I attended Trinity College with Malcolm Gladwell at the University of Toronto. In the course of the last thirty years we have attended two weddings together; one infamous and bombastic, the other sweet and unforgettable.
This is a slightly longer version of an an interview I did with Malcolm for GovLove International, a podcast about emerging issues and trends in local government. If you’re wondering what links a conversation with Malcolm Gladwell and a website about unsolved murders consider the issues of social justice:
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, 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
Suzanne-Marie Bernier, a 62-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted October 17, 1979 in Cartierville, Montreal
Nicole Raymond, a 26-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted on November 14, 1979 in Pointe-Claire, Montreal
Louise Poupart-Leblanc, a 37-years-old woman who was stabbed 17 times and sexually assaulted on September 26, 1987 in Saint-Adèle, Laurentides
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.
Suzanne-Marie Bernier, Cartierville, Montreal, October 17, 1979
Nicole Raymond, Pointe-Claire, Montreal November 14, 1979
Hazel Scattolon, Mount Royal March 21, 1981. Stabbed 27 times.
(series of violent rapes in the 1980s / Plumber Rapes)
Louise Poupart-Leblanc, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides September 26, 1987
Pauline Laplante, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides June 9, 1989
Janet Kuckinsky, West island July 1999
Anna Yarnold, Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal) October 15, 1999
Monique Gaudreau, Sainte-Agathe, October 29, 1999
Teresa Shanahan, Laval, Quebec November 19 1999
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.
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.
Donc, le monde s’élève à nouveau à propos de la dernière transgression géographique de Karla Homolka.
Hier, la Gazette de Montréal a rapporté que le tueur en série canadien a supervisé les enfants de la maternelle de l’Académie Adventiste de Greaves lors d’une excursion en mars et une fois amené son chien à l’école pour les élèves d’animaux de compagnie. Les trois enfants d’Homolka fréquentent l’école privée.
Comme tout parent, je suis outragé. Maintenant, dites-moi comment vous allez mieux gérer la situation. C’est une école privée. L’école connaissait son histoire. Ils ont apparemment pris la décision que tout le monde mérite une seconde chance. Leur décision.
Dans l’affaire pénale contre Karla Homolka, la poursuite lui a donné un accord de cœur doux, après 12 ans de prison, elle a marché en 2005. Encore une fois, leur décision (…effroyable). Au printemps dernier, nous avons appris que Homolka vivait dans la communauté de Chateauguay à la rive sud de Montréal, et le monde était de nouveau indigné. Eh bien, elle doit vivre quelque part? Nous ne la lancerons pas devant les murs de la société.
Je me souviens très bien d’avoir parlé avec un administrateur des services correctionnels de la Colombie-Britannique il y a quelques années, qui a parlé de l’arrestation d’un délinquant sexuel enregistré dans son quartier. Elle a cuit une assiette de biscuits, et elle et sa fille ont traversé la rue pour les présenter à l’homme:
“Salut, bienvenue dans le quartier. Je m’appelle Jane Smith, je travaille pour le département des services correctionnels”
Traduction: “Salut,” Jane Jane, je sais que vous êtes “.
Le point était très simple. Bienvenue, mais je vais regarder. Confiance, mais vérifiez.
Lorsque mes enfants étaient plus jeunes, j’avais l’habitude de passer du temps à sondage périodique de la base de données des délinquants sexuels pour voir qui était entré dans le quartier. Je me suis rapidement arrêté parce qu’il y avait trop d’aller et venir, et je n’avais pas beaucoup des biscuits. Mieux vaut apprendre à mes enfants à être vigilants et à NE PAS CONFIER LES HOMMES. Difficile, je sais, mais pourquoi ne pas couper à la poursuite.
À plus d’attention, je préfère avoir Leanne Teale – le nom d’Homolka qui utilise actuellement – vivant dans mon quartier parce que j’ai identifié la menace, je pourrais atténuer les risques.
Dans tout cela, je crains que les gens manquent d’un problème plus important; La menace d’Homolka pourrait être réelle, et les panneaux d’avertissement sont profondément tissés dans le tissu de l’histoire de Montréal.
En choisissant de vivre sur la rive sud de Montréal, Homolka a sélectionné une communauté avec une histoire tragique remarquablement similaire à celle de Saint Catherines, en Ontario, où Paul Bernardo et Homolka ont menacé les meurtres brutaux de Leslie Mahaffy, âgée de 14 ans, et de 15 ans Kirsten French.
Norma O’Brien and Debbie Fisher
En 1974-75, la ville de Châteauguay a été secouée par les disparitions et les meurtres de Norma O’Brien, 12 ans, et Debbie Fisher, âgée de 14 ans. Dans un délai d’un an, un jeune délinquant qui s’appelait le chasseur de Châteauguay (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) a été arrêté, mais la communauté n’a jamais complètement récupéré.
Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy
Aller au printemps dernier et avoir une idée de la véritable source de l’indignation de la communauté. Remarquablement, aucune agence de presse ne s’est inquiété de souligner ” l’ironie” d’Homolka en choisissant cette ville. Un journaliste m’a dit à l’époque que «ils ne voulaient pas encore traumatiser les gens», comme si, en tant que société, nous ne pouvions pas avoir de discussions difficiles. Lorsque les médias brouillent de telles conversations, ils font plus de dégâts que de bien, ce qui laisse les communautés à aucun autre recours, mais à la fessée des tours dans les cirques des médias sociaux (et ils n’ont aucun scrupule de remuer ce pot de merde).
Et est-ce que Homolka peut-on se qualifier “d’ironique” à Chateauguay? N’est-il pas possible qu’elle ait délibérément choisi cette communauté parce qu’elle lui était aussi familière que Saint Catherines? Une petite communauté de banlieue, une histoire de tragédie avec deux jeunes victimes d’âge similaire à Mahaffy et French, qui ressemblent physiquement à Mahaffy et French. Homolka a-t-elle appris la tragédie pendant son séjour dans la prison du Québec? Les détenus parlent de ces choses. En bref, Homolka a-t-il choisi Chateauguay parce qu’il se sentait à la maison?
Si vous pensez que l’idée d’un délinquant obligé de ré-vivre les expériences horribles des crimes, le sujet de la fiction considère ceci:
Gilles Pimparé, montré à gauche en 1979 Gilles Pimparé, emprisonné depuis 1979 pour le brutal et infâme meurtre du pont Jacques-Cartier de Maurice Marcil, 14 ans, et Chantal Dupont, 15 ans, a été renvoyée à la libération conditionnelle six fois en 13 ans. Remarquablement, la famille Dupont l’a pardonné, en achetant son histoire qu’il «aimait Chantal trop, c’est pourquoi il devait la tuer». Mais l’une des principales raisons pour lesquelles Pimparé n’a jamais été libéré? Il a gardé un porn stash sur son disque dur qui avait des photos de jeunes filles nues posant au pont Jacques Cartier pour soutenir les décennies de sa paraphilique après les meurtres commis (vous pouvez le consulter en vérifiant ses dossiers de libération conditionnelle).
Je me demande si Homolka avait une intention particulière quand elle a choisi de vivre à Châteauguy. Si j’étais journaliste d’investigation? Je voudrais vérifier si les corrections / libération conditionnelle l’ont assignée à Chateauguy ou si elle l’a choisi.
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.
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.
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:
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.
An Interview with criminologist Dr. Kim Rossmo, whose pioneer work lead to the creation of the field of geographic profiling:
Rossmo joined the Vancouver Police Department as a civilian employee in 1978 and became a sworn officer in 1980. In 1987 he received a master’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University and in 1995 became the first police officer in Canada to obtain a doctorate in criminology. His dissertation research resulted in a new criminal investigative methodology called geographic profiling.
In 1995, he was promoted to detective inspector and founded a geographic profiling section within the Vancouver Police Department. In 1998, his analysis of cases of missing sex trade workers determined that a serial killer was at work, a conclusion ultimately vindicated by the arrest and conviction of Robert Pickton in 2002. A retired Vancouver police staff sergeant has claimed that animosity toward Rossmo delayed the arrest of Pickton, leaving him free to carry out additional murders. His analytic results were not accepted at the time and after a dispute with senior members of the department he left in 2001. His unsuccessful lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Board for wrongful dismissal exposed considerable apparent dysfunction within that department.
After serving as director of research at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2003, he moved to Texas State University where he currently holds the Endowed Chair in Criminology and is director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Since then, he has applied techniques of geographic profiling to counterterrorism, animal foraging, and epidemiology. He has also researched and published on the subject of criminal investigative failures. He has written three books.
At the conclusion of this interview Kim very kindly wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I have done a lot of interviews over the years and your questions today were really good. I could tell you put a lot of thought and planning into this.”
Emma’s Acres is a farm that employs survivors/victims, ex-offenders and offenders.
They produce vegetables, herbs and fruits – grown naturally without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – on an 8-acre property in the beautiful Mission Valley in Southern British Columbia, just miles from the Washington border of the United States.
The produce is sold at the Mission City Farmers’ Market, and to local restaurants and stores. They also make donations to local non profits in the District of Mission including the food banks and the community kitchen.
At the heart of LINC / Emma’s Acres are Sherry and Glen Flett. It’s their idea, and they started the venture not long after Glen was paroled in 2006. Glen was an accomplice to the murder of Ted Van Sluytman, 40, at a Hudson’s Bay store after a robbery in Toronto on March 27, 1978. Flett was convicted of second-degree murder and served 20 years in prison.
Glen is also featured in the documentary. I have met Glen, and we still correspond occasionally, mainly because we both live and despair each hockey season over the fate of our beloved Habs.
I’m not trying to make light of Glen’s transgression. I do think, however, that Glen made a mistake, served his punishment, and it’s time to forgive. Glen deserves to be humanized, not forever regarded as a criminal.
Emma’s Acres isn’t for everyone. There will always be the sort that will try to game the system. Some offenders cannot be rehabilitated. But for those that are willing to walk the path? Thank God – and Sherry and Glen – for Emma’s Acres.
I’ve never held vengeance in my heart for offenders. It is one of the reasons I was able to reach out to Luc Gregoire in prison shortly before he died, and no doubt one of the reasons he wrote back to me. I didn’t approach him as a criminal. I simply wanted to know if he murdered my sister. Had he affirmed that, I would have had a second, more important question: Why? What happened to you along the way, and what can we do to ensure that you never do something like that again? In some cases the answer is, “never let them engage with society again”. But in other cases the response is, “Give them a second chance”.
I do know this. The answer is not the current justice model in the United States: Endless incarceration. Eradication of mental health funding. Treating drug dependency (prescription or other ) as a crime, not an illness. If that is your model, then don’t be surprised that you are shooting innocent people in the streets over a simple stop-and-frisk.
I sometimes joke with Sherry that when I retire, I’m moving to Emma’s Acres. I’m only half joking. It would be very redeeming to work a field through the day’s light, knowing that the ultimate goal was my welfare, my well-being. Maybe some day.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the unsolved murder of Melanie Cabay.
First, I am aware of all those cases you speak of, and I believe Poirier Enquette is doing stories on both Cabay and Marie-Ève Larivière. I am happy to help you with anything. I have been asked before to take my research into the 80s and 90s: I haven’t done that because I find the work exhausting / disturbing: I can’t do everything. But I am happy to assist anyone with my ideas.
I will offer a few things:
On the one hand, there are similarities with the cases I researched and the cases you bring up from the 1990s: abductions in cities, with bodies being disposed of on the frontier of cities. Clothing scattered. These may be patterns of a single offender. On the other hand they may also be patterns of simply what offenders do: You don’t “shit where you eat” as they say in english. So you don’t want a body around where you live and play (in this case “play” = stalking and killing women). The clothing scattered: this may be what all offenders do in a panic: they dump the body: they don’t want anything associated with the body near them, in their car, etc… so they get rid of it quickly: I don’t think in any of these cases we are talking about the rape and murder occurring at the site where they were found: the rape and murder (in the cases where this happened) occurred somewhere else, THEN they dumped the bodies.
So again, could this be the work of one person? Possibly. I am more inclined to think it is maybe 4 or 5 similar offenders, who repeated several crimes, and who copycatted each other (if you observe that a woman in the early seventies gets raped and murdered and the police do nothing about it? maybe this inspires a criminal: maybe they think they can get away with it too. Better still, if they copy it, maybe the other guy will get blamed for it. Understand?) This happened in London, Ontario in the 70s, so it is not unprecedented:
That the murders in the Montreal / Sherbrooke area stopped around 1981 may be attributed to many things:
1. Offender moves away
2. Offender gets arrested for some other crime, is in prison for an extended period.
But there is another element. Around 1981 the Quebec police stopped being so generous in sharing information. Up until 1981 there was a fairly fluid relationship between the police and the media in Quebec (The offices of Allo Police were across the street from the Surete du Qubec’s Montreal headquarters on Parthenais). The crime scene photographers were quasi-journalist / civilian police staff. As a result, a lot of information about victims and crimes was accessible, and still is accessible. After 1981, the policy with Quebec police must have changed. You can see it in the crime archives at Rouge Media / Allo Police: the files from the 70s are filled with all kinds of things, from photos to police reports. When you research the the files from the late 80s? All of that is gone. There are only newspaper clippings. There are none, or very little source documents.
What I am suggesting is that maybe there were other murders, we just never heard of them because the Quebec police closed its doors.
So I will get to the question you are ultimately asking: could one serial killer be responsible from the 70s up until now: from Prior to Allore to Cabay to Cedrika Provencher, and all of the others along the way?
Highly improbable when you look at the length of the timeline 40 years? An offender in their 70s today. Improbable, but possible.
More probable? We are talking about several offenders with overlapping timelines. This is just an example:
Offender 1: Prior, Houle, Leakey (75 to 81).
Offender 2: Camirand, Allore, Bazinet – goes to jail then – Cabay? (77 – 94) Maybe.
Offender 3: Nicole Gaudreault – moves from Montreal to Sherbrooke, gets a good job, has a stable life, dormant for decades, then a crisis happens, he re-emerges – Cedrika? (79 – 2007) Maybe.
I see no issue with entertaining such possibilities. There are all kinds of examples that can back up such behavior.
You asked, how did I access police information. Well, one source I mentioned above, the archives of Allo Police, now located at Section Rouge Media in Longueuil. The other source is the Grand Bibliotheque on de Maisonneuve in Montreal. You can make a records request (give them the victim name, date and location of disappearance, date and location of discovery) if they have it, it will cost you a few dollars for the service.
I have already put a request in for you for Melanie Cabay. If I receive anything I will pass the information on to you, with my complements.
Thank you for reaching out to me, and I wish you every success.
Une femme qui était un étudiant au collège Champlain (et en résidence à King Hall, Compton) en 1977 m’a contacté ce matin. Pendant l’année scolaire 1977-1978, elle et quelques amis ont été auto-stop retour de Lennoxville à Compton.
Je reçois beaucoup de courriels comme celui-ci. Mais ils sont rarement ce détail (et effrayant) – et elle-même m’a prévenu des compromis de la mémoire. En outre, il est pas un seul compte, il est trois témoins (oui, je leur nom):
À l’automne ’77 ou Spring ’78 (je sais qu’il n’y avait pas de neige au sol) deux amis et je raté la navette mi après-midi du campus et a commencé à l’auto-stop Kings Hall. Je pense que nous sommes allés chercher juste après la dernière barre à droite à la sortie de Lennoxville. Je ne me rappelle pas le nom de ce bar, qui a été fréquenté par la population locale. Je suis dans le dos et a glissé vers derrière le conducteur, laissant place à un ami à côté de moi, l’autre ami a obtenu à l’avant. La voiture était plus âgé, pas «battre» dans le sens des dommages, ce que nous avons appelé un «tacot». Cela m’a rappelé un vieux taxi avec deux sièges de style banc et avec la suspension en vrac et les manœuvres d’une grosse voiture américaine, plus bateau comme de voiture. Je ne me souviens pas de la couleur de la voiture, mais ce ne fut pas quelque chose de flashy ou hors de l’ordinaire.
De l’arrière, je pensais que le conducteur était “vieux”. Pour 17 ans je devine que cela signifiait plus vieux que mon père qui aurait été 52 à ce moment-là. Mon impression était qu’il était à court et même sur le léger côté. Il nous a conduits une partie du chemin à Compton mais a tourné à gauche sur une route secondaire, va dans le mauvais sens pour nous emmener à Kings Hall. Au départ, nous avons supposé qu’il arrêterait mais il a continué à conduire en dépit de nos protestations. À une courte distance Susan, sur le siège avant, a crié quelque chose, peut-être “arrêter la voiture putain”. En ce moment, le conducteur a ralenti un peu pour traverser ce qui aurait pu une bosse ou voie ferrée? Il n’y avait rien autour, pas de maisons, des voitures ou des personnes. Elle ouvrit la porte de la voiture pendant que nous avançons, à quel point le conducteur a ralenti encore plus et elle a sauté. Cela le surprit assez qu’il a arrêté assez longtemps pour que ceux d’entre nous dans le dos pour brouiller out. Il partit en avant. Nous sommes arrivés à la route principale et je pense que nous étions soit ramassé par la navette de l’école ou peut-être marché le reste du chemin.
En 2012, je revis Kings Hall, a été rappelé l’histoire, et est arrivé de passer un officier de police stationné dans la ville de Compton. En fait, je lui ai dit arrêté pour l’histoire et laissé mon numéro de téléphone au cas où la mort de votre sœur était toujours sous enquête. Je me suis toujours regretté que nous ne disons rien à l’administration scolaire de cet incident. Ma seule excuse était mon jugement catastrophique comme dix-sept ans, plus de peur que mes parents pourraient découvrir que j’avais été l’auto-stop.
Alors, voici ma question: la police de Compton suivi à ce sujet? Signalez-le à HQ? Signalez-le à la Sûreté du Québec? Demandez à quelqu’un dans la communauté si elles se souviennent de quelque chose? Conduire la route (probablement la Rivière Moe – nous avons entendu beaucoup de comptes menant à là) pour voir si elle bocaux des souvenirs? Faire n’importe quoi?
Je pensais que cela irréaliste, pas plus. Il est un de 38 ans à cold-case: il n’y a rien à perdre. Et en outre…
A women who was a student at Champlain college (and in residence at King’s Hall, Compton) in 1977 contacted me this morning. During the 1977-78 academic year she and some friends were hitchhiking back from Lennoxville to Compton.
I receive a lot of emails like this. But rarely are they this detailed (and frightening) – and she herself warned me of the compromises of memory. Also, it’s not a single account, it’s three witnesses (yes, I have their names):
In Fall ’77 or Spring ’78 (I know there was no snow on the ground) two friends and I missed the mid afternoon shuttle from campus and started hitchhiking to King’s Hall. I think we got picked up just past the last bar on the right on the way out of Lennoxville. I can’t recall the name of this bar, which was patronized by locals. I got in the back and slid over to behind the driver, leaving room for one friend beside me, the other friend got in the front. The car was older, not “beat up” in the sense of damage, what we would have called a “clunker”. It reminded me of an old taxi with two bench style seats and with the loose suspension and maneuvering of a large american car, more boat like than car. I cannot recall the colour of the car, but it was not something flashy or out of the ordinary.
From the back I thought the driver was “old”. To a 17 year old I am guessing this meant older than my father who would have been 52 at that time. My impression was that he was short and even on the slight side. He drove us part way to Compton but then turned left onto a side road, going the wrong way to take us to Kings Hall. Initially we assumed he would stop but he kept driving despite our protestations. Within a short distance Susan, in the front seat, shouted something, maybe “stop the fucking car”. Just then the driver slowed a little to cross what might have been a bump or railroad tracks? There was nothing around, no houses, cars or people. She opened the car door while we were moving, at which point the driver slowed down even more and she jumped out. This startled him enough that he stopped long enough for those of us in the back to scramble out. He drove off ahead. We got to the main road and I think we were either picked up by the school shuttle or possibly walked the rest of the way.
In 2012 I revisited Kings Hall, was reminded of the story, and happened to pass a police officer parked in the town of Compton. I actually stopped to told her the story and left my phone number in case your sister’s death was still under investigation. I always regretted that we did not say anything to the school administration about this incident. My only excuse was my abysmal judgement as a seventeen year old plus fear that my parents might find out I had been hitchhiking.
So here’s my question: Compton police follow up on this? Report it to HQ? Report it to the Surete du Quebec? Ask anyone in the community if they remember anything? Drive the road (probably Moe’s River – we’ve heard lots of accounts leading to there) to see if it jars any memories? Do anything?
I used to think this unrealistic, not anymore. It’s a 38 year old cold-case: there is nothing to lose. And besides…
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