CBC Montreal has done a year-end piece on the 1977 murder of Katherine Hawkes / Montreal police’s abysmal homicide clearance rate:

Fact checking the lies of the Montreal Police:

 

  1. “Vincent Rozon, the commander of the major crimes division of Montreal police, believes investigators are making progress. But he also says Montreal has a special burden, because many of the killings are mob- or gang-related. And that kind of crime is more difficult to solve.”

If you check the StatsCan’s crime statistics, gang related homicides are not a prime driver of the statistic, accounting for approximately 20% on average of total Quebec homicides. The majority are spousal and non-spousal familial relationships.

Also, there are other, more systemic reasons having to do with the police force to explain the low clearance rate (I’ll save my arguments for a different forum).
2. “Montreal police recently added a “cold case” section to their website. They have put up the details of three homicide cases.”
Seriously? three cases posted?  Despite the fact that the SPVM has over 600 unsolved homicides (that we know of): Pathetic.
3. “Rozon promises all that evidence is now kept for as long as necessary, unlike in the 1970s, when police often threw out physical evidence, claiming it took up too much space.”
Dear SPVM:
Please explain the 2016 case in which one of your officers destroyed case evidence in an attempted murder? 

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Fewer homicides in Montreal, but fewer solved, too

Homicides rate continues to drop, but families remain haunted by unsolved cases

By Joanne Bayly, CBC News Posted: Dec 30, 2017 6:00 AM ET

The evening of Sept. 20,1977, the entire province of Quebec was blacked out for six hours.

There had been a breakdown at the Montagnais substation in the northeast of the province, shutting down three high-voltage power lines.

When 33-year-old Katherine Hawkes left her downtown office, she had to take a bus to her apartment in Cartierville, since her regular train was not running.

The bus driver remembers her getting off around the corner from her apartment building.

That night, local police received a chilling phone call.

“Monsieur,” a man says in the police recording, “could you please take note that I just attacked a woman at the corner of Bois Franc and Henri Bourassa….Hurry up, sir, I’m worried she could die.”

That first call was followed a few minutes later by a second, more urgent, call.

“Yes, hello, I just attacked a woman at the corner of Henri Bourassa and Grenet. In Saint-Laurent….Do you understand?” He is out of breath and tense. The police officer asks,”Is the lady still there?” The man answers, “thank you.” and hangs up.

Local police did not go there that night to investigate.

In fact, they did not actually go until the next evening, after two young men had stumbled across Hawkes’ body, as they walked through an overgrown lot near the bus stop.

Hawkes had been sexually assaulted and then beaten. The coroner could not say if she had died from the beating or from the exposure she suffered on the unseasonably cold night.

Today, her family members are still angry with police. They don’t understand why police did not investigate as soon as they received the shocking phone calls. And they don’t understand why the clues did not lead to the killer.

“I think it’s totally inept,” said Nancy Hawker, Hawkes’ cousin.

“I think it just shows a lack of care. What did they think? It was a hoax? Why didn’t they go out there and see?”

Katherine Hawkes

Katherine Hawkes died in 1977. Her family members are still angry with police. (Radio-Canada)

Hawkes’ murder was never solved, despite the phone calls and a great deal of physical evidence. There were more than 90 homicides in Montreal that year.

Since then, the homicide rate has been falling steadily in Montreal.

Although it peaked in the 1970s, the average rate is now equal to what it was in the 1960s, in Montreal and across Canada. In 2016, there were 23 homicides in Montreal and there have been 24 this year.

But the number of homicides being solved has not improved.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that, for the last 40 years, Montreal police have solved, on average, 65 per cent of cases — usually by charging someone.

And for the last 40 years, Montreal police have the lowest solve rate in the country, slightly below Laval and Vancouver, and well below the average of 75.5 per cent solved by Toronto police.

Vincent Rozon, the commander of the major crimes division of Montreal police, believes investigators are making progress.

But he also says Montreal has a special burden, because many of the killings are mob- or gang-related. And that kind of crime is more difficult to solve.

“Technology is helping us, but it’s helping the criminals too. It works both ways,” he said.

Professional killers are much less likely to leave their DNA on the scene, and they are very aware of camera surveillance.

In fact, Rozon says, professional criminals are very adept at using technology, for example, setting up their own cameras to plan their crimes.

Rozon said if you look at the two years 2014 and 2015 the solve rate in Montreal was actually 73 per cent. And he says cases are never closed, until they are solved. “Every year, those cases are never finished and we are still investigating them.”

Montreal police recently added a “cold case” section to their website. They have put up the details of three homicide cases.

Earlier this month, police put together their first video of an officer describing a cold case and asking for the public’s help.

Would the Katherine Hawkes’ case play out the same way today? Probably not, Rozon says.

He says police are much more adept at gathering physical evidence. And Rozon promises all that evidence is now kept for as long as necessary, unlike in the 1970s, when police often threw out physical evidence, claiming it took up too much space.

As for Nancy Hawker, she would like police to remember that most of the people who are murdered by strangers are women and girls, like her cousin. “Girls are vulnerable. And I don’t think there’s enough done to protect girls.”

She holds out little hope that her cousin’s killer will ever be found. It was a long time ago. The physical evidence appears to be gone, and the killer could be either very old or dead by now.

“There are so many crimes,” she says, “that go unpunished.”

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Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here / WKT #45

 

Star of the Show

 

Christmas wall hanging. I would note the prominence of the angel.

 

Peter “The Duke”

 

 

“Stick em up!”

 

 

Music from podcast #45. Theresa loved All Things Must Pass; I had the bedroom next to hears, she listened to it A LOT:

 

 

Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for:

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The Stéphane Luce Interview – WKT #44

 

Stéphane Luce was just 13 years old when his mother, Roxanne Luce was found beaten to death in her apartment, April 2nd, 1981 in Longueuil, Quebec.

The case remains unsolved, and like so many Quebec cold cases from this era its history has more to do with investigative blunders than catching a killer. The case evidence was destroyed by the Longueuil police. Through it all Stéphane has remained dogged and determined in finding his mother’s killer, in spite of the poor efforts of Quebec police. He is a founding member of the Quebec victims association, AFPAD, and champions his own organization, Meurtres et Disparitions Irresolus du Quebec (MDIQ).

Last week, Luce attended the premiere of the film 7 Femmes (now titled “Soixante-dix”). The docudrama by Quebec filmmaker Stephan Parent reveals police negligence in the investigation of 17 cold-cases from the era of the 1970s. Originally co-produced by Ugo Fredette, the film gained controversy last fall when unexpectedly Fredette went on a killing rampage of his own.  Fredette has been charged with 1st and 2nd degree murder of his partner Véronique Barbe, and 71-year-old Yvon Lacasse. 

Fredette was originally charged with playing one of the serial killers in the film. At one time Barbe portrayed one of the victims. The film has since been edited with Barbe being cut from the project, and Fredette only seen from the rear in a hoodie. Nevertheless, many were shocked, including the family of Veronique Barbe (Parent dedicated the film to her memory without consulting the family). Parent has since agreed to re-shoot the film and remove all scenes with Fredette.

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Past Is Prologue

The Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre asked me to write a piece for it’s series, “16 Days of Action to end Violence against Women”. It was published in today’s Sherbrooke Record:

What’s Past Is Prologue

The recent news of a series of sexual assaults on school campuses in Lennoxville are alarming but not surprising. College campuses are a haven for sexually deviant behavior and have been for at least the last half-century.  I’ll offer a summary of  events from 1978 as a cautionary tale.

Trouble in Lennoxville started as early as January 1978, a Champlain student journalist reported three separate incidents of sexual and verbal assaults on women.  Near Bishop’s College School a young female student was forced to jump from a moving vehicle.  Another student was attacked on Belevedre, dragged to the ground and beaten on the head with a board.  The Lennoxville police failed to take the situation seriously. The police chief argued that in five years there had only been one reported incident of sexual assault. The student journalist did some quick research and discovered that at least eight rapes had occurred in Lennoxville in the course of the previous year.

By February 1978 there were more reports of girls being attacked and molested. The students complained to officials both at Champlain College and Bishops’s University. They also made reports with the police. The girls were scared to walk home at night. Many classes didn’t end until after dark. Lights that were supposed to illuminate the campus had burnt out. Students were scared and anxious. The police and the schools did nothing. The Bishop’s University nurse commented that the situation had, “all been blown out of proportion.” The police chief was soon fired, but his replacement faired no better, soon commenting that “everyone was making a mountain out of a molehill.”

The reporting soon died down, but no one knows whether this was due to a cessation of the assaults (unlikely) or of women simply giving up and failing to report (more probable).  Data from victimization surveys have repeatedly indicated that 67 per cent of violent victimizations go unreported, the so-called, dark figures of victimology (Perreault, 2015). I would suggest that in a campus environment those numbers are much higher.  It would be a serious miscalculation to assume the offenders simply stopped assaulting women.

With the return of students in the Fall of 1978 the problems resurfaced.  By the end of September three incidents of indecent exposure were reported, this time at the local high schools.  In early October a man harassed a female student in an empty  hallway on the Bishop’s campus. Also in late October, a girl was walking to the campus at night when she was confronted by a naked man standing by a tree. Again police tried to brush off the incidents.  Again the student reporter complained that the campus lighting that had been broken the previous winter still had not been fixed. The campus was neither safe nor secure, and women were being forced to walk about late at night in the dark.

Flashers, peepers, prowlers, sex pests… anyone suggesting that this is just “men being men”, abhorrent but ultimately relatively harmless actions of male misogyny does not understand human behavior. Too often it is gateway behavior to something much worse.  My family would eventually pay the ultimate price for institutional inaction when my sister, Theresa Allore, a Champlain student, disappeared on the night of Friday, November 3rd, 1978 and was found five months later semi-naked, in a ditch, the victim of a sexual murder.

Echoes from 1978 resonate today. Thirty-nine years later and Bishop’s / Champlain still hasn’t addressed the problem of inadequate campus lighting.  Students must face a ten-minute walk in the dark between the campus and their residences. In fact, in the wake of the recent assaults, students are now banned from undertaking that walk, and must suffer the inconvenience of a twenty-minute journey around the campus.  My full compliments to the students who refuse to give up on this matter (see the 2016 CBC story, Unlit Campus path increases chances of sexual violence, Lennoxville students say).  Also my compliments to the students for denouncing the schools and the police for their  “…total silence, hypocrisy and indifference”.

The police and schools are not giving away much in terms of the exact nature of the assaults, again leaving residents in the dark. No doubt they would argue that they are trying to maintain the integrity of the investigation. In my experience such justifications are falsehoods. It is more likely they are trying to protect themselves, maintaining the integrity of powerful police and scholastic institutions, at the expense of a vulnerable public.  

Stay vigilant.

John Allore

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Sex Beast: Stuart Peacock / WKT #38

We recount what little we know of Champlain College Residence Supervisor, Stewart Peacock who vanished less than two months after Theresa Allore’s disappearance:

 

From the Manchester Evening News: “Sex Beast: Stuart Peacock”

Here is a link to the Manchester article: Paedophile Stuart Peacock jailed for 14 years following a trial at Manchester Crown Court

 

King’s Hall in 1972, when it was a girls school

 

 

Champlain College “Who’s Who”: Where’s Peacock?

 

The great and long forgotten British band, Charlie. They never charted in the UK, but created some minor hits in North America in the 1970s. Ignore the soft-core porn album covers, and less than stellar lyrics: musically this was a tight outfit:

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