Here are some thoughts on the recent death of Luc Yoland Gregoire, at one time a suspect in the murder of Theresa Allore.
What made Gregoire such a compelling suspect?
Gregoire was serving a life sentence in Quebec prison for the May 3, 1993 murder of 22-year-old Calgary convenience-store clerk Lailanie Silva. Silva was abducted, raped and strangled by Gregoire, less than one hour after another woman fought off his attempt to kidnap her. Gregoire was short, and was a former construction worker, and ex-member of the Canadian military, having been kicked out of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (many victims from the 1977 – 1980 era described their assailant as short, French, a construction worker and / or appearing to be a part of the military). Gregoire grew up in Sherbrooke Quebec across the river from where Louise Camriand disappeared (see map). In February 1980 Gregoire violently beat and raped Nicole Couture in a Sherbrooke parking garage at the corner of King and Bevedere (where Louise Camirand attended military cadet training with the Sherbrooke Hussars in the evenings – see map). During the attack Gregoire told Couture he had raped 3-4 other women in the region (click here for an account of the Couture attack in the victim’s words). Shortly thereafter Gregoire moved out West. Read more about Gregoire here, here and here.
What did the police do to investigate Gregoire in the death of Theresa Allore?
Quite a lot. Gregoire came to the attention of myself and Patricia Pearson shortly after the Who Killed Theresa stories broke in 2002. Pearson gave the information in the stories to a Montreal criminologist and asked if in his dealings with predators did he know anyone who fit the profile. The criminologist suggested Gregoire. We shared our information on Gregoire with the Surete du Quebec. The SQ thought very highly of Gregoire as a suspect, and invested considerable resources into pursuing him:
1. The Surete du Quebec sent an officer to Calgary to review all of the files on Gregoire-Silva.
2. They put a police informant in Gregoire’s prison cell with him, attempting to extract a confession.
3. Finally they subjected Gregoire to a polygraph test: the results suggested he was not involved in death of Theresa Allore.
Why do I no longer consider him a suspect?
My justification is largely for reasons cited above. Yes, there were many interesting overlaps of time and place, but nothing evidentiary to conclusively say he murdered Theresa. This does not mean that he was not responsible for other crimes in the Sherbrooke area from 1977 to 1980. To the best of my knowledge, the police never pursued Gregoire as the assailant in the Louise Camirand murder, though there are even more reasons to suggest he might have killed her than in the case of Theresa.
Finally, In 2012 I wrote to Gregoire and asked him point blank, “Did you kill my sister?”. Gregoire wrote back immediately. He simply stated that he didn’t do it, and that he hoped one day I would find out who did. There was nothing manipulative in his message. No sense that he was playing games, or trying to achieve some greater purpose. It was a fairly straight forward letter, and I believed him.