Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online: Continued from part three. . .

It is time now to briefly leave the main storyline, and introduce to you, the reader, the main players who will shape the course of events regarding Wilbert Coffin. It is also the point in the overall story whereby certain readers may become mad or agitated with me with respect to my comments associated with a variety of high profile persons. I am prepared to take the heat, because, if exposing manipulation, deceit, illegal activities, and corruptness in general, steps on a few toes, then so be it. I am a firm believer that if one has something of substance to say, then they should say it. I do not believe in pussy footing around an issue.

There is an old adage that says, if you are going to sweep the stairs, then you start on the top step and sweep downward, step by step. The top step is precisely where I shall begin.

Maurice Duplessis had been premier of Quebec for many years. He ruled with an iron fist. He realized very early on, that in order to control, it was necessary to have the right people heading up the various portfolios of government. He picked the person with care for the top spots. He picked himself. He was afterall, the premier, the finance minister, the attorney general, and his close friend and confidente was the solicitor general. In charge of all these top offices of the government, woe unto anyone who dared to speak out against his wishes. It was important to Maurice Duplessis to be in the lime light, and if the United States administration yelled jump, his immediate response would be, how high? He was, and always would be, as long as he was there, foremost and number one. In my view, a designation of "the worlds littlest dictator" would be in order. Truly, a legend in his own mind.

In order that Duplessis appease the American administration, and at the same time display the appearance of skill and expertise, it would be necessary to bring the murder investigation of the three American citizens to quick conclusion. If a few people got scraped from the bottom of his boots in the process, that would be ok. At least the American government, and the Federation of Pennsylvania Sportsmen would be pleased, as Washington and Pennsylvania were already rattling their diplomatic sabres through John Foster Dulles and their American Consul in Quebec City. Duplessis was in damage control mode in the fast lane.

Duplessis, then hand picked his team of officers and justice officials to take over the case. Though in reality, they represented little more than puppets on a string, they, nonetheless, commanded a towering presence on the Gaspe' peninsula, because they were supposedly the eletest of the elete. They were the best everyone was told, and really, who would question their credentials, because afterall, they were sent by the premier of the province from Quebec City. The following make up the dream team appointed by Duplessis.

Captain Alphonse Matte was hand picked by Duplessis to seize control of the murder investigation that was currently being handled by Sgt. Henri Doyon, who had been stationed in the Gaspe' region for many years, and knew the area and most of the citizens. Captain Matte was not noted to be a gentleman. His tactics will bear that out later in the story. His methods would exceed what is generally accepted as tolerable in modern police circles. By some accounts, he could be termed as ruthless in pursuit of his quarry. Captain Matte did not have a positive record of support from his fellow workers over the years.

Captain Raoul Sirois was another import from Quebec City to assist and work closely with Captain Matte. He was from the Gaspe' region originally,and was fully bilingual. Prior to being sent to Gaspe' by Duplessis he was attached to the traffic division of the Quebec Provincial Police. In contrast to Matte, he was rather friendly, jovial, and outward. He and his cohorts like to dress with their sun glasses to give the appearance of an American TV series show. As an investigator though, Captain Raoul Sirois was a stupid and inept man. He was forced to admit at the trial that while in the woods searching for the bodies of the two murdered boys, he came upon the carcass of a bear. What does Rambo do then? He takes out his own pistol and shoots the already dead bear, when in fact the bear should have been autopsyed to determine if it had been shot, and by whom, as it was in close proximity to the murder scene. By shooting into the bear, he tarnished what possibly could have been key evidence. Both Raoul Sirois and Alphonse Matte were known to brag about their planned hanging of Wilbert Coffin. Later in the investigation, both, were nothing short of ruthless in their questioning of Marion Petrie Coffin, even to the point of locking her in a jail cell.

Sgt. Jean-Charles VanHoutte was also sent to Gaspe' to be part of the team by the premier. He was sent to replace Sgt. Henri Doyon, the former detachment commander. By this time Sgt. Doyon had been relieved of his duties, as he had dared to speak out, and was critical of the regime. For this he would pay a heavy price. Duplessis and the boys would transfer him to a detachment north of Quebec City. With one year left to go until retirement, Duplessis found a way to fire him, thereby destroying any thoughts of a pension for many many years of service. As with all who were onside with Duplessis, Sgt. VanHoutte fared very well. He would be promoted to captain, and in 1964 was appointed to head the investigation of police wrongdoing in the Wilbert Coffin case. In reality, he was investigating himself, as well as his boss, Alphonse Matte, and Raoul Sirois.

Before leaving this section, it is important that we dwell upon for a few moments another member of the Quebec Provincial Police. Though definitely not a member of the Duplessis team, this officer was very much a part of the initial investigation. His name was Sgt. Henri Doyon, and this officer, as mentioned earlier, was a long time police commander in the Gaspe region. This was Sgt. Doyon's area. He knew the people and their way of life, and as well, most importantly to this case, he knew the woods. It has been said many times that had he been allowed to continue with the original investigation, he would have been able to bring the case to a proper conclusion. There was no way that he could mesh with Captain Alphonse Matte and his high handed methods, so he was simply eliminated from the investigation. With a major murder investigation and an inquest brewing, Captain matte chose to use the services of Sgt. Doyon to personally set up tables and chairs at the parish hall in preparation for the inquest hearing. Simply put, there was no possible way that Captain matte was going to place anyone in a position whereby it could be argued that they were instrumental in solving a case. Clearly, Captain Alphonse Matte had to rule supreme. When all was said and done, in his mind there could only be one hero, and that would be him.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site May 29. 2006

The next posting will include the wrap up of the investigation, the inquests, and the appointment of the court officers, both defense and prosecution. If you think there was government interference in the section that you just read pertaining to police selection, then it is imperative that you ponder the next posting. The declaration that justice must be perceived to be fair is about to encounter stormy waters.


Daphne C said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I have heard over the years that government influence played a major role in that case but never dreamed that it was a severe as what you are beginning to report. If this is true, then that whole thing was such a shameful act, especially, when you consider that the process may have been instrumental in executing someone who was probably very innocent of the crime. So very dreadful. This really makes me cry.

Daphne Creighton
Montreal, Quebec

Jack Davidson said...

I see where you are going with this now. Those are bold claims that you make. Have always felt though that Mr. Coffin was innocent, and if he was I hope you can help prove that, after all these years.

Jack Davidson
Richmond Hill, Ontario

tired old oiler said...

Good luck Lew and give em hell and thanks for telling it like it is. it obviously was a very crooked system right down the pipe from top to bottom. and the coffin family, I have thought how this must be defficult for you all but hang in there as i think the truth will come out.

lew you keep hammering, keep that mouth in motion

Tired old oil worker
Fort mcMurray, alberta

Reni Marceau said...

Lew Stoddard,

You constantly fault the system, you usually have about everything over the years that I recall.

Is this turning out to be just a character assassination of the administration of the province of Quebec some fifty years ago? Is this really your hidden agenda?

Reni Marceau
Hull, Quebec

Lew Stoddard said...

Mr. Marceau,

I usually do not comment on here, however, you have asked me a question in public, so am more that happy to respond in public.

Your question was, if this writing is a character assassination on the Quebec administration of some 50 years ago. My immediate response is this, "I would never try and assassinate the character of the Quebec administration of 50 years ago, because simply, they did a grand job of doing it themselves."

And by the way Reni, my only agenda in this affair is to exhibit the truth and display fair play. That was not the order of the day 50 years ago.

Thank you Reni for your comment.

Lew Stoddard

Georgette Webber said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I am using your message board as a means of sending my personal message to the Coffin family. I do not know where to reach then personally but I have noticed a few of them have made comments here.

I just want all of you to know that I think there are a lot of people out there who share your grief in this matter.

I grew up in the sixties as a teen ager in Mont Joli, Quebec, so that case has haunted us for decades as we were always certain that Wilbert Coffin was sacrificed as a means of securing an image of security. If we are correct, that is a terrible travesty.

I went on in life and obtained a degree in modern history, and have taught all my life, and if one takes the time to read up a bit on our history, we do not score very well. There have been so many injustices. Look at all the wrongful convictions that are surfacing, look at the former plight of our Native Canadians. It is deplorable, and needs to be fixed.

Again, am with you all the way on this and I know scores of others feel the same way. A big round of applause goes to Lew Stoddard for writhing this story.

Georgette Webber
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Hannelore VanHoort said...

Hello Mr. Stoddard,

Have written to you once before on here. I am writing from Belgium.

As I told you once before, my nephew from Toronto pointed me to your site a few months back, and since have read every posting that you have published. You site has quality, and you say it well.

As I mentioned to you on the other occasion, my husband's work takes us overseas sometimes and we have been to Canada on a couple of occasions. We took a camping holiday five years ago around the Gaspe' peninsula and without doubt, the scenery is magnificent. It appears so quiet and serene, almost unbelievable that the scenario that you are presently working on could happen there.

You have a great country, and it is too bad that a few can make a black mark. As a result of your writings have taken some time and researched a few things, and I have to agree, there is certainly reason for concern in the case of this Mr. Coffin. This must be so hard for his family, even if it occured years distant. I agree something should be done, and my thoughts are with you. God Bless!

Hannelore VanHoort
Schaerbeek, Belgium

Tammy Atherton said...


Since you announced a few weeks ago that you were commencing this story, I have been researching newspaper accounts of it on the internet. I must say I have learned lots about it, but you certainly go to much much deeper depth than any of the newspaper stories. That speaks volumes for what you are doing. Obviously, you have spent a lot of time on this. I had heard of it previous but must admit, knew absolutely nothing about the case other than talk from others who didn't really know either.

By the way, Good luck to all the Coffin family. Ride it out, as goodness will prevail one day.

Tammy Atherton
Toronto, Ontario

Linda Maxwell said...

Mr. Stoddard,

You are articulate and compassionate, qualities of a good writer I might add.

I am presently studying journalism, and I am sending you an e-mail for your thoughts on a couple of things, hope you don't mind, and if you have time. I am presently in second year, and find the course fascinating. I am sure the Coffin family are very pleased with the objective, yet sensitive approach that you have taken on this. Keep up the good work, and good luck to the Coffins.

Linda Maxwell
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Simon Cote' said...

Mr. lew stoddard,
I read your writings on the trusscott case as well and i agree with you when you point out all the unfairnes in the system and people that get walked on. it is not fair as always the ones to get stepped on are ones who cant fight back. i bet if W coffin had been a rich family it would never had got as far as it did and to walk on someone just because you can and they cant fight back is wrong.sorry for my spelling and not a good typer but want the coffin family to know i think of you and so does my wife and thankyou mr. lew stoddard for letting me say my opinion.
Simon Cote'
Cornwall, Ontario

Kenneth M said...

Lew Stoddard,

People have to realize that time does not automatically make a "wrong" turn into a "right."

If a miscarriage of justice occured in the past, then it still needs to be corrected, even though 50 years may have passed. Time has absolutely nothing to do with it.

If Wilbert Coffin was wrongly hanged, and I have every reason to believe now that he probably was, then someone has to step to the plate and take the necessary steps.

I am a law student and this case has been debated in various classes an enormous amount of times, and from available information with reference to this case, it would be prudent to assume there are many unanswered questions that should be addressed.

Kenneth M
London, Ontario

Sarah for Fred D said...

Hi Mr. Stoddard,

Greetings from the far north. My Dad reads your site all the time but he does not type so guess what, he asked me to do this for him.

My father has always believed in the innocence of Wilbert Coffin, and he lived in Quebec during this time. He also wanted me to point out that in his view the Quebec government did not treat a lot of people very well in those days. He supported your comments regarding this yesterday.

Anyway, on behalf of Dad, this is what he wanted me to tell you.

Sarah for Fred Dempsey
Oshawa, Ontario

T Weir said...

Hey Lew,

Keep the chin up and keep hammering. The pen is mightier than the sword. Lets get Mr. Coffin's name cleared, this is bad, this is canada.

T Weir
St. Johns, Newfoundland

S McDougall said...

Enjoying your writing on this type of topic. As with the Truscott case, you are able to put one in the story, despite such a long passage of time.

This Coffin case makes one really sit back and wonder how all this happened. The stark reality is that while I think Mr. Coffin is not guilty of the murder charge, the real guilty party has walked around scott free all these years. This is so wrong.

S McDougall
Edmundston, new Brunswick

Carolyn Doherty said...

You have spoken of a son of Wilbert Coffin. This must have been so hard for him, growing up with the stigma of all this. I am anxious to know if he is still alive, I am sure you will be covering that as your writing progresses. Great job on the story thus far.

Carolyn Doherty
Timmins, Ontario

Sharon Wicks said...

If they hung an innocent man when Mr. Coffin was executed, then those same people who drummed up false and misleading evidence which would have contributed to it should have been brought to justice. If it was done as a result of lies and deceit, then, is that not murder as well?

Sharon Wicks
Surrey, B.C.

Bill Tremblay said...

It would appear that justice is only fair when one can afford to fight the system when it does us wrong.

Increasingly, we are finding out that "who you know and are friends with" will determine if you get proper treatment in the criminal justice system.

I think that Wilbert Coffin paid the biggest price possible because he could not fight back properly. His legal representation was deplorable.

Bill Tremblay
St. Jean, P Q

Dave Creary said...

This is better than a letter to the editor in a newspaper. At least it gets printed in its total form, without someone editing the strength from it.

My opinion in simple terms is this. Wilbert Coffin was shafted. Someone needs to come clean. This is not fair.

Dave Creary
Hamilton, Ontario

Gwen Murchie said...

to any of the Coffin family who may be reading this I wish to take the opportunity to tell you there are a lot of people who share your grief across canada

i dont know how i would have dealt with this on a personal level if i had to experrience it in my family. know it would be rough on a family. love and prayers to you all

mrs. Gwen Murchie
Hopewell, NB

Wendell Atkins said...

Mr. Stoddard,

As others have told you sir, you write it bold, you write it well. Thank you for that, you have stirred my interest in this affair. Did not know a thing about it until I read it on your page. Have now done some research and reading. This is a terrible story of modern Canadian history.

I am sorry to say the reason that I was unaware of it is because I am 34 years old and my family did not come here from Great Britain until I was 12. Bad things like this do happen in countries, but never thought something like this would or could happen in Canada. It is definitely time to clear Mr. Coffin's name, so that his family can have some sort of closure.

Wendell Atkins
North Bay, Ontario

Hideo Sakiyama said...


This is not about democracy, this is nothing short of a police state when you see the police and the judiciary strings all pulled by one man.

Wilbert Coffin never stood a chance, I can see that coming as I read the story. I do know the outcome of course as most folks do, but in my wildest dreams had no idea that it took shape in the fashion that you are describing.

Thanks for the chance Mr. stoddard to publicly express my opinion. This is a good forum.

Hideo Sakiyama
Richmond Hill, Toronto

Barb Layton said...

hey mr. Stoddard. . . do I get a gold star or something? Just last evening I got you five brand new readers for your editorial page, they all wrote down your web page address. We were at a barbecue and the subject of Wilbert Coffin came up as my hubby was talking about it. Three of the guys there knew of the case, and were most inspired to learn of the renewed interest across canada.

We brought your page up on the computer there and everyone had a read. just thought that I would let you know.

Barb Layton
Courtenay, B C

Ryan McEwen said...

Mr. Stoddard,

Your web page is very informative. Have never responded before, however, I see that many do. You are obviously one who keeps abreast of news happenings. That is good. You pick great topics, and I have been reading with interest your latest on the Coffin affair.

I like your style of writing. I write for a smaller, twice weekly publication. You have given me great inspiration to approach my editor to look at the possibility of touching upon stories such as the Wilbert Coffin drama. I can see by your site, there is lots of interest. Just wanted to take the opportunity to tell you, that you are doing a great job.

Ryan McEwen
Halifax, N S

Perry Atwood said...

If Wilbert Coffin did not do this crime, I would sure like to know who did. It would appear that he did not. Will you be naming a new suspect? I am impatient and nosy Sir.

Perry Atwood
Winnipeg, manitoba

Carrie Mathers said...

This whole case seems filled with more questions than there are answers. Very baffling, seems like they should have beeen able to solve it in the 50's. I don't think that wilbert Coffin did this.

Carrie Mathers
North Bay, Ontario

Henri St. Pierre said...

You do not paint a good picture of the Quebec Provincial Police. You are tarring them all with the same brush it would appear. True, there may have been a few bad actors, but that doesn't mean they are all bad.

I hope as well that justice will prevail in this case, but I don't like the pointing of fingers. Nothing is gained by this, only stirs people up. I am sympathetic with the Coffin family in this thing too, as I am sure a lot of other Canadians are.

Henri St. Pierre
St. Hubert, PQ

Brad M said...

Hard to believe that a seasoned law enforcement officer would act in the way that the investigator acted in your introduction of the officers involved in this case. I refer to the one who target practised on the dead bear. Sure speaks well for professionalism!!!

Brad McKenzie
Cabano, Quebec

Emily Graves said...

Dear Mr. Stoddard,

Just a quick note to you, and hope that some member of the Coffin family may see this as well.

Firstly, just want you to know that we have a copy of the book that you spoke of awhile back titled "To Build A Noose." My husband acquired it somewhere for his elderly Dad.

You see my hubby's Dad worked in his younger years on the Gaspe' peninsula in the logging camps hauling logs and wood products. He spent quite a bit of time in and around the town of Gaspe' and Perce and he knew some of the Coffin family including Wilbert Coffin and a brother as well. He also knew Albert Coffin, whom I believe was Wilbert's Dad.

He used to tell us as to how the area was on edge when all this was happening. He never believed for a moment that Wilbert Coffin was capable of doing the crime for which he was executed.

I have read the book myself, and though it is complicated in places, it pretty much told the story according to my late father-in-law.

Anyhow, just thought that I would share that with you. God Bless You one and all.

Emily Graves
Victoria, B C

Bruce Tanner said...

You were quite graphic and outspoken in your introduction of the investigating team for Wilbert Coffin's trial. Excellent choice of words. You said it well.

Bruce Tanner
Brentwood Bay, B C

Gordon McBrine said...

It is easy to see where Mr. Coffin never stood a chance. He needed help, but simply, there was no where in his world where he could turn. A sad and tragic end to a very bad situation.

Gordon McBrine
Sherbrooke, PQ

mariecoffin said...

I am sitting at the kitchen table ,holding back the tears. I'm afraid if I let them fall, they will never stop.
My name is Marie Coffin, and I am Wilbert Coffin's sister. I have just finished reading the lastest article by Lew Stoddard. What a terrific job he is doing.
The comments from readers of this site are so appreciated, like balm on a deep,raw wound. It may be 50 years to some, but to my family, the horror, the wrenching pain of it is there, it has not gone away. We cannot forget it. The pain and anguish,caused by Wilbert's death,is us it was not 50 years, but yesterday,and today. It is raw.
Over the years I have felt so alone, but now the ache in my heart is not so great, when I read how many people believe in my brother's innocence. Can anyone out there imagine the horror of having your brother hung,and worse, knowing he was innocent of the crime he hung for? How do you shut it out of your mind,your heart? What do you do with the pain, sharper than a knife?
I read in one of the books, written about him, that he hung for 15 minutes before he died. I read this just recently,and the horror of it keeps me awake at night. I have spent many sleepless nights thinking about my brother Wilbert,and have prayed day and night for the truth to come out.
The wickedness that railroaded my brother was beyond a was a horror that has haunted us for so long. If he had only been allowed to speak in his own defence,if only they had called just even ONE of the witnesses for him...but they did not. He was unjustly chosen to pay the price for the deaths of the American hunters. He paid. But we all have paid, our family, our town, our province,our nation,our world. This stain is on our entire justice system. If it can happen to one, it can happen to another.
I pray every day that the truth will come out, that my brother Bill's (Wilbert's)name will be cleared.
My heartfelt thanks to Lew Stoddard. Also to Alton Price, Jacques Hebert,and the others,who have worked tirelessly, for years, to clear my brother's name. And to each and every one of you ,for your support, our family extends a big thanks. There are no words for how much your support means to me and my family.
As I mentioned before, The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Accused, in Toronto, a volunteer group of lawyers, has taken on my brother's case.Their efforts have played a large part in freeing others who were imprisoned wrongfully. They are presently working on Truscott's case, as well as Wilbert's. We are so grateful to them. They have helped others to clear their names, when they were wrongly accused,and imprisoned. Their wonderful work is possible through donations,and fundraisers. I am in the process, of beginning a fundraiser, for this groupof lawyers, to help with their expenses, including travel, photocopying, court costs, etc. I am hoping that Canadians will donate change, pennies, nickels, dimes,quarters, loonies,etc. ...toward the lawyers expenses. There are no words for what it would mean to clear Wilbert's name. If you would be interested in helping with this, no amount is too small,each penny counts,and you may contact me, Marie Coffin, 418-368-3598.
God bless everyone for their support.
Sincerely, Wilbert's sister, Marie Coffin.

Anonymous said...

From Alton Price, Denison Mills, QC.

Ref.: Comments of Reni Marceau, 30 May, 2006.

In 1983 Jacques Hebert published 'I Accuse The Assassins of Coffin', wherein he accused three policemen and three prosecutors. Wilbert Coffin hanged, but they for the most part were promoted and the real murderer went free until he died in an Ottawa area hospital in Nov. 1998.

After a great deal of research in the Wilbert Coffin dossier and elsewhere I published 'To Build A Noose' in 1996. The French version, 'Tromper Le Jury' followed in 1998. I would be glad to give Reni Marceau a copy of either or both.

From Captain Alphonse Matte's brutal and illegal treatment of Wilbert the thread can be followed through the lame excuse of a trial, the Quebec Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Canada and finally, on the last day of Wilbert Coffin's life, to the Prime Minister's Office where the governor-in-council sacrificed him to the U.S.A. and to Premier Duplessis. The Quebec Court of Appeals and the five justices of the Supreme Court who refused leave to appeal supported the prosecution with what no common sense person could call evidence.

Two Supreme Court Justices, John Robert Cartwright and Charles Holland Locke wrote very sound arguments as to why Wilbert Coffin should have a new trial.

From Perce to Ottawa there were a number of individuals who had to share the blame for the execution of an innocent man.

In May 1998 I submitted an application to the Criminal Conviction Review Group requesting that the Wilbert Coffin case be reviewed. The brief consists of 79 pages of argument supported by 190 pages of excerpts from the different documents in the Wilbert Coffin file.

The brief was accompanied by 27 pages of information on the unofficially named murderer. In spite of family and outside pressure the witness to the murders refuses to make an affidavit.

Through three Justice Ministers, Anne McLellan, Martin Cochon, and Irwin Cotler, no progress has been made. Shortly after he was appointed Justice Minister, Cotler was sent copies of 'To Build A Noose' and 'Tromper Le Jury' along with a letter. There has never been a reply. Furthermore, Cotler refused to discuss the subject with one of our local journalists.

It is interesting that during the research I received excellent cooperation from Quebec civil servants. This has not been the experience at the Federal Level.

The majority of Francophones in Quebec have proven through petitions and in other ways that they want Wilbert Coffin's name cleared.

My Address: Alton Price
463 McLaughlin Rd.
R.R. #2
Richmond, QC.
J0B 2H0

Telephone: (819) 848-2620

G Helms said...

Discovered your site last evening. Was searching something on Internet Explorer dealing with justice reform and searching for sites that dealt with that and political issues and yours was one of the ones that came up.

Looked back at a lot of your older editorials as well, very interesting topics covered here. Both the Truscott and the Coffin case are certainly examples of a need for justice reform in this country. I book marked your page, so plan to come back on a regular basis.

G Helms
Sussex, New Brunswick

Valerie Goodson said...


I just blooked at the calendar, here it is June 01, 2006. Looked back over your writings on this. I see the events started to unfold in June of 1953, I believe the first date was June 08 of that year.

Absolutely incredible that 53 years later you are writing about this as if it was yesterday that it happened. I feel terribly about this, but until very shortly ago, I was totally ignorant of the whole affair. This is good that you write about this stuff, it kindles a desire to learn.

Valerie Goodson
Victoria, B C

Derrick M said...

Lew Stoddard,

Knowing the outcome of this event to which you are writing, and others, it is not difficult to see why the abolishment of capital punishment had to prevail.

Anytime that a life can be taken strictly on the whims of a group of people is fundmentally wrong. I am not for a moment trying to lessen the impact on the true criminal. He or she deserves everything that can be thrown their way, but it has to be based on fact. If an innocents life is taken based on a wrongful conviction, and the perpetrator ends up walking free, then truly that is an unconscionable act.

When one ponders the story to which you are working on, very quickly this fact jumps out and bites. I hope the lawmakers are listening.

If miscarriages have occured, and history proves repeatedly that they have, then responsibility must be assumed by the very same people who enacted the laws in the first place, namely the government, and those charged with the responsibility of enforcement.

Derrick M
Law Student from Portland, Maine

T Jeffries said...

Lew Stoddard,

I know that premier Maurice Duplessis was all for himself, history tells me that, but why did the people allow it?

T Jeffries

B Howard said...

Wilbert Coffin died a martyr to us all. Not by choice, but by circumstance. I want to know why he had to do that if he was not guilty.

B Howard
Clinton, Ontario

S Bedard said...

Just recently learned how many people have been hanged since confederation in Canada. There are a lot of them, stands to reason that if it turns out that Wilbert Coffin was innocent, I am willing to bet other innocents went to the gallows as well over the years.

S Bedard
St. Rose, PQ

C McDonald said...


Have been to Gaspe' several times. Hard to believe that an incident such as this could have it's roots there. It gets more frightening as time goes on.

C McDonald
Prince Edward Island

C Joyce said...

The presumption of innocence in any trial must exhibit arguments and debate from both sides. Without it you have a floundering process.

C Joyce
Saint John, N B

Brenda Rhodes said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I think you are too severe and graphic in your depiction of officials connected with the Coffin case. I believe that justice should prevail for the Coffin family, but nothing is gained in my view of spouting off as you do so frequently. Just my opinion of the matter.

Brenda Rhodes
Thunder bay, Ontario

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