Category Archives: Missing Persons

Crime & Culture in the City of Montreal – Interview with Kristian Gravenor – WKT #6

Here’s our interview with Kristian Gravenor, author of the soon to be released MONTREAL: 375 TALES.

 This is Episode 6 of the Who Killed Theresa? podcast:

Here are links to some things we discussed including Coolopolis, Montreal Biker Gangs (including legendary figure Michael French), the Reet Jurvetson case, Sharon Prior, Norma O’brien / Debbie Fisher and the Chateauguay Full Moon Killer murders, the Montreal tabloid Allo Police:

Here’s a link to Kristian’s blog, Coolopolis, and the Chateauguay Full Moon Killer case:

Here’s a link to Coolopolis’ reporting on the Charles Manson / Reet Jurvetson case:

Satan’s Choice biker Michael French and the connection to the Sharon Prior case (French is at the bottom on the left):

The history of Allo Police / Photo Police:

Link to National Film Board of Canada documentary, Station 10:

Maurice “The Rocket” Richard:

This happened:

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Index of related unsolved murders in Quebec in the 1970s

INDEX

18 women

RELATED UNSOLVED MURDERS AND DISAPPEARANCES IN QUEBEC IN THE 1970s

(click on the name for detailed case information)

  1. Alice Pare – Drummondville – April 26, 1971
  2. Norma O’Brien & Debbie Fisher – Chateauguay – 1974-75 (solved / provided for context)
  3. Sharron Prior – Montreal / Longueuil – April 1, 1975
  4. Lise Choquette – East End Montreal / Laval – April 20, 1975
  5. Louise Camirand – Eastern Townships – March 25, 1977
  6. Unidentified (Johanne Lemieux) – Longueuil – April 2, 1977
  7. Jocelyne Houle – East End Montreal / St. Calixte – April 17, 1977
  8. Johanne Danserault – Missing from Fabreville – June 14, 1977
  9. Sylvie Doucet – Missing from East End Montreal – June 27, 1977
  10. Johanne Dorion – Fabreville / Laval / Montreal North – July 9, 1977
  11. Claudette Poirier – Drummondville – July 27, 1977
  12. Chantal Tremblay – Montreal North / Rosemere – July 29, 1977
  13. Helene Monast – Chambly – September 10, 1977
  14. Katherine Hawkes – Montreal North – September 20, 1977
  15. Denise Bazinet – East End Montreal / Saint Luc – October 23, 1977
  16. Manon Dube – Eastern Townships – January 27, 1978
  17. Lison Blais – East End Montreal – June 3, 1978
  18. Theresa Allore – Eastern Townships – November 3, 1978
  19. Unknown Victim 2 (Maria Dolores Brava) – Dorval, Montreal – June 2, 1979
  20. Nicole Gaudreaux – Montreal  – August 3, 1979 
  21. Coda: Tammy Leakey – Dorval, Montreal – March 12, 1981

THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED

  1. The bodies of Sharron Prior and Unidentified were both found on Chemin du Lac in Longueuil. Prior was found April 1, 1975, Unidentified was found April 2, 1977, almost exactly 2 years to the date of the discovery of Prior.
  2. The murders of Prior and Houle are very similar, their crime scenes are practically identical.
  3. Chantal Tremblay took the bus to the Henri Bourassa metro station and disappeared. The bus that Johanne Dorion used to commute to/from Cartierville and Laval was on the Henri Bourassa transit line. Dorion worked in Cartierville, took the bus home, then disappeared. Katherine Hawkes lived in Cartierville, and was commuting home on the bus from downtown Montreal the night she died.
  4. A tape exists of Katherine Hawkes’ killer’s voice. Her assailant called in to police twice the evening that she died to tell them the location of the body. The police recorded it. However it took police almost 18 hours to investigate the location (and this only after 2 citizens had found the body).
  5. Denise Bazinet lived approximately 3 blocks from Lison Blais in Montreal’s East End.
  6. A purse matching the description of the one Lison Blais owned was recovered at the Louise Camirand dump site in Austin. Quebec. This is the same location where clothing matching the description of those last worn by Theresa Allore was also found by hunters.  Finally, the remnant of a shoe was found at the same location matching the description on Chinese slippers last worn by Theresa Allore
  7. Tammy Leakey’s body was found in Dorval less than a mile from where Unknown Victim 2 was found 1 1/2 years earlier.

INVESTIGATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Investigate the deaths of Sharron Prior, Jocelyn Houle and “Unidentified” as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #1, The Longueuil Killer). This will require cooperation between the Longueuil and Surete du Quebec police forces.
  2. Investigate the murders Louise Camirand, Helene Monast, Denise Bazinet, Lison Blais, Theresa Allore and Sharron Prior as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #2, The Bootlace Killer). This will require cooperation between the Longueuil, Montreal, and Surete du Quebec police forces.
  3. Investigate the murders Chantal Tremblay, Joanne Dorion and Katherine Hawkes as possibly connected cases committed by one offender (Suspect #3, The Commuter Killer). This will require cooperation between the Laval, Montreal, and Surete du Quebec police forces.

Here is a map (click to go to interactive link):

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PUBLIC SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Only three things that can solve a crime:

  1. An eyewitness
  2. A confession
  3. Physical Evidence.

The perpetrators in these cases would have to be – at best – 60 years old today. More than likely they are much older or already dead. Quebec police cannot realistically expect citizens to come forward with new information on these cases when the public is not even aware that the murders occurred, or –  when in some situations – the police refuse to acknowledge that crimes were even committed. Through attrition the Quebec police will ensure that any possibility of a confession or eyewitness testimony in these matters is eliminated. Everyone who touched the case will have died. 

This brings us to the second matter of the destruction of physical evidence. We already have confirmation of evidence destruction by the Surete du Quebec and the Longueuil police. Just yesterday we learned of the recent destruction of evidence by the Montreal police. We suspect that these actions have long been accepted practices by Quebec police. 

By destroying case evidence, by limiting the opportunities of a confession or eyewitness testimony, Quebec police forces have engaged in investigative genocide.

The following actions should be taken immediately:

  1. In addition to Helene Monast and Theresa Allore, the following cases should immediately be added to the Surete du Quebec’s L’équipe des Dossiers non résolus:  Alice Pare, Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Claudette Poirier, Denise Bazinet, and (if it is in their jurisdiction), Chantal Tremblay.
  2. A unified cold-case task force needs to be created for all of Quebec to ensure cooperation / coordination between Quebec police agencies.
  3. Access to cold-case information for family members of victims needs to be granted immediately. It should not be that I have access to my sister’s case information, while a family like the Dorions or Blais’ are denied access by Laval and Montreal police forces. All Quebec police agencies should be required to provide the same level-of-service to all victims.
  4. An inquiry needs to be made by the Quebec government into the systematic destruction of cold-case physical evidence by Quebec police agencies to ensure the integrity of public safety in the province.

 

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Claudette Poirier – and other disappearances – Summer of 77

IMG_0545I’ve written already about Claudette Poirier in relation to Cédrika Provencher. Since we’re doing this in chronological fashion, it would be useful to lay down all the facts once again.

Poirier 198615-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 4 miles south at Camp Plein Air Familial 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 visit friends who lived on St-Charles boulevard near her home back in Drummondville. 

From that point Claudette disappears. Her bicycle is found along Rang 5e,  Saint Cyrille,  about 2 miles from her camp site.

Police investigating are Roland Gagnon of Surete du Quebec, Trois Rivieres, Andre Blanchette of SQ Drummondville, Henri Deschenex and Marcel Boutin. They are unable to find any trace of Claudette.

IMG_05449 years later, 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 her 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 past the cause of death is undetermined. 

Analysis

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:

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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. 

How connected is this case with the others? Hard to tell. Probably not connected at all. However, I would note that Alice Pare, who disappeared from Drummondville in 1970 and was later found murdered, lived about 2 miles south of Poirier across the Saint Francois river.

Also of note – 1977 was sort of a summer of disappearances in Quebec:

Dansereau

  • June 14, 1977: 16-year-old Johanne Danserault  (5’3″) disappears from her home at 615 rue des Lotus in Fabreville / Laval and is never seen again. Lt Gagne of Laval SQ was put in charge of the case. It is thought she was a runaway.

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  • June 27, 1977: 13-year-old Sylvie Doucet (5’4″, 120 lbs) of 3634 rue Rouen in Montreal disappears from East Montreal and is not seen again.  
Doucet lived here at the corner of Rouen and Chambly in Montreal's East End.

Doucet lived here at the corner of Rouen and Chambly in Montreal’s East End.

  • Henri Jette of the Montreal police is put in charge of the case. Again, Police think she has runaway.

Bodsay

  • July 30, 1977: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bodzy (5′, 95 lbs) disappears from her home at 311 rue Belec in Laval. Detective Milette of Laval is put in charge of the case. Police think she is a runaway. Update: Elisabeth Bodzy returned home safe on August 15th 1977.

If someone can demonstrate to me that these young girls were later found safe, I am all ears. From what I know they simply vanished. 

And if you are noticing a pattern with these events, and recent events of young girls vanishing in Montreal, you would be seeing what I am seeing. In some cases they are found. In some cases we are told of rumors of the girls being sold into prostitution. In some cases they just vanish. It’s a public safety nightmare.

Returning to 1977, and in particular Laval, we will see that the situation would soon reach its apex with the late July disappearances and murders of Chantal Tremblay and Johanne Dorion.

#Cedrika Provencher = Claudette Poirier?

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Je ne peux pas empêcher de remarquer certaines similitudes frappantes entre le cas Provencher, à ce jour, et celle de Claudette Poirier.

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Poirier avait 15 ans quand elle a disparu de Drummondville le 27 Juillet, 1977. Comme Provencher, elle a disparu sur son vélo. Comme Provencher, elle manquait une longue période, et beaucoup crurent qu’elle était encore vivante.

IMG_0544

Enfin comme Provencher, ses restes ont été découverts près d’une décennie plus tard, dans une zone boisée à Sainte Cyrille (crâne récupéré par deux chasseurs). Son vélo a été retrouvé moins de 1/2 d’un kilomètre du lieu de sa disparition.

Curieusement, l’enquête ete conduit par le détachement Trois-Rivières du bureau d’enquête de la Sûreté du Québec.

Voici le rapport du coroner:

Poirier 1986

Poirier 1986 2

#Cedrika Provencher = Claudette Poirier?

IMG_0545 I can’t help but notice certain striking similarities between the Provencher case, thus far, and that of Claudette Poirier.

IMG_0544

Poirier was 15 when she disappeared from Drummondville on July 27, 1977. Like Provencher, she went missing on her bicycle. Like Provencher, she was missing a long time, and many believed she was still alive.

IMG_0541

Finally like Provencher, her remains were discovered nearly a decade later in a wooded area in Sainte Cyrille (skull recovered by two hunters). Her bike was recovered less than 1/2 a kilometer from the place of her disappearance.

Curiously, the investigation was led by the Trois Rivieres detachment of the Surete du Quebec’s investigative bureau.

Here is the coroner’s report:

Poirier 1986

Poirier 1986 2

 

 

 

Cédrika Provencher probe ramped up after remains found

I am again going to post my map of missing and murdered women in the province of Quebec. It’s interactive and you can move around for information:

Screen shot 2015-12-14 at 7.51.51 AM

Here is the latest news on the case:

Quebec provincial police are ramping up their search for evidence in the case of Cédrika Provencher, the nine-year-old who went missing in 2007 and whose remains were found in a wooded area Friday.

About 100 officers are combing a section of Saint-Maurice, near Trois-Rivières, this morning where her skull was found by hunters.

Sûreté du Québec director general Martin Prud’homme said late Sunday the case had “progressed” since the discovery but wouldn’t offer any specifics about the investigation.

No one has been arrested in connection with Cédrika’s death.

Cédrika went missing on July 31, 2007, near her home in Trois-Rivières. She was reportedly approached by an adult who asked for help to find a missing dog. She was never seen again.

On Sunday, Cédrika’s father, Martin Provencher, wrote on Facebook the family could start mourning at last, thanking everyone for their unwavering support since she disappeared. 

“You have helped us overcome another step in this horrible tragedy.”

The Sûreté du Québec is asking anyone with information to call 1-800-659-4264.

Cédrika Provencher: Our worst fears

p3541901

For over the  past  near-decade you could not be in the province of Quebec and not been aware of the story, or at least the face, of Cédrika Provencher.  The 9-year-old girl disappeared on July 31, 2007 near her home in Trois-Rivières. Her parents – chiefly her father, Martin – were in the news regularly asking the public for answers. Cédrika became – literally – a poster-child for lost-innocence and fear. She was / is what Maura Murray is to New Hampshire, what Brianna Maitland is to Vermont, what Alison Parrot was for over a decade to the city of Toronto.

october 27 2007

In the Fall of 2007 I visited Quebec City for a meeting with the Minister of Public Security. I snapped this photo of Cédrika along the artists alley across from the Chateau Frontenac. It could have been taken anywhere: the city was littered with these notices.

Now comes the news that the remains found yesterday by passers-by in woods on the edge of Highway 40 in St-Maurice, near Trois-Rivières, are those of the young girl.  I am not currently living in Quebec,  but I can tell you without an inch of doubt that the province is heartbroken. 

Over the years I’ve thought about this case, but not deeply. I must confess that so many resources were thrown at this case that Cédrika didn’t appear to need my help. In the beginning Pierre Boisvenu and AFPAD fought hard to use it as justification for the Surete du Quebec to initiate a squad specifically dedicated to missing persons in the first 48 hours of disappearance.  I know the Surete du Quebec took the matter seriously because often I couldn’t get things done on Theresa’s case, because the SQ was doubling-down on Cédrika.  For the record, I had no issue with that. I have always believed that public safety resources should be used for current investigations first and foremost.

But then this very immediate case became a cold case. At times it seemed to lose its focus, with police chasing suspects as far away as New Brunswick. The documentary filmmaker, Stephen Parent made a pitch for linking Provencher’s disappearance to the murders of several children in Quebec in 1984. I don’t know what I expected the outcome to be, but it wasn’t this. It wasn’t yesterday’s news that bones were found in some woods less than 10 miles from where the child disappeared. It wasn’t that for the past 8 years Cédrika was most likely right under everyone’s noses: that outcome seemed too much of a cliche.

Hopefully this will sort itself out into some form of satisfactory resolution. At this point, that can only mean justice. The first question everyone will want answered is, how long were the bones there? Had the remains been lying in those woods for the past 8 years, or were they placed there recently? But the broader question – Again, unfortunately – is this: who committed this crime, and had they committed similar crimes before and after July 31st, 2007?

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Charbonneau – Plus Ca Change

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In 1996 the Quebec government appointed Lawrence Poitras to lead a public inquiry into the Sûreté du Québec following accusations of corruption and evidence tampering within the force. Three years later Poitras submitted his 2,700 page report accusing the force of abusing its powers of arrest, being more concerned with protecting its image than investigating misconduct. Total cost to taxpayers? Over $20 million.

Did the Poitras Commission recommendations have any lasting influence? Judging by the release this week of the Charbonneau Commission’s report the answer is No.

On Tuesday Justice France Charbonneau submitted her 1,751-page report detailing how organized crime has infiltrated the Quebec construction industry, and how political forces such as elected officials, the ministry of transportation and the Quebec police force stood idle and let it happen, or in many cases participated in the collusion. The report – which cost taxpayers close to $45 million – states that there was the an “appearance” of corruption in Montreal and Laval, a “vulnerability” in contract-awarding by certain provincial departments, such as Transport Quebec, and that there were bodies, such as the Sûreté du Québec, that could have done something to address problems but did not.

Plus ca change.

GirlsDontHitchhike

And now we stand on the brink of another public inquiry into Canadian injustice, that of the missing and murdered indigenous women. A coalition of groups including family members, the First Nations Summit, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is wisely recommending the Trudeau government exercise caution before jumping into an expensive and lengthy public process. Chiefly they recommend that officials consult with indigenous women, and learn from the lessons of the Oppal inquiry (the Missing Women Commission borne from the conviction of serial killer Robert Pickton) before again engaging in a “fundamentally flawed” process.

“We need to get to the root causes of why this is happening, so we can prevent this from happening,” said Lorelai Williams, whose aunt went missing in 1977, and whose cousin, missing since 1996, was among the women whose DNA was found on Pickton’s farm.

Indeed. Let’s start with the release yesterday by the social justice coalition’s report card on child poverty which says that 40 per cent of indigenous children in Canada live in poverty.  

And when B.C. Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone, ponders why there are still challenges to keeping indigenous girls and women safe along the Highway of Tears one wonders why he hasn’t consulted the the reams of public reports and documents – including recommendations – that have been filed over the past decade. Between 19 – 40 girls and women have gone missing or been murdered along the 450 mile stretch of highway over the last 42 years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – or even a gifted profiler – to conclude that this is not the work of a single person, the problem is  systemic. Judging from the report from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, you might want to take a closer look at the very institution charged with protecting these women.

The investigation was triggered by a 2013 Human Rights Watch report titled Those Who Take Us Away a scathing document detailing such allegations as women being strip-searched by male police officers, an unwarranted attack by a police dog against a young girl and the 2012 rape of a homeless woman by four officers. Researchers heard allegations of sexual assault or rape in fully half of the 10 northern towns they visited, the report said.

 

An American friend recently remarked to me, “how can these things go on-and-on in your country?!”. Because they go on-and-on everywhere. I need look no further than my own back door – Rocky Mount, North Carolina – to see how the plight of a marginalized group – namely female black prostitutes – was completely ignored when women slowly started disappearing and turned up murdered over the course of 6 years in a town no bigger than Cornwall or Fredericton.

Bad people will always prey on the weak and vulnerable.  C’est la meme chose.

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Quebec Power Vacuum 1975 – 1979

“It was like the wild west.”

Private Investigator Robert Buellac describing the conditions of crime and law enforcement in Quebec in the late 1970s.

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Homicide Investigators, Surete du Quebec 1970s

In a post titled Quebec 1977: Who was the Bootlace Killer,  I presented information to suggest a possible connection between approximately 20 disappearances and unsolved murders in the province of Quebec in the late 1970s.  Between 1975 and 1981 young women routinely went missing and turned up dead in rural and wooded areas. Many of them were straggled, raped and brutally beaten.

Montreal 1977

Montreal 1977

In the Winter of 1977, the Quebec tabloid, Allo Police reported that there had been 212 homicides in the province in 1976, 4 per week, with 1 in 4 of those crimes going unsolved by the police. Two years later the Sherbrooke Record proclaimed “Townships Crime worst in Quebec”.  Statistics released by the Quebec Police Commission showed that the Eastern Townships had the highest rate of crime of any region in Quebec in 1978. The report noted that crimes against persons had “skyrocketed” in the region. The eleven Township municipalities having their own police forces collectively logged 377 crimes in the nature of homicides, rapes, sex crimes, armed robberies and other assaults in the year 1978. This was a 9% increase from the 345 crimes against persons reported in 1977. For those Township municipalities that did not have their own police forces – towns patrolled by the Quebec Police Forces (QPF) – the figures were even worse. The QPF showed a rise in violent crimes against persons from 87 in 1977 to 142 in 1978, a staggering increase of 63%. Raynald Gendron, the director of the police commission’s research and statistics division stated there was no accounting for the increase in crime.

Gendron’s statement is false and irresponsible. Though the specific actions that led to these crimes – and more pointedly to the murders and disappearances cited in the Bootlace Killer piece – are to this day unknown, the conditions which gave rise to this environment of disorder and lawlessness are familiar and well documented:

Political Unrest

In the 1976 provincial election, the Parti Québécois was elected for the first time to form the government of Quebec. Regardless of where you sit on the argument of whether this was ultimately good or bad for the province, the original elected members of the Parti Québécois were academics, not managers. They were not well equipped with the tools of decision making, communication and leadership that were so greatly need in a time of social upheaval and change. The Quiet Revolution unfolded with the previous Liberal administration; the PQ government was not well positioned to manage it. Almost immediately the new party got down to the business of what is always most important in regime change: investigating the actions of the prior government. In 1977 René Lévesque  launchds the Malouf Commission’s Public Inquiry into Jean Drapeau’s 1976 Montreal Olympics (and you thought Charbonneau was something new).  The Commission was a huge time-suck on the new and inexperienced PQ government. While attending to grand spectacles like public inquiries, the Parti Québécois took its eye off the ball of the day-to-day aspects of governing like public safety, organized crime, and education; with education specifically coming home to roost in their indecision over granting a certain small Eastern Township CEGEP permission to build a new dormitory for their newly created college. Champlain college would continue to use their grossly inadequate facility in Compton, Quebec, resulting in disastrous consequences for students (as documented many times on this website).

Police Force Consolidation

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Surete du Quebec: Arrêt Stop

After assuming power, the Parti Québécois began a project of consolidation that was merging smaller police forces under the umbrella of the Quebec Police Forces (QPF, and later the Surete du Quebec or “SQ”). In 1978, larger municipalities such as Sherbrooke and Magog were able to keep their forces in tact. By contrast, other towns such as Lennoxville and Brome were teetering on the brink of being swallowed up by the Provincial force. Still others such as Compton, Ayer’s Cliff and North Hatley had already succumbed to consolidation and lost their forces altogether. With consolidation came confusion. The QPF’s jurisdiction and responsibilities were growing at an accelerated pace. They were unfamiliar with the new territory and struggled to keep up adequate levels of service. The QPF force known as the Coaticook division had just eighteen men to cover over 2500 square miles, from Lake Memphremagog in the east to the New Hampshire border in the west, from the outskirts of Sherbrooke all the way South to the town of Stanstead on the Vermont border. The changes were confusing to both the police and public. For example, a short, two mile drive on route 143 – the main drag through Lennoxville -would take you through no less than three police jurisdictions – those of the Sherbrooke Municipal Police, the Coaticook division of the QPF, and the town police force of Lennoxville.

Similar problems were mirrored in cities like Montreal. Depending on where a crime took place in “Montreal”, the investigating force could be the Montreal police (SPVM), the provincial police (QPF / SQ), off-island police from Longueuil or Laval, or Federal investigators from the RCMP, or a combination of these forces! In the case of Katherine Hawkes, because the body was found at a CN train station, it was on federal land, so the RCMP took the lead, even though the Val Royal train station is squarely in the middle of the island of Montreal. The Hawkes case has been investigated largely in isolation from other Montreal crimes for over 37 years, more than likely a large contributor to why the case remains unsolved.

Gangs

IMG_0349For as long as there have been motorcycles there have been biker gangs in Quebec, but it wasn’t until the late 1970s that the gangs became organized.  Ganks like the Popeyes and the Devil’s Disciples were the forerunners of the Hells Angels in Quebec, with the first Hells chapter being formed in Sorel, Quebec in late 1977. In 1978, the newspapers were filled with tales of ‘Bébé’ Laverdière and the Black Spiders, who had full reign over the province.. Reports of drug killings, strangled go-go dancers, bodies of rival gang members turning up in local rivers anchored to wheel rims and cement blocks where weekly events. In 1978 the SQ stated that the biker problem was their number one priority. As documented by Paul Cherry in The Gazette, the disruption and chaos caused by conflicting biker factions continued for a decade until the Lennoxille Massacre in 1985; the violent murder of five Laval Hells members which ultimately lead to a period of relative quite and consolidation in Quebec biker culture. Almost 20 years and a biker war later we would learn what we had always suspected: that the relationship between police, the government and organized crime in Quebec was compromised, and that all parties had a long history of working together.

Organized Crime

Frank "Le Gros" Cotroni

Frank “Le Gros” Cotroni

The Cotroni crime family was a Mafia organization based in Montreal with strong ties to the Bonanno crime family in New York. From the 1950s through to the mid-1970s the Cotroni family controlled the Montreal drug trade, led by the family boss, Vic Cotroni. By 1975 Vic Cotroni was ailing in health, and operations were turned over the the family heir to the throne, Paolo Violi. In January 1978, Violi was assassinated. Eventually, Vic’s younger brother, Frank would take control of organized crime in Montreal, but that wasn’t until the Spring of 1979 when Frank Cotroni was paroled from a U.S. penitentiary.  For almost a year-and-a-half there was a virtual power vacuum in organized crime in Quebec.

Disorganization in organized crime, gang culture and the government; this was the environment in the late 1970s in which the murders of Sharron Prior, Denise Bazinet, Helene Monast, Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Johanne Dorion, Katherine Hawkes, Claudette Poirier, Chantal Tremblay, Manon Dube and Theresa Allore occured.

Do these cases remain unsolved due to conspiracy or incompetence, a culture of indifference and compromise? We do not know.

But consider the following cartoon from a 1975 edition of Photo Police:

(PHOTO REMOVED AT REQUEST OF PUBLISHER)

Further consider that at least two of the victims mentioned above had been violated by blunt objects. Now consider what the cartoon actually suggests: Not only was rape an accepted cultural norm in Quebec society in the 1970s, it was invited, considered humorous, and suggestively practiced by the very agents elected to protect citizens from harm and victimization.

(All photos are the  property/used courtesy of Allo Police/Section Rouge Média Inc.)

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Police search area where remains thought to be those of #HannahGraham were found

The initial interview with SGT Dale Terry who found the remains contained the following:

“It was behind a vacant home, in a dried-up creek bed, Terry said he found a skull and bones, along with a pair of tight, dark-colored pants.”

Description has since been scrubbed:

 

crime

From the Washington Post:

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Police on Sunday combed a narrow two-lane back road near an abandoned property in Albemarle County south of here, where searchers on Saturday found human remains thought to be those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Graham, an 18-year-old from Fairfax County, vanished in the early hours of Sept. 13. Jesse L. Matthew Jr., a 32-year-old Charlottesville man with whom Graham was last seen, was arrested and charged in her disappearance, but the young woman’s whereabouts were unknown.

branchThe remote location where the body was found was within three or four miles of the hayfield where the body of another missing college student was found in 2010. Both Graham and the second woman, Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, disappeared late at night in Charlottesville.
Police on Sunday blocked off a three-mile section of Old Lynchburg Road near where the body was found as investigators scoured the area. For much of its length the road is unmarked and without shoulders, surrounded by woods that are turning amber, gold and crimson, and with houses set back from the pavement, several with white country fences. A tiny brick church sits at one end of the barricaded stretch, across the road from a cemetery with several dozen weathered tombstones.

The northernmost police barricade on Old Lynchburg on Sunday was at its intersection with Red Hill Road. From that point, Red Hill winds a little more than three miles to the northwest before it borders the 742-acre Anchorage Farm. It was there that Harrington’s skeletal remains were found.
The grim discovery Saturday of human remains on a stretch of road in rual Virginia has put Charlottesville residents on edge. Officials have not determined the identity of the remains. 
Virginia State Police investigators said last month that the arrest of Matthew was a “significant break” in the Harrington case and provided an unspecified “new forensic link” in the quest for her killer.

The remains found Saturday were discovered by a sheriff’s deputy searching an abandoned property, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said. A conclusive identification has not been made and the remains were sent to the Virginia medical examiner’s office for forensic testing.

Longo said Graham’s family members had been notified. They have not commented on the discovery of the remains. Authorities also called off a search for Graham planned for Sunday, saying they would focus on identifying the body.

Graham’s disappearance has shaken Virginia’s flagship public university, where students have held candlelight vigils and worn orange ribbons in the hope of Graham’s return.

Student council president Jalen Ross helped organize a vigil on the U-Va. campus that attracted hundreds of students. Ross and others at the event, which occurred five days after Graham was last seen, spoke about the missing sophomore in the present tense. Now Ross said that the student council was planning a memorial for Graham to provide a central place on campus for students to honor her.​

“Nobody wanted to hear there’s been a body found,” Ross, 21, said Sunday.

But it was the news many students were expecting, Ross said. In the five weeks since Graham disappeared, a dark mood has again descended over the school.

Hannah Graham timeline
“It revives the whole pool of sadness everyone went through originally,” Ross said.

Many students have donned orange ribbons to keep Graham in mind. Every day since Graham vanished, Ross has worn one pinned to his shirt.

“I told myself  I’d wear it until they found her,” Ross said.

Ross said many students recalled that it took investigators 101 days to find Harrington.

“A lot of us were worried that it would take a long time or infinite time to get closure” in Graham’s case, Ross said.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Heather Warren crafted the words for her evening sermon at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, across from the Charlottesville campus.

“It’s just profoundly sad,” Warren said. “There was always this hope that she might be found alive. That’s not there now.”

In the weeks after Graham vanished, the church kept its doors open for students distressed by the sophomore’s disappearance. Warren said the church has helped students find solace in prayer and passages of Scripture. In recent days, Warren said, she has been drawn to Psalm 139, which explores the constant presence of God even in the worst of times.

“Whither can I go from your presence?” Warren said Sunday, quoting the psalm’s first verses. “You might not know what that presence feels like. But that does not mean you are abandoned.” She began Sunday evening’s service with a moment of silence for Graham.

Friends and teachers have described Graham, a 2013 graduate of West Potomac High School in the Alexandria area of Fairfax, as a good student with a sense of humor.

At U-Va., Graham participated in an alternative spring break as a freshman, volunteering to spend long hours rebuilding homes destroyed by tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She was known as a central figure in the college’s ski club.

The investigation into Graham’s disappearance has produced leads in other unsolved cases.

Matthew, who had worked as an orderly at the U-Va. hospital, has been linked by DNA evidence to the investigations of two violent crimes: a sexual assault in Fairfax City in 2005 and the abduction and slaying of Harrington, police have said.

He has not been charged in either case.

In addition, two Virginia universities that Matthew attended between 2002 and 2003 said he was implicated in sexual assault cases. Both women declined to press charges against Matthew, and he was not convicted of any crime connected to the allegations.

Graham spent the evening of Sept. 12, a Friday, drinking and socializing with friends near campus before going out about midnight. By 1 a.m., she was seen wandering the Downtown Mall, about a mile and a half from her apartment. She sent messages to friends indicating that she was lost.

Shortly after 1 a.m., witnesses saw Graham with Matthew near the Tempo restaurant.

Brice Cunningham, the owner of Tempo, told The Washington Post that his employees later saw Graham and Matthew leaving the area together. She had not been seen since.

Police quickly focused on Matthew, searching his car and his Charlottesville apartment and eventually seeking a warrant for his arrest. Matthew was arrested Sept. 24 on a beach near Galveston, Tex., more than 1,300 miles from his apartment.

Matthew was charged with abduction with intent to defile, indicating that police think he planned to sexually assault Graham.

He is being held without bond in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

James L. Camblos III, the lawyer representing Matthew, said he would await further information.

“The police have located human remains, and we will wait to see what the medical examiner says to see who it is,” Camblos said.

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