A summary of the April 2000 unsolved murder of Guylaine Potvin in Jonquière, Quebec. We also hear from the second victim in the case, the attacked student from Sainte-Foy in July 2000.
From the Surete du Quebec’s Cold Case Website:
On the morning of April 28, 2000, Guylaine Potvin, a student at the CÉGEP de Jonquière, was found dead in her apartment on rue Panet in Jonquière. She shared the apartment with two girlfriends, students also, who were absent on the night of the events.
Elements of the investigation have shown certain similarities with another file concerning an event in Sainte-Foy in July 2000, in which another student living alone was assaulted in her apartment. The latter, who was left for dead, was more fortunate, she survived.
If you have any information that could help solve this crime, contact the Centrale de l’information criminelle of the Sûreté du Québec at 1 800 659-4264.
The Poirier Enquete episode on Guylaine Potvin:
Poème écrit par Isabeau, la deuxième victime:
Je me souviens d’une voix de femme : « Reste avec nous ».
Qui est-elle ?
Pourquoi me dit-elle ça ?
Où suis-je ?
Je me suis ouvert les yeux, une pièce inconnue, l’hôpital, un médecin.
J’ai demandé une seule question : « Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »
Comme seule réponse : « Tu es arrivée avec des policiers, tu leurs parleras plus tard ».
« Non, tout de suite ».
Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanché.
Un homme, debout près de moi : « Je suis policier »
« Dis-moi qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »
Une réponse, celle que je ne voulais pas : « Je ne le sais pas »
« Comment on va faire pour le savoir ? »
Je me souviens de la feuille de déposition, du crayon, de la tablette improvisée.
Je me souviens de ma question : « Tu veux que j’écrive quoi ? »
J’ai écrit, peu.
Je dormais dans mon lit, dans ma chambre.
Je me souviens de tes mains sur ma gorge.
Je me souviens de ton odeur.
Je me souviens de toi.
Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanchée.
J’ai ouvert les yeux.
Une nouvelle pièce : où suis-je ?
Qu’est-ce qui s’est encore passé ?
Devant moi, un policier, le même.
Ses yeux bleus, muets.
Sur la table du lit, une boîte blanche.
« Qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans la boîte ? »
J’ai cru qu’on m’emmenait une réponse,
Une trousse médico-légale.
Un nouveau policier pour prendre des photos de mes blessures.
Je n’arrive pas à bouger, lui a photographier.
“Place-moi comme tu veux, je ne peux pas t’aider”
“Tu me dis si je te fais mal” ; j’ai rien dit.
Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.
Je n’arrive pas à bouger.
Une médecin, enceinte, à genoux sur le pied du lit.
“Ok, vient, on va le faire comme ça”
Elle me tire par les jambes.
Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.
Un appel du policier
« J’ai des collègues qui veulent te parler »
Un espoir : on t’a trouvé.
On m’a montré une photo.
Jeune, belle, souriante.
Tu l’avais choisie elle aussi.
Elle ne se souviendra jamais, elle, de tes mains, de ton odeur.
J’ai compris : on te cherchait déjà.
L’espoir, les jours, les cris, les pleurs.
Des amis questionnés, partis.
Le désespoir, une promesse : « On se boira du porto ».
Des maladresses : « Dans l’autre cas, au moins on a une autopsie »
Des départs, un cold case.
Et la vie, encore la vie.
18 ans déjà.
Je me souviens de chacune des nuits de rage.
Je me souviens d’elle, de chacune de ses photos :
son gâteau d’anniversaire, son chat.
La couleur de son carnet de téléphone, ses gribouillis, son écriture.
Je me souviens des yeux du policier : bleus, muets.
Je me souviens de ma question.
Je me souviens de ton odeur.
Poem written by Isabeau, the second victim:
I remember a woman’s voice: “Stay with us”.Who is she ?Why does she tell me that?Where am I ?I opened my eyes, an unknown room, the hospital, a doctor.I asked only one question: “What happened? “The only answer: “You came with the police, you will talk to them later”.“No, right now”Exhausted, disoriented, I flinched.A man standing near me: “I am a policeman”“Tell me what happened? “One answer, the one I did not want: “I do not know”“How are we going to find out? “I remember the witness sheet, the pencil, the improvised tablet.I remember my question: “Do you want me to write what? “I wrote, little.I slept in my bed, in my room.I remember your hands on my throat.I remember your smell.I remember you.Exhausted, disoriented, I flenched.I opened my eyes.A new play: where am I?What happened again?In front of me, a policeman, the same.His blue eyes, dumb.On the bed table, a white box.“What’s in the box? “I thought I was being sent an answer,A forensic kit.A new policeman to take pictures of my wounds.I cannot move, photographed by him.“Place me as you want, I can not help you”“You tell me if I hurt you”; I said nothing.Exhausted, I flenched.Gynecological examination.I can not move.A doctor, pregnant, kneeling on the foot of the bed.“Ok, come on, we’ll do it like this”She pulls me by the legs.Exhausted, I flenched.A call from the policeman“I have colleagues who want to talk to you”A hope: we found you.I was shown a picture.Young, beautiful, smiling.You had chosen her too.She will never remember her hands, your smell.I understood: we were already looking for you.Investigation.Hope, days, shouting, crying.Friends questioned, gone.Despair, a promise: “We’ll drink port.”Clumsiness: “In the other case, at least we have an autopsy”Departures, a cold box.And life, still life.18 years old already.I remember every night of rage.I remember her, each of her photos:her birthday cake, her cat.The color of her phone book, her scribbles, her writing.I remember the policeman’s eyes: blue, dumb.I remember my question.I remember your smell.”
“A blunder from the Sûreté du Québec threw a woman back almost 50 years while her sister was the victim of a villainous murder.
In 1971, Lucie Beaudoin, 19, was murdered. Her body was found in a trunk at the bottom of a flooded quarry in Brossard, Montérégie.
A few months later, Henri Vincent, pleads guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of the 19-year-old woman. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.47 years later, the victim’s sister, Louise Beaudoin, was forced to plunge back into this drama.Last March, she was contacted by an investigator from the Sûreté du Québec to announce that the murder of her sister was treated as an unresolved case.“Since that time, every second, every gesture, every minute, it comes back to me,” says the lady met by TVA News.“I’ve been crying a lot every day since March 23,” she says.Police even made her sign a form to allow them to place the photo of her sister and a summary of the case on the unsolved crimes section of the SQ website.Although she said that she had informed the police that a suspect had been convicted in this case, they appeared to not know of it.Louise Beaudoin says she “doubted her memories” even though she attended court proceedings in 1971.The Surete du Quebec admitted their mistake, and on May 30, they removed the notice concerning Lucie Beaudoin from her site.The police said that in the future, things will be different. It seems that before meeting Lucie Beaudoin’s sister, the police only did summary checks.
Nevertheless, until today, no one has apologized for this blunder. Ms. Beaudoin says she is “shocked”, she who is plunged back into painful memories for four months.”
Sherbrooke Record, Friday November 3rd, 1978:
“The killer of a seven year old was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole Thursday by a judge who described his crime as one of the most repugnant and savage in the memory of man.
Superior Court Justice Jean Bienvenue warned 44-year-old Guy Field, found guilty in the Dec 28. 1977 slaying of Brigitte Roberge in nearby Levis, he may never be granted freedom.”
Update: Corrections confirmed that Guy Field died in 2003 apparently of natural causes at Archanbault prison:
The final part of Canadian Timber Trilogy, focusing on the death of The Allore Lumber Company, which rose out of the ashes of The Gilmour Lumber Company.
Includes an interview with my cousin, Paul Allore, who witnessed the downfall of the business.
Tom Thomson was a Canadian artist of the early 20th century. Born August 5th, 1877 he is linked with Canada’s most celebrated group of painters, The Group of Seven, though as an unofficial member with his art usually being exhibited adjacent to the group’s in Canadian museums.
Thomson died in 1917. Despite a short career his work has been very influential in Canadian art. The tragic circumstances of his death at Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario have lead many to speculate that Thomson was murdered or possibly committed suicide. The Myth and mystery of Tom Thomson continues to this day.
Thomson was born in Claremont, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in a large family, the sixth of John and Margaret Thomson’s ten children. Thomson was raised in Leith, Ontario, near Owen Sound. Thomson and his siblings enjoyed both drawing and painting, though he did not immediately display any major talents. He was eventually taken out of school due to a respiratory issue, allowing him the freedom to explore the woods near his home and develop an appreciation for nature. He was a good athlete and enjoyed playing football.
In 1899, Thomson volunteered to fight in the Second Boer War, but was turned down because of a medical condition. He would attempt to enlist for the Boer War on three occasions but was denied each time.
Thomson briefly enlisted at the Canadian Business College in Chatham, Ontario, worked briefly for his older brother George at the Acme Business School, and traveled as far as Seattle where he worked as an elevator operator at the Diller Hotel.
Thomson was hired at Maring & Ladd as a pen artist, draftsman and etcher. He mainly produced business cards, brochures and posters. In 1904 he abruptly left Seattle and returned to Ontario, possibly due to a rejected marriage proposal following his brief summer romance with Alice Elinor Lambert.
Thomson moved to Toronto in the summer of 1905. His first job upon his return was at a photo-engraving firm, Legg Brothers. Friends described him during this time as “periodically erratic and sensitive, with fits of unreasonable despondency.”
During this time, he briefly studied with William Cruikshank, a British artist who taught at the Ontario College of Art. Cruikshank was likely Thomson’s only art instructor, as Thompson was largely self-taught.
In early 1909, Thomson joined Grip Ltd., an artistic design firm in Toronto, specializing in design and lettering work. Grip would eventually employ Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley and Franklin Carmichael, soon to be members of The Group of Seven.
Thomson first visit to Algonquin Park was on a canoe trip in May 1912. Thomson’s original painting style began to emerge at this time. Though his work was not outstanding technically, there was a noticeable ability with composition and colour. Thomson traveled around Ontario with his colleagues, especially to the wilderness of Ontario, which was to be a major source of inspiration for him. To earn money, Thomson sometimes worked as a guide or fire ranger in Algonquin Park. He became as familiar with logging scenes as with nature in the park and painted them both.
On July 8, 1917, Thomson was seen with Shannon Fraser, the owner of the Mowat Lodge. When it was too cold to camp in the park, he would often spend the night there. Mark Robinson, a park ranger, noted in his diary that Thomson “left Fraser’s Dock after 12:30 pm to go to Tea Lake Dam or West Lake.”
Thomson disappeared during this canoeing trip on Canoe Lake. His body was discovered in the lake eight days later.
The body was examined by Dr. Goldwin Howland who concluded that the official cause of death was drowning. The coroner, Dr. Arthur E. Ranney, MD, supported Howland’s conclusion that the drowning was accidental. The day after the body was discovered, it was interred in Mowat Cemetery near Canoe Lake. Under the direction of Thomson’s older brother George, the body was exhumed two days later and re-interred in the family plot beside the Leith Presbyterian Church near Owen Sound.
Many conspiracy theories have swirled around the nature of Tom Thomson’s death, including that he was murdered or committed suicide. Though these ideas lack substantiation, they have continued to persist in the popular culture.
In 1970, Judge William Little’s book, The Tom Thomson Mystery, recounted how—in 1956—Little and three friends dug up Thomson’s original gravesite, in Mowat Cemetery on Canoe Lake. At the time they believed that the remains they found were Thomson’s. In the fall of 1956, however medical investigators determined that the body was that of an unidentified Aboriginal.
In 2007, the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project launched “Death On A Painted Lake: The Tom Thomson Tragedy,” a book-length, bilingual (English/French) web site featuring a selection of over fifty transcribed primary and secondary documents related to Thomson’s death, including documents never before made public, such as Blodwen Davies’ 1931 request to the Ontario Attorney General for opening of Thomson’s Algonquin Park burial site.
Utilizing, in part, the Great Unsolved Mysteries site transcriptions, Canadian newspaper columnist Roy MacGregor has described his 2009 examination of records of the 1956 remains unearthed by William Little (the remains have been reburied or lost) and concluded that the body was actually Thomson’s, indicating “that Thomson never left Canoe Lake.”
In an essay entitled, “The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson,” published in 2011, Gregory Klages describes how testimony and theories regarding Thomson’s death have evolved since 1917. Assessing the secondary accounts against the primary evidence, Klages concludes that Thomson’s death is consistent with the official assessment of ‘accidental drowning’. Historians Kathleen Garay and Christl Verduyn state, “Klages’ forensic archival sleuthing does provide for the first time some degree of certainty regarding this event.” Klages expanded on these ideas in a book with a similar name, The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson: Separating Fact from Fiction, published in 2016. He particularly challenges MacGregor’s claims, suggesting MacGregor is guilty of misrepresenting evidence.
Many of Thomson’s works bare witness to the destruction of Canada’s old growth forest at the hands of the Canadian lumber barons:
The story of the Canadian lumber barons, a foundational Canadian painter, and a hundred year old murder mystery:
(There’s a wonderful Freudian slip at 28:20 that I refuse to edit.)
Maps provided by a friend:
Music from Canadian Timber Trilogy: How could it NOT be The Band? They clearly were the reincarnation of The Gilmour Fire Brigade Band:
Across The Great Divide:
There’s an incredible piece of investigative journalism by Nicolas Berube in today’s La Presse on the 1975 murder of Diane Thibault. Recall that Thibault was covered in the Who Killed Theresa? podcast, Intro To Loco Part II. What follows is an English translation of the article. You can read it in French by visiting La Presse’s website ( here ):
WHO KILLED DIANE THIBEAULT?
The body of a 25-year-old woman found in flames on a vacant lot in downtown Montreal. An ex-lover who confesses to having committed the crime. A passionate about unresolved issues who wonder why, more than 40 years later, the murder of Diane Thibeault remains unsolved.
MONTREAL, AUGUST 1975 A BODY ON FIRE
Jean Brisson is on his bike near his home in downtown Montreal, when he sees a box on fire in the dim light, in the middle of a vacant lot.
“I wanted to stop it,” he said. There was an abandoned house not far away and I did not want the house to catch fire. “
Laying down his bike, the 16-year-old sneaks into the hole of an old fence, at the corner of St. Dominique Street and Dorchester Boulevard, and approaches the flames.
“I fired at the boxes. This is where I saw the legs. In panic, the teenager goes to warn the police.
Smoke still emerges from the corpse upon the arrival of Agent Roy and Agent Lemieux of the Montreal Police. The body of the victim, a woman, is naked from the waist down, and the police find that a piece of burning wood is embedded in her vagina. It is 4:30 in the morning, Saturday, August 2, 1975.
The victim is Diane Thibeault. She is 25 years old, hair dyed black, skin pale. She is wearing a partially burnt blue sweater with yellow stripes on the sleeves. Close to the body, the police found a jute hat, two scattered shoes, a comb and a purse containing $ 26.40 in cash (the equivalent of more than $ 125 in today’s dollars). Diane Thibeault has essentially the constitution of a child: measuring 1.5 m and weighs 37 kg.
According to police officers, the victim was beaten to death before someone set fire to the body. “The victim was sexually assaulted,” says Agent Roy in his report. “Bruises to the face. Strangulation mark on the neck. “
It was daylight at 6:10 am when J. Fortin, an employee of Alfred Dallaire, arrived with his truck to pick up the corpse.
The investigators assigned to the case of the murder of Diane Thibeault do not make any arrests in the last months of 1975. Neither in 1976. Nor in 1977. In 1978, more than three years after the crime, the police will meet a suspect.
MONTREAL, APRIL 2018
The murder of Diane Thibeault was the subject of a recent episode of the Who Killed Theresa? Podcast, which focuses on unresolved crimes in Quebec.
In this episode, facilitator John Allore explains the details of the investigation into the death of Diane Thibeault, for whom he had requested and received a copy of the coroner’s report, archived at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ).
“Where and when Diane Thibeault was killed is not clear,” says Allore in his podcast. But the investigators deduced that the killer returned to the scene, around 4 am, to set fire to the body. “
For John Allore, the unsolved crimes have a personal resonance: his sister, Theresa, was missing and found dead in the Eastern Townships in 1979, at the age of 19, an unsolved crime. John Allore was 14 years old when it happened. He has since become interested in these tragic stories, often forgotten by the media and the general public.
In reviewing the documents on Diane Thibeault, Mr. Allore realized that in 1978, three years after the murder, a man named Edmond Turcotte, a former Diane Thibeault lover, confessed to the police officers being the author of the sordid murder. But 42 years later, the crime remains unpunished. The person who killed Diane Thibeault was never sentenced.
Wanting to learn more about the murder of Diane Thibeault, La Presse wrote to Mr. Allore to ask him if he was ready to share the coroner’s report.
A few hours later, a 61-page PDF document appeared in our inbox.
It describes the smallest details about the state of the victim when she was found. Her neck has “significant marks of traumatic violence in the form of ecchymotic erosion,” wrote on August 2, 1975 Dr. André Lauzon, forensic pathologist. Burns on the body “would have been inflicted after the death of the victim, or in the agonic period,” he notes.
The document also contains all the statements that Edmond Turcotte made to the investigators, a story that reads like a macabre play narrated by his main character.
Coincidentally, it says that the detective sergeant who questioned Turcotte was Jacques Duchesneau. Detective Sergeant, 29 years old at the time, Mr. Duchesneau later became Director of the Montreal Police, then Member of Parliament for Saint-Jérôme from 2012 to 2014 under the banner of the Coalition Avenir of Quebec.
I do not know why this testimony did not lead to the conviction of Edmond Turcotte,” writes Mr. Allore.
“SEEKING EDMOND TURCOTTE”
It was not the investigators who found the witness, it was the witness who found the investigators.
In November 1978, more than three years after the violent death of Diane Thibeault, 47-year-old Roger Moreau, who works as a laborer at the Miron quarry, sits down with investigators from the Montreal police. We do not know why he decides to speak at this moment.
He explains that he is the brother-in-law of a man named Edmond Turcotte, and recounts having met Diane Thibeault four weeks before his death.
“The first time I saw her was at my mother’s house,” says Moreau. My mother said to me, “This is Diane, my tenant.”
Mr. Moreau remembers Diane Thibeault shaking his hand. The young woman was “petite” and had “red-red” hair.
During this first conversation, Diane asks him if he knows Edmond Turcotte.
“Yes, yes, it’s my brother-in-law,” says Moreau.
Diane asks him. “If you see Edmond, don’t tell him I’m here because he promised me he was to give me a beating …” Mr. Moreau promises to say nothing.
Then, a few days later, Edmond Turcotte arrives at his brother-in-law’s place, at 6225, Chambord Street, in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie.
“[Edmond] was pretty hot,” recalls Moreau. The two men go out to the tavern.
While drinking, Mr. Turcotte asks him if he knows Diane Thibeault. He adds, “It looks like I got her pregnant, and the damn thing, if I see her, she’s going to catch one, she’ll remember it for the rest of her life…”
Roger Moreau says he saw Diane Thibeault one last time a week later. It was in Saint-Hubert Street, near Saint-Zotique Street. She was with Edmond Turcotte. The two were kissing each other.
“Diane said to me,” Hello, Roger. “I said,” Are you all right, you two? “They kissed again and continued [to walk]. […] I never saw her again, and I never saw Edmond Turcotte either. “
In the days following the murder, Roger Moreau sees Diane Thibeault’s photo in the newspapers. After a moment’s hesitation, he decides to call the police from a payphone.
“I called at post 18. I said,” Sir, if you’re looking for Diane, look for Edmond Turcotte. “” Then he hung up.
“THAT IS A SPECIAL”
Although more than four decades have passed since the murder, Jacques Duchesneau remembers Diane Thibeault’s record.
“I remember pictures,” he says. It was abominable. Even though I’ve been to homicides for a long time, that’s a special thing … “
On the phone, Mr. Duchesneau explains to me how the investigation of Edmond Turcotte took place. To refresh his memory, he has in front of him his notebooks, notebooks which he has meticulously preserved throughout his career. “The investigators, we have what are called” diaries “. We write everything we do every day. I searched, and I found it. “
At the time, few police were assigned to the homicide division, he recalls. “I look at that, the days before, the days after, I had a murder, I made an arrest in another murder, we had a policeman who had shot someone, it’s me who did investigation. We were pretty busy … “
Mr. Duchesneau and his colleague Bernard Gagnon arrested Edmond Turcotte in November 1978.
“Turcotte was a cook at New Spiro’s restaurant at 175 Peel Street. It was in a basement, a small restaurant in a factory. That’s where we went to stop him. Then he showed us places, addresses. He had come with us. “
At approximately 9 pm on November 15, Jacques Duchesneau and Bernard Gagnon drove Turcotte to the Sûreté du Québec headquarters on Parthenais Street in Montreal. He was then subjected to a polygraph test.
“At 1:15 in the morning, Parthenais call us to tell us that Turcotte has made a statement. He is brought back to the office and interrogated the next day. “
Edmond Turcotte decides to tell everything.
“The meeting lasts all morning,” said M. Duchesneau. It was a free and voluntary declaration. Then the coroner asked the questions … [Turcotte] was never beaten, he never had any promises, he was just afraid of the police … He asked for a coffee, he was given a coffee. He was very cooperative. “
“I CONTINUED TO STRIKE HER”
In his testimony given to the police on November 16, 1978, Edmond Turcotte spares no detail.
Edmond Turcotte is 29 years old. He lives in an apartment on Larante Street in LaSalle. He says that on Friday, August 1, 1975, the day before the murder, he went to “drink a large 50” at Cabaret Rodeo, on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.
“I got there in the morning, around 10 am, 11 am,” he says. I was sitting at a table all day. “
The Rodéo cabaret was a well known place in Montreal: it was there that Michel Tremblay set the action of his play Sainte Carmen of the Main, published in 1976, about a Quebec singer who returns to sing in French in cabarets from Montreal after visiting Nashville.
Towards dinner time, Diane Thibeault arrives at the Rodeo and sits at Edmond Turcotte’s table.
According to Turcotte, Diane Thibeault drank “six or seven” big Labatt 50 beers during the evening. Edmond Turcotte explains that he himself drank “strong drinks, such as [gin] Beefeater, cognac, these things”.
People sit at their table, but Edmond does not remember them anymore. “I had too much drink. Because when I take too much drink, I mix, and I see no more. That’s why afterwards, if I do things, I do not realize it. “
Detective Sergeant Jacques Duchesneau asks him, “Do you remember how Diane Thibeault was dressed that night when she came to sit at your table? “
“I just remember her hat, there, and her shoes. “
Around 2 am, Diane Thibeault and Edmond Turcotte leave the Rodeo.
“We left to get a room for the night. It was towards St. Catherine Street. Then we rented the room. “
In the bedroom, a fight breaks out.
“We bickered about the child. Because she said that the next day she wanted to go see her child [at her brother’s in Saint-Jerome], and I wanted to go with her. And she said no. She wanted to hit me with the lamp, but I took it away, but trying to take off the lamp, there was a glass on the desk, I hit it, and it broke. There, I took the glass and I gave her a blow in the neck, with the glass. She fell, and I continued to hit her. The more she tried to defend herself, the more I hit her with fists and kicks. “
Edmond Turcotte explains having then “descended [the body] down”.
“I think that when I transported her, she was dead, she was quite soft. I think that when I took her down, her top was torn. Outside, I dropped her somewhere, I do not know where … and I took some branches, a pebble or a stone, to put them into her vagina. Because I calculated that she had done enough for me. There, I told myself she will do no more trouble to anyone. […] However, I do not remember setting fire to her. “
Turcotte says he then left “in another direction”.
The week following these statements, Turcotte returns to his confession. He says he lied when he told the police about the murder. The coroner, who was laying criminal charges at this time, does not let this new development influence his decision.
He declares :
“Monsieur Turcotte, do you want to get up? After hearing the evidence before me this morning regarding the death of Diane Thibeault, I have no other verdict to make the following verdict: Diane Thibeault died a violent death on August 2, 1975, death for which you, Edmond Turcotte, must be held criminally responsible. “
“THAT IS, LIFE, EH? “
On the phone, Jacques Duchesneau says he does not know how the case progressed after the confession of Edmond Turcotte.
“I do not know if he was charged … I would have to dig deeper into my notes. In my opinion, he was charged. Otherwise, sometimes, it has nothing to do with police action, sometimes it’s with the body … You should go see the books at the court, you could see that … By the way, what angle did you want to take [with this story]? “
The plumitif is the register of the court. Anyone who has been charged is registered.
In the case of Edmond Turcotte, born September 17, 1949, there are five charges for various offenses, the most recent of which is a charge of theft in Joliette, in 1997, for which the decision was withdrawn.
There is also one count for murder, filed on November 24, 1978.
The lawyer who defended Edmond Turcotte is called Réal Charbonneau, and he still practices today.
On the phone, Mr. Charbonneau explains that he no longer remembers the appearance or personality of Edmond Turcotte. But he remembers the trial very well.
“Chance helped me a lot,” he says. The judge was Judge André Biron, a good lawyer. I had an incredible chance. I will remember it all my life! “
The case was based on Edmond Turcotte’s statement to detective sergeants Duchesneau and Gagnon.
“My cross-examination focused on the police conduct in obtaining this statement,” says the lawyer.
It is a comment by Judge Biron that changed the course of the trial, he recalls.
Mr. Charbonneau wanted to have a psychiatrist testify. “The psychiatrist had put in the file that Edmond Turcotte was slightly deficient – that’s my term. He was a little light at the intellectual level. “
Before the judge, Crown Attorney Christiane Béland, skeptical, had launched: “Well, yes, yes, deficient, deficient, deficient …”, remembers M Charbonneau.
The judge replied: “You do not know that, you, the defectives. I know that. I took care of that, defending those people who are used in freak shows … “
At that time, there was exploitation of the intellectual handicapped in shows in cabarets, says Me Charbonneau. “I do not know the exact term, but they called it freak shows. “
In his experience, Judge Biron was not convinced that Turcotte had made incriminating statements freely and voluntarily. He had refused to admit them into evidence.
At 9:35 am on May 14, 1979, Edmond Turcotte was acquitted of the murder of Diane Thibeault.
In his article on the acquittal, two days later, La Presse writes:
“Clearly mental deficiency, Turcotte was led to” confess “after prolonged detention during which he would have eaten only toast or sandwiches and during which he would also have been tested with a polygraph. At first, he would have denied everything, but put in front of some “reactions” of the machine, he would have changed his version. “
Le Devoir writes that Judge Biron reproached the police officers “for having established the instruction that the accused should not receive any telephone call or visit without their consent with, as a result, that Turcotte’s lawyer a triple refusal to see his client during the same day. […] Unlike the law of coroners, Turcotte had not appeared within 24 hours of his arrest and the investigators had taken advantage of a coroner’s warrant to question him. […] The judge considers that these statements [are not admissible], whether or not they reflect the truth “.
At the end of the line, Mr. Charbonneau explains that things sometimes turn so in a court.
“That’s it, life, huh? I do not think that the police put eight investigators to find another accused after that … He was acquitted, he was acquitted … If he had been another judge, who had not had that experience, he might have had a different attitude on the perception of facts. All this is chance. It is providence. “
Contacted again for comments on the acquittal of Edmond Turcotte and the judge’s remarks about his work and that of his colleague, Jacques Duchesneau did not call La Presse.
“I NEVER FORGOT THIS”
The last known address of Edmond Turcotte is located on Adam Street, in Sainte-Julienne, near the city of Rawdon, in Lanaudière. Listed in the court register the address dates from 1997, the year of the last charge filed against him.
There is no rue Adam in the small municipality of Sainte-Julienne, but there is a street Aram. The address is that of a well-kept mobile home with children’s toys on the ground. Nobody was home when we were there. The neighbors with whom we spoke had never heard of a man named Edmond Turcotte. His name is not found in the register of residents of the municipality of Sainte-Julienne.
Jean Brisson, the teenager who discovered Diane Thibeault’s corpse more than 40 years ago, still lives in downtown Montreal.
Today, aged 58, Mr. Brisson explains that if he was cycling on the night of August 2, 1975, it was because his father had died the year before, and that there were no rules at home.
“I was out late at that time,” he said. At home, we did not have what we wanted. “
The land where he found Diane Thibeault’s body is no longer vacant: an apartment tower was erected there. Even the boulevard has changed its name: Dorchester Boulevard became René-Lévesque Boulevard in 1987.
The atmosphere is no longer the same in the neighborhood, he says.
“At that time, there was a lot of action … When people had problems, it was dealt with in the street, bing, bang …”
Mr. Brisson says he sometimes thinks about the body he saw under the burning cartons in the summer of his 16th birthday.
“I was so nervous … It’s not something you forget. I never forgot that. “
804 UNRESOLVED HOMICIDES SINCE 1980
Since 1980, 2023 homicides have occurred on the territory of the island of Montreal. Of this number, 804 are unresolved.
Pascal Côté, commander of the major crime section of the Montreal Police Service (SPVM), explains that it is generally after three years that an investigation into a homicide becomes a “cold case”.
“After three years, a homicide case is not closed, but there are no active proceedings, unless we have scientific evidence that is brought to us, or that a witness decides to collaborate with the police, he says. Then we will assign investigators to the file, we will reactivate the investigation. “
THREE CASES DISPLAYED ON THE SPVM WEBSITE
Of the 804 unsolved cases in Montreal, only 3 cases are posted on the SPVM website. “We have a fourth in preparation. We do not want to flood the site with files, we try to target those who are most likely to succeed, “says Commander Côté.
There are several reasons why a homicide may be unresolved. “In Montreal, there is a large floating population. A little less than 2 million people live on the island, but it rises a lot on weekdays and some evenings on the weekends. “
“There are also several murders committed by organized crime. We are talking about seasoned killers, and it is sometimes more difficult to arrive with accusations. “
– Pascal Côté, commander in the major crimes section of the SPVM
Investigative techniques have also evolved considerably, so that the oldest crimes are more difficult to resolve as the years go by. “The requirements of the preservation of evidence at the time were not the same as today. Just in terms of DNA, in the 1960s, we did not even talk about that. As a result, the samples and evidence were not retained. “
A RESOLUTION RATE OF 72%
As for the homicide resolution rate, compiled by Statistics Canada from police data, it has actually been 72% in Montreal since 1980, says Commander Côté.
“When an unsolved crime is solved, it changes the resolution rate of the current year, not the year the crime occurred. In summary, from 1980 to 2018, we have a solution rate of 72%. “
The number of homicides is in constant decline in Montreal: 22 murders occurred on the island last year, the lowest number since the statistics for the whole island began to be compiled, he 46 years ago. In the early 2000s, there were often more than 50 murders reported in a year in Montreal, and frequently more than 80 a year in the 1980s.
The first mystery is, How Do You Pronounce It? L-O-N-G-U-E-U-I-L. I’ve heard many Anglos use “Longelle”, but it’s actually “Longay”.
Longueuil is part of what’s known as the “South Shore” of Montreal, though when I look on it on a map, it’s kind of East to me. Taking the Champlain or Jacques Cartier bridges, you cross off the island of Montreal, across the Saint Lawrence river and now you’re in Longueuil. It’s reputation is kind of shady and industrial, although I’ve only been there once myself. At Section Rouge Media, and the archives of Allo Police.
Longueuil is where Sharron Prior was found beaten, suffocated and raped, on April 1st, 1975 in a field at Chemin du Lac and Guimond blvd. by the beekeeper, Jacques Bertrand. It’s where -exactly two years and one day later – the unidentified body of a woman was found – again on chemin du Lac – on April 2nd, 1977 wrapped in a green and white blanket. Decades later she would be identified as Johanne Lemieux.
Longueuil is where on May 2, 1975 the bodies of Diane Dery and Mario Corbeil were discovered in a field near the Saint Hubert airport, both shot by a .22 caliber pistol, almost certainly by a member of the Canadian military stationed at CFB St. Hubert. And it is is where Stéphane Luce’s mother, Roxanne Luce was found beaten to death in her apartment on April 2nd, 1981.
In terms of investigations Longueuil is the last stop on the Quebec criminal justice train. I have long railed against the failures and incompetences of the Surete du Quebec. But apparently compared to the Longueuil police I have been receiving Cadillac services. People actually lobby the Quebec Ministry of Public Security to have their Longueuil causes taken up by the Surete du Quebec. The family of Sharron Prior did it. As late as last Friday Stephane Luce was still doing it, he texted me from Montreal:
“Guess where I am? The SQ Parthenais…”
“About your mother?”
“Are they gonna take on her cold-case?”
“Don’t know. I showed up unannounced”
“You’ve got balls.”
Recall that one family was successful in such endeavors. The Derys, who in 1979 managed to convince Quebec Justice that the Longueuil Police were a lost cause: the Dery / Corbeil investigation is now one over over 600 cold-cases in the portfolio of the Surete du Quebec.
The practices of Longueuil police / Longueuii justice are a true mystery. This is from the December 16th, 2015 edition of the Montreal Gazette:
All seven men, who now range in age from 59 to 71 years old, face sexual assault charges stemming from when they were minors. Those charges, which deal with acts allegedly committed between 1957 and 1973, will be handled in youth court.
Either we are still waiting for this process, or it was dealt with quietly “off camera”, or the defense ran the clock, and everything got dismissed. We may never know.
If such casualness and indifference seems normal for Quebecers (I can assure you that no one has lifted a finger and questioned, “Hey? What happened with those brothers” ), notice the reaction from an outsider when they came up against the Longueuil justice system. Here I am referring to the October 21st 2014 murder of Jenique Dalcourt, beaten to death with a blunt instrument on a bike path in Vieux-Longueuil. This is the reaction from her grieving father, John Gandalfo who lives in New York:
Welcome to the club, Mr. Gandalfo, you may not have wanted to join it, but we’re glad you’re here anyway.
Like a lot of homicides in Longeueil, Jenique Dalcourt’s remains unsolved. In fact I’m having a hard time remembering the last time they cleared a stranger homicide. Maybe this one I recently dug up, but then the offender came right into the police headquarters and confessed to the crime:
34-year-old Myriam Valois vanished in January 1992. She lived with her parents. She liked to go clubbing with her friends along the bars of “the Main” in Montreal’s East-End. La Presse reported that Myriam had a “mental handicap”.
The morning of January 23rd, a man was walking his dog in a field behind 2399 de la Province in an industrial section of Longueuil when he made the grim discovery. She was found clothed, wearing blue jeans, a pink vest and black ski jacket. Later a citizen found a sports back sack containing Myriam’s belongings near Guimond. Valois was beaten severely with a blunt instrument, then crawled about 100 feet. Longueuil detective Serge Fontaine suspected several suspects, and the use of a vehicle.
One year later, one suspect walked into the Longueuil police headquarters and made this stunning revelation:
“I can’t live with myself anymore with this. I don’t sleep anymore, I want to see a detective about the crime of the girl in the industrial park…”
25-year-old Sebastien Rochette then met with detective Serge Fontaine and gave his full confession. He said that he knew Myriam Valois, they both suffered from mental handicaps. He had met her several times at the Midway bar on boule Saint-Laurent and on “the Main” in Montreal. On January 17th 1992 they went to a motel together on rue Saint-Hubert to have sex. Valois drank alcohol. Rochette consumed cocaine. The adventure went on for two days. Finally he drove her back to Montreal. But before getting on the Jacques Cartier bridge he made a turn on 2399 de la Province. Once there he beat her with a hammer several times to the head. Valois crawled about 40 meters before succumbing to her injuries. In the snow the police found the tire markings of a 1984 Toyota Camry, the same make of vehicle driven by Rochette. Sebastien Rochette was charged with first degree murder.
A lot of questions in this case, but for now they will need to remain unanswered. My point being that sometimes these matters are connected, and sometimes they are self contained.
Let’s jump back a decade and examine the 1985 Longueuil murder of Nathalie Boucher. This is another one of these cases lost to time. You would need to dig pretty hard in order to find any information about it.
Eighteen-year-old Nathalie Boucher was described as a model student and an exemplary young woman. She attended the CEGEP Edouard Montpetit in Longueuil, and lived with her mother in an apartment complex at 385 place de la Louisane, near route 132 / boule Saint Charles / Taschereau interchange. On the evening of Tuesday June 4th Nathalie planned to meet two friends at the Club / Discotheque La Moustache, which was located on rue Closse in the Atwater region of Montreal.
Nathalie promised her mom she would be home by one one A.M. Getting home would require a metro and a bus ride; the metro from the Atwater station to the Longueuil terminus, and then a bus from the terminus to the stop along the interchange. From there is was less than 1,000 feet walk across the viaduct to the apartment complex.
The morning of June 5th, 1985 Nathalie’s body was discovered in the bushes near rue Saint-Charles and Taschereau, 800 feet from her home. From her 4th floor apartment window Nathalie’s mother could watch the police process the crime scene.
Nathalie had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled to death. Even worse, the coroner determined that Nathalie was probably keep alive intentionally for 2 to 3 hours so the offender could slowly mete out his punishment. Beating and kicking her, investigators believed the force and determination of the offender must have been astounding, measured, and cruel.
In this era, as I think I’ve demonstrated, there could have been any number of offenders responsible for such horrible acts. Exactly one year later two young women were attacked in the parking garage at the Longueuil terminus, and the press wondered if there might be a connection to Boucher. In these instances the man managed to get away, but left his jacket behind containing all his identification. Twenty-five year old Michel Larocoque was charged, and hopefully sentenced.
I possess a small case file on the Boucher investigation. I just never wrote about it did not appear to be connected to any case for which I had interest.
But there is one case that reminds me of Boucher, and what appears to connect them is the level of violence and a geographic location.
Two years later, in August 1987 sixteen-year-old Sophie Landry was last seen at the Longueuil bus terminus. Her body would be found stabbed 172 times in a field North of Montreal in St. Roch de l’Achigan. Guy Croteau eventually was arrested and is serving a life sentence.
Now in 2002, the Surete du Quebec released several photos of Croteau and asked members of the public to come forward if they had any information that could tie Croteau to other sexual assaults and murders.
One person did. In a 2004 Gazette article by James Mennie a woman named “Jeanette” came forward with the following assault from 1977:
“I was coming back from the Longueuil métro station to where I live,” she said. “I decided to walk rather than take the bus. It was about a 15-minute walk.”
It was also a walk that took her from the subway across an overpass that spans Taschereau Blvd. and, as she paced across the bridge in the twilight, Jeanette looked back and noticed what appeared to be the figure of a man standing by a blue glass building. She resumed walking and was about three-quarters across the overpass when she sensed “a very light touch … like a draft.”
“So I whipped around and this guy had his hand right up the back of my skirt. … I was just enraged to see him. I started showering abuse on him … and then bashing him. I had a very heavy purse and I swung at his head.
“After I yelled at him, the strangest thing is he looked as if he was going to cry. … He turned around and began to run. I began to chase him.”
She chased him?
“I don’t know. I was just so mad.”
Note that like Landry and Boucher, “Jeanette” was using the Longueuil metro. Also not that like Boucher, “Jeanette” had to cross boule Taschereau.
In 1977 did Guy Croteau attempt to assault “Jeanette” at the same location where Nathalie Boucher would be murdered almost 10 years later? Croteau would have been about 21 years old at the time. “Jeanette” seems to think so:
Jeanette put the incident behind her for eight years, even though she’d shake when she talked about it, until an 18-year-old girl was found raped and killed in a ditch that runs parallel to the overpass.
Nathalie Boucher’s body was found less than 300 metres from her Longueuil home. As of yesterday, her killing remained unsolved. “I always felt it was the same guy who did it,” Jeanette says. “That he decided to get it right this time.”
Now for me, this is the most extraordinary part about all of this. In researching this post I got really excited, “OMG, this is amazing, no one knows about this! etc..”
But when I looked closer I found that someone had already reported on all of this. It was me. In a 2004 blogpost I wrote about all of it Landry, Croteau, Nathalie Boucher, “Jeanette”. I wrote about it and then, along with everyone else, I forgot about it.
Ten years later, by the time I found the casefile on Boucher at Allo Police in 2014 I had forgot everything I had done.
So maybe Guy Croteau murdered Nathalie Boucher. There is another possibility that I’m putting out there; we’re late in the game with these cases, so all things must be attempted.
In that casefile there are several photos of a man who is not identified. He doesn’t appear to be law enforcement (too casually dressed), the photos appear like the photographer was surveilling him. If anyone can identify this man please contact me or the police:
Update: Guy with cigarette is the journaliste, Claude Poirier:
Once again, a colleague did some pretty brilliant maps:
Le 20 mai 1975, vers 20 h 15, Diane Déry, 13 ans, et Mario Corbeil, 15 ans, quittent la résidence de Diane afin de faire une promenade en motocyclette dans un champ situé à proximité du boulevard Rolland-Therrien, à Longueuil. Voyant que les jeunes ne sont pas revenus, des membres de la famille des deux adolescents effectuent des recherches dans le secteur au cours de la soirée et durant la nuit.
Le lendemain matin, vers 7 h 20, les policiers découvrent Diane Déry et Mario Corbeil sans vie dans un boisé situé à l’extrémité du boulevard Rolland-Therrien. L’analyse de la scène démontre que les deux jeunes ont été assassinés.
Allo Police, 5 août 1979 par Jaques Durand
Après 4 ans et sans résolution, le père de Diane Dery, Jaques Dery demande au ministre de la Justice de l’époque, Marc-André Bedard, que l’affaire soit retirée à la police de Longueuil et transférée à la Sûreté du Québec.
En 1975, les Derys habitent au 1145, rue Bizard à Longueuil. Ils ont depuis déménagé à Saint-Célestin (Nicolet). Il travaillait dans une station-service, sa femme tenait la petite cantine à l’intérieur.
Les parents de Maro Corbeil, de M et Mme Maurice et de Françoise Corbeil ont continué de vivre à Longueuil, rue Boucher. L’avocat de Dery dans l’affaire était Guy Houle.
Un récit des événements des 20 et 21 mai 1975
C’était un mardi, une belle journée. Les parents de Mario lui ont donné une petite motocylette en cadeau. Mario a passé de nombreuses heures à en profiter, donnant des tours à sa famille et ses amis. Le dernier trajet était réservé à une petite amie, Diane Dery. Les familles ne les reverraient plus jamais vivant.
Le lendemain, mercredi 21 mai, les corps ont été découverts dans un champ près de l’aéroport de Saint-Hubert. Mario avait été battu, puis abattu six fois avec un pistolet de calibre 22. Diane avait reçu une balle dans la tête avec le même pistolet de calibre. Elle a été agressée sexuellement et son corps a été placé sur celui de Mario. Les corps ont été placés de manière à suggérer qu’ils avaient une relation sexuelle.
L’affaire a été confiée aux détectives Lacombe et Villeneuve de la police de Longueuil. Une douzaine de personnes ont été interrogées.
Après deux ans, M Jacques Dery a pris la décision de tout vendre et de s’installer ailleurs. La famille avait une nouvelle fille, Manon, et ils voulaient commencer une vie meilleure. Il déménage dans un coin de la province, Saint-Célestin (Nicolet). M Dery est devenu propriétaire d’une station-service le long de la route 20. Il a établi une solide clientèle. Il avait un autre projet en tête: faire sortir toute sa famille de Longueuil dès que possible. M Dery a acheté une maison et, au mois d’octobre, sa famille a déménagé dans ce petit village fort et sympathique.
Le travail était dur, il l’obligeait à travailler sept jours par semaine. Mme Dery, non satisfaite de son mari travaillant seule, a décidé de faire fonctionner une petite cantine à l’intérieur de la station-service. Malgré l’arrangement, il y avait toujours deux questions à répondre: QUI et POURQUOI?
M Dery a continué de communiquer avec les enquêteurs à Longueuil. Les enquêteurs ont continué à communiquer le même message: «Nous soupçonnons quelqu’un, mais nous n’avons pas la preuve.”
Voulant en savoir plus, M et Mme Dery ont rencontré le lieutenant-détective Maurice Lauzon, qui était à la tête de l’homicide de Longueuil. Il a informé le Dery qu’il ne connaissait pas le dossier, mais qu’il se mettrait rapidement à l’épreuve. Il a promis de téléphoner régulièrement à la famille pour leur donner des informations sur l’enquête.
«Il n’a jamais répondu, j’ai laissé des messages, mais il n’a jamais rappelé, c’était toujours moi qui devais téléphoner», a déclaré M. Dery qui a ajouté: «Si la police de Longueuil ne peut rien faire pour faire avancer le dossier, pourquoi? ne peuvent-ils pas le livrer à la Sûreté du Québec? Il n’est pas possible que deux jeunes enfants soient tués si près de chez eux, et ils ne peuvent rien trouver, ce n’est pas possible, peut-être que la Surete du Québec ne pourra pas pour trouver quelque chose non plus, mais nous aurions la satisfaction de savoir que nous avons essayé. ”
Au cours de l’entrevue, qui a eu lieu à l’intérieur de la station-service, alors que M Dery vendait des cigarettes aux clients qui allaient et venaient, son fils pompait du gaz et Manon se reposait sur le comptoir. Quand les choses se sont calmées, le garçon est entré et les enfants sont restés près de leurs parents.
Mme Dery, qui était assise à la fenêtre, a dit: «Après quatre ans, je suis venu à l’accepter, je sais maintenant qu’elle ne reviendra jamais, je l’accepte, mais pourquoi quelqu’un ferait-il cela?
Par l’intermédiaire de leur avocat, Guy Houle, les Dery ont demandé au ministre de la Justice du Québec, Marc-André Bedard, de transférer officiellement l’affaire de la police de la ville de Longueuil à la police provinciale, la Sûreté du Québec. Voici le texte de la requête de M Dery envoyé par l’avocat de Dery, Guy Houle:
“Honerable ministre de la Justice:
Considérant les événements du 20 mai 1975. mon enfant Diane Dery, 13 ans, victime d’un assassin, près de chez nous au 1145, rue Bizard à Longueuil;
Considérant que certaines actions et entreprises de la police municipale de Longueuil ont tenté d’élucider cette enquête, mais aucun résultat concret n’a été donné dans l’étude globale de cette affaire;
Considérant que maintenant, depuis plus de quatre ans, nous avions espéré voir des résultats dans ces affaires;
Considérant que la police municipale de Longueuil, malgré tous les efforts dont elle dispose, ne possède peut-être pas tous les outils nécessaires pour mener une enquête et obtenir des résultats;
Considérant surtout que la police municipale de Longueuil ne se spécialise pas dans ce genre d’enquêtes;
Considérant que la Sûreté du Québec a à sa disposition une escouade d’homicides;
C’est pourquoi les gens ont besoin d’être confiants dans les institutions, et certainement dans la protection de la société contre les assassins qui peuvent marcher librement parmi nous.
Nous soumettons cette demande à l’honorable ministre de la Justice de la province que vous prendrez part à cette affaire conjointement avec la police municipale de Longueuil pour faire la lumière au nom de la justice et de la sécurité publique.
Cette lettre a été envoyée au ministre de la Justice le 5 juillet. 1979. Il a également été envoyé à la police de Longueuil, le député de Nicolet-Yamaska, Me Serge Fontaine, et notre collaborateur à Allo Police, Claude Poirier.
Au moment où nous quittions Saint-Célestin, la jeune fille de Dery, qui jusqu’alors n’avait rien dit: «Aujourd’hui, les gens vont tuer pour deux dollars, nous voulons la justice, et tous savent pourquoi ils l’ont fait.
La famille Dery a souffert. Seront-ils heureux un jour quand ils connaîtront les noms des assassins? Nous l’espérons.
La famille Maurice Corbeil a également quitté sa maison de la rue Boucher à Longueuil. Mme Corbeil s’installe à Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey, elle aimerait continuer à aller en Beauce.
M e Corbeil est parvenue à un accord avec l’enquête. De la police, elle dit: “Nous étions soupçonnés d’être méfiants, je veux l’enquête parce que dans des choses comme ça, nous devons trouver les coupables.” Néanmoins, elle essaie de ne pas penser aux choses horribles: «Je ne veux pas de publicité pour mon fils, et je ne veux pas le regarder, pourquoi voudriez-vous de la publicité pour une telle chose?
En novembre 1979, le ministre de la Justice du Québec accepte les demandes des familles et transfère les dossiers à la Sûreté du Québec. Diane Dery et Mario Corbeil sont actuellement répertoriés sur le site Web de la Surete du Québec, toujours en suspens après 43 ans:
Coda: Dans l’article nécrologique de La Presse datant de 1975, on disait que Diane Dery «est morte accidentellement», probablement pour que la famille puisse éviter la honte dans la communauté.