The Police Department of the City of Montreal (SPVM) distributes less than 1% of unsolved murder cases on its website, against a target of 100% for the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Toronto police, deplores John Allore, author of a podcast on the unsolved murders of young women in Quebec who is preparing a book on the same subject.
On the SPVM website, investigators broadcast four unresolved homicide files in the hope that the public will have information to share with them.
On the Toronto Police Service website, the investigators broadcast 598.
“The SPVM has more than 800 unsolved murders on their hands, and it asks the public for help for four of them?”, John Allore remarks, author of the podcast Who Killed Theresa? on the unsolved murders of young women in Quebec.
“How do you feel if you are a parent, child or relative of one of the other 796 people killed in Montreal whose murderer was never arrested? “
For John Allore, the unresolved homicides have a particular resonance: his sister Theresa Allore was found dead at the age of 19 in 1979 in Compton, in the Eastern Townships. She went missing the year before. Her wallet had been found several kilometers from the remains.
Since then, Mr. Allore and his family have fought to have the police force in charge of the investigation, the Sûreté du Québec in their case, do more to solve the crime. He notes that several police forces in Quebec have been negligent in many cases – including that of his sister – by throwing away or misplacing evidence over the years.
Through his blog and podcast, Mr. Allore has built relationships with the families of several other unresolved homicide victims. Talking to them allows him to have an overview of police work in multiple files, and what he sees discourages him.
Mr. Allore mentions the case of a young girl who was an attempted strangulation victim with her skipping rope in Montreal in 2014. “The SPVM lost the skipping rope and the dress the girl was wearing when she was assaulted. “
“In Quebec, I documented at least 10 cases where the victims’ families were told by the police that evidence had been misplaced or destroyed, and this was holding them back in their investigation. We are talking about the SPVM, the SQ, the Laval police, and Longueuil. It’s serious. “
“Personally, I no longer trust investigators,” says Allore.
In the case of murders where the abuser did not know the victim, and particularly when the victim was a woman, the record of the Quebec police is deplorable, he says.
A CBC analysis of homicide resolution rates between 1976 and 2015 by the various police forces in Canada seems to support it. In this ranking, the Montreal police comes in last place, with a resolution of 65.3%. The penultimate place is the Laval police, with a resolution rate of 67.1% – results attributed by the police to the high proportion of murders and mafia-related murders, which are typically more difficult to resolve. The SQ is doing better, with 80.5%.
The police respond
For Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Anglade, supervisor in the SPVM’s communications and media relations division, we must not make any link between the number of files distributed by the SPVM on his site and the work done by the investigators.
“I can not comment on what’s happening in Toronto, but we’re going to continue to work as we work right now. We focus our efforts on certain issues, which are selected based on investigative elements that can be sought, or that can be explored further. “
Mr. Anglade noted that cases that are not posted on the site are not closed. ” The investigation is still ongoing. There is no investigation that is closed until the case is resolved. “
For its part, the Sûreté du Québec assigned 25 investigators to unresolved murders at the beginning of 2018. Each investigator is responsible for approximately 30 files.
More than 700 unresolved murders are on file at the SQ. On the SQ website, 104 unsolved murders are posted.
For Lieutenant Hugo Fournier, the goal of the Sûreté du Québec is to have 100% of the files posted on the site.
“In early December, we added 16 new files to our site,” he says. It is quite laborious as work, because we have to get the family’s agreement in each case. “
Lieutenant Fournier notes that it is not because a file is not posted on the site that the investigators do not actively work on it.
“We tend to improve our site, but we must take the time to do things right. “