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!”.

IMG_0422

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

IMG_0437

 


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.

IMG_0454

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.

Category:

Was Luc Gregoire the Calgary Prostitute Murderer?

 

 

 

 

I’ve been giving some thought and research to the matter of the man convicted in the First Degree Murder of Lailane Silva, Luc Gregoire being the serial killer suspected in the deaths of a number of prostitutes in the Calgary area from 1991 to 1993.

These cold-cases have long been a point of frustration for the RCMP,  Calgary Police Services, and the Calgary community (see Homicide: When The Trail Goes Cold and 505 Killing, 25 years: What our analysis says about Calgary). In his 2012 book, Cold North Killers, Lee Mellor dubs these “The Calgary Prostitute Murders”, singling out the files of Jennifer Janz, Jennifer Joyes, Keeley Pincott, Tracy Maunder, and Rebecca Boutilier and suggesting that another six unsolved female murders may be linked:

“Then as soon as the killings started, they stopped. Police suspect the killer may have been jailed for another crime.” 

As it turns out there is an offender who fits the profile and timeline. It’s Luc Gregoire. The Calgary cases unfolded between July 1991 and March 1993. Gregoire was released from prison in Alberta January 1991 and arrested in May 1993 for the Silva murder.

Initially when Gregoire was apprehended there was a lot of attention given to the matter, with police reporting that they were investigating Gregoire for other murders ( a May 7, 1993 Calgary Herald article references Gregoire in relation to the then unsolved murder of Dilleen Hemple, as well as Maunder and Boutilier). Gradually, all the attention died-down. In fact, today the only reference you can find linking Gregoire to these cases is in the obscure dark corners of web sleuthy sub Reddits.

Perhaps police did their due diligence and found no evidence. Or perhaps they didn’t like what they found and conveniently chose to ignore where it was leading (note: Gregoire died in a Quebec correctional facility in 2015).

So was Gregoire the Calgary Prostitute Murderer?

Maryanne Pearce

 

 

The following timeline was developed using three primary source documents. The first document was a 1993 report commissioned by The Correctional Service of Canada analyzing the pre-indicators that lead up to the First Degree Murder charge of Luc Yoland Gregoire after his statutory release from prison in Calgary Alberta on January 21st, 1991. The second document is a report by Calgary sociologist Augustine Brannigan on the victimization of prostitutes and is available (click here) on the internet. Finally there’s Maryanne Pearce‘s most excellent database, An Awkward Silence: Missing and Murdered Vulnerable Women and the Canadian Justice System which documents the history of female homicide in Canada suggesting that possibly as many as 4,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada remain under-investigated by law enforcement (for more on this read the article, The Vanishing of Canada’s First Nations Women)

First some background on Gregoire. Recall that Gregoire had a varied criminal history in Quebec, and did not particularly target any specific type of victim. In 1981 he assaulted a mother of four in a parking lot in Sherbrooke, Quebec and attempted to choke her with his bare hands. In 1983 Gregoire was arrested in Montreal for an assault on a prostitute where he attempted to have sex with her and her injuries resulted after she refused. In 1985 he is arrested in Slave Lake, Alberta and charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

In the month leading up to his murder of Lailane Silva his behaviors appear similarly random. April 6, 1993, Gregoire assaults a Calgary prostitute with a roofing hammer. May 2, 1993, Gregoire attempts to abduct Aida Yuen in front of her Castleridge home. Finally, murder victim Silva is a 7-Eleven employee who Gregoire abducts while she is washing the store windows at 12:30 am, May, 3, 1993. Gregoire rapes and murders (strangulation) Silva in his car, then dumps her body in Calgary.

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TIMELINE

MAY 1986

Gregoire is convicted and sentenced in Edmonton, Alberta on charges of Robbery (4 years), Unlawful Use of a Fire Arm (3 years consecutive, with 10 year probation), Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (2 years concurrent). He serves 3 1/2 years before being granted release on Mandatory Supervision.

JANUARY 21, 1991

Offender Gregoire is released on Mandatory Supervision, and is living in Edmonton, Alberta.

FEBRUARY 1991

Gregoire is assessed by his parole supervisor as “high risk / medium needs”. Psychological intervention is seen as essential and “is being pursued”. Abstention from intoxicants is listed as part of the action plan, Gregoire reports attending bars to test himself and is cautioned by his supervisor, Bruce Anderson.

MAY 1991

Gregoire is referred to a treatment center to determine need for counseling.

JUNE 1991

“The semi-nude body of Shawna Van Der Basch, age 20, is found on June 20, 1991, in a ditch beside a gravel road south-west of Calgary near the town of Priddis. This was the first of three murders in 1991. The evening before the body was discovered, Miss Van Der Basch had been seen in a downtown nightclub in the company of a man with whom she left after midnight. She had been in Calgary for six months since moving from Vancouver. She had worked as a hairdresser and as an escort. The cause of death was strangulation. Shawna Van Der Basch was not known as a street prostitute and nothing was published about her activities as an escort. However, the way the body was discarded bears comparison with both previous and subsequent cases.”

JULY 1991

Jennifer Janz

“The second 1991 case involved an adolescent. Jennifer Janz’s body is unearthed at a construction site on August 13 near Valley Ridge Road and the Trans-Canada Highway on the western edge of Calgary in a shallow grave (Calgary Herald, August 15, 1991). She is “battered” and apparently died from a massive blow to the chest (Calgary Herald, August 16, 1991). She was a 16 year old who left home after completing grade nine to live with her street friends. She had attended a Christian camp in Texas in September and October of 1990 with the support of her family. Upon returning to Calgary, she tried unsuccessfully to re-enter high school and drifted back and forth between her family and the street. She was last seen by her family on July 10 when she was driven to hospital by her father for medical treatment. She appeared close to becoming reconciled with her family in the weeks before she disappeared (Calgary Herald, October 6, 1991). Whether she was involved in street prostitution was not publicly disclosed. The case has not been cleared.”

Gregoire attends treatment and becomes agitated at the length of time required for assessment, and the interview is terminated. Under the circumstances, the attending psychologist closes the file and notes that there would not be any benefit in having him re-referred.

Also at this time a Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed which assesses Gregoire as “low risk / medium needs”. Gregoire is reluctant to see a psychologist, but is meeting regularly with a pastor of a local church who is trained in counseling.

AUGUST 1991

Jennifer Joyes

“The third 1991 case came to attention within days of the Janz murder. Jennifer Joyes, age 17, was reported missing from her group home on August 30, having last been seen at the home on August 10th. Her nude and partially de-composed body is found in a wooded area near Springbank west of the city limits on October 7, 1991 (Calgary Herald, October 8, 1991) – two kilometres south of the spot where Jennifer Janz’s body was found on August 13 (Calgary Herald, Oct. 9, 1991). The body had been in the area for at least a month, according to police. The cause of death was not publicized.”

During a regular supervision appointment Gregoire is observed to have a black eye and scratches. He explains that he was at a night club drinking and intervened on behalf of a woman who was being beaten. Case notes report that this is the first indication that he is drinking again.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 1991

Another assessment session is scheduled, however Gregoire is unable to attend due to employment in Calgary. One month travel permit is issued to Calgary.

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed. Alcohol use is reported, but is not seen as problematic. “Low risk / Medium needs” assessment is maintained. Supervision is transferred to Calgary since offender Gregoire will now be working there permanently.

JANUARY 1992

Anita Gilavish

January 18th, 1992, the body of teenager, Anita Gilavish is found in a bird sanctuary in the East part of Calgary. Family mention that she ran with a “rough crowd”, cite use of drugs. Possibly involved in prostitution.

MARCH 1992

“The  case of Keeley Louise Pincott, age 29. News reports described Pincott as a “mother, barmaid and waitress” (Calgary Herald, November 3, 1992). Pincott went missing after working as a barmaid several days before her body was discovered. There was no evidence that she was involved in street prostitution. The cause of death is unknown or unpublished. Her skeletal remains were found 2 kilometres north of Cochrane in a shallow grave in a dead end road used as a ‘lover’s lane’ on 10 March, 1992 (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). Police identified the body as that of Pincott shortly thereafter. The location of the remains some 40 kilometres north west of Calgary raised questions about a common killer in the Janz, Joyes and Pincott cases (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). In September, 1994, an Edmonton RCMP crime analyst suggested that police had a suspect in the three murders but insufficient evidence for an arrest. Subsequent reports have failed to substantiate this.”

Gregoire is assessed and the report notes of his reluctance to participate in counseling, and concludes that there would be little benefit in forcing him to attend. In terms of alcohol use, it suggests that if it results “in any criminal charge while he is still on parole then his parole conditions should be varied to abstain and attend treatment for further assessment.”

JULY 1992

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed by Alberta Justice parole supervisor Betty Buss. Gregoire’s use of alcohol is seen as a major focus of supervision, and notes that should alcohol cause a change in the current situation further action will be initiated. The case plan includes the reduction of use by one half. The General Statistical Information on Recidivism (SIR) rating is recorded as +4 although a new rating has not been completed and the Edmonton supervision records consistently refer to a rating of -8. He is assessed as “low risk / low needs”, and supervision frequency is reduced from twice to once per month.

AUGUST 1992

Jean McMaster

“Another 1992 case was brought to our attention by Calgary police. This case involved a transsexual, Jean McMaster. No story appeared in The Herald. It is not known whether McMaster was working as a prostitute nor is the cause of death known at this time. This case is uncleared.”

Found August 8th, 1992 at 68th street SE, Calgary.

SEPTEMBER 1992

Gregoire reports to his parole supervisor an unauthorized trip to Banff. A case conference is held with the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office and Gregoire is verbally reprimanded.

OCTOBER 1992

“The next case involved Tracy Lynn Maunder who was a 26 year old single mother. She was seen by the building manager in the apartment complex where she lived on October 28, 1992 and her appearance was confirmed later that evening on the main stroll by other prostitutes. Since her child was under supervision of a baby sitter, her disappearance was noticed immediately. Her partially clad body was discovered on November 1 in a grassy field in the area of 17th Ave SE between Garden and Sheppard Roads on the outskirts of Calgary. She had been beaten and stabbed to death. She was survived by an 11 year old son – a son she bore when she was only 14 years old. She had worked previously as a waitress, and had been prostituting for about 6 months prior to her murder, apparently to support her son. At the time of her murder, she was battling cancer. In subsequent investigations, the RCMP discovered a knife near the scene of the crime (Calgary Herald, November 7, 1992). The case has not been cleared.”

Gregoire is granted a six day travel permit to Edmonton to pursue legal action against the Service as a result of his 1988 assault at the correctional institution.

NOVEMBER 1992

Dilleen Hempel was a waitress when she was abducted on her way home from work, November 16, 1992. Five months after Dilleen’s disappearance, the search ended in tragedy when her body was discovered. A man, unknown to the young waitress, had followed her home from the bar where she worked and lured her from her car. Steven Beirnes then shot her twice in the back of her head and buried her in a shallow grave in sight of his living room window. Beirnes committed suicide while in prison in 2005.

DECEMBER 1992

Claudette Collette Anctil’s body is found beside an apartment building at 1339 10th Avenue SE. She was 27 years old, and was known by the police to frequent the low track stroll around the National Hotel. She was also known as a narcotics user. She disappeared late on Wednesday, December 2 and her bloodied body was discovered early on December 3, 1992. The police did not release the cause of death (Calgary Herald, 4 December 1992). “

Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed. Alcohol consumption is reported as reduced to the point that Gregoire is now saving money through a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

JANUARY 1993

The Corrections report notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:

January 31, 1993: Gregoire is charged with Impaired Driving after being found asleep at the wheel of his car at midnight in the parking lot of a convenience store close to his home. He is issued an appearance notice and released. There is no record of notification of this arrest to the Alberta Justice duty officer.

FEBRUARY 1993

Rebecca Boutilier

Rebecca Boutilier was reported missing by her mother on February 12, 1993 after failing to return home to care for her 14 month old child (Herald February 17, 1993; Herald, March 3, 1993). Boutilier (age 20) had worked the streets since age 17 and had had problems with narcotics.  The reports in the press in February and March detailed her mother’s attempts to circulate the photograph of her missing daughter to help track down her whereabouts. 

On Thursday March 11, 1993 a naked body was discovered in a crop field in the extreme northwest outskirts of the city. There were obvious “wound marks” on the body which was partially covered by grass (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1993). She has been stabbed. The body was identified on Friday as that of Boutilier but at the time there were outstanding reports of three missing females anyone of whom could have been identified. Police questioned Boutilier’s estranged common law husband, Stanley Wayne Selinger, age 28. Selinger was due to appear in court on February 26 to face assault charges involving Boutilier and their son, Avery, arising from an incident reported December 30, 1992. Because of Boutilier’s disappearance on February 12, the assault case was adjourned (Calgary Herald, March 13, 1993). Selinger was never charged in the homicide. However, the assault case was brought to trial along with related charges on July 27. The Crown dropped the assault charges and Selinger pled guilty to 2 charges of possession of a restricted weapon – a switchblade and martial arts sticks and was fined $800 (Calgary Herald, July 28, 1993). This homicide has not been cleared.”

February 18, 1993: During a routine office interview, Gregoire reports to parole supervisor Buss that he has been charged. Her case notes read in part, “got charged impaired? in care + control, was sleeping in car because he had a few- cut it out” The notes continue to discuss the status of his RRSP and health benefit membership.

MARCH 22nd, 1993

Gregoire case notes indicate “waiting for end now – keep straight after WED..”

APRIL 6th, 1993

The Corrections report again notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:

Gregoire is charged with Assault with a Weapon  on a Female at approximately 0300 hours after a Calgary prostitute complains that she was assaulted with a roofing hammer by a client. He is released on $200 bail later that morning. There is no record to the Alberta Justice duty officer of this arrest.

APRIL 16th, 1993

The final case note entry reads: “Police done today – starting to celebrate – take it easy. On parole to May 13. No need to report.”

The Corrections report notes, “Some of the events included in the chronology for the period May 2 – , 1993 inclusive are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Information on these matters was provided in confidence by the Calgary Police Service”:

MAY 2nd, 1993

Aida Yuen reports to Calgary Police that a man attempted to abduct her in front of her home at approximately 2330 hours. She is able to escape and drives to a nearby store where she reports the incident.

MAY 3, 1993

Approximately one hour after the attempted abduction on May 2, Lailane Silva disappears from her work place. There is substantial media coverage of this event.

At 180 hours, May 3, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer (at the Bow River Correctional Centre) is contacted by the Calgary Police Service which is seeking unspecified information concerning offender Gregoire. They are told a message will be left for parole supervisor Buss who will contact them in the morning.

Offender Gregoire is arrested at 2230 hours May 3, 1993 and charged with unlawful confinement. At approximately 0150 hours on May 4, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer is advised of the arrest by the Calgary Police Service. A suspension warrant is issued and received by Calgary Police at approximately 0230 hours, May 4, 1993.

MAY 4, 1993

The body of Lailane Silva is found in Calgary and offender Gregoire is charged with First Degree Murder. There is considerable media coverage, including a media conference by the Calgary Police Service, and it is reported that inmate Gregoire is being investigated concerning other disappearances.

A sensational incident report is filed this date by the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office.

MAY11, 1993

The suspension report is completed, and recommends revocation.

MAY 13, 1993

Offender Gregoire’s Statutory Release is revoked.

————————————————————

Here are my thoughts on the timeline and cases:

My assessment is that there is a good possibility that Luc Gregoire was responsible for the murders of Anita Gilavish, Tracy Maunder, Jean McMaster, Claudette Anctil and Rebecca Boutilier. 

You will note that the media was initially quite diligent in pursuing this angle but very quickly dropped it. Perhaps they too saw that there was no evidence to support Gregoire as the murder of these women.

Perhaps something more.

For what would it say if Gregoire was allowed to prey on the city of Calgary, on some of the community’s most vulnerable members for over seventeen months, right under the noses of those that were enlisted to protect its citizens, the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Central Parole Office? Never mind the $800,000 settlement in the matter of Lanie Silva, how much might all the other families extract?

Has law enforcement and the media been entirely transparent and responsible in these matters? Did they abandon the cause of a marginalized population? Are they at best lazy, at worst complicit?

Luc is dead. We may never know.

Pig in a Poke – WKT #18

We add the final cases of Lise Choquette and Nicole Gaudreaux and summarize all 16 cases.

The Canadian Federal Government is looking for an Ombudsman for Victims of Crime:

 

 

The game was Buckaroo! by Milton Bradley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lise Choquette: You can read more on Choquette by going here (click):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole Gaudreaux: You can read more about Gaudreaux by going here:

 

 

 

 

 

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The Curious Case of Tammy Leakey – WKT #17

Discussion of the 1981 murder of Tammy Leakey. Relation to the Sharron Prior case is reviewed. Both victims were from Point St. Charles, Montreal, Quebec. We reveal the names of two unknown victims; Maria Dolores Bravo, and (possibly) Johanne Lemieux:

 

Leakey crime scene map:

Chez Bert:

 

Chez Bert today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coroner’s Report: Longeueil Unidentified Victim #1 ( Johanne Lemieux ):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News article on Dorval Unidentified Victim #2 (Maria Dolores Bravo):

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A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu – The 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge – WKT #16

On the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Battle of Vimy Ridge we remember my grandfather’s brother, Thomas Edward Allard who died the morning of April 9th, 1917:

Tom and Annie are at the back to the right:

I’m with The Band (bottom left):

 

The letter:

 

All the boys, but not Thomas Edward:

 

The fifties, good times:

 

Charles Allore (jacket and tie), Wilfred Allore to the left:

 

And In The End…

 

Prior to shipping out for Europe, Thomas Edward and Blanche lived in this house at 751 Gerrard street in Toronto:

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