Sister found guilty of 1979 Longueuil double murder
Claudette Verret ordered sister’s death to collect $30,000
MONTREAL – It has been 30 years since her death, but yesterday Diane Verret’s older sister was convicted of her murder.
After two days of deliberations, a jury found Claudette Verret, 61, was guilty of the double murder of Diane Verret, 26, and William Thériault, a 36-year-old thief. The two were shot in the head and found in Diane Verret’s apartment on Dollard St. in Longueuil on Aug. 25, 1979. At the time, police thought Thériault was the target in a settling of accounts and Verret was an unfortunate witness.
The verdict was handed down in the Longueuil courthouse about noon yesterday.
Public records indicate Diane Verret and her sister lived in the same duplex, which they owned with a third sibling.
Claudette Verret’s ex-sister-in-law testified she confided in her several times that she had arranged the killing of Diane. Claudette Verret was the beneficiary of her sister’s life-insurance policy, which was worth about $30,000.
The court heard that Claudette Verret bought the gun, planned the murder and ordered her common-law husband at the time, Normand Janelle, now 64, to carry out the killing. Janelle will stand trial for the murder in two weeks. Diane Verret and Thériault were living together when they were murdered.
In 1978, Thériault, who had a criminal record for breaking and entering, gave evidence to a prosecutor about how he supplied firearms to a man who was later charged with armed robbery and was believed to be tied to an organized crime group.
Longueuil police concluded then that Diane Verret was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Verret and Janelle were arrested in March 2008, after a key witness stepped forward with new information.
Upon hearing the verdict, Thériault’s children said they were relieved justice has finally been done.
“The weight I have been carrying with me for 30 years, I left in that courtroom today,” Thériault’s son, Dale, told the TVA television network.
Verret faces at least 25 years in prison with no possibility of parole.