The disappearances of Julie Surprenant and Jolene Riendeau.
The disappearances of Julie Surprenant and Jolene Riendeau.
On June 12, 1995 Joleil Campeau told her mom she was headed to a friend’s house nearby her home on Debussy St., in the North-West area of Laval. It was late afternoon, a Monday, The 9-year-old girl’s regular path to her friend’s house involved crossing through a wooded area behind her home.
Her body was discovered four days later, submerged in a creek in the wooded area. Whoever killed her had masturbated on her. A coroner determined she died of asphyxiation caused by drowning and declared her death a homicide.
This much is known. On April 27, 1982, 27-year-old Sylvie Trudel was found decapitated and dismembered in the downtown Montreal apartment of “Richard Owen.” That same afternoon a pedestrian discovered the dismembered body of Murielle Guay in trash bags in a wooded area of Mille-Îles northwest of Montreal.
Both murders have long been attributed to American serial killer William Dean Christensen (AKA “Richard Bill Owen”). So why is the Surete du Quebec continuing to pursue Guay’s case as a unresolved murder? (click here to go to their website)
Tracing the origins of misinformation on the internet reveals the following:
the sectioned corpse of Murielle Guay, 26, was found wrapped in trash bags at Mille-Isles, 50 miles northwest of Montreal. Police were initially reluctant to connect the crimes, noting that Trudel’s killer displayed “a certain amount of expertise,” while victim Guay was “really butchered,” but their doubts were resolved by April 29, with murder warrants issued in the name of William Christenson.
On February 25, 2012 the website Coolopolis reported that:
“[Christensen] also murdered Murielle Guay, 26, of Laval, whose body was found dismembered in Mille Iles, northwest of Montreal, decapitated as well, but with less skill, leading authorities to initially believe that it was not the same killer.”
Finally, in his book, Cold North Killers, published March 3, 2013 Lee Mellor writes:
So when did conjecture become internet fact? Difficult to say. When questioned, my friend and colleague Kristian Gravenor – who runs Coolopolis – stated that he was simply reporting what had been reported.
Fact from Fiction
It’s hard not to hold Christensen as a viable suspect. He was released in error from Montreal’s Bordeaux prison just two weeks prior to the murders of Trudel and Guay. Bordeaux is within striking distance from the Bar América on St-Laurent Street in Montreal, where Guay was last seen on April 17, 1982 (contrary to internet reports, Guay was 19, not 24 or 26).
I cannot find any news item that definitely links Christensen to the murder of Guay. A 1984 La Presse article state he was “thought to be responsible” for Guay’s murder. In 1985 La Presse reported that Christensen was “suspected” of Guay’s murder. In 1989 Le Nouvelliste merely states he was being “investigated” in her murder.
The Washington Post reported in 1985 that Christensen was “charged in the mutilation deaths of two women in Canada.”, but apparently those charges – at least in the case of Guay – were dropped. Currently Christensen is serving time in the United States for a Pennsylvania murder.
So who killed Murielle Guay? It’s curious. From memory I recall one other case of dismemberment: the 1989 case of Valerie Dalpe.
It’s also curious – and frustrating – why the Quebec media doesn’t show a greater interest in these matters. The Surete du Quebec have posted new information on over 60 cases. I’m sure they would welcome the attention, investigation, publication and support of media partners.
Apparently the Surete du Quebec no longer consider William Dean Christensen as a suspect, and are looking for answers.
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An Interview with criminologist Dr. Kim Rossmo, whose pioneer work lead to the creation of the field of geographic profiling:
Rossmo joined the Vancouver Police Department as a civilian employee in 1978 and became a sworn officer in 1980. In 1987 he received a master’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University and in 1995 became the first police officer in Canada to obtain a doctorate in criminology. His dissertation research resulted in a new criminal investigative methodology called geographic profiling.
In 1995, he was promoted to detective inspector and founded a geographic profiling section within the Vancouver Police Department. In 1998, his analysis of cases of missing sex trade workers determined that a serial killer was at work, a conclusion ultimately vindicated by the arrest and conviction of Robert Pickton in 2002. A retired Vancouver police staff sergeant has claimed that animosity toward Rossmo delayed the arrest of Pickton, leaving him free to carry out additional murders. His analytic results were not accepted at the time and after a dispute with senior members of the department he left in 2001. His unsuccessful lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Board for wrongful dismissal exposed considerable apparent dysfunction within that department.
After serving as director of research at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2003, he moved to Texas State University where he currently holds the Endowed Chair in Criminology and is director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Since then, he has applied techniques of geographic profiling to counterterrorism, animal foraging, and epidemiology. He has also researched and published on the subject of criminal investigative failures. He has written three books.
At the conclusion of this interview Kim very kindly wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I have done a lot of interviews over the years and your questions today were really good. I could tell you put a lot of thought and planning into this.”
Rossmo as a “beat cop” in Vancouver:
The Bee Gees, Islands In The Stream:
The King Curtis cover of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale:
My favorite Supertramp album (I hope it’s Kims!):
The Guess Who, Running Back to Saskatoon:
The 1975 murder of Sharron Prior is discussed, and the significance of Highway 112 which is the route between Sherbrooke and Montreal:
Route 112 from Pointe-Saint-Charles to Chambly:
Sharron Prior crime scene:
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:
Maurice “The Rocket” Richard:
A show about the criminal investigative failure of the death of Theresa Allore from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. In this episode we focus on the murders of Manon Dube and Louise Camirand:
Yes, that’s right, I’ve started a podcast. Episode 1 is now up and running.
Still working out some kinks, but have a listen: