Remains of Tiffany Morrison ID’d

Lack of media coverage indeed; I’d never heard of this case:

Human remains found in an aboriginal community south of Montreal on Tuesday have been identified as those of a woman missing since 2006.

The bones have been identified as those of Tiffany Morrison, 25, from the Kahnawake reserve, officials with the local police force confirmed on Friday.

The remains were found by a construction worker in a wooded area near the Mercier Bridge, which links Montreal to the South Shore region, said Warren White, an investigator with the Kahnawake Mohawk Peacekeepers.

The bones had been covered with some branches, White said.

Morrison was reportedly last seen in a taxi with a man on the Kahnawake reserve, southwest of Montreal, on June 18, 2006.

Morrison’s family had been critical of what it said was a lack of media coverage of her disappearance.

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Off to Vancouver to speak at National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

A very kind invitation from Sherry Edmonds-Flett and Marjean Fichtenberg to speak in Vancouver this weekend for National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Marjean is a dear friend I have known for years (whom I have never met!). She guest blogged her for some weeks a number of years ago, and is a fiery victim advocate (you can read more of her here).  I believe it was former Federal Victims Ombudsman, Steve Sullivan who first introduced us.

I met Sherry through Marjean, and I am her guest at this forum. I will be on a panel with Marjean and Misty Cockerill (Misty’s story here). Though Misty and I have very different trajectories, we have a lot in common  (we don’t play the victim).  Should be interesting. Here is the press release:


Every Victim Matters: A L.I.N.C. Society National Victims of Crime Awareness Week Forum” April 23rd, 2010 at 7:00pm at the University College of the Fraser Valley Abbotsford Campus 33844 King Road in Room B101,  Abbotsford, B.C. Free admission.   Speakers are: Misty Cockerill, John Allore and Marjean Fichtenberg. Moderator is Fraser Simmons.

Background:

For the last 13 years, Misty Cockerill has been a victims’ rights advocate. It all started with the occurrence and experience of a criminal trial. It was the trial and sentencing of the man who not only attempted to take Misty’s life, but also murdered her best friend. He was sentenced to life in prison.

During the trial, a woman came up to her in tears.  She explained that her daughter had been raped, beaten, and left for dead.  She was afraid to charge her assailants.  The woman said “It’s been watching you and your strength that has changed my daughter’s mind.  She is now pressing charges and I think that she might even have the same “pep” as you.”  She thanked her and walked away.  It was at that moment that Misty realized that she was capable of helping victims speak; even if she just lent them a voice to be heard. Since that day Misty has been speaking in high schools about the effects of crime and the impact on victims lives.  She has spoken at rallies in an effort to take back the streets and give them back to our children.

She is currently pursuing studies at UCFV. She is scheduled to graduate this April and is ready to start her career in social work. She wants to be able to help more people during their time of need. Misty has been able to pursue her goal thanks to the help of the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation and its founder Joe Wamback. The organization has established a trust to support victims of crime as they work toward their education goals and improve their quality of life.

Her message to society has been to take care of victims of crime.  “Strength is not just a word, it’s the force that keeps you moving, breathing and laughing. There will always be violence and despair.  It has followed us since the beginning of time.  So instead of just trying to prevent violent acts, as a society, we need to also learn how to support and nurture the victims of those acts.  They should not feel as they are the ones being prosecuted. Encourage people to be successful instead of forcing them into failure.”

John Allore’s sister Theresa was a 19-year-old Canadian college student who disappeared in 1978 from her college campus in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Five months later her body was discovered in a small body of water approximately one kilometer from her dormitory residence. Upon her disappearance police initially suggested she was a runaway. When her body was discovered police then suggested she was a possible victim of a drug overdose, perhaps at the assistance of fellow college students. In the summer of 2002, John Allore enlisted the support of an investigative reporter and friend, Patricia Pearson who produced a series of articles for Canada’s National Post newspaper that gave compelling evidence that Theresa Allore was a victim of murder, and that her death was possibly linked to two other unsolved local cases. The theory was supported by geographic profiler and then FBI consultant, Kim Rossmo, who suggested a serial sexual predator may have been operating in the Quebec region in the late 1970s and advised police to investigate the three deaths as a series.

About his sister’s case, John Allore states;

“Murder victims have multiple deaths. There is the physical death; but then there is a second death when they are driven into silence by the voices of law enforcement, or the media who co-opt tragedy to tell a story (and in so doing distort the truth), and in some cases there is the death by the legal community who fashion facts for their own purposes. After a criminal death, there is only humiliation.”

This year’s National Victims of Crime Awareness Week forum, sponsored by the L.I.N.C. (Long-term Inmates Now in the Community) Society, supported by the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the Fraser Valley and funded by the Department of Justice (Ottawa) will focus on answering the questions: 1) How do you survive the devastating loss of a loved one or almost being killed yourself?  2) What services do people who have experienced this tragedy feel are needed? 3) How can the community contribute?

John and Misty will share the stage and speak together about their experiences as survivors and what has helped them get through the experience. Marjean Fichtenberg, mother of Dennis Fichtenberg who was murdered by an offender on conditional release and the principal researcher and writer of the L.I.N.C.  Society’s feasibility study on a healing centre for survivors of homicide, will outline some of the study’s preliminary findings. Fraser Simmons, former regional director of the National Parole Board, Pacific Region, will lead the audience and panel in a discussion on realizing the vision for a healing centre for victims of serious crime.

This forum, like the forums of the past three years, is part of an ongoing process to help breakdown the walls/the stigma attached to being a survivor of violent crime, to listen and value people’s experiences/lives, to educate the wider community about what survivors need and want – all from a holistic perspective.

Interview Contact: Sherry Edmunds-Flett

Executive Director

L.I.N.C. (Long-term Inmates Now in the Community)

Phone: 604-820-1015 office

604-852-5514 cell

Email: seflett@telus.net

Web address: www.lincsociety.bc.ca

L.I.N.C. (Long-term Inmates Now in the Community)

33270 14th Avenue

Mission, B.C.

V2V-4Z7

Phone: 604-820-1015     Fax: 604-814-0093

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Rocky Mount Missing Women: Governor Perdue takes a flamethrower to the problem

Forgive me for the tracheal vomiting: North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has called in the National Guard to aid in the search for the remaining 2 missing women from the total of 11-ish persons who have turned up dead in Edgecombe County.

This reminds me of the dangers of overkill. When I was a kid I often trampled my mother’s flower garden, then tired to fix the problem by overcompensating: I once replaced her petunias with a maple tree – earnest, but conspicuous.

For all my criticisms of the Surete du Quebec, I have always admired their cunning dealing with problems. When I brought to their attention that they were in need of a cold case squad, did they acknowledge the problem? Hardly. They initiated a cold case squad, then pretended the idea was theirs all along, even going so far as to suggest that such a unit had been in place for years before the public was screaming for the need…

… gotta admire the balls.

Which brings us back to the case of the alleged Rocky Mount Serial Killer. You don’t just call in the National Guard without some implicit acknowledgment of the associated guilt: yada-yada-yada these were minority victims… yada-yada-yada we did nothing FOR YEARS until the public finally caught on to the obvious negligence of our inaction.

I leave it to you, dear reader, to fill in the rest. Here is the article from today’s News & Observer:

N.C. National Guard to aid in search for two missing Edgecombe women

BY THOMASI MCDONALD – STAFF WRITER
RALEIGH — Calling for a “more boots on the ground” approach, Gov. Bev Perdue has activated the North Carolina National Guard to help the Edgecombe County Task Force search for two missing women, the governor’s office announced today.

Edgecombe County Sheriff James L. Knight requested the assistance, according to a press statement from Perdue’s office.

Knight first contacted over the weekend, Rueben Young, the state’s secretary of crime control and public safety, asking for the National Guard’s help with finding if the remains of two other woman who have been reported missing, Yolonda Reee “Snap” Lancaster, 37, and Joyce Renee Durham, 26, are among the the bodies of five women who have been found in the woods off Seven Bridges Road in Northern Edgecombe County. Two were found not far away. A third was found near Scotland Neck.

Lancaster’s family has not seen her since March 2008. Durham was reported missing in June of 2007.

The guardsmen will be searching around Seven Bridges road near Whitakers, where the remains of five women have been found since August 2007.

“Having more boots on the ground will help law enforcement agencies cover a larger area and speed up search efforts,” Perdue said.

“We started to get more boots on the ground this morning,” Chrissy Pearson, a governor’s spokeswoman said today.

The National Guard provided about 100 soldiers who searched today for Lancaster and Durham. The soldiers are from the 1132nd and 514th military police companies, headquartered out of Rocky Mount and Greenville respectively. The task force, which has local, state and federal authorities, will be searching throughout the week.

In all, eight bodies have been found.

The skeletal remains of the latest victim, Roberta Williams, 40, was found March 27, in the woods off Seven Bridges Road by a group of all-terrain vehicle riders.

It’s not clear how Williams was found, but sheriff’s investigators are treating it as a suspicious death.

Earlier that month, on March 5, authorities found the remains of Christine Marie Boone, 43, in a wooded area in Scotland Neck in Halifax County.

After Williams’ body was found, Knight said his office notified the families of Lancaster and Durham.

But Williams had not been reported missing. When investigators probed her disappearance they obtained her medical records and the state medical examiner’s office used the information to identify her body, Knight said.

A task force consisting of the sheriff’s office, Rocky Mount police and the State Bureau of Investigation, began working together in June to determine if the women’s deaths were related and possibly the work of a serial killer.

In September. a grand jury indicted Antwan Maurice Pittman in the slaying of Taraha Shenice Nicholson, one of the women whose bodies have been found in the rural section of the county. Authorities have not said if Pittman would be charged with any of the other deaths.

The first victim, Melody Wiggins, 29, was found by police May 29, 2005 on Noble Mill Pond Road.

The partially skeletal, nude remains of Jackie Thorpe, 35, were found Aug. 17, 2007 in a trash heap behind a burned out crack house off Seven Bridges Road.

On March 13, 2008, the remains of Ernestine Battle, 50, were found facedown in the woods. Her remains were unclothed.

The skeletal remains of Jarneice “Sunshine” Hargrove, 31, were discovered June 29 by a migrant farmer working in a field.

The remains of Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, 33, were discovered in February of last year by Rocky Mount city employees and state prison inmates in a wooded area on Melton Road.

All of the women were African American and living on the margins of society with a history of drugs or prostitution and had disappeared. Family members and friends have said that some of the women knew each other.

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Bravo Pierre H.

Le discours du Trône tient compte des revendications de l’AFPAD

René-Charles Quirion
La Tribune
(Ottawa) C’est avec un discours du trône favorable aux projets de loi en faveur des victimes et qui serre la vis aux criminels que Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu commence sa carrière au Sénat.

Un poste qu’il a accepté en mettant la condition de pouvoir continuer à défendre les victimes d’actes criminels sur la place publique.

«Je suis très heureux du discours du Trône qui prévoit une modification à l’assurance-emploi en faveur des familles victimes de meurtre et qui offre aux employés sous règlementation fédérale la possibilité de prendre un congé sans solde à la suite d’un acte criminel vécu par un membre de leur famille. C’est un beau cadeau que l’on fait aux familles de victimes qui devrait être appuyé par le Parti libéral et le Bloc québécois», explique le nouveau sénateur conservateur qui avait fait une sortie publique sur le sujet en compagnie de la députée bloquiste de Compton-Stanstead, France Bonsant, avant sa nomination au Sénat.

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu se réjouit qu’une douzaine de projets de loi inclus dans le discours du Trône fassent partie des revendications présentées par l’AFPAD.

Peines plus sévères

«Le gouvernement souhaite rendre les peines plus sévères pour les criminels qui touchent aux enfants. Un projet de loi souhaite faire en sorte que les récidivistes en matière de meurtres restent incarcérés, alors qu’un autre améliorera les procédures pénales pour réduire la durée des procès. Je pars avec le discours du Trône sous le bras pour en expliquer la philosophie à la population. Par la suite, mon mandat sera d’appuyer ces projets de loi au Sénat en amenant des exemples concrets de familles victimes. Les conservateurs étant majoritaires au Sénat, nous pourrons même inviter des proches de victimes à venir témoigner de leur expérience en comité sénatorial», explique M. Boisvenu.

Le nouveau sénateur n’entend pas y rester jusqu’à 75 ans et encore moins y jouer un rôle de figurant.

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Col. Russell Russ Williams: the bad news just keeps coming

A flurry of activity in the media this morning over Russell Williams:

  1. Never shy of  staying in the gutter, The Toronto Sun is reporting that Williams and Paul Bernardo were college “Pals”.
  2. Also in the Sun;  the accused murderer is on suicide watch at the Quinte Detention Center just outside of Trenton, Ontario.
  3. The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Williams cut ties with his family in 2001 and hasn’t spoken to his mother or brother in nearly 10 years.
  4. While the Edmonton Journal gives us the astounding revelation that “serial killers lead double lives”. Don’t know what tenured professor dabbling in behavioral science is responsible for that chestnut… Woops, it’s Elliot Layton, apparently an expert. Well, he dropped a turd this time.
  5. Macleans, Canada’s national weekly magazine offers, Russell Williams: The Man No One New. Rather short, bland and boring for a blog post. (don’t they have the resources to do something splashy, or at least insightful?)
  6. In between the soft rock and  oldies, Mix 97 is weighing in that Williams may be looked at for an unsolved London, Ontario murder. (Maaaa… it’s always like this. They get a good suspect and every force tries to pin every major unsolved crime from the last twenty years on them (see Claude Larouche). Hey law enforcement! Here’s a tip, try solving your crimes with good old fashion police work)

That’s it, I’m out a here, gotta go to work folks!

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Russell Russ Williams: More News

Quite a good article in the Gazette on the latest in the Russell Williams affair:

A summary:

  • There are reports of Trenton locals harrassing and spitting at AFB personnel.
  • Williams requested the services of a prison chaplain at the  Quinte Detention Centre where he is being held.
  • At this point Halifax police are denying any link between Williams and their cold cases, but only because there hasn’t been time to test any evidence.
  • Williams is still being considered in the murder case of Trenton native Kathleen MacVicar, 19.
  • Toronto police are probing Williams in the cases of  Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice who were sexually assaulted and murdered within four months of each another in downtown Toronto. DNA evidence revealed that both women had been killed by the same man.
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Col. Russell Russ Williams’ four dozen “lingerie break-ins”

Excellent piece in the Globe and Mail by Christie Blachford:

“Russell Williams has given police a lengthy and wide-ranging statement about four dozen so-called “lingerie break-ins,” two home invasions that turned into bizarre sexual assaults last September, and the murders of two young women, one a military steward with whom he may have flown.

 

Several sources have also told The Globe and Mail that the 46-year-old commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton took detectives to the body of Jessica Lloyd, a 27-year-old who suddenly disappeared on Jan. 29 after texting a friend she had safely arrived home.

The Globe has also learned that while Col. Williams was in countless photographs in the base newspaper, The Contact, since taking over the job last summer – there is hardly an issue without at least several pictures of the lantern-jawed veteran – more ominously, he was also an avid amateur photographer.

Sources say that he photographed the murders and sexual attacks. His computer, once examined by forensic specialists, is expected to yield what one source called “a treasure trove” of evidence.

After Sunday’s extraordinary interview with officers from the OPP’s criminal behavioural analysis section, Col. Williams was formally charged with two murders – Ms. Lloyd’s and the Nov. 25 slaying of Corporal Marie-France Comeau – and the two unusual sexual assaults in nearby Tweed, Ont., last fall.

The key officer in the room was Detective-Sergeant Jim Smith, who last year had obtained a statement in the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford of Woodstock, Ont., last summer.

According to those close to the investigation, Col. Williams’ statement was delivered in a crisp, almost business-like fashion, less out of contrition, it appeared, than out of a sense of duty ingrained during a 22-year military career.

Because of his seeming frankness and willingness to talk to investigators, while police are checking into other unsolved cases at bases where Col. Williams was previously posted, he isn’t considered a suspect in any of those.

Yet all the while he was allegedly and abruptly acting out his fantasies, Col. Williams was also filling his calendar with the busy quasi-social whirl of a base commander, a role with a huge grip-and-grin component.

Between the Nov. 25 slaying last year of Corp. Comeau and the disappearance of Ms. Lloyd late last month, for instance, Col. Williams was cheerfully posing with a variety of visiting base guests, among them Santa Claus and former Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier, then on his book tour; taking part in myriad events, including a “jail and bail” charity fundraiser in which he was photographed being arrested and put behind fake bars for “being too young to be a Wing Commander,” kicking off a curling bonspiel, and writing a year-end letter to the men and women under his command.

Ms. Lloyd was abducted from her house, the tire tracks left behind in the snow the first link police ever had – though they didn’t know it at first – to the eminently respectable base commander.

Last Thursday, police set up a version of the familiar RIDE spot check, a sort of mobile version of a door-to-door search, along rural Highway 37, which runs north from Highway 401 at Belleville to the municipality of Tweed. They were looking to match the unusual tire treads found outside Ms. Lloyd’s house.

Col. Williams, behind the wheel of his Pathfinder and not the BMW people most often saw him drive, happened to get caught in that roadside check. If it was the first indication he could have been involved, it was not the last.

The 37-year-old Corp. Comeau had been under his command; Ms. Lloyd lived just off Highway 37 close to Belleville, and the two women who were sexually assaulted in September lived on the street in Tweed, Cozy Cove Lane, where Col. Williams and his wife, who works in Ottawa and lives there during the week, have a cottage.

Detectives also had descriptions of lingerie and other intimate souvenirs reported missing by the two Tweed women who were assaulted in their homes last fall. Although the victims’ faces were covered, as was their attacker’s, they were able to tell police that they had been “posed” and photographed by their assailant.

Given the sudden escalation in violence between the September break-ins/assaults and the lethal attack upon Corp. Comeau in November, police believed at first they likely were dealing with two different perpetrators.

Corp. Comeau was a steward on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to India in early November. By the time the Prime Minister headed to China the next month, her body had been discovered by her boyfriend in her Brighton, Ont., home.

Given the statistics on domestic murders, suspicion naturally fell upon the boyfriend, at least in the public eye and among the air crew who were on the PM’s flight to China, but a search of his home quashed that, sources told The Globe, and he was quickly cleared by police.

It is the dichotomy between the commander’s accomplished life and the allegations against him now which has left those who knew or worked for him reeling. He is described by subordinates as both friendly and thoroughly professional.

Although the job of commander kept Col. Williams so busy he was often the last to leave the office, he also continued to fly the CC150 Airbuses that are flown by 437 Squadron, Corp. Comeau’s squadron, to keep his pilot status current.”

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SQ joins search for missing Laval men

Finally! Now we’ll see some real loafing!

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Col. Russell Russ Williams: the phones are ringing

The Toronto Star has a story this morning that at least three provinces have contacted the OPP over cold cases that may have involved Russ Williams. Among them, Halifax who have inquired about Andrea King, Shelley Conners and Kimber Lucas:

Not bad for a 1/2 hour of amateur sleuthing, I suspected police would look at all three of these cases in my post last night. I’m sure there will be more to come.

On a personal note; some of you know I was born in Trenton. My family happened to be in Trenton celebrating Easter over the weekend that my sister, Theresa’s body was discovered, April 13th, 1979. I remember that day vividly. I came into my grandparents home, was given the news. I immediately went for a run all the way to the Trenton Air Force base and back. Which, to a 13-year-old, seemed like a very long way.

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