The recent controversy concerning Senator Boisvenu

pierreA lot of trending buzz in the media this week over the controversy surrounding Pierre Boisvenu’s spending subsidies and behaviors as a Canadian senator. As Pierre is a friend, colleague and mentor – we often refer to each other as “brother” -

allow me to offer some thoughts.

First, a little background. I apologize to those who have heard this a dozen times before on this website. I met Pierre 10-years-ago when we were cutting our teeth in the victims rights arena. Pierre’s daughter had been murdered in Sherbrooke, Quebec, I was investigating the very cold-case of my sister’s murder in the Eastern Townships, so we had a common affinity for the cause and the region. In 2003, we crashed the Federally sponsored victims conference, Moving Forward – Lessons Learned from Victims of Crime. We both laughed, bitterly at how under-represented victims were at that, the first national victims conference. We met for the first time on the eve of the conference in an Italian restaurant across the Ottawa river in Hull, Quebec. I was staying at the time with friends in the Gatineau, where Pierre currently keeps a residence. When I met Pierre I was struck by his energy, confidence and optimism; I couldn’t believe that this guy had lost a daughter within less than a year.

We became very close. He and his wife visited with my family in Chapel Hill, I have stayed at his condo in Sherbrooke. Within the past 10-years both our marriages disintegrated. I never knew the direct reasons for Pierre’s separation from Diane, but I am sure they are similar to mine; you maintain that shell of confidence, but beneath things start to crack.

Pierre went on to found AFPAD, and several other victims organizations, he championed legislative reform for victims, and fell under the umbrella influence of Harper conservatives.  From the point that he became a Canadian senator I largely lost touch with Pierre.

If I am to understand the residency regulations for Canadian politicians, the issue is where you live, and how much tax payers should subsidize that. I believe Pierre’s argument would be he is entitled to the stipend because he is technically still living in the condo in Sherbrooke. Technically, that is probably true. Though he keeps a place in Gatineau, he no doubt has lots of business back in Quebec. I have observed him dart back-and-forth between Ottawa and Sherbrooke in his car for years in the time before he was even a senator.  In a regular week I have watched him pepper the province rushing from one frontline victim function to the next (he doesn’t just travel the cooridors of power - Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City - the guy is in the weeds with victims, he gets everywhere). Is that still true? I have no knowledge. And anyway, he is a senator now, he serves all of Canada, so I would hope he was covering greater ground in other regions, but sources tell me his cause is still deeply entrenched in Quebec affairs.

On the issue of his relationship with a staff member. I agree strongly that your personal life is personal, you have no business in Mr. Boisvenu’s bedroom. But I also believe, whether it is inscribed in an official code of conduct or not, romantic relations with a subordinate crosses an ethical line.

A life of public service is full of temptation, and under constant scrutiny. I know. I work in local government, but only at the municipal level. The most I’ve been offered was free college basketball tickets. Not very tempting, but I declined. Alright, I’ll cop to being offered Canes tickets. More tempting (especially this evening), but still I declined.  I  know that the temptations and risks at the state and federal levels are greater, and Pierre has worked in that environment all his life (as a deputy minister for Quebec, and now at the senatorial level). All the more reason to be more vigilant.

As a public employee it is not enough to simply follow the rules, at all times you must avoid even the perception of impropriety. That’s a high bar of achievement, and maybe the strain of maintaining that standard leads some to fall.

I welcome all comments and opinions.

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UNC Chapel Hill: Physician, Heal Thyself!

unc

This week two local issues concerning criminal justice hit home for me in a very personal way.

On Tuesday, my ex-wife called me with a warning about our weekly child drop-off: “They’re on their way over, but be careful… we just got in an argument and the topic was rape.”

The subject was the recent allegations by students - current and former - at UNC Chapel Hill that the school administration has done little to protect victims of sexual assault, and indeed have gone to great lengths to cover up incidents of rape and sexual assault on campus.   My ex-wife argued that one student in question, who took it on face value that the school would comprehensively handle the investigation into her assault, was under some personal obligation to go to local law enforcement to report the incident. My daughters’ point was that the school was obliged to fully protect the student, victims of sexual assault are vulnerable, and the student was depending on the school to act in her best interest. I argued that I have been sitting on the fence about this issue because I really didn’t feel I had enough information to make a rational conclusion. My back-of-the-napkin take on it is that, by my count from what I read in the newspapers, there has been a problem with sexual violence on the UNC campus spanning at least a decade, but that the problem more than likely reached back much further than that; from my experience in these matters if UNC /Chapel Hill have a campus sexual violence problem,  the issue is systemic, and it is a very good thing that Federal authorities from the U.S. Department of Education are now being called in to review the matter.

This issue extends - at the very least - as far back to the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery in 1986 in a campus residence hall at Lehigh University. The case lead to the establishment of the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to annually disclose campus security policies and campus crime statistics. The Act is monitored by the U.S. Department of Education, and those institutions that fail to comply risk losing Federal student financial aid programs (yes, a VERY big deal).

It is no secret that in the Cleary era many schools have attempted to game the system by under-reporting campus crime stats (Jerry Sandusky / Penn State), and that is exactly the issue at UNC Chapel Hill, and why the stakes are so high in this matter. Do colleges fudge numbers? Of course they do. In my own personal experience, I don’t have to be a statistician to notice that a simple Google scan of newspaper archives for the words “Lennoxville” “sexual assault” “Campus” “Champlain college” will come up with exactly two hits; my sister’s case, and a case at  Bishop’s college that police later claimed didn’t take place. 40 years, and exactly two incidents of sexual assault? That’s quite a record.

The second thing that happened this week was that an article appear in the UNC campus newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel that was ostensibly a “where are we now?” piece on the 5th anniversary of the Eve Carson murder, but really was about blaming the City of Durham for all of Chapel Hill’s problems.  That the piece by student writer Chelsey Dulaney is incendiary and mis-informed is just me being polite.  And I strongly disagree with UNC senior associate dean, Chris Roush’s brush-off assessment that, because the paper is student-run, it is merely a “learning lab”: all the more reason for responsible editorial oversight, isn’t oversight at the crux of all of UNC Chapel Hill’s current problems?

As a resident of Chapel Hill and 15-year proud employee with the City of Durham my first reaction was to weigh into the fray, even though that action might have caused me some personal trauma (I rarely discuss where I work on this blog). Fortunately I didn’t have to. In this morning’s Herald Sun the Durham Police Chief and Mayor did such a fine job of defending the Bull City that my actions and words are not neccessary.   My observation - and this is supported with the hard data presented in the police chief’s crime report delivered to City Council on Monday, March 4th (a meeting at which I was present) - is that Part I Crime in Durham has been drastically reduced in the last 10-years while the population has doubled. This is thanks to a police force and a community that understands that a better quality of life is everybody’s business, and we all contribute to the solution. As Mayor Bell says, “are we satisfied? No I don’t think we will every be satisfied.”. But we are hopeful.

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SQ Redux: Again they refuse to help

First, my apologies for my absence: first I got really really busy, then I got really really sick.

Everyone eventually (and really) wants to know about any current developments in Theresa’s case. Usually I can’t talk too much about that, but I am willing to discuss this:

Last summer an anonymous donor came forward offering $10,000 for information that might lead to solving my sister’s murder. The situation was sticky because in order to do rewards properly you usually need the help and cooperation of the local police authority, in this case, the Surete du Quebec (SQ). So I went to the SQ and asked if they’d be willing to work with us on this (answer phones, take tips, etc…).

There were a lot of opinions. The SQ was initially reluctant. They don’t like the idea of chasing down a lot of false leads and creating a lot of false hope. I tend to agree with them here; you offer strangers money and they are likely to say anything to please you and themselves. Also, it can be very traumatic for the family of victims to go through all that (the false hope).

Initially things were looking pretty good. Kim Rossmo weighed in indicating that the reward amount was in the right ballpark (not too big, not too small…). My SQ contact approached the SQ cold case squad and their initial feeling was that they would do it, they just wanted to check on a few things.  Well, last week I got the final word (that’s right, it took approximately 6 months to get a final answer out of them, no surprises there): they will not work with us on offering a $10,000 reward on the grounds that Theresa’s case “does not fit their criteria for rewards” because the SQ still regards the case as a “suspicious death”.

For those of you who have been playing along for the last ten years, you know how bitterly funny all this is. For those of you new to the case (and you can find a brief summary here on my Wikipedia page), let me explain it to you:  The SQ has long regarded the case a “suspicious death” because there is no primary evidence of a murder, but the SQ threw out all evidence from the case in 1983 (clothing) just five years after she died, when the case was still unsolved.

I hate having an adversarial relationship with the Quebec police, I really do. But they bring it on themselves. Their decision forces me (again) to work against them and offer a reward outside their circle of influence, thus inviting media scrutiny as to why we are not working together; and I guess ultimately, that’s fine with me: Media brings attention, and attention is the only thing that solves cold cases.

So I have a request in to Crimestoppers to see if they would be willing to administer the reward outside the influence of the SQ, but while I wait for a response, I ask you readers, what would you do in this situation?

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Normand Guérin doit être transféré en maison de transition à deux coins de rue d’une de ses victimes

Voici un suivi de la Commission des libérations conditionnelles du Canada “brillante” décision de libérer Normand Guérin a en maison de transition à deux coins de rue d’une de ses victimes…

Complice Guérin en 1979 dans le meurtre de Chantal Dupont et Maurice Marcil était Gilles Pimparé (je l’ai écrit plus sur ces meurtres ici). Gilles Pimparé est toujours en prison. Les deux derniers registres décision que j’ai de la Commission des libérations conditionnelles sont de Novembre 2010 et Juin 2011. Pimparé, qui est maintenant 57, a une longue histoire de violence. En plus des meurtres de Dupont et Marcil, qui étaient de 14 et 15 ans au moment, Pimparé avait été criminellement actif depuis 13 ans. Son évaluation psychiatrique en 2010 a révélé que Pimparé était encore sexuellement déviant et un toxicomane. Il avait un niveau de risque élevé de récidive sexuelle et violente. Le profil a décrit comme un psychopathe. Pimparé a été trouvé avec photos pornographiques dans sa cellule, la plupart avec une jeune femme nue posant devant le pont Jacques-Cartier (le pont où il s’est engagé et Guérin de 1979 meurtres). La Commission des libérations conditionnelles a conclu que Pimparé était réticent / à l’abri de changer son comportement, et la libération conditionnelle a été refusée.

En Juin 2011 Pimparé fait appel de la décision 2010 en raison de certaines erreurs de droit, mais le conseil a rejeté son appel et confirmé la décision 2010.

Pimparé est à côté pour examen en Octobre 2012. La Commission des libérations conditionnelles prendra sa décision en Novembre 2012.

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Normand Guérin released to half-way house two blocks away from one of his victims

Here’s a follow up on the Parole Board of Canada’s BRILLIANT decision to release Normand Guérin into a half-way house two blocks away from one of his victims….

Guérin’s accomplice in the 1979 murders of  Chantal Dupont and Maurice Marcil was Gilles Pimparé (I’ve written more about these murders here). Gilles Pimparé is still in prison. The last two decision registries I have from the Parole Board are from November 2010 and June 2011. Pimparé, who is now 57, had a long history of violence. In addition to the murders of Dupont and Marcil who were 14 and 15 at the time, Pimparé had been criminally active since age 13. His psychiatric evaluation in 2010 revealed that Pimparé was still sexually deviant, and a drug abuser. He had a high risk level to re-offend sexually and violently. The profile described him as a psychopath. Pimparé was found with pornographic  photos in his cell, many with a nude young woman posing in front of the Jacques Cartier bridge (the bridge where he and Guérin committed the 1979 murders). The parole board concluded that Pimparé was reluctant / immune to changing his behavior, and parole was denied.

In June 2011 Pimparé appealed the 2010 decision on the grounds of some legal errors, but the board dismissed his appeal and upheld the 2010 decision.

Pimparé is next up for review this October, 2012. The Parole Board will make its decision in November, 2012.

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10 ans plus tard – Qui a tué Theresa?

Il ya dix ans aujourd’hui, nous avons posé une question aux Canadiens par l’intermédiaire de son journal national, le National Post: Qui a tué ma sœur, Theresa Allore? Le point de ces séries d’articles – écrit par Patricia Pearson, et présenté sur la page d’accueil du journal pendant trois jours consécutifs, Août week-end 10 2002 – n’était pas seulement de trouver une réponse à cette question, mais de suggérer les choses que de nombreux – tout peut-être pas tuer Thérèse – mais les choses certainement conduit à de nombreuses sa disparition et assassiner, puis plus tard, entravé une enquête appropriée, en laissant le cas non résolu à ce jour. La police, les systèmes juridiques et de justice au Québec “a tué Theresa”. Le système d’éducation au Québec “a tué Theresa”. Nous avons tué Thérèse parce que nous lui manquait quand elle nous a le plus besoin. Tout comme nous avons tué Isabelle Bolduc, Julie Bosivenu, Julie Surprenant, Marilyn Bergeron, et ainsi de suite et sur.

Alors, voici quelques réflexions sur ces articles écrits il ya dix ans. Vous pouvez trouver les articles originaux ici (en anglais et en français) . Si vous avez besoin d’une amorce sur l’affaire , j’ai commencé une page Wikipedia sur le sujet ici . En outre, si vous êtes plus visuel, de CTV W-5 a fait une heure sur l’histoire en 2005 je crois, et vous pouvez trouver la vidéo ici. (je n’aime plus à parler directement au sujet des meurtres, il me dérange).

Alors, comment se fait-il être que ce cas s’est traîné hors de l’obscurité et placé sur la première page d’un journal national? Eh bien, je savais que l’écrivain, Patricia Pearson assez bien. Elle était ma première petite amie à l’école secondaire. Nous avons ensuite assisté à l’université sont réunis à Toronto, afin que nous étions très proches et elle avait vécu la mort de ma sœur.Je me souviens que j’avais été rendre visite à mes parents, à Saint John, Nouveau-Brunswick, cela aurait été d’environ un an avant que les articles ont été publiés, et je pensais à ré-enquêter sur l’affaire, et environ avenues où plusieurs médias à le présenter. J’étais dans un avion et il y avait une copie de La Poste. Patricia avait écrit cette pièce drôle de petit chauffe le rasage à la crème. Rappelez-vous ces petits conçoit vous pourriez coller sur le haut d’une crème à raser possible pour réchauffer l’étoffe avant qu’il soit allé sur votre visage? Stupide, non? Eh bien, elle pensait aussi, et elle a écrit cette pièce à ce sujet. Je me souviens avoir pensé, que Patricia pourrait être un bon choix à faire l’histoire. Je ne voudrais pas avoir à faire beaucoup de remblayage sur la façon de noisette ma famille à cause de la mort de Thérèse, elle avait vécu cela. Et, elle avait couvert la Holmolka – affaire Bernardo, à Toronto, elle a donc dû que «aller» pour elle.

Elle n’a cependant pas été mon premier choix. Mon premier choix était de Malcolm Gladwell . The Tipping Point venait d’être libéré, et Malcolm était un autre ami avec qui j’étais allé à l’université. (Je suis allé à l’école au Trinity College, Université de Toronto … jolie Tony. Je voudrais régulièrement le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner et le dîner avec Patricia, Malcolm, Atom Egoyan , Andy Coyne , Kate Zernike , Bruce Headlam , Pam Mackinnon , et ainsi de suite et sur … (et non, ne me demandez pas ce que l’enfer que je faisais là)). Quoi qu’il en soit, Malcolm m’a refusé.Il avait été aux Etats-trop longtemps et se sentait mal equipt de faire un morceau d’enquête sur un assassiner canadienne, sans parler de ce qui a impliqué coller son nez dans la politique du Québec.

Dans les jours avant que l’histoire allait sous presse, Patricia était hors de la ville, elle était dans le Nord à son chalet, à Peterborough, de sorte que m’a laissé travailler les derniers détails avec les éditeurs de la poste. Je ne peux vraiment me souviens pas qui est venu avec le titre Qui a tué Theresa?Normalement, ce genre de chose n’est pas fourni par l’auteur, un éditeur contribue, mais je crois que dans ce cas, il était en fait Patricia. Quoi qu’il en soit, il est resté. Je ne me souviens dans les derniers jours, ils sont venus me voir avec le bi-ligne pour le versement final, “Points de modèle à un Serial Killer”.Ils étaient très inquiets que cela pourrait être un peu trop sensationnelle, qu’il pourrait bouleverser ma famille trop.J’ai pensé qu’il très bien, si elle a des lecteurs sur le papier, plus on est de fous.

La clé de l’histoire devenait l’approbation de Kim Rossmo, le profileur désormais célèbre géographique qui a battu le cas de Robert Pickton et les femmes disparues de Vancouver Downtown Eastside . Sans Rossmo, l’histoire aurait été tout simplement une lettre d’amour antique pleine de douleur et de regret. Rossmo a suggéré que quelqu’un aurait pu être responsable de trois meurtres non résolus, et que même après 25 ans, les cas étaient encore solvable, si la Sûreté du Québec serait simple, faire preuve d’initiative et de faire leur travail. Patricia et moi étions deux détectives amateurs, mais avec buy-in de Rossmo, nous avons dû être pris au sérieux, c’était comme avoir Sherlock Holmes de la guest star sur les nouvelles Scooby-Do.

Lorsque ces histoires a éclaté, ils l’ont fait et n’ont pas eu un impact profond sur le cas. Au départ, j’ai reçu beaucoup de réponse de la part des amis. Août est le temps de relaxer et aller au chalet. J’avais des amis à leur place dans la région de Muskoka ou les Cantons de l’Est et ils essayaient juste de sortir et de faire un lecteur de peu de lumière, puis ils ont eu cette mystère assassiner jeté à eux où ils savaient que les principaux acteurs.

Il a causé une agitation, mais il est préférable joué dans le Haut-Canada et des points à l’ouest (les gens aiment à souligner à la merde dans d’autres personnes »mètres), au Québec, il a fait très peu. Il faudrait des années plus de travail, moi d’avoir à apprendre la langue française, puis courtiser les médias français avant que l’histoire a rencontré l’indignation méritée dans les journaux du Québec.

Je trace l’émergence des activités de plaidoyer vicitms dans l’arène de l’homicide comme celui-ci au Québec: Marcel Bolduc a jeté les bases, moi-même, Michel Surprenant et Pierre Hugues Boisvenu convergent juste au bon moment dans une tempête parfaite d’indignation victime. Pierre a pris le flambeau et a couru avec elle. Il ya toujours place à amélioration, mais en regardant en arrière, la relation entre la police et les défenseurs des victimes n’a jamais été meilleure au Québec.

Ainsi, dix ans plus tard … où sommes-nous? Patricia est encore à Toronto, nous envoyer un courriel de temps à autre. Pierre Hugues Boisvenu est bien sûr au Sénat (ne soyez pas trop dur sur Pierre … certains disent qu’il est vendu, mais Pierre tient ses cartes près de la veste. Il a toujours un plan, il aura le dernier mot). Kim Rossmo utilise cartographie de la criminalité pour s’assurer soldats ne pas se blesser en Afganistan; est-il un meilleur usage de ses talents? La dernière fois que nous avons communiqué Clifford Olsen avait contacté revendiquant la responsabilité de la mort de ma sœur (Olsen a toujours été un vantard, et complètement rempli de celui-ci). Kim et moi sommes sur Facebook «amis», mais WTF que je dois le lui dire, “Hey Kim!, J’aime bien votre nouvelle photo de profil! LMFAO! ”

Alors, où en sommes-nous? Eh bien, je pense que si nous avions eu un homme comme André Noël à la barre que nous pourrions avoir obtenu quelques réponses. Dix ans plus tard … près de trente-quatre ans plus tard, je ne sais toujours pas qui a tué Theresa. Bien que je suis assez confiant, je sais où trouver les réponses. Les histoires du National Post fait le lieu de tout le Canada (et au cours des années, j’ai été instamment invités à promouvoir le cas de America’s Most Wanted: inutile, faites-moi confiance). Nous lentement déplacé le focus sur le Québec, puis à réduire le champ de Sherbrooke et les Cantons de l’Est. Maintenant, ramenez qui mettent l’accent encore plus étroite. Aller à la ville de Compton, Québec, où le corps a été retrouvé Thérèse (population 3000). Ainsi, 3000 personnes … peut-être 1000 ménages. Frappez à chacune de ces portes et leur demander,«savez-vous qui a tué Theresa?”. Vous aurez votre réponse.

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10 Years Later – Who Killed Theresa?

 

Ten years ago today we posed a question to Canadians through the medium of its national newspaper, The National Post: Who killed my sister, Theresa Allore? The point of those series of articles – written by Patricia Pearson, and featured on the front page of the paper over three consecutive days, August 10th weekend, 2002 – was not only to find an answer to that question, but to suggest that many things – while perhaps not killing Theresa – but certainly many things led to her disappearance and murder, and then later hindered a proper investigation, leaving the case unsolved to this day. The police, legal and justice systems in Quebec “killed Theresa”. The education system in Quebec “killed Theresa”. We killed Theresa because we failed her when she needed us most. Just as we killed Isabelle Bolduc, Julie Bosivenu, Julie Surprenant, Marilyn Bergeron, and on and on and on.

So here are some thoughts on those articles written ten years ago. You can find the original articles here (in English and French). If you need a primer on the case I started a Wikipedia page on it here . Also, if you’re more visual, CTV’s W-5 did an hour on the story in 2005 I believe, and you can find the video here. (I no longer like to talk to directly about the murders; it disturbs me).

 So, how did it come to be that this case got dragged out of obscurity and placed on the front page of a national newspaper? Well, I knew the writer, Patricia Pearson quite well. She was my first girlfriend in high School. We later attended university together in Toronto, so we were very close and she had lived through the death of my sister. I remember I had been visiting my parents in Saint John, New Brunswick, this would have been about a year before the articles were published, and I was thinking about re-investigating the case, and about several media avenues where to present it. I was on a plane and there was a copy of The Post. Patricia had written this funny little piece on shaving cream warmers. Remember those little devises you could stick on the top of a shaving cream can to warm the stuff before it went on your face? Stupid, right? Well she thought so too, and she wrote this piece about it. I remember thinking, that Patricia might be a good choice to do the story. I wouldn’t have to do a lot of back filling about how nutty my family was because of Theresa’s death; she had lived through that. And, she had covered the Holmolka – Bernardo case in Toronto, so she had that “going” for her.

She was not however my first choice. My first choice was Malcolm Gladwell. The Tipping Point had just been released, and Malcolm was another friend with whom I’d gone to college. (I went to school at Trinity College, University of Toronto… pretty tony. I would routinely breakfast, lunch and dine with Patricia, Malcolm, Atom Egoyan, Andy Coyne, Kate Zernike, Bruce Headlam, Pam Mackinnon, and on and on and on… (and no, don’t ask me what the hell I was doing there)). Anyway, Malcolm turned me down. He had been in the States too long and felt ill equipt to do an investigative piece on a Canadian murder, let alone what that involved sticking his nose in the politics of Quebec.

In the days before the story went to press, Patricia was out of town, she was up north at her cottage in Peterborough, so that left me to work out the final details with the Post’s editors. I really can’t remember who came up with the title Who Killed Theresa?  Normally that sort of thing isn’t provided by the writer, an editor contributes that, but I believe in this case it was in fact Patricia. Anyway, it stuck. I do remember in the final days they came to me with the bi-line for the final installment, “Pattern Points to a Serial Killer”. They were quite concerned that this might be a bit too sensational, that it might upset my family too much. I thought it just fine; if it brought readers to the paper, the more the merrier.

The key to the stories was getting the endorsement of Kim Rossmo, the now famous geographic profiler who broke the case of Robert Pickton and the missing women from Vancouver’s downtown Eastside. Without Rossmo, the story would have been simply an antique love letter full of pain and regret. Rossmo suggested that someone could have been responsible for three unsolved murders, and that even after 25 years the cases were still solvable, if the Surete du Quebec would simple show some initiative and do their jobs. Patricia and I were two amateur sleuths, but with Rossmo’s buy-in we had to be taken seriously; it was like having Sherlock Holmes the guest star on The New Scooby-Do Movies.

When those stories broke, they did and did not have a profound impact on the case. Initially I received a lot of response from friends. August is the time to relax and go to the cottage. I had friends at their places in the Muskokas or the Eastern Townships and they were just trying to get away and do a little light reader, then they had this murder mystery thrown at them where they knew the main players.

It did cause a stir, but it played best in Upper Canada and points west (people love to point at shit in other people’s’ yards), in Quebec it did very little. It would take years more work, me having to learn the French language and then courting the French media before the story met with deserved outrage in the Quebec papers.

I trace the emergence of vicitms advocacy in the arena of homicide like this in Quebec:  Marcel Bolduc laid the foundation, myself, Michel Surprenant and Pierre Hugues Boisvenu converged at just the right time in a perfect storm of victim outrage. Pierre took the torch and ran with it. There is always room for improvement, but looking back, the relationship between the police and victims advocates has never been better in Quebec.

So ten years later… where are we? Patricia is still in Toronto, we email from time to time. Pierre Hugues Boisvenu is of course in the Senate (don’t be too hard on Pierre… some say he’s sold out, but Pierre keeps his cards close to the vest. He always has a plan, he will have the last laugh). Kim Rossmo is using crime mapping to make sure soldiers don’t get hurt in Afganistan; is there a better use of his talents? The last time we communicated Clifford Olsen had contacted him claiming responsibility for my sister’s death (Olsen always was a blowhard, and completely full of it). Kim and I are Facebook “friends”, but WTF am I supposed to say to him, “Hey Kim!,I like your new profile picture! LMFAO!”

So where are we? Well I think if we had had a man like André Noël at the helm we might have gotten some answers. Ten years later…almost thirty-four years later, I still don’t know who killed Theresa. Though I’m pretty confident I know where to find the answers. The National Post stories made the locus all of Canada (and over the years I have been urged to promote the case on America’s Most Wanted: pointless, trust me).  We slowly moved the focus to Quebec, then narrowed the focus to Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships. Now bring that focus still closer. Go to the town of Compton, Quebec where Theresa’s body was found (population 3,000). So, 3,000 people… maybe 1,000 households. Knock on each one of those doors and ask them, “do you know who killed Theresa?”.  You’ll get your answer.

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The Colorado Massacre: Mental Health or Gun Debate?

I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion over David Brooks’ piece in the New York Times calling for more treatment programs for the mentally disturbed.  Or is that what he’s advocating? The headline seems to suggest it (“More Treatment Programs”). Ah, but columnists don’t write their own headlines, editors do.

Not that you couldn’t see this one coming. Mental health budgets have been taking a beating ever since this recession began. According to a study from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, North Carolina’s state mental health budget decreased 1.2 percent to $608 million between fiscal 2009 and FY 2012. The pain continues as the state mental health budget took another beating with the FY13 adopted budget. Rose Hobin over at North Carolina Heath News has a nice interactive graphic to help you visualize the winners and losers (spoiler alert: mental health is the biggest loser).

So all anyone needed was clearly defined outcome to test the theory that cuts in mental treatment is the culprit. The killing of 12 moviegoers in Aurora, Colo., last week has touched off the gun debate, but I think Brooks is right in questioning whether we have the right smoking gun:

These days, people are trying to use the Aurora killings as a pretext to criticize America’s gun culture or to call for stricter gun control laws. (This doesn’t happen after European or Asian spree killings.) Personally, I’ve supported tighter gun control laws. But it’s not clear that those laws improve public safety. Researchers reviewing the gun control literature for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, were unable to show the laws are effective.

Interesting that Brooks never comes right out and says, “more dollars for mental health programs”, but that’s certainly how readers have interpreted it. A reader from Waynesville, NC comments,

A teacher might identify a troubled kid, and direct that kid to some kind of mental health treatment. But in much of red state America, there are fewer teachers, fewer social workers, and fewer mental health services. Access to the kind of treatment Mr. Brooks suggests is difficult, and the cost is prohibitive for most Americans.

They that sow the wind with cuts to education and social programs, and easier access to firearms and ammunition, are beginning to reap the whirlwind.

I think what Brooks is suggesting is something more basic. Rather than throwing money at a problem (because treatment for the mentally disturbed in the hands of the State has been soooo successful) Brooks’ prescription is as simple as “love thy neighbor”:

The best way to prevent killing sprees is with relationships — when one person notices that a relative or neighbor is going off the rails and gets that person treatment before the barbarism takes control. But there also has to be a more aggressive system of treatment options, especially for men in their 20s. The truly disturbed have always been with us, but their outbursts are now taking more malevolent forms.

Real basic medicine: If you see someone in metal anguish, help them.

Post Script: Over at Huffington Post, Duke Professor, Allen Frances weighs in on Colorado / The David Brooks piece: I can’t say I disagree (though some facts / data would have been appreciated)

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Oh The Places You’ll Go

Ok, I haven’t added content since March. The folks at Newstext are going to stop paying commissions.

"La Chasse-galerie" at La Ronde

I was talking to my mom last week. In the wake of the Batman massacre in Colorado (and, man, that guy looks like a young John Lydon) she was saying how lucky I am to live in a place where that kinda stuff doesn’t happen. Say what?  We may not have James Holmes or a Luka Rocco Magnotta, but stuff like that happens fairly frequently here. It’s been just five years since the Eve Carson murder. Walking around UNC campus last week I had a jolt of reality when I stumbled upon her memorial garden.  Just a short walk from that garden a woman was raped last winter crossing in back of the Ackland museum. Chapel Hill had a mass shooting 17-years ago when Wendell Williamson opened fire on Franklin street.  The University of North Carolina law student, dressed in camouflage and armed with an M-1 sniper rifle and hundreds of bullets, walked down the street shooting at random, killing two people.

Still, I feel pretty safe where I live. I am not fearful for my children. I feel pretty safe anywhere really.

We were in New York City earlier this month. I took my daughters to a broadway show. We took a Port Authority bus back to where we were staying in New Jersey. The Port Authority at eleven at night is just as scary as it was in the early 80s, but it’s safe. You just have to stay alert.

And still…

I have a hard time forgetting about bad things. I visited my brother in Montreal this month. I took my children to La Ronde. I hadn’t been there in 30 years. I forgot that to get to the park, you leave the car in the lot, then walk under the Jacques Cartier bridge. Looking up at that bridge my mind immediately travelled to Chantal Dupont and Maurice Marcil, thrown from the bridge Independence day, 1979 (as it happened, we were there the day before that anniversary).   Gilles Pimpare and accomplice, Normand Guerin were eventually found guilty of killing the two 16-year olds. In 2005 they were denied parole. I do not know if they are still serving time.

And I apparently have a hard time forgetting good things too.

I took my kids on the Pitoune. It is one of the original rides from 1967, and kinda tied to the Quebecois legend of La Chasse-galerie. Standing in that line I remembered being there with my family sometime in the 1970s. My mother and father, my brother… and Theresa. It all came back. Except for the minirail I don’t remember too much from those times. But I suddenly recalled all of that very vividly.

Strange what you have in your mind, and what triggers can activate it.

 

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March 15, 2012

Look, it’s budget season for me at work, so, super-busy. But I did want to write a “stream of conscious”, guerilla update.

10 years ago, Friday, March 15, 2002, I was in Lennoxville, Quebec. It was my first visit back in over 20 years.

This was the day that I went through all the records at the Surete du Quebec in Sherbrooke, and interviewed folks at Champlain College. It was the day I determined that my sister, Theresa did not die of a drug overdose, but had been murdered.  From that day, all hell broke loose. That weekend, I was joined by Patricia Pearson, a National Post journalist. She crafted the 3-part article that made everything public and the rests they say is history (history… there’s an echo in here).

My reflections looking back:

1.   Well, not much has changed. The case remains unsolved. As do the cases of Manon Dube and Louise Camirand; the other two young women who were discovered dead within a 14 month period of my sister.

2.   Feel good developments: In an effort to build bridges, my family and Champlain College established a scholarship in Theresa’s name. The first scholarship was awarded last spring. But don’t get all “feel goody” inside. The recipient couldn’t keep up her grades, so the award is still pending.

3.   I am on good relations with the Quebec police, but I barely have the time to give them a hard time anymore. Frankly, I’ve lost the energy and focus. I have other pressing issues. My daughters are almost all grown up. They need my attention more than the SQ (rotten buggers, they always know how to wear us down!  :)  )

4.   I am contemplating offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. A generous supporter has offered the funds; the police are against it (creates work for them, go figure?), I have mixed feelings. If the publicity could be focused around the area of Compton, Quebec, where she was found, I have hope that the effort would be productive.

That’s really all I have. I wish I could say to you, after 10 long years, that we are closer along to resolution. But we are not. Justice is blind… Fortune – the precursor of Justice – is also blind, and is represented with a wheel that is constantly turning. Indeed, Fortune is an excellent moral. The wheel turns, everyone gets a ride, your course rides up and down.

Beware the Ides of March!!!!

Be at peace,

J Allore

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T-05

Ce site est du meurtre non résolu de Theresa Allore qui a été trouvé dans Compton, Québec le 13 Avril, 1979.

Si vous avez n'importe quelles informations à propos de la mort de Theresa et à propos de l'investigation contactent son frère John Allore: johnallore(@)gmail(dot)com. Merci.

Translator

    English flagItalian flagChinese (Traditional) flagPortuguese flagGerman flagFrench flagSpanish flagJapanese flagArabic flagRussian flagDutch flagDanish flagFinnish flagSwedish flagNorwegian flagHebrew flagLatvian flag
This site is about the unsolved murder of Theresa Allore who died November 3, 1978 in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. If you have any information please contact her brother John Allore, johnallore(at)gmail (dot)com

Who Killed Theresa?

    Theresa Allore.jpg
    Photo of Bishops2.jpg
    Notice.jpg
    Detectives3.jpg

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