Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online


A number of weeks back, as a result of my reaching out for information pertinent to this case, I received an e-mail from a gentleman that I had contacted a few days before. This particular gentleman, even though he had no personal information, conveyed an event to me with reference to an acquaintance, that very quickly gained my attention.

This gentleman informed me that some weeks or months after the homicides in the woods near Gaspe', his friend, while hunting, found an object wrapped in discarded toweling or rags in the forest. Obviously, this object had been discarded where it was found. That object was reported to be a handgun. This handgun was located in relatively close proximity to the crime scenes.

In his e-mail to me, this gentleman informed me that upon finding the handgun, his friend had shown it to his Dad, and his Dad had advised him to get rid of it, so as to not get involved in anything. In response to his Dad's orders, I was informed that he had thrown the handgun into a particular river in the area, which, for the time being will remain nameless for obvious reasons. I was further informed by the gentleman who e-mailed me, that he would not disclose his friends name or e-mail address, but he would forward my return e-mail to his friend, who might decide to come forward.

Some weeks passed, and I had received no follow up to my request from the gentleman who had originally conversed with me by e-mail. I contacted this gentleman again, and he informed me that he had passed the information on to his friend, and that he would be pleased to talk to him again, and if I did not hear from this person to get back to him.

Approximately three days later, I received an e-mail from the friend. He did indeed confirm that he had found a handgun, and stated to me what he believed to be the calibre, which for certain reasons, I am not prepared to identify right now. His version of events however, differed from that which had been originally conveyed to me. This gentleman identified himself, and informed me that he had found the handgun in the river and had taken it home to the Gaspe' region. He further stated to me that "someone" from Gaspe' had come to the house and picked it up, but that he did not remember who this person was.

I want to assure this person that you have nothing to fear. You are not, and never was suspected of involvement in these crimes. I have two versions of the same event, and it is imperative that I determine which is accurate. You have to consider, that particular handgun did not walk into the forest, or jump into the river. It was discarded because of one reason, that reason being that it had been involved in a serious crime, whether it be this crime that I am working on, or some other crime.

Sir, I am appealing to you. You only have to e-mail me, and I shall look after the details as to the recovery of the handgun. If it is still in the river, it is most likely retrieveable. If it was picked up by someone from the Gaspe' region, I need to know that as well. I have reason to believe, and I do believe, this particular handgun may have played a part in the Gaspe' murders of 1953. To not come forward Sir, simply enables someone to walk free, and at the same time, makes it much more difficult to prove another mans innocence who paid the ultimate price.

As well, if there are others out there who can relate any details whatsoever, of this handgun, or any other events pertinent to this crime, again, I urge you to come forward. Thank you to all those who have done just that. In this particular instance, I know it took a tremendous amount of courage to come forward to me. That alone tells me that you want the truth brought to the surface in this matter.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site August 30, 2006

Again folks, sorry for the delay in the posting of the next episode of my story, however, as you can understand, the gravity of the situation is enormous. I am confident that in the next very short while, we will all be breathing a sigh of relief in knowing that collectively, we made it happen, and sought and found the truth. Thank you and God Bless you one and all.


Doris said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! This is getting serious now. The plot thickens. Mr. Stoddard, you are doing a fantastic job in your search for the truth. You really have a way of making someone want to help. That is a great quality. Bless you.

Doris H
Timmins, Ontario

M and B said...

Sir, you must come forward and if there is something else, tell mr. Stoddard. Everyone who helps solve this is part of a team. You are courageous to come this far.

M and B Thompson
Edmundston, New Brunswick

Carl B said...

This thing is going to break at last Mr. Stoddard. I feel it. keep pounding.

Carl B
Cranbrook, B C

Cameron T said...

When you start talking about a gun, a gun discarded wherever, it brings out a whole new chilling aspect of this thing. Makes one realize the seriousness and reality of the situation. I hope you solve it Sir.

Cameron T
Springhill, Nova Scotia

Marla M said...

You have worked long and hard on this. You should have maybe considered a career as a private investigator. Sound exciting. Keep it up Lew.

Marla M
Kingston, Nova Scotia

Daisy said...

Imagine if it has been in the river all this time, would it really be still there. This is exciting. Marie Coffin, I am really pulling for you now as I read this stuff.

Daisy Fluelling

Pauline A said...

I started reading your page right after you started the series on Wilbert Coffin back in April. Figured it to be just like all the other stuff that you read about these things. Lew, you have gone way beyond that. It is so evident now, you are sincere.

Pauline A
Houlton, Maine, USA

O Roberts said...

This is a special message to the person who found the handgun. This is very important, please come forward. mr. Stoddard needs your help.

C Roberts
Stanley, N B

F Mercier said...

The search for the smoking gun is so often the key to any murder investigation, whether it be a new case, or an old cold case.

Please do not get me wrong here, this is serious business, and I sincerely hope you will discover what you are looking for to bring closure to this very sad sordid affair.

I can tell by your writings and comments on this board that you work tirelessly in your endeavors. So much more is now known about this case since you became involved, and I am certain that you have volumes of information that you cannot share yet, which is part of the bigger picture.

I spent nearly 20 years in the Gaspe' Peninsula area of the country during the 60's and the 70's, and travelled through Gaspe' town many times. I can tell you folks, it is difficult to go very far in the peninsula region without hearing something about the Coffin case. It needs to be brought to closure.

To the Coffin family, I say to be patient a bit longer, as Mr. Stoddard, I am confident that you will find that tiny thread that will tie it all together. Good Luck.

F Mercier
Trois Rivieres

Third Year Law Student said...

Why is it that some people are so uptight because there is a movement by Mr. Stoddard and the Coffin family to overturn this conviction, if it can be demonstrated that a wrongful conviction took place?

In my view,the fact that Wilbert Coffin was executed, should not be cause to negate his name being cleared if he was innocent. True, the procedure can never restore his life, I do not argue that, but, it can restore his name, and that of his family, to one of dignity.

If Wilbert Coffin was innocent, and it is now emerging that he most probably was, then both the federal and provincial governments have much cleansing to do in the eyes of the nation.

Third Year Law Student
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Nephew said...

Keep up the good work people. Together this drama will finally come to a close for the Coffin family.
It may open up other problems that will have to be solved, but after 50 years, at least something will be done.
During the trial, and after, my mother has told me about the countless people, who in their own concern for the family, went out of their way to assist them day after day.
From taxi drivers in Montreal , who parked a block away and walked to hotels to make sure they were not harassed by police or media, people who opened side doors so they might retain their privacy by entering a building without flashbulbs exploding in their faces, all the people who blocked the doors, on the train when Uncle Bill was brought home to be put to rest, so the family would not be attacked by pushy journalists, and instead disembarked to 500 supporters, waiting to console and protect.
The conductors and other train personnel who made sure my mother and other family members were given privacy from Montrel to Gaspe.
The people who made sure that Gramma's house was safe and secure and private during the wake for Uncle Bill.
These are only a few of the things that people with heart do for others. No questions asked, just because it is the right thing to do. No accolades, no medals, just a remembrance and true thanks from all the Coffin family.
We beg you to please e-mail Mr. Stoddard with any tidbit of information you may have.
The emotions that are being awakened anew ,within the family and friends and supporters, are barely controllable. Through 4 generations of Coffins the quest and questions still remain.

Thank you and Bless you - Rick

R. Williams said...

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I write to you to-day Sir with reference to the Wilbert Coffin affair, that resulted in the execution of Mr. Coffin in 1956.

Surely, both the provincial government of Quebec, and the federal government of Canada knew all along that a sham was taking place, not only before, but during the trial and appeal process. Then to top it all off, sit idly by and watch someone who was obviously innocent of the crime go to the gallows.

Prime Minister Harper, I know you were not around when this took place, but for sure, you are now. It is time Mr. Harper to display to Canadians that new true, fair, and honest government that you based your mandate to govern on, prior to the last federal election.

It is fair here to point out Mr. Harper, your recent stand with the head tax situation with the elderly Chinese citizens is commendable, in view of the fact that some of it dated back into the 1890's and forward to the early 1900's.

The point that I make Sir is simply this. True, the fact that the federal government acknowledged the wrong with these people and corrected it from long long ago, very simply says, that time does not erase wrong doing.

That fact is precisely why your government should be prepared to take a long hard look at the Wilbert Coffin case. It is a travesty, it is a black mark on our society, it is 50 plus years of cruel and unusual mental cruelty to a family left behind, and more importantly, the life of Wilbert Coffin was snuffed out without just cause in the interest of justice.

I am sincerely hopeful that one of your staff will direct this memo to you. I am also sending to you by way of e-mail a copy of this letter.

Sincerely yours,

R. Williams
Halifax, Nova Scotia

G Watters said...

I totally agree with the letter of R Williams of Halifax. It is time to put this behind us all. If things can be acknowledged and corrected from 100 years ago, then indeed, this instance needs correcting as well.

Wilbert Coffin answered the call on a volunteer basis to head for Europe to help look after all our interests during the Second World War. To ignore him now, is like thumbing our noses at him.

Please Mr. Stoddard, do not give up the ship, you are sttering it on the right course. I know it, I feel it. Folks get behind him and help with information if you possibly can.

G Watters

Reg Cameron said...

The last two comments say it all as far as I am concerned.

Keep at them Lew Stoddard.

Reg Cameron
London, Ontario

Anonymous said...

In the past few months I had the opportunity of being in Gaspe' for a family visit.

While there I had the opportunity of speaking for a moment with a lady named Marie Stewart. She was involved with petitions for her brother Wilbert Coffin. She was sincece, she was dedicated, and I shall never forget that.

I hope Mrs. Stewart that you people will be successful, and I encourage all out there who can respond to repeated requests for information on this site to come forward to help solve this horrendous crime.

Mr. Stoddard, you are to be commended for all your efforts. My daughter, who resides in Gaspe' showed me this web page.

Grace Campbell
Owen Sound, Ontario

james coffin said...

hello everyone i just stopped by to thank each and everyone who has come forward and to those still wondering if what they know is of help all leads are very very important you can remain anonymous just send your private message to Mr. Stoddard's e-mail it is and he will follow up from there we are also asking all to send e-mail to the prime minister at or to a Mr.Vic Toews who is in the justice department in Ottawa his e-mail is and letters to Mr Harper this is home address The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2 if we all send off letters and e-mails out even he will have to pay attention to what a lot of canadians are saying and have been saying for nearly 50 years come on lets all pull together on this one and be a part of the team to bring justice to the forefront and clear my father's name

anne blake said...

I want to say a very sincere thank you to all the people out there who have left their comments it is uplifting to hear from all the people that care. We will get to the bottom of this and justice will prevail. My mom Marie Stewart is such a strong and giving person. If anyone ever met her they would come away smiling she is working so hard to see this come together i hope anyone out there that has any info would come forward God bless, Anne blake

Cecile M said...

I am totally amazed with all the positive feedback on this case since you started writing the story here on the internet. Such a powerful tool. It sure shows very quickly the moods and opinions of everyone, whether they be across the street, or across the continent, or around the world.

This is really a great forum, my congratulations to you Mr. Stoddard.

I know this is not an easy task, and your objective started out to be a very high mountain to be scaled, but I do believe that you will plant the flag of success at the top in a very short time.

In closing, I want to say to Marie Stewart (Coffin) thank you for being such a down to earth person, and the dedication of the family in general. This will happen for you, stick together, and God Bless you all.

Cecile Landry

Gordie D said...

Hi Everyone. I am from the Calgary region, out here in sunny Alberta. I am too young of course to remember this case, but my Dad knows about it as I am from the east originally. I have heard him talk about it a lot over the years with his buddies etc. It was my Dad who pointed me to your web page Mr. Stoddard.

I am enjoying the story that you are writing on this, and am "anxiously awaiting" the next chapter, but I know you have been busy with other aspects of it and tying it all together. Great job though. There should be more sites on the internet like this instead of all the junk.
Just my thoughts anyhow. . . Full steam ahead Lew.

Gordie D

Lise' said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I hope you are not picking on certain people. It could be argued that you are.

I know you need information, but you constantly are after this person, or that person, that piece of information, or this piece of information. Why can you not list as a total of what you are seeking, rather than this piece meal stuff?

Lise' Beaulieu
CFB Comox

Lew Stoddard said...

Message to Lise' Beaulieu

Hey Lise'. . Great comment and question!

One can't walk, until one can stand, one can't stand, until one can crawl, one can't crawl, until they leave their Mother's arms. You sort of get the picture Lise'? Everything happens in it's own time.

Lise' thanks for the question, you are always welcome to ask question on this web page.

Ps. . . Next time you are driving past a construction zone notice how they build those doggone brick walls. . . "One Brick At A Time" and a new structure eventually emerges.

Lew Stoddard

Anonymous said...

Just a few short weeks ago I would have been first in line to suggest that what ypu are attempting to do here would not be possible.

Have to admit, I have changed my views. I think it will happen, and I believe that it will break very soon.

Good luck to you Sir.

Evan T
Brampton, Ontario

Carolyn G said...

I was surprised to learn that both French and English speaking are quite unanimous in their quest to exhonerate Wilbert Coffin. At least our country stands steadfast in something.

Carolyn Geddes

Anonymous said...

Being a Newfie from just across the pond, our province was always on the side of Wilbert Coffin, we do not think he was guilty

niece debbie said...

I have always loved snow, but this snowball is taking our family's breath away! To each of you who have helped, or are helping to give it momentum, thank you! To those who can,and will, may you be blessed with the courage to do so now. There's a smile trying to burst forth in my family's hearts. It is fast forming, with each word of encouragement, each bit of information shared to help clear my uncle's name. It was hidden behind tears and anguish for so long...but it is beginning to beam across the nation..and world, with joy and with gratitude...a smile is so a smile maker today.

Brad T said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I know you are a deep thinker, so I ask you and your readers to consider the following.

If justice is to be considered fair, there should never be a reason for a list of wrongly accused and convicted.

That tells me that the police are not doing their job properly, and in the next step, crown prosecutors across the country are taking a path of least resistance as well.

What does all this eventually do? I'll tell you what it does. It develops a justice system that citizens have no respect for.

In North America, we probably provide the greatest training of anywhere in the free world for our judiciary, so why is it in such a state of disarray?

In my humble opinion, capital punishment was abolished in this country strictly because of gross miscarriages of justice. In other words, the very people making the laws and enacting them, are the same people who are eventually saying that they do not trust their own judgement. It is difficult to have a lot of repect for such a system.

In summation, why does it take decades to overturn a wrong that required only thirty minutes of deliberation to create?

Brad T
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Claudette R said...

To Brad in Sherbrooke,

Your opinion parallels mine exactly on this topic. It irks me when I see these big judicial symposiums taking place at taxpayer expense. I simply do not see the positive results coming out that should be there if the system was working.

Claudette Roy
St Jerome, Quebec

K. Van Buskirk said...

This event happened before I was born. It does interest me a lot however, as I am from Pennsylvania, and I do know that the victims in this case were from Pennsylvania as well.

Having a keen appetite for news, both past and present, I have known about this case for some years.

This particular case has certainly drawn a lot of interest over the years. Sadly, in my area, most do not know a lot about it because of the time lapse.

Having read extensively about the case, one can quickly see where there is reason for concern. I am in total agreement for law and order, but in this affair, I am not confident that the right party was brought to justice.

It does nothing for victims families, if miscarriages of justice are allowed to prevail as a result of litigation wrongly applied.

I can further understand why this has been a horror story for the victim's families, as well as the family of the Canadian man, Mr. Coffin, who was executed.

You have a great site here. I found the site as a result of researching something else, and it came up on the search engine. I am in the process of reading your complete work on the subject.

K. Van Buskirk
Allentown, Pennsylvania

niece Debbie said...

It is so hard, to keep learning of pain,injustice,deceit,and evil intent that took Uncle Bill to the gallows...and with him our family's hearts, too. To simply say thank you, to all readers of this site, and the local townsfolks, and the other citizens of our nation, for coming forward with information, and encouragement, to help clear Uncle Bill's name sounds so trite.
Don't really know an adequate word to express this. The relief and gratitude flowing down our faces,and out of our hearts, in wonder, is so wonderful to FEEL. Numbing shock is isolating.
We need to continue to pull together to see this through to the end. Your input is so helpful,so VITAL, in swinging the legal scales, at last, toward relief,and justice! Please continue to sign the petition,and to write your local member of Parliament, the Justice Dept.and the office of the Prime Minister, requesting a review of this case,that is not just re-hashing the old trial,and inquiry done by those connected with the trial, but a review of the FACTS.
Perhaps the gov't thought we were all country bumpkins. Did they really believe we would forget their lies, deceit,coverups..and our INNOCENT Uncle arrested,locked up in prison and HANGING from the gallows, without cause...Jim's Daddy murdered, his Mom left alone.Maybe they thought as more members are added to our family,they would replace Uncle Bill..did they never stop to think they took a father, son, uncle, great uncle, potential grandfather,and friend of who fought in the war for us all,them included.
Lew's readers,friends and townfolks..our nation getting behind us means so much. To see our family sobbing out hurt that was locked up for so many years, where no adequate words could utter the depths of our pain is sooo good. We feel hope, when hope was dim,and courage... to reach out for help,and the ability to accept the comfort and help being given.
Losing Uncle Bill, to a government, that in my opinion,was bent on murdering him...has burned through 4 generations of our family's hearts already. Was it really too hard for the criminal justice system to open their minds,and mouths,get off their seats, and demand what our family longed for..something we could have called a real investigation. Thoroughness does entail time, but isn't a man's life worth it?? If it was their life,wouldn't they think so.
Was there no backup in place, to ensure that our legal department could not get away with what we consider such a horrendous crime? Was there no conscience in the Gov't at all? Did they really think the USA would be grateful to potentially discover that an INNOCENT guy was convicted for the murders of one of their citizens..and that the real criminal(s) walked free? This is what we believe will occur, if what we are hoping happens. A through,and complete review of the evidence surrounding the murders of the American hunters in the Gaspe years ago...evidence that was not used or permitted or even searched for,in some instances, before what we consider to be a sham of a trial, when in our opinion our Uncle Bill should never have been on trial at all...but happily at home with his family,or roaming free in the woods of his beloved,beautiful Gaspe.
50 years later is a long time to wait for an apology. Didn't their Moms teach them that when you do someone wrong an apology should be forthcoming right away. Were they not taught to give a fellow man the benefit of the doubt..especially when doubt is so clearly evident! IF they were not taught that at home,surely they would have learned it in order to get their law degrees? What about "A man is innocent until PROVEN guilty", and freedom of speech, where one can speak, in one's own defense...even just ONCE, and have it heard legally. Did they think we Canadians are a bunch of crooks,or idiots who would not care even notice, if such goings on occur at the hands of those elected, by the citizens of our nation, to carry out the laws of this nation we choose to live in,and want to remain proud of. In my opinion, Uncle Bill was INNOCENT, and the gov't is disgustingly,heartlessly overdue with that apology,and the clearing of his name! -
Please, TODAY,get that letter off to the justice dept,or office of the prime minister,and your member of parliament. A letter takes a few moments. A child takes a lifetime to raise,and love...and Gramma and Grandpa should not have had to lose their son, our Uncle Bill for someone else's shameful action... Again, my heart is overflowing...but 50 years is bottled up inside. with sincere gratitude, debbie