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.













11 comments:

Paul Letourneau said...

Mr. Lew Stoddard,

I hope you are wrong in what you are declaring on the part of the government side ganging up on Mr. Coffin. I thought that I knew a lot about this case over the years because I was always interested in it.

I know that the Duplesseis era was a mess, but can't believe that they would resort to this. It could be argued that you are just trying to sensationalize the whole story. I know that Mr. Coffin was finally executed but it had to have been more cut and dried than what you are saying. Simply I do not believe you. That is my opinion.

Paul Letourneau
Riviere du Loup, Quebec

Paul Letourneau said...

Mr. Lew Stoddard,

I hope you are wrong in what you are declaring on the part of the government side ganging up on Mr. Coffin. I thought that I knew a lot about this case over the years because I was always interested in it.

I know that the Duplesseis era was a mess, but can't believe that they would resort to this. It could be argued that you are just trying to sensationalize the whole story. I know that Mr. Coffin was finally executed but it had to have been more cut and dried than what you are saying. Simply I do not believe you. That is my opinion.

Paul Letourneau
Riviere du Loup, Quebec

Old Days Political Writer said...

Message to Mr. Paul Letourneau.....You should busy yourself with a childs history book of Canadian politics. You will find that Mr. Stoddard could be more precise in certain areas, that in fact he is being much too soft thus far, because the corruption was very much worse than what he portrays.

Sir, let the story conclude before you hurl too much negative criticism in the direction of Mr. Stoddard, and in the mean time, go to the library and sign out a good Canadian political publication. That way you may be armed with the necessary information to mount a sensible argument.

Political Writer from the old days

Gladys Cameron said...

This thing gets messier all the time. And all this time I would have thought that it was just a case of capital punishment being meted out. most folks do not know of all the back room dealing politically that you talk about here regarding this case. That is a story all in it's own. Little wonder that the Coffin family is upset and frustrated. I hope it works out for the best in the end.

Gladys Cameron
North bay, Ontario

G Maher said...

I will say this. If you are correct in the accusations that you make of the provincial government in former Quebec, then modern day Quebec government must be prepared to stand up and be accountable to ensure that it will never happen again, and to personally apologize for those who came before.

G. Maher
Drummondville

Debra McPhee said...

Mr. Stoddard,

Have heard you speak in the media on past occasions. My view is this,You are much too brazen, with little concern for a lot of people. Over the past few months, I have noticed that several have pointed this out to you right here on this message board, but you just don't seem to grasp it. Did you ever stop and consider that later generations of these people whom you slam, could be deeply touched by your comments? Take stock of yourself Sir, afterall, are you not a professional?

Debra McPhee
Owen Sound, Ontario

Lew Stoddard said...

This is a response to the message left by Debra McPhee.

As it says on the main page of my website, you are entitled to your opinion, and I support your right to express it all the way, however, you asked me a question, and as well, I shall respond to your comment.

If later generations are "touched" as you say regarding my comments of a former corrupt political regime, then perhaps it serves to remind them, that there was a better way. As well they should perhaps consider themselves fortunate if they are only "touched" by the actions of their ancestors. It is important to remember that those very same actions, by the very same ancestors that I refer to, not only "touched," but "scarred" a family forever more as a result of a brutal hanging that I believe was corrupt and definitely politically motivated. On a personal note, I feel ashamed that this type of activity was able to proceed, because, in reality, it was the politicians and those in authority that let it happen.

Thank you Debra for your comment and question.

Lew Stoddard

Christine Aspinall said...

Message to Mr. Paul Letourneau and Ms. Debra McPhee ....

Totally agree with the post from 'old days political writer'.

Being closely involved with this case while assisting Mr. Alton Price with the many years' research of his book on the subject, there is no question that it is indeed a major travesty of justice.

Before making unsubstantiated criticisms regarding Mr. Stoddard's efforts to reveal this 'Canadian disgrace', the 'unbelievers' should educate themselves by reading the several books that have been published about this gross injustice, that is, if they are sincerely interested. Better yet, they should read all the pertinent documents pertaining to the case before 'attacking the messenger'.

It is always easy to criticize when one doesn't know the details and the true story. That kind of talk is cheap!

C McClelland said...

I think it important, that we as Canadians should not turn a blind eye to the events of some years ago. These events, very much shape the future of our country, and to merely sweep them under the carpet, in this case especially, is to endorse a system that reeks of all the elements of corruptness that have no place in a democratic system as we so boldly stand for in our country today.

I applaud the effort of folks such as Mr. Stoddard and others, who have devoted countless hours of research and dedication in their efforts to bring matters such as the Coffin case to the forefront. In other words, "Don't shoot the messenger, just because you don't happen to like the message that the messenger delivers."

C McClelland
Toronto

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