Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online Continued from part nine. . .

Upon his arrival with Sgt. Jean-Charles VanHoote from his camp in the woods, Wilbert Coffin voluntarily made himself available to the investigators. His theory was simple, in his mind he had nothing to hide, so there was no reason to be uncooperative. Over the next three days, this theory, on the part of Wilbert Coffin, was a real bone of contention. Captain Alphonse Matte wanted results and he wanted them now. Wilbert Coffin maintained his stance with an unwavering explanation of details. Captain Matte called him a liar, and vowed to get him.

Without doubt Captain Matte was calling the shots. There was simply no way that some back woods prospector from the Gaspe' Peninsula was going to win over Captain Alphonse Matte. He would dwell for hours on Wilbert Coffin's explanation of events. He twisted, he manipulated, and resorted to every form of interrogation that he knew, all to no avail. Wilbert Coffin was not budging. It was indeed a slap in the face for the stalwart Captain. He was after all, touted as being the province's toughest cop. That was precisely why he was in Gaspe'. He could not fail, because to fail, would be admitting that he could not stand up to the pedestal that Duplessis had placed him on.

August 10, 1953 would prove to be a turning point for Captain Matte and his investigation. He placed a telephone call to the solicitor general for Quebec, Antoine Rivard. He informed Mr. Rivard that he was arresting Wilbert Coffin, and holding him as a material witness. Rivard's response was swift and sure, do whatever you have to do, but bring this affair to conclusion without further delay, as the premier is getting restless, and the American administration is getting into the act again. John Foster Dulles, representating the American interests in the case, through the Consul General is putting heat on Ottawa according to Rivard, and it is reverberating down the back of Premier Duplessis. True to his word, on August 11, 1953, Captain Alphonse Matte arrested Wilbert Coffin and placed him in a cell. Wilbert Coffin would never walk a free man in his native home town again.

It was obvious to the police that Wilbert Coffin was not going to break easy. Captain Matte issued the order and sent a team of officers to retrace Wilbert's journey to Montreal. It would not be an easy task. It was some weeks after the fact, so in many cases deceit and manipulation would be the order of the day. Words would have to be planted in the mouths of witnesses along the way. This will become evident later in the story when Wilbert Coffin's murder trial commences in Perce.

Let us take stock for a moment here and reflect upon the case thus far. Three sets of human remains have been found in the woods of Gaspe'. They have been identified. They have been declared murdered. Exact cause of death cannot be established due to the condition of the remains. There is no murder weapon. There are no known witnesses. It is not known for sure if they were all killed in the same place and transported, or if they were killed singularly and independently of each other. It would require thousands of hours of old fashioned police work and a team of investigators who knew what they were doing. Simply and clearly, it was more prudent in Captain Matte's mind to take the path of least resistance. That path of least resistance would be Wilbert Coffin, or so he thought. After all, Wilbert Coffin, according to the authorities, was the last person known to have seen these people prior to their deaths.

It is a generally accepted practise within law enforcement agencies to pick a piece of key evidence in an investigation, and then branch out and gather all supporting evidence in order to reinforce the case. It is evident in the Coffin affair, there was no piece of key evidence to be had. True, there was a case, but the case lacked the key element, known as evidence. Anything that Captain Matte had that would resemble evidence, would be nothing more than minor details that would never support a charge of murder.

After a couple of days of grilling in Gaspe', Captain Matte decided that his best approach would be to move Wilbert Coffin to Quebec City, where Wilbert could be exposed to a more "professional" atmosphere. There in Gaspe', Wilbert Coffin had too many close ties to everyone, and sentiments were running very high in his favor. This was no good. Wilbert Coffin must be viewed as someone evil in Matte's mind, because in his home town, Wilbert was still the happy go lucky guy that everyone knew and trusted as a friend. Captain Alphonse Matte was determined to change all that.

Under a veil of secrecy, Captain Matte and crew moved Wilbert Coffin to the small Haldimand airstrip a short distance from the town of Gaspe'. It was pre-arranged that the aircraft would pick them up at the end of the runway, away from any who might recognize what was happening, and at the same time, avoid a throng of reporters who had descended on the Gaspe' area.

A few hours later Captain Matte and Wilbert Coffin arrived in Quebec City. Wilbert was immediately housed in the Quebec city jail, whereby a cell would be his home for the next two weeks. Captain Matte would now be thinking, finally I have you where I want you. No longer would he have to be concerned with the thin walls of an interrogation room at the Baker Hotel back in Gaspe'. No longer would he have to worry about the friendship between Wilbert Coffin and Sgt. Henri Doyon of The Quebec Provincial Police. Wilbert Coffin was now his, and his alone, or so he thought.

Those of us familiar with military interrogation methods know there is a strict set of guidelines pertaining to the extraction of information from a prisoner. In many cases, ordinary folk would view some of these methods as extreme and severe, however, we are talking about war zones and battle, and all the other bad things associated with war and prisoners. It is prudent to point out, prisoners of war, their conduct, and the methods of interrogation are governed by a strict set of guidelines, as laid out by the Geneva Convention. You will soon see and understand the quandary that Wilbert Coffin was now in. The brutality of his treatment, would soon surpass that experienced by many prisoners of war who have the Geneva Convention as their shield. Wilbert coffin had no such shield, it was strictly him amongst the enemy.

For days on end, Wilbert was subjected to relentless verbal pounding and abuse. He was asked the same questions over and over. He was routinely placed under a 500 watt light for hours on end, to the point of causing temporary blindness. As bait, the interrogaters would place a glass of water in front of him on a table, or they may place a cigarette there. When he would reach for whatever was placed there, it would be yanked back. From behind his back, he would be grabbed by his hair and his head pulled back. This would go on for hours on end, sometimes as much as eighteen hours per day. He would be returned to his cell to sleep, and in very short order, there they were again to resume where they had left off. This would go on for sixteen days. On one occasion, one of those involved in the interrogation grabbed Wilbert by the arm from behind his chair. That was a mistake for the investigator, even in Wilbert's weakened condition. Wilbert reached up, grabbed the investigator by the arm, who by now had taken an aeronautical approach to the situation as Wilbert flipped him up over his back and into the air. These things that I tell you are not the result of an overactive imagination. This is taken from documented information from the jailer and guards of the jail at Quebec who witnessed the abuse and torturous treatment of Wilbert Coffin. Without doubt, they were unanimous in their belief that Wilbert Coffin was an innocent man.

Captain Matte had more than met his match. Though his methods were cruel and barbaric, Wilbert Coffin stood tall and steadfast. The troubling aspect of it for the Captain was that throughout the intense abusive treatment thrust upon him, Wilbert Coffin always kept one of his greatest attributes intact. That was his boyish smile.

Lew Stoddard

Posted to site September o6, 2006

The next posting will cover the return to Gaspe' and the ill fated public inquest of August 27, 1953, which will showcase the weak Dr. Lionel Rioux as coroner, and lead to the preliminary hearing and the trial of Wilbert Coffin in Perce, Quebec.

45 comments:

Sara C said...

This is so terrible. I had no idea that we would ever do things like that in Canada. You are right Sir when you said at the beginning weeks ago, this is not a nice story. Oooooooooh this is so horrible and I know it will get worse.

Thank you so much for letting people know what he went through.

Sara Canning
North bay, Ontario

Georgette M said...

This stuff makes me cry, but it has to be told. God Bless all the Coffin family.

Georgette M
Riviere du Loup

Donald said...

This is definitely stuff that one never hears about that goes on behind the scenes. No wonder we have so many wrongful convictions. How many forced confessions do we have? is this justice, I sure don't think so.

Donald
Cornwall, Ontario

Dave W said...

Now I see the deceit and manipulation taht you talk about as it starts to unfold. I never knew about the cruelty by the authorities though.

How often does this stuff go on anyway?

Dave W
Fredericton

Lew Stoddard said...

"A VERY SPECIAL MESSAGE"

Once upon a time, 53 years ago today, September 06, 1953 to be precise, in the Gaspe' area of Quebec two wonderful people were united in marriage. Their names were Marie and Leigh Stewart.

Marie and Leigh, I wish to take this opportunity to wish you both many happy returns on this, your special day.

"Happy 53'rd Anniversary"

Lew Stoddard

Candice T said...

Mr. Stoddard, I take it all back for having said in the past that you are sometimes insensitive. Your message to Mrs. Stewart (Coffin) proves me wrong. That was nice of you, to take the time to send that message to Mr. Mrs. Stewart.

I just know that good things are going to happen for you Marie in this quest to clear your brother Wilbert. Our thoughts are with you this day and every day.

God Bless
Candice T
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Bruce McKenzie said...

I sure hope that the federal government will look at this case soon. This has gone on long enough. Mr. Harper and Mr. Toews, are you listening?

Bruce McKenzie
London, Ontario

Les McRae said...

The true colors of this case from 1953 are now emerging. This upsets me greatly that these things are allowed to happen in a so called democratic society, whether it was fifty odd years ago, or today for that matter.

There is no question, Wilbert Coffin was railroaded by the system. There simply is no room for that kind of antics. At best it can be described as nothing short of being dictatorial. SHAME! SHAME! to the Government of Quebec and Government of Canada in Ottawa.

Les McRae
Summerland, B C

Bob Kinney said...

This is a message to all the Coffin family. Stay in there, don't give up the ship, and fight this crap till the flag of success flies overhead.

The black flag may have flown over Bordeaux Jail in 1956, but this can be the dawning of a new tomorrow.

Mr. Stoddard, don't stop swiping and hitting. I know the knock out punch will come soon.

Bob Kinney
Oromocto, NB

Gordon C said...

The Law Society of Quebec owes the citizens of Quebec a big apology. Where the Hell were the wheels of this society when the likes of Raymond Maher was allowed to practise criminal law.

The law society of Quebec should be sued, but then again, it would be lawyers suing other lawyers. The old self policing thing with the professions. Some things just never change.

Gordon Chalmers
Brampton, Ontario

Brenda M said...

Hi Marie Coffin (Stewart) First I say Happy Anniversary to you and Hubby, and secondly I say I admire your strength and your dedication.

My husband and I have been following this site for about a month and have read it all plus looked up many other things. This event is explained in easy to read, and easy to understand detail here.

The writer, Lew Stoddard is a good speaker and narrator for your cause. I have heard him speak on occasion in public over the years.

Brenda M
New Westminster, BC

Anna Reese said...

Mr. Stoddard I want to take this opportunity to wish you well. I knew that you had not been feeling well, however, I just learned today from a councillor friend of yours at a city meeting that you are undergoing treatments. I am so sorry to hear that, and of course, I am genuinely concerned.

Thank you for the wonderful job that you are doing on this story. My Dad reads your site all the time, and he asked me to contact you to say we are thinking of you.

Anna Reese
Port Coquitlam, B C

Dave Wolverton said...

Mr. Stoddard I just noticed the last comment from A. Reese. So sorry to hear about your ill health. Those sorts of treatments are not pleasant I know, but hang in there, and get lots of rest. If the rest of your body fights like your tongue and brain Lew, you have no problem.

You are doing a great job on your story and murder investigation. You will crack it.

Dave Wolverton
Cornwall, Ontario

R Forrest said...

I am impressed with all the new info that you are able to present after all these years, and am pleased that we are actually seeing stuff that has not been presented a quadzillion times.

I see your health not so good and are taking treatments. You will be fine I am sure. I am a survivor, hang kin there Sir.

R Forrest
Bathurst, N B

Ron Cassels said...

Sorry that you have not been feeling well Mr. Stoddard. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Sir.

My opinion on the Coffin case is this. With the ground swell of support currently shown across Canada, I am certain that Canadians would accept nothing now short of the truth on this matter, and that truth will free Wilbert Coffin's name.

Ron Cassels
Sackville, new Brunswick

james coffin said...

hi everyone i would like to thank each and everyone from the bottom of my heart who over the past months have left messages for all the family here on Mr. Stoddard site i too would like to thank him for the supper job he is doing with the site i'm also pleased to know he has got over that nagging flu that has been slowing he down a bit lately some of the family members and i are trying to set up an interview on the tv(with ctv or cbc) to make it known to all of canada that we are going to be trying to clear my dad's name there is so very much information about the case that proves my dad was not guilty and that justice was not served in his case he and his family at the time were very poor and could not afford a good lawyer that could have cleared him then but now with gods help and all the help from you good people we are going to clear his name and add a new page in history now we need everyone to start sharing about the case with your family and friends as well as acquaintances if we can get enough people asking what the government is going to do about the injustice served on my dad EVERY LAST PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL no matter what they are charged of come on friends and acquaintances let's start writing our m p's in ottawa to get this injustice over turned

thank you and we love you all James Coffin

The Taggert Family said...

Lew Stoddard, I have to say that the last posting of your story was absolutely fantastic. You do a very wonderful job of putting such a profound element in the whole chain of events.

It becomes more evident now on an almost daily basis that you will settle for nothing less than the absolute truthful facts of this case, and in achieving that goal, rest assured, "the truth will set him free", and in this case I am speaking of Wilbert Coffin.

Lew, I know about your illness. I know a bit of what you are experiencing right now, but please remember, there are lots of folks pulling for you, and praying for you .
The Taggert Family
Kamloops, B C

A Tired Old Journalist said...

One thing that is evident from your last posting on this story is the fact that much goes on behind closed doors when authorities are trying to extract a confession.

The question that authorities should be forced to answer is, How many guilty pleas are as a result of cruel treatment in the interview room?

Is this why we have so many wrongfully accused and convicted in this country? Have we substituted fair justice for all with brute force? I would like to know the answers to these questions. I am concerned, especially when I learn of cases such as the Coffin case, and the lies and deceit by police and authorities, that caused, I believe, an innocent man to be sent to the gallows.

The most disturbing aspect of all this is the appalling fact that the Coffin case is not an isolated case. It apparently is rampant. Just look at the Stephen Truscott case in Ontario. Again, it has taken almost 50 years to clear someone who was very innocent. New evidence has proven that the police in that case were a bunch of liars right from the top down, and through manipulation from the top down, they were successful in getting a 14 year old boy sentenced to hang. Thankfully, common sense prevailed by the prime minister and that did not happen.

The bottom line here is simply this, Governments get off your pompous butts and do what you were elected to do and swab your own decks.

Mr. Stoddard, have never met you, but wish to say, you are a great investigative reporter and writer. Keep up the good work. Look after your health there old boy!

A Tired Old Journalist
Toronto, Ont

constance said...

lew I am pulling for you. Look after your health and i know about the stoiry about wilber coffin. mrs coffin in gaspe we are with you and lew do what the doctor tell you and also moms can make things get better so listen to your mom.

Constance in timmins

Anonymous said...

Sent to both members of parliment whom e-mail addresses were available from James

As a member of the Coffin family (4th generation) and a Canadian citizen I believe it is truly important to send you our message.

I was not alive during the time of this horrible event, however being a part of the Coffin family we definitely heard the stories over the years and have read each book printed and each broadcast on television and done some pretty extensive reading through the internet on this case. It is not I whom has the power or ability to judge a man innocent or guilty of a crime but that of a Judge and Jury in a fair respectable trial. It is obvious to even a child that the trial was not handled in a respectable, decent or fair way. Wilbert Coffin was offered no defense and could not even defend himself. In a country were we have freedom of speech he was stopped from voicing himself in a court of law. My great aunts whom are still alive have to live with the regret of the loss of their brother for over 53 years now because it was obvious from the day he was arrested that he had no chance of surviving. He went to his grave insisting he was an innocent man and since that day his parents and brothers and sisters who have passed away took to their graves the knowledge that we had a unfair government and that a gross injustice was done. They also took to their graves the regret of not hearing the words Wilbert Coffin was innocent and we the government of Canada/Quebec apologize for the injustice brought to this man and to every Canadian Citizen. I think with all do respect that the only right thing to do is to open the case and have it settled once and for all so that at least the 4 sisters whom are fortunate to still be here with us can have peace the day that they die and put this behind them once and for all. For James to be able to say aloud "my father is innocent" and for every citizen Canadian/American to believe it. Please as a member of a government whom claims justice to all citizens please find it if not in your legal obligation to Canada but within your heart as a human being to see that justice is done the people whom are effected by this on a daily basis let them sleep at night knowing we live in a fair country. Let the sisters not have to build up a hope that is constantly squashed because someone comes along hypes up the story and lets it die once again just as they allowed Wilbert Coffin to die. Let these wonderful beautiful women and all members of the family say the Coffin name and not be questioned on weather there was a murderer amongst them because we all know it is not true. Think if it was your Grandmother or Aunt or Sisters heart that was broken for so many years you wold want to take the pain away. Well let me tell you these women are Mothers and Grandmothers and Aunts and James is a Father, a cousin and a friend to all and their hearts are broken and minds will never be set free until things are laid to rest and if their is any question about Wilbert Coffin's innocence then you cannot argue that things are not laid to rest. Do NOT let another member of the Coffin family die with the doubt and questions in their minds and with disrespect for a government who has failed them. Most of all failed Wilbert Coffin but believe me if any family in the world will meet up again and tell him he was cleared it will be ours, over a game of Canasta and a whole lot of love.

Lloyd McWilliams said...

IF YOU ARE AN ELECTED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, REPRESENTING ANY POLITICAL PARTY, IN ANY POLITICAL RIDING IN THIS VAST COUNTRY, THIS NOTICE IS TO YOU.

Are you aware of the fact that 53 years ago, from the town of Gaspe' in Quebec, a gentleman by the name of Wilbert Coffin was executed by hanging in the city of Montreal at Bordeaux Jail?

Are you also aware that this man was very definitely a victim of a very corrupt political regime of the day?

Are you further aware that this man's guilt was judged purely on the strength of very poor and weak circumstantial evidence?

Are you further aware that evidence was produced at trial that had been tarnished, and taken out of context?

Are you further aware that several examples of key evidence that had been presented to police and prosecutors was never followed up on?

Are you further aware that Mr. Coffin's rights to a fair trial were denied based on the decisions of the sitting trial judge?

Are you further aware that Mr. Coffin was forced to accept a jury made up of half English speaking and half Frence speaking, who did not understand each others language?

Are you further aware that summations at conclusion were not made in both languages, rendering it impossible for all jurors to understand what was being said?

Are you further aware that the trial judge sat there for the full 19 days of trial knowing that the defense lawyer was a "Dud" who called no witnesses for the defense and refused repeatedly to allow the accused to testify?

Ladies and Gentleman, if your answer is "No" to at least one of the above questions, I would suggest that now is the time to familiarize yourself with this case, as very soon you are going to be called upon to stand and be counted. The late Wilbert Coffin and his family deserve to be heard. Please pay attention, as Canada is speaking now.

Lloyd McWilliams
Prince George, B C

Tom in Thunder bay said...

Hey Lloyd McWilliams great stuff. I agree all the way with you. Lets get the steam roller fired up on this.

Tom in Thunder bay

Donald Sweet said...

We need to get petitions going in every nook and crannie of the country and we can turn this thing around. Lew you are the guy to spearhead all this. Give em Hell, and settle for no second best. You can and will succeed.

Donald Sweet
Halifax

C Kanelles said...

Lew hope you are feeling better. keep up the strength, we need you, and love you. get mad at you sometimes but I always come back. did I really admit that? We are pulling for you. you have done a dilly of a job on all your research and writing.

C Kanelles
Winnipeg

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
You had no idea? Well they did it in 1953 to Coffin and they did it in 1959 to Steven Truscott. In Truscott's case, they came to their senses and ended up commuting the hanging sentence to life in prison to this 14 year old boy. And now, with Truscotts case before the courts once more, they are still struggling with the question: "Is he innocent or guilty?" Steven Truscott is innocent. Lynne Harper, the girl he was accused of killing, is also crying out for justice. Her killer got away with murder.

And it looks like they will keep doing the same sad thing: Milgaard, Morin, Marshall, Baltovitch...

Well, at least the death penalty was abolished

Nephew said...

Dearest Mr. McWilliams;
Thank you, so much, for the challenge that has been thrown out to all politicians, (are lawyers listening?), for them to look inward and outward with action.
I sit here in Northern Ontario with tears welling up in my eyes because I know that there are people out there who were involved with this case and could answer yes,YES,to all your questions. Some of them watched the whole charade from their glass towers without even a pinch of guilt.(sick eh?)
They are the ones who sit behind veiled windows praying that there is not any NEW evidence that may cause a review of this case. They know that any evidence that was available at the trial is not admissable for an appeal. ( I believe this law was put in place so that incompetent or bought off attorneys would not have to explain their blatant abuse of the trust put in them) Rick

james coffin said...

Too often we feel alone. But there is always someone ready to take our hand.
There is a beautiful story of an overworked nurse who escorted a tired, young
man to her patient's bedside. Leaning over and speaking loudly to the elderly
patient, she said, "Your son is here."

With great effort, his unfocussed eyes opened, then flickered shut again. The
young man squeezed the aged hand in his and sat beside the bed. Through-
out the night he sat there, holding the old man's hand and whispering words
of comfort.

By morning's light, the patient had died. In moments, hospital staff swarmed
into the room to turn off machines and remove needles. The nurse stepped
over to the young man's side, began to offer sympathy, but he interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked.

The startled nurse replied, "I thought he was your father!" "No, he was not my
father," he answered. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then, why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I realized he needed his son and his son wasn't here," the man explained.
"And since he was too sick to recognize that I was not his son, I knew he needed me."

Mother Teresa used to remind us that nobody should have to die alone. Likewise,
nobody should have to grieve alone or cry alone either. Or laugh alone or celebrate alone.

We are made to travel life's journey hand in hand. There is someone ready to
grasp your hand today. And someone hoping you will take theirs.

Things are being too move very fast now we will all need a hand to hold if we are going to get Ottawa to look into the case so please don't let up on the letter's to Mr. Haper sooner or later he will have to take notice

thank you one and all
James Coffin

Anonymous said...

this is to all my family out there,i know we are going to make it this time and this is going to bring us so much closer jimmy we all love you and i hope you got my last email and called mom once again thanks to all the support on this site and god bless and as it has been said please all lets send our messages to the harper government. Anne

Darren M said...

Darren M said...

Mr. Stoddard I am not saying here that I don't agree with you in wanting to clear this thing up. I just am of the opinion, is it really worth what this is all going to cost, not only in the dollars concerned, but the time and resources involved?

Is not acknowledging the fact that a very terrible thing occured in this case, sufficient to ensure that it never happen again? You can't bring the man back to life, nor can you undo what was done to take his life. So, why not leave it where it is?

Darren M
Saskatoon

Janet C said...

Hi Mr. Stoddard,

Just wanted to tell all your readers that you are a very considerate person.

I have been attending extension courses in journalism and communications at community college level. I e-mailed Mr. Stoddard in May of this year a couple of times asking assistance in creative writing.

From his busy schedule, Mr. Stoddard found the time to answer my e-mails.

As a result of his suggestions, I managed to achieve an A+ on my two final test papers. I am publicly thanking him in a big way for coming to my rescue.

As well Mr. Stoddard, I have been reading each posting of the story that you are working on. You choose your words in a most impressive manner, and you have developed a most unique delivery, which is identified by your large following for the Wilbert Coffin case.

Janet C
Perth Andover, N B

David C said...

Mr. Stoddard,

You put down the police in this latest posting on a large scale. I hope it is as a result of research, and not based on bias.

David Cranston
Amherst, Nova Scotia

Jenny said...

Now is the time that politicians must swallow their pride and straighten out this affair. They owe it to all people across Canada, with a special emphasis on The Coffin family from Quebec.

Jenny
Aylmer, Ontario

james coffin said...

this is for david and all the folks like him if only you knew the real trueth as told to me by my mother about what they did to him i'm sure you would be in tears lets put it this way how you hear everyone has only bread and water to eat in jail he when through it and he was lucky if they gave him any bread so no Mr. Staddard isn't being bias he just being kind to them i don't know if even he knows all that went on (as they like to call it questioning) of my dad and tring to make him sign for something he never did there was no questioning going on they were just trying to get him beat down so he would sign but he was so strong in sprit that there was nothing they could do to get him to sign in fact after 16 days of beatings how should i put this as not to upset too many of the real good police on the quebec police force that low life captian matte was hitting him from behind as he wasn't man enough to do it too his face my dad grabed his hand and through matte over his shoulder thats when matte turned to my dad and told him he would hang for that and the rest is history

niece debbie said...

Darren M,
It appears that you might have difficulty walking in someone else's shoes. Wonder how you would feel though if your feet had walked in ours 50 years ago. If YOUR INNOCENT FATHER, or YOUR SON,or YOUR BROTHER,or YOUR FRIEND had been HUNG wrongfully for SOMEONE ELSE'S crime,and was not even allowed to speak one word in his own defense, publicly,in court,at a farce of a trial, would you speak so glibly about it NOT mattering anymore. It MATTERS to all Uncle Bill's family,friends, and thankfully,thankfully,to his townsmen,and so many of his fellow citizens. And this kind of thing IS still happening.Try reading all of Lew's site on this affair,and the newspapers sometime. If we,as a nation don't take a stand,and shout that we WILL NOT tolerate such wicked,and wrongful goings on in in our nation, how can we expect to stop such injustice. How,otherwise, will the politicians and lawmakers know what we want to see in our nation...justice for all! It would be great to be able to say,no problem, all the elected gov't officials,and lawmakers have the best interests of our nation's citizens at stake. But history, even sadly, both past,and modern history has proven that sometimes a man's life is easily disposable in their opinions. Darren, if you are really so coldhearted as you appear, I can only say I am sorry for you,you must be missing out on what life is all about. Also, our family is so very grateful that most folks are are caring and concerned when a fellow citizen is HUNG for no reason, with no evidence against him,other than what appears to us to be to get the USA gov't off their backs,and to keep the tourism industry afloat! I like to feel that my life counts for more than the gov't getting taxes from folks on fishing or hunting trips. Praying that you get a heart,sir. And that you take time to study the newspapers, listen to the news on tv,or read it elsewhere..learn about the number of times innocent people, in our nation, have been wrongfully accused of murder,etc..and imprisoned for years of their lives for it, or worse, HUNG. You might not feel so comfortable and able to put your feet up while these things go uncorrected. You might be the next in line for such a wrongful conviction. Bet you will be hoping someone takes a stand in your favor then,sir as they lock the prison doors behind your innocence.To all the readers who have encouraged our family,who are writing to the gov't to seek justice and for Uncle Bill to be declared innocent,as he was, at last, we thank you. You are blessing us more than words can express,and we ask God to bless each of you! Debbie

Lew Stoddard said...

To David Cranston in Amherst

Normally I do not personally respond to comments on the message board, as these comments represent readers opinions and perceptions, which are guaranteed under our rights to free speech, as is guaranteed by our Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.

Mr. Cranston, you have chosen to take it to the next level by sending me two e-mails behind the scenes, in addition to your recent comment on the board. I do not partake of secret, behind the scenes dialogue, and thus, I shall respond here for all to see.

You were wondering if my last posting was based on research or bias. Mr. Cranston, go to the head of the class, you are correct on both counts.

You see Mr. Cranston, I have possibly done as much, and perhaps more research, than any other Canadian investigative writer on this affair. In doing that, I am in a position to base what I am writing on facts, not embellishment, as has been the order of the day for many who came before me.

Your second query, am I displaying bias? Doggone it, Mr. Cranston, I never fooled you for a moment. Being a man of few words, I have to admit, yes, I am biased.

You see Mr. Cranston, I have the greatest respect for law and order. I have the greatest respect and admiration for the women and men in blue who put their lives on the line daily in pursuit of justice.

I am biased though against those officers who choose to employ manipulation and deceit in pursuit of a personal agenda, or an agenda of a higher authority, that is camouflaged and corrupt.

You see Mr. Cranston, there are many who see this case as three unfortunate souls who were murdered in the woods of gaspe'. My objective in all of this is to do what I can to prove there was a fourth murder victim in this case. He was left hanging at the end of a rope in Bordeaux Jail in Montreal in the wee hours of the morning on February 10, 1956. His name was Wilbert Coffin.

I thank you Mr. Cranston for your comments and queries, and I am hopeful that I have addressed your concerns to your satisfaction. If there is nothing else, I shall now return to my research, in my quest to display my bias against a very corrupt regime of the 1950's.

Lew Stoddard

Anonymous said...

this is to darren m i hope that one day you will get a heart and realize that there is people out there that are convicted who are innocent and my uncle was one of them. yes david this won't bring him back but it will bring peace and a closure to our family my mother and her sisters who lived though this have been in pain for 53 years with this weighing on them shoulders knowing that they would never see or be able to hear his voice or touch him again how would you feel if that was your brother or father or uncle. i ask you darren would you have the same opinion that you stated this time. think long and hard how you would feel. niece Anne

Ken W said...

Hey Lew, Glad to see you are feeling better. I can tell you are feeling better by your response to this Cranston dude.

I didnt know anything about Wilbert Coffin till I saw this website about two monts ago and sins I have kept up to date with it. Have doone a lot of reading and talking about this case. You are so right. This man was railroaded by a corrupt and illegal regime.

Go for the jugular in this Lew Stoddard. You got my support up here in Yellowknife.

Ken W
Yellowknife

Barrie W said...

When I cast a ballot on election day, I want my politician to represent my views and thoughts. Having said that politicians, it is time to gett off your "Duff" and do the honourable thing with regards to this Coffin case.

Barrie W
Thorold, Ontario

Susan Hargreaves said...

Mr. Stoddard as others have told you before me, you say it bold, you say it well. I agree with what you said to mr. Cranston about a fourth murder victim.

If Mr. Coffin hung because of the antics of a corrupt system who knowingly knew he was not guilty, then they too deserve the same fate, because when this took place, was not the punishment for murder hanging?

Susan Hargreaves
Sarnia

T McMillan said...

All Canadians should take the time to learn about this case. It is part of us all. The Coffin family deserve our support. Dig in your heels, help them, this is a last chance for them.

T McMillan
Melfort

Gary McAloon said...

It is apparent that it will take government intervention to reverse this conviction. If the injustice was as you say Mr. Stoddard, I would like for you to personally explain to me why nothing has been done to correct the situation over the years.

I agree it does look as if it was a framed job, and they should correct it, but I would like for you to explain why they have not?

Mr. Stoddard, I know that you have done more research on this now than anyone else, so I anxiously await your reply.

Gary McAloon
Prince George, B C

Bert and Agnes T said...

As former residents of the eastern part of Quebec, we wish the Coffin family all the best in their efforts to clear Wilbert Coffin's name.

I will also say Mr. Stoddard they are very fortunate to have you onboard. You have done a commendable job.

Bert and Agnes T
Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island

Raymond M said...

This case will be a challenge to Stephen Harper's minority government. It was Mr. harper who is on record saying that he was going to clean up government, and give it a new image.

This is a great idea, and as you can see, here is a golden opportunity for you to strut your stuff, Mr. Harper.

Raymond M
Delta, B C

Brenda Carl said...

This is just a quick message to Lew Stoddard. Lew I know how hard you have worked on this. I also know that you are working through something quite major right now with your health.

You need to slow down a bit and look after yourself as well. I am certain that most folks would feel the same way.

Brenda Carl
Vancouver, B. C.

dianepeter said...

Darren
This is the wrong that goes on and on my friend.The gov't started it , not knowing what we're like.
How we will fight on and on through the night till they make this thing all right.

This is the wrong that goes on and on my friend. The gov't started it not knowing what we are like.
How we will fight on and on through the night till they make this thing all right.

This is the wrong that goes on and on my friend. The gov't started it not knowing what we are like.
How we will fight on and on through the night till they make this thing all right. (X infinity)

Oh before i forget the gov't also forget a warning sign . I got it. here it is...WARNING PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND. COME UP FOR AIR SIR BRAIN DAMAGE MAY HAVE STARTED TO SET IN FROM LACK OF OXYGEN

diane peter
Uncle Bill's Niece
Ps. In the words of my Uncle
You are not going to wipe the smiles from our faces
put that in your pipe and smoke it