MONDAY, FEBRUARY 09, 2004

I Don’t Get It

The trial of Guy Croteau begins with more questions than answers

After languishing in a Quebec jail cell for nearly two years, Guy Croteau has finally gone to trial for the 1987 murder of Sophie Landry.

The arrest of Croteau is a text book example of the Surete du Quebec’s ability to do good police work – when they are motivated to do so. Laundry’s semi-nude body was found face up in a cornfield near St. Roch L’Achigan, about 25 km North of Montreal. She had been stabbed 173 times.

Let me say that again,

She had been stabbed one hundred and seventy-three times.

As if that wasn’t overkill, her assailant apparently drove over her body repeatedly with an automobile.

Someone had some issues.

The 16-year-old Landry had also been raped. Sperm samples were taken from her body during her autopsy. 

Now here’s the good police work part; unlike some Surete investigators who have a preponderance for disposing of evidence (see Allore or Dube), detectives assigned to the Landry case remarkably kept the samples of sperm for 14 years.

Forteen-years later police picked up Guy Croteau for a series of abductions and sexual assaults in the Longueuil area of Montreal. From his m.o. Croteau appeared to be nothing more than a serial rapists with a remote possiblilty of developing into a more violent criminal. Nevertherless, when investigators ran Croteau’s DNA through a check with samples on file for past crimes, Croteau came up as a match on the unsolved Landry case. He was subsequently arrested on February 13th 2002 for 14-year-old murder.

Now for the troubling part.

Croteau stands accused of just one murder. After the Landry trial he will go to court for the series of Longueuil rapes. That’s it. No more murders.

I have a hard time believing Croteau committed only one murder: he stabbed someone 173 times, it is unusually for someone to begin to kill at such an heightened level of violence. At the same time, what’s to explain Croteau’s behaviour after the Landry murder? His actions would suggests that after committing such an excessive crime he settled into the life of a rather ho-hum serial rapist. I don’t get it?

Apparently neither do the police. In a 2002 article in the Journal de Montreal about the Surete du Quebec’s profiling unit, investigators referred to Guy Croteau as a bona fide serial killer, comparing him to the likes of William Fyfe and Angelo Colalillo. Now looks are deceiving, but the 47-year-old Croteau’s appearance is down right spooky. Take a look at these 10 photos from the Surete du Quebec’s website; the guy has that Bundy-esque shape-shiftiness down cold.

There is little doubt the Surete du Qubec believe Croteau is responsible for other murders; the post on their website is an out-and-out call for victims to come forward and start pointing fingers. But in the nearly two years Croteau was sitting in prison apparenty investigators couldn’t make anything stick. 

So there you have it: Guy Croteau – the serial killer without any series. Stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this one.

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