Category Archives: Uncategorized

Luc Gregoire follow-up / WKT #33

 

A follow-up episode revisiting the case of offender Luc Gregoire. Discussions include updates on the Lise Choquette case, Louise Camirand’s addition to the Surete du Quebec’s cold case website, parole decisions in the matters of Isabelle Bolduc and Julie Boisvenu, the Murder Accountability Project.

 

The body of Lise Choquette, Laval Quebec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some links associated with the podcast:

Here is a link to the Canadian “Murder Accountability Project”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luc Gregoire

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Camirand’s profile on the Surete du Quebec’s cold-case website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

——————

10cc was a favorite band of my sister, Theresa Allore. She owed The Original Soundtrack which contains the hit, I’m Not In Love, so I grew up listening to this a lot. What I didn’t know was that 1975’s The Original Soundtrack was wedged between two EVEN BETTER RECORDS; Sheet Music, and their final effort with the original line-up of Graham GouldmanEric StewartKevin Godley, and Lol Creme, How Dare You.

All music from this episode is from 10cc. I won’t earn any money from this podcast, so I don’t owe any money. The intention here is to profile classic, forgotten music. Long live rock n roll:

 

Category:

Index of related unsolved murders in Quebec in the 1970s – Repost

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):

Screen shot 2016-03-22 at 5.55.19 PM

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.
Category:

Minds of Madness Podcast Features Theresa Allore Case

The folks over at The Minds Of Madness have done a podcast focusing on Theresa Allore’s case. Tyler and Bek have done a wonderful job with Part 1. Can’t wait to hear Part 2 which will be coming in a couple of weeks.

Episode 11 – Theresa Allore – Part 1

 

PART #1 – On November 3rd, 1978, a beautiful 19 year old young woman, by the name of Theresa Allore, completely disappeared from her college campus…in the small borough of Lennoxville, Quebec. Located approximately 2 hours east of Montreal.

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/themindsofmadness/

Twitter – @madnesspod

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MadnessPod

Don’t forget to Like, Review, and Share. Please help listeners find this show more easily, by taking the time to review on iTunes. Thank you

Category:

How do you solve a problem like Homolka – redux

“She read a lot of books about murder, just murder, murder murder, many books per week, like “the perfect murder.”..”

—————

I’m looking back a little at the Homolka affair, not because I’m terribly interested, but because the media appears to be missing things… AND I DO have an interest in Quebec.

Homolka’s home in Chateauguay is minutes away from the murder sites of 12-year-old Norma O’Brien and 14-year-old Debbie Fisher.

 

In this TVA interview Homolka’s former partner at the Joliet prison says Homolka still maintained that she was the victim because she was in a relationship with Bernardo:

Also, Homolka never expressed regret for killing the young victims.

“She read a lot of books about murder, just murder, murder murder, many books per week, like “the perfect murder.”..”

So turning again to current events and Homolka volunteering at the school in NDG:

If you look back at Homolka’s sentence in 2005 one of the conditions of her release was the following:

“Have no job or volunteer position with people under the age of 16.”

Further, Judge Jean R. Beaulieu “said Homolka had better obey the conditions over the next 12 months, or else they will be renewed. If she breaks any conditions she faces up to two years in jail.”

So at some point over the past 12-years I guess it’s safe to say that the conditions lapsed and were not renewed.My question is why? They appeared to be good measures and included the following:

Homolka must:

  • Report to the nearest police station on the day of her release and tell them where she is living and who her roommates are.
  • Notify police of any change of name.
  • Report to a police station the first Friday of every month (or arrange another time).
  • Give 96 hours notice if she plans to move.
  • Give three days notice if she plans to go away for more than a weekend.
  • Complete specific information about any travel plans.
  • Give police her travel plans if leaving Quebec.
  • Have no contact with people with a criminal record.
  • Have no contact with her former husband Paul Bernardo.
  • Have no contact with former victims Jane Doe or Nicole T.
  • Have no contact with the families of victims Kristen French or Leslie Mahaffy.
  • Not possess drugs or illicit substances.
  • Not be in a job which gives her access to benzodiazepine, opiates or barbiturates.
  • Have no job or volunteer position with people under the age of 16.
  • Continue therapy and counselling.
  • Provide police with a DNA sample.

Maintaining these conditions would have kept the public at bay, and would have ensured controversies such as what unfolded last week at the Greaves Adventist Academy would have never happened. 

Note also in the conditions that it was Homolka who was to advise authorities where she was living, not the other way around, so it is clear that Homolka chose to live in Chateauguay, it was her own, free decision. Whether that decision was influenced from the knowledge that crimes similar to the French / Mahaffy  murders (the O’Brien / Fisher murders) had occured in Chateauguay remains to be seen. 

Category:

The 1971 Unsolved Murder of Alice Pare / WKT #25

The murders and criminal investigative failures of Alice Pare and Ursula Schulze.

The Quebec Victims Advocate, Pierre Hugues Boisvenu:

We’re going to go back to some very old cases and see just how little the Quebec police have learned over the last 40 years. We’ll look at the 1971 murder of Alice Pare, then the 1972 murder of Ursula Schulze to shed some light on more recent cases. I am less interested in linking these murders to cases I’ve recently been discussing. I think they serve a greater point in demonstrating the lack of growth in Quebec criminal investigation in the past 40 years.

2015 was quite a year for law enforcement in the United States with questions of accountability and transparency in places like Baltimore and Chicago and Ferguson. There is no reason why this wave shouldn’t transfer itself north of the border to Quebec, not forgetting Fredy Villanueva who’s death trailblazed and foreshadowed  events of last year.

So let’s ride that wave.  First some background:

Alice  Pare

IMG_0317Pare was 14 when she disappeared walking home from a music lesson in Drummondville, Quebec on February 17, 1971. Around 5:30 pm that evening she left the Pavillion de Musique at 466 rue Saint Jean and crossed the street with the intention of using a phone booth to call her mother to pick her up, but she thought better of it and decided to walk the 1/2 mile home to her parents’ at 667 boulevard Mercure.

Pare was missing for 68 days. SQ investigators Aime Allard, M Saint Cyr, and M Bibeau were in charge of the “missing persons” investigation. But while the police were no doubt fumbling around looking for a runaway, the family got it right. Within two weeks of her disappearance her parents were convinced she had been abducted and that her body would be found in the snow.

They were right.

On the morning of April 26, 1971 Three workers (Andre Camirand, Yvon Lampron, Lucien Paquin)  from the farm of Alphege Leclerc on the 3e rang de Sainte-Clothilde de Horton, near Victoriaville, spotted a pair of white boots in a field about 60 feet from the gravel road. When they got closer they discovered the clothed body of Alice Pare lying under a tree.

Called to the scene were detectives Fernand Pepin, Andre Cerutti, Denis Via, Marcel Vigneault, Andre Menard of the Victoriaville Surete du Quebec, and Jacques Gaboury  detached from the SQ headquarters in Montreal. Also on the scene was Dr. Jean-Paul Valcourt of the SQ’s Montreal Laboratoire  Médecine Légale.

Left to right: Jacques Gaboury, Andre Menard , Marcel Vigneault, et Andre Cerutti,

Left to right: Jacques Gaboury, Andre Menard , Marcel Vigneault, et Andre Cerutti,

 

Alice Pare was found fully clothed in her school uniform, her white winter coat had been removed and was near the body. She had been strangled. There was no evidence of sexual assault. Missing was her musical instrument from the day she disappeared, a flute in a black case. The flute was recovered 3 days later next to route 20 between Sainte Clothilde and Saint Albert, about a 10 minute drive from where the body was found.

The case was eventually handed over to Normand Bergeron of SQ Victoriaville, but very little information came forward in the aftermath. Someone claimed they saw Pare getting into a vehicle, a 1970s two door Chevrolet the evening of her disappearance.

IMG_0344

Jump forward to October 28, 1975. Allo Police publishes an article that basically states that the police are fishing for information (“the police learned of certain persons who know the identity of the assassin”). By now the case has been moved to the SQ in Trois Rivieres (if you are counting that  is at least three jurisdictions touching the case) and is now under the command of Raymond Hebert. Hebert expresses the all too familiar SQ refrain that he felt certain that someone would come forward after all these years, but no one ever did. However he believes that things are moving rapidly now. He is certain it will be resolved.

To my knowledge, the case was never solved.

It is curious that the police waited so long to follow up on the case. Why 1975? Perhaps they were getting nervous. Just that Spring 16-year-old Sharon Prior was found brutally murdered in Longeueil. The crime scenes were not dissimilar. Did they sense they were on the brink of something out of control?

Other Factors

Alice Pare came from a very prominent legal family in Quebec.  Her grandfather Joseph Marier was a judge. Her uncle Marcel Marier was a Montreal municipal court judge.  Her other uncle Elphege Marier was a superiour court judge.  Her step-father Paul Chasse was a lawyer in Drummondville. With that kind of clout you’d think there might have been enough influence to bring the matter to justice. Perhaps it speaks to the disconnect between law enforcement and the court system, a dysfunction not uncommon in many places.

Now let’s jump to another case from that era. The murder or Ursula Shulze:

Ursula Schulz

19-year-old Ursula Schulz was abducted at a bus stop in broad daylight the morning of July 13, 1972 in Brossard, Quebec, which is on the South shore of Montreal very near Longueuil. The incident was witnessed by many people who watched a man force Schulze into the back seat of a car, pin her down and attack her, and then quickly drive away across the Champlain Bridge into Montreal (you can read the article here – many thanks to Dale for bringing this to my attention).

Incredibly, no police agency pursues the matter. Schulze’s body is found the next day. She had been strangled.

An inquiry is called. The following year the Quebec Police Commission, who had oversight of all police forces, issues its report. While praising the efforts of on-the-ground constables the report faulted the force director Marcel Renauld and his Assistant Director Paul-Emile Blain for “”learning nothing” from the incident and failing to instruct force members on how to handle major crimes.”. The report goes on to say, “…the “off-hand” manner of force superiors, coupled with the ignorance of force members on procedures and how to use regional communications system, severely hampered the investigation.”

Hold on. It gets better. In fact, I think I need to quote the whole thing:

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

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

… The QPP were informed of the kidnapping 18 hours after it occurred.

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

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

The girl’s father testified that when he visited police headquarters the day of the kidnapping, he was told by Director Renaud that the criminal investigation branch had no time to investigate the kidnapping because they were occupied “with more important matters.””

I know. What a fuck up, right?

Ready for the punchline? Despite the lack of communication. Despite the QPP not being informed. The QPP beat Renaud, Blain and the rest of the Brossard force to the crime scene.

So what was the outcome?

Well I can tell you that shortly thereafter there was a wave of consolidation of regional Quebec forces. Most, like Lennoxville and Coaticook, got swallowed up under the umbrella of the Surete du Quebec. Brossard was merged with the Longeueil police: You need only talk to the family of Sharon Prior to understand their special brand of dysfunction.

Quite seriously, lack of communication very clearly was the issue, especially in the initial phases of a missing persons investigation. One would have hoped the Quebec Police Commission would have made recommendations to address this failure.

So did they? Apparently not. As I am sure you are by now all aware this case (and that of Alice Pare) sounds very familiar.

Let’s jump forward to July 31st, 2007. 9-year-old Cédrika Provencher disappears one afternoon from her neighborhood in Trois Rivieres, and while the police merely declare that she is “missing”, the media believe she has been kidnapped. Despite reports that Cédrika was seen with a man searching for his lost dog, despite overwhelming evidence that she had been abducted, over a week later, on  August 8th, the Sûreté du Québec issued a wanted notice for Cédrika, suggesting that she had voluntarily run away.

36 years after Alice Pare, 35 years after Ursula Schulze. The Quebec police had learned absolutely nothing.

In fact one of the initial outcomes of the Provencher disappearance was a concerted effort by people like Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu to call on the Surete du Quebec to create a special squad to deal with missing persons in the first 48-hours of disappearance so that communication errors like this didn’t happen again.

Wait a minute. Back up. Shouldn’t that have been an outcome of the Schulze inquiry?

——————-

Let’s look again at the Pare case.

Look I am all for redundancy, everyone needs a back-up. But in my experience too much oversight means no one is accountable or responsible for anything. How many investigators does it take for the Quebec police to solve a murder? How many investigators  were called to the Pare crime scene? I counted at least seven. Here is a photo of the body recovery from the Pare site (I will spare you the more graphic photos, I have them. Very disturbing) .  it looks like a football scrum:

Pare

Pare

And here is a photo from the recovery site of Provencher’s remains:

cedrika

The SQ might think the public is impressed with this, but please believe, it doesn’t give me a warm-and-fuzzy. All I see is evidence being trampled and destroyed by a bunch of amateurs who don’t know a thing about criminal investigation.

———

Now this is the part where someone tries to tell me I just don’t get it. I don’t get police culture. I don’t understand Quebec police culture. I just don’t get it. They are working hard. Very hard. They’ve changed. Just trust us, we’ve changed.

Did you think I was sitting idle these past 13 years? I was biding my time, raising my children. Waiting. Just hoping the Quebec police would do something right – and we all knew they would fall back on old habits – before I spoke out again.

Oh I get it, man. I’ve been working with police forces for over a decade in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. I got my Masters in Public Administration, with a focus on Justice Administration. I’ve read all the literature. I’ve worked with police here in Durham every day for the past 17-years. I know all about deployment, patrol, community policing, crime abatement… all of it. I help budget $50 million annually in police salaries, I get it.

And every police agency I talk to? They think the Quebec police are a laughing-stock. A complete joke. Remember that book, Criminal Investigative Failures?  For the last 2 months its been passed around the criminal investigative unit of the Durham police force. Know why?

  1. Because they actually think they could learn something from it.
  2. They can’t believe the incompetence of the Quebec police.

So I know police. Basically there are two types of police officers:

  1. Those that are dedicated and do their jobs.
  2. Those that ride the promotion gravy train, padding their pensions until retirement. Doing the least amount of work possible.

Quebec law enforcement has an overabundance of category 2. And with a powerful union that empowers and enables this behavior. We all know it. So let’s just say it.

———–

I want to return one final time to the Pare case. Remember when I said I wasn’t interested in linking these cases to the portfolio of cases I’ve been looking at (Allore, Camirand, Monast, etc…)?

Well maybe.

Alice Pare is definitely of interest to a case like Sharon Prior in terms of it’s proximity in time (1971 and 1975), and proximity in victim age (14 and 16). Ursula Schulze is also of interest to Prior in terms of the proximity in time (1972 and 1975), but also the proximity of location (Brossard which is adjacent to Longueuil). By the way, none of what I am disclosing is news to Yvonne Prior, the mother of Sharon Prior. She’s been tracking this for years in a paper file (which she’s shown me), she simply doesn’t have a website.

I’ve thought a lot about the Pare murder. Was this a test case by the perpetrator for things to follow? There are many similarities. 

  1. Found in wooded area: Allore, Prior, Camirand, Houle, Dorion, Dube
  2. Partially clothed (or clothing removed but close to body): Prior, Dube, Camirand, Bazinet
  3. Missing identification: Camirand, Monast, Hawkes, Blais, Allore, Basinet
  4. Identification tossed by roadside: Allore

So what is Pare’s identification? Her flute is her identification:

Flute and case, Alice Pare

Flute and case, Alice Pare

 

Think about it.  

I’ll give you an example. I have a daughter a little older than Alice Pare. She has a wallet because she has things to carry in it: Drivers license, debit card. The wallet has a little monkey on it. 

Now I also have a daughter a little younger than Alice Pare. She does not have a purse or wallet. What she does have is a saxophone and case which she carries with her every day to school. When I’m driving home if I want to distinguish her from all the other kids let out of school, I look for the sax case. It is her identification.

This is similar to Provencher and her bike. Provencher (9) is separated from her bike. The bike is found later leaning against a fire hydrant. Elizabeth Bodzy (14) and Claudette Poirier (15) are also separated from their bikes, which are found some distance from the site of disappearance or remains. And not forgetting the very practical fact that a bike is cumbersome, you don’t take it with you. It at least gives you some indication of where the victim was abducted.

Like other victims, perhaps the perpetrator separated Alice Pare from an easy means to identify her, he discarded the flute case several miles from where he disposed of the body. 

The more I think of this, I believe it has less to do with evading capture and more to do with depersonalizing the crime. Identification is symbolic and powerful.

Some things to ponder. More than the police ever offered.

 

Category:

It’s No Game – WKT #24

 

Who Killed Theresa? gets on a top ten true crime list, we talk about that. The victim Should be represented more in true crime.

A discussion of corruption and public inquiries in Quebec.

The Netflix series, The Keepers about the unsolved murders of Sister Cathy Cesnik and Joyce Malecki.

Puzzles, games, looking for clues.

Here is a link to the top ten true crime podcasts:

View story at Medium.com

Here is the link to the Quebec public inquiry post:

http://theresaallore.com/tag/malouf/

The Theresa Allore Youtube station:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqgfedcz-jVhchpQqNGuw4w

Category:

Suzanne Blanchard – August 9, 1982 / WKT #23

Discussion of the Montreal police, victim advocacy, and the 1982 murder of Suzanne Blanchard:

Suzanne Blanchard’s Facebook page can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/728528890629479/

 

RIP Chris Cornell:

 

 

“I know I’m headed for the bottom, but I’m riding you all the way”:

 

 

But seriously, by 1997 this was more my speed:

 

 

Cedrika – absolutely destroys me. This is the actual photo I took in 2007. My FB comment from the time:  “Pictures of Cedrika are everywhere. She’s been missing since the summer”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My parents, Quebec City 2007. And my selective memory is at work (bias). I recall – now – that I wasn’t “simply” there recreationally: I had a meeting with Quebec Justice, we discussed several injustices:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tout La Gang / Hotel Bonaventure:

Category:

Norma O’Brien, Debbie Fisher, and The Chateauguay Killer – WKT #22

A discussion of the 1974-75 cases of Norma O’Brien and Debbie Fisher and the anonymous young man eventually charged with their murders, The Full-Moon / Chateauguay Killer.

The cases of Sharron Prior and Tammy Leaky are also discussed:


IMG_0447Norma O’Brien and Debbie Fisher were two young girls who went missing in the town of Chateauguay, a community off the island of Montreal known as “The South Shore”. The incidents happened one year apart in 1974 and 1975. In each case the girls were missing for a very short period – approximately 24 hours – before their bodies were found. This is a case where the assailant was actually caught and convicted, but as we will see the outcome was less than satisfactory, and has led to many questions to this very day.

Because the incidents occurred during new moon or full moon cycles, the press dubbed the perpetrator,  Le Maniaque Pleine Lune or Full Moon Killer.

I don’t care a whole lot about moon theory and criminal behavior. It was very de rigueur in the early 1970s.  Many believed The Zodiac – or “Sam” as he liked to be called – who was active in the late 60s early 70s, to be a moon phase killer. Later on in the 1970s David Berkowitz – or the “Son of Sam”  – reputedly killed 5 of his 8 victims during a full moon.  It wasn’t just a matter of people getting up to all sorts of mischief under a full moon’s influence, common lore said that if you did the profile right you could  predict when a murderer might kill again. We see this cliche play out in dozens of films. There must be at least one Dirty Harry movie where Callahan is in a race against time before the moon starts waxing full.

The Quebec press was crazy for moon murders in the 1970s. Here’s an insert from Allo Police, June 1978:

7 meurtres

It basically says the following: Lison Blais was murdered June 4th in Montreal. Soon after a taxi driver in Rimouski was killed. A man who disappeared the previous September was found attached to a cinder block in the Ottawa river. In an apparent crime of passion, a secretary died in Montreal. Some guy at a restaurant was shot in the head. A prisoner was stabbed 120 times. A biker was beaten to death in Trois Rivieres. What do these seven murders have in common? The previous weekend was a full moon!

All of this is very poetic, but not very true. Debbie Fisher did indeed disappear during a Full Moon, June 23, 1975. However, Norma O’Brien disappeared July 9, 1974 – a large moon, but waning with about 80% visibility.

Police displaying their superior evidence handling technique.

Police displaying their superior evidence handling technique.

 

 

 

Connecting two points on a map isn’t correlation or causation, it’s just dots.

Norma O’Brien

IMG_043812-year-old Norma O’Brien went missing on Tuesday evening, July 9, 1974. She left her home at 94 Rue Lucerne in the evening to play water polo at the Seignory Park Pool on Saint Francis Boulevard. When she arrived she discovered the pool was closed for repairs. She decided to walk home. It was about 8:30 pm. She was reported missing that evening. The family insisted that Norma was not a runaway.

Chateauguay Park Pool 1974

Chateauguay Park Pool 1974

The following day around 3:45 pm her naked body was discovered in a field close to the pool, about 1,500 feet from the road, by Charles Baranowsky, the manager at the Seignory pool. On seeing the body Baranowsky put his hands to his head and cried, “Non, non, non!”.

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At the crime scene were Chateauguay Police Chief Roger Gagnon and detectives Ferdinand Yelle, Agent Picard, Michel Lajoie and Jean-Jacques Gauthier. Also present were Surete du Quebec inspectors from Montreal, Claude Chabot, Daniel Duchesne, Yvon Fauchon, and Gaston Rioux.  O’Brien was found on her back. She had been beaten. She was raped. The cause of death was asphyxiation, most likely caused by her hair brush which was shoved down her throat. Police used scythes to search the area where the body was found but no evidence was recovered that would lead to a suspect. The case went cold.

Debbie Fisher

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Less than a year later – Jean Baptiste Day weekend 1975 – 14-year-old Debbie Fisher is coming home from her Uncle’s house at 6 rue Saint Luc. It is about 6:30 pm on Monday, June 23, 1975. She is on a red bicycle with a banana seat. Her home at 167 rue Viau is about 10 minutes away.  She never makes it home.

IMG_0424Given the location of disappearance – about 10 minutes from where Norma O’Brien was found – police immediately put a helicopter in the air hoping to find Fisher quickly, possibly in the same field off Boule Saint Francis. Fisher is found the day after her disappearance, Tuesday, June 24th by three neighbors of the Fishers who decide to search the surrounding wooded area for the young girl.  Fisher is discovered in an abandoned car in the woods off rue Brisebois.  Police on the scene are Pierre Laroue, Corporal Cyr, and as with the O’Brien case, inspectors from the SQ in Montreal (Yvon Fauchon, Normand Vien, Daniel Duchesne, Gaston Rioux, Louis De Fransisco).  Fisher is found naked, but not sexually assaulted. She died from being beaten on the head with a rock.

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Chateauguay Crime Map

 

With the immediate discovery of the body police catch a lucky break. A man driving a 1970s Buick remembers almost hitting a kid driving a yellow Moped (motocyclette) near the woods where Fisher was discovered on Monday, June 23rd, 1975

Arrest of the “Chateauguay Killer”

IMG_0446Police arrest an 18-year-old man who we will refer to as, MX. At the time of the murders he was 16 and then 17. On July 15th he confessed to the murder of Debbie Fisher. He was tried as a minor, convicted and found guilty on March 21st, 1977. Because he was a minor, a publication ban was put in place barring anyone from printing his name.

IMG_0469Although 40 years have past and I feel somewhat protected down here in the States, I really do not wish to test the zeal of the Canadian criminal courts, hence the name, MX. However, anyone who would like to know his identity need only go to Coolopolis’s post on the Chateauguay Killer, and read the comments. I’m not necessarily saying he’s named there, I’m saying there’s some good information from folks who had first hand experience at that time.

And if you read the comments you will also find a lot of misinformation and rumors that have persisted these past 40 years. Some of that I would like to clear up right now:

  • MX was not the Mayor’s son. The Mayor was Joseph Laberge. MX’s father’s name was Jean Claude. I don’t know how this became an urban myth but it’s not without precedent. In Theresa Allore’s case one of the first whisperings was, “the Mayor’s son did it”, perhaps coming from the fear that power can operate above the law.
  • The yellow Moped was only a factor in the Fisher case, not the O’Brien case. MX had a 1975 model Moped. In ’74 he was still riding a bike.  Where Fisher lived some distance from MX, O’Brien and MX were practically neighbors. MX lived at 249 rue Mountain, about a 10 minute walk, or 4 minute bike ride from 94 Place Lacerne.
  • I am not MX. Just because I know a lot, that doesn’t make me the murderer. I feel sorry for the French guy over on the Coolopolis thread who offered a lot of information. Immediately readers started accusing him of being MX.  The French guy knew the best information because French papers like Allo Police had the best information. Don’t knock a guy for doing his research.
  • And concerning research: MX didn’t rape Fisher, but that was certainly his intention. How do I know? Because I have a copy of his confession. How do I have that you ask? Here’s a tip: When you make public records request you mainly get the information you are requesting. But occasionally additional stuff gets dropped in the file. Someone from the Surete du Quebec accidentally dropped the confession in with some other documents. It’s like a little Easter Egg. Here’s what his confession tells us:
car where Debbie Fisher was found

car where Debbie Fisher was found

MX was coming home from work on his Moped. It was about 6:30 pm. He sees Fisher around rue Saint Luc riding her red bike with the banana seat. She is carrying a bag with a container of milk in it. He passes her. He says “hi”, she says “hi”. He then rides ahead, stashes his Moped in the bushes, sits down on the curb and pretends to cry. When she sees him crying she stops. He says, “Come here a minute”. She does. He grabs her and begins groping her. He tosses the milk in the field. He hits her on the head with a rock. Then he hides her bike in the bushes by a tree. She is unconscious. He takes his pants off. He tries to have sex with her but, for reasons I won’t go into, he can’t. Finally he hits her on the head with all his strength with the rock. He stashes the body in an abandoned car. He rides away on his Moped, almost hitting the 1970 Buick.

 At the time he was dating a young woman named Murielle. He had never seen Fisher before. He claimed to have never had sex before, and this is why he attacked Fisher (We know this to be a lie, he raped O’Brien).

  • Finally, Did MX have access to Montreal? This is an unanswered question that has frequently come up in relation to the Sharon Prior murder, particularly due to the similarities between the O’Brien and Prior crime scenes (the level of violence). In fact, an early article on the Prior case references the question, albeit indirectly:

Police are considering the possibility of a link between the Prior slaying and the slaying of Norma O’Brien in Chateauguay last summer.

How possible could it have been that MX road his little Moped into Montreal? As improbable as it may seem, the answer is, he did it repeatedly, and into Lachine no less, which is very near Pointe Saint-Charles, where Sharron Prior disappeared.

Do I think MX murdered Sharron Prior? No. But I will save my reasons for Part 2.

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