Plus Ca Change

Four years ago today I made my first trip to Sherbrooke to investigate Theresa’s death. I thought you might like to take a look at my notes from that day, and what I was doing:

Notes on meeting with Robert Theoret, Surete de Quebec
Thursday, March 14th, 2002 / 8:15 am

I meet with Corp Robert Theoret of the Surete de Quebec in Sherbrooke, to go over the file on my sister’s case, Theresa Allore. He allows me to review the following documents:

1. The Lennoxville Police’s “Evenement” report, stating Theresa was missing as of November 3, 1978

2. A nine page report from Leo Hamel of the Lennoxville Police Department dated November 17, 1978

3. A statement to Hamel from Andre Allore, Compton student dated November 14, 1978

4. A statement to Hamel from Carolina Greenwood, Compton Student dated November 14, 1978

5. A statement to Hamel from Joanne Laurie, Compton Student dated November 14, 1978

6. A statement to Hamel from Josie Stepenhorst, Compton student dated November 1978

7. A page of Hamel’s note paper with the statement of Jacqueline Levfevre, November 12, 1978, in which she says she saw someone who looked like Theresa at a motel.

8. A page of Hamel’s note paper with the statement of Madelain Clowery dated November 12, 1978, an elderly women who says she picked up Theresa hitch hiking to Montreal the weekend of October 15th.

9. A statement to Hamel from Norman Drake dated January 1979, taken in Montreal. Drake new Theresa in Montreal.

10. The one page coroner’s report (which I already had from Dad)

11. Approximately 115 statement from students at Compton all the statements were taken in the three week period, April 17th through May 3rd; just after Theresa’s body was found on April 13th 1978.

Corp Theoret said there were some documents I could not seen. They include the following:

1. A picture of my sister’s body in the coaticook river

2. Corp Roch Gauldreault’s report, who was the investigating officer for the Surete after the body was found

3. A list of students at Compton

4. Any statements from Suspects.

He said I could not see the last item to, “respect the Canadian and the Quebec laws about access to information and protection of private life in Canada, and he made sign a letter saying I understood this.

I specifically mentioned that the reports from the Lennoxville police seemed “thin”; was he sure there was nothing else. He said he was sure.

I asked him if the file contained the 2 x-rays and eleven colored photographs that had been taken during the autopsy. The 11 photos had been taken at the request of Clause Payette of the Quebec Provincial Police. Theoret said he did not have these things.

I asked if he had the bra and panties that my sister was found in. Theoret said these would have been destroyed years ago; they would not have kept them. I asked why would they destroy evidence for a case that was still an unsolved crime. He said probably the Surete thought they were no longer useful, and that they can’t keep these things forever.

Over the course of the next 7 ½ hours I read all the information I was allowed to see and took generous notes. These were my thoughts at the end of that day:

Concerning the Lennoxville missing persons investigation, Hamel’s nine page report consisted mainly of activities he conducted while doing his investigation. He interviewed Mom and Dad. On November 16th he travels to the village of Austin to follow up on a tip from some hunters who say they found some clothing in the woods. When the hunters lead them there, the clothing is gone. That same day the travel further to the St. Benoit Abbey to see if Theresa’s there. They go on through Magog to the American / Canadian boarder and show officials Theresa’s picture: have they seen this person. Later, Hamel receives to phone tips from people saying they saw someone matching Theresa’s description (but speaking French) at motels. Curiously, he does not say which motels, nor does he follow up and go to these Motels.

Hamel’s statements of his activities corroborate with My Dad and Mom’s feelings at that time. The investigation was spending too much time off campus, they were looking everywhere except starting with the logical place: the last place she was seen: Compton. Further, there was an eye witness testimony from Sharon Buzzee who stated she saw Theresa on the stairs of King’s hall Compton at 9:00 pm, Friday, November 3rd, the night she disappeared. She even engaged in conversation with her. According to my Dad’s notes, Hamel didn’t believe this statement, and he tried to discredit it (she must be mistaken, it was someone else).

Hamel always clung to the hitch hiking theory. He believed the last place she was ever seen was at 6:00 pm in the dining hall at Lennoxville. Similarly, Dr. Matson, the Campus Director of Champlain College went to great lengths to suggest that Theresa was anywhere but at the Compton campus. He told my parents that Theresa was most likely a lesbian, and if found she would need treatment by court order if necessary (Nov 16, 1978). He told them he had an indication that Theresa had gone someplace where disturbed people go. His advice to my parents was, “go home and wait for something to happen”.

Hamel, too, introduced the lesbian theory. He suggested to my parents that he had received a lot of tips suggesting that Theresa was a lesbian. My Dad notes that both he and Mom thought that Hamel and Matson where trying to put them on the defensive, make them feel bad, distract them.

I would like to note that after reading the 115 statements (114 from students, 1 from the assistant director of residence) at Compton, there is no mention of lesbianism. They talk about drugs, they talk about students hitch hiking. They talk about her boyfriend, Vlad. That’s it.

At 3:30 pm I left the Surete. Corp Theoret invited me back the next day, if I had any questions. I told him I would must likely take him up on his offer.

Compton Resident Director, Jeanne Eddisford’s statement dated April 18th, 1979 is very puzzling. She begins by singing the praises of Theresa: she was very intelligent, she was always happy, she had good marks with an 85% average. She also states how helpful she was to my parents; she was the one who boxed up Theresa’s belongings and shipped them to my parents. She does not say a single thing about what went on the night Theresa disappeared. She was clearly present. She mentioned by Wendy Ford as having been in the TV room. Then for some reason, Jeanne Eddisford feels the need to make a disclaimer in her statement: There are no drugs on the Compton campus.

Yet, on Monday, February 12, 1979, there was a raid of the Compton campus and three students were arrested. The campus paper, the Touchtone in a February 22 article states, “The raid had been called by the Compton administration, Jeanne Eddisford, Director of Residence. The article goes on to say that students had complained of large amounts of drugs on the Compton campus.

So did Jeanne Eddisford mean there were no drugs as of April 18th, 1979? Her statement was supposed to be in relation to events of the previous Fall. And at that time, on the night of Friday, November 3rd, there were most certainly drugs on the Compton campus.

In his statement, student Dave Vick says on the night of November 3, 1978 he was in room 139 of Gillard House with students Brian Condon and Mark McKain. They took a hit of acid each and consumed some beer. Vick left, but then passed out on the lawn between Gillard and King’s Hall. A Resident Assistant, Allan brought him to the hospital where he spent the night. This story is corroborated in Mark McKain’s statement. However, student Glenn Kelly makes a statement that it is he who takes Vick to the hospital due to an acid overdoes. Further, Dan Gauthier states that, “I had a guy that we brought to the hospital because he was overdose.”. Gauthier does not say who he brought to the hospital. Finally, the school’s night watchman makes the following statement:

“I recall that at the beginning of November I drove a kid that had an hoverdose at the hospital in Sherbrooke. It was the morning of the 4th of November. I went off for two days after that. When I came back to work I had an argument about drug problems with Mr Peacock. He didn’t want to do nothing about it so I quit working there”.

Who is Mr. Peacock? I asked my brother but he couldn’t remember.

After calling my brother, I called my Lawyer contact in Laval, Tom Lavin. Mr. Lavin had advised me a year ago to see the file, but make notes of what they withheld from me; then we could always use legal procedures to get the remaining information they wouldn’t show me. I talk to his son, Dominique. He advised me to continue to be calm; don’t give away anything that may be coming in the form of a registered letter.

I met with Corp Theoret again on Friday morning, March 15th at 9:00 am. I asked him to again specify the documents I had not seen. He said again, the picture, Corp Gauldreault report, statements from suspects, and a list of students. I asked if he was sure I had all the information from Leo Hamel and the Lennoxville investigation. He said yes.

I asked him if he thought it unusual that of all the statements requested by the Lennoxville Police and the Surete, 99.99% of them were from students: No adults, no school administrators, no teachers. Corp Theoret admitted that this was strange.

I asked Theoret what was the present status of my sisters case. He said it is an unsolved crime. I implored him, ‘then why not attempt to solve it?’. He stated that in his office he has a lot of unsolved crimes, and he is too short staffed to deal with even his current log of cases.

I asked him who would have been Leo Hamel’s supervisor at the time of the disappearance. Theoret said Hamel would not of had one, he answered to no one. (his words).

The day before I had asked Theoret what I thought happened to my sister. He said she was picked up hitchhiking, and then dumped in the Coaticook. Today I asked him why he had said that. He replied he had only given a cursory look at the file and there was a lot of references to my sister hitchhiking.

{note: the day before, I had said to him that I felt that the combination of the students being left alone, so young and unsupervised, and the poor investigation by the Lennoxville police, probably lead to her death, and the inability to solve the crime. He did say very quietly that this probably had something to do with it}

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