Thursday, November 16th, 1978
On the afternoon of Thursday, November 17th, Mr. Allore travels to Champlain college to meet Campus Director, Bill Matson. Mr. Allore wants to know what the School is doing to assist in the search for Theresa. Why haven’t the teachers been interviewed? Why haven’t the supervisors been interviewed? Why hasn’t the School conducted a search of the residence where Theresa was living? Who is in charge of the facility? Matson assures Mr. Allore that the School is doing everything possible to assist the police in their investigation into the disappearance of his daughter. Matson then assigns Jeanne Eddisford, the Assistant Director of the King’s Hall residence, as Mr. Allore’s personal contact for all matters regarding the investigation as it concerns Champlain College.
Jeanne Eddisford is twenty-five years old. The previous year she came to Champlain to do her internship for her Master’s degree in experimental psychology. In the fall of 1978 she became the Assistant Director Compton. The job was a glorified councilor position, a sort of Dr. Joyce Brothers in residence. If the students needed emotional advice, they could come to her. Working for Champlain was Ms. Eddisford’s first professional job. Two months into that job, Bill Matson deemed her qualified to handle the complex task of a student’s disappearance.
Matson should have assigned Stuart Peacock, Eddisford’s immediate supervisor, and the man in charge of the King’s Hall facility as Mr. Allore’s contact. But Mr. Allore doesn’t know anything about Stewart Peacock. During the entire investigation Mr. Allore will be under the impression that Matson and Eddisford are in charge of the students. The Allores will not learn about Stewart Peacock for another twenty-four years.
Like Eddisford, Matson has a background in psychology. As the meeting between Matson and Allore winds down, Matson offers his psychological assessment of what he thinks may have happened to Theresa. He suggests that Theresa might be a lesbian – she has no boyfriends on campus, she only hangs out with girls, the previous year she lived in an apartment with a 30-year-old single mother with two children in Point Claire, Quebec. Matson imagines that Theresa might have wondered off on some lesbian excursion. He offers to drop by Mr. Allore’s motel later to discuss the matter in depth with both Mr. Allore and his wife. In case the Allores don’t feel like talking, Matson suggests an “old Army counter-intelligence trick”. He will arrive at the door. If the Allores wish to talk, Mr. Allore is to invite Matson in to sit down. If they do not wish to talk, Mr. Allore is to stand at the door and merely say hello.
Champlain College clearly did not have the time or resources necessary to handle the full impact the crisis at hand. Less than two weeks earlier, ironically on the night of November 3, 1978, Bill Matson submitted his monthly report to the Champlain Board of Governors on the state of affairs at the school. There was confusion. There were too many new staff members. New members were unsure of their duties and responsibilities. The new administration was in such disarray that Matson was preparing a full detailed report on the subject of staff members’ responsibilities, functions and authority. On the subject of the new residence under construction Matson reported that, “it is imperative that all buildings be ready for occupancy by late August, 1979”. Should construction not be completed, and the school be forced to again use the Compton residences, the School would, “be faced with a most critical situation.”
At five o’clock sharp on the afternoon of November 16th, Matson arrives at La Paysanne motel in Lennoxville. He is invited into the room occupied by Mr. And Mrs. Allore.
Picking up where he left off, Matson continues with his lesbian theory. He states that Theresa – if found – will need to undergo psychiatric treatment – by court order if necessary. He continues that Theresa may be lying dead in a ditch somewhere, but he is more optimistic that Theresa has gone to some place where disturbed people go. When asked to elaborate, Matson reveals that his secretary received an anonymous phone call from someone who knew about” troubled people” and where they might go. The caller said a person matching Theresa’s description had gone to such a place. Before leaving Matson advises the Allores to go back home to New Brunswick, to “get back to normal”, and wait for something to happen.