Claudette Poirier – et d’autres disparitions – été de 77


Je l’ai déjà écrit à propos de Claudette Poirier par rapport à Cédrika Provencher. Puisque nous faisons cela de façon chronologique, il serait utile d’établir tous les faits une fois de plus.

Poirier 1986

Claudette Poirier (15 ans) vivait avec ses parents à 1190 Monfette à Drummondville. À l’été 1977, la famille a décidé de faire un peu de camping à environ 4 miles au sud de Camp Plein Air familial sur chemin Hemming. Le 27 Juillet 1977, la jeune fille (5 / ‘5 “110 livres) montait sa bicyclette sur 3e Rang de Simpson sur son chemin pour visiter des amis qui vivaient sur St-Charles boulevard près de son domicile de retour à Drummondville.

De ce point Claudette disparaît. Sa bicyclette se trouve sur Rang 5e, Saint Cyrille, environ 2 miles de son site de camping.

La police enquêtant sont Roland Gagnon, de la Sûreté du Québec, Trois-Rivières, André Blanchette de SQ Drummondville, Henri Deschenex et Marcel Boutin. Ils sont incapables de trouver une quelconque trace de Claudette.


Des années plus tard, le 9 Octobre 1986, 2 chasseurs trouver un crâne, d’autres os et vêtements pour femmes à environ 15 mètres de la route à La Réserve, Saint Lucien à environ 4 miles du sud du site de sa disparition (je l’ai entendu rapporté que les os ont été carbonisés, comme si ses restes ont été brûlés). Les restes sont analysés par le Dr André Lauzon au laboratoire médical SQ à Parthenais à Montréal et identifiées comme Claudette Poirier. Compte tenu de la longueur du temps qui a passé, la cause du décès est indéterminée.

Une analyse

Je fis une petite carte des emplacements Poirier, que l’histoire est un peu déroutant. C’est interactive. clique ici:

Screen shot 2016-03-11 at 6.18.53 PM

Fondamentalement, dans le centre est là où elle campait et vu la dernière fois, vers la gauche est l’endroit où elle a vécu et où elle allait, à droite est l’endroit où son vélo et restes ont été trouvés.

Comment est connecté ce cas avec les autres? Dur à dire. Probablement pas connecté du tout. Cependant, je tiens à souligner que Alice Paré, qui a disparu de Drummondville en 1970 et a ensuite été retrouvé assassiné, a vécu environ 2 miles au sud de Poirier sur la rivière Saint-François.

A noter également – 1977 était en quelque sorte un été de disparitions au Québec:


14 juin 1977: 16 ans Johanne Danserault (5’3 “) disparaît de son domicile à 615 rue des Lotus à Fabreville / Laval et on ne voit jamais de nouveau Lt Gagne de Laval SQ a été chargé de l’affaire.. on pense qu’elle était un emballement.


27 juin 1977: 13 ans Sylvie Doucet (5’4 “, 120 lbs) de 3634, rue de Rouen à Montréal disparaît de l’Est de Montréal et ne se voit pas encore.

Doucet lived here at the corner of Rouen and Chambly in Montreal's East End.

Doucet a vécu ici au coin de Rouen et de Chambly dans l’est de Montréal.


Henri Jette de la police de Montréal est mis en charge de l’affaire. Encore une fois, la police pense qu’elle a emballement.


30 juillet 1977: fille de 14 ans, Elizabeth Bodzy (5 ‘, 95 lbs) disparaît de son domicile au 311 rue Belec à Laval. Detective Milette de Laval est mis en charge de l’affaire. La police pense qu’elle est un emballement. Mise à jour: Elisabeth Bodzy retourné à la maison en toute sécurité le 15 Août 1977.

Si quelqu’un peut me démontrer que ces jeunes filles ont été retrouvés plus tard en sécurité, je suis tout ouïe. D’après ce que je sais qu’ils disparaissaient tout simplement.

Et si vous remarquez un motif avec ces événements, et les événements récents de jeunes filles de fuite à Montréal, vous seriez voyez ce que je vois. Dans certains cas, ils se trouvent. Dans certains cas, on nous dit de rumeurs des filles d’être vendus dans la prostitution. Dans certains cas, ils disparaissent tout simplement. Il est un cauchemar pour la sécurité publique.

De retour à 1977, et en particulier Laval, nous allons voir que la situation allait bientôt atteindre son apogée avec les disparitions fin juillet et les meurtres de Chantal Tremblay et Johanne Dorion.


Charbonneau – Plus Ca Change


In 1996 the Quebec government appointed Lawrence Poitras to lead a public inquiry into the Sûreté du Québec following accusations of corruption and evidence tampering within the force. Three years later Poitras submitted his 2,700 page report accusing the force of abusing its powers of arrest, being more concerned with protecting its image than investigating misconduct. Total cost to taxpayers? Over $20 million.

Did the Poitras Commission recommendations have any lasting influence? Judging by the release this week of the Charbonneau Commission’s report the answer is No.

On Tuesday Justice France Charbonneau submitted her 1,751-page report detailing how organized crime has infiltrated the Quebec construction industry, and how political forces such as elected officials, the ministry of transportation and the Quebec police force stood idle and let it happen, or in many cases participated in the collusion. The report – which cost taxpayers close to $45 million – states that there was the an “appearance” of corruption in Montreal and Laval, a “vulnerability” in contract-awarding by certain provincial departments, such as Transport Quebec, and that there were bodies, such as the Sûreté du Québec, that could have done something to address problems but did not.

Plus ca change.


And now we stand on the brink of another public inquiry into Canadian injustice, that of the missing and murdered indigenous women. A coalition of groups including family members, the First Nations Summit, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is wisely recommending the Trudeau government exercise caution before jumping into an expensive and lengthy public process. Chiefly they recommend that officials consult with indigenous women, and learn from the lessons of the Oppal inquiry (the Missing Women Commission borne from the conviction of serial killer Robert Pickton) before again engaging in a “fundamentally flawed” process.

“We need to get to the root causes of why this is happening, so we can prevent this from happening,” said Lorelai Williams, whose aunt went missing in 1977, and whose cousin, missing since 1996, was among the women whose DNA was found on Pickton’s farm.

Indeed. Let’s start with the release yesterday by the social justice coalition’s report card on child poverty which says that 40 per cent of indigenous children in Canada live in poverty.  

And when B.C. Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone, ponders why there are still challenges to keeping indigenous girls and women safe along the Highway of Tears one wonders why he hasn’t consulted the the reams of public reports and documents – including recommendations – that have been filed over the past decade. Between 19 – 40 girls and women have gone missing or been murdered along the 450 mile stretch of highway over the last 42 years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – or even a gifted profiler – to conclude that this is not the work of a single person, the problem is  systemic. Judging from the report from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, you might want to take a closer look at the very institution charged with protecting these women.

The investigation was triggered by a 2013 Human Rights Watch report titled Those Who Take Us Away a scathing document detailing such allegations as women being strip-searched by male police officers, an unwarranted attack by a police dog against a young girl and the 2012 rape of a homeless woman by four officers. Researchers heard allegations of sexual assault or rape in fully half of the 10 northern towns they visited, the report said.


An American friend recently remarked to me, “how can these things go on-and-on in your country?!”. Because they go on-and-on everywhere. I need look no further than my own back door – Rocky Mount, North Carolina – to see how the plight of a marginalized group – namely female black prostitutes – was completely ignored when women slowly started disappearing and turned up murdered over the course of 6 years in a town no bigger than Cornwall or Fredericton.

Bad people will always prey on the weak and vulnerable.  C’est la meme chose.


Ontario revamps efforts to name unidentified dead

What a mess: To summarize; to speed up the process of identification, the Federal government consolidated missing persons databases into a centralized system. But the new centralized system is too slow and bureaucratic, so provinces like Ontario want to go back to their former, individualized process:

From the Globe & Mail:

When the federal government created a national missing-persons centre in 2011, the presumption was it would supplant siloed provincial and territorial online efforts and serve as a better tool for matching the vanished with the anonymous dead.

But the RCMP-led National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) hasn’t progressed fast enough for Ontario, the province with the most anonymous dead. A Globe and Mail investigation has found that Canada’s strategy falls far short of the U.S. model, considered the gold standard.

The Ontario chief coroner’s office and forensic pathology service are now working with the provincial police to revamp their digital outreach to help identify the nameless and bring some closure to families of the disappeared. In some cases, identifications could breathe new life into stalled police investigations and help bring killers to justice.

“We have a responsibility to the people of Ontario and we can’t abdicate our responsibility to a federal agency,” said forensic anthropologist Kathy Gruspier, who is leading a review of Ontario’s 239 unidentified-remains cases.

The Conservative government had heralded the national centre’s creation, noting it would serve as an important investigative tool for police and death investigators, and could also help address the “disturbing number” of unsolved cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women.

But The Globe has found that Canada’s national strategy, compared with that of the United States, is less citizen-driven and doesn’t store records such as dental charts and X-rays, which could assist in identifying human remains. NCMPUR also does not know whether its database analysis is leading to confirmed identifications.

Federal plans for a much-anticipated DNA data bank to link missing persons with unidentified remains, expected in 2017, are also falling short of the U.S. model. The RCMP have told The Globe that Ottawa will not pay for DNA testing, as Washington does. It will also be up to Canadian police, coroners and medical examiners to decide which types of DNA to profile. In the U.S., a centralized lab always attempts to analyze two types.

Some aboriginal leaders are now calling on Ottawa to strengthen its plans for the data bank, saying families of vanished women deserve answers. Indigenous women are far more likely to go missing or be killed than non-aboriginal women. In May, the RCMP released an unprecedented report showing 1,181 aboriginal women disappeared or were slain between 1980 and 2012.

Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, said the government is committed to ensuring the data bank is effective. He said DNA analysis will be consistent with international practices.

There are 697 anonymous dead in Canada, according to a Globe survey of the country’s coroners and medical examiners. One-third of those remains are in Ontario.

The chief coroner’s office and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) launched a program to link the missing and unidentified in 2006. While updates to the public website have languished since the national centre’s creation, reports on missing persons and unidentified remains continue to be added to the database. Software is used to search for possible matches between missing persons reported to the OPP and Ontario’s unidentified remains.

The provincial effort, called Project Resolve, has led to the identification of 21 dead people since 2006, the OPP said. Meanwhile, the national centre, which launched a website in 2013 and a database for cross-matching last year, has not yet helped solve a single Ontario unidentified-remains case. The BC Coroners Service, which has 183 anonymous dead, said it doesn’t know whether tips from the national centre have helped identify any of its deceased.

NCMPUR has received 130 tips since its website started; other tips may have been reported to Crime Stoppers or the investigating agency noted on the site. The national centre’s database has flagged a dozen potential matches, but it’s unknown how many have led to identifications.

Ontario’s retooled effort is expected this year. The provincial website will include more information about individual cases than exists on the RCMP site.

Ontario’s chief coroner, Dirk Huyer, said he wants the NCMPUR initiative to work. Developing a robust national system is the best way to link cases that cross provincial and territorial boundaries and international borders, he noted.

“Anything we can do at the bigger, broader level [is for] the best,” the chief coroner said, stressing that his office is still co-operating with the national centre.

OPP Detective Superintendent Dave Truax said Project Resolve underscored the need for a national effort. By working with BC Coroners Service – an initiative that also began in 2006 – Ontario was able to put names to some of its deceased.

“It’s extremely important that Canada capitalizes on the opportunity to network all or our provinces and territories together,” Det. Supt. Truax said.


#DarrenVann : Serial killer suspected as bodies of seven women found in Indiana

This Motel 6 in Hammond, Ind. is where police found one of seven women's bodies the weekend.

This Motel 6 in Hammond, Ind. is where police found one of seven women’s bodies the weekend.

Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found over the weekend said Monday it could be the work of a serial killer, and that the suspect has told them his victims might go back 20 years.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said at a news conference that the suspect is 43-year-old Darren Vann of nearby Gary, Ind., who was convicted of a sex offence in Texas in 2009. His confession to the slaying of one woman in Indiana led police to the grisly discovery of six other bodies, including three on the same block, authorities said.

He said the Gary slayings appear to have happened recently, though Vann indicated there could be earlier victims. He said police are not actively looking for more bodies and have no indication that any murders have occurred in another state. He said Vann is co-operating with investigators in the hope of making a deal with prosecutors.

“It could go back as far as 20 years, based on some statements we have, but that has yet to be corroborated,” Doughty said.

Charges were expected to be filed later Monday in the death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, whose body was found about 9:30 p.m. Friday at a motel, Doughty said. The Lake County coroner’s office said she was strangled.

Doughty said she was involved in prostitution and had arranged to meet Vann at the motel through a Chicago-area website. Police were called by someone who attempted to reach Hardy and “was provided suspicious text responses that she believed to be from the suspect while he was still inside the motel room.”

The discoveries began after Vann allegedly confessed to killing Hardy, then told investigators where more bodies could be found in abandoned homes in Gary, a deteriorating former steel town about 30 miles southeast of Chicago, police said.

A second body was found Saturday night in an abandoned home in Gary. The coroner said family members identified her as 35-year-old Anith Jones, who had been missing since Oct. 8.

Five other bodies were found on Sunday in various Gary homes, said Doughty, who identified two of the women as Gary residents Teairra Batey, 28, and Christine Williams, 36. Police have not determined the identities of the other three women, including two whose bodies were found on the same block where Jones’s body was found on Saturday.

Police said they took Vann into custody Saturday afternoon after obtaining a search warrant for a home and vehicle in Gary,

Hardy’s mother, Lori Townsend, said police told her that Vann asked that she perform a certain sex act, and “when she said ‘no’ and put up a fight, he snapped and strangled her,” she said, speaking from her home in Colorado. “This man is sick.”

Hardy graduated from high school in late 2013 and planned to go on to college to study music, Townsend said.

“She was full of life. She lit up a room with her smile and her beauty,” she said. “And she had a voice like a songbird.”

Gary, once a thriving steel town that’s known as the birthplace of Michael Jackson, has been struggling for decades. Its population has shrunk and its poverty rate hovers around 40 per cent. Thousands of homes are abandoned, many with weeds choking broken sidewalks — often on the same streets where other homes are tidy and well-kept.

One of the houses where police found a body was overgrown with trees in the front and there was trash strewn in the back of what looked like a falling down garage or shed.

Michael Tarm reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers Tom Davies in Indianapolis and Tammy Webber in Chicago contributed to this report.


Police search area where remains thought to be those of #HannahGraham were found

The initial interview with SGT Dale Terry who found the remains contained the following:

“It was behind a vacant home, in a dried-up creek bed, Terry said he found a skull and bones, along with a pair of tight, dark-colored pants.”

Description has since been scrubbed:



From the Washington Post:

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Police on Sunday combed a narrow two-lane back road near an abandoned property in Albemarle County south of here, where searchers on Saturday found human remains thought to be those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Graham, an 18-year-old from Fairfax County, vanished in the early hours of Sept. 13. Jesse L. Matthew Jr., a 32-year-old Charlottesville man with whom Graham was last seen, was arrested and charged in her disappearance, but the young woman’s whereabouts were unknown.

branchThe remote location where the body was found was within three or four miles of the hayfield where the body of another missing college student was found in 2010. Both Graham and the second woman, Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, disappeared late at night in Charlottesville.
Police on Sunday blocked off a three-mile section of Old Lynchburg Road near where the body was found as investigators scoured the area. For much of its length the road is unmarked and without shoulders, surrounded by woods that are turning amber, gold and crimson, and with houses set back from the pavement, several with white country fences. A tiny brick church sits at one end of the barricaded stretch, across the road from a cemetery with several dozen weathered tombstones.

The northernmost police barricade on Old Lynchburg on Sunday was at its intersection with Red Hill Road. From that point, Red Hill winds a little more than three miles to the northwest before it borders the 742-acre Anchorage Farm. It was there that Harrington’s skeletal remains were found.
The grim discovery Saturday of human remains on a stretch of road in rual Virginia has put Charlottesville residents on edge. Officials have not determined the identity of the remains. 
Virginia State Police investigators said last month that the arrest of Matthew was a “significant break” in the Harrington case and provided an unspecified “new forensic link” in the quest for her killer.

The remains found Saturday were discovered by a sheriff’s deputy searching an abandoned property, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said. A conclusive identification has not been made and the remains were sent to the Virginia medical examiner’s office for forensic testing.

Longo said Graham’s family members had been notified. They have not commented on the discovery of the remains. Authorities also called off a search for Graham planned for Sunday, saying they would focus on identifying the body.

Graham’s disappearance has shaken Virginia’s flagship public university, where students have held candlelight vigils and worn orange ribbons in the hope of Graham’s return.

Student council president Jalen Ross helped organize a vigil on the U-Va. campus that attracted hundreds of students. Ross and others at the event, which occurred five days after Graham was last seen, spoke about the missing sophomore in the present tense. Now Ross said that the student council was planning a memorial for Graham to provide a central place on campus for students to honor her.​

“Nobody wanted to hear there’s been a body found,” Ross, 21, said Sunday.

But it was the news many students were expecting, Ross said. In the five weeks since Graham disappeared, a dark mood has again descended over the school.

Hannah Graham timeline
“It revives the whole pool of sadness everyone went through originally,” Ross said.

Many students have donned orange ribbons to keep Graham in mind. Every day since Graham vanished, Ross has worn one pinned to his shirt.

“I told myself  I’d wear it until they found her,” Ross said.

Ross said many students recalled that it took investigators 101 days to find Harrington.

“A lot of us were worried that it would take a long time or infinite time to get closure” in Graham’s case, Ross said.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Heather Warren crafted the words for her evening sermon at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, across from the Charlottesville campus.

“It’s just profoundly sad,” Warren said. “There was always this hope that she might be found alive. That’s not there now.”

In the weeks after Graham vanished, the church kept its doors open for students distressed by the sophomore’s disappearance. Warren said the church has helped students find solace in prayer and passages of Scripture. In recent days, Warren said, she has been drawn to Psalm 139, which explores the constant presence of God even in the worst of times.

“Whither can I go from your presence?” Warren said Sunday, quoting the psalm’s first verses. “You might not know what that presence feels like. But that does not mean you are abandoned.” She began Sunday evening’s service with a moment of silence for Graham.

Friends and teachers have described Graham, a 2013 graduate of West Potomac High School in the Alexandria area of Fairfax, as a good student with a sense of humor.

At U-Va., Graham participated in an alternative spring break as a freshman, volunteering to spend long hours rebuilding homes destroyed by tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She was known as a central figure in the college’s ski club.

The investigation into Graham’s disappearance has produced leads in other unsolved cases.

Matthew, who had worked as an orderly at the U-Va. hospital, has been linked by DNA evidence to the investigations of two violent crimes: a sexual assault in Fairfax City in 2005 and the abduction and slaying of Harrington, police have said.

He has not been charged in either case.

In addition, two Virginia universities that Matthew attended between 2002 and 2003 said he was implicated in sexual assault cases. Both women declined to press charges against Matthew, and he was not convicted of any crime connected to the allegations.

Graham spent the evening of Sept. 12, a Friday, drinking and socializing with friends near campus before going out about midnight. By 1 a.m., she was seen wandering the Downtown Mall, about a mile and a half from her apartment. She sent messages to friends indicating that she was lost.

Shortly after 1 a.m., witnesses saw Graham with Matthew near the Tempo restaurant.

Brice Cunningham, the owner of Tempo, told The Washington Post that his employees later saw Graham and Matthew leaving the area together. She had not been seen since.

Police quickly focused on Matthew, searching his car and his Charlottesville apartment and eventually seeking a warrant for his arrest. Matthew was arrested Sept. 24 on a beach near Galveston, Tex., more than 1,300 miles from his apartment.

Matthew was charged with abduction with intent to defile, indicating that police think he planned to sexually assault Graham.

He is being held without bond in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

James L. Camblos III, the lawyer representing Matthew, said he would await further information.

“The police have located human remains, and we will wait to see what the medical examiner says to see who it is,” Camblos said.


#HannahGraham Our Greatest Hopes, Our Worst Fears:

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

Maybe this will bring some good. Help Save The Next Girl:


Human remains believed to be those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham have been found on an abandoned property outside Charlottesville, authorities announced Saturday evening.

Graham, 18, of the Alexandria-area of Fairfax County, vanished in the early hours of Saturday Sept. 13. She was last seen by witnesses on the Downtown Mall with a man identified by police as Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said authorities must still make a conclusive identification of the remains. But he said police have notified the teen’s family. Authorities also said Graham’s case has become a death investigation.

If the body is that of the sophomore, it marks a grim end to a five-week search for the teen, who apparently became lost after a night out drinking and socializing with friends.

The remains were found by a sheriff’s deputy in Albemarle County.

“I want to thank everyone who gave up their days, their nights, their weekends,” Longo said of the search for Graham. “People who called, wrote and dropped food and good wishes and words of encouragement to the search groups and the detectives who work so hard through this investigation.”

“Today would have not been possible without their prayers, their encouragement and their help,” the chief said.

Longo said a police official reached out to Hannah Graham’s parents, John and Susan Graham, with “a very difficult phone call to share this preliminary discovery.”

Police said they have been searching the property for any clues, and said they would not release further details at this stage of the investigation.

“Today’s discovery is a significant development. And we have a great deal of work ahead of us. We cannot and we will not jump to any conclusions in regards to today’s discovery,” said Col. Steve Sellers, of the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office.

“This sadly is now a death investigation,” Sellers said.

Police have said they linked Matthew’s DNA to the investigations of a violent sexual assault in Fairfax City in 2005 and the abduction and murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, 20, in October 2009.

Hannah Graham timeline

Matthew has also been identified as a football player who was accused of sexual assault at Liberty University in 2002 and transferred to Christopher Newport University, where he was accused of another sexual assault in 2003 before dropping out. The university investigations did not lead to criminal charges.

James L. Camblos III, the lawyer representing Matthew said he would await further information. “The police have located human remains and we will wait to see what the medical examiner says to see who it is,” Camblos said.


Search for #HannahGraham becomes search for evidence


Despite having covered 70 percent of a proposed search area, it would appear the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is going to have to backtrack on their efforts. 

VDEM spokesperson David Watson has stated that the nature of the search for Hannah Graham has changed since the original community search conducted two weeks ago. Original efforts following Graham’s disappearance were focused on finding a missing person, now search teams are now focused on finding evidence.  Specially trained search officials are using canines to search outdoor areas.

“They are looking for things they weren’t looking for in the community search,” Watson said. “Folks might unknowingly disturb evidence.”.

If this is true, and professionals are now being called in to redo the efforts of volunteer community members, it could be that areas previously searched will need to be searched again.

This kind of work is so difficult. I recall being involved in a search of a wooded area back in 2005. This was in a rural area of Quebec where the body of a victim was found in 1977, and where two hunters thought they spotted clothing matching the description of what my sister was wearing when she went missing back in 1978. Albeit the search took place over 25 years after the events, we had less than a couple of acres to cover of dense woodland (the Graham investigation has targeted an 8 mile radius around downtown Charlottesville). There were about 25 of us over the course of 2 days. We found a lot but to this day I feel we were searching too far West, and therefore in the wrong spot.

What we found:  A shovel, a purse, remains of a woman’s shoe, some other things. We sent it all to a forensics lab in British Columbia (the same lab that processed the recovery site in the Robert Pickton case): the results came up empty: no DNA evidence or forensic ties on any of it.

In my recollection – and don’t be too harsh on me, I haven’t Googled this – these mass searches rarely come up with anything evidentiary (the one exception I recall is the Molly Bish case in MA). It’s usually very much like the discovery of Morgan Hartington’s remains:

Theresa Allore = a muskrat trapper

Theresa Allore’s wallet = a farmer on a tractor

Sharon Prior = a farmer

Louise Camirand = two hunters

Having said that, LE should not stop what they are doing. The case is still relatively fresh: keep looking, keep asking for help.



Where is #HannahGraham? #JesseMatthew #MorganHarrington

I have been asked this question by a number of posters. So here is my answer, with the following caveats:


1.  I don’t pretend to know where Hannah Graham is. This is just my opinion. And judging on what I’ve seen so far? The police / FBI know what they are doing.

2. I am about to break the cardinal rule: Don’t chase suspects. Having said that, this is more about chasing – what we have been told is – evidence, not suspects. So I will avoid what I observe a lot of sleuthies are doing: trying to pin every missing persons case / unsolved murder on Jesse Matthew.

3. To the parents of Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington: I know what you are going through because I have been through it. My sister’s murder is an unsolved cold case. My family lived with her being missing for 6 months. Your approach in this matter is absolutely right. Bond with each other, trust no one. The families possibly connected in my sister’s case are very close (Prior, Monast, Dube). We trust no one. Even the brother of Louise Camirand, who prefers to keep relatively anonymous: we talk when necessary. And we warn each other of the nut-jobs. (For more on those cases, click here.)  

With those caveats, a few more:

1. I am a relatively sane person with a normal life. I have a 9 to 5 job. I have 3 daughters. My life is rich and fulfilled. I do not need attention. 

2. I am not a professional investigator. My experience comes from living with a 35 year old cold case, and 15 years of semi-professionally studying the patterns of murder. Kim Rossmo – who invented geographic profiling – is a friend; we worked together on profiling the serial murders in Quebec, and he is always available to me as a confidante / consultant.    Rossmo spent time at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, and has consulted with the FBI at Quantico, VA: I would be surprised if they haven’t yet consulted on these cases.  

3. 15 years has gained me access to a lot of material; I have a library of  over 1,000 photos of Quebec crime scene photos, I have pretty much exclusive access to Quebec cold-case files (no, you can’t know my source). I have frequently been asked for advice on cold cases (for better or worse).  I sometimes “think” better than law enforcement on these matters… that is no-knock to law enforcement. As I said, I’ve got 35 years of experience.

4. And, one more time: I’m a dad. I couldn’t post about this until now because I was making dinner. But I think of these things because last night my eldest daughter was out at a concert until 12:30 AM: it’s hard not to think of these things.

So with that long introduction, here’s what I think about #HannahGraham / #MorganHarrington / #JesseMatthew:

1. I think police are targeting the right areas. I think Hannah Graham is West or South of Charlottesville.  I believe this based on where Morgan Harrington was last seen and where she was found (that trajectory), where Matthew was born and recently lived, and because the North and East are more urbanized. Matthews has experience with the West (Harrington), and the the West and South are more rural. Also, for what ever reason, I have observed over time that predators tend to hunt near their living environment, and dump South. That’s not statistically significant, just something I’ve noticed in my experience.

2. Someone asked me – if we presume Matthew is responsible for the murder of Harrington and the disappearance of Graham – were the dump sites pre-meditated?  Given those assumptions, I say No. If we take the account of Jesse Matthew’s assault on a driver to be true, he is very impulsive (consider the 1,300 mile run to Galveston).   So, a guy who reacts, then figures out what he’s going to do later. No premeditation, though on the prowl. An opportunistic predator. Though I would say he’s learned from experience: impulsive in the heat of the moment, but over time, he’s learned to put contingencies in place.  


Interactive Map #JesseMatthew #HannahGraham #MorganHarrington

I’m not seeing very helpful maps, so I made my own (just click and navigate). These are the facts. I may add some more speculative points later:


I have other crime maps. Mostly for Canadian cases, and the Rocky Mount Serial Killer case here in North Carolina (click on the PAGES link above).



#JesseMatthew timeline September 12 and 13 #HannahGraham

I don’t know anything about the Charlottesville blogger Coy Barefoot, but if his sources are accurate, this timeline of Jesse Matthew’s actions on September 12 and 13 are damning:

The Hours Before LJ Met Hannah

“He kept trying to put his hands on my legs, above and below the knee,” the young woman says. “He’d been way too aggressive all night, putting his arm around me, picking me up, putting his hands on my legs. I looked at him and told him to keep his hands off of me.” They were in Tempo Restaurant on Fifth Street in downtown Charlottesville. It was shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 13.

The woman is a 25-year old resident of Charlottesville. The man is 32-year old Jesse “LJ” Matthew, who was arrested September 25 in Galveston, Texas on a charge of Abduction With Intent to Defile in the case involving the still-unexplained disappearance of second-year University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Hannah was last seen by an eye witness walking with LJ Matthew in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 13. She appeared heavily intoxicated, the witness told me, slouched against him, not quite able to walk on her own. They were seen together outside Tempo, the same restaurant where just about an hour before, another woman had told him to get his hands off of her. I ask that young woman what one thing she remembered most about that night. She thinks for a moment and says with a steady stare, “That he creeped me the fuck out.”

In the days since 18-year-old Hannah Graham went missing, investigators have managed to piece together a timeline of events that track her movements away from the University area, where she had socialized with friends, to Charlottesville’s popular Downtown Mall, a multi-block pedestrian thoroughfare, which is the heart of this small city of about 40,000. With the aid of eyewitness accounts, cell phone records, and surveillance video footage, we have been able to learn a great deal about where Hannah was that night in the hour or two before she was last seen.

What about LJ’s timeline? Where was he that night before a witness saw him with his arm around Hannah, heading off into the night? Using the information provided to me by a number of eyewitnesses, none of whom had yet spoken to any reporters— but all of whom had already talked with police in a timely manner — I have been able to piece together a partial timeline of events for LJ Matthew in the hours leading up to the disappearance of Hannah Graham.

What I have learned is this: throughout the night, LJ Matthew demonstrated a troubling lack of respect for the physical boundaries of women and men— or perhaps even a deeper lack of understanding that those boundaries exist.

Unprovoked, he suddenly grabbed a man in the Blue Light Grill and wrenched him into a wrestling hold so forcefully that he pulled the man’s hamstring, leaving this man limping for days. In the first few seconds of meeting two women for the first time, he yanked them up off the ground and threw them over his shoulders and laughed, making them uncomfortable and embarrassed. He continued to follow both these women, at the Blue Light and later at the Tempo restaurant, putting his arm around them, his face uncomfortably close to theirs, touching their backs, their hair, their faces, their legs— until one of them cursed at him to stop. After one of the women slipped off the boots she was wearing, LJ unexpectedly pulled off her socks, saying he wanted to see her toes. A friend of LJ’s for over nine years described him as a “prowler,” clarifying his use of the word by adding, “which is not to say he was looking for a victim, but looking for a girl who’s already compromised a little bit, maybe improve his chances.”

LJ Matthew’s behavior that evening— as reported by eyewitnesses and the people socializing with him— while quite troubling in light of the disappearance of Hannah Graham, the subsequent charges against him and his arrest, does not make him guilty of any crime with which he’s been charged. In fact, as one friend casually said to me during the course of my investigation, “He sounds like most men I run into when I’m out on a Friday night.”

3pm: The Hospital
Around 3pm Friday September 12, LJ Matthew wrapped up his working day at the University of Virginia Hospital, where he has been employed as a Patient Care Technician in the main operating room. One of his colleagues explained the job to me like this: “You are everyone’s assistant.” LJ was part of a team that was responsible for transporting patients throughout the facility, setting up and breaking down the main operating room for procedures. In several published media accounts, he has been described by those who know him personally as polite, quiet, helpful, respectful, and kind-hearted. One individual told me LJ always seemed like “a gentle giant.”

4-6pm: The Football Game
LJ was at the Covenant High School home football game on late Friday afternoon. A volunteer coach for the Covenant Eagles, LJ was cheering on the sidelines at that game, and watched his team crush Hargrave Military Academy 50-26, an exciting victory that included a thrilling third quarter in which the Eagles scored 24 points.

10pm: The Lazy Parrot Grill
LJ’s timeline picks up next at the Lazy Parrot in the Pantops Shopping Center, about a mile and a half from the Downtown Mall. Two witnesses confirmed that LJ came in at about 10pm that Friday night. They also confirmed that he is captured on an interior surveillance video camera, ordering one drink, and socializing with others in the bar. Eyewitnesses say he did not stay long. One said he was a regular, and that “he’s usually alone.”

11:45pm: The Blue Light Grill
Dave Johnson, a 33-year-old Charlottesville resident, has known and socialized with LJ Matthew for over nine years. He remembers going out that Friday night, September 12, and running into LJ at the Blue Light on the Downtown Mall.

“I went out with a big group of people that night,” Johnson says. “A couple of friends from out of town, friends from here, and some people I work with. There were about eight or 10 of us hanging out that night. We went to Fridays After Five, got some pizza, stopped by Sky Bar, and eventually ended up at the Blue Light around 11:30.

“LJ came into Blue Light by himself, I guess it was around 11:45. I recognized him coming in through the door.” LJ Matthew would be hard to miss at 6’2” tall, 270 pounds, with long dreadlocks. “I introduced him to my friends who were visiting, one of whom was a wrestler,” Johnson continues. “I knew LJ had wrestled in high school, so he would like that. Well, right away LJ shot in on the guy with a wrestling move, took him to the ground there in Blue Light. He pulled his head down to his leg into a standing cradle. My friend heard a pop and felt his hamstring go. So he was hobbling around all night, and for the rest of the weekend. It was an odd thing to do. It was an aggressive thing to do. It wasn’t really provoked. LJ just kind of did it.”


Johnson raises his phone at 11:55pm and grabs a photo of the scene. In the image (at right) people are crowded around the Blue Light bar, and LJ Matthew is clearly visible from behind. According to eyewitnesses, he is wearing a checkered shirt over a burgundy tank top with baggy white cargo shorts and socks with Crocs.

Johnson also introduces LJ to two female friends, one of whom is an attractive, 25-year old African-American woman who has recently moved to Charlottesville.

“He immediately picked us both up and held us over his shoulders,” recalls Molly, who agreed to speak with me on the condition that I use a pseudonym. “I didn’t like that at all and told him to put me down. It was very strange. He put us down, and we sort of tried to move away from where he was. But he kept coming around, putting his arm around us and stuff like that.”

“He was being aggressive,” Johnson admits. “But it’s nothing I don’t expect from LJ.”

The Blue Light Grill, 12:05am, Saturday September 13. Jesse :LJ: Matthew is at right.

At 12:05am, Johnson captures another image on his phone (at left) which shows LJ standing with Molly. At that very moment, Hannah Graham is at a party with friends across town near the University.

Molly says she quickly grew tired of the uncomfortable advances from LJ. “I just didn’t like how he was grabbing my friend and I.” Hoping to leave him behind, Molly and her group of friends left Blue Light for Tempo. “But he followed us,” she says, despite the fact that no one in their group had invited him to come along. “But after we got to Tempo, he walked in the door right behind us.”

12:18am: Tempo Restaurant
Computer records at Tempo show that at 12:18am, LJ Matthew uses his Visa card to purchase three bourbon shots. He drank one and passed two to others at the bar, one of whom was Dave Johnson.

“There’s a range of his temperament,” Johnson replies when I ask about LJ’s behavior that night. “He was a little more aggressive that night than usual. But he’s been aggressive before. Sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop. He’s a pretty tough guy. Wrestling-wise, you’re not going to beat him. But it’s not something that you would ever extrapolate out and say that he’d have the propensity to rape or murder somebody.”

Molly recalls that she and a girlfriend sat at a table near the bar. “My friend had on cowboy boots, and they hurt her feet so she took her boots off. [LJ Matthew] walked over to her, took her socks off, and said “Let me look at your toes.” Molly says they didn’t know how to react to him, as he continued to be inappropriate.

“Then he came over to me and tried to touch my legs,” Molly says. “I told him no. He said, ‘I just want to see your feet, like her.’ I told him no. Don’t touch me, do not touch me. One time he reached above my knee, and the next time below my knee. I finally told him, don’t fucking touch me.”

Still concerned by LJ’s unwelcome behavior, and in a second attempt that night to leave him behind, Molly says she gathered up her friends, including Johnson, and they all left LJ there at Tempo to walk down the Mall to the Escafé restaurant on nearby Water Street. She remembers seeing LJ outside as they left, standing around a group of people near the front door. I ask if at some point he followed them. Did he show up at Escafé?

No, she says.

12:45am: Fifth Street, in front of Tempo
“I remember him dancing around out front,” Abby says. “He was being obnoxious, bumping into people. He seemed really out of place.” Abby, a 23-year old employee of Tempo who, like Molly, agreed to speak with me only if I used a pseudonym, was at the front door that night checking IDs beginning around 10pm. She remembers quite well interacting with LJ Matthew that night at Tempo.

“He came in alone,” she says. “He wasn’t really hanging out with any one group of people. He was dancing some. He was really sweaty. He kept coming out front to bum cigarettes from people who were smoking.”

“I was talking to this woman and her husband,” she continues. “I was talking with her about her hair, it was really short and pretty. I remember them because they had British accents. At one point, I remember [LJ Matthew] was dancing around outside, and he bumped into this British lady pretty hard, just as a way of getting her attention. He was kind of grabby with her, and asked her for a cigarette. Her husband was standing right there. He was like, ‘listen, you can’t treat people like that. You can’t just bump into someone. You need to ask politely if you want something.’ Someone finally gave him a cigarette, and I think he might have sat on the curb and had a few puffs before he got up and walked away. He was alone.”

That was a little before 1am. Hannah Graham was at that time walking up Market Street and turning onto Second Street in front of Fellini’s restaurant, where an eyewitness saw her and she was captured by surveillance video. She is walking quickly. She is only minutes away from meeting up with LJ Matthew.

1am: The Downtown Mall
LJ Matthew leaves Tempo by himself at about 1am. He walks up Fifth Street and turns left, heading west down the Mall. At about the same time, Hannah Graham has turned off of Second Street a few blocks away, and is walking east up the Mall in his direction.

Two surveillance cameras on the Mall, one at Sal’s Italian Restaurant and the other inside Tuel Jewelers, record what happens over the next few minutes.

In the Sal’s video, LJ is seen walking into view from the left just as two women are approaching from the opposite direction. He playfully high-fives one of them, and continues walking west. A few seconds later, Hannah appears in the same footage, walking east on the other side of the Mall. She is by herself.

Slightly off camera to the right, LJ crosses the Mall and merges in with a group of five people. He is walking east now, not too far behind Hannah. In the Tuel’s video a few seconds later, he can be seen walking directly next to Hannah, just to her right, and is keeping pace with her long stride.

An eyewitness reported seeing an African-American man walk up to Hannah about that time and throw his arm around her. I ask LJ’s long-time friend Dave Johnson if he believes LJ knew Hannah before that night. Did he ever mention her? Did he speak of her? Was she a known person among your circle of friends?

“No, not at all, not at all. I don’t know her,” Dave answers. “He never mentioned her. I don’t think he knew her. In fact, I’m fairly certain of it, because he walked up and threw his arm around her. That’s what he did to women when he was hitting on them. If he threw his arm around a woman like that, that was not usually a sign that he knew her. That was a sign that he didn’t. If Hannah knew him, she wouldn’t let him put his arm around her.”

According to investigators, LJ Matthew and Hannah Graham walked up the Mall together, turned right down Fifth Street and headed to Tempo. Within minutes, LJ was back at the Tempo bar, ordering two drinks.

1:10am: Back at Tempo
Abby, who had been checking IDs at the door since about 10pm, does not remember seeing LJ come back to Tempo just after 1am, which would have been only a few minutes after he’d left. Nor does she recall Hannah coming up to the door or asking to come inside. “I don’t remember her,” she says. “Not then. I saw her later.”

Tempo Owner and Chef Brice Cunningham disagrees with those who contend that Hannah Graham was inside his restaurant that night. “I have great respect for the Charlottesville Police,” he says. “I want to do everything I can do to help find Hannah. Everyone at Tempo feels the same way. We are all so upset about this. We want to help find her. But some people have been saying that they saw Hannah here at Tempo. No one I have spoken with, not my guests or my staff, remembers her being here that night.”

Chris Gallagher, who works with Brice to promote the popular dance events that are held at Tempo on Friday nights, agrees. “I never saw her here,” he tells me. “No one I know who was here that night remembers seeing her inside. I know Abby saw her outside after last call. Maybe she was outside waiting for LJ. I don’t know.”

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo has said publicly that a single witness saw LJ Matthew and Hannah Graham together inside Tempo drinking together.

“It’s possible some people were confused,” Gallagher says. “Because most of the night there was a woman here with friends, sitting at the end of the bar, wearing a sequined crop top. But it wasn’t Hannah. It was a woman a few years older than Hannah, and she was shorter and chubbier. My guess is some people remember seeing that other woman here, and because they were dressed similarly, maybe they think that was Hannah. I’ve asked around. I haven’t talked to anyone who was here that night who remembers seeing Hannah inside drinking.”

What is not contested is the fact that LJ Matthew used his Visa a second time that evening at Tempo. According to the records that were shared with me by Cunningham, LJ ordered two drinks at 1:09am and paid for them exactly one minute later. The bartender rang them up at $7 a piece. Witnesses with whom I spoke do not recall whether they were beers or mixed drinks or one of each. And no one I spoke with recalls watching LJ drink one or both of those drinks. Nor does anyone recall him taking them outside to share with someone.

1:45am: Last Call
Abby does remember quite well seeing LJ Matthew and Hannah Graham walking away outside about a half hour later. “A lot of people were outside then,” she says. “It was a typical, crowded Friday night. I guess it was about 1:40 or closer to 1:45. I remember because it was definitely after last call.”

“He came out the side door,” she says of LJ Matthew. “I saw him come walking by and I thought, there’s that obnoxious guy from before. I noticed he had his arm around a girl. She was wearing a crop top.” Abby says it was days later, after she’d seen some video images on the news, that she recognized the girl. She learned that that same girl she’d seen on the Mall was a second-year University of Virginia student named Hannah Graham.

“When I saw her that night,” Abby says, “I remember thinking, she’s really drunk. She couldn’t walk well. She was slouched into him, leaning against him, like she was having difficulty standing up. He was talking to her, and his right arm was around her, not over her shoulder, not at the waist, but around her back and holding her right arm. He was holding her close, like he was almost holding her up. They walked away together up the street towards the Mall.”

That was about 1:45am on Saturday, September 13. That was the last time anyone remembers seeing Hannah Graham.