Category Archives: Cold Case

The Sire of Sorrow / Mélanie Decamps – August 9, 1983 WKT2 #26

 

Voltigeurs Park campground, August 9, 1983. A mother is absent a few minutes. Upon her return, her daughter, Mélanie Decamps, is missing. Twelve days later, the girl will be found dead, gagged and tied to a tree trunk.

This is Who Killed Theresa?

Today I want to discuss the 1983 murder of 5-year-old Mélanie Decamps. It’s a case that is not unknown in Quebec, in fact, just last summer, marking the 35th anniversary, the Drummondville newspaper, L’Express did an investigative piece about the murder. It is a great long form piece by a journalist I am not familiar with, Stéphane Lévesque.  I only wish there were more stories about cold cases coming out of Quebec like M. Lévesque’s. Today’s story is in part a translation of that piece, including some additional information I’ve uncovered through research, however, what I’m going to ultimately suggest and add to the story has not been featured in any publication.

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Tuesday, August 9, 1983 is a beautiful sunny day in Drummondville.

Gilles Thériault, the head of the Sûreté du Québec  station in Drummondville at the time recalls that he, “was at work when the call came in,”

 

Without delay, patrolmen go to the Voltigeurs Park campground to meet the parents and search for the girl. The search perimeter is expanding and a request for assistance is sent to the district level. The case is quickly handed over to the major crimes unit.

“We had a disappearance or kidnapping. At that time, we did not know it yet, “notes Thériault.

A group of volunteers rummaging through the Voltigeurs Park searching for Mélanie Decamps

 

“I did regular checks at the police station,” recalls Gérald Prince, a journalist for  La Tribune newspaper for 27 years.  “That day, I call and I am told that a little girl has disappeared in the Voltigeurs Park. I immediately sent a message to La Tribune.”

THE SEARCH FOR MELANIE

Quickly, the SQ team from Trois-Rivières came to the Drummondville substation. Roadblocks are established, divers search the adjacent Saint-François River: they complain that the thick pollution prevents them from examining the river bottom.  A thorough search of the park and the surrounding area are completed. The SQ’s Michel Beaudoin is responsible for the operation.

“First, we met again with Jacqueline Decamps, Melanie’s mother. She explains that she went to the campsite’s convenience store for 15 minutes, leaving her little girl on a swing. When she returned, the eldest of her three children was no longer there. After, she went around the park and the surrounding area with a description of Melanie” recalls Michel Beaudoin.

The day after the disappearance of the six-year-old girl, a witness reports that he saw, on August 9, a little girl holding the hand of a man near the iron bridge that spans the Saint-François River. Based on this observation, a composite photo is established and distributed in the community. Seeing it, a man from Drummondville declares: “This guy, he looks like Michel Déry”.

Michel Beaudoin instructed one of his investigators to meet the 24-year-old man living in Drummondville. The policeman returns to report to the chief investigator: “Forget it, it’s not him. this guy’s a religious nut who speaks of nothing but the Bible.”

Les parents de Mélanie, Jacqueline et Daniel Decamps

 

In the days following the disappearance, Gilles Thériault has a chance encounter with Michel Déry at the police station in Drummondville. “One day, I remember, I come out of my office, I see a young man sitting there. So I ask: “Is someone taking care of this gentleman? Is he a visitor? Someone coming for a complaint? “Then, a policeman from Nicolet arrives. “It’s our client. It’s an arrest for a car theft. ” He was a young man who looked like a child. He was very small.  He appeared, and he was released. It was Michel Déry, but he was not known to the police at that time.”

On Friday, August 12, a press conference with Daniel and Jacqueline Decamps – Melanie’s parents – is organized. 

Police accept offers from several hypnotists, parapsychologists, and a “radiosthesiste” who sought hints of the little girl using a pendulum, a map and a photo of her.

A Drummondville journalist commented, “As soon as people saw a man with a little girl, they would report it to the police. It had become a real madness. There were even fortunetellers who were pronouncing all kinds of things.  It was beyond reason. It was really a time when there was a lot of stress with people. I felt it”. 

Many calls are routed to police authorities. Mr. Beaudoin quotes as an example: “” The little girl is here, but I want two tickets for Diana Ross and 200 piastres “, reveals Beaudoin in his colorful language. Although not credible at first glance, all of the information collected had to be analyzed. “There were about 100 people working on it. In Drummondville, but also in Montreal, Chibougamau, everywhere across the province.”

Police drain a portion of the St-Francis River in the hunt for traces of Melanie Decamps.Two hydro electric dams were completely closed for several hours so police can get a closer look at the  rocky river bottom. 

Despite the efforts made, there was still no news of Mélanie Decamps. It is the work of an especially  talented investigator who will solve the case: Jean-Paul Prince. On the afternoon of August 20, he was working the streets of Trois-Rivières, Prince was sent to a crime scene in Louiseville, with a colleague from Trois-Rivières. “I was going to take him back to his residence. While going down this road, all of a sudden my colleague points out to me that there is this guy hitchhiking who looks like Michel Déry. He is on the boulevard des Chenaux in Trois-Rivières. We stopped. I opened my window and I identified myself. It was him. “

Jean-Paul Prince invites Michel Déry aboard and a conversation begins, en route to Drummondville. “I talked to  him about girls just to check him out. I told him all kinds of stories. I told him that I had already arrested some people who had committed murder, but that it was not always their fault. If they killed it is because they are sick, “says Prince.

By confiding in him,  Prince tries to coax him. “He told me he was beaten by his parents. He was thrown into the cellar. He told me that he had stayed in Saint-Léonard-d’Aston and that he had remained at one point on the South Shore of Montreal “. Information that does not fall on deaf ears and will be useful later.

A group of people where the body of Melanie Decamps was found tied to a tree seven kilometers from the Voltigeurs Park.

 

Gradually, just before exit 181, Jean-Paul Prince starts talking about Mélanie Decamps. Then, Prince goes to the Voltigeurs Park. There was a broken fence where the team of investigators assumed that the suspect had ducked through with the girl. Arriving in front, it is at this moment that the Prince says: “It is here that the little girl was abducted”. He quickly notices that Déry is nervous. The vice is tightening. Jean-Paul Prince asks Dery directly  if he has kidnapped and killed Melanie Decamps.

“He answered weakly,” Yes, but I did not kill her, I did not kill her! “

The investigator tries to be reassuring by evoking the possibility that she is still alive. Convinced that she was not dead, Jean-Paul Prince brought Michel Déry to the police station.

Other details emerge as Dery is brought to the place where Melanie Decamps would be found. Michel Déry explains to the investigators that from the beginning, he had brought the girl to a park and then brought her home to his apartment at 285 Brock Street where they slept. On this subject, the various discussions with Déry, and the state in which the body was discovered did not lead to the conclusion that there had been sexual assault on the child. According to the 24-year-old man, the next day, August 10, 1983, he wanted to bring Melanie back to the Voltigeurs Park. Seeing the helicopters deployed by the SQ in the sky, he was scared. He entered a wood, near Hemming Road, picked up ribbons used to identify trees and then attached the young Decamps to a tree trunk, a few kilometers south of the Curé Marchand bridge, near the Hydro-Québec towers, about 300 meters from the end of Reid Street.

A group of people from the SQ in a press conference, revealing the exact place where Melanie Decamps’ body was found.

 

Due to the darkness, the search cannot continue. The next day, at 5 o’clock in the morning, the search resumes with other police reinforcements and the canine squad. Teams survey the forest sector by sector. The forest is  systematically cordoned in the area indicated by Michel Déry. Because of strong winds that hinder the detection of odors, it is only in the evening, at 9:30 pm, that Mélanie Decamps is found dead tied to a tree trunk with her stockings stuffed down her throat and a banner in her mouth. This information contradicts the story  Déry told that he tied her to “play” with her and then”forgot” where he left her. For Jean-Paul Prince, it is very clear that he tied her up and choked  her. “For sure he strangled her.”

The sight of the bound girl, swollen by days of exposure to heat, provokes reactions of rage and anger.

“For all the police officers who had to work that site, at least 80% of them came back with tears in their eyes. Me, the first “,  states Gilles Thériault.

THE TRIAL

On August 22, 1983, Michel Déry was brought to the Courthouse of Drummondville under a heavy police escort where he is charged with first degree murder, abduction and kidnapping of Melanie Decamps. The Crown Attorney, Alain Perreault, recommends to Justice Yvon Sirois that the accused undergo a psychiatric examination. Out of this, Déry is judged fit to stand trial. The 24-year-old – through his lawyer – Yves Bolduc, opts for a trail by jury.

The journalist Gérald Prince remembers that people were waiting for him at the entrance of the court and insulted him. Inside, in the court room, Mr. Prince reports that Michel Déry looked vacant.

 

Michel Déry during his appearance before Judge Sirois in the courtroom of the courthouse for the murder of Mélanie Decamps.

 

This absence, this madness, this supposed insanity will be at the heart of the debates chaired by Judge Pierre Pinard. Various specialists, psychiatrists and psychologists will testify on Michel Déry’s ability to distinguish between good and evil. The jury opts for a verdict of non-liability after less than four hours of deliberation, May 28, 1984.

Déry is incarcerated at the Phillipe Pinel Institute for the Criminally Insane in the East end of Montreal. He returns to the news on July 12, 2001 when he manages to trick the guards at the Pinel Institute, and escape. He is quickly found and brought back to the establishment within 24 hours.

 

Michel Dery’s escape and recapture, 2001

 

This acquittal for insanity, 35 years later, still leaves a bitter taste among the stakeholders, including Jean Fortier, a reporter with Allo-Police who covered the trial. “I never thought he was crazy. Not crazy enough to put in the fire, He was in between.”

The disappearance and death of Mélanie Decamps deeply affected the population. For both Michel Beaudoin and Jean-Paul Prince, this was the most memorable case in their long careers in law enforcement. “It’s the one that touched me the most. It struck me because she is a child. When you come in contact with the parents as we came in contact, we live their pain. It’s been 35 years and I still think about it, “said Jean-Paul Prince in a low voice full of emotion.

MICHEL DERY, A RECIDIVIST?

Although Michel Déry is detained, Sûreté du Québec investigators Michel Beaudoin and Jean-Paul Prince continue to investigate. Two years before Melanie Decamps, again in Voltigeurs Park, a little girl went missing, but was soon found.

“The woman who had her child kidnapped did not complain to the police because she was with her lover at the campsite! In filing a complaint, she would have had to say who she was with. Michel Déry, it was he who had kidnapped this little girl, “said Michel Beaudoin without question.

Jean-Paul Prince also remembers meeting Michel Déry at the Sherbrooke jail during the trial. “We have brought out all the unsolved cases in the region and the surrounding area. There is another case that came out in Saint-Hubert: the disappearance of Chantal de Montgayard “.

 

Chantal de Montgayard

 

A discussion lead Dery to confess that it was he who had kidnapped the four-year-old girl when he was a teenager. According to what he told the investigators, on June 4, 1972, he took her to a small wood behind a church in Saint-Hubert, tied her up, but did not kill her. It is a scenario very similar to Melanie Decamps.

M et Mme Claude Montgayard

 

The experienced police officers  Beaudoin and Prince have obviously validated the veracity of this confession. You should know that in this type of criminal record, there is information that is never communicated to the media. One of these, in the case of Chantal de Montgayard, was the color of her underwear.

Comments Jean-Paul Prince, “He gave us the color of Chantal de Montgayard’s panties and that was correct. When the investigation was carried out at the time, in 1972, he had not been interviewed as a suspect because Déry’s parents had moved to Saint-Léonard-d’Aston a few days later. The body has never been found. Indeed, there was a small woodland behind the church, but it was deforested to build houses. We spoke to the Crown Attorney, but since he was acquitted in one case, it would not have yielded much to accuse him in another. And apart from his statement and his knowledge of the color of the underwear, there was nothing to corroborate. “. Jean-Paul Prince believes that Michel Dery has at least two murders to his credit.

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Well, maybe three. If this case sounds familiar to you, it should. Because there are stark similarities with another case from Drummondville, the 1977 disappearance of Claudette Poirier.

We’ve spoken about the Claudette Poirier case before on this podcast, but it would help if I briefly summarized the particulars. I’ve added new information that has not until this point been disclosed:

15-year-old Claudette Poirier lived with her parents at 1190 Monfette in Drummondville. In the summer of 1977 the family decided to do some camping about 7 miles south of Drummondville along chemin Hemming. On July 27th, 1977 the blond haired, 5/’5″ 110 pound girl was  riding her bicycle along 3e Rang de Simpson on her way to a babysitting job on St-Charles boulevard near her home back in Drummondville. 

 

IMG_0545From that point Claudette disappears. About a week after the disappearance, on August 3rd, 1977, Claudette’s bicycle is found along Rang 3e,  Saint Cyrille,  about 3 miles from her camp site, midway between the camp site and her home in Drummondville.  The bike is off its chain. The man who owns the adjacent property states that the bike – which is in full view at the side of the road – was not there all of the previous week.

The police who investigated the case were the Surete du Quebec forces from Trois Rivieres and Drummondville. After an exhaustive search they are unable to find any trace of Claudette.

 

 

On December 8th, 1977 in a chilling article in Quebec’s La Nouvelliste, reporter Yves Champoux suggests that Poirier might have met a similar fate as that of Denise Therrien. In August 1961, 16-year-old Thierren disappeared one morning while disembarking from a bus in Shawinigan. Four years later,  Marcel Bernier, confessed to her murder and agreed to guide the police to the victim’s remains, abandoned in the woods. Some speculated that for the 4 years she was missing, Thierrien was sold into child prostitution. On June 20th, 1962, La Presse featured an article about the “Montreal Paramount Booking” agency, a prostitution ring that would “recruit” 15 and 16 year old girls from Quebec and sell them into sex trafficking in the United States. In the Nouvelliste article, Champoux similarly speculated that Claudette Poirier might have met a similar fate.

 

 

 

IMG_0544

9 years after her disappearance on October 9th, 1986, 2 hunters find a skull, other bones and women’s clothing about 15 meters from the road at La Reserve, Saint Lucien about 4 miles from south of the site of Claudette’s disappearance. (I have heard it reported that the bones were charred, as if her remains were burnt). The remains are analyzed by Dr. Andre Lauzon at the SQ medical lab at Parthenais in Montreal and identified as Claudette Poirier. Given the length of time that has passed the cause of death is undetermined.

I made a small map of the Poirier locations, as the story is a little confusing. The map is interactive:  click here and you will be take to the map,  and you can manipulate around the geography:

Screen shot 2016-03-11 at 6.18.53 PM

 

Basically in the center is where she was camping and last seen, to the left is where she lived and where she was going, to the right is where her bicycle and remains were found. 

So returning to the Melanie Decamps case; what do we find in common here?  To begin with, both victims disappeared while camping in Drummondville, Poirier in 1977 and Decamps in 1983.

In 1977 Michel Dery would have been about 17 or 18, too young to be Poirier’s offender? Hardly. If police suspected him in the 1972 murder of Chantal de Montgayard, when Dery would have been 12 or 13, he would certainly been capable of murdering 15-year-old Claudette Poirier 5 years later.

Where is Poirier’s home? 1190 Rue Monfette is an 8 minute bike ride from the Voltigeurs campground.

Where is 285 Brock street, where Dery had claimed to have slept with Decamps? That’s a 10 minute bike ride from the campground across the Saint Francois river.

And where is Decamps body found? 5 kilometers south of Drummondville at the cross section of Chemin Hemming and Rue Reid. Where was Poirier last seen? 10 kilometers south of Drummondville, riding her bike, also along Chemin Hemming. And where are her remains found? 20 kilometers south, also along Chemin Hemming.

The emphasis on bicycles is important. Note that when Dery was first encountered he had been brought to the station for stealing a car. Later, Jean-Paul Prince picks him up while hitchhiking from Trois Rivieres back to Drummondville. In fact, Dery never appeared to own a vehicle. The story suggests when he needed one, he stole one. On August 27th, 1983 article in The Gazette about Dery makes repeated reference to his use of a bicycle:

“Dery stayed mostly in his apartment, going out only for rides on his bicycle or to get groceries.”

“[Sister Clementine] described him as a “miserable soul,” a loner who liked to ride his bicycle all over Drummondville and the surrounding area, and who was drawn to the silence of the woods.”

I think it’s very possible that Dery used his bicycle to stalk and hunt for prey. When he came upon the right victim, he would steal a car for the purposes of abduction. Or maybe he lured Claudette to follow him on his bicycle? Maybe she thought – slight and five foot tall – that he also was a child.

 

Michel Dery: “He never had love”, a regrettable article from The Montreal Gazette

 

I spoke with former Surete du Quebec investigator, Jean-Paul Prince, the officer who cracked the case. Prince is of course now retired and living in Trois-Rivières.  I asked if they ever considered Michel Dery as a suspect in the Claudette Poirier case. Prince stated that he did not recall Poirier’s case.but he imagined they probably ruled Dery out because at that time he was possibly not living in Drummondville, but still with his parents in Saint-Léonard-d’Aston.

Still, Saint-Léonard-d’Aston is only a 25 minute drive from Drummondville, the mid point between Drummondville and Trois Rivieres. Maybe Dery could have been driving by the time he was 17 or 18? If not, maybe in 1977 he had some reason to hitchhike there? In fact the day Jean-Paul Prince picked him up, he was hitchhiking from Saint Leonard-d’Aston going toward Drummondville.  Of maybe he road his bike from Saint Leonard-d’Aston to Drummondville. He was said to have ridden his bike, “all over the Drummondville area”.

What is certain: at some point, something eventually brought him to Drummondville. The question is did he arrive as early as 1977?

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CODA: On March 7th, 1979, at the back of their Wednesday edition La Presse discloses that like his sister Claudette, 15-year-old Bruno Poirier has disappeared without a trace:

Bruno Poirier

Punch The Clock – November 3rd 1978

 

When eldest daughter left for college I never quite prepared myself for it. It took me totally by surprise that she leaving home might trigger past memories. The second time, last August, when my middle daughter left I was a little more prepared for the separation.  What totally blindsided me was how similar my home life would track with 40 years ago. So there we are, me and my youngest daughter:  alone at home, her two older siblings off at college. She’s 14: this is exactly me in the Fall of 1978. I didn’t literally get it at first. It was just the feeling of the house. The quiet. The way she behaves is a lot like me then; moody, then funny. Totally independent. She’s just been listening to everything these past 14 years.

The week of late October into November is always such a gut-punch marathon.  There’s Halloween, then my brother’s birthday on November 1st. Of course, November 3rd. And then election Tuesday. There was even a Quebec election that weekend in 1978.
Speaking o the horrors of the season, I found this article on Simone Weil which is a balm:
I woke up this morning wondering what that Saturday must have been like in the Eastern Townships 40 years ago. It was a beautiful fall day, like today. The football team had their big game. The owners of that farm in Compton were probably up and out doing weekend things. And in the field adjacent to their farm, there was this beautiful girl lying dead in perfect stillness. Exposed to the elements in her brassiere and underpants.  Later that afternoon these two hunters enter the woods near Magog and find women’s clothing resting on a tree trunk.
It seems impossible-improbable that it took 8 days for my parents to be notified she was missing. Ten days for me to be notified, November 11, 1978, Remembrance Day.  Then you put on your investigator hat, and when you clock the time, the manner in which events fell out, you understand why it took so long for everyone to wake up.

 

Categories:

O Untimely Death! – Ursula Schulze / WKT2 #25

 

 

19-year-old Ursula Schulze was abducted at a bus stop in broad daylight the morning of July 13, 1972 in Brossard, Quebec.

The abduction occurred near the girl’s home at 8442 Marie Victorin Blvd.before 8 a.m. when a man dragged her into his car.

The incident was witnessed by many people. “His large hand… he just gripped the girl by the arm and yanked her towards the car,” a witness said. The driver of the car was described as 5’5″ tall, stocky, about 35 years of age with black hair and wearing brown clothing.  Later he was described as between 40 and 50 years of age measuring between 5’6″ and 5’8″ and weighing between 150 and 170 pounds.  Witnesses said he waited for Schulze in the parking lot of La Terrasse Drive-In restaurant. 

The car was described as  “dull red”, with a fastback roofline, possibly a Toyota or a Datsun. 

A witness continued with the following, extremely detailed account of the abduction: 

“It drove up slowly behind the girl, who was standing with her back towards the car. The car stopped in the middle of the road. The driver got out and walked slowly around the back of the car. The girl just had time to turn her head when the guy rushed and grabbed her with his right arm.

“The thing I remember most about the man was his large hand. He just gripped the girl by the arm and yanked her towards the car.

“Opening the door with his other hand he pushed her inside and jumped on her. All I could see was his rear-end sticking out of the car. He must have hit her or something because when he got up and closed the door I couldn’t see the girl.

“He went around the car the same way he approached the girl and drove off. He stayed on the service road as far as I know because I didn’t see him take the entrance to the highway.”

Schulze planned to go shopping for a birthday present for her mother after she got off work at a Place d’Armes office on St. James street where she worked as a file clerk.  Mrs. Schulze described Ursula as impossibly shy. Her parents forced her to take the job as a means of meeting people. 

Schulze was found dead against the wall behind a vacant soap factory in Lapraire  by a truck driver around 4 p.m. on Friday, July 14th. She was found by some bushes near Rang St. Claude, 15 miles from where she had been abducted. One account said Schulze had been strangled. Though there were no signs she had been sexually molested, detectives said her hands and arms bore signs of a severe struggle. Another account said that Schulze had been shot through the back of the head at least twice by a small-calibre weapon.  and there were no signs of struggle at the scene where the body was found.

On Monday, July 17th Gazette reporter Jim Duff reported that an arrest was pending, “The naming of several suspects in the slaying came after a weekend of intensive investigation by detectives from both the Brossard and Quebec Police Forces.” Yet nearly two weeks later QPF detectives admitted that they were no nearer to a solution. “Despite intensive questioning of witnesses and possible suspects, police have been unable to come up with more than a general description of an automobile and the suspect.”

Eight months past. On March 15th, 1973 the following notice appeared in the Montreal Gazette:

The public hearing followed complaints from the parents of Ursula Schulze that the Brossard police did not do everything in their power to locate their daughter. Testimony revealed the father of the murdered girl and another daughter went to the Brossard police station the afternoon of the kidnapping and were told, “We’ll take care of it later.”  It was also determined that the Quebec Police Force / Surete du Quebec was not notified of the abduction until 19 hours after it occurred.

Otto Schulze testified that he went to the office of Brossard Police Chief Marcel Renaud with photos of his daughter the afternoon she disappeared.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schulze

 

“He told me to place the pictures on Blain’s desk (Assistant Director Paul Emile Blain). He said Blain had no time for that right now because he had a more important job to do… that he had a tip on something.”. Chief Renaud told him that Blain would go to his house in about “half-an-hour” for more information on his daughter. “Nobody came to the house until 11:30 p.m. that night.”

Ursula’s sister, Angele who accompanied her father to the police station, continued the testimony. “One of the men at the station suggested that my sister might have made off with some guy. ‘She’s 19 years old and she’s an adult.’ “I told him: ‘Not my sister, I know her.’

Testimony continued:

“…[the duty officer at the time] did not order roadblocks or inform Quebec Provincial Police because this was not “standard practice”. In fact, there were no directives on what standard practice was in such a case.

Other duty officers said they did not know that QPP headquarters was not cut in on the regional network used by municipal forces and thought “somebody else” had informed the QPP directly.

Blain and the officer in charge of criminal investigations, spent the day investigating a report of a robbery by four prison escapees which he told the commission he judged the more serious of the cases.

Both he and Director Renaud thought the QPP had been informed of the kidnapping and were investigating it.”

In April 1973 the commission issued its report. While praising the efforts of on-the-ground constables the report faulted the force director Marcel Renauld and his Assistant Director Paul-Emile Blain for

“”learning nothing” from the incident and failing to instruct force members on how to handle major crimes.”. The report went on to say, “…the “off-hand” manner of force superiors, coupled with the ignorance of force members on procedures and how to use regional communications systems, severely hampered the investigation.”

Brossard Police Chief Renaud called the report “unfair”, “It’s unfortunate they had to judge my department on one isolated incident.” Among the recommendations the Quebec Police Commission recommended that police take special courses in criminal inquires. Renaud stated that is was standard practices to send his men to the Police Academy in Nicolet. “Of the 32 policemen I have I would say only four haven’t gone to the academy yet. But they will be soon.”

The report called on Renaud to ensure that his men put in more than a minimum effort. Renaud replied, “What’s a minimum effort for a guy who works 14 to 18 hours a day?”

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Montreal Gazette, Tuesday, July 10th, 1973:

“Slain girl’s parents suing police

The family of Ursula Schulze, the 19-year-old Brossard girl kidnapped and murdered last July, is suing the Brossard police department and the Quebec Police Force.

A suit is expected tomorrow in Superior Court on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schulze by lawyer Morris Chaikelson.

Chaikelson said yesterday he is preparing the suit because the Schulzes blame the two forces for the death.”

The Schulzes filed two $100,000 court suits claiming police incompetence in the kidnapping death of their daughter. Defendants in the suits were the Quebec Government, The Quebec Police Force, the town of Brossard, and several of the municipality’s policemen. Each of the Schulzes sought $50,000 for the loss of their daughter in both actions.

No further stories were filed in this matter. It is presumed that the Schulze settled with the Quebec government privately and never went further with legal proceedings.

Despite a good description of Ursula Schulze’s abductor and his vehicle, her murderer has never been apprehended.

 

“Those who forget the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them.”

 

(with acknowledgement to the archives of the Montreal Gazette)

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

 

A summary of the April 2000 unsolved murder of Guylaine Potvin in Jonquière, Quebec. We also hear from the second victim in the case, the attacked student from Sainte-Foy in July 2000.

Guylaine potvin

 

From the Surete du Quebec’s Cold Case Website:

On the morning of April 28, 2000, Guylaine Potvin, a student at the CÉGEP de Jonquière, was found dead in her apartment on rue Panet in Jonquière. She shared the apartment with two girlfriends, students also, who were absent on the night of the events.

Elements of the investigation have shown certain similarities with another file concerning an event in Sainte-Foy in July 2000, in which another student living alone was assaulted in her apartment. The latter, who was left for dead, was more fortunate, she survived.

If you have any information that could help solve this crime, contact the Centrale de l’information criminelle of the Sûreté du Québec at 1 800 659-4264.

The Poirier Enquete episode on Guylaine Potvin:

 

Jonquière apartment where Guylaine Potvin was murdered

 

Jonquière, neighborhood where Guylaine Potvin was murdered

 

The second victim from Sainte-Foy interviewed for the program Qui a Tue?

 

Bloodied phone from the second victim’s basement apartment. Note the missing phone cord from receiver.

 

In 2009 Claude Larouche was suspected of the Potvin murdered, but a DNA test cleared him

 

In April 1997 Diane Couture was found dead, face down on her bed with her hands tied in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She had been strangled and raped.

 

Poème écrit par Isabeau, la deuxième victime:

Je me souviens d’une voix de femme : « Reste avec nous ».

Qui est-elle ?

Pourquoi me dit-elle ça ?

 Où suis-je ?

Je me suis ouvert les yeux, une pièce inconnue, l’hôpital, un médecin.

J’ai demandé une seule question : « Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Comme seule réponse : « Tu es arrivée avec des policiers, tu leurs parleras plus tard ».

« Non, tout de suite ».

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanché.

Un homme, debout près de moi : « Je suis policier »

« Dis-moi qu’est-ce qui s’est passé ? »

Une réponse, celle que je ne voulais pas : « Je ne le sais pas »

« Comment on va faire pour le savoir ? »

Je me souviens de la feuille de déposition, du crayon, de la tablette improvisée.

Je me souviens de ma question : « Tu veux que j’écrive quoi ? »

J’ai écrit, peu.

Je dormais dans mon lit, dans ma chambre.

Je me souviens de tes mains sur ma gorge.

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

Je me souviens de toi.

Épuisée, désorientée, j’ai flanchée.

J’ai ouvert les yeux.

Une nouvelle pièce : où suis-je ?

Qu’est-ce qui s’est encore passé ?

Devant moi, un policier, le même.

Ses yeux bleus, muets.

Sur la table du lit, une boîte blanche.

« Qu’est-ce qu’il y a dans la boîte ? »

J’ai cru qu’on m’emmenait une réponse,

 Une trousse médico-légale.

Un nouveau policier pour prendre des photos de mes blessures.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger, lui a photographier.

“Place-moi comme tu veux, je ne peux pas t’aider”

“Tu me dis si je te fais mal” ;  j’ai rien dit.

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

Examen gynécologique.

Je n’arrive pas à bouger.

Une médecin, enceinte, à genoux sur le pied du lit.

“Ok, vient, on va le faire comme ça”

Elle me tire par les jambes.

Épuisée, j’ai flanchée.

Un appel du policier

« J’ai des collègues qui veulent te parler »

Un espoir : on t’a trouvé.

On m’a montré une photo.

Jeune, belle, souriante.

Tu l’avais choisie elle aussi.

Elle ne se souviendra jamais, elle, de tes mains, de ton odeur.

J’ai compris : on te cherchait déjà.

L’enquête.

L’espoir, les jours, les cris, les pleurs.

Des amis questionnés, partis.

Le désespoir, une promesse : « On se boira du porto ».

Des maladresses : « Dans l’autre cas, au moins on a une autopsie »

Des départs, un cold case.

Et la vie, encore la vie.

 

18 ans déjà.

Je me souviens de chacune des nuits de rage.

Je me souviens d’elle, de chacune de ses photos :

son gâteau d’anniversaire, son chat.

La couleur de son carnet de téléphone, ses gribouillis, son écriture.

Je me souviens des yeux du policier : bleus, muets.

Je me souviens de ma question.

Je me souviens de ton odeur.

Poem written by Isabeau, the second victim:

I remember a woman’s voice: “Stay with us”.
Who is she ?
Why does she tell me that?
 Where am I ?
I opened my eyes, an unknown room, the hospital, a doctor.
I asked only one question: “What happened? “
The only answer: “You came with the police, you will talk to them later”.
“No, right now”
Exhausted, disoriented, I flinched.
A man standing near me: “I am a policeman”
“Tell me what happened? “
One answer, the one I did not want: “I do not know”
“How are we going to find out? “
I remember the witness sheet, the pencil, the improvised tablet.
I remember my question: “Do you want me to write what? “
I wrote, little.
I slept in my bed, in my room.
I remember your hands on my throat.
I remember your smell.
I remember you.
Exhausted, disoriented, I flenched.
I opened my eyes.
A new play: where am I?
What happened again?
In front of me, a policeman, the same.
His blue eyes, dumb.
On the bed table, a white box.
“What’s in the box? “
I thought I was being sent an answer,
 A forensic kit.
A new policeman to take pictures of my wounds.
I cannot move, photographed by him.
“Place me as you want, I can not help you”
“You tell me if I hurt you”; I said nothing.
Exhausted, I flenched.
Gynecological examination.
I can not move.
A doctor, pregnant, kneeling on the foot of the bed.
“Ok, come on, we’ll do it like this”
She pulls me by the legs.
Exhausted, I flenched.
A call from the policeman
“I have colleagues who want to talk to you”
A hope: we found you.
I was shown a picture.
Young, beautiful, smiling.
You had chosen her too.
She will never remember her hands, your smell.
I understood: we were already looking for you.
Investigation.
Hope, days, shouting, crying.
Friends questioned, gone.
Despair, a promise: “We’ll drink port.”
Clumsiness: “In the other case, at least we have an autopsy”
Departures, a cold box.
And life, still life.
18 years old already.
I remember every night of rage.
I remember her, each of her photos:
her birthday cake, her cat.
The color of her phone book, her scribbles, her writing.
I remember the policeman’s eyes: blue, dumb.
I remember my question.
I remember your smell.”

An error by the SQ plunges woman back into the murder of her sister 47 years ago

This is the kind of error I’m always afraid I am going to make. It was my worst fear in those early days with Camirand and Dube. And now it is the SQ that makes this kind of blunder. Unbelievable.
For your information, it took me exactly 45 seconds to do a search on BAnQ’s archives to confirm that Lucie Beaudoin was killed by Henri Vincent. And the Surete du Quebec – with all their resources, with 30 cold-case agents at their disposal – can’t come to the same conclusion over three months?
Unexceptable:
 
Here’s a rough translation:
 
“A blunder from the Sûreté du Québec threw a woman back almost 50 years while her sister was the victim of a villainous murder.
In 1971, Lucie Beaudoin, 19, was murdered. Her body was found in a trunk at the bottom of a flooded quarry in Brossard, Montérégie.
 
A few months later, Henri Vincent, pleads guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of the 19-year-old woman. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
 
47 years later, the victim’s sister, Louise Beaudoin, was forced to plunge back into this drama.
 
Last March, she was contacted by an investigator from the Sûreté du Québec to announce that the murder of her sister was treated as an unresolved case.
 
“Since that time, every second, every gesture, every minute, it comes back to me,” says the lady met by TVA News.
 
“I’ve been crying a lot every day since March 23,” she says.
 
Police even made her sign a form to allow them to place the photo of her sister and a summary of the case on the unsolved crimes section of the SQ website.
 
Although she said that she had informed the police that a suspect had been convicted in this case, they appeared to not know of it.
 
Louise Beaudoin says she “doubted her memories” even though she attended court proceedings in 1971.
 
The Surete du Quebec admitted their mistake, and on May 30, they removed the notice concerning Lucie Beaudoin from her site.
 
The police said that in the future, things will be different. It seems that before meeting Lucie Beaudoin’s sister, the police only did summary checks.
 
Nevertheless, until today, no one has apologized for this blunder. Ms. Beaudoin says she is “shocked”, she who is plunged back into painful memories for four months.”

Who Killed Tom Thomson? / Canadian Timber Trilogy Part II

 

 

 

 

Tom Thomson  was a Canadian artist of the early 20th century. Born August 5th, 1877 he is linked with Canada’s most celebrated group of painters, The Group of Seven,  though as an unofficial member with his art usually being exhibited adjacent to the group’s in Canadian museums.

Canoe Lake

 

Thomson died in 1917. Despite a short career his work has been very influential in Canadian art. The tragic circumstances of his death at Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario have lead many to speculate that Thomson was murdered or possibly committed suicide. The Myth and mystery of Tom Thomson continues to this day.

Thomson was born  in Claremont, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in a large family, the sixth of John and Margaret Thomson’s ten children. Thomson was raised in Leith, Ontario, near Owen Sound. Thomson and his siblings enjoyed both drawing and painting, though he did not immediately display any major talents. He was eventually taken out of school due to a respiratory issue, allowing him the freedom to explore the woods near his home and develop an appreciation for nature. He was a good athlete and enjoyed playing football.

In 1899, Thomson volunteered to fight in the Second Boer War, but was turned down because of a medical condition. He would attempt to enlist for the Boer War on three occasions but was denied each time.

Thomson briefly enlisted at the Canadian Business College in Chatham, Ontario, worked briefly for his older brother George at the Acme Business School, and traveled as far as Seattle where he worked as an elevator operator at the Diller Hotel.

Thomson was hired at Maring & Ladd as a pen artist, draftsman and etcher. He mainly produced business cards, brochures and posters. In 1904 he abruptly left Seattle and returned to Ontario, possibly due to a rejected marriage proposal following his brief summer romance with Alice Elinor Lambert. 

Thomson moved to Toronto in the summer of 1905. His first job upon his return was at a photo-engraving firm, Legg Brothers. Friends described him during this time as “periodically erratic and sensitive, with fits of unreasonable despondency.”

During this time, he briefly studied with William Cruikshank, a British artist who taught at the Ontario College of Art. Cruikshank was likely Thomson’s only art instructor, as Thompson was largely self-taught.

In early 1909, Thomson joined Grip Ltd., an artistic design firm in Toronto, specializing in design and lettering work. Grip would eventually employ  Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley and Franklin Carmichael, soon to be members of The Group of Seven.

ALGONQUIN PARK

Thomson first visit to Algonquin Park  was on a canoe trip in May 1912. Thomson’s original painting style began to emerge at this time. Though his work was not outstanding technically, there was a noticeable ability with composition and colour. Thomson traveled around Ontario with his colleagues, especially to the wilderness of Ontario, which was to be a major source of inspiration for him. To earn money, Thomson sometimes worked as a guide or fire ranger in Algonquin Park. He became as familiar with logging scenes as with nature in the park and painted them both.

After this painting was bought by the Government of Ontario in 1913 for $250, Thomson was encouraged to pursue a career in art and accepted James MacCallum's offer to cover his expenses for a year.

DEATH

On July 8, 1917, Thomson was seen with Shannon Fraser, the owner of the Mowat Lodge. When it was too cold to camp in the park, he would often spend the night there.  Mark Robinson, a park ranger, noted in his diary that Thomson “left Fraser’s Dock after 12:30 pm to go to Tea Lake Dam or West Lake.”

Thomson disappeared during this canoeing trip on Canoe Lake. His body was discovered in the lake eight days later.

The body was examined by Dr. Goldwin Howland who concluded that the official cause of death was drowning. The coroner, Dr. Arthur E. Ranney, MD, supported Howland’s conclusion that the drowning was accidental. The day after the body was discovered, it was interred in Mowat Cemetery near Canoe Lake.  Under the direction of Thomson’s older brother George, the body was exhumed two days later and re-interred in the family plot beside the Leith Presbyterian Church near Owen Sound.

CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Many conspiracy theories have swirled around the nature of Tom Thomson’s death, including that he was murdered or committed suicide. Though these ideas lack substantiation, they have continued to persist in the popular culture.

In 1970, Judge William Little’s book, The Tom Thomson Mystery, recounted how—in 1956—Little and three friends dug up Thomson’s original gravesite, in Mowat Cemetery on Canoe Lake. At the time they believed that the remains they found were Thomson’s. In the fall of 1956, however medical investigators determined that the body was that of an unidentified Aboriginal.

In 2007, the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project launched “Death On A Painted Lake: The Tom Thomson Tragedy,” a book-length, bilingual (English/French) web site featuring a selection of over fifty transcribed primary and secondary documents related to Thomson’s death, including documents never before made public, such as Blodwen Davies’ 1931 request to the Ontario Attorney General for opening of Thomson’s Algonquin Park burial site.

Utilizing, in part, the Great Unsolved Mysteries site transcriptions, Canadian newspaper columnist Roy MacGregor has described his 2009 examination of records of the 1956 remains unearthed by William Little (the remains have been reburied or lost) and concluded that the body was actually Thomson’s, indicating “that Thomson never left Canoe Lake.”

In an essay entitled, “The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson,” published in 2011, Gregory Klages describes how testimony and theories regarding Thomson’s death have evolved since 1917.  Assessing the secondary accounts against the primary evidence, Klages concludes that Thomson’s death is consistent with the official assessment of ‘accidental drowning’. Historians Kathleen Garay and Christl Verduyn state, “Klages’ forensic archival sleuthing does provide for the first time some degree of certainty regarding this event.” Klages expanded on these ideas in a book with a similar name, The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson: Separating Fact from Fiction, published in 2016. He particularly challenges MacGregor’s claims, suggesting MacGregor is guilty of misrepresenting evidence.

 

Map of Canoe Lake sites

 

Click here to listen to Who Killed Gilmour Lumber / Canadian Timber Trilogy Part I

Many of Thomson’s works bare witness to the destruction of Canada’s old growth forest at the hands of the Canadian lumber barons:

 

 

 

 

Categories:

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

The first mystery is, How Do You Pronounce It?  L-O-N-G-U-E-U-I-L.  I’ve heard many Anglos use “Longelle”, but it’s actually “Longay”.

Longueuil is part of what’s known as the “South Shore” of Montreal, though when I look on it on a map, it’s kind of East to me. Taking the Champlain or Jacques Cartier bridges, you cross off the island of Montreal, across the Saint Lawrence river and now you’re in Longueuil. It’s reputation is kind of shady and industrial, although I’ve only been there once myself. At Section Rouge Media, and the archives of Allo Police.

Longueuil is where Sharron Prior was found beaten, suffocated and raped, on April 1st, 1975 in a field at Chemin du Lac and Guimond blvd. by the beekeeper, Jacques Bertrand. It’s where -exactly two years and one day later – the unidentified body of a woman was found – again on chemin du Lac – on April 2nd, 1977 wrapped in a green and white blanket. Decades later she would be identified as Johanne Lemieux.

Longueuil is where on May 2, 1975 the bodies of Diane Dery and Mario Corbeil were discovered in a field near the Saint Hubert airport, both shot by a .22 caliber pistol, almost certainly by a member of the Canadian military stationed at CFB St. HubertAnd it is is where Stéphane Luce’s mother, Roxanne Luce was found beaten to death in her apartment on April 2nd, 1981.

In terms of investigations Longueuil is the last stop on the Quebec criminal justice train. I have long railed against the failures and incompetences of the Surete du Quebec. But apparently compared to the Longueuil police I have been receiving Cadillac services. People actually lobby the Quebec Ministry of Public Security to have their Longueuil causes taken up by the Surete du Quebec. The family of Sharron Prior did it. As late as last Friday Stephane Luce was still doing it, he texted me from Montreal:

“Guess where I am? The SQ Parthenais…”

“About your mother?”

“Ya.”

“Are they gonna take on her cold-case?”

“Don’t know. I showed up unannounced”

“You’ve got balls.”

Recall that one family was successful in such endeavors. The Derys, who in 1979 managed to convince Quebec Justice that the Longueuil Police were a lost cause:  the Dery / Corbeil investigation is now one over over 600 cold-cases in the portfolio of the Surete du Quebec.

The practices of Longueuil police / Longueuii justice are a true mystery. This is from the December 16th, 2015 edition of the Montreal Gazette:

Seven brothers from a South Shore family were charged on Wednesday with sexually assaulting four women, some of whom were minors, as long as 50 years ago.

The acts allegedly took place in Longueuil between 1957 and 1976, and the men were arrested on Tuesday.

All seven men, who now range in age from 59 to 71 years old, face sexual assault charges stemming from when they were minors. Those charges, which deal with acts allegedly committed between 1957 and 1973, will be handled in youth court.

Either we are still waiting for this process, or it was dealt with quietly “off camera”, or the defense ran the clock, and everything got dismissed. We may never know.

 

Jenique Dalcourt

 

If such casualness and indifference seems normal for Quebecers (I can assure you that no one has lifted a finger and questioned, “Hey? What happened with those brothers” ), notice the reaction from an outsider when they came up against the Longueuil justice system. Here I am referring to the October 21st 2014 murder of Jenique Dalcourt, beaten to death with a blunt instrument on a bike path in Vieux-Longueuil. This is the reaction from her grieving father, John Gandalfo who lives in New York:

“I heard on the news the suspect was 26-year-old, I get more from the news than with authorities. As a parent you want answers.”

Welcome to the club, Mr. Gandalfo, you may not have wanted to join it, but we’re glad you’re here anyway.

Like a lot of homicides in Longeueil, Jenique Dalcourt’s remains unsolved. In fact I’m having a hard time remembering the last time they cleared a stranger homicide. Maybe this one I recently dug up, but then the offender came right into the police headquarters and confessed to the crime:

Myriam Valois

34-year-old Myriam Valois vanished in January 1992. She lived with her parents. She liked to go clubbing with her friends along the bars of “the Main” in Montreal’s East-End. La Presse reported that Myriam had a “mental handicap”.

 

Myriam Valois

 

The morning of January 23rd, a man was walking his dog in a field behind 2399 de la Province in an industrial section of Longueuil when he made the grim discovery. She was found clothed, wearing blue jeans, a pink vest and black ski jacket. Later a citizen found a sports back sack containing Myriam’s belongings near Guimond. Valois was beaten severely with a blunt instrument, then crawled about 100 feet. Longueuil detective Serge Fontaine suspected several suspects, and the use of a vehicle.

One year later, one suspect walked into the Longueuil police headquarters and made this stunning revelation:

“I can’t live with myself anymore with this. I don’t sleep anymore, I want to see a detective about the crime of the girl in the industrial park…”

25-year-old Sebastien Rochette then met with detective Serge Fontaine and gave his full confession. He said that he knew Myriam Valois, they both suffered from mental handicaps. He had met her several times at the Midway bar on boule Saint-Laurent and on “the Main” in Montreal. On January 17th 1992 they went to a motel together on rue Saint-Hubert to have sex. Valois drank alcohol. Rochette consumed cocaine. The adventure went on for two days.  Finally he drove her back to Montreal. But before getting on the Jacques Cartier bridge he made a turn on 2399 de la Province. Once there he beat her with a hammer several times to the head. Valois crawled about 40 meters before succumbing to her injuries. In the snow the police found the tire markings of a 1984 Toyota Camry, the same make of vehicle driven by Rochette. Sebastien Rochette was charged with first degree murder.

A lot of questions in this case, but for now they will need to remain unanswered. My point being that sometimes these matters are connected, and sometimes they are self contained.

Nathalie Boucher

 

 

Let’s jump back a decade and examine the 1985 Longueuil murder of Nathalie Boucher. This is another one of these cases lost to time. You would need to dig pretty hard in order to find any information about it.

Eighteen-year-old Nathalie Boucher was described as a model student and an exemplary young woman. She attended the CEGEP Edouard Montpetit in Longueuil, and lived with her mother in an apartment complex at 385 place de la Louisane, near route 132 / boule Saint Charles / Taschereau interchange. On the evening of Tuesday June 4th Nathalie planned to meet two friends at the Club / Discotheque La Moustache, which was located on rue Closse in the Atwater region of Montreal.

CEGEP Edouard Montpetit

 

Nathalie promised her mom she would be home by one one A.M.  Getting home would require a metro and a bus ride; the metro from the Atwater station to the Longueuil terminus, and then a bus from the terminus to the stop along the interchange. From there is was less than 1,000 feet walk across the viaduct to the apartment complex.

 

La Moustache

 

 

The morning of June 5th, 1985 Nathalie’s body was discovered in the bushes near rue Saint-Charles and Taschereau, 800 feet from her home. From her 4th floor apartment window Nathalie’s mother could watch the police process the crime scene.

 

 

Nathalie had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled to death. Even worse, the coroner determined that Nathalie was probably keep alive intentionally for 2 to 3 hours so the offender could slowly mete out his punishment. Beating and kicking her, investigators believed the force and determination of the offender must have been astounding, measured, and cruel.

In this era, as I think I’ve demonstrated, there could have been any number of offenders responsible for such horrible acts.  Exactly one year later two young women were attacked in the parking garage at the Longueuil terminus, and the press wondered if there might be a connection to Boucher. In these instances the man managed to get away, but left his jacket behind containing all his identification. Twenty-five year old Michel Larocoque was charged, and hopefully sentenced.

 

 

I possess a small case file on the Boucher investigation. I just never wrote about it did not appear to be connected to any case for which I had interest.

Nathalie Boucher

 

But there is one case that reminds me of Boucher, and what appears to connect them is the level of violence and a geographic location. 

Two years later, in August 1987 sixteen-year-old Sophie Landry was last seen at the Longueuil bus terminus. Her body would be found stabbed 172 times in a field North of Montreal in St. Roch de l’Achigan. Guy Croteau eventually was arrested and is serving a life sentence.

Now in 2002, the Surete du Quebec released several photos of Croteau and asked members of the public to come forward if they had any information that could tie Croteau to other sexual assaults and murders.

One person did. In a 2004 Gazette article by James Mennie a woman named “Jeanette” came forward with the following assault from 1977:

“I was coming back from the Longueuil métro station to where I live,” she said. “I decided to walk rather than take the bus. It was about a 15-minute walk.”

It was also a walk that took her from the subway across an overpass that spans Taschereau Blvd. and, as she paced across the bridge in the twilight, Jeanette looked back and noticed what appeared to be the figure of a man standing by a blue glass building. She resumed walking and was about three-quarters across the overpass when she sensed “a very light touch … like a draft.”

“So I whipped around and this guy had his hand right up the back of my skirt. … I was just enraged to see him. I started showering abuse on him … and then bashing him. I had a very heavy purse and I swung at his head.

“After I yelled at him, the strangest thing is he looked as if he was going to cry. … He turned around and began to run. I began to chase him.”

She chased him?

“I don’t know. I was just so mad.”

Note that like Landry and Boucher, “Jeanette” was using the Longueuil metro. Also not that like Boucher, “Jeanette” had to cross boule Taschereau.  

 

 

In 1977 did Guy Croteau attempt to assault “Jeanette” at the same location where Nathalie Boucher would be murdered almost 10 years later?  Croteau would have been about 21 years old at the time. “Jeanette” seems to think so:

Jeanette put the incident behind her for eight years, even though she’d shake when she talked about it, until an 18-year-old girl was found raped and killed in a ditch that runs parallel to the overpass.

Nathalie Boucher’s body was found less than 300 metres from her Longueuil home. As of yesterday, her killing remained unsolved. “I always felt it was the same guy who did it,” Jeanette says. “That he decided to get it right this time.”

Now for me, this is the most extraordinary part about all of this. In researching this post I got really excited, “OMG, this is amazing, no one knows about this! etc..”

But when I looked closer I found that someone had already reported on all of this. It was me. In a 2004 blogpost I wrote about all of it Landry, Croteau, Nathalie Boucher, “Jeanette”.  I wrote about it and then, along with everyone else, I forgot about it. 

Ten years later, by the time I found the casefile on Boucher at Allo Police in 2014 I had forgot everything I had done.

You can find that original blogpost here (click)

So maybe Guy Croteau murdered Nathalie Boucher. There is another possibility that I’m putting out there; we’re late in the game with these cases, so all things must be attempted. 

In that casefile there are several photos of a man who is not identified. He doesn’t appear to be law enforcement (too casually dressed), the photos appear like the photographer was surveilling him. If anyone can identify this man please contact me or the police:

Update:  Guy with cigarette is the journaliste, Claude Poirier:

 

Once again, a colleague did some pretty brilliant maps:

 

 

Diane Dery et Mario Corbeil – May 20, 1975 / WKT2 #17

IMG_0857.JPG

Le 20 mai 1975, vers 20 h 15, Diane Déry, 13 ans, et Mario Corbeil, 15 ans, quittent la résidence de Diane afin de faire une promenade en motocyclette dans un champ situé à proximité du boulevard Rolland-Therrien, à Longueuil. Voyant que les jeunes ne sont pas revenus, des membres de la famille des deux adolescents effectuent des recherches dans le secteur au cours de la soirée et durant la nuit.

Le lendemain matin, vers 7 h 20, les policiers découvrent Diane Déry et Mario Corbeil sans vie dans un boisé situé à l’extrémité du boulevard Rolland-Therrien. L’analyse de la scène démontre que les deux jeunes ont été assassinés.

Allo Police, 5 août 1979 par Jaques Durand

Après 4 ans et sans résolution, le père de Diane Dery, Jaques Dery demande au ministre de la Justice de l’époque, Marc-André Bedard, que l’affaire soit retirée à la police de Longueuil et transférée à la Sûreté du Québec.

En 1975, les Derys habitent au 1145, rue Bizard à Longueuil. Ils ont depuis déménagé à Saint-Célestin (Nicolet). Il travaillait dans une station-service, sa femme tenait la petite cantine à l’intérieur.

Les parents de Maro Corbeil, de M et Mme Maurice et de Françoise Corbeil ont continué de vivre à Longueuil, rue Boucher. L’avocat de Dery dans l’affaire était Guy Houle.

Un récit des événements des 20 et 21 mai 1975

C’était un mardi, une belle journée. Les parents de Mario lui ont donné une petite motocylette en cadeau. Mario a passé de nombreuses heures à en profiter, donnant des tours à sa famille et ses amis. Le dernier trajet était réservé à une petite amie, Diane Dery. Les familles ne les reverraient plus jamais vivant.

Map of Dery / Corbeil murders

Le lendemain, mercredi 21 mai, les corps ont été découverts dans un champ près de l’aéroport de Saint-Hubert. Mario avait été battu, puis abattu six fois avec un pistolet de calibre 22. Diane avait reçu une balle dans la tête avec le même pistolet de calibre. Elle a été agressée sexuellement et son corps a été placé sur celui de Mario. Les corps ont été placés de manière à suggérer qu’ils avaient une relation sexuelle.

L’affaire a été confiée aux détectives Lacombe et Villeneuve de la police de Longueuil. Une douzaine de personnes ont été interrogées.

Après deux ans, M Jacques Dery a pris la décision de tout vendre et de s’installer ailleurs. La famille avait une nouvelle fille, Manon, et ils voulaient commencer une vie meilleure. Il déménage dans un coin de la province, Saint-Célestin (Nicolet). M Dery est devenu propriétaire d’une station-service le long de la route 20. Il a établi une solide clientèle. Il avait un autre projet en tête: faire sortir toute sa famille de Longueuil dès que possible. M Dery a acheté une maison et, au mois d’octobre, sa famille a déménagé dans ce petit village fort et sympathique.

Le travail était dur, il l’obligeait à travailler sept jours par semaine. Mme Dery, non satisfaite de son mari travaillant seule, a décidé de faire fonctionner une petite cantine à l’intérieur de la station-service. Malgré l’arrangement, il y avait toujours deux questions à répondre: QUI et POURQUOI?

M Dery a continué de communiquer avec les enquêteurs à Longueuil. Les enquêteurs ont continué à communiquer le même message: «Nous soupçonnons quelqu’un, mais nous n’avons pas la preuve.”

Voulant en savoir plus, M et Mme Dery ont rencontré le lieutenant-détective Maurice Lauzon, qui était à la tête de l’homicide de Longueuil. Il a informé le Dery qu’il ne connaissait pas le dossier, mais qu’il se mettrait rapidement à l’épreuve. Il a promis de téléphoner régulièrement à la famille pour leur donner des informations sur l’enquête.

«Il n’a jamais répondu, j’ai laissé des messages, mais il n’a jamais rappelé, c’était toujours moi qui devais téléphoner», a déclaré M. Dery qui a ajouté: «Si la police de Longueuil ne peut rien faire pour faire avancer le dossier, pourquoi? ne peuvent-ils pas le livrer à la Sûreté du Québec? Il n’est pas possible que deux jeunes enfants soient tués si près de chez eux, et ils ne peuvent rien trouver, ce n’est pas possible, peut-être que la Surete du Québec ne pourra pas pour trouver quelque chose non plus, mais nous aurions la satisfaction de savoir que nous avons essayé. ”

Au cours de l’entrevue, qui a eu lieu à l’intérieur de la station-service, alors que M Dery vendait des cigarettes aux clients qui allaient et venaient, son fils pompait du gaz et Manon se reposait sur le comptoir. Quand les choses se sont calmées, le garçon est entré et les enfants sont restés près de leurs parents.

Mme Dery, qui était assise à la fenêtre, a dit: «Après quatre ans, je suis venu à l’accepter, je sais maintenant qu’elle ne reviendra jamais, je l’accepte, mais pourquoi quelqu’un ferait-il cela?

Par l’intermédiaire de leur avocat, Guy Houle, les Dery ont demandé au ministre de la Justice du Québec, Marc-André Bedard, de transférer officiellement l’affaire de la police de la ville de Longueuil à la police provinciale, la Sûreté du Québec. Voici le texte de la requête de M Dery envoyé par l’avocat de Dery, Guy Houle:

“Honerable ministre de la Justice:

Considérant les événements du 20 mai 1975. mon enfant Diane Dery, 13 ans, victime d’un assassin, près de chez nous au 1145, rue Bizard à Longueuil;

Considérant que certaines actions et entreprises de la police municipale de Longueuil ont tenté d’élucider cette enquête, mais aucun résultat concret n’a été donné dans l’étude globale de cette affaire;

Considérant que maintenant, depuis plus de quatre ans, nous avions espéré voir des résultats dans ces affaires;

Considérant que la police municipale de Longueuil, malgré tous les efforts dont elle dispose, ne possède peut-être pas tous les outils nécessaires pour mener une enquête et obtenir des résultats;

Considérant surtout que la police municipale de Longueuil ne se spécialise pas dans ce genre d’enquêtes;

Considérant que la Sûreté du Québec a à sa disposition une escouade d’homicides;

C’est pourquoi les gens ont besoin d’être confiants dans les institutions, et certainement dans la protection de la société contre les assassins qui peuvent marcher librement parmi nous.

Nous soumettons cette demande à l’honorable ministre de la Justice de la province que vous prendrez part à cette affaire conjointement avec la police municipale de Longueuil pour faire la lumière au nom de la justice et de la sécurité publique.

Cette lettre a été envoyée au ministre de la Justice le 5 juillet. 1979. Il a également été envoyé à la police de Longueuil, le député de Nicolet-Yamaska, Me Serge Fontaine, et notre collaborateur à Allo Police, Claude Poirier.

Au moment où nous quittions Saint-Célestin, la jeune fille de Dery, qui jusqu’alors n’avait rien dit: «Aujourd’hui, les gens vont tuer pour deux dollars, nous voulons la justice, et tous savent pourquoi ils l’ont fait.

La famille Dery a souffert. Seront-ils heureux un jour quand ils connaîtront les noms des assassins? Nous l’espérons.

La famille Maurice Corbeil a également quitté sa maison de la rue Boucher à Longueuil. Mme Corbeil s’installe à Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey, elle aimerait continuer à aller en Beauce.

M e Corbeil est parvenue à un accord avec l’enquête. De la police, elle dit: “Nous étions soupçonnés d’être méfiants, je veux l’enquête parce que dans des choses comme ça, nous devons trouver les coupables.” Néanmoins, elle essaie de ne pas penser aux choses horribles: «Je ne veux pas de publicité pour mon fils, et je ne veux pas le regarder, pourquoi voudriez-vous de la publicité pour une telle chose?

Post-scripts:

En novembre 1979, le ministre de la Justice du Québec accepte les demandes des familles et transfère les dossiers à la Sûreté du Québec. Diane Dery et Mario Corbeil sont actuellement répertoriés sur le site Web de la Surete du Québec, toujours en suspens après 43 ans:

Coda: Dans l’article nécrologique de La Presse datant de 1975, on disait que Diane Dery «est morte accidentellement», probablement pour que la famille puisse éviter la honte dans la communauté.

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

 

 

On May 20, 1975, at around 8:15 p.m., Diane Déry, age 13, and Mario Corbeil, age 15, left Diane’s home to go for a motorcycle ride in a field near boulevard Rolland-Therrien in Longueuil. Seeing that the young people had not returned, family members of the two teenagers searched the area during the evening and night.

The next morning, at around 7:20 a.m., the police found the bodies of Diane Déry and Mario Corbeil in a wooded area at the end of boulevard Rolland-Therrien and avenue Vaugeulin. The crime scene analysis showed that the two young people were murdered.

From Allo Police, August 5, 1979 by Jaques Durand

After 4 years and no resolution, the father of Diane Dery, Jaques Dery demanded of the then Quebec Justice Minister, Marc-Andre Bedard that the case be taken away from the investigating force, the Longueuil police, and transferred to the Surete du Quebec.

In 1975 the Derys lived at 1145 rue Bizard in Longueuil. They since moved to Saint-Celestin (Nicolet). He worked at a gas station, his wife ran the small cantine inside.

The parents of Maro Corbeil, M and Mne Maurice and Francoise Corbeil continued to live in Longueuil on rue Boucher. The Dery’s attorney in the affair was Guy Houle.

A recounting of events of May 20th and 21st, 1975

It was a Tuesday, a beautiful day. Mario’s parents gave him a small motocylette as a present.  Mario spent many hours enjoying it, giving rides to his family and friends. The last ride was reserved for a petite ami, Diane Dery. The families would never see them alive again.

The next day, Wednesday, May 21st, the bodies were discovered in a field near the Saint Hubert airport. Mario had been beaten, then shot six times with a 22 caliber pistol. Diane had been shot once in the head with the same caliber pistol. She had been sexually assaulted, and her body was placed on top of Mario’s. The bodies were placed in such a way as to suggest they had a sexual relationship.

Map of Dery / Corbeil murders

The case was turned over to lieutenant detectives Lacombe and Villeneuve of the Longueuil police. A dozen persons were interrogated.

After two years, M Jacques Dery made the decision to sell everything and settle elsewhere. The family had a new daughter, Manon, and they wanted to start a better life. He moved to a corner of the province, Saint-Celestin (Nicolet). M Dery became the proprietor of a gas station along route 20. He established a solid clientele. He had another project in mind: getting his entire family out of Longueuil as soon as possible. M Dery bought a house, and in the month of October his family moved to this small, strong and sympathetic village.

The work was hard, it required him to work seven days a week. Not satisfied with her husband working alone, Mme Dery decided to operate a small cantine inside the gas station. Despite the arrangement, there were always two questions that needed answering:  WHO and WHY?

M Dery continued to communicate with investigators back in Longueuil. Investigators continued to communicate the same message, “We suspect someone, but we do not have the proof.”

Wanting to know more, M and Mme Dery met with lieutenant-detective Maurice Lauzon, who was the head of Longueuil homicide. He advised the Dery’s that he was not familiar with the dossier, but he would get up to speed quickly. He promised to telephone the family regularly to give them updates on the investigation.

” He never responded at all. I left messages, but he never called back. It was always me that had to telephone”, said M. Dery who added, “If the Longueuil police can’t do anything to advance the case, why can’t they turn it over to the Surete du Quebec? It’s not possible that two young children are killed so close to their homes, and they can’t find anything. It’s not possible, maybe the Surete du Quebec won’t be able to find anything either, but we’d have the satisfaction to know that we tried.”

During the interview, which took place inside the gas station, as M Dery sold cigarettes to customers coming and going, his son pumped gas and Manon rested on the counter. When things settled down the boy came inside, and the children stayed close to their parents.

Mme Dery, who was sitting in the window, said “After four years I’ve come to accept it I know now that she’s never coming back. I accept that, but why would someone do that?”

Through their attorney, Guy Houle, the Dery’s made a request to the Quebec Justice Minister Marc-Andre Bedard to officially have the case transferred from the City of Longueuil police to the provincial police, the Surete du Quebec.  Here is the text from M Dery’s request sent through the Dery’s attorney, Guy Houle:

“Honerable Minister of Justice:

Considering the events of May 20th, 1975. my child Diane Dery, age 13, a victim of an assassin, close to our home at 1145  rue Bizard in Longueuil;

Considering that certain actions and enterprises by the municipal police of Longueuil were attempted to elucidate this investigation, but no concrete results were given in the total study of this case; 

Considering that now for more than four years we had hoped to see results in these affairs;

Considering that the municipal police of Longueuil, despite all efforts at their disposal, possibly do not possess all the necessary tools to conduct an investigation and achieve results;

Considering above all that the municipal police of Longueuil do not specialize in these types of investigations;

Considering that the Surete du Quebec has at their disposal a homicide squad;

It’s why the people need to be confident in institutions, and certainly in the protection of society against assassins who may walk free among us.

We submit this request to the honorable Minister of Justice of the Province that you will take a hand in this affair jointly with the municipal police of Longueuil to shed a light in the name of justice and public security.”

This letter was sent to the Justice Minister on July 5th. 1979. It was also sent to the Longueuil police, the Deputy of Nicolet-Yamaska, Me Serge Fontaine, and our collaborator at Allo Police, Claude Poirier.

Just as we were leaving Saint-Celestin, the Dery’s young daughter, who up until then had said nothing offered, ” Today people will kill for two dollars;  We want justice, and all of them know why they did it.”

The Dery family has suffered. Will they be happy one day when they know the names of the assassins? We hope so.

The Maurice Corbeil family also left their home on rue Boucher in Longueuil. Mme Corbeil moved to Saint-Felix-de-Kingsey, she would like to continue to go to Beauce.

Mne Corbeil has come to an accord with  the investigation. Of the police she says,  “We were suspected for being suspicious. I want the investigation because in things like this we must find the culprits.”  Nevertheless she tries not to think of the horrible things:  “I don’t want any publicity for my son, and I don’t want to look at it. Why would you want publicity for such a thing?”

Post-scripts: 

In November 1979, the Justice Minister of Quebec agreed to the families’ requests and transferred the cases to the Surete du Quebec. Diane Dery and Mario Corbeil are currently listed on the Surete du Quebec’s cold case website, still unsolved after 43 years:

Coda: In the La Presse obituary from 1975 it was stated that Diane Dery “died accidentally”, most likely so that the family could avoid shame with the community.

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

 

 The murder of Diane Thibault, for which the Montreal police received a full confession from Edmond Turcotte. Turcotte later retracted his confession.

Diane Thibeault, 25, was found dead in am empty lot at St. Dominique and Dorchester. It was initially unclear where or when she was killed but detectives deduced that the killer returned at about 4 a.m. to set her body on fire. Thibeault was a single mother on welfare who originally came from St. Jerome and had a two-year-old son Stephane.  She was said to have frequented bars and cabarets on the Lower Main. 

 

Diane Thibault

 

Edmond Turcotte: “C’est une Fille De Rien et une Vache! Je L’ai Frappee avec n’importe quoi!”

 

Edmond Turcotte

 

Edmond Turcotte’s confession

 

Edmond Turcotte’s hand drawn map of the hotel room where he allegedly murdered Thibeault

 

Map of Diane Thibeault crime scene

 

Diane Thibeault

 

Update May 3, 2018:

A colleague found this article where Edmond Turcotte was acquitted of the murder of Diane Thibeault:

 

Musique de WKT2 # 14:

Si vous n’êtes pas du Québec, probablement ne connaissez pas Harmonium. Si vous êtes du Québec, il serait difficile de ne pas connaître Harmonium. Je pense que Rolling Stone les a classés 35e sur la liste de rock progressif de tous les temps.

En grandissant, j’étais conscient d’eux, mais je ne les ai pas écoutés. En fait, ce n’est que l’été dernier, lorsque j’étais à Ottawa, que j’ai attrapé le bug. J’ai passé un après-midi au musée de l’histoire, qui possédait une impressionnante collection de culture québécoise, et l’une des installations était une zone d’écoute où l’on pouvait entendre des musiques fondatrices de groupes comme Cano, Beau Dommage et bien sûr Harmonium.

Certes, il y a des influences évidentes (Genesis et Supertramp viennent facilement à l’esprit), mais il y a quelque chose d’unique ici. Quelque chose que j’ai ressenti était très spécifique à 1975, et c’est pourquoi je les ai utilisés pour ce podcast.

La plupart des gens citent leur premier album comme la plus grande influence (tout le monde connaît Pour Un Instant), mais c’est leur deuxième album, Si On Avait Besoin d’une Cinquième Saison que je pense être le chef-d’œuvre.

Au moment où nous arrivons à L’Heptade en 1976, je pense que la magie était terminée. Comme beaucoup de choses dans le rock progressif, les compositions sont devenues pesantes et gonflées: donnez à Genesis le mérite d’avoir fait exploser le format et la rationalisation, même si vous ne pouvez pas apprécier quelque chose comme ABACAB.

Aussi … je suis sûr que Serge Fiori était probablement a dick to work with …

Music from WKT2 #14:

If you’re not from Quebec you probably don’t know Harmonium. If you’re from Quebec it would be hard NOT to know Harmonium. I think Rolling Stone ranked them 35th on the all-time prog rock list.

Growing up I was aware of them, but I didn’t listen to them. In fact it wasn’t until last summer when I was in Ottawa that I caught the bug. I spent an afternoon at the museum of history, which had a very impressive collection of Quebec culture, and one of the installations was a listening area where you could hear foundational music by groups like Cano, Beau Dommage, and of course, Harmonium.

True there are obvious influences (Genesis and Supertramp easily come to mind), but there’s something unique here. Something I felt was very specific to 1975, and that’s why I used them for this podcast.

Most people cite their first album as the greatest influence (everyone knows Pour Un Instant), but It’s their second album, Si On Avait Besoin D’une Cinquième Saison that I think is the masterpiece.

By the time we get to L’Heptade in 1976, I think the magic was over. Like so much in prog rock, the compositions became ponderous and bloated: give Genesis credit for blowing up the format and streamlining, even if you can’t appreciate something like ABACAB.

Also… I’m sure Serge Fiori was probably a dick to work with…