The first mystery is, How Do You Pronounce It? L-O-N-G-U-E-U-I-L. I’ve heard many Anglos use “Longelle”, but it’s actually “Longay”.
Longueuil is part of what’s known as the “South Shore” of Montreal, though when I look on it on a map, it’s kind of East to me. Taking the Champlain or Jacques Cartier bridges, you cross off the island of Montreal, across the Saint Lawrence river and now you’re in Longueuil. It’s reputation is kind of shady and industrial, although I’ve only been there once myself. At Section Rouge Media, and the archives of Allo Police.
Longueuil is where Sharron Prior was found beaten, suffocated and raped, on April 1st, 1975 in a field at Chemin du Lac and Guimond blvd. by the beekeeper, Jacques Bertrand. It’s where -exactly two years and one day later – the unidentified body of a woman was found – again on chemin du Lac – on April 2nd, 1977 wrapped in a green and white blanket. Decades later she would be identified as Johanne Lemieux.
Longueuil is where on May 2, 1975 the bodies of Diane Dery and Mario Corbeil were discovered in a field near the Saint Hubert airport, both shot by a .22 caliber pistol, almost certainly by a member of the Canadian military stationed at CFB St. Hubert. And it is is where Stéphane Luce’s mother, Roxanne Luce was found beaten to death in her apartment on April 2nd, 1981.
In terms of investigations Longueuil is the last stop on the Quebec criminal justice train. I have long railed against the failures and incompetences of the Surete du Quebec. But apparently compared to the Longueuil police I have been receiving Cadillac services. People actually lobby the Quebec Ministry of Public Security to have their Longueuil causes taken up by the Surete du Quebec. The family of Sharron Prior did it. As late as last Friday Stephane Luce was still doing it, he texted me from Montreal:
“Guess where I am? The SQ Parthenais…”
“About your mother?”
“Are they gonna take on her cold-case?”
“Don’t know. I showed up unannounced”
“You’ve got balls.”
Recall that one family was successful in such endeavors. The Derys, who in 1979 managed to convince Quebec Justice that the Longueuil Police were a lost cause: the Dery / Corbeil investigation is now one over over 600 cold-cases in the portfolio of the Surete du Quebec.
The practices of Longueuil police / Longueuii justice are a true mystery. This is from the December 16th, 2015 edition of the Montreal Gazette:
All seven men, who now range in age from 59 to 71 years old, face sexual assault charges stemming from when they were minors. Those charges, which deal with acts allegedly committed between 1957 and 1973, will be handled in youth court.
Either we are still waiting for this process, or it was dealt with quietly “off camera”, or the defense ran the clock, and everything got dismissed. We may never know.
If such casualness and indifference seems normal for Quebecers (I can assure you that no one has lifted a finger and questioned, “Hey? What happened with those brothers” ), notice the reaction from an outsider when they came up against the Longueuil justice system. Here I am referring to the October 21st 2014 murder of Jenique Dalcourt, beaten to death with a blunt instrument on a bike path in Vieux-Longueuil. This is the reaction from her grieving father, John Gandalfo who lives in New York:
Welcome to the club, Mr. Gandalfo, you may not have wanted to join it, but we’re glad you’re here anyway.
Like a lot of homicides in Longeueil, Jenique Dalcourt’s remains unsolved. In fact I’m having a hard time remembering the last time they cleared a stranger homicide. Maybe this one I recently dug up, but then the offender came right into the police headquarters and confessed to the crime:
34-year-old Myriam Valois vanished in January 1992. She lived with her parents. She liked to go clubbing with her friends along the bars of “the Main” in Montreal’s East-End. La Presse reported that Myriam had a “mental handicap”.
The morning of January 23rd, a man was walking his dog in a field behind 2399 de la Province in an industrial section of Longueuil when he made the grim discovery. She was found clothed, wearing blue jeans, a pink vest and black ski jacket. Later a citizen found a sports back sack containing Myriam’s belongings near Guimond. Valois was beaten severely with a blunt instrument, then crawled about 100 feet. Longueuil detective Serge Fontaine suspected several suspects, and the use of a vehicle.
One year later, one suspect walked into the Longueuil police headquarters and made this stunning revelation:
“I can’t live with myself anymore with this. I don’t sleep anymore, I want to see a detective about the crime of the girl in the industrial park…”
25-year-old Sebastien Rochette then met with detective Serge Fontaine and gave his full confession. He said that he knew Myriam Valois, they both suffered from mental handicaps. He had met her several times at the Midway bar on boule Saint-Laurent and on “the Main” in Montreal. On January 17th 1992 they went to a motel together on rue Saint-Hubert to have sex. Valois drank alcohol. Rochette consumed cocaine. The adventure went on for two days. Finally he drove her back to Montreal. But before getting on the Jacques Cartier bridge he made a turn on 2399 de la Province. Once there he beat her with a hammer several times to the head. Valois crawled about 40 meters before succumbing to her injuries. In the snow the police found the tire markings of a 1984 Toyota Camry, the same make of vehicle driven by Rochette. Sebastien Rochette was charged with first degree murder.
A lot of questions in this case, but for now they will need to remain unanswered. My point being that sometimes these matters are connected, and sometimes they are self contained.
Let’s jump back a decade and examine the 1985 Longueuil murder of Nathalie Boucher. This is another one of these cases lost to time. You would need to dig pretty hard in order to find any information about it.
Eighteen-year-old Nathalie Boucher was described as a model student and an exemplary young woman. She attended the CEGEP Edouard Montpetit in Longueuil, and lived with her mother in an apartment complex at 385 place de la Louisane, near route 132 / boule Saint Charles / Taschereau interchange. On the evening of Tuesday June 4th Nathalie planned to meet two friends at the Club / Discotheque La Moustache, which was located on rue Closse in the Atwater region of Montreal.
Nathalie promised her mom she would be home by one one A.M. Getting home would require a metro and a bus ride; the metro from the Atwater station to the Longueuil terminus, and then a bus from the terminus to the stop along the interchange. From there is was less than 1,000 feet walk across the viaduct to the apartment complex.
The morning of June 5th, 1985 Nathalie’s body was discovered in the bushes near rue Saint-Charles and Taschereau, 800 feet from her home. From her 4th floor apartment window Nathalie’s mother could watch the police process the crime scene.
Nathalie had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled to death. Even worse, the coroner determined that Nathalie was probably keep alive intentionally for 2 to 3 hours so the offender could slowly mete out his punishment. Beating and kicking her, investigators believed the force and determination of the offender must have been astounding, measured, and cruel.
In this era, as I think I’ve demonstrated, there could have been any number of offenders responsible for such horrible acts. Exactly one year later two young women were attacked in the parking garage at the Longueuil terminus, and the press wondered if there might be a connection to Boucher. In these instances the man managed to get away, but left his jacket behind containing all his identification. Twenty-five year old Michel Larocoque was charged, and hopefully sentenced.
I possess a small case file on the Boucher investigation. I just never wrote about it did not appear to be connected to any case for which I had interest.
But there is one case that reminds me of Boucher, and what appears to connect them is the level of violence and a geographic location.
Two years later, in August 1987 sixteen-year-old Sophie Landry was last seen at the Longueuil bus terminus. Her body would be found stabbed 172 times in a field North of Montreal in St. Roch de l’Achigan. Guy Croteau eventually was arrested and is serving a life sentence.
Now in 2002, the Surete du Quebec released several photos of Croteau and asked members of the public to come forward if they had any information that could tie Croteau to other sexual assaults and murders.
One person did. In a 2004 Gazette article by James Mennie a woman named “Jeanette” came forward with the following assault from 1977:
“I was coming back from the Longueuil métro station to where I live,” she said. “I decided to walk rather than take the bus. It was about a 15-minute walk.”
It was also a walk that took her from the subway across an overpass that spans Taschereau Blvd. and, as she paced across the bridge in the twilight, Jeanette looked back and noticed what appeared to be the figure of a man standing by a blue glass building. She resumed walking and was about three-quarters across the overpass when she sensed “a very light touch … like a draft.”
“So I whipped around and this guy had his hand right up the back of my skirt. … I was just enraged to see him. I started showering abuse on him … and then bashing him. I had a very heavy purse and I swung at his head.
“After I yelled at him, the strangest thing is he looked as if he was going to cry. … He turned around and began to run. I began to chase him.”
She chased him?
“I don’t know. I was just so mad.”
Note that like Landry and Boucher, “Jeanette” was using the Longueuil metro. Also not that like Boucher, “Jeanette” had to cross boule Taschereau.
In 1977 did Guy Croteau attempt to assault “Jeanette” at the same location where Nathalie Boucher would be murdered almost 10 years later? Croteau would have been about 21 years old at the time. “Jeanette” seems to think so:
Jeanette put the incident behind her for eight years, even though she’d shake when she talked about it, until an 18-year-old girl was found raped and killed in a ditch that runs parallel to the overpass.
Nathalie Boucher’s body was found less than 300 metres from her Longueuil home. As of yesterday, her killing remained unsolved. “I always felt it was the same guy who did it,” Jeanette says. “That he decided to get it right this time.”
Now for me, this is the most extraordinary part about all of this. In researching this post I got really excited, “OMG, this is amazing, no one knows about this! etc..”
But when I looked closer I found that someone had already reported on all of this. It was me. In a 2004 blogpost I wrote about all of it Landry, Croteau, Nathalie Boucher, “Jeanette”. I wrote about it and then, along with everyone else, I forgot about it.
Ten years later, by the time I found the casefile on Boucher at Allo Police in 2014 I had forgot everything I had done.
So maybe Guy Croteau murdered Nathalie Boucher. There is another possibility that I’m putting out there; we’re late in the game with these cases, so all things must be attempted.
In that casefile there are several photos of a man who is not identified. He doesn’t appear to be law enforcement (too casually dressed), the photos appear like the photographer was surveilling him. If anyone can identify this man please contact me or the police:
Update: Guy with cigarette is the journaliste, Claude Poirier:
Once again, a colleague did some pretty brilliant maps: