Quebec Public Security Minister will consider inquiry into cold cases

8 families of victims who went missing in the 1970s and 1980s want changes to police protocol

By Joanne Bayly, Sabrina Marandola, CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2016 8:54 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2016 9:44 PM ET

'I will respond to this,' Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says about a letter he received requesting a public inquiry into the way police handled investigations decades ago.

‘I will respond to this,’ Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says about a letter he received requesting a public inquiry into the way police handled investigations decades ago. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec’s public security minister says he’s taking seriously a request from eight families who want a public inquiry into the way police conducted investigations in the 1970s and early 80s.

Martin Coiteux received a letter earlier this month from former justice minister, Marc Bellemare.

In it, family members ask for changes to police protocol.

They want the SQ to take over all murder cases in the province.

They are also calling for police to be more respectful of family members when a loved one is found murdered.

Victims' families

The relatives of eight women and girls whose suspicious deaths have never been solved met with lawyer Marc Bellemare earlier this month to call for a public inquiry. (Submitted by Stéphan Parent)

The relatives involved include the families of Sharron Prior, Theresa Allore and Helene Monast.

Prior went missing from her Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe-St-Charles in March 1975. The 16-year-old was headed to a neighbourhood hangout for a soft drink with some friends, but she never turned up. Her body was found three days later in a field, raped and beaten.

Allore was a student at Champlain College in Lennoxville, Que., when she disappeared in November 1978.

Allore’s body was found on the edge of the Coaticook River near Compton on April 13, 1979. Her remains were in poor shape.

At first, police called it a probable drug overdose. Later, a coroner ruled she had probably been strangled.

Allore’s brother considered the investigation was botched by police.

Hélène Monast was attacked and killed while walking home from her 18th birthday party.

Her body was found in a park near the Chambly Canal. Her killer has never been found.

Coiteux said he’s looking at the letter requesting a public inquiry.

“We are analyzing the demands that have been submitted to me … and, of course, we have the same concerns and we want to find the appropriate response to this. So eventually, I will respond to this.”

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