Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:
In history there are some things that are good to forget, there are some things that we should forget but don't, and there are some things that we should never forget.

A graphic example of something that should never be forgotten is when governments, in their haste to look good, purposely, walk over the weak and unsuspecting. In other words, set them up for a fall, then wash their hands of the process. The criminal justice system of Canada is rife with examples of torment and abuse of innocent parties, thrust into a lifetime of turmoil through no fault of their own.

In 1959 Steven Truscott was living in the small town community of Clinton, Ontario. It is ok here to ask, Who is Steven Truscott, because if you are a younger person, you may not be aware.

Steven Truscott was a fourteen year old school boy, living with his family in the marriage quarters of RCAF Station Clinton. Like most other kids from the base, Steven attended the nearby school where most of the boys and girls were acquainted with each other. They played together, they swam together, they fished together, and participated in all the other good things that are routine associated with a kid being a kid. June 12 th of 1959 however, was the last day that Steven Truscott would be a kid growing up in Clinton.

On this evening, Steven Truscott would be taken into custody and charged with first degree murder in the death of 12 year old Lynne Harper, a female school chum from the same community. At the conclusion of his first degree murder trial in September of the same year, Steven Truscott would be found guilty and become the youngest person in Canada to be sentenced to death by hanging. Amid much public outcry, the sentence would stand steadfast, until the prime minister of the day, The Right Honourable John Diefenbaker and the cabinet commuted the sentence to life in prison.

On behalf of Steven Truscott, his lawyers appealed the conviction to the Ontario Court Of Appeal, with the appeal being dismissed. A subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court Of Canada also ended in failure. Steven Truscott's fate was sealed, even though, throughout the whole process he maintained his innocence of the charge. Steven was sent to Kingston Penitentiary, then to a training facility, and upon turning 18 would be transferred to Collins Bay Penitentiary at Kingston, Ontario until his release on parole in 1969.

Upon being released on parole, Steven Truscott lived in relative obscurity under an assumed name, gaining employment, marrying wife Marlene and raising a family. Across Canada however, there was always a strong feeling that an innocent person had been convicted, and, that as a boy of 14, he came very close to being the youngest person ever executed.

Years later, as a result of investigations and research for various publications and broadcast media, a different twist began to unfold with respect to evidence submitted by the crown at the initial trial. It soon became apparent that many of the so called facts as presented at trial, differed greatly from more recent accounts, as they became uncovered.

Eye witness statements had been altered and tampered. There were other individuals who should have been investigated as potential suspects. These were people with criminal convictions for assaults on children. It is known that these people were in the near vicinity. It is also known that at least one potential suspect was investigated and charged with a crime against children only days before Lynne Harper was murdered. He was released by a judge, with no further investigation for this crime. It is also apparent that childrens statements in some cases were influenced, and in doing so, supported the crown's charge. Some statements from children were never entered as evidence, thereby, buttressing the case for the crown, considering such a supression of evidence by the police and prosecutors.

Steven Truscott's own statements that he gave Lynne Harper a ride on his bicycle to the highway, and then saw her getting into a particular type of vehicle were not taken seriously. His description of the vehicle closely paralleled the vehicle owned and driven by a former mentioned person who should have been considered as a prime suspect. This was evidence that was never followed up on.

The autopsy conducted on the victim in this case was little more than name only. By accounts, the lead police investigator, with the assistance of the pathologist were able to pinpoint the time of death at almost precisely to the minute to coincide with Steven Truscott's movements. It is also apparent that the established time of death was altered to more closely parallel the time window of Steven's movements. Modern pathology tells us that it would be impossible to ascertain time of death precisely, from the study of stomach contents from the deceased as was the case here.

Steven Truscott was tricked into attending with the police at the time of his arrest. He was a minor, he was taken away purposely without the knowledge of his parents. He was grilled and questioned relentlessly for several hours with no legal advice present. In today's world, that would be strictly prohibited, and would immediately end the case.

Throughout all this, Steven Truscott never faltered. His account of events never changed. He remained calm and collected, and exhibited the matter of fact attitude, associated with having nothing to hide. It would be relatively easy to gain a conviction with no dissenting evidence, and no necessity for examination for discovery as would be the case today. Indeed, if Steven Truscott was singled out to be the guilty party, the time had arrived.

It can be argued, that at best, the investigation of this crime was nothing short of being sloppy, and self satisfying on the part of the police and the justice system of the day, in order to quickly arrest and charge a suspect, and thus , sustain a position of confidence within the community.

This, in simplistic terms, is my view of what happened back in the summer of 1959 in Clinton, Ontario. In tomorrow's posting, I shall be offering my opinion with respect to present day happenings in this saga. Please feel free to post comments today and tomorrow on this important, but startling case.

Lew Stoddard


Calvin G said...

Hey Brother, you are right, this is a real railroad job. Keep hammering the lying so and so's. This was a true hatchet job. I already phoned a coulpe of people today to get involved with this that yoo are doing.

Calvin G
Hamilton, Ontario

Truscott said...

Dear Mr. Stoddard:

Thank you so much for your column today. We appreciate your interest and the comments we have read from your viewers.

Steve and Marlene

Guelph, Ontario

Joline M said...

I had heard of this case previously, but you outline it in easy to read terminology. These facts scare me. . . Could something like that happen to me? Geez! one never thinks about things like that, this is terrible.

I hope Mr. Truscott can get what he is seeking, and Mr. Stoddard, thank you, and will read again tomorrow. My Mom told me about this site today.

Joline Mersereau
Cabano, P.Q.

Christine W said...

Hello Lew Stoddard,

You are a great writer, very informative, very down to earth, but you choose your words wisely, in a relaxing manner.

Mr. Truscott good luck to you sir, you deserve a lot more from the system than what you have got. I hope it all goes well for you. I am sending off an e-mail for certain tomorrow voicing my opinion to the Ontario and federal governments.

Christine Walsh
St. Catherines, Ontario

Rob Winters said...

Hey Michael Bryant, it is time to do the honourable thing for Steve Truscott. If you were he and he were you, would you be asking the same thing? I bet you would, so why not look after him now instead of skirting the issue?

Rob Winters
Toronto, Ontario

Bobby M said...

Hey Steve

glad to see Lew Stoddard come onboard to help you, not sure how long he has been going on this or if you know him, but can say one thing for sure, he makes people sit up and take note of his presence. We are a rootin for you Steve out here in Vancouver, B.C.

Bobby McNair
Vancouver, B.C.

Blake M said...

Hey Ontario government, do your stuff, make it right with this man.

Blake McCurdy
Vancouver, B.C.

Winston McLean said...

Hey Lew

Where is that nice new ethical and clean government that was promised by Steven Harper, prior to the last federal election?

C'mon now Prime Minister Harper, Canada is watching and listening! Get this Steven Truscott thing settled once and for all. He doesn't seek anything that is not rightfully his.


Evan T said...

Steve Truscott dont you back down and settle for second best, you go for the Gold here. After 48 years of endurance, you deserve a medal in my books.

Evan Teasdale
Nanaimo, B.C.

Tom G said...

Dear Lew,
Are we becoming smarter or are we becoming more of a pacifist society. It is time to stand and be counted for Steven Truscott

Tom Garrlick
Prince George, B.C.

Kevin Sealy said...

Hi Marlene and Steven. You obviously love each other very much, otherwise something like this would burst a marriage at the seams.

Prepared a list of e-mail addresses today so that I can bang off a pile tomorrow to Mla's and Mp's. Sending a copy to our premier in Ontario, as well as to Prime Minister Harper in Ottawa.

Lew, I can see that you can get lively. Took the opportunity to read a lot of your posts on your site about a lot of things. You say it strong, you say it well.

Steve keep up the fight, Don't let the system grind you down.

Kevin Sealy
Timmins, Ontario

Warren A said...


Have been interested in your plight since I was a kid growing up in New Brunswick. My brother e-mailed me the link to this site yesterday. Very impressive, and really feel wanted here, can freely express personal opinion, and unlike a newspaper, it gets published.

Warren Atkinson
Brandon, manitoba

Anonymous said...

Marlene and Steve,
I see your e-mail address at left, and have to go away from area for two days, but will be definitely be contacting you. I have never been to this site before, was advised about it yeaterday by someone else, and lo and behold, there is your e-mail adjacent to me.

Carol Manning
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Barrie B said...

Keep swinging Steve, dont ever give up.

Kevin and Jodi Bezanson
Barrie, Ontario

Ken Adler said...

Hey Steve and Marlene,

Will contact you in a couple of days on the email address. I am so glad to see this forum on the internet, this helps a lot to keep folks like me posted. This is a good site, I read it at least once a week.

Ken Adler
Summerside, PEI

Delores said...

Mr Stoddard,
I thank you for talking about things like this on your web page. This happened before I was born, however Dad and Mom have talked about it lots over the years.

I am hopeful that Mr. Truscott can get this sorted out to where he wants it, he deserves it. He is a Canadian citizen as well. Hey, I just spotted a comment from Steve and Marlene Truscott. This is really special.

Delores Anders
St. Johns NFLD

Sue A said...

Lew it is imperative that the government do something quickly, as afterall, they have stated that it is apparent that a miscarriage of justice occured. What in the devil are they waiting for?

Justice now for Steven Truscott

Sue Allison
Red Deer, Alberta

Corinne L said...

Lew, it has been 47 years since this thing took place, would take a few hours to dispose of it quickly. Can you do something to light a fire under their butts.

Corinne LaRue
Whitehorse, Yukon

Anonymous said...

years ago mr truscott i must admit i always wondered if you were guilty but I always kept my mind open, glad i didd cause i know you are not guilty after all the stuff that we see that was scrubed from viewe at the trial
Good luck sir sorry for my typeing and spelling but you get my view anyway. it will work out fineally sir.

verne Knowles in Pembina

Fred Barlow said...

The truth always prevails and millions know you ate not guilty steve. The court and justice system need thir butts kicked for this. This is a sham

Fred Barlow
Halifax, N S

C Prentice said...

Imagine administering someone secretively with LSD and Truth Serum. This is trickery, and sleazy all wrapped into one. You withstood everything they threw at you, and there is a good reason why you did. You are innocent, that is why.

Mrs. C. Prentice
Sorel, P Q

chris Grieb said...

I am from the US and have followed the Truscott case since 1966. I have a copy of Until You are Dead. I really hope the powers to be get the case right this time.

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