Confines of Memory I: The murder of Margaret Peggy Coleman – WKT3 / #8

Do you know this story? It’s 1977. Terri Jentz and her friend decide to bicycle across America.

On June 22, 1977, the two Yale students stop at Cline Falls State Park in Oregon to camp. That evening they are brutally attacked by a man who runs over their tent where they are sleeping and assaults them with an ax. Despite their injuries, both survive. The friend suffers partial blindness and memory loss. Jentz’ body is permanently scarred.

Fifteen years later Jentz decides to investigate the crime even though the statute of limitations on attempted murder have expired and she would never be able to see her attacker prosecuted. Her investigation leads to a man whom Oregon locals have always suspected was the perpetrator.

She learns that he, too, obsesses about the incident, frequently talking about the crime, and she even observes his polygraph session, in which he is asked about the attack on the two women. She attends his trial (which results in his conviction and sentencing for charges related to a different crime). However, she never speaks with the man.

Although never fully resolved, Jentz states the value of her investigation has been to break out of “the claustrophobic confines of [her] memories.”

In 2006 Jentz wrote a memoir of her experience, Strange Piece of Paradise: A Return to the American West to Investigate My Attempted Murder—And Solve the Mystery of Myself.

Margaret Peggy Coleman

Gazette article / On The Bum

Alright, let’s back up to the part about a California student, Margaret Coleman being murdered while hitchhiking that summer. Turns out that’s probably not true, and plays into one of the cultural myths of the era. Before deconstructing that we need to know the story of Margret Coleman.

In the summer of 1970 18-year-olds Margaret Peggy Coleman and Margaret Jones flew from their homes in the Woodland Hills area of California to New York. From there they rode buses through New England to Montreal and began a cross-country vacation in the United States and Canada. Coleman was carrying $175 in cash, Jones $300. They had saved up the money working part-time jobs. They told their parents they would travel by bus.

Coleman was a recent graduate of a private girls school near her home in Canoga Park. She had just completed her junior year at a community college where she was on the dean’s list as “one of Pierce college’s outstanding students”. She was planning to transfer to UCLA to major in social studies. Coleman’s travelling companion, Margaret Jones was a native of Encino. The girls met at Pierce college, and Jones was intending to go on to UC Santa Cruz.

Stopping in Montreal for a few days, the girls visited Man and His World, site of the 1967 world’s fair. Every second day they would call home. Both girls had promised their parents they would travel by bus. In Jones’ last call she told her mother they were preparing to go to Detroit to visit Margaret Coleman’s grandmother. Carrying little more than sleeping rolls, Coleman and Jones were last seen at a traffic circle in St. Hubert, about 10 miles East of Montreal, adjacent to Longueuil. A motorist had given the girls a ride to the traffic circle. According to the motorist, the girls told him they were headed for a campsite near LaPrairie – about 10 miles South of St. Hubert – to meet other California hitchhikers from Quebec.

The girls were found Wednesday morning, July 9th, 1970 605 feet apart from each other by a farmer on Chemin du Grande Linge near highway 36, between l’Acadie and Saint Jean sur Richelieu. Their bedrolls and other belongings were found about six miles further down the road. They had either jumped or been pushed from a speeding car.

Margaret Coleman and her father, John Coleman

Margaret Coleman died of skull fractures. Margaret Jones was seriously injured. and rushed unconscious to Notre Dame hospital in Montreal where she was in deep shock.

Left for dead, Margaret Jones lay in a Montreal hospital with a severe concussion. A week later she developed a serious blood clot, doctors scheduled emergency surgery. When her condition unexpectedly improved the operation was cancelled. Eventually her condition improved. Slowly she began smiling and talking. Margaret sufficiently recovered to the point where Quebec Provincial police believed she could be interviewed. There was just one problem: Margaret Jones couldn’t remember what happened. She knew she was in a hospital, but she didn’t know how she got there. She thought she was still in Laprarie, not Montreal. She did not even recall she had been traveling with Margaret Coleman. She was not informed of her friend’s death.

In the days that followed it was disclosed – because it always is – that police had blundered. A South shore police constable saw something unusual and didn’t investigate. The constable was parked at the side of the road talking with a farmer when he saw a car zig-zagging down the highway, its horn blaring. The constable turned back to the farmer and resumed his conversation. He explained that he never attempted to to intercept the vehicle because it was not speeding and he thought it belonged to a local resident.

Los Angeles Times

Coleman and Jones saw the police cruiser and attempted to signal him. Less than an hour later the girls were found about a mile down the road from the police cruiser. The tragic events could have been averted. When Coleman’s father, John Coleman heard about the incident he said, “the cop should turn in his badge.” Surete du Quebec investigators agreed.

On Wednesday, July 29th, three weeks after the tragic event, Margaret Jones boarded a plane at Dorval airport bound back to California. Wearing an eye patch to correct her double vision problem suffered from the ejection or fall from the moving vehicle, Jones still had not been told of the death of her traveling companion Margaret Peggy Coleman.

Up to this point the story had been predominately covered by the Montreal Gazette. Once Jones returned to California, The Los Angeles Times picked up the story, and they had a very different interpretation of events that took place in Quebec, July 1970.

The Gazette persistently hammered on the notion that Coleman and Jones allegedly were hitchhikers. Their headlines almost exclusively focus on this:

“No Operation For Hitchhiker”

“California Hitchhiker Victim Goes Home”

The Los Angeles Times has a very different approach:

“Coed Letter Weakens Hitchhiking Theory”

The parents of Margaret Coleman reveal to the Times that they received her last letter on July 7th, two days before her death. In the letter, mailed July 5th from Montreal, Margaret assured her parents “we are being real careful… and we pretend we are with our parents.” The Times goes on to say that the parents, “cited the statement to support their belief that their daughter and her companion were not hitchhiking, the theory of Montreal police.”

Now we know what’s going on here. It’s good old fashion victim stigmatization. Blame the victim, and police are relieved of the responsibility of solving the crime, right?

Wrong. And anyway, suppose they were hitchhiking. Suppose they lied to their parents because they didn’t want to overly concern them? What would that even matter? They were hitchhiking so they deserved to die? It is absurd and monstrous that any grieving parent should be forced and compelled to even offer such a defense in the wake of their child’s murder.

The letter went on to say that the two girls were sleeping in crowded camp sites near major highways because, “it’s probably safer that way.”

In an earlier postcard Margaret Coleman wrote:

“Don’t ever worry about us hitchhiking. You know, Mommy, I’d never do that. We have an emergency fund and can take a cab anywhere we have to go.”

In a later Los Angeles Times article, Margaret Jones says she cannot ever recall hitchhiking. Some Quebec men come forward and express that they remember seeing Coleman and Jones at a filling station, and that they turned down a couple of rides.


Montreal Gazette, September 9th 1971 / New facts found in girl’s murder

In the Fall of 1970, Montreal Surete du Quebec police traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Margaret Jones. There, assisted with their identification bureau, Jones developed a composite sketch of her friend Margaret Coleman’s killer.

Quebec police began to focus on personnel from the Canadian Forces Bases (CFB) in St. Hubert, St Jean sur Richelieu and Longue Point. Pictures of some 40 men on file bore some resemblance to the sketch. Police intended to either travel to California again or fly Jones to Montreal to review the photos. Police denied that any arrests were imminent.

From her parent’s home in Encino Margaret Coleman attempted to recall what she remembered about the incident 14 months prior:

“When I’ve thought about it afterwards, I get the feeling it was a military man, and I told the police that. When I see them around Los Angeles, they seem the same sort.”

The man she describes to Quebec police was wearing olive, khaki or brown fatigues and heavy boots.

“He had very short, dark hair and a thin body. The outfit he was wearing, it was heavy cloth – not the sort of thing you’d wear when going out in the evening.”

Once critical of the the way Quebec police were handling the investigation, charging they were “covering up” the case, Mrs. Coleman later changed her mind:

“I think they’re handling the case wonderfully.” Though she was unable to explain why police waited nearly a year before releasing news of the composite sketch of the suspected killer. “The sketch was drawn up around September of last year, “ she said.

And where were the Quebecois media in all this? While The English language Montreal Gazette began to focus on a military suspect, the French papers had a different approach. In March 1971 La Presse discloses that the location where Coleman and Jones were found is less than a mile from the St. Hubert hideout where FLQ members Paul and Jacques Rose had held former Quebec minister of labour, Pierre Laporte in the fall of 1970. Laporte was later found murdered in the trunk of a car at the St. Hubert airport. The event spawned Canada’s October Crisis.

[Post script: On thinking on this, I think this is wrong. Laporte was held in a suburban home in St. Hubert. So I think La Presse meant to say Coleman and Jones were last seen less than a mile from the FLQ hideout, which would have been the St. Hubert traffic circle.]

And this fact may answer Mrs. Coleman’s query about why it took police so long to publicly disclose the composite. The October Crisis was one of the most galvanizing social and political events in Quebec history. After Laporte’s murder all police resources would have been put to use catching the FLQ members, and building a case to bring them to trial. Margaret Coleman would have been forgotten in the wake of such a provincial crisis.

After the small flurry of activity in 1971 the cold case of Margaret Coleman is quickly forgotten. People stop writing about the matter. Margaret Coleman slips from memory.

At her funeral in Canoga Park Margaret Peggy Coleman was described as an avid poetry writer. Margaret was interned in a pale lavendar gown she had made herself. Her last poem was read at the ceremony:

Everytime someone in this world hurts another, my sunflower loses a petal.

Yesterday a little boy was mocked and scorned because his color is dark.

Today women and children are screaming in the jungles across the sea; their cries fall on deaf ears and injustice seems endless.

Tomorrow someone is bound to hurt his brother, it is the nature of man. My flower is suffering because of it.

Soon There will not be any petals on my sunflower. Someday men will realize God is love, love will conquer all and my sunflower will bloom again.

Life isn’t fair. Justice is blind and dysfunctional…


The Heidi Illingworth Interview – The Canadian Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime – WKT3 #7

Heidi Illingworth was the full-time Executive Director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime and was employed at the Centre since 1999. Heidi holds a B.A. Honours in Law with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Carleton University. She has assisted many victims and survivors at various stages of the criminal justice system, met with Federal Ministers on issues of importance to crime victims and made presentations before numerous Parliamentary committees. She was involved with curriculum development for the Victimology Graduate Certificate Program at Algonquin College, taught as a Part-Time Professor in the program and sat on the Program Advisory Committee. Heidi has also developed training materials for victim services staff and volunteers in Ontario. In 2012, Heidi was privileged to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of her work for victims of crime.

The Heidi Illingworth CBC interview:



Never a good month for me. A cruel month.

I was contacted this week by the Journal de Montreal. They wanted to do some, “40th anniversary of Theresa’s body being discovered” piece.

I’m not interested. I’m not interested in working with that particular Quebec rag (we will get to them, patience…). I am particularly not interested in another “anniversary” piece.

Ding-Dong… the clock strikes 40 bells. The horror. The shame. So glad that the rest of the population doesn’t have to suffer what that family went through.

Never again.

If you want to help? Stop grieving for Theresa. It’s past.

Start helping other families. Families that still need our help, and we can help: Marilyn Bergeron, Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, Riley Fairholm, Cedrika Provencher…


Music – Who Killed Theresa? The Podcast

A listing of all music referenced on Who Killed Theresa? The Podcast

It’s No Game – WKT #24

It’s No Game – David Bowie

The 1971 Unsolved Murder of Alice Pare / WKT #25

Indoor Fireworks – Elvis Costello

The Game – Echo and the Bunnymen

The Ballad of William Fyfe / WKT #26

Evil Grows – The Poppy Family

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

Theresa Allore: You Think You Know This Case? WKT #27

Love is Like Oxygen – Sweet

Healer – Sweet

The avoidable lessons of Cédrika Provencher / WKT #29

All music from the video game, Off: Alias Conrad Coldwood / Mortis Ghost – Original Soundtrack

Literature & Criminology – The Second Michael Arntfield Interview – WKT #30

Up from the Skies – Rikki Lee Jones

Still Rainin, Still Dreamin – Jimi Hendrix

Victimology – A Canadian Perspective WKT #31

No Evil – Television

I Do The Rock – Tim Curry

Tales from Hollyweird – WKT #32

Naima – Eric Dolphy

Easy Swing – Wardell Grey

Perfidia Cha Cha – Cal Tjader

Native Land – Curtis Amy & Dupree Bolton

Polka Dots – John Coltrane

Lullaby of the Leaves – Billy Bauer

Solo Flight – Charlie Christian

Could it be Magic – Barry Manilow

Follow-up / WKT #33

How Dare You – 10cc

Lazy Ways – 10cc

The Worst Band in the World – 10cc

I’m Mandy, Fly Me – 10cc

Life Is a Minestrone – 10cc

Art for Arts Sake – 10cc

Blackmail – 10cc

UnHappy Ending – WKT #34

Eldorado Overture – Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

Mister Kingdom – ELO

Eldorado – ELO

A Wolf in the Fold WKT #35

Fantasy Satisfier – Spooky Tooth

A Wolf in the Fold Part II WKT #36

Women and Gold – Spooky Tooth

The Mirror – Spooky Tooth

Female Jogger Attacked – WKT #37

Anything at all – CSN

Sex Beast: Stuart Peacock / WKT #38

No Second Chance – Charlie

The Pouliot Shotgun Murders – WKT #39

Let There Be Rock – ACDC

Confusion Now Hath Made His Masterpiece – WKT #40

In Through The Out Door – Led Zeppelin

We Found Stewart Peacock – WKT #41

Tales from Mystery and Imagination – Alan Parsons Project

What’s Past Is Prologue – WKT #42

Stay A While – The Bells

Stay Vigilant – WKT #43

The Jam

The Stéphane Luce Interview – WKT #44

Pink Floyd

Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here / WKT #45

All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

Beware of Darkness – George Harrison

Who Killed Theresa? WKT2 #1

l’affaire Dumoutier – The Box

Hands With Slaughter Stained – WKT2 / #2

Scissor Man – XTC

Rules and Regulations – PIL

…these butchers – Valérie Dalpé / WKT2 #3

I dream of wires – Gary Numan

So Alive – Love and Rockets

Marie-Ève Larivière / WKT2 #4

Why Can’t I Touch It – The Buzzcocks

Shatter – Liz Phair

Detritus – Melanie Cabay / WKT2 #5

Hemispheres – Rush

Porcelina of the Vast Oceans – Smashing Pumpkins

1979 – Smashing Pumpkins

Bad Dream House – Live WKT2 #6

Murder By Numbers — The Police

Deep Red Bells — Neko Case

Queen — Stone Cold Crazy

Avett Bros. — Satan Pulls the Strings

Corrosion of Conformity — Novus Deus

Ramble On – Led Zeppelin

Loner – Bruce Cockburn

Information = Insight WKT2 #7

Starless – King Crimson

Red Nightmare – King Crimson

Industry – King Crimson

Entry of the Crims – King Crimson

Marie-Chantale Desjardins – WKT2 #8

Headache – Frank Black

Cactus – The Pixies

Dog Gone – Frank Black and the Catholics

Where is my Mind – The Pixies

Beasts of the Forest – Joleil Campeau WKT2 #9

Going Up – Echo and the Bunnymen

The Disease – Echo and the Bunnymen

Never Stop – Echo and the Bunnymen

Lost and Found – Echo and the Bunnymen

The Sasha Reid Interview – WKT2 #10

Etienne d’aout – Malajube

Skater Boy – Avril Lavigne

I sowed in them blind hopes – The Disappearances of Julie Surprenant and Jolene Riendeau WKT2 / #11

Bus Stop Boxer – The Eels

World of Shit – The Eels

Novocaine for the Soul – The Eels

This Rotten World – The Eels

The Lattice of Coincidence – WKT2 #12

Million Miles – Paul McCartney & Wings

Let Me Roll It – Paul McCartney & Wings

Intro to Loco Part I / Carole Dupont / WKT2 #13

Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull

Driving Song – Jethro Tull

Passion Play – Jethro Tull

A New Day Yesterday – Jethro Tull

Intro to Loco Part II / Diane Thibeault / WKT2 #14

Si on avait besoin d’une cinquième saison – Harmonium

Intro to Loco Part III / Debbie Buck / WKT2 #15

Thick as a Brick – Jethro Tull

Passion Play – Jethro Tull

Cap in Hand – Jethro Tull

Summerday Sands – Jethro Tull

Inside – Jethro Tull

The Nathalie Bergeron Interview – WKT2 #16

Hard Times – Gillian Welch

I Dream A Highway – Gillian Welch

Amazing Journey: Diane Dery and Mario Corbeil – May 20, 1975 – WKT2 #17

Amazing Journey / Sparks – The Who

Eight Miles High – The Byrds

It doesn’t have to be this way – The Tourists

Longueuil, Nathalie Boucher, and the Warder of the Brain: WKT2 #18

Giant – The The

Rags to Riches – The Blue Nile

Joy Inside My Tears – Stevie Wonder

Who Killed Gilmour Lumber? / Canadian Timber Trilogy Part I

Across the Great Divide – The Band

Who Killed Tom Thomson? / Canadian Timber Trilogy Part II

Whispering Pines – The Band

Who Killed Allore Lumber? / Canadian Timber Trilogy Part III

Chest Fever – The Band

Tears of Rage – The Band

The Last Waltz – The Band

“The Monster of Levis” Guy Field / WKT2 #22

Halo of Flies – Alice Cooper

Second Coming – Alice Cooper

Unfinished Sweet – Alice Cooper

The Ballad of Dwight Fry – Alice Cooper

All The Devils Are Here – Guylaine Potvin / WKT2 #23

Slow and Steady Wins the Race – Pedro The Lion

Premiere Position – Richard Dejardins

Winners Never Quit – Pedro The Lion

The Weight Of Memory / WKT2 #24

Thirty Days in the Hole – Humble Pie

The Mexican – Babe Ruth

Evie Let Your Hair Hang Down – Stevie Wright

Bad Reputation -Thin Lizzy

O Untimely Death! – Ursula Schulze / WKT2 #25

Silent sorrow in empty boats – Genesis

Xanadu – Rush

The Overload – The Talking Heads

Mary Gallagher – The Ghost of Griffintown / WKT2 #26

Hallowed Be Thy Name – Alice Cooper

All Saints – David Bowie

Some Are – David Bowie

Moss Garden – David Bowie

Neukölln – David Bowie

The Sire of Sorrow / Mélanie Decamps – August 9, 1983 WKT2 #27

The Sire of Sorrow – Joni Mitchell

As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls _ Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays

Let Them Be Hunted Soundly – WKT2 #28

De Natura Sonoris No. 2 – The Shining

Something goes wrong again – The Buzzcocks

A Poor Sort Of Memory – WKT2 #29

Dreamboat Annie – Heart

Lucie Beaudoin – Flashing Fire Will Follow part 1 / WKT3 #1

The Mule – Deep Purple

No No No – Deep Purple

Fools – Deep Purple

No One Came – Deep Purple

The Montreal Police finally create a Cold Case Squad / WKT3 #2

Un ange gardien – Beau Dommage

Le Picbois – Beau Dommage

Montreal – Beau Dommage

Suzanne Charbonneau – Flashing Fire will Follow part 2 / WKT3 #3

The Man with the Golden Arm – The Sweet

Turn It Down – The Sweet

Into The Night – The Sweet

Solid Gold Brass – The Sweet

The Sixteens – The Sweet

Jocelyne Houle revisited – Flashing Fire will Follow part 3 / WKT3 #4

Rock N Roll – The Runaways

Lovers – The Runaways

Secrets – The Runaways

Dead End Justice – The Runaways

Sylvie Michaud / The Lennoxville Massacre – WKT3 #5

Les gnossiennes – Erik Satie

Pink Flag – Wire

Francine Da Sylva – Glass of Fashion / WKT3 #6

Donimo – Cocteau Twins

Fyt – This Mortal Coil

I’ll bet he’s nice – The Beach Boys

Le Corbeau – Bundock

Otterley – Cocteau Twins

Ribbed and Veined – Cocteau Twins

Great Spangled Fritillary – Cocteau Twins

Tiny Smiles – Lush

Candleland – Ian McCulloch

The Heidi Illingworth Interview – The Canadian Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime – WKT3 #7

Races Are Run – Buckingham / Nicks

Stephanie – Lindsey Buckingham

Freedom – George Michael

Confines of Memory I : The murder of Margaret Peggy Coleman – WKT3 / #8

Robin -Seals and Crofts

Ridin’ Thumb – Seals and Crofts

Today – Seals and Crofts

Cotton Mouth – Seals and Crofts

Hand Me Down Shoe – Seals and Crofts

Purple Hand – Seals and Crofts

Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave – Dave Mason

Confines of Memory II / The abduction and murder of Barbara Myers – WKT3 #93

Highway Hard Run – April Wine

Baby Done Got Some Soul – April Wine

Just Like That – April Wine

Gimme Love – April Wine

Wings of Love – April Wine

Confines of Memory III: The murders of Jocelyne Beaudoin and Renée Lessard – WKT3 / #10

Start writing or type / to choose a block

Dimanche après-midi – Cano

Crooked Beat – The Clash

Pluie estivale – Cano

Baie Ste Marie – Cano

En plein hiver – Cano

Chanson pour Suzie – Cano

In The Falling Dark – Bruce Cockburn

Viens nous voir – Cano

Quebec Serial Killers Serge Archambault, Agostino Ferreira, and William Fyfe – WKT3 #11

Buggin’ Out – A Tribe Called Quest

Helene – Roch Voisine

Excursions – A Tribe Called Quest

Ian Fish, U.K. Heir – David Bowie

The Mysteries – David Bowie

Try Some Ammonia – Henry Threadgill

The 25th anniversary of the disappearance of Melanie Cabay Part I / WKT3 #12

Starship Trooper – Yes

You Don’t Know What Love Is – Cassandra Wilson

It’s Me O Lord, Standing In The Need Of Prayer – Hank Jones & Charlie Haden

Get Out Of Town – Holly Cole

Junko Partner – Dr. John

Synchro System – King Sunny Ade

Sweet Sorrow – Joshua Redman

The 25th anniversary of the murder of Melanie Cabay Part II / WKT3 #13

Long Distance Runaround – The Red House Painters

Alesund – Sun Kil Moon

Tiny City Made of Ashes – Sun Kill Moon

Starship Trooper – Yes

L’Affaire Dupont / WKT3 #14

Bulldozer – Offenbach

Mourir D’amour – Offenbach

No Money No Candy – Offenbach

Caline De Blues – Offenbach

Mes blues passent pu dans’porte – Offenbach

Faut Que J’me Pousse – Offenbach

Moody Calvaire – Offenbach

Je chante comme un coyote – Offenbach


Sylvie Michaud / The Lennoxville Massacre WKT3 #5

The Lennoxville massacre, or Lennoxville purge, was a mass murder which took place at the Hells Angels clubhouse in Lennoxville, Quebec on March 24, 1985. Five members of the Hells Angels North Chapter, were shot dead. This event divided rival outlaw motorcycle gangs in Quebec, leading to the formation of the Rock Machine club in 1986, a rival to the Hells in the 1990s.

In the 1960s-70s, one of Montreal’s more prominent biker gangs were the Popeyes, who were led by Yves Buteau. In the 1970s, the Popeyes had successfully fought against the Devil’s Disciples and Satan’s Choice biker gangs, and as a journalist at the time noted, “The violence that ensued cemented Quebec’s reputation as one of the most dangerous places for organized crime to do business in North America.” The journalist James Dubro wrote that: “There’s always has been more violence in Quebec. In the biker world it’s known as the Red Zone. I remember an Outlaws hit man telling me he was scared of going to Montreal.” The Hells Angels, who had been looking to expand into Canada, decided that the Popeyes were the best gang to take into their organization. On 5 December 1977, the Popeyes “patched over” to become the first Hells Angel chapter in Canada.

As the Hells Angels continued to grow, in September 1979 the Montreal chapter was divided into two, with the Montreal North chapter based in Laval and the Montreal South chapter somewhat confusingly based in Sorel. The North chapter consisted mostly of former Popeyes members, and still retained Popeye attitudes, in contrast to the South chapter headed by Réjean “Zig Zig” Lessard, who were more disciplined.

The head of the North chapter, Yves “le Boss” Buteau was gunned down in September 1983. In contrast to Buteau, the man who succeeded him, Laurent “L’Anglais” Viau, had a more tolerant attitude towards violence and drug use.  The Laval chapter, which had often chaffed at and had broken Buteau’s rules about not using drugs, swung out of control under Viau’s leadership as Viau himself was addicted to cocaine, alcohol and prostitutes. The rest of the chapter followed his example.

Other Hells Angels felt that the North Chapter bikers were too wild and uncontrollable. They often used drugs they were supposed to sell and were suspected of skimming drug profits that were meant for other Hells Angels chapters. The North chapter had taken at least $60,000 dollars that were meant for the other chapters for themselves, while their lazy aggression frequently led them to being arrested for minor offenses, which put the entire Hells Angels operations in Quebec at risk. Noted one local reporter. “At that moment [in 1985], the Hells Angels were doing a cleanup to become a real criminal organization. Before that, they were disorganized and unruly. They were like a street gang…The [Laval] guys weren’t following the steps the others were taking. They fit the traditional image of bikers…It was going against the new philosophy of the Hells Angels. The other Hells Angels wanted to be businessmen.” The other organized crime groups that the Hells Angels did business with such as the Mafia and the West End Gang had been pressuring the Angels to bring the Montreal North chapter under control. The Hells Angels assassin Yves “Apache” Trudeau later disclosed that relations between the Montreal North and Montreal South chapters of the Hell’s Angels were “ice cold” by the beginning of 1985.

In March 1985, at a secret meeting in Sorel, the Montreal North chapter were declared to be in “bad standing” with the Hells Angels and were to be liquidated. The plan called for two members of the Laval chapter to be forced into retirement, another two members to be given a chance to join the South chapter and the rest to be all killed. A party was announced at the clubhouse of the Sherbrooke chapter in March of 1985. It was attended by the Sorel, Laval, Halifax and Sherbrooke chapters, which were all of the Angels’ chapters in eastern Canada at the time. The four Hells Angels chapters in British Columbia did not attend the party.

At the Lennoxville “bunker” the Angels planned to ambush the Laval chapter as they entered the clubhouse, but the plan failed when most of the targets failed to show up. The party was now extended for a second day, and participation was mandatory. Most of the North chapter now showed up with the notable exceptions of Yves Trudeau, who was in rehab being treated for his cocaine addiction, and Michel “Jinx” Genest, who was in the hospital recovering from a failed assassination attempt by another biker gang. The founding member of Hells Angels Canada and president of the North Chapter, Laurent “L’Anglais” Viau, and four of its members: Jean-Guy “Brutus” Geoffrion, Jean-Pierre “Matt le Crosseur” Mathieu, Michel “Willie” Mayrand, and Guy-Louis “Chop” Adam attended. When the five North Chapter members arrived, they were forced into the center of a room in the clubhouse, where they were all shot dead.

Three members of the Laval chapter who attended the party; Gilles “Le Nez” Lachance, Richard “Bert” Mayrand, and Yvon “Le Pere” Bilodeau were ordered to remove the bodies and wash away the blood. Mayrand and Bilodeau were given the option to retire from organized crime or be killed. Lachance was offered membership in the South chapter, which he accepted. Together with Jacques “Le Pelle” Pelletier and Robert “Snake” Tremblay of the South chapter, Lachance went to see Genest to inform him that he could either join the Sorel chapter or be killed; he chose the former.

Over the next few days, the Laval clubhouse was looted of all the money and drugs stored in it along with the six Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Despite the original plan to kill Trudeau at the Sherbrooke clubhouse, he was contacted at the clinic he was staying at in Oka and told he was expelled from the Angels. Trudeau could rejoin if he killed three people whom the Hells wanted dead.

Pierre de Champlain, a former RCMP officer and a specialist on biker crime stated, “The police noticed that the Laval chapter’s garage that served as their bunker was closed. The girlfriends of the guys who’d disappeared were approached and asked, ‘Have you seen your boyfriend lately?’ and things like that. Then they realized that these people had disappeared, but they didn’t know they were dead.”

In June 1985, a fisherman on the St. Lawrence caught part of the decomposing body of one of the dead bikers. At the bottom of the St. Lawrence River, police divers located the 5 victims wrapped in sleeping bags and tied to weightlifting plates. Also found was the skeleton of Berthe Desjardins, who had been missing since February 1980. Desjardins was the wife of a Hells Angel liquidated by Trudeau as a possible police informer, and while he was at it, Trudeau killed her to ensure her silence.

There has been much confusion over the name that the media gave to the massacre, the Lennoxville massacre. Some say it is a misnomer, that the killings took place in Sherbrooke, and the misconception that the killings took place in Lennoxville arouse from the fact the victims stayed and partied at a motel in Lennoxville before going to the Sherbrooke clubhouse.

That story is false. The club house was – and has always been – located in Lennoxville. The rumour always was that the Hells built the clubhouse in Lennoxville, along the border of Sherbrooke (where they conducted the majority of their illegal activity) to avoid being investigated by the Sherbrooke police. The Hells much preferred coming under the radar of the Lennoxville police, who were considered “bumpkins” and amateurish.

Turning Crown’s evidence

Gilles Lachance, who was profoundly troubled by the massacre he had witnessed, contacted the Sûreté du Québec to state his willingness to work as an informer and to wear a wire.  One of the participants in the killings, Gerry “La Chat” Coulombe, a prospect with the South chapter, was so troubled by the massacre that he also turned informer and wore a wire for the Sûreté du Québec. Yves “Apache” Trudeau, the Hells Angels from the Montreal North chapter who did not attend the Lennoxville meeting, while in prison, realized that he would probably be killed by the Angels, so he cut a deal with the Crown. For testifying against the Hell’s Angels, the Crown treated the 43 murders Trudeau committed between 1970-1985 as manslaughter. He served 7 years for his crimes. As result of Trudeau’s testimony, 90 murders were solved and 19 Hell’s Angels were convicted. Given that Trudeau committed 43 murders first as a Popeye and then as a Hell’s Angel, his lenient sentence attracted much controversy.


Several members of the Hells Angels were present and played a role in the slaughter, but only four – Jacques Pelletier, Luc “Sam” Michaud, Réjean “Zig-Zag” Lessard and later Robert “Snake” Tremblay – were convicted of first-degree murder.

Pelletier, Michaud, Lessard and Tremblay were given life sentences for the murders with no chance of parole before 25 years. They were all granted parole nonetheless on the faint hope clause and ended up serving between 17 and 22 years each. Of the men convicted of the massacre:

  • Robert “Snake” Tremblay was granted full parole on the 30 August 2004 and is living in Montreal. Tremblay told the parole board: “I sincerely deplore having taken the life of another person. I am very aware that I have to watch out for who I associate with and that I have everything to lose if I return to the criminal world.”
  • Luc “Sam” Michaud was granted full parole on 6 May 2005, denying killing anyone, but stated he regretted his involvement with a crime that put him in prison for 20 years. Michaud, described as a zealous Hells Angel at the time of his conviction, returned to Roman Catholicism while in prison and was expelled from the Angels in 1993. He is living in Montreal at present.
  • Réjean “Zig Zag” Lessard, the leader of the plot behind the massacre converted to Buddhism while in prison and left the Angels in 1989.  Lessard was granted day parole on 3 February 2006, telling the National Parole Board that he had become a vegetarian, a pacifist and a Buddhist, saying: “You can’t be a Buddhist and be in that milieu.” Lessard was granted full parole on 11 August 2010 and is living in Montreal.[7]
  • Jacques Pelletier was granted full parole on 6 May 2013, but he was sent back to prison in 2014 after he violated the terms of his parole by associating with Hells Angels.


CODA: May 1980

I’m not really interested in The Hells Angels, and the Lennoxville Massacre, that’s not my turf.

I would like to know how Robert “Snake” Tremblay who is quoted as saying “I sincerely deplore having taken the life of another person. I am very aware that I have to watch out for who I associate with and that I have everything to lose if I return to the criminal world.” in 1980 apparently got away with the murder of Sylvie Michaud:


Jocelyne Houle revisited – Flashing Fire will Follow part 3 / WKT3 #4

The 1977 suspicious deaths of gogo dancers Francine Loiselle and Suzanne Delorme Morrow. A revisit of the Jocelyne Houle case also from 1977.

“Rang 5ieme / Saint Calixte”

Gogo Dancers: Suspicious Deaths

La Presse / September 28, 1977

The Surete du Quebec have revealed the identities of two young women whose bodies were found in the woods of Saint-Calixte north of Montreal.

They are Francine Loiselle, 21 years old with no known address, and Suzanne Morrow, 18 years old from Laval. The two victims earned their living as gogo dancers when they were reported missing.

Acording to the police, the bodies, where they were found, were there since the month of June, 1977.

Autopsies performed at the medical legal laboratory of Quebec on rue Parthenais in Montreal, were not able to determine the exact cause of death, due to the advanced state of decomposition of the bodies. Other tests will be performed at the laboratory.

Deposition of the father of Francine Loiselle: “found in woods along Range 4, St Calixte. Was depressive at the suicide death of friend. “

Un Troisieme Cadavre est retrouve a Rawdon

La Presse / September 29, 1977

The Surete du Quebec were trying to solve the enigma surrounding the death of two teenage girls, now they must also solve a murder, the victim being a 45-year-old man whose body was found on Tuesday morning, next to Route 125 in the Township Rawdon.

According to information obtained, the victim, we cannot at this instant disclose his identity, but he is known to the police. He was shot before being abandoned dead in the ditch. This was probably a settling of accounts.

The police in this affair know the associates and hangouts of the victim in the hours before his death. Yesterday, they had not yet recovered the vehicle that the victim was seen in before his death.

As for the death of teenage girls whose bodies were found in a forest in the region last weekend, SQ investigators concluded a suicide pact.

The two victims in this affair were identified as Francine Loiselle, 21 years old, and Suzanne Morrow, 18 years old, who both worked as dancers for some time in the Saint Jerome region.

Due to the advanced state of decomposition of the bodies of the two young women, pathologists at the medical legal institute are still not able to determine the exact cause of death. What is known for certain, however, they were not shot, and they had been there for several months.

In any case, the identification of the two victims dispelled the doubts of several citizens who believed that one of the victims could be one of the many young girls who had been missing for a few months in Laval and in the region.”

Other information: They were found in the woods bordering “Rang 4ieme in Saint Calixte”. The bodies were found in “un etate squelettique” = Skeletal state, “cote a cote”, 600 to 800 feet from the road.

Francine lived on rue Duroches in Parc Extension, Montreal. Francine Loiselle’s parents lived in an apartment at 1560 Labelle in Longueuil.

Suzanne Morrow lived with her parents at 175 De Galais, Laval des Rapides. This runs parallel to Route 15.

Jocelyne Houle

SQ detective Fernand Yelle sits on the car

24-year-old Jocelyn Houle was a nursing student from Chicoutimi, Quebec. The 5’2″, 100 lbs young woman traveled to Montreal with a group of fellow students to study respiratory therapy for three weeks at The Institute of Cardiology in the city’s Rosemont district.

During her stay Houle was living at a boarding house, The Jeanne Mance Institute at 6675 44e avenue. Wednesday evening, April 13th Houle decides to join seven of her fellow students for a night on the town. They have dinner at The Barnsider which was at 2250 rue Guy:

After dinner they decide to go to the Old Munich at Saint Denis and Dorchester (now boule Rene Levesque). They arrive at 11:30 pm. They drink, they dance, they stay until closing.

Entertainment at The Old Munich / Vieux Munich included polka lines lead by a lederhosen-clad oom-pah band.

They leave the club together around 1:30 am with the intention of moving the party up the street to La Caleche du Sexe at328 Saint Catherine East, just west of Saint Denis.  Jocelyne Houle, who was walking apart from the group with two men, never arrives with her friends.

When they arrive at La Caleche the friends discover Houle isn’t there. They go back to the The Old Munich, but Jocelyne isn’t there either. They then decide that Houle must have gone back to the boarding house. Later when they get home, Houle isn’t at the boarding house. Houle is absent from her classes at the Institute of Cardiology on Thursday and Friday April 14 and 15th. She doesn’t return to her parent’s home in Chicoutimi at the end of the week.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0381.jpg

On Sunday, April 17th Houle’s body is discovered about an hour north of Montreal near Saint Calixte. She is found off a gravel road, Rang 5 about 8 feet in from the road lying face down in a few inches of water. Houle is found half-naked and badly beaten about the face and head. Her purse is lying next to her.

Rang 4 merges into rang 5

The body is taken to Montreal and the autopsy to performed by Andre Lauzon at the SQ Parthenais headquarters. The autopsy confirms that Houle was beaten to death. She had a fractured jaw, and many facial injuries caused by “kicks or punches”. Houle had been raped, possibly my several persons. Houle was still wearing some of her clothing, including her bra, which was torn. Investigators conclude that Houle was not killed at the Saint Calixte location, only dumped there.

Claude Vignon Productions

Shining The Light on Cold Cases

The murder of his sister 40 years ago has sent John Allore on a relentless mission to probe unsolved murders


Durham, North Carolina is known for its sprawling tobacco fields and shady walnut trees, but the town also bears the unusual claim of being home to one of the best-known analysts of Quebec homicides.

For almost two decades, accountant John Allore has tirelessly probed unsolved murders in his ultimate quest to uncover the fate of his sister Theresa, found dead in the province’s Eastern Townships region in 1979.

Allore generates an incessant stream of podcasts, tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts – and soon a book from a major publisher – while fully understanding that his sister’s mysterious death will likely never be solved.

But the light Allore shines on Quebec’s murder investigations from the past have exposed an often-shocking pattern of carelessness and indifference.

And although a stern critic of Quebec investigation squads, Allore remains in regular touch with Quebec provincial police officers, who dutifully remain cordial and civil in their dealings. Yet the relationship remains fraught with frustration for Allore, who grew up in Pierrefonds, a city located in the western fringes of the island of Montreal.

“The relationship will always be — must always be — one-sided,” says Allore. “Information goes into that big black box and it can never come out. I can share things with them but they can’t share things with me. But there’s no choice, they’re the only ones who can solve the investigation.”

Becoming a first-time father in 2001 provided Allore with a sudden and intense compulsion to examine the mysterious circumstances surrounding his older sister’s demise.

Theresa Alllore, 19, disappeared outside her dorm room in Compton, Quebec, several kilometres from her school at Champlain College in Compton in the Eastern Townships in early November 1978.

A dorm shortage forced many students like Theresa Allore to commute on a shuttle bus. Missing that bus meant taking a costly taxi or hitchhiking, something Theresa was known to do.

The street outside the dorms was dark and many students feared walking home, according to reports from the school paper. As well, a chronic lack of supervision added much mayhem to the student dorms.

“There are no restrictions, no curfews and especially no parents. They go wild,” read one school article from the period.

Theresa Allore was found dead clad only in a bra and panties in woods about one kilometre away from the dorms on April 13, 1979.

Five months in the snow made it difficult to determine a cause of death.

Theresa Allore had not been sexually assaulted, her clothes were not torn and there was no sign of a struggle, according to police, who suggested that her death might have been caused by a drug overdose.

John, then only 14, recalls how his family was shattered by the ordeal that was worsened when police and school administrators speculated on possible lesbian orgies and LSD parties, none of which jibed with their knowledge of Theresa.

The Allores hired a private investi- gator who concluded that the death was either by a sexual predator or she was dumped off by students after a drug overdose.

Police came to no conclusions and little was done to solve the mystery.


Once fired up with the mission of solving his sister’s tragic death, Allore traveled to Sherbrooke in 2003 to consult the Sûreté du Québec’s homicide file but was disappointed to learn that much of the information was kept out of his hands, including a list of possible suspects, which could not be shown due to Canada’s privacy laws.

DNA evidence and other possible clues, police ruefully confessed, had been tossed out five years after his sister’s death, due to lack of storage.

Police acknowledged that they were not actively trying to solve the mystery due to time constraints.

One criminal investigation expert familiar with the case considers the SQ’s approach a casebook example in a botched investigation.

“The way her body was found showed that the obvious conclusion was homicide but police didn’t handle it that way,” says Kim Rossmo, a longtime police investigator-turned criminology professor and author.

“John took years to come to the conclusion that something wasn’t right and he has had success getting government to acknowledge it a homicide but finding the killer will be difficult,” says Rossmo.

“There’s a high probability that it will never be solved, so he should not set himself up for feelings of failure when he’s got an impossible task ahead.”

Allore’s initially-humble initiative led him to question whether Theresa’s death might have been the work of a serial killer who might have gotten away with many more such killings.

His research grew to a point where he can now recite the chapter and verse of dozens of women killed throughout Quebec over several decades. One police official recently expressed surprise to learn that Allore also has a full-time day job.

From a home office jammed with boxes full of newspaper clippings and coroners’ files, Allore has painstakingly researched and recorded over 60 podcasts that mostly focus on the minutiae of women killed in Quebec In the 1970s.

Each episode features timepiece music as well as painfully vivid details of victims pointlessly massacred as well as the justice system that all-too-often proved inadequate to deal with the heartlessness.

Allore’s Who Killed Theresa? podcast is fueled by information harvested from old crime press articles, corners’ reports sent down from the BANQ library archives and frequently recount stories of such villains as Levis, Quebec-based child-killing pedophile Guy Field, an inveterate offender with an IQ of 58. Fields was known to eat his own feces and routinely molest any vulnerable person in his presence, but in spite of the ample warning signs, authorities set Fields free only to have him murder a child near Quebec City in 1977.

Allore’s meticulous accounts of such heartbreaking and infuriating tales have attracted a worldwide listenership, from London to New York, to Australia, but Allore remains unhappy that his

productions haven’t resonated more in Quebec where attention is most valuable.

“It’s creating an awareness but it’s not meeting the audience it needs to solve murders,” he says.

In one recent podcast Allore recounts the shocking handling of Diane Thibault’s murder near Montreal’s Red Light district in 1975.

Thibault was found dead with a burning stick in her vagina near Red Light, a hideous modus operandi that was similar with another unsolved murder from the time, that of Debbie Buck.

So Allore ordered the coroner’s report on Thibault that was far more costly and extensive than others. He had no idea that the file would reveal a labyrinth of botched justice.

Following a tip from an acquaintance, police arrested Edmond Turcotte.

Turcotte had a motive and provided details of his misdeed in a confession he made to a group of Montreal police investigators.

But a judge later set Turcotte free because he considered the suspect’s IQ to be too low to make a valid confession. The judge also cited possible irregularities in police questioning by a team that included officer Jacques Duchesneau, who later rose to head the Montreal police force.

Allore’s podcast episode on the case led Montreal’s La Presse newspaper to probe the shocking case further. The suspect Turcotte, alas, could not be located and it remains unclear whether he’s still alive.


From the earliest moments of his quest Allore has forged ties with others who have lost family members, starting with Pierre Boisvenu, whose daughter Julie was murdered after disappearing from Sherbrooke in 2002. The two pushed for more victims’ rights but Boisvenu put his efforts aside after being named to the Canadian Senate.

With such new allies in tow Allore was able to pressure the province to create a cold case squad to probe what has now risen to over 700 unsolved murders – two thirds of which are difficult-to-solve underworld slayings — dating back from the 1960s. In In January, 2018, the cold case squad expanded from four full-time investigators to 30.

The initiative, though noble, has solved only three old murders, all within the early years of the squad and Allore is impatient for results.

“They’ve done nothing in the last decade. They have to be held accountable. They haven’t moved the needle,” says Allore.

One tool that police investigators are misusing, Allore argues, is the hold-back. Police routinely withhold or even release slightly incorrect details of a crime in order to weed out false confessions or other distracting dead-ends.

False convictions based on those confessions can prove to be a massive headache and a costly embarrassment for justice systems, as evidenced in the case of Simon Marshall, a mentally handicapped man who was imprisoned for five years and recently compensated $2.3 million following a confession mishap in Quebec City.

Allore argues that there needs to be a statute of limitations on holdbacks, after 25 years, for example, even though it can taint an investigation.

“I admit it’s problematic but you live with the trade offs.”

But perhaps the greatest challenge is the issue of lost or discarded evidence, which has caused many investigations to become virtually impossible to solve.

Other homicides have proven the use of saving all evidence indefinitely. For example San Francisco police preserved DNA from 1969, which recently helped identify a murder victim as Reet Jurvetson, a Montrealer killed near the ranch that housed the Charles Manson cult.

Allore suspects that Montreal police have misplaced evidence as recently as 1994, as he speculates that there is no other explanation

that police couldn’t crack what appears to be the perfectly solvable murder of Melanie Cabay, 19, in the city’s Ahuntsic district.

Allore not only criticizes Quebec homicide sleuthing past and present but even has a take on its future. One recent proposal has it that municipal squads would pass their unsolved cases onto the larger and better- equipped provincial police after a period of time to be determined.

“If they go through with that plan, agencies will simply run out the clock, they’ll do nothing and toss it over the wall to the SQ. How nobody has caught onto this is beyond me.”

If Allore seems a little intense, don’t blame grief, as he insists that his reservoir of motivation does not stem from a refusal to accept the death of his sister.

“Closure and grief are not what drives me,” he says. “It’s the incom- petence and possible criminal negligence of the Sûreté de Québec. They have left me angry and bitter due to the insensitivity towards myself and other families.”

He is also moved by the thrill of hunting down killers, with little eurekas offering payoffs.

“You become a little addicted to risk and adrenaline. Making those little discoveries about cases and information lost and found again becomes a rush.”

The effort, he notes, has come at a cost. After putting up with his obsession for a couple of years Allore’s wife Elizabeth confronted him to ask how long he planned to keep his quest going.

“When does it end?” she asked.

“I told her that if I put an end to this I will be letting Theresa die, just like she died in 1978.”

“That was the trigger. I had clearly chosen. I didn’t choose advocacy and investigation over my children but I chose it over my marriage.” Within three years the couple had split.

Allore’s work ethic might be the result of a lofty academic pedigree launched when he followed a girlfriend to attend Trinity College, one of the seven colleges of the University of Toronto.

Allore’s graduating class included Malcolm Gladwell, Andrew Coyne and Nigel Wright. But Allore, who interviewed Gladwell on a recent podcast, remains humble about his role in the golden generation of the school. “I was just along for the ride and had no idea that I’d be alongside Canada’s establishment.”

He has since buttressed his education with a Masters in Criminal Justice that has better equipped him with his endless research.

The course made Allore a big admirer of the FBI’s Uniform Statistics on Crime, a resource that offers information on every unsolved murder between 1974 and 2016. A similar StatsCan initiative missed its chance at duplicating its efficacy, he rues, by failing to classify crimes by race and gender.

Allore is not holding his breath for Quebec’s new justice minister to suddenly take interest in his plea to launch a public inquiry into the unsolved murders, with specific emphasis on how and why precious evidence was discarded.

And he sees little cause for optimism in the efforts of Marc Bellemare, a Quebec City lawyer who served briefly as Justice Minister in the Jean Charest Liberal government before becoming a leader in the quest for victims’ rights. “He’s always there when the cameras are rolling but he hasn’t advanced a single initiative.”

Quebec’s justice establishment might have given Allore the cold shoulder but he still has one card left up his sleeve. Early in 2018,

Allore, along with longtime National Post journalist – and close friend — Patricia Pearson inked a deal to pen a book about his quest.

Allore’s inaugural authorial effort is finally forcing him to slow down his content – and even remove items from his site — as his publishers have asked him not to expose information that would otherwise seem fresh for his book, due in late 2020.

Allore, however, seems unable to resist giving away the ending. “The bad guy is the investigating force.”

“What I see is a complete lack of consistency and urgency to solve these crimes in what would be an acceptable timeline.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: On January 19, Montreal Police Director Sylvain Caron held a press conference to announce a major restructuring of resources within his department, adding that a special team of investigators will be created in conjunction with the provincial police to resolve some 800 unsolved murders. He credited John Allore and his tireless work for pushing the department to create the new task force.

— Kristian Gravenor is a longtime Montreal journalist, historian and author of Montreal 375 Tales of Eating, Drinking, Living and Loving. He has written extensively on Canadian crime on his site


La @SPVM a finalement créé une escouade Cold-Case

Cette semaine, la police de Montréal / SPVM ont annoncé la création d’une unité de traitement des cas non résolus composée d’un lieutenant-détective et de six enquêteurs dont le seul travail consistera à traiter les homicides et les disparitions non résolus de la ville. Depuis 1980, environ 800 cas de ce type ont eu lieu, dont 558 homicides.

Les félicitations vont de soi, c’est un progrès. C’est bien mieux que le système dans lequel fonctionnait la police de Montréal: les détectives en service ne se penchaient que sur les cas non résolus quand ils ne menaient pas d’enquêtes actives (traduction = jamais), les détectives partant à la retraite et les cas non résolus.

Mais avant d’être trop énervés, voyons ce que cela signifie et ce que cela ne signifie pas.

Radio Canada – qui lisaient clairement les points de discussion des médias du SPVM – ont rapidement expliqué comment les détectives pouvaient désormais adopter une «nouvelle approche» à l’aide de «techniques avancées» en technologie de l’ADN. Cela n’est vrai que si vous prenez la peine de préserver les preuves. À l’instar de nombreuses forces armées au Québec, le SPVM n’a guère fait preuve en matière de préservation des preuves. Sur les quatre cas de rhume que j’ai principalement couverts dans les années 70 et au début des années 80 sous la juridiction du SPVM (Lison Blais, Katherine Hawkes, Nicole Gaudreault et Tammy Leakey), la moitié de ces familles a reçu une notification officielle du SPVM indiquant que les preuves ADN avaient été détruites.

La nouvelle équipe – qui ne sera pas composée de nouveaux détectives, mais des bureaux actuels redéployés d’autres unités – serait bien inspirée de tirer des enseignements de l’expérience de la Surete du Quebec.

Créée en 2004, la SQ a débuté avec environ 3 détectives et un arriéré d’environ 600 homicides non résolus. Au début de 2018, ils ont ajouté 25 nouveaux officiers supplémentaires à l’unité. Depuis 2004, ils ont réglé 10 homicides cold-case. Il convient de noter que pendant plus de 10 ans, 3 cas ont été résolus; ce n’est que très récemment qu’ils ont annoncé la résolution des 7 cas supplémentaires. C’est 10 cas en 14 ans. Les «experts» vous diront que c’est un très bon dossier de dédouanement. Ce n’est pas assez pour moi.

Il convient de rappeler à tous que, dans le rapport de 2005 de Statistique Canada intitulé «L’homicide au Canada», la police de Montréal affichait le pire taux de classement absolu parmi toutes les grandes villes canadiennes de 1976 à 2005:

Le total estimatif non réglé de tous les cas de cold case au Québec est d’environ 1700.

Comment est-ce arrivé?

Pour en savoir plus, revenons à cet article de 1966 publié dans The Gazette, intitulé «Assassinats non résolus au sein du quartier général de la police». C’est court donc je vais citer le tout:

«Les polices montréalaise et québécoise sont confrontées à un total de 62 meurtres non résolus remontant à 1953. Ils en ont résolu 63 au cours de la même période.

Sur le nombre total de meurtres non résolus, 43 ont été commis à Montréal et les 19 autres ont eu lieu dans divers centres de la province.

Parmi les victimes figuraient 24 personnages du monde souterrain, tandis que 27 autres étaient des hommes d’affaires, des marchands, des femmes au foyer et des retraités âgés tués lors d’un vol qualifié. Les autres meurtres ont été classés comme des crimes passionnels impliquant des homosexuels et des prostituées.

Les enquêtes se poursuivent – d’une manière ou d’une autre – sur tous les meurtres non résolus. Aucun des cas non résolus n’a été fermé.

Ces chiffres ne comprennent pas la série de meurtres découverts il y a plusieurs mois lors d’une enquête intensive sur des faillites frauduleuses et des incendies criminels à but lucratif dans la province. Alors que plusieurs suspects sont en lien avec les meurtres à la chaux, aucun n’a encore été jugé pour meurtre.

Le meurtre d’une femme âgée de 35 ans, Mme Lysanne Lauzière, dont le corps a été retrouvé il y a quelques semaines dans une fosse peu profonde dans un champ à 60 milles au nord de Montréal, n’est pas non plus incluse. Deux hommes ont été officiellement inculpés du meurtre mais n’ont pas encore été jugés. »

En ignorant les catégorisations misogynes et homophobes qui n’ont rien d’étonnant pour 1966, quoi d’autre se démarque?

Il n’y a pas d’homicides par des étrangers.

Ils ne commenceront à émerger que dans les années 1970, lorsque Allo Police commencera à reconnaître cet horrible phénomène qui atteindra son apogée en 1977.

Pourquoi le Québec a-t-il le pire taux de classement des homicides au Canada? Répondant à cela prendrait beaucoup de temps, lisez mon prochain livre. Je vais vous donner un indice: toute agence aussi centrée sur elle-même, soucieuse de préserver son image, cherche trop à se tourner vers l’intérieur pour même commencer à résoudre des problèmes majeurs de la société.

Il suffit de regarder la réponse du Syndicat des policiers de Montréal après l’annonce par Sylvain Caron, directeur du SPVM, des changements majeurs apportés au déploiement des officiers:

Chers confrères, chères consoeurs,

La Presse rapportait ce matin une restructuration du SPVM.

La voie par laquelle l’information s’est d’abord rendue aux membres concernés souffrait d’un certain déficit de respect, ce que nous avons dénoncé à la direction.

La Fraternité rappelle au Service qu’une attention particulière doit être portée aux relations de travail dans un contexte où les policiers et policières, il n’y a pas si longtemps encore, ont grandement été éprouvés par les nombreuses dysfonctions d’une direction problématique.

Il faut également rappeler que pendant ce temps et malgré une adversité hors norme, les policiers et policières ont su assurer une qualité de service impeccable.

Ceci étant dit, le passé appartenant au passé, nos préoccupations actuelles vont bien au-delà du fait que “personne ne se retrouvera au chômage demain matin” comme on pouvait le lire dans La Presse.

En effet, les changements décidés par la direction comporteront des effets directs et indirects pour plusieurs d’entre vous.

Par conséquent, la Fraternité s’assurera que les modalités de ces changements soient conformes aux droits qui vous sont impartis par la convention collective et au respect qui vous est dû.

À cette fin, nous avons convoqué les représentants syndicaux des unités concernées à une conférence téléphonique qui aura lieu dès aujourd’hui. Dans le contexte d’une transition à laquelle la Fraternité apposera sa vigilance, les suivis seront par la suite dirigés vers les personnes touchées.

Solidairement vôtre,

Mario Lanoie


Recherche et communications

La réponse de Mario Lanoie se résume à un grand “fuck you” à toute tentative d’adaptation et de changement, en disant essentiellement aux les officiers “vous ne faites rien de différent tant que nous ne vous disons pas de faire autrement”.


The Montreal Police finally created a cold case squad

This week the Montreal police / SPVM announced the creation of a cold case unit consisting of one lieutenant-detective and six investigators whose only job will be to address the city’s unsolved homicides and disappearances — since 1980, there have been about 800 such cases, including 558 homicides.

Congratulations are definitely in order, this is progress. It’s a hell of a lot better than the system the Montreal police were previously operating under: on duty detectives looking at cold cases only when they weren’t pursuing active investigations (translation = never), detectives retiring and cold cases never looked at again.

But before we get too giddy let’s consider what this means, and what it does not.

Pundits on the Radio Canada morning shows – clearly reading directly from the SPVM’s media talking points – were quick to observe how detectives could now take a “fresh approach” with the help of “advanced techniques” in DNA technology. This is only true if you bother to preserve case evidence. Like many forces in Quebec, the SPVM has a poor track record of preserving evidence. Of the four cold cases I have predominantly covered from the 1970s / early 80s under SPVM jurisdiction (Lison Blais, Katherine Hawkes, Nicole Gaudreault and Tammy Leakey) half of those families have received official notice from the SPVM that the DNA evidence has been destroyed.

The new squad – which will consist not of new detectives, but current offices redeployed from other units – would do well to learn some lessons from the Surete du Quebec’s cold case experience.

Created in 2004, the SQ started with approximately 3 detectives and a backlog of approximately 600 uncleared homicides. In early 2018 they added an additional 25 new officers to the unit. Since 2004 they have cleared 10 cold case homicides. It should be noted for over a decade the number was 3 cold cases cleared; it’s only very recently that they announced solving the additional 7 cases. That’s 10 case in 14 years. “Experts” will tell you that’s pretty good clearance record. It’s not good enough for me.

It’s worth reminding everyone that in the 2005 Statistics Canada report “Homicide in Canada” The Montreal police had the absolute worst clearance rate for all major Canadian cities from 1976 through 2005:

The estimated uncleared total of all Quebec cold cases is approximately 1,700.

How did this come to be?

For some insight, let’s go back to this 1966 article from The Gazette, “Unsolved Murders Piling Up in Police HQ”. It’s short so I’ll quote the whole thing:

Montreal and Quebec Provincial Police face a combined total of 62 unsolved murders dating back to 1953. They solved 63 in that same period.

Of the total number of unsolved murders, 43 were committed in Montreal while the other 19 were carried out in various centers across the province.

The victims included 24 underworld characters while 27 others were businessmen, merchants, housewives, and old age pensioners killed during robberies. The other killings have been classified as crimes of passion involving homosexuals and prostitutes.

The investigations are continuing – in one way or another – on all the unsolved murders. None of the unsolved cases has been closed.

Not included in these figures are the series of murders uncovered several months ago during an intensive investigation of fraudulent bankruptcies and arson-for-profit cases in the province. While several suspects are being held in connection with the lime-pit murders, none has undergone trial on murder charges as of yet.

Also not included is the murder of a 35-year-old woman, Mrs. Lysanne Lauziere, whose body was unearthed a few weeks ago from a shallow grave in a field 60 miles north of Montreal. Two men have formally been charged with the murder but have yet to stand trial on the charge.”

Ignoring the misogynistic , homophobic categorizations which are not surprising for 1966, anything else stand out for you?

There are no stranger homicides. T

They won’t emerge until the 1970s when Allo Police begins to recognize this horrifying phenomenon that will reach its apex in 1977.

Why does Quebec have the worst homicide clearance rate in Canada? Answering that would take quite a long time, read my upcoming book. I will give you a clue: any agency that is so focused on itself, on preserving its image, is too inward looking to even begin solving major problems of society.

Just look at the response from the Montreal Police Union after SPVM Director Sylvain Caron announced the major changes to the deployment of officers:

Dear brothers and sisters,

La Presse reported this morning a restructurin`g of the SPVM.

The way in which the information first went to the concerned members suffered from a certain lack of respect, which we denounced to the management.
The Brotherhood reminds the Service that special attention must be paid to labor relations in a context where police officers, not so long ago, have been greatly affected by the many dysfunctions of a problematic management.

It should also be remembered that during this time and despite extraordinary adversity, the police officers were able to ensure an impeccable quality of service.

That being said, with the past in the past, our current concerns go far beyond the fact that “no one will be unemployed tomorrow morning” as we read in La Presse.

Indeed, the changes decided by the management will have direct and indirect effects for many of you.

Therefore, the Brotherhood will ensure that the terms and conditions of these changes are in accordance with the rights that are granted to you by the collective agreement and the respect due to you.

To this end, we have convened the union representatives of the affected units to a conference call that will take place today.

In the context of a transition to which the fraternity will put its vigilance, follow-ups will subsequently be directed to the people affected.

In solidarity,

Mario Lanoie
Research and Communications

Mario Lanoie’s response boils down to a grand “fuck you” to any attempts to adapt and change, essentially telling rank and file officers that “you don’t do anything different until we tell you to do different.”