Category Archives: Trauma

Emma’s Acres featured in CBC documentary

A shout out to the folks at Emma’s Acres in Mission, BC for their  excellent efforts in restorative justice.

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.

The proceeds fund the work of Long-Term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C. ),  (disclosure:  I serve as Board Vice-Chair for LINC).  

The CBC recently did a brief documentary on Emma’s Acres profiling two of its participants: John, who robbed and murdered a man in Toronto in 1985; and Ray King, whose son was murdered by Clifford Olsen in 1981. The two toil side-by-side working the farm land each day. You can watch the full documentary here:

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 Flett


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.


David Bowie: Space Oditties, Time, Up Here In Heaven


Theresa on the floor at Bowie concert

Ask me the question, “What was your sister like?”  I would have to answer, “She loved David Bowie”. That’s not the whole story, but it is surely a piece of it.

I try to keep things on this site tightly focused on solving her murder. But it doesn’t feel right to not acknowledge the passing of David Bowie, and Theresa’s deep appreciation for his artistry. 

I think this has less to do with Theresa. She would probably be baffled why I’d spend time on it. There were many things that made up her personality, and there would have been many more interesting things that would have occupied her mind other than David Bowie, had she had the chance to live beyond 19-years.

Theresa (far right) copping the Thin White Duke

Theresa (far right) copping the Thin White Duke


It is because she was 19 that I dwell on it. I have so little left to connect us. The one thing I do have is David Bowie’s music, his lyrics… and they link me and Theresa across time – all these decades after – allowing us to continue a conversation, even if that conversation is only in my mind.

I don’t know how she was introduced to David Bowie. The first Bowie event I recall was a crisis that developed in our house in 1976. Theresa had tickets to see the Station to Station tour at the Montreal Forum. However she developed a case of mononucleosis that required her to be hospitalized. She was heartbroken, and I remember some heated arguments with my parents about her not being able to go.

My ticket stub from the Heroes tour

My ticket stub from the Heroes tour


Instead she had to wait two years for the Heroes tour. May 3rd, 1978, she finally got her chance. Theresa was seated on the floor of the Forum. I was there too, though in the stands to the back left of stage. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed that night to catch both drums sticks of Dennis Davis, when he threw them out to the audience (If I recall correctly, part of his drum solo was to throw several sets of sticks out to the audience). 

The albums she owned were Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, Low, Heroes, and David Live. I also recall copies of Changes and Aladdin Sane floating through the house, on loan from friends. The lyrics from these albums form the dialogue that has continued with my sister for over thirty years:

I never thought I’d need so many people

Me, I’m out of breath, but not quite doubting

Once I could never be down

Every chance,  every chance that I take. I take it on the road

You’ll never know the real story

If you know Carl Jung – or Sting – then you know the concept of synchronicity: The idea that things in this world are a little more than coincidence, but stop short of cause and effect. The latin phrase, Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc has been dancing around in my head for the last month – since the beginning of December – and I don’t know what put it there. It’s a logical fallacy warning that just because B follows A does not necessarily mean A caused B. 

Theresa in her Bowie T. I still have the T-shirt

Theresa in her Bowie T. I still have the T-shirt


I’m not inclined to mysticism, but the last month has been strange. It began New Years day with me listening to David Bowie’s entire catalogue. I do not know what compelled me to do that.  On Friday I rushed home from work, bought Bowie’s final album, Blackstar – though I was barely aware he’d released it – and obsessively listened to it over and over. I’m sure I played the final track, I Can’t Give Everything Away thirty times (all of this is well documented on social media by the way, I posted about it). The weekend continued with conversations with colleagues about Bowie, though not specifically about his new release, he just came into conversation.

And then he died.

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards. The universe rumbles.  A golden scarab enters the room.

(with thanks to my good friend, Patricia Pearson, for helping me piece through this)


Patricia Pearson visits North Carolina

Patricia Pearson stopped in for a visit a couple of weeks ago. Recall that Patricia wrote the original Who Killed Theresa? articles for Canada’s National Post newspaper in 2002 (French and English here). Patricia spent the week at The Rhine Research Center Institute for Parapsychology located on the Duke University campus doing some follow-up research from her last book, Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying Are Trying to Say About Where They’re Going (go pick it up on Amazon). It’s all fairly spooky stuff, and I got the opportunity to spend an evening at The Rhine doing some fairly elementary psychological parlor games.

If you’ll recall, in those original articles Patrica wrote about a story my mother related to her in 2002. It was Valentines Day 1979. Theresa had been missing for just over 3 months. My father, mother and I were seated around the dining room table eating dinner and my mother said something like, “I wonder how Theresa is doing / I wish I knew how Theresa is doing?”, something like that, I’m not going to look it up.  At that moment a piece of plaster fell from the dining room ceiling and landed on the carpet in the shape of a heart.

I remember this story… I remember the event? I’m not sure. It get’s  cloudy.


Recently my parents downsized their home and moved in a condo. One of many things I inherited was their bedroom dresser which contained an envelope containing the original plaster pieces (now broken) from that event. The envelop reads (in my mother’s handwriting), “Valentine Ceiling Fallings from Theresa, Feb – 1979”. I have tried to assemble the pieces, but several are lost:


I never knew until a few years ago that my mother had actually kept the pieces. Since she wrote about it, I figured Patricia would appreciate seeing these things. Patricia tells me that there is a name for this in parapsychology. If you believe in it, when another dimension attempts to contact this dimension by means of physically influencing this world it is called an “apport”.  From Wikipedia:  “According to parapsychologists and spiritualists, an apport is the paranormal transference of an article from one place to another, or an appearance of an article from an unknown source that is often associated with poltergeist activity or spiritualistic séances.”  Again, if you believe.

Today is Theresa’s 56th birthday. 37 years ago to this day would have been the last time I saw her. She came home for thanksgiving, got on a train from Saint John to Sherbrooke that Monday evening, and I never saw her again. So this is sort of a Canadien thanksgiving ghost story.

One of Theresa’s favorite things was David Bowie, specifically David Live which I heard repeatedly from the bedroom adjacent to hers growing up in Montreal. Happy Birthday Theresa:


The recent controversy concerning Senator Boisvenu

pierreA lot of trending buzz in the media this week over the controversy surrounding Pierre Boisvenu’s spending subsidies and behaviors as a Canadian senator. As Pierre is a friend, colleague and mentor – we often refer to each other as “brother” –

allow me to offer some thoughts.

First, a little background. I apologize to those who have heard this a dozen times before on this website. I met Pierre 10-years-ago when we were cutting our teeth in the victims rights arena. Pierre’s daughter had been murdered in Sherbrooke, Quebec, I was investigating the very cold-case of my sister’s murder in the Eastern Townships, so we had a common affinity for the cause and the region. In 2003, we crashed the Federally sponsored victims conference, Moving Forward – Lessons Learned from Victims of Crime. We both laughed, bitterly at how under-represented victims were at that, the first national victims conference. We met for the first time on the eve of the conference in an Italian restaurant across the Ottawa river in Hull, Quebec. I was staying at the time with friends in the Gatineau, where Pierre currently keeps a residence. When I met Pierre I was struck by his energy, confidence and optimism; I couldn’t believe that this guy had lost a daughter within less than a year.

We became very close. He and his wife visited with my family in Chapel Hill, I have stayed at his condo in Sherbrooke. Within the past 10-years both our marriages disintegrated. I never knew the direct reasons for Pierre’s separation from Diane, but I am sure they are similar to mine; you maintain that shell of confidence, but beneath things start to crack.

Pierre went on to found AFPAD, and several other victims organizations, he championed legislative reform for victims, and fell under the umbrella influence of Harper conservatives.  From the point that he became a Canadian senator I largely lost touch with Pierre.

If I am to understand the residency regulations for Canadian politicians, the issue is where you live, and how much tax payers should subsidize that. I believe Pierre’s argument would be he is entitled to the stipend because he is technically still living in the condo in Sherbrooke. Technically, that is probably true. Though he keeps a place in Gatineau, he no doubt has lots of business back in Quebec. I have observed him dart back-and-forth between Ottawa and Sherbrooke in his car for years in the time before he was even a senator.  In a regular week I have watched him pepper the province rushing from one frontline victim function to the next (he doesn’t just travel the cooridors of power – Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City – the guy is in the weeds with victims, he gets everywhere). Is that still true? I have no knowledge. And anyway, he is a senator now, he serves all of Canada, so I would hope he was covering greater ground in other regions, but sources tell me his cause is still deeply entrenched in Quebec affairs.

On the issue of his relationship with a staff member. I agree strongly that your personal life is personal, you have no business in Mr. Boisvenu’s bedroom. But I also believe, whether it is inscribed in an official code of conduct or not, romantic relations with a subordinate crosses an ethical line.

A life of public service is full of temptation, and under constant scrutiny. I know. I work in local government, but only at the municipal level. The most I’ve been offered was free college basketball tickets. Not very tempting, but I declined. Alright, I’ll cop to being offered Canes tickets. More tempting (especially this evening), but still I declined.  I  know that the temptations and risks at the state and federal levels are greater, and Pierre has worked in that environment all his life (as a deputy minister for Quebec, and now at the senatorial level). All the more reason to be more vigilant.

As a public employee it is not enough to simply follow the rules, at all times you must avoid even the perception of impropriety. That’s a high bar of achievement, and maybe the strain of maintaining that standard leads some to fall.

I welcome all comments and opinions.


UNC Chapel Hill: Physician, Heal Thyself!


This week two local issues concerning criminal justice hit home for me in a very personal way.

On Tuesday, my ex-wife called me with a warning about our weekly child drop-off: “They’re on their way over, but be careful… we just got in an argument and the topic was rape.”

The subject was the recent allegations by students – current and former – at UNC Chapel Hill that the school administration has done little to protect victims of sexual assault, and indeed have gone to great lengths to cover up incidents of rape and sexual assault on campus.   My ex-wife argued that one student in question, who took it on face value that the school would comprehensively handle the investigation into her assault, was under some personal obligation to go to local law enforcement to report the incident. My daughters’ point was that the school was obliged to fully protect the student, victims of sexual assault are vulnerable, and the student was depending on the school to act in her best interest. I argued that I have been sitting on the fence about this issue because I really didn’t feel I had enough information to make a rational conclusion. My back-of-the-napkin take on it is that, by my count from what I read in the newspapers, there has been a problem with sexual violence on the UNC campus spanning at least a decade, but that the problem more than likely reached back much further than that; from my experience in these matters if UNC /Chapel Hill have a campus sexual violence problem,  the issue is systemic, and it is a very good thing that Federal authorities from the U.S. Department of Education are now being called in to review the matter.

This issue extends – at the very least – as far back to the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery in 1986 in a campus residence hall at Lehigh University. The case lead to the establishment of the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to annually disclose campus security policies and campus crime statistics. The Act is monitored by the U.S. Department of Education, and those institutions that fail to comply risk losing Federal student financial aid programs (yes, a VERY big deal).

It is no secret that in the Cleary era many schools have attempted to game the system by under-reporting campus crime stats (Jerry Sandusky / Penn State), and that is exactly the issue at UNC Chapel Hill, and why the stakes are so high in this matter. Do colleges fudge numbers? Of course they do. In my own personal experience, I don’t have to be a statistician to notice that a simple Google scan of newspaper archives for the words “Lennoxville” “sexual assault” “Campus” “Champlain college” will come up with exactly two hits; my sister’s case, and a case at  Bishop’s college that police later claimed didn’t take place. 40 years, and exactly two incidents of sexual assault? That’s quite a record.

The second thing that happened this week was that an article appear in the UNC campus newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel that was ostensibly a “where are we now?” piece on the 5th anniversary of the Eve Carson murder, but really was about blaming the City of Durham for all of Chapel Hill’s problems.  That the piece by student writer Chelsey Dulaney is incendiary and mis-informed is just me being polite.  And I strongly disagree with UNC senior associate dean, Chris Roush’s brush-off assessment that, because the paper is student-run, it is merely a “learning lab”: all the more reason for responsible editorial oversight, isn’t oversight at the crux of all of UNC Chapel Hill’s current problems?

As a resident of Chapel Hill and 15-year proud employee with the City of Durham my first reaction was to weigh into the fray, even though that action might have caused me some personal trauma (I rarely discuss where I work on this blog). Fortunately I didn’t have to. In this morning’s Herald Sun the Durham Police Chief and Mayor did such a fine job of defending the Bull City that my actions and words are not neccessary.   My observation – and this is supported with the hard data presented in the police chief’s crime report delivered to City Council on Monday, March 4th (a meeting at which I was present) – is that Part I Crime in Durham has been drastically reduced in the last 10-years while the population has doubled. This is thanks to a police force and a community that understands that a better quality of life is everybody’s business, and we all contribute to the solution. As Mayor Bell says, “are we satisfied? No I don’t think we will every be satisfied.”. But we are hopeful.


SQ Redux: Again they refuse to help

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?


Normand Guérin doit être transféré en maison de transition à deux coins de rue d’une de ses victimes

Voici un suivi de la Commission des libérations conditionnelles du Canada “brillante” décision de libérer Normand Guérin a en maison de transition à deux coins de rue d’une de ses victimes…

Complice Guérin en 1979 dans le meurtre de Chantal Dupont et Maurice Marcil était Gilles Pimparé (je l’ai écrit plus sur ces meurtres ici). Gilles Pimparé est toujours en prison. Les deux derniers registres décision que j’ai de la Commission des libérations conditionnelles sont de Novembre 2010 et Juin 2011. Pimparé, qui est maintenant 57, a une longue histoire de violence. En plus des meurtres de Dupont et Marcil, qui étaient de 14 et 15 ans au moment, Pimparé avait été criminellement actif depuis 13 ans. Son évaluation psychiatrique en 2010 a révélé que Pimparé était encore sexuellement déviant et un toxicomane. Il avait un niveau de risque élevé de récidive sexuelle et violente. Le profil a décrit comme un psychopathe. Pimparé a été trouvé avec photos pornographiques dans sa cellule, la plupart avec une jeune femme nue posant devant le pont Jacques-Cartier (le pont où il s’est engagé et Guérin de 1979 meurtres). La Commission des libérations conditionnelles a conclu que Pimparé était réticent / à l’abri de changer son comportement, et la libération conditionnelle a été refusée.

En Juin 2011 Pimparé fait appel de la décision 2010 en raison de certaines erreurs de droit, mais le conseil a rejeté son appel et confirmé la décision 2010.

Pimparé est à côté pour examen en Octobre 2012. La Commission des libérations conditionnelles prendra sa décision en Novembre 2012.


Normand Guérin released to half-way house two blocks away from one of his victims

Here’s a follow up on the Parole Board of Canada’s BRILLIANT decision to release Normand Guérin into a half-way house two blocks away from one of his victims….

Guérin’s accomplice in the 1979 murders of  Chantal Dupont and Maurice Marcil was Gilles Pimparé (I’ve written more about these murders here). Gilles Pimparé is still in prison. The last two decision registries I have from the Parole Board are from November 2010 and June 2011. Pimparé, who is now 57, had a long history of violence. In addition to the murders of Dupont and Marcil who were 14 and 15 at the time, Pimparé had been criminally active since age 13. His psychiatric evaluation in 2010 revealed that Pimparé was still sexually deviant, and a drug abuser. He had a high risk level to re-offend sexually and violently. The profile described him as a psychopath. Pimparé was found with pornographic  photos in his cell, many with a nude young woman posing in front of the Jacques Cartier bridge (the bridge where he and Guérin committed the 1979 murders). The parole board concluded that Pimparé was reluctant / immune to changing his behavior, and parole was denied.

In June 2011 Pimparé appealed the 2010 decision on the grounds of some legal errors, but the board dismissed his appeal and upheld the 2010 decision.

Pimparé is next up for review this October, 2012. The Parole Board will make its decision in November, 2012.


10 ans plus tard – Qui a tué Theresa?

Il ya dix ans aujourd’hui, nous avons posé une question aux Canadiens par l’intermédiaire de son journal national, le National Post: Qui a tué ma sœur, Theresa Allore? Le point de ces séries d’articles – écrit par Patricia Pearson, et présenté sur la page d’accueil du journal pendant trois jours consécutifs, Août week-end 10 2002 – n’était pas seulement de trouver une réponse à cette question, mais de suggérer les choses que de nombreux – tout peut-être pas tuer Thérèse – mais les choses certainement conduit à de nombreuses sa disparition et assassiner, puis plus tard, entravé une enquête appropriée, en laissant le cas non résolu à ce jour. La police, les systèmes juridiques et de justice au Québec “a tué Theresa”. Le système d’éducation au Québec “a tué Theresa”. Nous avons tué Thérèse parce que nous lui manquait quand elle nous a le plus besoin. Tout comme nous avons tué Isabelle Bolduc, Julie Bosivenu, Julie Surprenant, Marilyn Bergeron, et ainsi de suite et sur.

Alors, voici quelques réflexions sur ces articles écrits il ya dix ans. Vous pouvez trouver les articles originaux ici (en anglais et en français) . Si vous avez besoin d’une amorce sur l’affaire , j’ai commencé une page Wikipedia sur le sujet ici . En outre, si vous êtes plus visuel, de CTV W-5 a fait une heure sur l’histoire en 2005 je crois, et vous pouvez trouver la vidéo ici. (je n’aime plus à parler directement au sujet des meurtres, il me dérange).

Alors, comment se fait-il être que ce cas s’est traîné hors de l’obscurité et placé sur la première page d’un journal national? Eh bien, je savais que l’écrivain, Patricia Pearson assez bien. Elle était ma première petite amie à l’école secondaire. Nous avons ensuite assisté à l’université sont réunis à Toronto, afin que nous étions très proches et elle avait vécu la mort de ma sœur.Je me souviens que j’avais été rendre visite à mes parents, à Saint John, Nouveau-Brunswick, cela aurait été d’environ un an avant que les articles ont été publiés, et je pensais à ré-enquêter sur l’affaire, et environ avenues où plusieurs médias à le présenter. J’étais dans un avion et il y avait une copie de La Poste. Patricia avait écrit cette pièce drôle de petit chauffe le rasage à la crème. Rappelez-vous ces petits conçoit vous pourriez coller sur le haut d’une crème à raser possible pour réchauffer l’étoffe avant qu’il soit allé sur votre visage? Stupide, non? Eh bien, elle pensait aussi, et elle a écrit cette pièce à ce sujet. Je me souviens avoir pensé, que Patricia pourrait être un bon choix à faire l’histoire. Je ne voudrais pas avoir à faire beaucoup de remblayage sur la façon de noisette ma famille à cause de la mort de Thérèse, elle avait vécu cela. Et, elle avait couvert la Holmolka – affaire Bernardo, à Toronto, elle a donc dû que «aller» pour elle.

Elle n’a cependant pas été mon premier choix. Mon premier choix était de Malcolm Gladwell . The Tipping Point venait d’être libéré, et Malcolm était un autre ami avec qui j’étais allé à l’université. (Je suis allé à l’école au Trinity College, Université de Toronto … jolie Tony. Je voudrais régulièrement le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner et le dîner avec Patricia, Malcolm, Atom Egoyan , Andy Coyne , Kate Zernike , Bruce Headlam , Pam Mackinnon , et ainsi de suite et sur … (et non, ne me demandez pas ce que l’enfer que je faisais là)). Quoi qu’il en soit, Malcolm m’a refusé.Il avait été aux Etats-trop longtemps et se sentait mal equipt de faire un morceau d’enquête sur un assassiner canadienne, sans parler de ce qui a impliqué coller son nez dans la politique du Québec.

Dans les jours avant que l’histoire allait sous presse, Patricia était hors de la ville, elle était dans le Nord à son chalet, à Peterborough, de sorte que m’a laissé travailler les derniers détails avec les éditeurs de la poste. Je ne peux vraiment me souviens pas qui est venu avec le titre Qui a tué Theresa?Normalement, ce genre de chose n’est pas fourni par l’auteur, un éditeur contribue, mais je crois que dans ce cas, il était en fait Patricia. Quoi qu’il en soit, il est resté. Je ne me souviens dans les derniers jours, ils sont venus me voir avec le bi-ligne pour le versement final, “Points de modèle à un Serial Killer”.Ils étaient très inquiets que cela pourrait être un peu trop sensationnelle, qu’il pourrait bouleverser ma famille trop.J’ai pensé qu’il très bien, si elle a des lecteurs sur le papier, plus on est de fous.

La clé de l’histoire devenait l’approbation de Kim Rossmo, le profileur désormais célèbre géographique qui a battu le cas de Robert Pickton et les femmes disparues de Vancouver Downtown Eastside . Sans Rossmo, l’histoire aurait été tout simplement une lettre d’amour antique pleine de douleur et de regret. Rossmo a suggéré que quelqu’un aurait pu être responsable de trois meurtres non résolus, et que même après 25 ans, les cas étaient encore solvable, si la Sûreté du Québec serait simple, faire preuve d’initiative et de faire leur travail. Patricia et moi étions deux détectives amateurs, mais avec buy-in de Rossmo, nous avons dû être pris au sérieux, c’était comme avoir Sherlock Holmes de la guest star sur les nouvelles Scooby-Do.

Lorsque ces histoires a éclaté, ils l’ont fait et n’ont pas eu un impact profond sur le cas. Au départ, j’ai reçu beaucoup de réponse de la part des amis. Août est le temps de relaxer et aller au chalet. J’avais des amis à leur place dans la région de Muskoka ou les Cantons de l’Est et ils essayaient juste de sortir et de faire un lecteur de peu de lumière, puis ils ont eu cette mystère assassiner jeté à eux où ils savaient que les principaux acteurs.

Il a causé une agitation, mais il est préférable joué dans le Haut-Canada et des points à l’ouest (les gens aiment à souligner à la merde dans d’autres personnes »mètres), au Québec, il a fait très peu. Il faudrait des années plus de travail, moi d’avoir à apprendre la langue française, puis courtiser les médias français avant que l’histoire a rencontré l’indignation méritée dans les journaux du Québec.

Je trace l’émergence des activités de plaidoyer vicitms dans l’arène de l’homicide comme celui-ci au Québec: Marcel Bolduc a jeté les bases, moi-même, Michel Surprenant et Pierre Hugues Boisvenu convergent juste au bon moment dans une tempête parfaite d’indignation victime. Pierre a pris le flambeau et a couru avec elle. Il ya toujours place à amélioration, mais en regardant en arrière, la relation entre la police et les défenseurs des victimes n’a jamais été meilleure au Québec.

Ainsi, dix ans plus tard … où sommes-nous? Patricia est encore à Toronto, nous envoyer un courriel de temps à autre. Pierre Hugues Boisvenu est bien sûr au Sénat (ne soyez pas trop dur sur Pierre … certains disent qu’il est vendu, mais Pierre tient ses cartes près de la veste. Il a toujours un plan, il aura le dernier mot). Kim Rossmo utilise cartographie de la criminalité pour s’assurer soldats ne pas se blesser en Afganistan; est-il un meilleur usage de ses talents? La dernière fois que nous avons communiqué Clifford Olsen avait contacté revendiquant la responsabilité de la mort de ma sœur (Olsen a toujours été un vantard, et complètement rempli de celui-ci). Kim et moi sommes sur Facebook «amis», mais WTF que je dois le lui dire, “Hey Kim!, J’aime bien votre nouvelle photo de profil! LMFAO! ”

Alors, où en sommes-nous? Eh bien, je pense que si nous avions eu un homme comme André Noël à la barre que nous pourrions avoir obtenu quelques réponses. Dix ans plus tard … près de trente-quatre ans plus tard, je ne sais toujours pas qui a tué Theresa. Bien que je suis assez confiant, je sais où trouver les réponses. Les histoires du National Post fait le lieu de tout le Canada (et au cours des années, j’ai été instamment invités à promouvoir le cas de America’s Most Wanted: inutile, faites-moi confiance). Nous lentement déplacé le focus sur le Québec, puis à réduire le champ de Sherbrooke et les Cantons de l’Est. Maintenant, ramenez qui mettent l’accent encore plus étroite. Aller à la ville de Compton, Québec, où le corps a été retrouvé Thérèse (population 3000). Ainsi, 3000 personnes … peut-être 1000 ménages. Frappez à chacune de ces portes et leur demander,«savez-vous qui a tué Theresa?”. Vous aurez votre réponse.


10 Years Later – Who Killed Theresa?


Ten years ago today we posed a question to Canadians through the medium of its national newspaper, The National Post: Who killed my sister, Theresa Allore? The point of those series of articles – written by Patricia Pearson, and featured on the front page of the paper over three consecutive days, August 10th weekend, 2002 – was not only to find an answer to that question, but to suggest that many things – while perhaps not killing Theresa – but certainly many things led to her disappearance and murder, and then later hindered a proper investigation, leaving the case unsolved to this day. The police, legal and justice systems in Quebec “killed Theresa”. The education system in Quebec “killed Theresa”. We killed Theresa because we failed her when she needed us most. Just as we killed Isabelle Bolduc, Julie Bosivenu, Julie Surprenant, Marilyn Bergeron, and on and on and on.

So here are some thoughts on those articles written ten years ago. You can find the original articles here (in English and French). If you need a primer on the case I started a Wikipedia page on it here . Also, if you’re more visual, CTV’s W-5 did an hour on the story in 2005 I believe, and you can find the video here. (I no longer like to talk to directly about the murders; it disturbs me).

 So, how did it come to be that this case got dragged out of obscurity and placed on the front page of a national newspaper? Well, I knew the writer, Patricia Pearson quite well. She was my first girlfriend in high School. We later attended university together in Toronto, so we were very close and she had lived through the death of my sister. I remember I had been visiting my parents in Saint John, New Brunswick, this would have been about a year before the articles were published, and I was thinking about re-investigating the case, and about several media avenues where to present it. I was on a plane and there was a copy of The Post. Patricia had written this funny little piece on shaving cream warmers. Remember those little devises you could stick on the top of a shaving cream can to warm the stuff before it went on your face? Stupid, right? Well she thought so too, and she wrote this piece about it. I remember thinking, that Patricia might be a good choice to do the story. I wouldn’t have to do a lot of back filling about how nutty my family was because of Theresa’s death; she had lived through that. And, she had covered the Holmolka – Bernardo case in Toronto, so she had that “going” for her.

She was not however my first choice. My first choice was Malcolm Gladwell. The Tipping Point had just been released, and Malcolm was another friend with whom I’d gone to college. (I went to school at Trinity College, University of Toronto… pretty tony. I would routinely breakfast, lunch and dine with Patricia, Malcolm, Atom Egoyan, Andy Coyne, Kate Zernike, Bruce Headlam, Pam Mackinnon, and on and on and on… (and no, don’t ask me what the hell I was doing there)). Anyway, Malcolm turned me down. He had been in the States too long and felt ill equipt to do an investigative piece on a Canadian murder, let alone what that involved sticking his nose in the politics of Quebec.

In the days before the story went to press, Patricia was out of town, she was up north at her cottage in Peterborough, so that left me to work out the final details with the Post’s editors. I really can’t remember who came up with the title Who Killed Theresa?  Normally that sort of thing isn’t provided by the writer, an editor contributes that, but I believe in this case it was in fact Patricia. Anyway, it stuck. I do remember in the final days they came to me with the bi-line for the final installment, “Pattern Points to a Serial Killer”. They were quite concerned that this might be a bit too sensational, that it might upset my family too much. I thought it just fine; if it brought readers to the paper, the more the merrier.

The key to the stories was getting the endorsement of Kim Rossmo, the now famous geographic profiler who broke the case of Robert Pickton and the missing women from Vancouver’s downtown Eastside. Without Rossmo, the story would have been simply an antique love letter full of pain and regret. Rossmo suggested that someone could have been responsible for three unsolved murders, and that even after 25 years the cases were still solvable, if the Surete du Quebec would simple show some initiative and do their jobs. Patricia and I were two amateur sleuths, but with Rossmo’s buy-in we had to be taken seriously; it was like having Sherlock Holmes the guest star on The New Scooby-Do Movies.

When those stories broke, they did and did not have a profound impact on the case. Initially I received a lot of response from friends. August is the time to relax and go to the cottage. I had friends at their places in the Muskokas or the Eastern Townships and they were just trying to get away and do a little light reader, then they had this murder mystery thrown at them where they knew the main players.

It did cause a stir, but it played best in Upper Canada and points west (people love to point at shit in other people’s’ yards), in Quebec it did very little. It would take years more work, me having to learn the French language and then courting the French media before the story met with deserved outrage in the Quebec papers.

I trace the emergence of vicitms advocacy in the arena of homicide like this in Quebec:  Marcel Bolduc laid the foundation, myself, Michel Surprenant and Pierre Hugues Boisvenu converged at just the right time in a perfect storm of victim outrage. Pierre took the torch and ran with it. There is always room for improvement, but looking back, the relationship between the police and victims advocates has never been better in Quebec.

So ten years later… where are we? Patricia is still in Toronto, we email from time to time. Pierre Hugues Boisvenu is of course in the Senate (don’t be too hard on Pierre… some say he’s sold out, but Pierre keeps his cards close to the vest. He always has a plan, he will have the last laugh). Kim Rossmo is using crime mapping to make sure soldiers don’t get hurt in Afganistan; is there a better use of his talents? The last time we communicated Clifford Olsen had contacted him claiming responsibility for my sister’s death (Olsen always was a blowhard, and completely full of it). Kim and I are Facebook “friends”, but WTF am I supposed to say to him, “Hey Kim!,I like your new profile picture! LMFAO!”

So where are we? Well I think if we had had a man like André Noël at the helm we might have gotten some answers. Ten years later…almost thirty-four years later, I still don’t know who killed Theresa. Though I’m pretty confident I know where to find the answers. The National Post stories made the locus all of Canada (and over the years I have been urged to promote the case on America’s Most Wanted: pointless, trust me).  We slowly moved the focus to Quebec, then narrowed the focus to Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships. Now bring that focus still closer. Go to the town of Compton, Quebec where Theresa’s body was found (population 3,000). So, 3,000 people… maybe 1,000 households. Knock on each one of those doors and ask them, “do you know who killed Theresa?”.  You’ll get your answer.