The Wallet

Allo Police photo of wallet from April, 1979
Professor Pierre Blackburn from Sherbrooke University, who specializes in heuristics and is reading Criminal Investigative Failures writes,
“…and when was the wallet found ? did it not automatically discredit the overdose theory ?”

I have discussed this frequently, but it is always worth repeating. The simple answers are, “A week after the body was found”, and “No”.
The lead inspector, Roch Gaudrault reasoned that finding the wallet by the side of the road, 10 miles away from where the body was found was irrelevant. To quote the detective, “Wild animals could have carried the wallet there”.
Wild animals… traveling 10 miles… being careful so as to not allow the contents to spill from the wallet…. being careful not to leave any bite marks… wild animals, carefully using the organized travel patterns of humans, keeping to the roads, and leaving the evidence by the side of a road.
The kicker here is that M. Gaudreault, after retirement became and “expert” adjunct professor at Sherbrooke University, influencing an entire generation of new cadets on what he considered proper policing procedures.  That’s right, the same cegep / school where Professor Blackburn now teaches students on psychology, heuristics and the dangers of cognitive bias. 
There is some good in all of this. Professor Blackburn has been granted permission to translate two chapters from Kim Rossmo’s book into French. It is his goal to use the chapters as a module for teaching new students about cognitive bias traps, and proper policing technologies. 
Full circle.

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