Quebec 1977: Keep The Focus Tight

Assemblée nationale du Québec

Assemblée nationale du Québec

Frequently I get asked the following:

“Why don’t you blog more? You appear to be sitting on a lot more information than you’re choosing to write about.”

There are a variety of reasons why I don’t blog as much as I used to. The easiest explanation is that I try now to keep a life balance with this obsession; I have a family, and my children require a lot of attention. I need to step away from this site frequently, and for extended periods. That’s just healthy.

Second reason. This site has been up for about 12 years. In the early days I blogged about everything; pop culture, criminal justice, trauma, and all manner of crimes. Part of this was, of course, to attracted attention; the more you write, the more hits you get. But I became concerned about the quality of hits. For instance, it was interesting and absorbing to be writing about, and communicating with people about some cold-case in California; but that dialogue diluted the focus of this blog, the mission of which is, Who Killed Theresa?  So I gradually tightened the vision to Canada, and then Quebec, with a particular emphasis on French Quebec. Occasionally I will veer off on a topic that interests me like the Rocky Mount Serial Murders or Hannah Graham.  This tightening of focus certainly means that I get fewer visitors to this site, but the quality of visitors are the ones I want. Google the words “Quebec”, “serial Killer”, “murder” and this site will be at the top of the list.

I also don’t get a lot of comments. That’s okay too. I really don’t need to be writing something only to receive 56 trolling messages from people with nothing better to do with their time than act-out on social media (I also control what comments get posted; I filter it). But the people I want to be reading are reading and participating; Canadian and Quebec politicians, law enforcement, victim NGOs, and, of course, some websleuthers.  They generally choose to email me directly.

What I now choose to write about (and what I consciously DO NOT write about) comes out after a long and deliberate decision making process. In the last two years, I have clearly wanted to keep the focus very tight around Quebec culture in the late 1970s, and specifically a series of murders that occurred during that time. I find anything else is simply a distraction to the goal; Who Killed Theresa?  And sometimes when I write, I am saying things in a kind of code to get a message out to a specific audience.  I am saying things in an indirect fashion, and communicating with people who I cannot directly communicate with (for instance, certain members of Quebec law enforcement who cannot be contacted directly, because it would be too dangerous). So you can read into my recent posts on Quebec Bikers what you will; but I wasn’t writing about that because I suddenly became interested in Quebec Biker culture in the 1970s.

A little bit scary and paranoid? Sure. There are all kinds of things that I know that would scare you, but I can’t write about them, in part because it could compromise an investigation. 

I am the only private entity (citizen or corporation) who has ever been granted free access to the crime archives of Section Rouge Media, the organization that warehouses all the Allo Police and Photo Police newspapers. This information is generally reserved for Quebec criminal justice agencies, or to investigative journalists who pay a fee for access. It’s not like a FOIA request. SRM is a private corporation in the business of making money. Their files are not public property. Witness the fallout when a sleuthing colleague attempted to gain access, then threatened SRM with a law suit: they were shut out completely. Section Rouge Media allows me to access their records because they know I have learned to be discrete. I have posted about 1/100th of what they provided to me. What I have posted I have done with their permission which they have granted because they know I am sharply focused on my writing, and I have no intention of embarrassing anyone. The other 99% that I am sitting on? I will simply say I have a pretty comprehensive understanding of crime on Quebec in the 1970s. I know all the police investigators, their names and photos, the people who did the autopsies, the lawyers, the judges, the crime scene examiners, etc… everything.  

Here’s an example –  in general terms – of something I have learned about law enforcement in Quebec that is disturbing. I have learned this from a variety of disparate sources. Occasionally in Quebec someone who is “connected” will commit a crime in Quebec and get caught. When law enforcement realizes that this person cannot be processed through the criminal justice system because they possess too much power and influence, the police will do the following in some instances. They will arrest someone else with a similar criminal background and charge them with the crime. The “connected” person walks away, and the criminal justice system processes the substitute criminal. It’s all very efficient, and Quebec Public Protection gets to say, “We got our man.”

That is not paranoid, that is a simple fact of living in the province of Quebec. It was a process undertaken in the “wild west” of the 1970s, and it is a process that continues to this day. You don’t have to look too far to connect the dots. The Matticks affair / Poitras bore this out 20 years ago, and Charbonneau is yielding a similar result today:

1. There is evidence of corruption.

2. The public demands an inquiry,

3. Millions of tax dollars are spent on a process.

4. The commission makes recommendations.

5. The government claims it does not have the resources to implement the recommendations.

The reality is they lack the moral fortitude. 

3 thoughts on “Quebec 1977: Keep The Focus Tight”

  1. Forgot to add: this was the post-Duplessis era. I don’t think anyone can understand what this means unless they were there, at that point in time.

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