Music WKT2 #13 – Jethro Tull

There are a handful of bands from the 70s from outside of Canada that are really specific to Montreal and Quebec.

Supertramp? Styx? And of course, Jethro Tull. I can’t overstate the love Quebec has for Jethro Tull, they were intrinsic to the culture in the 70s.

For my 12th birthday? My sister gave me two albums: Rush A Farewell to Kings and Jethro Tull Aqualung.

At that moment I was sold on a prog-rock holiday.

The second album I bought? Was probably Benefit? And probably at Eaton’s at the Fairview Mall… and probably because I thought the album cover was really cool.

That original line up? Sick, sick, sick.  Clive Bunker has always been my favorite drummer (listen to him on Teacher where he’s simply marking time… insane.)  . Glenn Cornick‘s bass runs? Come on!  There is nothing like Martin Barre’s Gibson Les Paul. I’m not a guitar guy, but I’m guessing that’s what he plays… correct me if I’m wrong:

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Intro to Loco Part I / Carole Dupont / WKT2 #13

On April 13th, 1974, Carole Dupont’s body was discovered behind the Foyer Drapeau, a retirement home located at 100 Chanoine-Lionel-Groulx Street in Sainte-Thérèse. Carole Dupont was last seen with three people on December 22th, 1973, leaving the Hotel Blainville in the same municipality.

 

Surete du Quebec’s post on Carole Dupont

 

un-doctored photo of Carole Dupont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The body of Carole Matte

 

Kristian Gravenor’s Coolopolis post on Carole Matte:

Carole Matte

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Canada needs the Victims Ombudsman

 

 

The position of Canada’s Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime has stood vacant for six months. How Justice Canada and the Privy Council Office could allow this to happen is anyone’s guess. Walking you through my own experience in applying for the position reveals that it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

 

Interior of the Privy Council Office

 

It’s been exactly one year since Justice Canada first advertised for the Ombudsman position. The former Ombudsman, Sue O’Sullivan had announced she would be retiring in August 2017 (a negotiation resulted in her staying on for an additional 3 months). This seemed like a great opportunity to correct the appointment from the Harper era. O’Sullivan was a former police chief: can you imagine a more appalling representative for victims of violence? (her Twitter feed quickly revealed she preferred to network with other LEOs). And BTW the OFOVC’s Tweeter feed is lost in the stone-age: pushing out information, with no effort to engage people.

Some associates in victims advocacy suggested I should apply. I thought they were joking and basically responded “they’d never let me run the office they way I want to”. Their response was quick and universal: “that’s why you should apply.”  I reviewed the application criteria and realized I was well qualified for the job:

  • I have a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in justice administration. Prior to being promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Budget & Management Services for the City of Durham, North Carolina, I was working on my PhD in Criminology.
  • I have experience working in finance and budgeting.   I was the former Treasurer for the City of Durham. I have implemented or co-implemented the following government best practices in my career:  strategic planning, performance measurement and management, priority / program based budgeting, multi-year financial planning.
  • At the operational level I run an office similar in size and scope as that of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime / OFOVC; Durham’s Office of Budget & Management Services is an office of 12 employees with an annual operating budget of approximately $1.3M, the OFOVC has 9 employees with an annual budget also of $1.3M.
  • Significant experience in Canadian victim advocacy: I was a founding member of the now dissolved Canadian Association of Victim Advocates (CAVA) and Quebec’s Association des Familles de Personnes Assassinées ou Disparues (AFPAD). I was one of many who lobbied for the creation of the office of a victims’ ombudsman. I am currently Board Vice-Chair for Long-Term Inmates Now in the Community (LINC) of Mission, British Columbia, whose project, Emma’s Acres helps former offenders and victims re-integrate into the community. Currently I act as a liaison between Quebec crime victims and the Surete du Quebec’s cold-case unit to ensure better communication between police and victims of crime.
  • Experience in the management of a complaints function, a review function or an investigative function: The City of Durham is nationally known for its engagement process with the community in annual budgeting. I work as an intermediary between the City and residents to ensure that their priorities are heard and addressed through a variety of mediums including public hearings, community meetings, annual digital townhall meetings, surveying, and social media platforms.
  • Our Budgeting office in Durham recently established an Innovation Division and was awarded a Bloomberg Philanthropies grant to foster and promote productive partnerships with community stakeholders with a focus of behavioral economics.

Finally I had good representational support in my letters of recommendation from victims from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. All of this I considered a good foundation to start the application process. True, I was a little rusty on some of the policy issues, but Justice provided good guidance on their website of the areas I needed to bone up on (The Criminal Code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, Corrections and Conditional Release Act, etc…)

I began my process with a couple of softball pitches to the OFOVC, and the results spelled trouble. The first question I asked, “Does you office have a strategic plan”  was met with “no we do not have a strategic plan”. 

Wrong answer. The OFOVC does have a strategic plan, it is embedded in Justice Canada’s strategic plan. Furthermore, it is a carryover from the early Peter MacKay era. First issue: if you’re not aware of your strategic plan, what are you doing? How do you know where you’re going? How will you know you’ve arrived when you get there? Second issue: a strategic plan is a living, dynamic process, it is not a binder of paper that sits on a shelf. It should be updated every two years, with the goals and priorities coming from the victim community and its stakeholders.

The second matter is a little trickier to explain, and involved the matter of the 1977 Montreal murder of Katherine Hawkes. Murder cases are usually matters for the provinces and local law enforcement, but Hawkes’ murder was unique. She was murdered at a CN railway station, which is on Federal land, so the cold case was initially assigned to the RCMP. This meant that the OFOVC did have jurisdiction and authority over assisting in the victims inquiry of the Hawkes murder. Representing Hawkes’ cousin I made my inquiry to the OFOVC. Here’s the response I received:

“Thank you for communicating once again with the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC). Any matters or issues pertaining to the RCMP…   I would encourage you to communicate with (them) given that they would be in a better position to answer your questions and or direct you to the best resources…. 

Wishing you well  Mr. Allore in  finding resolution.”

Never mind that I had already informed the OFOVC that I had previously communicated with the RCMP and found them unresponsive, the OFOVC kicked-the-can right back to the RCMP.

Things were not looking good for a continued relationship the the Office of the Ombudsman, but I submitted my application anyway, and began to do my research, never believing I’d ever get an interview anyway.

Things Get Worse

 

In reviewing the OFOVC’s materials one thing became immediately apparent: their annual report was really bad. The format hadn’t been updated since the Steve Sullivan era (the first victims ombudsman). Too many glossy photos paying lip service to diversity. A series of recommendations, but an office without any clout to see them implemented. Their performance measures were the worst: all workload, a lot of counting: Number of calls received. Number of email responses. Nothing that told you the Office was moving the needle substantively on any victim policy issue.

Further, the Ombudsman was a contract employee with options for renewal every three years. Who could possibly advance policy under these conditions? With a three year mandate?

The first thing I would be doing on day one of employment? Looking for my next job.

Even further, everyone the Ombudsman supervised in that 9 person office was a career Federal employee. If they didn’t like you or the direction you were moving they could simply wait you out. They weren’t working for you, you were working for them.

The Interview

My suspicions and hesitancy were confirmed when in mid-June 2017 I was contacted by the Office of Privy Council and asked to travel to Ottawa for a formal interview. My interest in the position at this point was still sincere, I thought I at least owed them a chance to explain some of my perceived issues and challenges. From this you can see my approach to the whole process: They weren’t only interviewing me, I was interviewing them.

The interview took place in July 2017 at the Privy Council Office on Wellington. I met with a panel of five (all women) from Justice, Privy and OFOVC. The process was a fairly canned, stiff affair. Round robin questions, with the panel taking time to scribble and score you – yes this a familiar process, it’s the one we use in Durham when we interview candidates – but no one allowed room to open things up, and delve into specifics. In Durham, if a candidate brings something up that you feel might need more mining, you have the freedom to go off-script and probe. There was none of that with the OFOVC process. The hour was so rigid I assumed at the time that they had already chosen someone and they had made up their mind to go-through-the-motions with me (we now that not to be true!).

 

80 Wellington Street

 

The worst was the french question. This had been telegraphed and prompted beyond believe. All candidates were told prior to the interview that there would be one question in french. Before the interview commenced one of the panel – again – told me that a french question was coming (you were an idiot not to know it was coming from the one panel member with the heavy french accent). When it came, it was lobbed at me at slow-motion speed, as if I were in elementary school. And then – again – I was reassured I could respond in English.

Why the hell would I want to respond in English? If I wasn’t capable of communicating in french I had no business representing all victims as the Ombudsman of Canada.

In the course of the interview I did manage to communicate to them what I thought I was capable of accomplishing in three years. Traveling around the country and meeting stakeholders was important, but I had no intention of being a pamphlet pusher and glad-handler. The OFOVC needed to first conduct a survey of victims and representatives not simply to determine who the victims were (the current focus of most victim surveys), but more importantly, what do victims need and want. From that, develop a strategic plan that is independent of Justice Canada, establish metrics that are measurable, then work toward achieving some goals and making some decisions that are data-driven. If the expectation was for the Ombudsman to become fully involved in the #MMIWG process it would need complete support and transparency from Justice. Advancing policy along the lines of victim representation in the court process would need more time, a 5 or 7 year mandate / contract.

When the interview ended I was allowed time for one question of my own, and it was made clear they wouldn’t address salary and benefits at this point. I was briskly escorted out of the building.

Aftermath

Maybe we weren’t such a good fit. Maybe they didn’t share my vision, or I theirs. Maybe they just didn’t like me?

What happened next forced me to burn a bridge. I don’t mind writing all this because I made up my mind last November that I would never take the position of Federal Victims Ombudsman of Canada.

First, had we arrived at a salary and benefits discussion I was pretty firm that I was going to ask that the Ombudsman be reclassified 2 steps up in the Federal pay grade ladder, and that I be given –  at least – a 5 year contract. They never would have agreed to this, so the thing was never going to happen anyway.

Second, in the room I said something to the effect of, “you couldn’t pay me enough to do this job!” This woke them up, then I clarified: You do this work out of passion, money can never truly compensate for the efforts required.

Then there was the whole reimbursement thing.

I traveled to Ottawa on my own dime with the promise of being reimbursed on submission of all my receipts. All receipts were submitted electronically in July. I was told they need the original receipts, they would need to be mailed. I mailed them. I waited.

August, I waited. I emailed. I called. I waited.

September, more calling, more emails, more waiting.

October…

I was told the matter was held up in the Federal central accounting office. I had submitted a reimbursement request for a $3.50 bus ride from the airport, but no receipt (I lost the receipt).

Now at this point I have to stop and go into this. I had been extremely responsible with all my expenses. I could have taken a $60 limousine to and from the airport. I could have stayed at the Laurier, I stayed at the Elgin (they were having a sale). I could have charged them for three nights instead of two, I didn’t think tax payers should pay for my extra day of museums and sightseeing…  And now my money was tied up in process over a $3.50 cent bus ride.

And here’s the punchline. In November – 4 months after my interview – they mailed me a cheque for my expenses. Well for some of my expenses. I was on the hook for approximately $1,200 American (net of anything like the third day of lodgings, etc…). I received a cheque for approximately $800 Canadian, roughly half of what I went out of pocket for with the whole ordeal.

And I couldn’t even cash it. I had to wait until the end of November when I was in Kingston to get the Canadian funds from RBC… cross the street to the bank exchange to covert it back to American, in which process I lose EVEN MORE MONEY.

I did receive a rather perfunctory email from the Privy Council that basically said that if I had any complaints I could take them up with the Prime Minister.

That’s it people. That is you Federal Justice process at work.

Canada does deserve a good victims ombudsman. The position should not be standing vacant for 6 months, the need is too important. But it won’t be me.

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I sowed in them blind hopes – The disappearances of Julie Surprenant and Jolene Riendeau / #11

The disappearances of Julie Surprenant and Jolene Riendeau.

 

Jolene Riendeau

 

Julie Surprenant

 

Jolene Riendeau’s mother Dolores Soucy assaults the offender Robert Laramee

 

Table of contents:Psychologie de l’enquête criminelle

 

Michel Surprenant, father of Julie

 

Marc Bellemare

 

SQ investigator Michel Tanguay

 

The search for evidence

 

Patrick Lagace then with the Journal de Montreal

 

Journaliste Claude Poirier

 

Paul Cherry of the Montreal Gazette

 

Catherine Rudel-tessier

The Sasha Reid Interview – WKT2 #10

 

Sasha Reid is a PhD candidate in Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto, AND has spent 11 years studying serial homicide. Last summer Sasha contacted the Toronto police with a basic profile of the man she suspected was stalking the city’s LGBTQ community.

Early this year police charged Bruce McArther with six murders. The investigation into McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, has revealed that police found remains of at least six people at homes on Mallory Cresent, where McArthur mowed the owners’ lawn in exchange for storing work equipment in their garage.

Many of the characteristics of Reid’s profile matched the behaviors of McArthur.

From the Toronto Star:  Police Chief isn’t blaming victims of alleged serial killer

From the Toronto Sun:Serial Killer Researcher says she tried to warn Toronto police last summer

 

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Beasts of the Forest – Joleil Campeau WKT2 #9

On June 12, 1995 Joleil Campeau told her mom she was headed to a friend’s house nearby her home on Debussy St., in the North-West area of Laval. It was late afternoon, a Monday, The 9-year-old girl’s regular path to her friend’s house involved crossing through a wooded area behind her home.

Her body was discovered four days later, submerged in a creek in the wooded area. Whoever killed her had masturbated on her. A coroner determined she died of asphyxiation caused by drowning and declared her death a homicide. 

 

 

1977 headline: Camirand, Houle, Dorion, Monaste, Hawkes

 

 

1995 headline: Desjardins, Cabay, Lariviere, Cote, Poulin, Dalphe

 

 

1995 headline: Lariviere, Cote, Brochu, Lubin, Metivier

 

 

Full page of the La Presse article from December 11, 1999. Julie Surprenant below the fold

 

 

Julie Surprenant: below the fold

 

 

Joleil Campeau

Marie-Chantale Desjardins – WKT2 #8

The 1994 cold-case of Marie-Chantale Desjardins. A follow up on the American serial killer William Dean Christensen and his alleged Canadian victims Murielle Guay and Sylvie Trudel. The tragedy of Tina Fontaine.

 

Deja Vu All Over Again: 1984 police recover Marie-Chantale’s bike / 2007 police recover Cédrika’s bike

 

Crime scene map

 

 

Marie-Chantale’s brother

 

Coroner confirms Marie-Chantale was sexually assaulted and strangled by hands, and that her bike was found about 30 feet from her body.

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Who murdered Murielle Guay? ( 1982 )

The Surete du Quebec’s cold-case posting on Murielle Guay

 

Conventional wisdom suggests Murielle Guay was butchered by American serial killer William Dean Christensen. Then why is the Surete du Quebec investigating her death as a cold-case?

This much is known. On April 27, 1982, 27-year-old Sylvie Trudel was found decapitated and dismembered in the downtown Montreal apartment of  “Richard Owen.” That same afternoon a pedestrian discovered the dismembered body of Murielle Guay in trash bags in a wooded area of Mille-Îles northwest of Montreal. 

Both murders have long been attributed to American serial killer William Dean Christensen (AKA “Richard Bill Owen”). So why is the Surete du Quebec continuing to pursue Guay’s case as a unresolved murder? (click here to go to their website)

Tracing the origins of misinformation on the internet reveals the following:

At some point between 1995 and 2005 the website CrimeZZZ.net posted the following:

the sectioned corpse of Murielle Guay, 26, was found wrapped in trash bags at Mille-Isles, 50 miles northwest of Montreal. Police were initially reluctant to connect the crimes, noting that Trudel’s killer displayed “a certain amount of expertise,” while victim Guay was “really butchered,” but their doubts were resolved by April 29, with murder warrants issued in the name of William Christenson.

On February 25, 2012 the website Coolopolis reported that:

“[Christensen] also murdered Murielle Guay, 26, of Laval, whose body was found dismembered in Mille Iles, northwest of Montreal, decapitated as well, but with less skill, leading authorities to initially believe that it was not the same killer.”

Finally, in his book, Cold North Killers, published March 3, 2013 Lee Mellor writes:

So when did conjecture become internet fact? Difficult to say. When questioned, my friend and colleague Kristian Gravenor – who runs Coolopolis – stated that he was simply reporting what had been reported.

Fact from Fiction

It’s hard not to hold Christensen as a viable suspect. He was released in error from Montreal’s Bordeaux prison just two weeks prior to the murders of Trudel and Guay. Bordeaux is within striking distance from the Bar América on St-Laurent Street in Montreal, where Guay was last seen on April 17, 1982 (contrary to internet reports, Guay was 19, not 24 or 26).

 

February 17, 1985 La Presse article on William Christensen

 

I cannot find any news item that definitely links Christensen to the murder of Guay. A 1984 La Presse article state he was “thought to be responsible” for Guay’s murder.  In 1985 La Presse reported that Christensen was “suspected” of Guay’s murder.  In 1989 Le Nouvelliste merely states he was being “investigated” in her murder.  

The Washington Post reported in 1985 that Christensen was “charged in the mutilation deaths of two women in Canada.”, but apparently those charges – at least in the case of Guay – were dropped. Currently Christensen is serving time in the United States for a Pennsylvania murder.

So who killed Murielle Guay? It’s curious. From memory I recall one other case of dismemberment: the 1989 case of Valerie Dalpe. 

It’s also curious – and frustrating – why the Quebec media doesn’t show a greater interest  in these matters. The Surete du Quebec have posted new information on over 60 cases. I’m sure they would welcome the attention, investigation, publication and support of media partners.

Apparently the Surete du Quebec no longer consider William Dean Christensen as a suspect, and are looking for answers. 

Information = Insight WKT2 #7

 

A recap of the Melanie Cabay case.  The dangerous offender Claude Larouche.  Stephane Luce’s cold-case notices on transport trucks.  Criminologist candidate Sasha Reid, and the case of alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArther.

 

 

 

 

Claude Larouche and composite drawn by potential victim

 

The Surete du Quebec’s press release on Melanie Cabay

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UPDATE: Sometime in March 2018 the Surete du Quebec added Melanie Cabay to their cold case website:

 

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