

I made a small map of the Poirier locations, as the story is a little confusing. The map is interactive:  click here and you will be take to the map,  and you can manipulate around the geography:

Screen shot 2016-03-11 at 6.18.53 PM

 

Basically in the center is where she was camping and last seen, to the left is where she lived and where she was going, to the right is where her bicycle and remains were found. 

So returning to the Melanie Decamps case; what do we find in common here?  To begin with, both victims disappeared while camping in Drummondville, Poirier in 1977 and Decamps in 1983.

In 1977 Michel Dery would have been about 17 or 18, too young to be Poirier’s offender? Hardly. If police suspected him in the 1972 murder of Chantal de Montgayard, when Dery would have been 12 or 13, he would certainly been capable of murdering 15-year-old Claudette Poirier 5 years later.

Where is Poirier’s home? 1190 Rue Monfette is an 8 minute bike ride from the Voltigeurs campground.

Where is 285 Brock street, where Dery had claimed to have slept with Decamps? That’s a 10 minute bike ride from the campground across the Saint Francois river.

And where is Decamps body found? 5 kilometers south of Drummondville at the cross section of Chemin Hemming and Rue Reid. Where was Poirier last seen? 10 kilometers south of Drummondville, riding her bike, also along Chemin Hemming. And where are her remains found? 20 kilometers south, also along Chemin Hemming.

The emphasis on bicycles is important. Note that when Dery was first encountered he had been brought to the station for stealing a car. Later, Jean-Paul Prince picks him up while hitchhiking from Trois Rivieres back to Drummondville. In fact, Dery never appeared to own a vehicle. The story suggests when he needed one, he stole one. On August 27th, 1983 article in The Gazette about Dery makes repeated reference to his use of a bicycle:

“Dery stayed mostly in his apartment, going out only for rides on his bicycle or to get groceries.”

“[Sister Clementine] described him as a “miserable soul,” a loner who liked to ride his bicycle all over Drummondville and the surrounding area, and who was drawn to the silence of the woods.”

I think it’s very possible that Dery used his bicycle to stalk and hunt for prey. When he came upon the right victim, he would steal a car for the purposes of abduction. Or maybe he lured Claudette to follow him on his bicycle? Maybe she thought – slight and five foot tall – that he also was a child.

 

Michel Dery: “He never had love”, a regrettable article from The Montreal Gazette

 

I spoke with former Surete du Quebec investigator, Jean-Paul Prince, the officer who cracked the case. Prince is of course now retired and living in Trois-Rivières.  I asked if they ever considered Michel Dery as a suspect in the Claudette Poirier case. Prince stated that he did not recall Poirier’s case.but he imagined they probably ruled Dery out because at that time he was possibly not living in Drummondville, but still with his parents in Saint-Léonard-d’Aston.

Still, Saint-Léonard-d’Aston is only a 25 minute drive from Drummondville, the mid point between Drummondville and Trois Rivieres. Maybe Dery could have been driving by the time he was 17 or 18? If not, maybe in 1977 he had some reason to hitchhike there? In fact the day Jean-Paul Prince picked him up, he was hitchhiking from Saint Leonard-d’Aston going toward Drummondville.  Of maybe he road his bike from Saint Leonard-d’Aston to Drummondville. He was said to have ridden his bike, “all over the Drummondville area”.

What is certain: at some point, something eventually brought him to Drummondville. The question is did he arrive as early as 1977?

——————————————————–

CODA: On March 7th, 1979, at the back of their Wednesday edition La Presse discloses that like his sister Claudette, 15-year-old Bruno Poirier has disappeared without a trace:

Bruno Poirier

Punch The Clock – November 3rd 1978

 

When eldest daughter left for college I never quite prepared myself for it. It took me totally by surprise that she leaving home might trigger past memories. The second time, last August, when my middle daughter left I was a little more prepared for the separation.  What totally blindsided me was how similar my home life would track with 40 years ago. So there we are, me and my youngest daughter:  alone at home, her two older siblings off at college. She’s 14: this is exactly me in the Fall of 1978. I didn’t literally get it at first. It was just the feeling of the house. The quiet. The way she behaves is a lot like me then; moody, then funny. Totally independent. She’s just been listening to everything these past 14 years.

The week of late October into November is always such a gut-punch marathon.  There’s Halloween, then my brother’s birthday on November 1st. Of course, November 3rd. And then election Tuesday. There was even a Quebec election that weekend in 1978.
Speaking o the horrors of the season, I found this article on Simone Weil which is a balm:
I woke up this morning wondering what that Saturday must have been like in the Eastern Townships 40 years ago. It was a beautiful fall day, like today. The football team had their big game. The owners of that farm in Compton were probably up and out doing weekend things. And in the field adjacent to their farm, there was this beautiful girl lying dead in perfect stillness. Exposed to the elements in her brassiere and underpants.  Later that afternoon these two hunters enter the woods near Magog and find women’s clothing resting on a tree trunk.
It seems impossible-improbable that it took 8 days for my parents to be notified she was missing. Ten days for me to be notified, November 11, 1978, Remembrance Day.  Then you put on your investigator hat, and when you clock the time, the manner in which events fell out, you understand why it took so long for everyone to wake up.

 

Categories:

Mary Gallagher – The Ghost of Griffintown / WKT2 #26

 

By the pricking of my thumbs, 
Something wicked this way comes:

 

242 William Street, where Mary Gallagher was beheaded

 

Prostitutes cavorting with swells. 1879

 

 

The Lachine Canal circa 1879

 

 

Wellington Street, Point St Charles circa 1879

 

 

Dorchester street circa 1879

 

 

242 William Street in Griffintown, Montreal 2017

 

How a Dismembered Montreal Sex Worker Became a Sensation, Then a Ghost, and Now a Fading Legend

Why Mary Gallagher’s brutal murder became a Montreal ghost story.

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There’s nothing to see at the spot where 242 William Street once stood: just an empty lot, across from the modern École de technologie supérieure, in Montreal’s Griffintown district. The odd row of narrow duplexes and brick mixed-use buildings lining nearby side-streets are only shadows of what used to be a bustling, crowded, chaotic working-class, largely Irish neighbourhood that grew north of the Lachine canal in the 19th century.

Griffintown was not an atypical 19th Century industrial slum. It was filled with warehouses, flour mills, smelting works, taverns and stables, and populated by a countless number of families, labourers, transients and prostitutes. And none of them would go on to achieve more notoriety than Mary Gallagher, an aging drunken woman who would end up with her head in a bucket and her body in a wash of blood one June morning in 1879.

The story of Mary’s murder has long outlived both her and the neighbourhood in which she lived and died. It’s unique in Montreal lore, a legend that grew out of all its component parts: the ghastly nature of the crime itself, the sensation it created at the time, the vividness with which the local Irish population recounted the story to new generations—all of these were the building blocks of an industrial-era folktale borne out of the streets. The same streets Mary was said to prowl every seven years, searching for her missing head, if the ghost story is to be believed.

The crime itself was unusual for several reasons, not least of which was its brutality. It was also rare: according to one authority on the case, the last murder committed in Montreal was committed in 1877, two years prior.

Adding to the story’s longevity is the identity of the murderer: not an outraged husband or lover, or a violent thief or john, but a friend and fellow prostitute named Susan Kennedy (sometimes known as Susan Kennedy Mears or Myers) with whom she’d spent the morning drinking whiskey.

Here’s what happened.

Sometime between 6 and 7 AM on June 27, 1879, Mary Gallagher and a companion, Michael Flanagan, arrived at the home Susan Kennedy shared with her husband, Jacob Mears (sometimes spelled Myers or Meyers) at 242 William Street, at the corner of Murray. Kennedy said the two had been drinking but didn’t appear to be drunk.

Mary was in the habit of dropping in on the Mears’, Kennedy would testify later, but rarely with company. Jacob Mears was said to be furious at her showing up with a man in tow and left, leaving Kennedy alone with Gallagher and Flanagan. Kennedy soon went out to procure a bottle of whiskey. The home was on the second floor of a two-storey building, and consisted of two rooms: a front bedroom facing William Street and a back room with chairs, table and slop bucket.

Before long, Kennedy returned with a bottle. The three went through most of it and Flanagan, feeling woozy, went into the front room to lie down. Kennedy went in after him, where, Flanagan told the coroner’s inquiry, they talked for about 15 minutes until they were interrupted by Kennedy’s husband, Mears.

“Oh, you are in a room with a man!” he yelled at his wife, per Flanagan. “Shut your mouth, I am only talking to him,” she barked back. He said he would not be in a house where whiskey is being drunk and stormed off once more.

The Montreal Weekly Witness described the happy couple this way: Mears was “an inoffensive man who is rarely, if ever, under the influence of liquor” and “would be rather handsome if behind [his face] intelligence shone instead of stupidity.” His wife, however, is “a tall, powerfully built woman and when under the influence of liquor talks in a silly manner, and some believe her to be insane.” She is “evidently regarded with terror” in the neighbourhood and is well-known to police. “Several policemen stated she was a most difficult character to arrest.” As to her looks, “her countenance, although now defaced with drink, has from appearance not been altogether devoid of beauty.” At the time of the murder, Kennedy was in her mid-twenties.

Flanagan testified that he and the two women then finished what was left of the whiskey before he collapsed in the front room. He said that at the time he turned in the second time, the conversation between the two women remained friendly.

That’s when everything gets hazy.

Flanagan said he woke up a few hours later, around 2 p.m., and asked for a drink of water. Kennedy fetched him one. He then asked her if they should go out for a beer. They argued briefly about money, and Flanagan got up to leave. On his way out, he says he saw Gallagher in the other room, “lying upon her breast. Her feet were turned towards me.” He saw no blood, either on the floor or on Kennedy, and hurried off without speaking further to her, being “in too great a hurry to get something to drink.” He said Kennedy seemed calm but quiet.

Kennedy told a different story. She said she went into the bedroom after Flanagan, and fell asleep on the floor beside him. At some point, she heard Gallagher invite another man into the house, and the pair drank some more. Kennedy said she vaguely knew the stranger, but could not recall his name. After falling back asleep, she woke up and heard the two arguing: “He called her an old grey-haired rot. He said she took him to an ( sic) hotel one night to sleep, and that he had thought her a much younger woman,” Kennedy told the coroner’s inquiry. (Although initially believed to be around 60, Gallagher’s estranged husband said she was in fact only 38.)

Kennedy went back to sleep. When she woke up, the young man was gone and Gallagher was dead.

“When I saw her I got such a fright that I fell upon the floor,” she said. “She was lying on her breast. Her body was next to the door with the feet pointing to the street. Her head was in the tub, also one of her hands. (pause) I am not sure but that this hand was on the floor. I went to call the police but I was too weak.” She added that Flanagan saw the body after he’d woken up and ran off.

Her husband arrived soon after, saw the gore and then fled to get the police.

When the police arrived, Kennedy, whose clothes were stained with Gallagher’s blood, swore she was innocent. She said she tried to clean up the blood that had pooled on the floor but slipped and fell in it. She also insisted Flanagan was innocent.

According to a policeman quoted in the Weekly Witness, Kennedy told them that “a man came into the house Friday morning and gave her (Kennedy) some money, which, arousing the jealousy of the deceased, the latter and the man had a quarrel and the man killed her. She said she saw the man wash the blood from his hands and clear out. Before going he warned her not to tell the police. She did not know the man’s name, and was glad he had escaped because he was a good-looking fellow.”

By then, a crowd had formed outside the house and police struggled to manage it. The Weekly Witness reporter eventually got inside 242 William and saw a “repulsive sight” that “will never be forgotten.”

“The headless trunk lay prostrate on the breast. The jags in the neck showed that a score at least of blows had been struck by some clumsy hand before the head had left the body. The maimed arm lay underneath the body, while the legs were extended in a perfectly natural position. A thin cotton dress with apparently little underclothing were on her. In a large bucket or wash tub nearby were the ghastly head and severed right hand. The grey hair could hardly be distinguished owing to the clots of blood on it, while several gashes across the forehead would indicate that she had received the first blow to the head. The blood had evidently been washed up.”

Police eventually found Jacob Mears’ hatchet, which he usually used for cutting firewood, covered in blood and bits of flesh and hair, inside the apartment. Flanagan and Kennedy were both arrested and tried for murder.

Following a trial by jury, well-attended by the public, Kennedy was found guilty. The evidence against her was pretty strong: one witness said the two women were heard arguing between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., while Flanagan was passed out. Kennedy, the witness said, had been standing by the window “insulting passers-by.” When Gallagher tried to pull her away from the window, Kennedy said words to the effect of, “If you don’t leave me alone I’ll split your head open with an axe.” The Mears’ downstairs neighbour said she also heard what sounded like a body falling to the floor, chopping sounds and Kennedy saying, “I’ve wanted revenge for a long time, and I finally got it.”

After deliberating for an hour and a half, the jury pronounced her guilty though recommended clemency. That did not sway presiding Judge Monk, who said Kennedy “should not expect any pity on the parts of men.” He urged her to beseech God and beg forgiveness for her crimes, and sentenced her to hang on Dec. 5 of that year.

Kennedy, however, did not die that day. Her death sentence was commuted, and she was released from prison after 16 years. No one knows what happened to her after that.

Flanagan was not so lucky. In an extraordinary coincidence, on Dec. 5—the day Kennedy had been sentenced to hang—Flanagan was working aboard a boat in the Peel Basin when he missed his footing and fell into the water. He disappeared beneath the ice and drowned.

As for Mary Gallagher, she was buried in a pauper’s grave. But she lived on in the imaginations of generations of working class Irish who grew up in Griffintown, and remains a linchpin in the memory of the Griffintown Irish community.

Alan Hustak, a former reporter for the Montreal Gazette and author of The Ghost of Griffintown: The True Story of the Murder of Mary Gallagher, says it is not only the particularly gruesome facts of the case, but also the time and the place within which the murder took place that has helped the story survive for so long.

“This murder was extremely unusual,” he says. “Men murder women and women murder men, but the idea of one woman chopping off the head of another… you really can’t forget that, right?”

The fact that both perpetrator and victim were alcoholic sex workers probably added to the public interest. Not that they would have been unusual for the time, says Mary Anne Poutanen, a historian at McGill University who has studied 19th Century prostitution in Montreal.

As in most industrial age cities, urban prostitution was common, especially, though certainly not exclusively, in crowded slums like Griffintown. “Prostitution is all over the city,” she says. “From the streets where judges lived to every part of every class of neighbourhood. It’s everywhere.”

There was no official red-light district, Poutanen says, but there were areas where brothels and street-walkers were concentrated. They were often in poor and immigrant-heavy neighbourhoods, where men, unattached by family and without close acquaintances, could find temporary companionship in the arms of a woman, and a partner with whom they could enjoy a drink.

“There was a lot of alcoholism” among 19th Century sex workers, says Poutanen. “But you have to think about the importance of alcohol culturally, in daily life. It was safer to drink than it was to drink the water. But clearly … some women had huge problems with alcohol.”

So, says Hustak, “You had the shock value, and then you have the whole Irish tradition of banshees and ghosts. You have a cultural element to it.” Flanagan’s coincidental and untimely death accentuated the supernatural part of the story. “The whole story took on a whole different ghostly [aspect] within the Irish community.”

It did not take long before locals began swearing they saw Mary Gallagher’s ghost wandering around the intersection of William and Murray, looking for her head. Everyone in the tightly-knit neighbourhood knew the story of the murdered prostitute, and Irish parents would use the story as a way to threaten their children: eat your cabbage, or Mary Gallagher will come and get you. Eventually there arose a tradition that Mary would appear every seven years on the night of her murder, headless.

One Griffintown Irishman, Denis Delaney, told Hustak that as a child he was regularly warned against Mary’s ghost. If he was going by William and Murray, he’d walk on the opposite side of the street where 242 William once stood because Mary Gallagher might get him. Despite his precautions, Delaney told Hustak that he’d seen her ghost three times over the course of his life, the first when he was four years old.

“Denis was a real character and over beers one time he told me he had Mary Gallagher’s necklace,” he says. “He told me that one night [in 1956] he was walking down the street and this apparition appeared and it pointed to a tree. So he went to the tree and he pulled out this necklace and when he turned around, the apparition was gone and he knew immediately that it was Mary Gallagher’s necklace. I have to tell you that Denis drank a lot and had a great imagination and was Irish.”

There are next to no Irish left in Griffintown these days though, and most of the row houses and duplexes that were home to thousands of families, workers, soldiers and prostitutes have been knocked down or left to rot. Griffintown’s relentless decades-long decline is blamed on Montreal’s autocratic mayor Jean Drapeau, who revolutionized the city in the post-war years and decided that Griffintown, like other low-income, inner-city neighbourhoods, had to go. The area was re-zoned and starved of oxygen, until it withered almost to extinction.

But in the past few years Griffintown has been undergoing a radical rebirth, with glass tower condos mushrooming into the sky. New industries, including hip, expensive boutiques, are moving in. But Griffintown still lacks any kind of street-level warmth or sense of community. Mary Gallagher’s world is receding ever further into the past—but it hasn’t been entirely forgotten just yet.

“Mary’s story has survived because you could still stand on the corner [of where the murder took place,]” says author and musician Gern Vlchek. “But I don’t know how much longer it will.”

Vlchek wasn’t born in Montreal but spent two decades living in its southwest, an area encompassing Griffintown and other traditionally Irish and French-Canadian working class neighbourhoods like St-Henri, Little Burgundy, Point St-Charles and Verdun. His keen interest in his adopted city’s history, though, informed the song-writing of his previous band, the United Steelworkers of Montreal; they even recorded a song called The Ballad of Mary Gallagher. (Vlchek didn’t write that song, though. Their guitarist discovered the story on a custom placemat at one of Montreal’s Irish pubs and decided to put it to music.)

Griffintown, he says, “was a very historically present place. The history, up until about eight years ago, would slap you in the face, it was there. You didn’t, but you could almost expect to see the blood of Mary Gallagher on a sidewalk 100 years later, y’know?”

When asked if he thinks people will still remember Mary’s story in 50 years, Vlchek says, “It’s hard to say. Normally, these kinds of things would be enshrined in some local bar, but there are no local bars down there.”

Category:

O Untimely Death! – Ursula Schulze / WKT2 #25

 

 

19-year-old Ursula Schulze was abducted at a bus stop in broad daylight the morning of July 13, 1972 in Brossard, Quebec.

The abduction occurred near the girl’s home at 8442 Marie Victorin Blvd.before 8 a.m. when a man dragged her into his car.

The incident was witnessed by many people. “His large hand… he just gripped the girl by the arm and yanked her towards the car,” a witness said. The driver of the car was described as 5’5″ tall, stocky, about 35 years of age with black hair and wearing brown clothing.  Later he was described as between 40 and 50 years of age measuring between 5’6″ and 5’8″ and weighing between 150 and 170 pounds.  Witnesses said he waited for Schulze in the parking lot of La Terrasse Drive-In restaurant. 

The car was described as  “dull red”, with a fastback roofline, possibly a Toyota or a Datsun. 

A witness continued with the following, extremely detailed account of the abduction: 

“It drove up slowly behind the girl, who was standing with her back towards the car. The car stopped in the middle of the road. The driver got out and walked slowly around the back of the car. The girl just had time to turn her head when the guy rushed and grabbed her with his right arm.

“The thing I remember most about the man was his large hand. He just gripped the girl by the arm and yanked her towards the car.

“Opening the door with his other hand he pushed her inside and jumped on her. All I could see was his rear-end sticking out of the car. He must have hit her or something because when he got up and closed the door I couldn’t see the girl.

“He went around the car the same way he approached the girl and drove off. He stayed on the service road as far as I know because I didn’t see him take the entrance to the highway.”

Schulze planned to go shopping for a birthday present for her mother after she got off work at a Place d’Armes office on St. James street where she worked as a file clerk.  Mrs. Schulze described Ursula as impossibly shy. Her parents forced her to take the job as a means of meeting people. 

Schulze was found dead against the wall behind a vacant soap factory in Lapraire  by a truck driver around 4 p.m. on Friday, July 14th. She was found by some bushes near Rang St. Claude, 15 miles from where she had been abducted. One account said Schulze had been strangled. Though there were no signs she had been sexually molested, detectives said her hands and arms bore signs of a severe struggle. Another account said that Schulze had been shot through the back of the head at least twice by a small-calibre weapon.  and there were no signs of struggle at the scene where the body was found.

On Monday, July 17th Gazette reporter Jim Duff reported that an arrest was pending, “The naming of several suspects in the slaying came after a weekend of intensive investigation by detectives from both the Brossard and Quebec Police Forces.” Yet nearly two weeks later QPF detectives admitted that they were no nearer to a solution. “Despite intensive questioning of witnesses and possible suspects, police have been unable to come up with more than a general description of an automobile and the suspect.”

Eight months past. On March 15th, 1973 the following notice appeared in the Montreal Gazette:

The public hearing followed complaints from the parents of Ursula Schulze that the Brossard police did not do everything in their power to locate their daughter. Testimony revealed the father of the murdered girl and another daughter went to the Brossard police station the afternoon of the kidnapping and were told, “We’ll take care of it later.”  It was also determined that the Quebec Police Force / Surete du Quebec was not notified of the abduction until 19 hours after it occurred.

Otto Schulze testified that he went to the office of Brossard Police Chief Marcel Renaud with photos of his daughter the afternoon she disappeared.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schulze

 

“He told me to place the pictures on Blain’s desk (Assistant Director Paul Emile Blain). He said Blain had no time for that right now because he had a more important job to do… that he had a tip on something.”. Chief Renaud told him that Blain would go to his house in about “half-an-hour” for more information on his daughter. “Nobody came to the house until 11:30 p.m. that night.”

Ursula’s sister, Angele who accompanied her father to the police station, continued the testimony. “One of the men at the station suggested that my sister might have made off with some guy. ‘She’s 19 years old and she’s an adult.’ “I told him: ‘Not my sister, I know her.’

Testimony continued:

“…[the duty officer at the time] did not order roadblocks or inform Quebec Provincial Police because this was not “standard practice”. In fact, there were no directives on what standard practice was in such a case.

Other duty officers said they did not know that QPP headquarters was not cut in on the regional network used by municipal forces and thought “somebody else” had informed the QPP directly.

Blain and the officer in charge of criminal investigations, spent the day investigating a report of a robbery by four prison escapees which he told the commission he judged the more serious of the cases.

Both he and Director Renaud thought the QPP had been informed of the kidnapping and were investigating it.”

In April 1973 the commission issued its report. While praising the efforts of on-the-ground constables the report faulted the force director Marcel Renauld and his Assistant Director Paul-Emile Blain for

“”learning nothing” from the incident and failing to instruct force members on how to handle major crimes.”. The report went on to say, “…the “off-hand” manner of force superiors, coupled with the ignorance of force members on procedures and how to use regional communications systems, severely hampered the investigation.”

Brossard Police Chief Renaud called the report “unfair”, “It’s unfortunate they had to judge my department on one isolated incident.” Among the recommendations the Quebec Police Commission recommended that police take special courses in criminal inquires. Renaud stated that is was standard practices to send his men to the Police Academy in Nicolet. “Of the 32 policemen I have I would say only four haven’t gone to the academy yet. But they will be soon.”

The report called on Renaud to ensure that his men put in more than a minimum effort. Renaud replied, “What’s a minimum effort for a guy who works 14 to 18 hours a day?”

——————————————————

Montreal Gazette, Tuesday, July 10th, 1973:

“Slain girl’s parents suing police

The family of Ursula Schulze, the 19-year-old Brossard girl kidnapped and murdered last July, is suing the Brossard police department and the Quebec Police Force.

A suit is expected tomorrow in Superior Court on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schulze by lawyer Morris Chaikelson.

Chaikelson said yesterday he is preparing the suit because the Schulzes blame the two forces for the death.”

The Schulzes filed two $100,000 court suits claiming police incompetence in the kidnapping death of their daughter. Defendants in the suits were the Quebec Government, The Quebec Police Force, the town of Brossard, and several of the municipality’s policemen. Each of the Schulzes sought $50,000 for the loss of their daughter in both actions.

No further stories were filed in this matter. It is presumed that the Schulze settled with the Quebec government privately and never went further with legal proceedings.

Despite a good description of Ursula Schulze’s abductor and his vehicle, her murderer has never been apprehended.

 

“Those who forget the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them.”

 

(with acknowledgement to the archives of the Montreal Gazette)

All The Devils Are Here – Guylaine Potvin / WKT2 #23

 

A summary of the April 2000 unsolved murder of Guylaine Potvin in Jonquière, Quebec. We also hear from the second victim in the case, the attacked student from Sainte-Foy in July 2000.

Guylaine potvin

 

From the Surete du Quebec’s Cold Case Website:

On the morning of April 28, 2000, Guylaine Potvin, a student at the CÉGEP de Jonquière, was found dead in her apartment on rue Panet in Jonquière. She shared the apartment with two girlfriends, students also, who were absent on the night of the events.

Elements of the investigation have shown certain similarities with another file concerning an event in Sainte-Foy in July 2000, in which another student living alone was assaulted in her apartment. The latter, who was left for dead, was more fortunate, she survived.

If you have any information that could help solve this crime, contact the Centrale de l’information criminelle of the Sûreté du Québec at 1 800 659-4264.

The Poirier Enquete episode on Guylaine Potvin:

 

Jonquière apartment where Guylaine Potvin was murdered

 

Jonquière, neighborhood where Guylaine Potvin was murdered

 

The second victim from Sainte-Foy interviewed for the program Qui a Tue?

 

Bloodied phone from the second victim’s basement apartment. Note the missing phone cord from receiver.

 

In 2009 Claude Larouche was suspected of the Potvin murdered, but a DNA test cleared him

 

In April 1997 Diane Couture was found dead, face down on her bed with her hands tied in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She had been strangled and raped.

 

Poème écrit par Isabeau, la deuxième victime:

Je me souviens d’une voix de femme : « Reste avec nous ».

Qui est-elle ?

Pourquoi me dit-elle ça ?

 Où suis-je ?

Je me suis ouvert les yeux, une pièce inconnue, l’hôpital, un médecin.

J’ai demandé une seule question : « Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Comme seule réponse : « Tu es arrivée avec des policiers, tu leurs parleras plus tard ».

« Non, tout de suite ».

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanché.

Un homme, debout près de moi : « Je suis policier »

« Dis-moi qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Une réponse, celle que je ne voulais pas : « Je ne le sais pas »

« Comment on va faire pour le savoir ? »

Je me souviens de la feuille de déposition, du crayon, de la tablette improvisée.

Je me souviens de ma question : « Tu veux que j’écrive quoi ? »

J’ai écrit, peu.

Je dormais dans mon lit, dans ma chambre.

Je me souviens de tes mains sur ma gorge.

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

Je me souviens de toi.

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanchée.

J’ai ouvert les yeux.

Une nouvelle pièce : où suis-je ?

Qu’est-ce qui s’est encore passé ?

Devant moi, un policier, le même.

Ses yeux bleus, muets.

Sur la table du lit, une boîte blanche.

« Qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans la boîte ? »

J’ai cru qu’on m’emmenait une réponse,

 Une trousse médico-légale.

Un nouveau policier pour prendre des photos de mes blessures.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger, lui a photographier.

“Place-moi comme tu veux, je ne peux pas t’aider”

“Tu me dis si je te fais mal” ;  j’ai rien dit.

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

Examen gynécologique.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger.

Une médecin, enceinte, à genoux sur le pied du lit.

“Ok, vient, on va le faire comme ça”

Elle me tire par les jambes.

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

Un appel du policier

« J’ai des collègues qui veulent te parler »

Un espoir : on t’a trouvé.

On m’a montré une photo.

Jeune, belle, souriante.

Tu l’avais choisie elle aussi.

Elle ne se souviendra jamais, elle, de tes mains, de ton odeur.

J’ai compris : on te cherchait déjà.

L’enquête.

L’espoir, les jours, les cris, les pleurs.

Des amis questionnés, partis.

Le désespoir, une promesse : « On se boira du porto ».

Des maladresses : « Dans l’autre cas, au moins on a une autopsie »

Des départs, un cold case.

Et la vie, encore la vie.

 

18 ans déjà.

Je me souviens de chacune des nuits de rage.

Je me souviens d’elle, de chacune de ses photos :

son gâteau d’anniversaire, son chat.

La couleur de son carnet de téléphone, ses gribouillis, son écriture.

Je me souviens des yeux du policier : bleus, muets.

Je me souviens de ma question.

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

Poem written by Isabeau, the second victim:

I remember a woman’s voice: “Stay with us”.
Who is she ?
Why does she tell me that?
 Where am I ?
I opened my eyes, an unknown room, the hospital, a doctor.
I asked only one question: “What happened? “
The only answer: “You came with the police, you will talk to them later”.
“No, right now”
Exhausted, disoriented, I flinched.
A man standing near me: “I am a policeman”
“Tell me what happened? “
One answer, the one I did not want: “I do not know”
“How are we going to find out? “
I remember the witness sheet, the pencil, the improvised tablet.
I remember my question: “Do you want me to write what? “
I wrote, little.
I slept in my bed, in my room.
I remember your hands on my throat.
I remember your smell.
I remember you.
Exhausted, disoriented, I flenched.
I opened my eyes.
A new play: where am I?
What happened again?
In front of me, a policeman, the same.
His blue eyes, dumb.
On the bed table, a white box.
“What’s in the box? “
I thought I was being sent an answer,
 A forensic kit.
A new policeman to take pictures of my wounds.
I cannot move, photographed by him.
“Place me as you want, I can not help you”
“You tell me if I hurt you”; I said nothing.
Exhausted, I flenched.
Gynecological examination.
I can not move.
A doctor, pregnant, kneeling on the foot of the bed.
“Ok, come on, we’ll do it like this”
She pulls me by the legs.
Exhausted, I flenched.
A call from the policeman
“I have colleagues who want to talk to you”
A hope: we found you.
I was shown a picture.
Young, beautiful, smiling.
You had chosen her too.
She will never remember her hands, your smell.
I understood: we were already looking for you.
Investigation.
Hope, days, shouting, crying.
Friends questioned, gone.
Despair, a promise: “We’ll drink port.”
Clumsiness: “In the other case, at least we have an autopsy”
Departures, a cold box.
And life, still life.
18 years old already.
I remember every night of rage.
I remember her, each of her photos:
her birthday cake, her cat.
The color of her phone book, her scribbles, her writing.
I remember the policeman’s eyes: blue, dumb.
I remember my question.
I remember your smell.”

An error by the SQ plunges woman back into the murder of her sister 47 years ago

This is the kind of error I’m always afraid I am going to make. It was my worst fear in those early days with Camirand and Dube. And now it is the SQ that makes this kind of blunder. Unbelievable.
For your information, it took me exactly 45 seconds to do a search on BAnQ’s archives to confirm that Lucie Beaudoin was killed by Henri Vincent. And the Surete du Quebec – with all their resources, with 30 cold-case agents at their disposal – can’t come to the same conclusion over three months?
Unexceptable:
 
Here’s a rough translation:
 
“A blunder from the Sûreté du Québec threw a woman back almost 50 years while her sister was the victim of a villainous murder.
In 1971, Lucie Beaudoin, 19, was murdered. Her body was found in a trunk at the bottom of a flooded quarry in Brossard, Montérégie.
 
A few months later, Henri Vincent, pleads guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of the 19-year-old woman. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
 
47 years later, the victim’s sister, Louise Beaudoin, was forced to plunge back into this drama.
 
Last March, she was contacted by an investigator from the Sûreté du Québec to announce that the murder of her sister was treated as an unresolved case.
 
“Since that time, every second, every gesture, every minute, it comes back to me,” says the lady met by TVA News.
 
“I’ve been crying a lot every day since March 23,” she says.
 
Police even made her sign a form to allow them to place the photo of her sister and a summary of the case on the unsolved crimes section of the SQ website.
 
Although she said that she had informed the police that a suspect had been convicted in this case, they appeared to not know of it.
 
Louise Beaudoin says she “doubted her memories” even though she attended court proceedings in 1971.
 
The Surete du Quebec admitted their mistake, and on May 30, they removed the notice concerning Lucie Beaudoin from her site.
 
The police said that in the future, things will be different. It seems that before meeting Lucie Beaudoin’s sister, the police only did summary checks.
 
Nevertheless, until today, no one has apologized for this blunder. Ms. Beaudoin says she is “shocked”, she who is plunged back into painful memories for four months.”