THE WEEK IN CRIME

My favorite story this week comes from Quebec and concerns the endlessly tarnished reputation of their provincial police force, the Surete du Quebec. The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the murder convictions of Billy Taillefer and Hugues Duguay, two young friends who spent 10 years in prison for the 1990 rape and murder of 14-year-old Sandra Gaudet. Gaudret went missing after walking home from her boyfriend’s home on the night of March 9, 1990. Her body was found, almost naked and partly buried in the snow, next to a logging road near Val d’Or, Quebec. She had been strangled.

In their ruling, the Supreme Court cited the circumstances surrounding the so-called confessions by the accused – confessions Taillefer and Duguay said were dictated to them, then beaten out of them by the SQ. What’s more, the jury never got to hear witnesses who said they saw two men in their 50s with a shovel – Taillefer and Duguay were in their 20s at the time – along the logging road at the time of the murder.

Lest we forget, the SQ is currently under investigation over allegations of evidence fabrication in the Julie Boisvenu homicide case.

All of this begs the question, who killed Sandra Gaudet? No one knows. And we will probably never know. By the time you read this; if you google her story you’ll no doubt come up empty. Such is the situation in La Belle Province – Quebec is high on sensation, but short on collective memory when it comes to crime.

For what it’s worth, I can think of one other young girl who was found in the snow in March, raped, partially clothed, strangled and next to a logging road. The crime scenes of Sandra Gaulet and Louise Camirand are 13 years and 300 miles apart – still, it gives one pause for thought.

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This weeks families of victims got the chance to speak out at the sentencings of Green River serial killer Gary Ridgeway and teen sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. Victims impact statements are supposed to be a triumph of the victims rights movement. Forgive me if I remain unimpressed. A chance to yell at a guy in court: That’s all you get? The opportunity to be tabloid fodder for Extra and Inside Edition? It hardly seems equitable for a life taken. If it were my sibling, or parent, or significant other I’d want something a little more private, I little more on my terms. Leave me alone in a room with the offender. Allow me to be as personal and intimate with them as they were with my loved one during their last moments on this earth.

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Yes, I think I will plug Eric Muller’s blog, Is That Legal? -not because he was gracious enough to write about my blog, but because Muller (a law professor at UNC Chapel Hill) is very smart and very funny. Check out the story of convicted wife murdered, Michael Peterson, who is now trying to say that a wayward owl was responsible for pushing his wife down the steps of their posh Durham domicile.

Meanwhile in British Columbia, Robert Picton will face seven additional first-degree murder charges, bringing the total number of murder charges against the Port Coquitlam Pig farmer to twenty-two. Once again, because of a publication ban the names of the victims of these crimes are to remain anonymous. I’m all for protecting the rights of victims, but the unintended result here is while Picton’s reputation grows the victims of his crimes are reduced to a statistic. Recall that Picton is suspected of murdering over 60 women from the downtown eastside of Vancouver.

Finally, if you missed it, Canada has a new Minister of Justice. Irwin Colter snuck into office last week. We won’t let him forget that his predecessor, Martin Cauchon asked for a frank criticism of the DOJ in its treatment of victims issues; nor that former Solicitor General, Wayne Easter recently cited a 2001 national survey in which victims overwhelming requested more opportunities to be included and consulted in matters of criminal justice.

Comments? JohnAllore@earthlink.net

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THE MONTREAL MASSACRE
DECEMBER 6, 1989

NINE MORE LESSONS TO LEARN:

1. After 21 months, the excavation of the Robert Picton farm – a project the Globe and Mail so sensitively dubbed the “Pig Dig” – ended in British Columbia last month. Charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder, Picton may be responsible for the deaths of over 60 women.

2. An Edmonton task force has been handed 123 cases to investigate in relation to the murders of 20 area prostitutes.

3. In Iqaluit, Mark King Jeffrey faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jennifer Naglingiq, 13, whose body was found during the first few minutes after midnight on Dec. 6, 2002.

4. The University of Saskatchewan decides to use a December 6th memorial to call attention to a sexual assault that occured on university grounds. A spokesman for the university women’s centre alleges campus security is ignoring other incidents of violence on campus.

5. A 14-year-old girl from Candiac, Quebec is sexually assaulted, beaten and left for dead on the South shore of Montreal. Her two teenage assailants ask her how she would prefer to die; strangled, beaten or drowned.

6. Four months since the murder of Ardeth Wood and Ottawa Chief of Police Vince Bevan still is no closer to solving this crime.

7. Justice delayed in Quebec as the Hugo Bernier trial is postponed for another month. Bernier is charged with the 2001 murder of Julie Boisvenu in downtown Sherbrooke.

8. Since his arrest in February of 2002, Guy Croteau is still awaiting his pre-trial hearing in the 1987 murder of Sophie Landry. The 14-year-old Landry was stabbed over 170 times and dumped in a cornfield in St-Roch l’Achigan, Quebec.

9. In Nova Scotia, Gregory Plamondon is sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping and slashing the face of his ex-girlfriend. He could be released from prison in two years. Plamondon, who acted as his own lawyer during the trial, cross-examined, and further traumatized the victim for 6 1/2 hours.

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2003

THE MONTREAL MASSACRE 
DECEMBER 6, 1989 

NINE MORE LESSONS TO LEARN: 

1. After 21 months, the excavation of the Robert Picton farm – a project the Globe and Mail so sensitively dubbed the “Pig Dig” – ended in British Columbia last month. Charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder, Picton may be responsible for the deaths of over 60 women.

2. An Edmonton task force has been handed 123 cases to investigate in relation to the murders of 20 area prostitutes.

3. In Iqaluit, Mark King Jeffrey faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jennifer Naglingiq, 13, whose body was found during the first few minutes after midnight on Dec. 6, 2002.

4. The University of Saskatchewan decides to use a December 6th memorial to call attention to a sexual assault that occured on university grounds. A spokesman for the university women’s centre alleges campus security is ignoring other incidents of violence on campus.

5. A 14-year-old girl from Candiac, Quebec is sexually assaulted, beaten and left for dead on the South shore of Montreal. Her two teenage assailants ask her how she would prefer to die; strangled, beaten or drowned.

6. Four months since the murder of Ardeth Wood and Ottawa Chief of Police Vince Bevan still is no closer to solving this crime.

7. Justice delayed in Quebec as the Hugo Bernier trial is postponed for another month. Bernier is charged with the 2001 murder of Julie Boisvenu in downtown Sherbrooke.

8. Since his arrest in February of 2002, Guy Croteau is still awaiting his pre-trial hearing in the 1987 murder of Sophie Landry. The 14-year-old Laundry was stabbed over 170 times and dumped in a cornfield in St-Roch l’Achigan, Quebec.

9. In Nova Scotia, Gregory Plamondon is sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping and slashing the face of his ex-girlfriend. He could be released from prison in two years. Plamondon, who acted as his own lawyer during the trial, cross-examined, and further traumatized the victim for 6 1/2 hours.

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archives of original WKT website 2001-02

CASE UPDATECold Case Red Saturday, October 25, 2003
After maintaining for over two decades that there was insufficient evidence to justify re-ng the case, in November of 2002 my brother and I were invited to the Sûreté du Québec’s headquarters in Montreal where detectives announced their decision to launch a full investigation into the death of our sister, Theresa Allore.
At that meeting, we were finally given access to the entire contents of our sister’s police file. Investigators with the Sûreté du Québec finally admitted that they believed the investigative work conducted by myself and the reporter, Patricia Pearson to have been accurate: Theresa had been sexually assaulted and murdered, the assailant was possibly responsible for a series of cluster-murders in the Eastern Townships region in the late 1970s.
Since November of 2002, the Sûreté du Québec has been pursuing their investigation. There are currently four investigators assigned on a part-time basis to the case. The investigators continue to focus their efforts on one of the suspects originally brought to their attention by myself and Patricia Pearson.
John Allore, Chapel Hill, N.C.

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archives of original WKT website 2001-02

Thanks
I would like to thank the following people for helping me in my quest to find out the truth about the death of my sister:
James Riordon at Amigo 3 Interactive for donating this webspace
Patricia Pearson, for working so hard with me to research the circumstances surrounding my sister’s death, and for writing the subsequent article in The National Post that let others know Theresa’s story
The National Post for allowing me to reprint Ms. Pearson’s article
Thank you all, very much,

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archives of original WKT website

Nat’l Post Article
Updates
Pictures
Email
Links
Thanks
Links
www.foilaw.netresources on freedom of information law
www.suretequebec.gouv.qc.caSurete du Quebec
www.ombuds.gouv.qc.caLe Protecteur du Citoyen / Quebec Ombudsman
www.juliebureau.comSite for Julie Bureau / missing since September 26, 2001
www.missingchildren.casite for missing children
www.metropol-detectives.comsite for Robert Beullac
http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/justice/Justice avec Simon Durivage

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archive of original WKT website 2001-02

John AlloreGazetteNovember 22, 2002
On November 11th, a 14 year old girl went missing from Saint Hyacinthe. I learned about this from the Surete du Quebec’s website and immediately, a four alarm bell went off in my head. Has anyone started a search party? Should I contact the SQ? Why isn’t there a report in the papers? Is anyone doing anything about this? As it turns out, this girl has run away quite often in the past, and this time, perhaps she headed for Ontario with her 29 year old boyfriend. I turned off the alarm bell. I was wrong. This time.
You will understand my paranoia when you learn that my sister went missing over 24 years ago. Theresa disappeared like this girl from Saint Hyacinthe, and the authorities erroneously concluded that she was a run away. When her body was found, they wrongly assumed she had suffered a drug overdose, and a half-hearted investigation ensued. We were told someone would come forward. No one ever did. We were told to give it time. We gave it 23 years. I started my own investigation. The SQ said it was pointless. I discovered she had been murdered. The SQ said she was not. I uncovered two other murders. The SQ said they weren’t related. I asked for a reinvestigation. They looked at the evidence, they said there was no basis. I made some threats. They changed their minds. They said my sister had been murdered, there would be a reinvestigation.
In the midst of this, Champlain college conducted itself with equal shame. On September 11th when most of us were mourning, Champlain executives were conducted a 3 hour, closed door meeting with their press agent, and exercising damage control. Their ultimate response was to defer to the Police. If the case was re-d, they would cooperate. Note to Champlain: the case had been re-d, enjoy being investigated.
I welcome the SQ’s assistance, but I can hardly feel grateful. There are no big favors being done for me here. Law enforcement is finally doing the work they should have done 24 years ago. Only, back then they had a chance at catching the murderer. Now justice is remote, at the end of a trail that’s gone cold.
It shouldn’t be like this for the families of crime victims. We shouldn’t have to wait decades, we shouldn’t have to lobby day in and day out, we shouldn’t have to take our tales to the press. We should be able to expect skillfull and committed crime investigations for the dollars we surrender to run the SQ. It should be a bottom-line part of the deal.
Last night I had a dream about my sister, or rather, when I woke up, I remembered the dream. In the dream my brother and I conjured her up to appear for us. We found her in a playground swinging on the swings. She was just as we had left her, and we were as we were now, in our late 30s and 40s, but strangely she was still 19, and still our big sister, so much wiser and smarter than us. She was as funny as I remember her, as full of life, completely captivating, yet selfless. We talked a long time about nothing. What music we liked, what our families were doing, where we wished to travel in our later years. We did not talk about the why, or the what, or the who. How did you die? Do you know who killed you? Are you pleased with what I’m doing to solve it now? She seemed to know that these things were important to me, but she also knew that it wasn’t important. Gently, she managed to steer the conversation away from all that. She controlled the situation, but in the most charming way. She was the quality person I have always loved.
My sister was a quality person. Louise Camirand, Manon Dube, Julie Boisvenu, Julie Surprenant, Julie Bureau were all quality persons.
A quality person deserves a quality investigation. People’s lives are worth saving and their deaths are worth vindicating. If we ask nothing of our institutions, then it’s like saying we expect nothing from ourselves. It does not take “knowing” these people to get involved. You know them. They are of your communities. They are you. And they are lost.

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archive of original WKT website 2001-02

Patricia PearsonNational PostThursday, November 14, 2002
Last week, provincial justice ministers conferred in Calgary about setting up a national sex-offender registry.
Good. The proposed Registration of Sex Offenders Information Act would go some way to protecting our citizenry by making the movement of convicted sex offenders transparent.
No rapist could slip out of jail after serving his paltry sentence and then disappear into the crowd, lurking there until he felt another predatory urge. The police would know where he lived, and would be notified if he moved, or changed his name.
Yet, the effectiveness of such an Act would be based entirely on the ability to enforce it, and that, in turn, would be based on a difficult blend of competence, resources and a willingness to take sex assault seriously.
Policing the pedophiles, but not the men who prey upon adult women — including the prostitutes who disappeared for years from Vancouver’s East Side before Robert Pickton was charged with murdering 15 of them — would fall way short of understanding how violent and traumatic this crime is.
Only a fraction of rapists are actually caught and convicted, which also undermines the ideals of a registry.
This past year has been eye-ng for me in terms of how brutally common sexual assault is in Canada, and how ineptly and sometimes indifferently it is handled.
Investigating the unsolved sex murder of a friend’s sister, which became a three-part series in this paper called “Who Killed Theresa?” was an object lesson in the manifold obstacles to developing a meaningful registry.
While the justice ministers were jawing over this issue in Calgary, John Allore was presenting some of our findings in his sister Theresa’s murder case to two investigators at the Sûreté du Québec. The SQ had previously reacted to the National Post series by agreeing to review the files of Ms. Allore and two other murdered females in the Eastern Townships: Manon Dubé and Louise Camirand, whose deaths — we had argued — were connected.
But then the SQ announced that our evidence was not “new,” and that they would do no further investigation. John Allore was obliged to file complaints with every level of bureaucracy he could think of in Quebec, as well as enlisting the assistance of two private investigators and of provincial Liberal leader Jean Charest.
I began interviewing women who had been stalked or assaulted in the area at the same time that the three victims died, and collaborated with a superb journalist for Radio-Canada, so that we could present the case on TV to the French-speaking citizenry on his show Justice.
At this point, the SQ phoned John Allore for the very first time, and agreed to meet with him and to solve these crimes. With the resources available to the SQ, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel with viable suspects emerging from the shadows.
What proved to be critical in our quest, however, were the 13 women who overcame their sense of privacy and provided us with accounts of assault that matched either our suspect or the very small geographic area in which Dubé, Camirand and Allore were killed. We were even able to procure a licence plate number, which the SQ is now tracing.
Only one of these 13 cases ever resulted in a conviction. In the other 12, the victims had been threatened into silence by their assailants, or kept quiet because they had escaped before harm came to them. Several did go to the police, only to have their allegations looked into lamely and then shelved.
All were aware that if they did procure a conviction, the sentence would be negligible and the assailant could seek revenge. (The one man who was convicted got out in under two years, and killed a waitress.) For years, some of these women have felt bitter regret that they could not prevent their attackers from striking again. Anxiety that the lack of resolution in their cases might have led to the deaths of Louise Camirand, Theresa Allore and Manon Dubé inspired them to contact us. At least, that was one source of inspiration. The second was that they felt confident that John Allore, unlike the police, was trying to do something serious.
Canadian women should not have to feel this way. A sex-offender registry can only “register” as many offenders as the police are willing to catch, in effective collaboration with their victims.
I am very heartened to hear from sources that the Sûreté du Québec held a meeting last week to discuss ways to be more sensitive to the public. This is, I think, John Allore’s most triumphant accomplishment on behalf of his sister Theresa. Consciousness-raising within law enforcement will surely play as crucial a part in protecting us from sex crimes as a computer data base sitting on desks.

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