I can tell you how Theresa spent her last day alive. This is what I’ve been able to piece together through statements given to the police:
On the morning of Friday, November 3rd, 1978, Theresa was preparing for the last day of the school week. It was her eighth week at Champlain Regional College. Outside the temperature was about 55 degrees. It was sunny, not a cloud in the sky. On that day Theresa was wearing a white t-shirt, blue corduroy pants she had borrowed from a friend, a beige knee-length sweater, on her feet, Chinese slippers without socks, and along, dark green scarf.
At about half past seven she entered the dinning hall located in the King’s Hall building. She ate breakfast with her friends Jo-Anne Laurie and Carolina Greenwood. They talked about music and classes; Greenwood was preoccupied studying for a morning calculus test. They were rushed and did not want to miss the 8:00 am shuttle bus that would take them thirteen kilometers to the college campus in Lennoxville.
These buses ran every hour, on the hour between the hours of eight and six (there was no noon service). Occasionally, if there was a special event on campus, a late bus would run to bring students back to the residence. The twenty-minute ride takes students across the isolated Townships countryside. On this day the sky was blue, but the trees were naked and the landscape barren.
The King’s Hall shuttle bus would travel into Lennoxville along route 143 past the Paysane motel (still there) – past Perrette’s, and Disco Jeans, and Jerry’s Pizza. At the corner of Belvedere the bus would slow and turn in front of Le Lion d’Or It would crosse the train tracks at the rail yard and enters the college campus. The bus would then deposit students in front of the Dewhurst dining hall at approximately twenty after eight.
Theresa hurried with her friends, Jo-Anne and Caroline. She had less than ten minutes to make it to her first class. Along the way she deposited some belongings in her locker located in the Nichols building across campus. That morning she had two classes, Physics and Chemistry. In Chemistry Theresa was joined again by her friend, Jo-Anne. Jo-Anne asked if Theresa had any plans for the weekend. Theresa said that she intended to stay in residence; she had a psychology paper due on Monday. After Chemistry, Jo-Anne Laurie said that she never saw Theresa again.
My sister had lunch at the Dewhurst dining hall (eating “Dewey Grub”). During lunch my brother came over to talk to her. He made some remarks about the blue corduroys she was wearing – they looked silly. Theresa had borrowed them from a fellow student, Johannah Knoops.
Theresa ate lunch with her friend, Caroline Greenwood. Earlier in the week Greenwood had invited Theresa to spend the weekend at her parent’s place in Hemmingford, a small community south of Montreal. At lunch Theresa told Greenwood that she had too much homework, and would not be able to get away for the weekend. Theresa then helped Greenwood locate a friend who would be willing to hitchhike with her to Hemmingford. According to Greenwood, she never saw Theresa again after lunch.
Theresa was not seen that afternoon. Presumably she spent the remainder of the day attending classes, although no one witnessed this. That evening, two students, Suzanne DeRome and Josie Stepenhorst were having dinner in Dewhurst. DeRome and Stepenhorst were roommates in Gillard House, Compton. They shared a room three doors down from Theresa. At approximately 6:00 pm, Theresa came over to their table. She asked if they were going home for the weekend. DeRome and Stepenhorst replied that they were not. The girls then decided to get together that evening to listen to records. Theresa agreed to stop by their room around 9:00 pm. Before leaving, Theresa asked Stepenhorst for a cigarette. Stepenhorst replied that her cigarettes were in her coat pocket in the lobby, and to help herself. Theresa left the Dining hall. She gave no indication where she might be going, or what she might be doing between 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
At 6:15 pm Josie Stepenhorst was on board the bus returning to the residences in Compton. By now it had gotten dark. As the bus was pulling away, Stepenhorst glanced out the window and saw Theresa leaving Dewhurst dining hall. She was walking toward the bus. She apparently missed the last regularly scheduled bus that evening. It would be a five-hour wait until a special bus was sent out to retrieve students from the campus pub. Apart from this late night bus, there was no other way for students to get back to their residence.
Six in the evening outside the Dewhurst dining hall was the last time my sister was reported having been seen on campus. After 6:00 pm, it is difficult to determine what happened next. She may have returned to her locker, retrieved some books and proceeded to the library to work on her homework. This was often her habit. She may have left Dewhurst dining hall and made the half-mile walk up the street to the Lion Pub. Possibly she had some drinks, waiting for the midnight bus. Or maybe she met someone in the pub. Or perhaps she got tired of waiting, exited the Lion, and stood on the corner of highway 143 and Belvedere intending to hitchhike.
Back in Compton, it was a quiet night at King’s Hall. Many students had gone home to their parents’ for the weekend. Theresa’s roommate, Pamela Mitchell, has done this; room 235 was empty. Most of the jocks, normally a rowdy bunch on a Friday evening, had all gone to bed becasue the football team had a big game in the morning.
Over in Gillard house things were quiet too. A Student named Greg Deacon, who was in the same chemistry class as Theresa, dropped by her room to see if she has completed her homework. He knocked, but there was no answer.
By 9:00 pm Suzanne DeRome and Josie Stepenhorst were back in their room listening to records. The door to their room was open. Theresa never came by to listen to records.
Shortly after 9:00 pm a student named Sharon Buzzee was walking through the entranceway of King’s Hall. Buzzee glanced over at the main staircase and was surprised to see Theresa standing there as if she’d come in from outside. Buzzee stopped to talk with her. She asked why Theresa did not leave to spend the weekend with Caroline Greenwood as she had planned. Theresa replies that she decided not to go; she had too much homework to do. Buzzee asked Theresa what her plans were for that night. She replied that she intended to do her homework. As Buzzee left, Theresa appeared to be heading up the stairs of King’s Hall toward the second or third floor.
Sharon Buzzee was the only one to report having seen Theresa on the King’s Hall staircase. Around nine-thirty, another student, Tamara Westall says she saw Theresa in the King’s Hall dining room. She is there, according to Westall, grabbing a late night snack prepared for students. No one witnesses this encounter either. This was the last time anyone claimed to have seen Theresa alive.