Category Archives: advocacy

Who watches the watchmen, Mr. Coiteux?


I noticed the following on Twitter yesterday afternoon:

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Now there’s nothing wrong with Martin Coiteux enjoying the Montreal Grand Prix, I just found it slightly inappropriate that he would be using his public Twitter account to do so:

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Then I was quickly reminded that Mr. Coiteux actually holds two offices in the Liberal cabinet:

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There’s nothing illegal about dual mandates. However there is something that smells entirely inappropriate about the Minister of Municipal Affairs also being the Minister of Public Safety. 

Depending on who you believe, the economic impact of the Montreal Grand Prix is estimated at anywhere between $42M to $89M. With all that cash coming to town, you wouldn’t say, want to admit you might have a problem with prostitution and human trafficking, in fact, to keep everyone happy, you might even wish to turn a blind-eye to the problem, as evidenced by the following in last  week’s Gazette:

The Canadian Grand Prix weekend means big business for Montreal’s sex trade, as partying race fans roar into the city on their annual pilgrimage.

Experts say major international sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, raise the demands for young, female prostitutes.

Montreal’s annual high-octane extravaganza is no exception, but many of the sex workers who are used to fill the commercial void are unwilling participants, human rights activists say.

The article goes on to say that enforcement fn the sex-tourism trade in Canada has been “slack”:

(UBC law professor Benjamin Perrin) also said Canada has lagged when it comes to rounding up sex tourists, who travel abroad abusing children. Perrin said sex tourism drives human trafficking around the world.

Canada, meanwhile, has convicted only one person in the past decade on sex-tourism charges, he said.

“We’ve really fallen behind globally in preventing our child-sex offenders from exploiting children in impoverished countries overseas,” said Perrin, the founder of The Future Group, a non-governmental organization dedicated to ending human trafficking.

The same is true for police forces. A Public Safety Minister who is also a Municipal Affairs Minister wouldn’t want to look to closely at the Montreal police who appear to be spiraling out of control, that could hurt tourism:

Montreal police chief stays coy about probe into ethical breaches

And just think of the negative economic impacts of admitting sexual predators and – here I’ll say it – serial killers have been preying on the province for decades?

You can’t serve two interests, M. Coiteux. It may not be illegal, but it is certainly inappropriate and unethical.


Qui garde les gardiens, Martin Coiteux?

J’ai remarqué ce qui suit sur Twitter hier après-midi:

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Donc, il n’y a rien mal de Martin Coiteux profiter du Grand Prix de Montréal, je viens de découvrir légèrement inapproprié qu’il utiliserait son compte Twitter public de le faire:

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Ensuite, on m’a rapidement rappelé que M. Coiteux détient effectivement deux bureaux dans le cabinet libéral:

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Il n’y a rien d’illégal à un double mandat. Cependant, il y a quelque chose qui sent tout à fait inapproprié de la ministre des Affaires municipales étant également le ministre de la Sécurité publique.

En fonction de qui vous croyez, l’impact économique du Grand Prix de Montréal est estimé à quelque part entre 42M $ à 89M $. Avec tout ce que l’argent provenant de la ville, vous ne diriez pas, veulent admettre que vous pourriez avoir un problème avec la prostitution et la traite des personnes, en fait, pour garder tout le monde heureux, vous pourriez même avoir envie de tourner un oeil aveugle au problème, comme en témoigne ce qui suit dans la Gazette de la semaine dernière:

Le week-end du Grand Prix signifie la grande entreprise pour le commerce du sexe de Montréal, les amateurs de course de la fête rugissent dans la ville sur leur pèlerinage annuel.

Les experts disent que les grands événements sportifs internationaux, tels que la Coupe du Monde et les Jeux Olympiques, élever les exigences pour les jeunes, les femmes prostituées.

extravaganza-haut indice d’octane annuel de Montréal ne fait pas exception, mais la plupart des travailleurs du sexe qui sont utilisés pour combler le vide commercial sont des participants involontaires, disent les militants des droits de l’homme.

L’article poursuit en disant que l’application fn le commerce du tourisme sexuel au Canada a été «slack»:

( professeur de droit de UBC Benjamin Perrin) a également dit que le Canada a pris du retard en ce qui concerne l’arrondissement des touristes sexuels, qui Voyage à l’étranger qui abusent des enfants. Perrin a déclaré le tourisme sexuel entraîne la traite des personnes dans le monde entier.

Canada, quant à lui, a condamné une seule personne dans la dernière décennie sur les frais du tourisme sexuel, dit-il.

«Nous avons vraiment pris du retard au niveau mondial dans la prévention de nos agresseurs sexuels d’enfants de l’exploitation des enfants dans les pays pauvres à l’étranger», a déclaré Perrin, le fondateur de The Future Group, une organisation non gouvernementale qui se consacre à mettre fin à la traite des personnes.

La même chose est vraie pour les forces de police. Un ministre de la Sécurité publique qui est également ministre des Affaires municipales ne voudrait pas se tourner vers de près la police de Montréal qui semblent échapper à tout contrôle, cela pourrait nuire au tourisme:

Chef de la police de Montréal reste discret sur la sonde en manquement à l’éthique

Et il suffit de penser aux impacts économiques négatifs d’admettre les prédateurs sexuels et – ici, je vais le dire – les tueurs en série ont été en prennent sur la province depuis des décennies?

Vous ne pouvez servir deux intérêts, M. Coiteux. Il ne peut pas être illégal, mais il est certainement inappropriée et contraire à l’éthique.

Stuart Peacock: an update


The Surete du Quebec called me on friday. Here are a few updates that they gave me:

  • Although over the last 16 years the Surete du Quebec has given me several assurances that I was granted access to EVERYTHING in my sister’s cold-case file, it now turns out that this is not true. There exists a final report from detective Roch Gaudreault, but because of “issues of confidentiality” I am not allowed to see it. The SQ assured me that I could always make an access-to-information request to try and obtain the file.
  • Exhuming the body: I again asked the SQ if they had any interest in exhuming the body to see if there were any physical DNA evidence on Theresa from the perpetrator.  The SQ is still taking this under consideration.

Finally, I thought I should mention that the second episode of Poirier Enquete is now streaming on the Historia website. It covers the murder of Jolene Riendeau (click here).

The program is not available for viewing in the United States.

The improvised logic of the Surete du Quebec

I believe in a process where two opposing parties should be civil in the interest of resolving their differences, but occasionally I need to call, “Bullshit”

For some months now, I have been working on a project with Claude Poirier. Claude is a pioneer journalist in Quebec. Back in-the-day, he had a page in Allo Police dedicated to the “police blotter”, it was sort of an update on what prominent cops where doing in the province. Through my research I became very familiar with Claude’s writing. For some years he had a show on Sunday evenings about justice affairs. He was once a regular on Paul Arcand’s morning radio show, one of the top talk-radio programs in Quebec. I have become a great admirer of his work.

Note that SQ's Fauchon (who we have written about in these cases) was sent to France for the Mesrine trial

Note that the SQ’s Yvon Fauchon (who worked several of these cases) was sent to France for the Mesrine trail.


Poirier now has a new venture. Next month Historia (Quebec’s History Channel) will premiere L’Enquete Poirier. The one hour program will feature unsolved crimes in Quebec, with interviews conducted by Claude (Poirier is a skilled negotiator and interviewer). I was in the Eastern Townships last month to film and interview with Claude’s team. They will be doing an hour program on my sister, Theresa Allore’s case, but that is still in production and won’t air until season two in the Spring of 2017.

Suzanne DeRome who was featured in the W-5 story, back again with L'Enquete Poirier

Suzanne DeRome, who was featured in the W-5 story, back again with L’Enquete Poirier


So back to the Surete du Quebec. Poirier’s team was keen to interview Roch Gaudreault, the SQ detective who was the head investigator on Theresa’s case. Recall that Gaudreault has always maintained that Theresa died of a drug overdose, despite the fact that there is no evidence to substantiate that theory. When a researcher with L’Enquete Poirier contacted Gaudreault by telephone and asked if he would appear on camera, he stated that he was willing, but would need permission from the Surete du Quebec (BTW: He still maintained his drug overdose theory).

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I was asked to broker the deal. I visited the head of the Surete du Quebec’s cold-case unit in April, and asked him if he would consider allowing Roch Gaudreault to speak on camera with Claude Poirier. I was told that this was quite common – old-timers often wanted to have the assurances of their former employers before they publicly talked about an historical case. And anyway, the SQ were great admirers of Poirier, I could expect their full cooperation.


Claude Poirier, Compton, QC, May 2016


Now all of this struck me as rather odd. In 2005 Roch Gaudreault went on camera when CTV’s W-5 did an hour show on Theresa. He was retired then, and felt very comfortable suggesting the drug overdose theory. So why did he suddenly need permission?

Something else transpired in that meeting with the SQ. They wanted me to know that they had good investigators. They had good investigators in the 1970s, and they had good investigators today. I assured them that I believed they had good investigators, but I emphatically insisted that they would never get me to agree that Roch Gaudreault was one of them. On that suggestion we would have to agree to disagree.

Cut forward a month. In early May I was back at the Surete du Quebec headquarters in Montreal, but by now Gaudreault was refusing to do the interview. So I asked the SQ, did Roch change his mind, or did his former employer change his mind for him?

I was told that I had to understand: in order for Roch to go on camera, he would need to have the right information, and that would mean going back and looking at all the evidence in the case to re-familiarize himself with the investigation. This would mean traveling to Montreal from L’Estrie, and he was a senior citizen in his 80s now: he could not make the trip.

Again, odd. He spoke very candidly in 2005, why now this insistence on researching the case?

There is of course the irreconcilable fact that if Roch was going to continue espousing a drug overdose theory, it would fly in contrast with the evidence: “marks of strangulation”… “violent death of undetermined means”, and that this apparently was the theory with which the current SQ was running (if that’s not true, then why have her case prominently displayed on their cold case webpage?).

The SQ then again insisted that Roch Gaudreault was a good investigator. They had talked to old-timers from that era that worked with him an they all said… Roch Gaudreault was a good investigator. One of the best.

I let it go. When I got home something occurred to me. In all the information I had reviewed,  all the paper in the Surete du Quebec’s file on Theresa’s case – reports, testimonials, mug shots – I had never seen one official police document from Roch Gaudreault. I had seen Leo Hamel’s report (the head of the Lennoxville police), but where was Roch’s report? The only conclusions in the file are made by Leo Hamel and coroner Michel Durand. If Roch was so good then why had he failed to file his final report?

I put this question to the SQ in an email. The wrote back, “I will explain it to you.”. Yesterday I got a phone call, and they did.

I was told that certain evidence is always held back. The police couldn’t show me every detail because that might jeopardize the investigation. Little details that only the criminal might know, these they could not disclose to me, and that is why I never saw Roch’s report.

All of that is understandable. I don’t expect to know everything the police know. If they worked like that they could never obtain a criminal conviction. There are just two problems with this logic:

Ten years ago when I reviewed all the case evidence I asked the SQ, “Is that everything?”. Sargent Michel Tanguay of the Surete du Quebec (now, no doubt, retired) assured me that it was: I had seen all the case evidence in the file. 

So I guess that was a lie.

Second – and more important – what could possibly be in Roch’s report that could jeopardize the investigation? For that matter, what investigation? Roch said it was a drug overdose. There’s nothing to investigate. There shouldn’t be any salient detail that only the criminal might know because – according to his theory – there wasn’t a crime: there was no criminal.

So I asked the SQ: In Roch report, is the final conclusion a drug overdose or was that – also – a lie?

They said they would look again at the file and get back to me next week.


Réponse du ministre de la Sécurité publique du Québec, Martin Coiteux



La réponse du bureau de Martin Coiteux est superficielle, et ne commence pas à répondre aux préoccupations exprimées dans notre demande initiale. Le chef de la sécurité pour la province devrait avoir de profondes inquiétudes pour la sécurité publique, en particulier compte tenu de la preuve documentée de la destruction des preuves dans les services de police et à travers plusieurs décennies. Aucun montant de la formation à l’Ecole Nicolet va remédier à cette situation.

Les défaillances systémiques dans des enquêtes au Québec proviennent d’une culture de l’incompétence et de l’indifférence qui commence au sommet du ministère tout en bas de la force de police plus petite dans la province.

Nous allons poursuivre notre demande au ministre Coiteux, en ajoutant les noms des victimes, jusqu’à ce que le ministre de la Sécurité publique fait des efforts sérieux pour réformer les pratiques d’enquête de la police dans la province de Québec.
Ceci est un lien vers la réponse Coiteux: response Coiteux
Voici les nouvelles de ce matin de Joanne Bayly de CBC Montréal:
ministre de la Sécurité publique dit non à enquête publique sur les enquêtes de meurtre

Voici un lien vers les nouvelles de ce matin par Catherine Montambeault dans La Presse:

Enquêtes non résolues : une réponse « insultante »du ministre Coiteux

Et voici quelques histoires d’il y a quelques semaines au sujet de mes activités dans les Cantons de l’Est au début du mois de mai:

La Presse: Affaire Theresa Allore: son frère refuse d’abandonner
Radio Canada: Meurtre de Theresa Allore : son frère poursuit les recherches

Response from Quebec Minister of Public Safety Martin Coiteux


The response from the office of Martin Coiteux is perfunctory, and does not begin to address the concerns expressed in our original request. The head of security for the province should have deep concerns for public safety, especially given the documented proof of the destruction of cold-case evidence across police agencies and across several decades. No amount of training at the Ecole Nicolet is going to remedy this situation.

The systemic failures in cold-case investigations in Quebec come from a culture of incompetence and indifference which begins at the top of the Ministry all the way down to the smallest police force in the province. 

We will continue our demand to Minister Coiteux, adding names of cold-case victims, until the Minister of Public Security makes some serious efforts to reform police investigative practices in the province of Quebec.
This is a link to the Coiteux response: response Coiteux
Here is this morning’s coverage on this matter by CBC Montreal’s Joanne Bayly: 
And here are some stories from a few weeks ago about my activities in the Eastern Townships in early May:

Hundreds of Unsolved Quebec Murders

I want to clarify something from the Sherbrooke Record article:

“While he is one of eight families pushing for a public inquiry into unsolved crimes, Allore said that there are easily 30 cold cases from the 70s and 80s in Quebec alone.”


That number is more like 150 unsolved cold cases from the 70s and 80s for the Surete du Quebec alone (we’re not counting Longeueil, Laval, SPVM or any of the other municipalities). Let me explain:

For the 30 year period from 1976-2005 the Surete du Quebec had a total of 1,245 homicides, with a homicide clearance rate of about 80%. (all of this is from StatsCan: click here) That equates to approximately 250 unsolved homicides for the thirty year period. Two-thirds of that is 165, so let’s say 165 cold cases for the Surete du Quebec from the 70s and 80s.

If you factor in all other decades and all other jurisdictions, you’re probably looking at a number well over 1,000. The Surete du Quebec currently has 31 cold-cases posted on their website, nowhere near the proper representation of unsolved murders.

I didn’t express myself very well when explaining this to Matthew McCully. I was making a connection at Laguardia, and so I was a little bit frazzled. Here is where the number 30 came from:

It is true that there are currently 8 families petitioning Quebec’s Minister of Public Security, Martin Coiteux for an inquiry into the mishandling of cold-cases in Quebec. I said we probably needed more like 30 families represented before the Minister started to hear our demande, and that that was probably the maximum number of families we would ever be able to find (though I think the number of mismanaged cases falls more in line with the total number of cases = they mismanaged all of them).

Here’s why I only think we can find 30 cold-cases:

It is extremely hard to track down these investigations:

  1. First, you have to find the historical crime.
  2. You need to establish that the crime remains unsolved.
  3. For items one and two above, don’t even bother going to the police: they won’t tell you anything.
  4. Once you establish that there is in fact a cold-case, you need to find the families. This can be particularly challenging. In most cases the parents of the victim are now dead. Your best bet is if the victim had a brother, you have at least a good shot of tracking them down because they shared the same last name. If it’s a sibling sister? They get married, so they no longer share the same name. If the victim was an only-child? Forget it: everyone has died = case closed = it will never be solved.
  5. Even if you get beyond all the obstacles presented in item 4, the family has to be willing to participate. In many cases families have moved on. They would just as soon forget about the whole thing than take on the Quebec justice establishment.

Given all these factors, this is why I said it was realistic that we would only be  able to find about a maximum of 30 names  to join in a petition to Minister of Public Security, Martin Coiteux.



Enquête Publique: Quebec Police

This was the letter sent earlier this month by Marc Bellemare to Public Safety Minister, Martin Coiteux:


Sujet : 8 femmes

Sharron Prior          29 mars 1975           (Dame Yvonne Prior)

Louise Camirand    19 mars 1977                    

Joanne Dorion        30 juillet 1977           (Dame Colette Dorion)

Hélène Monast      11 septembre 1977

Denise Bazinet       24 octobre 1977        (Monsieur Michel Bazinet)

Lison Blais               4 juin 1978                 (Dame Solange Blais)

Theresa Allore        3 novembre 1978     (Monsieur John Allore)

Roxanne Luce         4 avril 1981               (Monsieur Stéphane Luce)

Monsieur le ministre,

Je vous écris aujourd’hui à la demande des familles de plusieurs victimes de meurtres survenus au Québec.

Depuis quelque quarante ans, 8 familles pleurent autant de femmes lâchement assassinées et retrouvées quelque part à Laval, Montréal ou sur la route menant à Sherbrooke. Dépendant de l’endroit où le corps a été retrouvé, c’est la police municipale de Laval (Joanne Dorion), de Longueuil (Sharron Prior et Roxanne Luce) de Montréal-SPVM (Denise Bazinet etLison Blais) ou la Sûreté du Québec (Louise Camirand, Hélène Monastet Theresa Allore) qui a été chargée de l’enquête.

Si, dans les jours suivant les disparitions, les efforts et les effectifs policiers ont été au rendez-vous, les familles ont rapidement constaté que l’indifférence s’est installée pour de bon.  Alors que les enquêtes sont au point mort dans tous ces dossiers, aucun effort senti n’étant déployé depuis des dizaines d’années, les policiers refusent de donner accès à un quelconque élément. Il nous apparaît inacceptable  que les proches eux-mêmes ne puissent mener des recherches additionnelles.

Sous prétexte de ne pas « nuire à l’enquête » alors qu’à l’évidence aucune telle enquête n’existe, on maintient les familles dans l’angoisse et l’ignorance. Celles-ci vivent d’espoir. Or, aucun espoir n’est permis dans un tel contexte. En novembre dernier, on m’a refusé, à la demande de la famille Dorion, l’accès aux rapports d’enquête et d’autopsie de Joanne. Plus encore, on a refusé de simplement préciser si les prélèvements d’ADN étaient toujours disponibles à ce jour. Ces refus répétés alimentent les pires craintes, plus de 39 ans après l’assassinat. Ils constituent une attitude aussi méprisante que cruelle.

Du côté de l’incompétence, les familles Prior et Luce ont appris avec stupéfaction que la police de Longueuil avait détruit des prélèvements du tueur et d’autres pièces à conviction. Il en fut de même pour la famille Allore du côté de la Sûreté du Québec. Sans celles-ci, il est désormais impossible d’obtenir une condamnation. Seul un aveu inespéré de ou des assassins ou une preuve directe et irréfutable pourrait désormais mener à une condamnation.

La Sûreté du Québec doit raffiner ses pratiques dans les cas de disparition et de meurtre. Elle doit expliquer sa conduite mutique envers les familles des victimes de longue date. Les corps de police municipaux ne doivent plus agir dans ces dossiers complexes. Ils n’ont tout simplement pas la juridiction ni les compétences et les effectifs requis.

La population doit savoir ce qui cloche dans ce système ou tout baigne dans le secret. La police se réfugie derrière la confidentialité des dossiers et des enquêtes pour cacher son inertie et son incompétence.

Voilà pourquoi nous demandons :

  1. Qu’une enquête publique soit menée sur les méthodes policières applicables aux cas de meurtres et de disparition ;
  2. Que toutes les enquêtes de meurtre et de disparition sur le territoire du Québec soient menées exclusivement par la Sûreté du Québec ;
  3. Qu’un protocole rigoureux assure la conservation des prélèvements et exhibits dans un endroit centralisé à la Sûreté du Québec.
  4. Que la formation des enquêteurs soit bonifiée ;
  5. Que les familles soient informées systématiquement de l’évolution de l’enquête ;
  6. Que les familles aient accès au dossier complet de la police si, 25 ans après le meurtre, aucun suspect n’a été accusé.

Les familles désirent vous rencontrer dans les meilleurs délais pour vous présenter leur position.

Dans l’attente d’une réponse prochaine et surtout favorable, nous demeurons,

Marc Bellemare, avocat