Monday, June 26, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online: Continued from part five. . .

The discovery of Eugene Lindsey's remains on July 15, 1953 confirmed murder had taken place in the Gaspe' woods. Nothing, that would even come close to this magnitude had ever taken place on the peninsula. The rumour mills were going full speed. Whispers and hushed tones were the order of the day. Theories were rampant. Who would do such an evil deed, and why? Was the perpetrator or perpetrators from the local area, or was it the work of someone from the United States Of America? Was it a random strike, or was it a planned calculated murder? These are all avenues that warranted investigation immediately. Were they pursued? Very definitely not, as you will soon discover in the story.

Three days later on July 18, 1953, Doctor Lionel Rioux, the local doctor who doubled as area coroner would convene and hold a private inquest with reference to the discovery of the human remains, which had now been transferred from the woods to the town of Gaspe'. Dr. Rioux learned at the inquest of the findings of the provincial pathologist, Dr. Jean Marie Roussell who had attended the crime scene in the woods. Dr. Roussell would confirm that he had established the identity of the human remains as that of a Mr. Eugene Lindsey, an American citizen from the state of Pennsylvania. When questioned as to criteria in establishing identity, again, the long finger nail theory played a paramount role, with no further elaboration or identification of possible scientific elements. Interestingly, he would later testify that scientific means of identification was the primary means, with the long finger nails being secondary, but again, never isolating as to what this scientific data consisted of. Indeed, much doubt is created as to the existence of any scientific data used by Dr. Roussell in this identification.

At the conclusion of the private inquest on July 18, 1953, Coroner Dr. Lionel Rioux's oifficial declaration was as follows. On July 15, 1953, a human remains had been discovered in the woods some thirty five miles distant from the town of Gaspe', in the province of Quebec. This remains had been identified as that of Eugene Lindsey from Pennsylvania, in the United States Of America. The official cause of death was uncertain based on the condition of the remains, although, the inquest concluded death did not occur as a result of natural causes, thus, causing Dr. Rioux to declare that death was caused by the action or actions, by a person or persons unknown. Dr. Rioux further concluded that Mr. Lindsey probably met death in an aggressive and barbaric fashion.

It was now obvious that the probability of finding Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar alive was non existent. They were, afterall, still missing in the forest. They must be found immediately. The American administration was jumping all over Maurice Duplessis. His directive to his crack team of investigators in the Gaspe' region was swift and absolute. They must find the other two American hunters, and they must do it now.

Captain Alphonse Matte, the lead investigator was now in a quandry. He had successfully seized control of the investigation for the American hunters, so all attention was now focused on this expert to do his stuff. Down deep, he knew that neither he, nor the other members of his team were capable of effecting a successful conclusion to the search for the hunters. They were, afterall, largely made up of city slicker cops, who when faced with the harsh realities of the real world, would not be able to find their way out of a room with the door wide open. He would be forced to enlist the aid of local people, who knew the terrain, and the area in depth. Were all the local people leaning in his direction? Indeed, they were not, and never would be. The local people were very much in favor of aiding and assisting to bring the matter to closure, they simply were not in favor with the heavy handed methods and approach by Captain Matte and crew. He had a very big problem, that in reality, was his own doing.

Captain Matte was forced to confer with Sgt. Doyon as to recommendations for the search for the remaining two hunters. This was a forced about turn on the part of Matte, as Sgt. Doyon was the officer from whom Matte had wrenched control of the investigation.

Sgt. Doyon explained to Matte there was a gentleman connected with the discovery of Eugene Lindsey's remains, who should be kept on the search, because it was felt that if there was a single person in the Gaspe' area who would be the most likely to negotiatite the woods and nature, this person might be the man. His name was Barney Donahue, and he knew the surrounding area like the palm of his hand. This would be like a breath of freah air to Matte, and as well, if Donahue and a search party were successful, then Matte would look good to the boss, that being Maurice Duplessis.

As reported earlier in the story, Wilbert Coffin had returned from Montreal on July 20, and Sgt. Doyon mentioned that he also knew the area, and should be approached to assist with the search. Captain Matte readily agreed, as he had been told that Wilbert Coffin had been the last known person to have been seen with any of the Lindsey party. Captain Matte insisted that Wilbert Coffin go into the forest by car in the accompaniment of two police officers so that they could study his movements and expressions. Captain Matte was now silently plotting a case against Wilbert Coffin.

It was at this time that Captain Matte would declare that from then on, he, and he alone, would answer questions and make comments regarding the case. He would report to, and take orders directly from Antoine Rivard, the Solicitor General of Quebec, who was in constant touch with Duplessis. Little did Wilbert Coffin know, he was in a very precarious situation indeed. The date was July 21, 1953.

The foot search progressed, and two days later on July 23, 1953, a grim discovery was made near the River St. John, approximately two and a half miles upstream on the opposite side of the river from where the remains of Eugene Lindsey was found. The skeletal remains, which would later be identified as those of Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar were found approximately 200 feet apart. It was suggestive by the grisly scene they had met death in a tragic and most unnatural way.

At this point of the story, I urge you to sit back and quickly review the facts thus far. You will recall the whole affair was an international incident with unprecedented proportions. Three American citizens are missing on Canadian soil. One is now confirmed brutally killed from human intervention. Two other human remains have now been located in the area, though not yet identified, it is a safe assumption that identity will confirm the worst.

As from the beginning, this case bore all the marks of government control of a criminal investigation. This case must be treated with the utmost care. This was echoed from Duplessis, to the solicitor general, Antoine Rivard, who would gain the assurance from Captain Matte that the investigation would be thorough and complete. It must and will be investigated to the letter of the law, leaving no stone unturned was the way it was portrayed to the citizenry of the area. Was this done? Read the next few paragraphs and you be the judge.

First of all, let me qualify myself. Over the years, I have witnessed a number of crime scenes, some violent, some otherwise. I have studied crime scenes. I have interviewed top investigators working on major crimes. I have seen great police investigations, and I have seen what I would class as nothing more than mediocre police work. I have even seen some that were sloppy and embarassing, but I have to be honest in what I am about to tell you.

Without doubt, the handling and managing of the crime scene depicted in this story, exhibits the qualities and characteristics, consistent with an event being approved for entry into "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." In short form, here is what they were dealing with.

The remains of two individuals have been located. They are little more than bones, however, by comparison to Eugene Lindsey's remains they are both relatively intact. Bears obviously feasted on both bodies. The remains are located approximately 200 feet apart. Personal items are located in proximity to the remains. The search party now all tramps in to take a look, with no regard for the crime scene area. This would be the major find in the puzzle with reference to the missing men. Barney Donahue and his party of searchers may have excelled in search procedures, however, based on statements that he would later make about the obvious crime , suggests that his skills would be better utilized as a searcher and game warden, than that of investigator.

In any major crime scene such as this, it is paramount that the government pathologist and his team attend quickly to observe the remains, conduct tests, and thoroughly search the surrounding area. These events are elementary procedures. This is where any investigation has it's beginning, right? Wrong, not in this case. Captain Alphonse Matte was at the controls. The police merely packed up the human bones in two cardboard boxes and tossed them in the back of a pickup truck bound for Gaspe'. They were deposited into a back room at the police station to await the arrival of the provincial pathologist in a couple of days.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site July 02, 2006

The next posting will be posted on July 07, 2006 and will detail the post mortem, Wilbert Coffin's movements while the search was on, and the very important two inquests that are about to take place, which will lead to Wilbert Coffin being arrested as a material witness, and finally being charged with murder. At the conclusion of the Wilbert Coffin story, I shall be outlining the evidence of the crown, how it was presented through manipulation, because in the absense of manipulation, you will soon discover they really had no case.

As well, at the conclusion of the story, I will outline my theory as to what I believe really happened in the woods during that fateful time at Gaspe'. Please be patient, the twists and turns are about to pick up in intensity.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online : Continued from part four. . . .

As I explained at the onset of this story, there would be elements that are not nice to talk about. It is necessary, in abbreviated form, you be made aware of these revelations in order that you fully understand the chain of events and the gravity of the situation. You will also begin to see the motion of the wheels, as the Quebec government machine picks up momentum from a dead stop, to full speed ahead, in it's quest to satisfy the American administration .

It is a requirement of law in Canada that when a human being has met death unexpectedly as a result of suspicious causes, an inquiry under the aupices of a coroner must take place. This inquiry, usually in the form of a formal inquest, is necessary to confirm identity of the body, and as well, establish cause of death if possible. As well, valuable evidence may be garnered by the authorities from an inquest, that will aid law enforcement agencies charged with the pending investigation.

The discovery on June 15, 1953, of what would be established as the remains of Eugene Lindsey, would trigger such an inquiry. It would also trigger the commencement of the sleaziest form of judicial manipulation imaginable in a murder case. Without doubt, the beginning of the end, is now imminent for Wilbert Coffin.

Sgt. Henri Doyon, head of the Gaspe' detachment of the Quebec Provincial Police had done his job well. Through the efforts of his search parties, they had accomplished what they set out to do. They were zeroing in on the fate of the American hunters, with the discovery of what would be determined as being Eugene Lindsey's remains.

The Quebec provincial pathologist, Dr. Jean Marie Roussell, was summoned to Gaspe' and was immediately taken to the location of Mr. Lindsey's remains, in order to view the body, and the surrounding area, to effect the investigation. The scene was not a pretty one. The head, as well as the lower leg bones were missing. The remains consisted chiefly of bones, with only fragments of clothing. It was obvious that bears had ravaged and eaten the flesh. Positive identification would be difficult at face value.

At this point Clarence Claar, the father of Fred Claar, the young man who was travelling on the hunting trip with the Lindsey's, informed Sgt. Doyon that Eugene Lindsey's remains could be identified by his long finger nails. Dr. Roussell confirmed the existence of long fingernails, and thus, it was now announced that the body of Eugene Lindsey had been located. He would later state that more scientific methods were employed, however, those scientific methods were never revealed, leading many to believe they never existed.

Nearby, a fully loaded rifle with the safety mechanism still in the "on" position was found. A startling find, yes it was, however, the rifle would not positively identify the remains as that of Eugene Lindsey. There is no doubt in my mind however, that the remains were that of Mr. Lindsey. I merely point this out as a means of displaying to the reader, the value that assumptions would play upon a jury. This would be the first of many throughout this case.

As the search for answers continued, while combing the area, searchers found a wallet, void of currency. This wallet contained identification belonging to Eugene Lindsey. Again, as with the rifle found earlier, though the find was valuable, it still lacked that element which could positively identify the remains as those of Eugene Lindsey.

Upon scrutiny by Dr. Roussell, a bit of what would be identified as scalp and hair were found on the telescoptic sight of the rifle. Additionally, on the ground under the rifle would be found other physical evidence pointing to Mr. Lindsey as the victim, however, the question that begs an answer is, "was the hair, skin, and what was described as dried blood, ever subjected to laboratory testing for a comparison to Mr. Lindsey's physical and chemical makeup? I simply cannot answer that question for certain, however, there is nothing indicating that such a test was done..

There is evidence to suggest that personal observations played heavily in much of Dr. Roussell's report. As I stated earlier, the identification, based on the long finger nail theory in the absence of scientific proof, indeed lends credence to this suggestion, especially considering that Dr. Roussell never did identify what the "further scientific tests consisted of."

To pinpoint an exact cause of death would be impossible based on evidence at the crime scene. The crime scene did however, point to the fact that Eugene Lindsey's life, most probably met a particularly brutal and gruesome conclusion. Had he been violently beaten to death with his own rifle, as suggested by the physical evidence on the telecsope? Had he been shot in the head? Had he been attacked from behind by a large bear? The answers to these questions cannot be answered from evidence at the crime scene. One can deduce the bear theory is probably not accurate. This is based on the fact that the rifle was found some distance from the body, and bore the marks of physical evidence that most probably came from his remains. That leaves the first two questions to ponder. As the head was missing from the torso, positive answers to these questions arenext to impossible.

Upon conclusion of a cursory inspection of the surrounding area, the remains as identified as those of Eugene Lindsey were packed into a cardboard box and transported to Gaspe'. The pressure was now on. The Pennsylvania authorities were officially informed that Eugene Lindsey had indeed been found dead of very suspicious causes, and that Richard Lindsey, and Fred Claar were still missing and unaccounted for. Tension would mount very quickly between the USA and Canadian governments.

Premier Maurice Duplessis now had problems that could not simply be fixed on the strength of a telephone call. His orders were swift and absolute. This matter must be brought to conclusion immediately, and by whatever means necessary. The tempo in the town of Gaspe', was about to pick up. . . .

The next part of the story will detail the discovery of the bodies of Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar, as well as the inquests, and the seizing of control. Wilbert Coffin will be taken into custody and charged with murder. . .

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site, June 20. 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online: . . . . I am forced to beg your forgiveness for one more day of delay in presenting the next part to the Wilbert Coffin story. As result of my reaching out to my readers a few days ago for information, I am pleased to be able to tell you that several sources have come forward, and one in particular, is relevant to the next part of the story, as this person was apparently a member of the search party for Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar. I shall be interviewing this person later this afternoon.

In addition to the above, I have also received a lengthy e-mail which details answers to questions that I had regarding the illegal liquor business in the Gaspe' area during the early 1950's. Hopefully, this will shed some light on, and connect with other information that I have.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who has taken the time, and made the effort to contact me as a result of my request, and the invitation is still very much open for others to come forward as well. Again, my e-mail address is and assuredly, if you prefer, your name will never be made public, as access to the e-mail address is limited to myself.

Again folks, thanks for your patience, and the story should be back on track with a new posting tomorrow, June 16, 2006.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site June 15, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online:

As I have mentioned numerous times, this story is full of twists and turns. This particular posting was not planned as part of the original story. It may however, and I sincerely hope that it will, assist in a big way as to the final outcome of the Wilbert Coffin case. The regular posting will appear back on schedule tomorrow.

It is necessary that I delay today's planned episode of the story until tomorrow in order that I may prevail upon you, the reader, for some information. I learned a long time ago, there is always someone out there who knows something, pertaining to all news stories. It is this someone that I am on the trail of. It is also interesting to note, exactly fifty three years ago today, June 08, 1953, this drama began to unfold with the arrival of Eugene and Richard Lindsey, and Fred Claar in Gaspe', Quebec. The following is what I am seeking, and the reasons why.

In the past few days, I have been conducting research on this case in the United States of America, and have been following up on several leads. I have determined that in the post Second World War era, considerable quantities of illegal liquor was being transported to the USA from the French Islands Of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Prior to entry to the USA, much of this liquor first landed in Canada, off loaded from fishing boats in small coastal communities without fear of detection. Upon arrival into Canada, it was relatively easy to transport by vehicles into the United States, as cross border detection was not what it is today.

One such area of Canada's coastline that was a favourite spot for such activity were the small coastal communities of the Gaspe' coast which provided a relatively short voyage from the French Islands. These communities also attracted hundreds of American hunters on a regular basis, some making several trips each year.

I am researching at present Eugene Lindsey, and his activities in his native Pennsylvania. It has been suggested that fifty three years ago this very evening, Eugene Lindsey, upon arriving that day in Gaspe' may have attended a gathering at a particular house on the coast a short distance south of town. I have learned as well, that on this occasion, there were other people there that night from Pennsylvania. The couple who owned this house were from the United States as well, and were reported to be in the illegal liquor business. It was also suggested that Eugene Lindsey had people upset with him on occasion back home.

In addition to those that I have mentioned that were at the house that night in Gaspe', there were others there, one couple in particular, that I am not going to name at present. This decision is based on a legal opinion obtained today, that may very well become a key figure in the final resolution of this case.

Here is where I need your help. I know there are folks out there who are still alive and were adults in the 1950's. If I can find folks from that era in Pennsylvania, I am certain that someone will come forward in Canada. I need folks who can come forward and tell me what they know about this liquor smuggling operation. It is vital to reaching a conclusion to Wilbert Coffin's case. I want to know as well, anything that you can tell me about Eugene Lindsey, and any other Americans that you may know of who came on a regular basis from Pennsylvania.

This invitation for help is also extended to any family member who might have heard an elderly parent discussing these events over the years. No matter how insignificant that you may think it is, I would like to hear about it, as it may tie into existing information that I have on file.

I have reason to believe, and I do believe, the key that will unlock the door will be located. If you have an elderly relative from the Gaspe' area and they were a resident during this time, I urge you to talk to them on my behalf. Any information that you can forward in my direction will be held as strictly confidential. I would never publish your name or address on the web site.The following is my e-mail address where you can contact me at any time. or you can click on e-mail which you will find by clicking on "My Complete Profile" tab on my main page.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site June 08. 2006

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online Continued from part three. . .

In order to round out the team, it is prudent here to introduce you to the members of the judicial cog of the machine assembled by premier Duplessis to convict Wilbert Coffin. As with the list of police officers, we will look at a biography of each, starting with the Chief Prosecutor.

Noel Dorien, who as an Assistant Attorney General, was very closely allied with Duplessis from the onset. He was a close personal friend of Duplessis. With Duplessis as Attorney general for the province of Quebec, he naturally hand picked the chief prosecutor from his staff. In this way, Duplessis could always maintain control, because common sense dictates that Noel Dorion was not apt to stray from the fold. This job afterall, was acquired and maintained by always staying onside with premier Duplessis. In other words, Noel Dorien would give the orders, based on the"puppet on a string method" as they filtered down from Duplessis.

It will become evident very shortly in the story of how prosecutor Dorion was always able to achieve his own way, even if it meant stepping outside what is normal practise for a crown prosecutor. He was the assistant attorney general of the province and had the complete backing of premier Duplessis who doubled as attorney general. Think about that for a moment, if one had a complaint with the crown prosecutor, the normal chain of command would dictate that you take your complaint to the ministry of the attorney general. That appears to be sound advice, however, in this case, one would be complaining firstly to Noel Dorion as assistant attorney general, who would in effect be investigating himself. Taking it one step further, one would be complaining to the Attorney general himself, none other than Premier Maurice Duplessis, to investigate wrong doing by his own hands. Truly, Noel Dorion was "cock of the walk," and strutted with obvious authority.

Georges Blanchard, also a lawyer, was working with the ministry of the attorney general. A staunch supporter and figure within the Union Nationale Party, he too, was one of the boys on the Duplessis legal team. As with Noel Dorion, he too was a friend of Maurice Duplessis. He was from the Gaspe' coast region, and he could prove valuable in the questioning of local area witnesses at the upcoming trial. Duplessis had appointed him a Deputy Attorney General, and the duty would later fall upon him to lay the formal charge of murder against Wilbert Coffin in 1953.

Paul Miquelon, though not originally part of the government legal team as appointed by Duplessis in 1953, would become a prosecutor due in part to replacing another prosecutor for undisclosed reasons. In Duplessis circles, he was not considered a favorite son. He was a member of the Union Nationale Party, which was a plus in keeping him onside with Duplessis. He was also fluently bilingual. He would admit that Duplessis didn't like him a lot as he was too outspoken, however, being able to question witnesses in English or French, and likewise address the jury in both languages, he was considered an asset. As you will see later, being able to bounce back and forth in two languages to a mixed language jury would have a positive impact for the prosecution in this case.

With the investigative team and the judicial team now in place, Wilbert Coffin, from the backwoods of the Gaspe' coast, would very soon discover what life is like in a maze, with a brick wall blocking the only exit. In reality, his fate was now sealed. The next few months leading to trial would be little more than formality.

As with most murder cases in Canada, immediately when a suspicious death is confirmed, it is necessary that a coroner convene an inquest. This is done for several reasons. Firstly, identity of the body is confirmed, establish as close as possible the time of death, and identify the true cause of death. If the death is ruled a homicide, and if there is a suspect, the coroner's jury may also decide if there is evidence pointing to the suspect. This can be a very important component of any murder investigation, as it can point police investigators in a specific direction, armed with information that may link the suspect with the crime.

Lionel Rioux was a medical doctor from the Gaspe' coast region. Dr. Rioux also doubled as coroner for the region. As with other professional people from the area, Dr. Rioux knew the area and the people, as many of them were his patients. Wilbert Coffin was no exception, and nor was he unknown to Dr. Rioux. In terms of effectiveness and tenure, Dr. Lionel Rioux, as coroner in this case would be very short indeed.

Lew Stoddard

Posted to site June 05, 2006

The next part of the story will deal with manipulation and deceit on the part of Captain Alphonse Matte and Captain Raoul Sirois on their seizing control of an inquest, that in reality, they had no business interfering in. You will see how they were able to manipulate a coroner's jury into changing it's verdict, in order for Wilbert Coffin to be bound over for trial. The dirty tricks campaign on the part of The Quebec Provincial Police is about to get into high gear, leaving in it's wake, a trail of misleading evidence and brutal tactics, that would eventually lead to a man's hanging.