Joanne Dorion – July 9, 1977

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Joanne Dorion disappeared 20 days before the disappearance of Chantal Tremblay, July 9, 1977. Both lived North of the Montreal region; Tremblay just off the island of Laval in Rosemere, and Dorion at the Northern most reaches of Laval in Fabreville. Both were 17 years of age.

Johanne Dorion worked as a medical secretary at Sacre Coeur hospital in Cartierville. She left work around 11:45 pm on the evening of July 9, 1977 taking the bus back to Fabreville. According to the bus driver, Dorion got off the bus in Fabreville at approximately 12:30 am  at the corner of boule Arthur-Sauve and Sainte Rose. This is the last sighting of Johanne Dorion.

Casse Croute Chateau Laval

Casse Croute Chateau Laval

The following morning at 7:00 am, Johanne’s parents – who live at 9th avenue in Fabreville – noticed that their daughter had not come home that evening. For the month that she was missing the investigation was lead by Lt. Maurice Legault, Gerard Danse, and  Richard Lefebvre of the Surete Municipale de Laval. The parents insisted that Johanne would not runaway from home.

On Thursday evening, August 11th, 1977 close to 6:00 pm 12-year-old Martin Fountaine is walking close to the shore of Riviere des Mille Iles when he smells a foul odor.  He then notices a blue plastic bag in the bushes. Fountaine approaches the bag. About 100 feet from the shore he sees a foot with a woman’s shoe,  and a hand wearing a bracelet near some trees. He immediately goes and tells his older brother and father.

Dorion is found off a gravel road between 2nd and 3rd avenue in Fabreville approximately 8 blocks from where she was last seen at the bus stop at Arthur Sauve and Sainte Rose, and 6 blocks further away from her home on 9th avenue.

Sgt Detective Pierre Basinet

Sgt Detective Pierre Basinet

The police arrive at approximately 9:50 pm. The body lies under three trees near the river. It is in an advanced state of decomposition. Police observe a skirt, blouse and underwear on the body. The blue plastic bag the boy saw turns out to be a Dominion shopping sac containing papers identifying Johanne Dorion. Also found near the body is the right sleeve of Dorion’s blouse. It is completely torn off and bloodied.

Dorion Eyeliner

Dorion Eyeliner

Back at the location where she left the bus, police find Dorion’s eyeliner in the parking lot of a casse-croute named Chateau Laval. The investigation is led by Sgt Detective Pierre Bazinet, assisted by Danse, Lefebre, and Legault of the Laval municipal police. They are later joined by Remi Tetreault, G Sauve, and M Boilard.

The autopsy is performed by Roch Heroux, assisted by Andre Brosseau and M. Mallette at the medical lab at Parthenais in Montreal. The 5’11”, 100 lbs victim was stabbed several times in the chest, and suffered massive hemorrhaging to the heart and lungs. There is too much deterioration to the pelvic region to determine whether Dorion was raped or not.

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Dorion crime scene, August 12, 1977

Analysis

Newspapers from that era were quick to suggest a connection between the Dorion case and the cases of 5 other missing persons at that time:

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  • Johanne Danserault also from Fabreville who went missing 6 weeks weeks earlier, 6/14/77.
  • Sylvie Doucet from East Montreal who went missing a month earlier, 6/27/77.
  • Claudette Poirier who went missing just days earlier from Drummondville, 7/27/77 (and whose remains would be found 9 years later).
  • Chantal Tremblay who went missing 20 days later from Rosemere, 7/29/77 (and whose remains would be found 2 years later).
  • Elizabeth Bodzy who would go missing the following day, 7/30/77 from the Laval area where both Dorion and Danserault also lived. Update: Elisabeth Bodzy returned home safe on August 15th 1977.

IMG_0226The Sharron Prior case would again resurface in the media, but not due to a suggested connection.  On August 16, 1977 Yvonne Prior, the mother of Sharron Prior wrote a letter of sympathy to Adrienne Dorion, the mother of Johanne. The letter was published in Allo Police under the headline, POURQUOI?:

… you do not know me, but I would like to let you know that my thoughts are with you since the loss of your lovely daughter Johanne.

I am writing as a mother who knows the days hurt and sorrow of losing a teenage daughter in such a brutal manner, and the anger that you feel inside.

My 16 year old daughter Sharron met the same fate two years ago, her murderer or murderers have not been caught yet. She was found in Longeueil.

I grieve with you now at Johanne’s passing and say, as I’m sure you must also say, “Why”?

The case receives a lot of attention in the Montreal papers. Allo Police’s editorial writer, Claude Poirier publishes a 6 page interview with Adrienne Dorion in their sister paper, Police-Police. 500 people attend Johanne’s funeral.

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Dorion crime scene

Other Points

“this teenager was also using the bus of Laval Transit Commission, from the Henri-Bourassa metro station “

Sacre Coeur hospital, Gouin boule.

Sacre Coeur hospital, Gouin boule.

 

But as we will soon see, there was another victim two months later using the same bus line.

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