MYLÈNE MOISAN / LE SOLEIL, Le Soleil / 10 février 2020
“When the facts are not enough, what sheds light for us, what helps us in a normal investigation, is to see if there are contradictions, improbabilities, avenues that have not been explored. In Dupont’s case, it’s yes, yes and yes. And there are masses of them. ”
The observation is by Stéphane Berthomet, who worked for two years trying to shed light on a most nebulous story, the death of a Trois-Rivières policeman, Louis-Georges Dupont, found on the morning of November 10, 1969 in his patrol car, five days after his disappearance.
Since then, the official thesis has been suicide.
I have been interested in this story for almost 20 years now and, like Berthomet, I have a feeling that the authorities – police and political – never wanted to get to the bottom of it. Admitting that Louis-George Dupont was killed because he disturbed the established system does not help this system.
Two of Dupont’s four children, Jacques and Robert, who have been asking questions for half a century, are also disturbed. Over the years, they have assembled an impressive number of gray areas, a missing file here, a car missing there, the list goes on.
The impression that the truth is being made up remains consistent.
The morning of the discovery of the body, Sergeant Jean-Marie Hubert – note this name – went to Dupont’s doctor, left with a letter saying that Dupont was depressed and in anguish. With the suicide note found in the car, the case was in the bag.
So Louis-George Dupont left the police station on the morning of November 5, he went to a wooded area on the northern edge of the city on the edge of Saint-Jean boulevard to shoot himself in the chest.
And it was Jean-Marie Hubert who pulled the strings of this “investigation”, he who was only supposed to do office work. He had just been reinstated on this condition two months after being dismissed following the recommendations of the Quebec Police Commission, because of his involvement in a local prostitution ring.
He was playing well, he was leading the moral squad.
The Police Commission also recommended the dismissal of the chief of police, Captain Detective George Gagnon, as well as another member of the morality squad, Paul Dallaire.
Who is one of the only police officers to have collaborated in the Commission’s investigation?
A few days after discovering the body, Georges Gagnon and Jean-Marie Hubert both produced a report in which they recount the events. On November 17, Captain Gagnon said that on November 5, the day of the disappearance, “at 10:15 PM, I went to the station, Mr. Hubert was accompanied by Mr. Gendron, owner of the La Perruque store [friend of M. Dupont]. Mr. Gendron told me that he had seen Mr. Dupont at his establishment the day before and he told me that Mr. Dupont was sick, that he had nine pills to take per day, and that he was trying to spit and he had no saliva ”.
On November 18, Jean-Marie Hubert said in his report that on November 5 “around 10:30 PM, Mr. Jacques Gendron calls me to tell me that he wants to see me and that it is urgent. So I meet him and […] he tells me that the week before, he went to see him at La Péruque inc on rue Royale and that at that time, he had let him see that he wanted to kill himself. Dupont said that he could no longer afford to keep his house, that he was sick and that he had to take nine pills a day and he said: “Gendron, I try to spit and I have no more saliva.””
Was it the day before or the week before?
This contradiction is added to all those highlighted by Stéphane Berthomet in an 11-episode podcast produced by Radio-Canada, Dupont the incorruptible. “When I launched into this story, I knew it would be heavy, but I did not expect that there would be so many details, to find so many improbabilities and contradictions, so many elements that do not stick.”
Captain George Gagnon also recounts in his November 17, 1969 report that he sent Sergeant Clément Massicotte “with the gun and the bullet” to the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
At that time, there was no bullet.
In the official thesis, which contradicts itself, it was Jean Hould, the doctor who made the first autopsy, who would have sent Clément Massicotte 10 hours later to look for the bullet in the car seat, in the dark . And the bullet which would have been found was so damaged that it was impossible to connect it to the weapon which was at the foot of Dupont… And in 2011, “on the program Enquête for Radio-Canada, Massicotte, was recorded without his knowledge , and said he hadn’t been looking for the bullet, “notes Berthomet.
The podcast creator focused on the first “investigation” in 1969, including an expeditious session chaired by coroner Marcel Chartier, held in the skaters’ shack in Parc Sainte-Marguerite. People who were on the attendance list were not there.
Chartier concluded the only possible thesis, suicide.
Berthomet spent a lot of time analyzing what was said at the Lacerte-Lamontagne commission, another “investigation” held in 1996, he noted testimonies where people report a second bullet wound near Dupont’s shoulder, he also highlighted the fact that there are only four photos of the autopsy, “which is unusual”.
Another track that has never been followed.
Berthomet also highlighted the failing memory of Jean-Marie Hubert, who has only one answer to all the questions asked of him about Dupont’s testimony before the Police Commission in September 1969, to which he would have attended. “I do not remember. […] I would like that, remember… ”, he assures.
His memories are surprisingly much clearer when it comes to talking about Dupont’s “depressed state.” “I can tell you that at some point he told me that he had to take pills, drugs. […] I advised him several times to go to a psychiatrist. ”
However, in his report of November 18, he said he learned that the night of his disappearance, when Jacques Gendron told him that he was worried about his absence. “Not knowing Dupont’s sickness, I tell him there is nothing to worry about, because he must be busy and he should be back soon.”
Justice Louise Lacerte-Lamontagne also accepted the suicide thesis. “Was a commission of inquiry like this the right tool? I think the judge was in good faith, she relied on facts, but there are very few facts. I have the impression that there are things that have escaped her attention. “
Like all unanswered questions.
Among other things, she accepted one of the explanations of forensic expert Michael Baden, who came to assert that a hole made by a bullet in a sternum can shrink. He had to explain why a bullet like the one supposedly found in the car was bigger than the hole in Dupont’s sternum. “No other Commission expert has gone in this direction and has even been cross-checked. All the experts I have consulted tell me that the bone cannot shrink as claimed by Baden. One of the experts said it is ridiculous. “
According to the murder thesis, Jean-Marie Hubert and Paul Dallaire were scheming with their colleague Laurence Buckley so that the latter would make Dupont believe that they had to go to Champlain for a case. At this destination, Dupont would have been kidnapped in what people called the “Boisclair cabin”, an infrequent place where drink and prostitution went hand in hand.
A place that the police attended.
Louis-George Dupont was allegedly killed on the evening of November 9, transported to the woods at the northern limits of Trois-Rivières, then placed in his company car.
There were tire marks around.
The car had been refueled the previous day, and the number of miles on the odometer shown. The odometer was read in the car when they found it in the woods, the distance covered corresponds to that which separates the police station from the Champlain chalet, then from the chalet to the woodland.
The account of the events as they would have happened is based on confidences that Buckley would have made to Jean-Pierre Corbin, who was a bar owner, therefore privileged witness of what was happening in the “clubs” where the morality squad managed the lucrative and flourishing market of girls for pleasure.
One of these clubs belonged to an alderman.
The third “investigation” was carried out in 2011 by the Sûreté du Québec, who promised to review the file from “A to Z”, but brushed aside the inconsistencies and the many questions left without answers. For the most part, the SQ report only refers to the testimony heard by the Lacerte-Lamontagne commission, which abounds in the direction of the official thesis, including that of Hubert.
Jean-Marie Hubert is the main suspect in the murder thesis.
He’s clean as snow in the suicide thesis.
The investigators met Jean-Pierre Corbin, the latter never felt that they were interested in what he said. “They told me it was crazy.” Period. In the report – which I managed to obtain by a request for information which took seven months -, it is written that an “investigation” was made, that “the history of the chalet, where M Dupont, would never have existed in 1969 “.
Stéphane Berthomet was very interested in this point, he found an important witness who affirms, beyond any doubt, that the “Cabane à Boisclair” was there at least until the early 1970s, he went there a few times with his brother who met disreputable people there.
His account of the place is in all respects to the other testimonies I have obtained from people who knew the place.
What is more, I found an aerial photo taken by the Minister of Lands and Forests on October 20, 1970, and where we can clearly see the building near the river, just after the bend in avenue des Quatorze-Soleils in Champlain , along the river. Berthomet’s witness places him there exactly.
This corroborates the story of Jean-Pierre Corbin, the SQ did not miss an opportunity to attack his credibility.
Despite all the contradictions, despite all the improbabilities, the authorities continue to sweep under the carpet – as they have always done – all the elements that do not stick. “With all we know, I wonder what more is needed to move the file forward. Unless you have first-hand testimony, someone who says, “I was there,” I don’t know what it would take. “
And maybe there is such a witness. “I keep hoping…”