First, my apologies for my absence: first I got really really busy, then I got really really sick.
Everyone eventually (and really) wants to know about any current developments in Theresa’s case. Usually I can’t talk too much about that, but I am willing to discuss this:
Last summer an anonymous donor came forward offering $10,000 for information that might lead to solving my sister’s murder. The situation was sticky because in order to do rewards properly you usually need the help and cooperation of the local police authority, in this case, the Surete du Quebec (SQ). So I went to the SQ and asked if they’d be willing to work with us on this (answer phones, take tips, etc…).
There were a lot of opinions. The SQ was initially reluctant. They don’t like the idea of chasing down a lot of false leads and creating a lot of false hope. I tend to agree with them here; you offer strangers money and they are likely to say anything to please you and themselves. Also, it can be very traumatic for the family of victims to go through all that (the false hope).
Initially things were looking pretty good. Kim Rossmo weighed in indicating that the reward amount was in the right ballpark (not too big, not too small…). My SQ contact approached the SQ cold case squad and their initial feeling was that they would do it, they just wanted to check on a few things. Well, last week I got the final word (that’s right, it took approximately 6 months to get a final answer out of them, no surprises there): they will not work with us on offering a $10,000 reward on the grounds that Theresa’s case “does not fit their criteria for rewards” because the SQ still regards the case as a “suspicious death”.
For those of you who have been playing along for the last ten years, you know how bitterly funny all this is. For those of you new to the case (and you can find a brief summary here on my Wikipedia page), let me explain it to you: The SQ has long regarded the case a “suspicious death” because there is no primary evidence of a murder, but the SQ threw out all evidence from the case in 1983 (clothing) just five years after she died, when the case was still unsolved.
I hate having an adversarial relationship with the Quebec police, I really do. But they bring it on themselves. Their decision forces me (again) to work against them and offer a reward outside their circle of influence, thus inviting media scrutiny as to why we are not working together; and I guess ultimately, that’s fine with me: Media brings attention, and attention is the only thing that solves cold cases.
So I have a request in to Crimestoppers to see if they would be willing to administer the reward outside the influence of the SQ, but while I wait for a response, I ask you readers, what would you do in this situation?