1. What a brilliant episode and research on the history of Canada in 1970s. So sad about 28-year-old David Cross and his family and his Mohawk tribe. Shame on Sûreté du Québec and Canadian Justice system. Knowing the history of Canada and about those events puts it into perspective and we can get a sense of the context on how Sûreté du Québec in the late ‘70’s operated and why all those senseless murders happened and how come they were never resolved.

  2. I remember the hostility between the francophone SQ and the non-francophone population of Quebec. Policing is about convincing people to conform to a broad set of behaviours. If the social institution, in the form of police, do not have the trust or respect of those involved, there is little hope of change. In the late 70s I also remember Mohawks from Kahnawake attending Champlain College, and how some of them had trouble fitting in to the sleepy-paced school community. It was like they were living at a faster pace.

    In 1990 I was a soldier posted in Montreal. ‘Before the army got involved’, a group of us were ordered to go to Oka, mostly to count C7 rifles which the army had loaned the SQ. When they threw up their perimeter, the patrol officers only had their revolvers and 12-ga shotgun – the Mohawks were significantly better armed. Yes, we found all two-dozen odd rifles. Their counts had been fumbled at shift change and there never was a problem.

    As a bilingual Anglo and wearing a civilian suit, I took the opportunity to speak with many of the cops at the school where they’d set up a forward command post. I noticed one cop’s name badge was ROBOCOP, so I struck up a conversation. I could speak army to him without accusations. He’d been part of the SWAT mission in front of the Mohawk defences on the edge of the forest. He was probably a uniform not a tactical officer. I forget exactly. The column of rented vans and SQ patrol cars drove back and forth in front of them for a hour before eventually stopping. Don’t forget all summer long had been one challenge by the authorities after another, each scoffed and rejected by the residents of the reserves. Were the SQ getting up the courage to confront the boys, women and ordinary townspeople? Were the SQ taunting the Warriors, probably the most aggressive of those present, to shoot first? Were the Mohawks in disbelief that the SQ would be so self-sacrificing and blundering as to intentionally unload and form up in full view in front of the most heavily armed trenches and improvised barriers? Did someone at the SQ simply believe their presence would overawe the Mohawks? Who knows, but David Cross and the other confrontations must have been on everyone’s minds. And we know how the summer and early fall of 1990 played out.

  3. It’d seem Cross wasn’t a little angel either. What you’d expect to be pursued, hit a policemen car and fight the same police? Where I come from, a shot in the head and that’s it. You don’t mess with them because you’re supposed to know what’s coming next

      1. From a country where law is supposed to be respected. Stop whining, cops from US would make worst things than only shoot you. Ohh of course, you’re canadian, where you think you can do what the fuck ever you want

          1. Hahaha even worst, american citizen and whining for nonsense. Stop playing cheap activism and better go buy a gun at the store, the best thing you americans know about

          2. Thanks for writing this. You are right to connect the events. I met Matthew at Concordia in the 1980’s. He was a very decent and wise young man who missed his brother terribly. He, his family and the people of Kahnawake deserved much better and much more respect. The Oka crisis is only one result of this stupid, abusive stance toward native people in Quebec.

  4. To “Nobody”: Your internet guise of anonymity suits your flippant responses. John has gone to a tremendous amount of effort to expose poor policing in Quebec. The cops were unprofessional and utterly unequipped to investigate the kind of crimes happening all around them.

    I grew up in Lennoxville. I was at Champlain College during the time his sister was murdered, and was tangentially aware of one other of the serial killer’s victims. Hell! I used to drink in one particular bar he so eloquently categorizes. John’s from the outside looking in point of view is so much more dispassionate than had someone like myself attempted to research the way he has.

    1. Whatever you say pal. Other facts can’t deface the reality on which that indian guy, David Cross, challenged the police and looked for his own death. Period

        1. Ohhhh look at you, being afraid of calling people by his name. Wake up, even them are PROUD of being called by what they are. But let me guess, you are either “politically correct” or just a simple activist wannabe.

Leave a Reply