One Christmas – though it might have been her birthday – my sister, Theresa asked for a Rolling Stones record. My parents grew up in the age of crooners like Peggy Lee and Mel Tormé. They tolerated The Beatles, they had little patience for the bad-boy antics of The Stones. But she begged them for a Stones record. So reluctantly, my parents bought her a copy that holiday of their most recent release, Goats Head Soup. We lived in a small house in the Montreal suburbs. My bedroom was directly adjacent to Theresa’s. I will never forget my mother’s instant outrage at Mick Jagger’s tinny voice pressing the limits of an RCA portable stereo unit singing Star Star – repeatedly, relentlessly:
“You a starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, star
Yeah, a starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, star
A starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, starfucker star.”
Over and over, to the shock and outrage of every suburban parent, and the absolute delight of every ’70s teenager. There was some exchange like, “you get that filth off of there right now!” , and Theresa in goading defiance, “What? It’s just a song!” I can laugh about it today, in fact, I laugh myself to hysterics. I recently asked my mother if she remembered this event. She didn’t but she told me, “I never cared for Mick Jagger, and I never liked The Rolling Stones.”
I would like you to stop thinking of the deaths of Louise Camirand, Manon Dube and Theresa Allore as connected cases. The basis for that argument was something suggested by criminologist, Kim Rossmo when he recommended – based on the geographic proximity of the crimes – that Quebec Police look at the cases together. It was supported by another criminologist who stated that it is “statistically improbable” that a serial killer didn’t commit three similar murders in the space of 19 months in the Eastern Townships. These are just theories, an hypothesis.
Today, the Surete du Quebec recognize Kim Rossmo as “the Godfather of geographic profiling” and many of their investigators are trained and certified in these techniques. In the early 2000s we asked the investigating police force on all three of these cases, the Surete du Quebec, to consider this theory. We didn’t say that it was confirmed. They are the experts, so we asked them to look into it. And they did. They looked at all three cases. in the SQ’s words, ‘you made us do our homework’.
I will also say that there was a time when it was expedient to connect the cases. Three is better than one. It attracts more media interest. You get more people’s attention, perhaps people will talk about it and come forward with information. The problem with this approach is the same problem with the “drug overdose” theory held by original Surete du Quebec investigator, Roch Gaudreault about my sister, Theresa Allore’s death. When people hear too much about a theory, they may shut down. They hear ‘drug overdose’ and they think, “well, my piece of information must be irrelevant because the police are saying drugs”. Over-emphasizing a theory of a serial killer can have the same effect. People with legitimate information may no longer come forward thinking, “well, I knew this guy or this thing that happened, it was kind of weird, but they are now saying, ‘serial killer’, so I must be wrong.”
Over-emphasis of any single theory can be damaging. It’s one of the reasons police are always cautious in committing to theories. How they choose words may sound like pussyfooting, that they are being wishy-washy, but what they are actually doing is protecting the integrity of a case.
I would also like you to stop thinking of a dead Sherbrooke offender named Luc Gregoire as the number one suspect in my sister’s murder. That too is just a theory. To keep repeating that idea can have the same effect as mentioned above, people with credible information may think there is no longer a need to come forward.
I say this because since the publication of Wish You Were Here a better suspect(s) has come to light. A suspect / suspects that both myself and the Surete du Quebec agree is very credible and worth pursuing. The suspect(s) was developed independently, by myself and the SQ, and when we came together and compared notes we found that we had both been chasing the same suspect(s).
It is someone remarkably similar to the profile of Luc Gregoire. They lived, and were involved in the criminal activity that took place along King and Wellington in Sherbrooke, Quebec in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They had a long history of arrests and offenses. Ideas evolve. And so, as I suggested in the post, Folie a Deux, I would like you to consider another theory, not of a serial killer, but the idea that all sorts of people were getting away with some very bad things, including murder in Sherbrooke in the late 1970s. We will get to Manon Dube and Louise Camirand shortly, for the moment I would like to give an overview and update on my sister’s case, Theresa Allore. Keep in mind what we said in Folie a Deux, that the Quebec police received a phone call from a witness documenting something they observed in the fall of 1978. The person was driving in the area of Lennoxville – Compton. They observed a vehicle with three individuals inside chasing a young woman who was running down the road. So read what I am about to tell you keeping that in mind.
And perhaps one other idea. In the matter of what we talked about last time in The Night of the Long Knives: if members of biker gangs like the Gitans could be acquitted of murders that occurred on the main streets of Sherbrooke, in broad view of the public, what else could they have gotten away with?
November 3, 1978
Theresa had been a student at Champlain Regional College, a CEGEP in Lennoxville, Quebec, just south of the city of Sherbrooke for about 8 weeks when she disappeared on Friday, November 3, 1978. At the time of her disappearance her hair was long and frizzy, she had recently gotten a perm, so reddish-brown with tight curls, as was the fashion at that time. She was wearing dark slacks, a t-shirt and a long, beige sweater – almost like a coat. It was warm that Friday in the Townships, and this accounts for the clothing she chose to wore for school that day.
Her classes were in Lennoxville, but the student dorm where she lived was in the village of Compton – at King’s Hall, approximately 10 kilometers south of the Champlain campus. About 200 students lived there. From what we know, that Friday was a typical school day. She took a school bus into Lennoxville. She had classes in the morning. She saw friends at lunchtime in the school dining area. At lunch she told friends she intended to return to Compton that evening and do some homework. Around six pm, a friend on one of the buses returning to Compton saw Theresa standing on campus. So she missed that bus. The next bus would not arrive until about 11 pm. That is the last sighting of Theresa Allore, around 6 pm, Friday, November 3, 1978.
Theresa wasn’t noticed as missing until about the following mid-week. She wasn’t reported as missing until the following Friday, November 10. The first articles to hit the newspapers didn’t appear until 12 days later, on Tuesday, November 14. She was missing all that winter. Her body wasn’t found until after the spring thaw, on Good Friday, April 13, 1979. A muskrat trapper found Theresa in a small body of water on the edge of a cornfield about 1 1/2 kilometers between Compton and Compton Station, not far from her school dorm, at the base of a valley that runs between the two villages.
She was in her underwear. Her clothing was never found. A garbage bag of clothing was found by the side of the road near where her body was found. It was women’s clothing, but not Theresa’s. Early in the missing persons investigation two hunters came forward to say they saw clothing in the woods near Memphremagog on the morning of Saturday, November 4, 1978 – dark pants and a t-shirt. Police went to the site the hunters described but never found the clothing. Theresa was lying face down in the water. The coroner who arrived on scene noted marks of strangulation on her neck.
About a week after the body was recovered, Theresa’s wallet was found at the side of the road about 16 kilometers away along chemin Macdonald. Chemin Macdonald is a back entrance to the city of Sherbrooke, and not far from Lennoxville. The wallet contained all of her papers and identification. There was no money in the wallet.
Because of the length of time the body was in the water – 5 1/2 months – the autopsy results proved inconclusive. For some reason, the marks of strangulation observed by the Sherbrooke coroner, were not detected by the pathologist who conducted the autopsy in Montreal. They were able to conduct a full toxicological analysis and concluded there were no drugs in her system at the time of death. The final coroner’s verdict, submitted in 1983 made a determination of “violent death of undetermined nature”.
“The link that he made with your sister is really weak”
What is the one piece of evidence that tells you Theresa was the victim of a crime? This question was put to me by the Surete du Quebec and I answered without hesitation: the wallet. The disposal of the wallet 16 kilometers away tells you that this wasn’t suicide or drug overdose, or accidental death. The single most damaging thing to the investigation was SQ detective Roch Gaudreault going on national television, as he did in the 2005 W-5 program and stating, “I’m still convinced of a drug overdose.” More recent SQ investigators have stated, rather politely, “It was not cautious to have said that.” They elaborated that in criminal investigations, you follow the evidence. They had never heard of a police investigator going against the evidence that determined “no drugs” in Theresa’s system. I’ll go further. In 2003 the Surete du Quebec had the toxicological evidence re-tested with modern techniques. Again, “no drugs”. And this time, “no alcohol” as well. Finally, a reminder that when Roch Gaudreault was asked how he accounted for the wallet being 16 kilometers away from the victim, his response was that wild animals could have carried it there.
The official position of the Surete du Quebec regarding Theresa’s case is in line with what they have posted on their cold case website; they consider her death a “crime”, and “all the leads resulting from the investigation were, and continue to be, studied.”
In conversations with the SQ they elaborated on this position. This is my summary of their thoughts:
‘Murder is the main hypothesis. Suicide is not. Drugs is not. A victim of a crime is the hypothesis because of the wallet… Sexual murder could be a consideration. If strangulation is the mode of the murder, then is it hands or a ligature? Was she strangled from the front or the back? All of these things must be considered…. For now we would say, we are about 75% certain Theresa was the victim of a crime, but we hold back about 25% because we don’t know. There could be other information that we just don’t know.’
For myself, I would say that probably for the first time, my thinking is exactly aligned with the Surete du Quebec. And now you know all this information – the circumstances of the case, the thoughts of the police, you know there is a suspect, a good suspect to consider in this matter. You also know the Quebec police received a phone call from a witness documenting something they observed in the fall of 1978. The person was driving in the area of Lennoxville – Compton in the fall of 1978. They observed a vehicle with three individuals inside chasing a young woman who was running down the road. Don’t become too attached to this information, but bear it in mind.
Finally, with all this to consider, I would asked the public – in particular people of the Sherbrooke area – to cast their thoughts back to the autumn of 1978, and I would ask them, What do you remember?