The Ballad of William Fyfe / WKT #26

Notes from the podcast

Prologue: On October 29, 1999 Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old nurse at a  hospital in the Laurentians  was found dead at her home  in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec (North of Montreal) . Gaudreau was found in the bedroom.  She had been  beaten, sexually assaulted, and stabbed 55 times. This is the story of William Patrick Fyfe.

Music: The Poppy Family: Evil Grows

William Patrick Fyfe

Some intro on Fyfe:   William Fyfe , known as the Killer Handyman,  Born in late February 1955. One of Canada’s most prolific serial killers. That’s why it’s important to talk about him.

So let’s get into how Fyfe was caught.  To answer that we first turn to the case of  Anna Yarnold, a 59-year-old woman who was found dead on October 15, 1999 in Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal… 1,500 people?). Lived in isolated home on water front.  In analyzing the crime scene police note that the assailant approached the house in a vehicle at night.  Yarnold’s dog was locked in a room with her handbag, wallet.  The body found outside in the garden. Face down in flower bed. There was bruising on the neck and face, and she was beaten with a flower pot. She was initially attacked in the bathroom. She ran outside.  Where she was choked beaten and bashed in the head with a flower pot.  The assailant took credit cards. Police initially suspect her husband, Robert Yarnold because the scene seemed too violent for a mere robbery. crime of passion. There were no forensics / hard to get forensics on an outside murder. (Paul Cherry interviewed, he reported that it probably wasn’t a robbery)

Yarnold & Gaudreau

Police know began to question if this was in some way connected to an incident that happened earlier in the Summer in the West Island of Montreal. In July, 1999 a woman named  Janet Kuckinsky was attacked and murdered on a Bicycle path in the West Island.

At this point police also  go back to the case of  Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old victim from Saint Agathe who was beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed 55 times. However, as with Yarnold police have very little forensics. In fact, not even a robbery, nothing taken.  Outside they find a footprint (blood of Mrs. Gaudreau).  They also find blood droplets belonging to a male individual.  Different causes of death (knife / smashed with pot), therefore different killers?  Forensic biologist Josenthe Prevot:  “It’s difficult to approach violence, to be in there him. To be in the victim’s environment where they live their everyday lives”

Shanahan & Glenn

On November 19th, 1999,  a 55-year old accountant goes missing in Laval, Quebec.   When police go to check her apartment they find four Montreal Gazette’s stacked outside her door.   Teresa Shanahan was found stabbed to death on November 23, 1999.  She had been sexually assaulted,  beaten and stabbed 32 times. The scene was similar to Gaudreau, except there were items missing, jewelry and credit cards. Later there were ATM withdrawals the evening of the murder : $500 / $500.  The assailant obtained her PIN number. At about this time the daughter of Anna Yarnold noticed withdrawals from her account.  Police obtained a grainy / blurry photo produced from ATM, man in kangaroo hoody with a bearded. As Yarnold’s husband was clean shaven this ruled him out.

From this police now piece together that the assailant is torturing victims to obtain PIN numbers. He’s using subterfuge to obtain entry / tradesman or handyman: no break-ins.

December 15, 1999: a  man comes to door of home in Baie-d’Urfé, Quebec (west).   Asks the woman who answers if she’d like any gardening done. He’s doing some work in the area, could he offer services. Woman talks to husband, and then declines the offer.

Across the street on that same day 50-year-old Mary Glenn, was beaten and stabbed to death.  Glenn lived alone in a waterfront home. Same man approaches home. Following morning woman finds her in living room. Interior, beaten, stabbed and violated. Prevost returns. Clothed. Beaten with blunt object.  No forced entry. Very violent, covering many rooms, hair ripped out, blood in multiple rooms. Finished in living room. Turned on back,” beaten to a pulp”  Again, footprints in blood. Blood on hands, washes hands in kitchen sink. Goes to bedroom upstairs, shakes down victim’s purse.  A forensics printer expert,  Jean Paul Menier, finds a finger print. Loads into finger print bank. A match is made: The print is that of  44 year old William Fyfe.

William Patrick Fyfe, 4th grade, Barclay school – Park Extension / 1967

So who is Fyfe?  Born in Toronto, raised in Montreal. Attended Montreal High School, he was known for urinating on the school bus. His first adult run-in with the law was in 1975, when he was charged with theft over $200 in Montreal and sentenced to six months in jail. Since then a series of  robberies and thefts. He worked as handyman. He was married, separated with a child. Since then several rel/ships. He did home renovations. Last known address was in a town north of Montreal.

The Park Extension Youth Organization baseball team circa 1970. William Fyfe bottom left.

At this point the police have a puzzle: Do they go public and risk scaring him off into hiding, or do they act in the importance of the public interest? The police are given several hours to find him. Ex-girl friend tips that he may be staying at mother’s in Barrie Ontario. OPP Detective  Jim Miller goes to mother’s old farm house. Car with QC plates registered to Fyfe. 24 hour surveillance. Determining if enough evidence to arrest. MUC come to Barrie, publish photo of Fyfe. Say he’s suspect, wanted for questioning. Story goes national. Leaves home, goes to Toronto, looks for newspapers, puts in orders for the Gazette. Dec 21st, 1999. Goes to church, drops three pairs of running shoes. Drove away. Spots on shoes that appear to be blood. Police finally close in on Fyfe at the Husky Truck Stop gas station in Barrie on December 22, 1999, he’s placed under arrest for Mary Elizabeth Glenn. “why don’t you shoot me now?”

Fyfe’s Ford Ranger at Husky Truckstop in Barrie, Ontario

Corporal Andrew Bouchard, Montreal police : on the investigation. Bouchard head of Montreal’s major crimes division. Interrogation: “arrogant. Cold like a fish”. First night, they don’t get very far. The secure his cigarette butts for DNA.

Hazel Scattolon

Hazel Scattolon, a 52-year-old woman who was stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in March 21, 1981. Scattalon’s son played hockey with Fyfe. Calls in in aftermath. Fyfe had painted in Hazel’s house. Mount Royal. At this point, where they thought they were investigating a series of murders from 1999, Fyfe has the potential of stretching back 18 years

Through it all Fyfe maintained his innocence, but there was simply too much evidence.  There was blood on Fyfe’s  shoes and clothing. In the case of Anna Yarnold police found traces of her blood on Fyfe’s clothing. The prints from the Monique Gaudreau crime scene tied to shoes recovered at the church in Ontario.  Teresa Shanahan’s stolen ring later turned up as one of Fyfe’s possessions. And finally of course the finger print recovered at the Mary Glenn site turned out to be Fyfe’s.

On Sept 21, 2001 Fyfe is sentenced to life in prison wit out parole for 25 years. He denied involvement in the Janet Kuckinsky case.

During these affairs Fyfe hinted at other cases. After his conviction he confessed to 4 more:

Raymond, Poupart-Leblanc, et Laplante

  1. Suzanne-Marie Bernier, a 62-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted October 17, 1979 in Cartierville, Montreal
  2. Nicole Raymond, a 26-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted on November 14, 1979 in Pointe-Claire, Montreal
  3. Louise Poupart-Leblanc, a 37-years-old woman who was stabbed 17 times and sexually assaulted on September 26, 1987 in Saint-Adèle, Laurentides
  4. Pauline Laplante, a 44-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted on June 9, 1989 in Saint-Adèle, Laurentides

And police also later learn that Fyfe was responsible for a string of violent rapes in the 1980s in downtown Montreal  / “The Plumber”  rapes.

Timeline:

  1. Suzanne-Marie Bernier, Cartierville, Montreal, October 17, 1979
  2. Nicole Raymond, Pointe-Claire, Montreal November 14, 1979

GAP

  1. Hazel Scattolon, Mount Royal  March 21, 1981. Stabbed 27 times.

(series  of violent rapes in the 1980s / Plumber Rapes)

  1. Louise Poupart-Leblanc, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides September 26, 1987
  2. Pauline Laplante, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides June 9, 1989

GAP

  1. Janet Kuckinsky, West island   July 1999
  2. Anna Yarnold, Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal) October 15, 1999
  3. Monique Gaudreau, Sainte-Agathe, October 29,  1999
  4. Teresa Shanahan, Laval, Quebec  November 19  1999
  5. Mary Glenn, Baie-d’Urfé, Quebec (west).  December 15, 1999

So putting the timeline together, Fyfe’s activity crosses two decades 1979 – 1999.

Police begin to ponder the the gaps in time.  And why the slowing of violence? Why did he calm down. Police said Fyfe was always willing to describe  the crimes in vivid detail, but he remained silent as to motive. “What hit you to cause you to kill again? Why did you stab her so many times” /   “that’s for me to know”, Fyfe replied.

In 2000 a task force was formed and Investigation units from Montreal, Laval, SQ went back and check files on 85 cold cases dating back to 1981.

During the 1980s Fyfe lived in St. Laurent (borders Cartierville) , LaSalle, Lachine and Verdun (south of Pointe Saint Charles) during the 1980s and in the Laurentian town of Saint-Jerome in 1993 (north).

He still remains a suspect in at least 5 unsolved murders:

  • 1991 murder of Montrealer Joanne Beaudoin, 35, who was stabbed to death in Town of Mount Royal in May 1990. The killer stole her gray 1987 Honda Accord and several items from her home. Car later found torched.
  • Laval police submitted the case of 55-year-old Theresa Litzak. Her body was found in her Laval apartment on Nov. 22, 1999. Police believe she was killed Nov. 19 (this would mean she was killed the same day as Shanahan who also lived in Laval). She lived alone, as did Yarnold and Glen.
  • 3 Ontario cases.

Looking at our own cases, could Fyfe be a suspect? No: wrong timeline (too young), different modus operandi:

  • Lise Chagnon / Saint Hubert / 1974: entered subterfuge. Struggle, blood in many rooms. Stabbed and bludgeoned .   Fyfe was 19. Saint Hubert adjacent to Longueuil.
  • Roxanne Luce / 1981 / Longueuil.

And Yet:

  • 1977: Hawkes: Beaten, Stabbed, raped, purse missing: Fyfe’s first known murder was in 1979 when he was 24, could he have killed at 22?
  • 1978: Lison Blais: choked, struck on head, raped, purse missing

Note the above two because police only delve back as far as 1979, so we presume they know he was in prison?

  • 1979: Nicole Gaudreault: Beaten about head and raped. Empty purse. Blood on stairs, but extended to back lot: fight?

Was Fyfe operating with a different M.O .at an earlier age, then switched at some point to something less risky? (Outdoors to indoors. Younger to older victims)

Fyfe will be elegible for parole September, 2026. He will be 69 to 70  years of age.

Out music: Terry Jacks / Seasons in the Sun

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How do you solve a problem like Homolka?

So the world’s up in arms again about the latest geographic transgression of Karla Homolka.

Yesterday the Montreal Gazette reported that the Canadian serial killer supervised kindergarten children from the Greaves Adventist Academy on a field trip in March and once brought her dog to the school for students to pet. Homolka’s three children attend the private school ( Karla volunteered at an N.D.G. elementary school ).

Like any parent I am outraged. Now tell me how you’d better handle the situation. It’s a private school. The school knew of her history. They apparently made the decision that everyone deserves a second chance. Their decision.

In the criminal case against Karla Homolka the prosecution gave her a sweet-heart deal, after 12-years in prison she walked in 2005. Again, their (appalling) decision.  Last spring we learned Homolka was living in the Montreal south shore community of Chateauguay, and the world again was outraged. Well she’s got to live somewhere? We’re not going to toss her outside the walls of society.

I well remember speaking with a British Columbia corrections administrator some years ago who talkedto about when a registered sex offender moved into her neighborhood. She baked a plate of cookies, and she and her daughter walked across the street to present them to the man:

“Hi, welcome to the neighborhood. My name’s Jane Smith, I work for the department of corrections,”

Translation: “Hi, “m Jane Smith, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.”

The point was very simple. Welcome, but I’ll be watching. Trust, but verify.

When my children were younger I used to spend time periodically probing the sex offender database to see who had moved into the neighborhood. I soon stopped because there were just too many coming and going, and I didn’t have that many cookies. Better to teach my kids how to be vigilant, and to NOT TRUST MEN. Harsh, I know, but why not cut to the chase.

On further consideration I might prefer having Leanne Teale – the name Homolka’s currently using – living in my neighborhood because having identified the threat, I could then mitigate the risk.

In all this bluster and bombast I fear people are missing a larger issue; Homolka’s threat might be real, and the warning signs are deeply woven int the fabric of Montreal’s history.

In choosing to live on Montreal’s south shore Homolka selected a community with a remarkably similar tragic history to that of Saint Catherines, Ontario, where Paul Bernardo and Homolka carried out the brutal murders of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kirsten French.

Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy

 

 

In 1974-75 the town of Chateauguay was rocked by the disappearances and murders of 12-year-old Norma O’Brien and 14-year-old Debbie Fisher. Within a year a young offender who came to be known as the Chateauguay Killer (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) was arrested, but the community never fully recovered.

Norma O’Brien and Debbie Fisher

 

 

 

Jump forward to last spring and you get some idea of the true source of the community’s outrage. Remarkably, no news agency bothered to point out the “irony” of Homolka choosing this town. One reporter told me at the time that “they didn’t want to further traumatize people”, as if as a society we are incapable of having difficult discussions. When the media muzzles such conversations they do more damage than good, leaving communities no other resort but to sling shit at the towers in the social media circus (and the media have no qualms about stirring that shit pot).

And can Homolka moving to Chateauguay really be best summed up as “ironic”?  Is it not possible that she deliberately chose this community because it was as familiar to her as Saint Catherines?  A small suburban community, a history of tragedy with two young victims similar in age to Mahaffy and French, who physically resemble Mahaffy and French. Did Homolka learn of the tragedy while serving her time in Quebec prison? Inmates talk about such things. In short, did Homolka choose Chateauguay because it felt like home?

If you think the idea of an offender compelled to re-live the gruesome experiences of crimes the stuff of fiction consider this:

Gilles Pimparé, shown at left in 1979

Gilles Pimparé, imprisoned since 1979 for the brutal and infamous Jacques Cartier Bridge murders of Maurice Marcil, 14, and Chantal Dupont, 15, has been denied parole six times in 13 years.  Remarkably, the Dupont family forgave him, buying his story that he “loved Chantal too much, that’s why he had to kill her.”. But one of the chief reasons Pimparé has never been paroled? He kept a porn stash on his hard drive that had photos of naked young girls posing at the Jacques Cartier Bridge to sustain his paraphiliac fantasy’s decades after the murders were committed (you can look it up by checking his parole records).

So I just wonder whether Homolka had specific intention when she chose to live in Chateauguy. If I were an investigative journalist? I’d want to check and see if corrections  / parole assigned her to Chateauguy or if she chose it.  

Trust but verify.

 

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Quebec cold cases: Families of 8 dead women call for public inquiry

The CBC’s Joanne Bayly did an unexpected follow-up story; it’s really good so I’m going to simply post the whole thing.

To recap:  Yes, I was in Quebec a few weeks ago, apart from meeting with the SQ (more on that later), we had a meeting with several victim families. With the help of Stephan Parent and Marc Bellemare we came up with a a series of reforms to present to current Quebec Minister of Public Security, Martin Coiteux.

The families present / who met were:  Sharron Prior, Johanne Dorion, Lison Blais, Denise Basinet, Helene Monaste, Roxanne Luce.

A note on the article: That the SQ can’t confirm their own measure of the number of homicides in 1977, 1978 speaks to the problem. The numbers are well documented in StatsCan’s 2005 report on crime, which delved specifically into homicide (I believe my numbers were off by 1):

http://publications.gc.ca/Collection-R/Statcan/85-002-XIE/85-002-XIE2006006.pdf

victims-families

The relatives of eight women who suffered violent deaths in the 1970s and early 1980s are calling on Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux to call a public inquiry into policing methods in the province.

For decades, those families have honoured the memory of their lost sisters and daughters, waiting for a call from police to confirm an arrest and, in some cases, becoming detectives themselves.

Now their hope has been renewed through the efforts of a Quebec filmmaker, Stéphan Parent, who is making a documentary about seven of those women, tentatively entitled Sept Femmes. 

“We found [much] evidence was destroyed by police,” Parent said.

Marc Bellemare and victims' families

Former justice minister Marc Bellemare (left) is calling on Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux to look into police techniques when it comes to missing and murdered women.

Parent, who began investigating the unsolved homicide of 16-year-old Sharron Prior, noticed a pattern in other cold cases from the same era: destroyed evidence, relatives whose calls went unanswered, police forces that failed to communicate with one another.

Parent contacted former Liberal justice minister Marc Bellemare to help the families build a case for an inquiry.

The missing girls and women

The late 1970s were not an easy time to be a teenage girl or young woman in Quebec. Month after month, another was reported missing – and then found dead.

Among them:

  • Pointe–Saint-Charles: March 1975. Sharron Prior, 16, was on her way to have pizza with friends at a restaurant five minutes from her home. Her body was found three days later in the snow in Longueuil. No one has ever been arrested.

    mi-sharron-prior

    Sharron Prior was last seen March 29, 1975. (CBC)

  • Chateauguay, two teenage girls are found killed: 12-year-old Norma O’Brien in July 1974 and 14-year-old Debbie Fisher in June 1975. A young man, a minor, confesses to the killings, though his name and the details are still cloaked in mystery.
  • Sherbrooke, March 1977: 20-year-old Louise Camirand is found in the snow, 11 days after stopping at a convenience story to buy milk and cigarettes. Her killer is never found.
  • Montreal, June 1978: 17-year-old Lison Blais is found dead just metres from the entrance of the home where she lived with her parents on Christophe-Colomb Street. She’d left a disco bar on St-Laurent Boulevard early that morning. She had been raped and struck on the head, and there were choking marks on her neck.
  • Lennoxville, November 1978: 19-year-old Theresa Allore disappears from the campus of Champlain College, only to be found at the edge of the Coaticook River five months later. Police rule her death suspicious.

    Theresa Allore in her family's kitchen

    Theresa Allore in her family’s kitchen. She was 19 when she disappeared.

A serial killer?

“I think Quebec in that era was a very violent place,” said John Allore, one of the relatives who is asking for a public inquiry.

 

“People got away with a lot more. In today’s world, with cellphones and all this technology, cameras everywhere, it’s not as easy to get away with these kind of behaviours.”

His research shows there were 179 homicides in Quebec in 1977 and 177 the year before. In 2013, there were 68 homicides in the province.

The SQ won’t confirm the statistics, but it’s clear that in the 1970s, criminals were getting away with rape and even murder.

He said because police forces at the time worked in isolation, they failed to identify patterns.

If there was a serial killer on the loose in the greater Montreal area, as some relatives of the dead women believe, police didn’t figure that out – or didn’t share their suspicions with victims’ families.

Change in attitudes

Lt. Martine Asselin, the spokeswoman for the SQ’s cold case unit, acknowledges it was tougher then to solve cases.

“A lot of things have changed since those years: the evolution of the techniques and the evolution of the DNA and the way to treat the evidence has also changed,” she said.

“The communications between the police forces is very present. We have a task force to manage serial killers or serial sexual assaults,” Asselin said.

The cold case unit has recently added more officers, and Asselin said the provincial police force is looking seriously at these unsolved crimes.  As for the decrease in the number of homicides over the years, Asselin credits improved police techniques, including those aimed at crime prevention.

 body of Theresa Allore

The body of Theresa Allore. She was found in her underwear by a passing trapper.

John Allore agrees there has been a change in attitudes.

“Certainly, in the 1970s, rape and sexual assault were not taken as seriously then as they are today,” Allore said. He said blaming the victim was the norm.

“A woman is found with a rope, a ligature around her neck, and police say it could have been suicide. A young girl is found abandoned in a field, and they say it could have been a hit and run.”

My sister is found in her bra and underwear in a stream, and they say it could have been a drug overdose.”

Inquiry demand focuses on 8 cases

The letter to the public security minister focuses on eight cases: Sharron Prior, Louise Camirand, Joanne Dorion, Hélène Monast, Denise Bazinet, Lison Blais, Theresa Allore and Roxanne Luce.

Hélène Monast

Hélène Monast was walking home from an evening out celebrating her 18th birthday when she was killed in a Chambly park in 1977.

In it, the families ask for the following changes:

  • That all murders and disappearances anywhere in the province be investigated solely by the Sûreté du Québec.
  • That a protocol be established to make sure all evidence and information is held in a centralized place.
  • That police officers be paid to undergo specialized training.
  • That families of victims be kept systematically informed about the evolution of any investigation.
  • That families of victims, accompanied by their lawyers, have access to the complete dossiers of the investigations, if the crime is still not solved after 25 years.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Security says officials are well aware of the difficult situation that relatives of missing or murdered people have to go through. The Ministry says it has received the letter asking for a public inquiry, and that demand is currently being analyzed.

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Unknown Victim 2 and Tammy Leakey – June 2, 1979

IMG_3464

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UPDATE APRIL 14, 2017: VICTIM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS 17 YEAR OLD MARIA DOLORES BRAVA OF 21ST AVENUE IN SAINT MICHEL MONTREAL. BRAVA WAS HEADED TO A DISCO IN THE WEST ISLAND OF MONTREAL ON THE EVENING OF MAY 18TH 1979. ALSO KNOWN AS “LOLITA”:

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At approximately 1:30 pm on June 2, 1979 a truck driver working for Lansing Bagnall in Dorval discovers the naked body of a woman (5’4″, 122 lbs) in a wooden chest near a dumpster at 10255 cote de Liesse.  The chest is approximately 3′ x 2′.

There are no immediate / apparent marks of violence, but the girl has a lot of blood around her face. MUC investigators Richard McGuinnis and Gilbert Gagnon speculate that she had been strangled. An autopsy is performed, but no conclusive cause of death is determined, though the coroner maintains that strangulation is still a possibility.

The site is less than a mile from where the body of Tammy Leakey would be discovered less than 2 years later off Lindsay street in Dorval:

Screen shot 2016-04-10 at 4.03.54 PM

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There’s a story behind this:

IMG_3459

I sat on this article for almost three years. I had the headline, but the image I took in 2013 was too blurry: I couldn’t read the text:

IMG_3465

I was in Montreal last weekend, so I went to the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec, search their Photo Police archives and found it again:

IMG_3466

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Nicole Gaudreaux – August 13, 1979

I was able to obtain the file on Nicole Gaudreault from the Quebec archives in Montreal (BAnQ). Here is a second look that the case, with particular emphasis toward the end on the similarities with the murder of Lison Blais.

Gaudreau 2

An anonymous phone call led police to the body of Nicole Gaudreaux (age 31, 5 feet tall, 95 pounds). Gaudreaux was found on August 3, 1979 in a field behind 2032 rue Saint-Andre in Montreal. 

Gaudreaux was found naked, on her back, her face bloodied. The investigators were Roland Ouimet and Maurice Chartrand of the Montreal municipal police. She was beaten badly about the head, and raped. Police found a large amount of blood on the stairs of 2036 rue Saint Andre, it was assumed she was attacked at this location and her body was later dragged to the field. Her empty purse was recovered a few feet away from the body. 

Gaudreau

The cause of death was “Manual strangulation”, “cerebral contusions”, a “skull fracture”, and “cerebral hemorrhaging” which accounts for the blood on the stairs.

The autopsy was performed at the laboratory medicale-legale at Parthenais in Montreal by Dr. Andre Brosseau.  The victim’s brother – Ronald Gaudreault  who lived at 3936 Rang St-Joseph in Chicoutimi – identified the body.

Gaudreault was wearing blue stockings, a pink blouse (pulled up over her head),  and a beige bra (detached).

Found by the stairs of 2026 Saint Andre were her black pants, red shoes, and her purse which contained a dental prothesis (Gaudreault lived at 2030  St-Andre) There is no mention of her underwear being recovered.

The case is notable for its location close to where Jocelyne Houle disappeared in 1977 (the Old Munich), and to other disappearances /  murders in that area (Choquette, Blais, Bazinet 1975 – 1978).

Gaudreault = Blais

Most striking are the relationships and similarities with the murder of Lison Blais:

  1. Lison Blais was found 14 months earthier less than a mile North of the Gaudreault crime scene:

image001

2. Like Gaudreault, Blais had been strangled, beaten about the head and raped.

3. Both victims lived in very similar urban environments:

nicole

Gaudreault: homes on St-Andre

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Blais: homes on rue Christophe Colombe

4. The bodies of both victims were recovered at the rear of the residence area:

Blais: Rear area

Blais: Rear area

Gaudreault rear area (note that in that era beyond the path was a field (not homes as pictured today)

Gaudreault rear area (note that in that era beyond the path was a field (the homes were not built yet)

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Cas non résolus de meurtres et de disparitions au Québec dans les années 1970

Cas non résolus de meurtres et de disparitions au Québec dans les années 1970  

18 women

(Cliquez sur le nom de l’information de cas détaillée)

  1. Alice Paré, Drummondville, 26 avril 1971
  2. Norma O’Brien et Debbie Fisher, Châteauguay, 1974-1975 (cas résolus; fournis pour la mise en contexte)
  3. Sharron Prior, Montréal | Longueuil, 1er avril 1975
  4. Lise Choquette, Montréal-Est | Laval, 20 avril 1975
  5. Louise Camirand, Estrie, 25 mars 1977
  6. Victime non identifiée, 2 avril 1977
  7. Jocelyne Houle, Montréal-Est | Saint-Calixte, 17 avril 1977
  8. Johanne Dansereau, disparue de Fabreville | Laval, 14 juin 1977
  9. Sylvie Doucet, disparue de Montréal-Est, 27 juin 1977 (retrouvée)
  10. Claudette Poirier, Drummondville, 27 juillet 1977
  11. Chantal Tremblay, Montréal-Nord | Rosemère, 29 juillet 1977
  12. Johanne Dorion, Fabreville | Laval | Montréal-Nord, 29 juillet 1977
  13. Hélène Monast, Chambly, 10 septembre 1977
  14. Katherine Hawkes, Montréal-Nord, 20 septembre 1977
  15. Denise Bazinet, Montréal-Est | Saint-Luc, 23 octobre 1977
  16. Manon Dubé, Cantons de l’Est, 27 janvier 1978
  17. Lison Blais, Montréal-Est, 3 juin 1978
  18. Theresa Allore, disparue de Lennoxville | Cantons de l’Est, 3 novembre 1978
  19. Maria Dolores Bravo, Dorval | Montréal, 2 juin 1979
  20. Nicole Gaudreau, Montréal-Est, 3 août 1979
  21. Tammy Leakey, Dorval | Montréal, 12 mars 1981

Ce que nous savons

  1. Les corps de Sharron Prior et de la victime non identifiée ont tous deux été découverts sur le Chemin du Lac, à Longueuil : le 1er avril 1975 dans le cas de Prior et le 2 avril 1977 dans le deuxième cas, soit presque deux ans après jour pour jour. 
  2. Les meurtres de Prior et de Houle sont très similaires; les scènes de crime sont quasi identiques.
  3. Chantal Tremblay a pris un autobus en direction de la station de métro Henri-Bourassa, pour ensuite disparaître. L’autobus que Johanne Dorion prenait pour faire la navette entre Cartierville et Laval circulait sur la ligne Henri-Bourassa de transport en commun. Après sa journée de travail, dans l’arrondissement de Cartierville, Dorion a pris l’autobus en direction de la maison, puis elle est disparue. Katherine Hawkes, pour sa part, demeurait à Cartierville. Le soir de sa mort, elle avait pris le bus au centre-ville de Montréal pour revenir à la maison.
  4. Il existe un enregistrement de la voix de l’assassin de Katherine Hawkes. La nuit du meurtre, son agresseur a appelé la police deux fois pour signaler l’emplacement du corps. Les appels ont été enregistrés. Cependant, les policiers ont mis près de 18 heures à se rendre sur les lieux pour enquêter (et ce, seulement après que deux citoyens ont signalé la découverte du corps). You mean that the police did not take seriously the offender’s phone calls?
  5. Denise Bazinet a vécu à trois pâtés de maisons de Lison Blais dans Montréal-Est.
  6. Un sac à main correspondant à la description de celui de Lison Blais a été retrouvé au même dépotoir où le corps de Louise Camirand a été découvert, à Austin, en Estrie. Il s’agit également de l’emplacement où des vêtements correspondant à ceux que portaient Theresa Allore lors de sa disparition ont été aperçus par des chasseurs. Le reste d’une pantoufle chinoise portée par Theresa la dernière fois où elle a été vue a aussi été récupéré sur ce site.
  7. Le corps de Tammy Leakey a été découvert à Dorval, à un peu moins de deux kilomètres de l’endroit où Maria Dolores Bravo a été retrouvée environ deux ans plus tôt.

Ce que nous recommandons

  1. Enquêter sur les décès de Sharron Prior, Jocelyne Houle et la “victime non identifiée” comme des dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 1, “Le tueur Longueuil”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces de Longueuil et de la Sûreté du Québec.
  2. Enquêter sur les meurtres Louise Camirand, Hélène Monast, Denise Bazinet, Lison Blais, Theresa Allore et Sharron Prior que les dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 2,”The Bootlace Killer”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces Longueuil, SPVM, et la Sûreté du Québec.
  3. Enquêter sur les meurtres Chantal Tremblay, Joanne Dorion et Katherine Hawkes comme des dossiers éventuellement connectés commis par un délinquant (Suspect n ° 3, “The Commuter Killer”). Cela nécessitera la coopération entre les forces de Laval, SPVM, et la Sûreté du Québec.

Voici une carte (cliquez pour aller à lien interactif):

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AUTRE RECOMMANDATIONS

Il n’y a que trois choses qui peuvent permettre de résoudre un crime :

  • la déclaration d’un témoin oculaire;
  • des aveux;
  • des preuves matérielles.

Les auteurs des crimes susmentionnés doivent avoir au bas mot 60 ans aujourd’hui. Mais il est plus que probable qu’ils sont beaucoup plus âgés ou déjà morts. Les corps policiers du Québec ne peuvent pas vraiment s’attendre à ce que des citoyens leur fournissent de nouveaux éléments d’information sur ces cas s’ils ne savent même pas que des meurtres ont eu lieu ou ˗˗ comme cela arrive parfois ˗˗ si les policiers ne considèrent même pas que des crimes ont été commis. À l’usure, les corps policiers du Québec vont faire en sorte que toute possibilité d’aveux ou de déclaration de témoins va être écartée. Tous ceux ayant un lien avec ces affaires seront morts.

Cela nous amène à la question de la destruction de preuves matérielles. Nous savons déjà que la Sûreté du Québec et la police de Longueuil ont détruit des éléments de preuve. Pas plus tard qu’hier, nous apprenions que le SPVM avait récemment éliminé de tels éléments. Nous avons des raisons de penser que cette pratique est depuis longtemps acceptée par les services de police au Québec. 

En détruisant des preuves matérielles et en limitant la possibilité d’aveux ou de déclarations de témoins oculaires, les corps policiers québécois prennent part à ce qu’on pourrait appeler un « génocide d’enquêtes ».

Mesures à prendre dans l’immédiat

  1. À l’instar des dossiers d’Hélène Monast et Theresa Allore, ceux d’Alice Paré, Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Claudette Poirier, Denise Bazinet et Chantal Tremblay (si ce dernier cas est de leur ressort) devraient instamment être ajoutés à la liste des cas non résolus de l’équipe des cas non résolus de la Sûreté du Québec.
  2. Un groupe de travail unifié portant sur les cas non résolus doit être créé pour l’ensemble du Québec, afin d’assurer la coopération entre les différentes organisations policières.
  3. L’accès à l’information sur les cas non résolus doit être accordé, sans délai, aux familles des victimes. Il ne devrait pas y avoir de différence d’un corps de police à l’autre à cet égard (par exemple, que j’aie accès à l’information touchant le cas de ma sœur, tandis que les Dorion ou les Blais se voient refuser cet accès par la police de Laval et le SPVM). Tous les corps de police du Québec devraient être tenus de fournir la même qualité de service pour l’ensemble des victimes.
  4. Le gouvernement du Québec doit faire enquête sur la destruction systématique d’éléments de preuve par ses corps policiers, afin d’assurer l’intégrité des services de sécurité publique au niveau de la province.
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Montreal attempted murder trial in jeopardy / Police destroy evidence

This is why the destruction of evidence in 40 year old cold-cases is relevant to today. First the Surete du Quebec and Longueuil forces, now the Montreal police. If you don’t hold them accountable, then don’t expect them to change:

Trial for sexual assault and attempted murder of a minor in jeopardy?

Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette: March 18, 2016

scales-of-justice-image-for-extra-story-about-violence-againA Quebec Court judge will decide in April if a case involving the sexual assault and attempted murder of an 11-year-old girl should be tossed out because the Montreal police made a huge error by destroying evidence during the trial. 

The accused is a 44-year-old resident of the St-Laurent borough who was charged in 2013 with sexually assaulting and attempting to kill the 11-year-old victim. The man was a close friend to the victim’s family and, at the time, lived next door to them. She considered him to be like an uncle to her and he cannot be identified because it could be considered information that would identify the victim. 

The man is alleged to have used a skipping rope, on May 26, 2013, to strangle the girl inside her own home while she was watching television. She passed out and later woke up in an alley near her home. Her clothes were torn, her nose and hands were bloodied and the skipping rope was still wrapped around her neck. She sought help at the home of a neighbour who refused to do anything but was able to make it to the home of a friend. The girl’s mother showed up at the friend’s house a short while later and called 911. The girl told the 911 operator that a man who lived next door to her family tried to kill her and then she identified him as the accused who is currently on trial.

Quebec Court Judge Sylvie Kovacevich began hearing evidence in the trial at the Montreal courthouse on Feb. 16, 2015, and it continued on for several non-consecutive days. The Crown finished presenting its evidence last fall but defence lawyer Sharon Sandiford filed a motion after learning that a Montreal police officer somehow destroyed evidence – the skipping rope and a piece of clothing the girl was wearing the day she was attacked – while the case was at the trial stage. Sandiford asked for a stay of proceedings while arguing her client can’t mount a full and complete defence without having access to the evidence.

On Friday, Kovacevich was expected to render her decision on the stay of proceedings but she informed both sides in the case that she needed more time. She pushed back the date of her decision to April 25 and said she wants both sides to prepare for the trial to resume that same day if she rejects Sandiford’s motion. 

When she argued in support of her motion Sandiford argued that the destruction of the evidence was a an example of gross negligence. When prosecutor Pierre Olivier Bolduc argued against the stay of proceedings he based much of what he said as if Sandiford was claiming an abuse of procedure on the part of the police – or that they intended to destroy the evidence. Kovacevich noted this on Friday and suggested much of Bolduc’s argument was based on a moot point. She offered the prosecutor a chance to correct this but he said the prosecution had nothing further to add. 

“The Crown argued a lot on something that isn’t even an issue,” Sandiford told reporters after the brief hearing. 

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Katherine Hawkes – September 20th, 1977: SPVM Screwup

Katherine Hawkes-1977

Katherine Hawkes-1977

Less than 10 days after the murder of Helene Monast in Chambly, Katherine Hawkes was brutally beaten and raped in the Saint Laurent region of Montreal.

The Quebec tabloids did not overlook the threat to public safety, with Allo Police publishing the photos of Louise Camirand, Jocelyne Houle, Joanne Dorion, Helene Monast and Katherine Hawkes with the headline, Encore un maniaque sexuel!”

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Disappearance

34-year-old Katherine Hawkes worked in downtown Montreal, at the corner of Dorchester and University. The 5’5″ 145 lbs woman resided at 11815 rue Ranger in the Cartierville are of Montreal (to the north). Katherine usually road the commuter train home to the CN Val Royal station. On September 20th, 1977, Montreal (in fact the entire province of Quebec) experienced a massive power outage. As the trains were not running, Katherine took the bus home to Cartierville.

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Katherine left work at approximately 6:00 pm. A bus driver said he saw Katherine exiting the bus at Val Royal at approximately 6:20 pm, but we know this cannot be so: no bus travels that fast. So let’s assume Katherine was back in Cartierville around 7:00 pm. Her home was approximately a 4 minute walk away on rue Ranger.

Discovery of the body

September 21, 1977 around 5:30 pm, two students, Carlo Aghbashian and Berry LeBlanc are walking along the north side of the path by the railway station when they smell a “gross odor”.  They look in the bushes adjacent the train station and discover the body of Katherine Hawkes lying beneath some trees. They call the police.

IMG_0176The Montreal Municipal Police arrive at 6:33 pm. The investigation is led by Sargent Detectives Roger David and Arthur Laurin, assisted by Sgt Andre Tetreault, SD Remy Martin, and Constable Robert.

Katherine Hawkes bus stop at Val Royal. Note the light, which would have been dark due to the blackout.

Katherine Hawkes bus stop at Val Royal. Note the light, which would have been dark due to the blackout.

Katherine Hawkes was found lying on her back. Because it had been cold that day (windy the evening of the blackout) the body was very rigid. Her clothing was found approximately 5 feet from the body. 15 feet from the body police found a white “bag”, and a brown “bag” containing hair rollers and a tube of Pepsodant toothpaste.  Hawkes was lying approximately 100 feet from the Val Royal train station, and 400 feet north of 4767 Henri Bourassa boule. 

Autopsy

The medical examination is performed on September 22nd at the medical lab at Parthenais in Montreal by Andre Brosseau, assisted by Maurice Labrie. Hawkes was found wearing a beige sock on her right foot, a bra pulled up over her arms, a sweater, and her brown coat. Objects recovered include a neckless and a ring. Results indicate that Hawkes was beaten violently about the head, and raped. She died from a combination of her injuries and exposure to the cold.

Much to discuss about Katherine Hawkes

First, all of the information above is pulled from original police reports and public records, none of it comes from newspapers. When information was released to public archives someone from the Montreal Municipal Police inadvertently included all the police information (Oops!). Just watch how this plays out:

IMG_0167Unlike many of the other cases, Katherine Hawkes has received some recent media attention. In 2003 the Radio Canada television show, Justice avec Simon DeRivage profiled the Hawkes case (link here). At that time the case was in the hands of the RCMP (are you counting the cross-jurisdiction nightmares?) and lead investigator Michael Hanigan made a lot of public noise about the fact that the “killer” apparently telephoned into police the evening of Hawkes’ disappearance to report where the body could be found: “La police possède deux enregistrements du meurtrier, puisque ce dernier a téléphoné à deux reprises à la police pour se dénoncer et indiquer où ce trouvait le corps.”  

At that time, the police were still in possession of the taped recordings (which where played on Justice) and the public was asked to contact the RCMP if anyone recognized the voice:  The person called in twice, and spoke French.

Around 2010 the tapes apparently disappeared. The Montreal police no longer were looking for the public’s assistance, much to the frustration of citizens like myself that simply wanted to solve some crimes. This is witnessed by Kristian Gravenor’s plea on his website Coolopolis, calling for the Montreal police to please re-release the audio recording (link here).

Now this is where it gets interesting. The autopsy report indicates that the police received a call on the evening of September 20th:

“La Police a recu un appel dans la soiree du 20 septembre disant qu’une personne inconne se trouvait morte dans un terrain vacant a l’arriere du 4767 Henri-Bourassa”

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Further, the Montreal Municipal Police report indicates that one of the calls was received at 10:35 pm:

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So my question is this: If police knew as early as 10:35 pm the evening of September 20th, 1977 that a body was located behind 4767 Henri Bourassa, why did it take them until being notified by two students the following day at 5:30 pm to respond?

Stay with me. Remember the audio recording? It’s not lost. I have it. Why do I have it? Because when Radio-Canada / Justice did a 10 minute profile on Katherine Hawkes, they also did a 10 minute profile on Theresa Allore (look here).

Other points

Katherine Hawkes used the Montreal STM bus system. So did Johanne Dorion and Chantal Tremblay. In fact, both Dorion and Tremblay touched the Henri Bourassa line, and Dorion worked in Cartierville just north of where Hawkes lived. Here’s a quick map showing victim transit patterns. The map is interactive: click her and you will be taken to the map. In general the Bus and subway routes follow a grid pattern, so you should be able to extrapolate routes:

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So why not play the audio recording of the Hawkes call-in perp for the Dorion family to see if they recognize it? What harm could that do at this point? Unless the SPVM police are too worried about their embarrassment and failure to arrive at the Hawkes crime scene in a timely manner?

We are beyond that. Show some accountability and responsibility.

Oh there’s more. So Hawkes… found under trees, clothing next to body… What about her shoes? Like Camirand and Allore (and possibly Monast) they were missing. Katherine Hawkes’ shoes were recovered on September 23rd, 1977, a woman walking along rue Grenet sees the shoes in a ditch. The street is the destination from the bus stop towards Katherine Hawkes’ home.

DNA

In addition to sperm samples, the autopsy revealed that Katherine had in her hand three hairs which were analyzed. In addition the 2003 Radio-Canada piece seemed to suggest police still had the DNA (they had not destroyed it as in other cases).  If this is true, the DNA results should be shared with other police agencies to see if there is a match on these other cold cases.

The purse

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Like Monast, Camirand, Choquette, Allore (wallet later recovered), Hawkes purse is missing and never recovered.

Sharron Prior

Where is Sharron Prior in all this? The case was only 2 1/2 years earlier in April 1975. Why was Sharron dropped from the roster of cases?  Did the media / police / public forget? The family didn’t forget: Sharron’s mother had written the Dorion family in August 1977, and the letter was published in the Quebec tabloids. So why was Sharron left out of the Maniaque-Sexuelle equation?

Some possible clues:

Camirand (SQ)

Houle (SQ)

Monast (SQ)

Dorion (Laval, but recent)

Prior?   Longueuil police

Someone – with access to information – needs to be brave enough to answer these questions. 

Update:

  • The vocal tape from the killer: It is proving harder to locate than I originally thought. I was in touch with a contact at Radio Canada who assured me there would not be a problem in locating / providing it. That contact has gone silent. And all of a sudden, many efforts by people more influential than me have been frustrated. It is like we can get everything from the CBC except this.
  • I was told over this weekend by someone who had heard the tape that the French dialect / accent was very distinct, almost like someone from the Gaspe.
  • I was told by someone close to the original case that police did try to go back that evening and find Katherine’s body after the anonymous call, but – because of the blackout – it was too dark, they could not find the body. To which I say? Big deal: that’s what a flashlight is for. I’ve walked the area where Katherine Hawkes was murdered. It would have been easy to find her if you simply had put in the effort to do so. Also, the sunrises at 6:00? Go back in the morning: don’t wait another 12 hours: the first 48 are critical.

Here are some photos I took over the weekend in Montreal:

This demonstrates the proximity between Hawkes and Dorion. Dorion hospital is just beyond the trees. Hawkes shoes were found off rue Grenet:

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Hawkes lived here at 11815 rue Ranger:

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Henri Bourassa et Grenet, Hawkes bus exit is to the left:

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Val Royal train station. Hawkes was murdered just to the left:

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Reverse angle of Hawkes murder site, her body would have been located by the clump of trees. Bus stop would have been to the far left in the rear (Henri-Bourassa). Perspective gives you an indication of just how little geography the police would have needed to search:

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Hawkes shoes were found to the left. South of the railway tracks where body was found: This is just plain bizarre: who does that? Who murders a victim on one side of railway tracks, then travels ACROSS the tracks with the victim’s shoes and deposits them there? To the South (in distance) you see the hospital where Dorion worked:

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Reverse angle of place where Hawkes’ shoes were left. Note from street signs, Hawkes’ residence is just to the right on rue Ranger:

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Update 2:

Here is the audio tape:

 The night of the murder her assailant called the police twice around 10:35 pm and left the following two messages: 

First message:

“I attacked a woman at the corner of Bois Franc and Henri Bourassa. In the bushes to the North West side. Hurry sir, I’m afraid she might die. Thank you.”

Second message:

“Yes, hello, I attacked a woman at the corner of Henri Bourassa and Grenet… Grenet… in Ville Saint Laurent, in the bushes, at the North West corner. Do you understand?  I think you understand well, Sir. At the corner of Grenet and Henri Bourassa. At Ville Saint Laurent, In the bushes at the North West corner.”

Operator: “The woman is still there?”

 “Thank you.”

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Bois Franc is the name of the train station. In the second message he phones back to clarify / be more specific: It’s North West of Henri-Bourassa and rue Grenet.

Now what I find interesting about the voice is this:  At that time the newspaper headlines were screaming about a “Sexual Maniaque” being on the loose. One of the newspapers even warned that police should check all the local mental institutions because obviously a “crazy” patient had escaped.

Listen to the voice. This is a very measured, detailed person. I sent the recording the Surete du Quebec. Marc Lepine of their Cold-Case bureau and I spoke about it last night (he brought it up in fact, not me). “The voice is a very organized guy”, he said.

But the most important point is in the final sentence in the first call: “Hurry sir, I’m afraid she might die”. 

This means Katherine Hawkes was no doubt alive when the call was made.

The autopsy indicates that Hawkes died from a combination of her wounds and exposure to the cold. The beating made her vulnerable, but hypothermia killed her, and that could have been avoided if the police had responded with diligence instead of leaving Katherine Hawkes exposed to the elements all night long.  

There was a chance to save Katherine Hawkes.  Police waited 20 hours before responding, and Katherine Hawkes died.

This is no doubt the reason the Montreal police removed the tape from their website.

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Jocelyne Houle – April 17, 1977

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Jocelyne Houle

24-year-old Jocelyne Houle was a nursing student from Chicoutimi, Quebec. The 5’2″, 100 lbs young woman traveled to Montreal with a group of fellow students to study respiratory therapy for three weeks at The Institute of Cardiology in the city’s Rosemont district.

IMG_0378During her stay Houle was living at a boarding house, The Jeanne Mance Institute at 6675 44e avenue. Wednesday evening, April 13th Houle decides to join seven of her fellow students for a night on the town. They have dinner at The Barnsider which was at 2250 rue Guy. After dinner they decide to go to the Old Munich at Saint Denis and Dorchester (now boule Rene Levesque).  They arrive at 11:30 pm. They drink, they dance, they stay until closing. They leave the club together around 1:30 am with the intention of moving the party up the street to La Caleche on Saint Catherines, just west of Saint Denis (I believe this was – and still is – La Caleche du Sexe, a strip club still in existence to this day). Jocelyne Houle, who was walking apart from the group with two men, never arrived.

Houle disappears

IMG_0376When they arrive at La Caleche the friends discover Houle isn’t there. They go back to the The Old Munich, but Jocelyne isn’t there either. They then decide that Houle must have gone back to the boarding house. Later when they get home, Houle isn’t at the boarding house. Houle is absent from her classes at the Institute of Cardiology on Thursday and Friday  April 14 and 15th. She doesn’t return to her parent’s home in Chicoutimi at the end of the week.

Discovery of the body

On Sunday, April 17th Houle’s body is discovered about an hour north of Montreal near Saint Calixte. She is found off a gravel road, Rang 5 about 8 feet in from the road lying face down in a few inches of water. Houle is found half-naked and badly beaten about the face and head. Her purse is lying next to her.


IMG_0389First to arrive on the scene at 11:00 am  are P Renaud of the Saint Jerome Surete du Quebec, and Reynald Vincent of the SQ in Rawdon. They are soon joined by Raymond Girard, Victor Judd, Gilles Vachon, Fernand Yelle and Normand Vien of the Surete du Quebec in Montreal. Yelle and Vien both worked the O’Brien / Fisher murders in 1974 and 1975 in Chateauguay.

MEDICALThe coroner on the scene is Rene Raymond. The body is taken to Montreal and the autopsy to performed by Andre Lauzon at the SQ Parthenais headquarters. The autopsy confirms that Houle was beaten to death. She had a fractured jaw, and many facial injuries caused by “kicks or punches”.  Houle had been raped, possibly my several persons. Houle was still wearing some of her clothing, including her bra, which was torn. Investigators conclude that Houle was not killed at the Saint Calixte location, only dumped there.

Analysis

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The above image is the full page from Allo Police, May 1, 1977 (it looks a little funny because I had to splice the top and bottom together).

Initially, the Surete du Quebec and the media focused all their attention on a possible connection between the Houle murder and the death of Louis Camirand. There reasoning appears to be this:

  1. Camirand was murdered three weeks earlier.
  2. Both Camirand and Houle were found in remote wooded areas.
  3. Both victims were raped.
  4. Both victims were in their 20s.

Linking Houle and Camirand was also a matter of convenience: both cases were assigned to the Surete du Quebec.

The media also seemed to fixate on the fact that both victims were engaged to be married: Tragic, but hardly evidentiary (I don’t think we’re chasing the “Engagement Killer”).

When you think of it, given what was known at the time, the Surete du Quebec was really linking the wrong cases:

  1. Camirand was found almost completely naked, Houle was partially clothed.
  2. Houle was badly beaten about the face and head, Camirand did not appear to be touched around the head area.

Here is the front page of Allo police on May 1, 1977:

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Look familiar? It should. It is practically identical to the Sharron Prior crime scene. Here is Photo Police April 17, 1975:

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  1. Prior and Houle both have their socks and shoes left on.
  2. Prior and Houle are both beaten about the face.
  3. Prior and Houle both disappear from the island of Montreal and are dumped off the inland in Longueuil and Saint Calixte.

Finally, the clue to the fact that the police were looking at the wrong crime lies in the page above showing the picture of Houle next to the photo of Camirand with her fiancee. The picture the Surete du Quebec should have been focused on is the one below Houle of the unidentified victim (read more about her here) who was found wrapped in a blanket on chemin du Lac in Longueuil, the very street where Sharron Prior’s body had been discarded two years earlier almost to the date that Unidentified was found (Prior was found April 1st 1975,  Unidentified was found April 2nd, 1977).

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I would even suggest the Surete du Quebec might have forgotten about the Prior case after 2 years, because it was not part of their unsolved portfolio. The Prior file was in the portfolio of the Longeueil Police.

There is even evidence to suggest linking Houle to other similar cases in the East End area of Montreal that occurred later. In the cases of Lison Blais and Denise Bazinet we have a profile of the victims out late at night in the club scene of Saint Denis (Partying) before disappearing and eventually being found murdered. This is in fact what Houle was doing with her friends at the Old Munich. So is there a profile here of a perpetrator who was stalking victims in bars?

Eventually, we shall see  – as more cases are added on – Prior again becomes part of the picture, but at this early stage of investigation the SQ lost valuable time by focusing on the wrong cases.

One final thought.

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Saint Calixte is quite a distance from Montreal. It is the farthest away any of these victims were dumped.  

I can’t quite understand what would have brought the perpetrators from downtown Montreal all the way north to Saint Calixte. Though I do note that Saint-Anne-des-Plaines is along the way, home to the infamous Archambault prison (at the time, a maximum security facility)

It’s a puzzle.

CASE UPDATE, APRIL 21, 2018

Recall that on the night she disappeared, April 17, 1977, Jocelyne Houle left the Old Munich on her way to La Caleche, which was a strip-bar on Ste. Catherines street. Her body was later found in the woods off Range 5 in Ste-Calixte.

In September 1977 the skeletal remains of two young women were found in the woods side-by-side off Range 4 in Ste. Calixte. They were later identified as 21 year old Francine Loiselle and 18 year old Suzanne Morrow, two strippers from Longueuil and Laval respectively. The newspaper La Presse reports that the Surete du Quebec are working on a theory of suicide. The coroner ruled that the remains had been in the woods since at least June of 1977.  If you look on a map, Range 4 turns into Range 5.

September 29, 1977 / Francine Loiselle et Suzanne Morrow

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Lise Choquette – April 22, 1975

Lise Choquette

Less than three weeks after Sharon Prior is found the body of Lise Choquette (30 years of age, 5’1″, 141 lbs) is discovered by Alexandre Aube, an employee with Corrival in Laval. Aube was working construction on the then new 440 autoroute when he found her naked body  near the construction site of the Viaduc Vimont at approximately 11:00 am on Tuesday, April 22, 1975.  Choquette was found lying in the mud approximately 275 feet behind Quebec Ciment, a company at 101 Chemin Haut-St. Francois, in Laval.

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The investigators on the scene were M. Lafond and Andre Lebrun of the Laval police, assisted by Sgt Det Fred Funaro and SD Jean Guy Sauve. Choquette was beaten and strangled, and found only with a tie around her neck ( grey tie with a black circles made by “Caporicci”). The tie was “very tight” around her neck.  There was a small amount of blood around her nose.  Her clothing was found about 200 feet away from the body. She had no identification or jewelry, though police know that Choquette wore a ring. The body had not been disposed at the location for a very long time.

Choquette

Choquette lived at 2247 rue Lariviere,  about a block away from the headquarters of the Surete du Quebec on rue Parthenais. 

Choquette’s residence was about a 10 minute drive from where Denise Bazinet lived, at 4252 rue Brebeuf. Bazinet’s residence is a 10 minute walk from where Lison Blais lived and died, at 4685 avenue Christophe Colomb.

Choquette lived in the apartment building to the left, 2247 Lariviere

Choquette lived in the apartment building to the left, 2247 Lariviere

Choquette was found near the construction site of the Viaduc Vimont in Laval. The location is interesting because it places Choquette directly between where Chantal Tremblay was last seen (the Henri Bourassa metro station), and where Tremblay lived / remains were discovered in Terrebonne (for more Tremblay information, click here)

Medicale Legale

choquette

The body was identified by Choquette’s mother, Emelide Choquette who lived at 6668 44e in Montreal. The case was lead by Sergent Detective Alfred Funaro of the Laval Police. The chief coroner was Maurice C Laniel, assistent by Andre Brosseau (pathologiste). 

In a sworn statement to Andre Gauthier, a Surete du Quebec stenographer,  on November 6, 1975 (on behalf of the coroner’s office), Funaro declared that he had interrogated several persons, but without results, and that the investigation was ongoing. Choquette suffered a “violent death”, but the police needed to continue their work, and report back in future.

For the moment the case was une “Enquete sine die”, a “postponed investigation”.

Autopsy

The actual autopsy report determines the cause of death more specifically: “strangulation and connected contusions” about her head. So Choquette was strangled and beaten about the head.  There were no signs of alcohol in her system.

The autopsy was performed by Andre Brosseau at the demande of Roch Heroux at the Parthenais medical laboratory. There was no evidence of sperm in the vagina area.

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Update August 2017:  Police suggest connection between murders of Choquette and ”lady of the river Nation“:  (click here) 

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