From the Stanstead Journal – more to come

Compton Mystery Continues

The investigation surrounding the unsolved murder of a young woman, a nineteen year-old Champlain college student, continues after 27 years. This investigation is not being done by the Surete du Quebec, as one might assume, but by the brothers of Theresa Allore, the young woman whose body was found by a trapper in a Compton creek, entombed in ice, six months after she disappeared.

The brothers have been aided in their investigation by numerous individuals along the way: reporters, private investigators, specialists and lay people. John Allore claimed, by e-mail, that they have rarely been helped by the authorities involved, either in the police department or at the college. At the time of Theresa’s disappearance, the SQ and the college treated the case and the family indifferently, without compassion or sensitivity. Although requested by the family, no searches of the area were conducted. Important clues such as the finding of Theresa’s purse in her dorm room were discovered by a private investigator. Even though she was a grade A student who attended all her classes, the police and college officials suggested the possibility of drug use and deviant behaviour. When her body was found six months later, the police concluded that she had taken a drug overdose. They presented this conclusion to her family, and twenty-two years later, through their own investigation, the family would learn that the initial coroner’s report showed no evidence of drugs. It did , however, mention marks of strangulation.

This renewed investigation, began in 2001 by Andre and John Allore, has unearthed a lot more than simply a credible cause of death. Strong links were made with the murders of Manon Dube and Louise Camirand, which occurred in the same vicinity and around the same time, as well as several attempted assaults. If Theresa’s undergarments had not been destroyed by the police (it is unusual to destroy evidence when a case is still open), more links may have been made especially with the murder of Manon Dube, who’s underwear was also thrown out. Geoprofiling, a criminological technique, was used to analyse the case with the following results as reported by Kim Rossmo, an expert in serial crime and the pioneer of the technique: “the locations associated with these three deaths are intertwined, woven together in the landscape south of Sherbrooke. This offender was most likely based in Lennoxville or south Sherbrooke during the period from 1977 to 1978.”

Sue Sutherland, a criminology student at the Universite de Montreal has been following the case of Theresa Allore for several years. She is now organizing a massive search party to be held on Saturday, June 17th, to comb a section of forest in the Memphremagog MRC where clothing believed to belong to Theresa Allore was seen. Sutherland will conduct the search along with John Allore, friends of Theresa’s, and other students from Sutherland’s criminology course. Volunteers have also stepped forward as well as Quebec Secours, an organization that specializes in search and rescue. Thousands of fliers were distributed around the area last Friday in an attempt to recruit more volunteers for this labour-intensive task. The Magog police have agreed to help out with any necessary road closures.

John Allore calls this kind of initiative “do-it- yourself justice”. Although nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one through violent circumstances, and the added traumatizations to the family as a result of the authorities “blaming the victim”, Allore admits that “this now has more to do with the quality of police services the public should be willing to expect today, now, than it does with anything having to do with Theresa Allore.”

The SQ initially would not show the Allore’s their sister’s file, citing the information as classified since the case was not solved. At the same time, the SQ were not doing any investigating of the murder. After an intensive investigation by John Allore and National Post reporter Patricia Pearson finally began shedding light on the case, the SQ announced, in November 2002, that they would launch a full investigation (this investigation quickly petered out). They finally gave the family access to the entire contents of the police file. They also admitted that Allore and Pearson’s investigative work was accurate; Theresa Allore had been sexually assaulted and murdered by an assailant who may have been responsible for a series of murders in the Eastern Townships in the late 1970’s.

The search for truth, justice, and closure continues for Theresa’s family and friends and we wish them well.

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