Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online CONTINUATION OF THE WILBERT COFFIN STORY

THE INVESTIGATION AND TRIAL AT PERCE', QUEBEC, JULY 1954

Upon conclusion of the preliminary hearing at Gaspe at the end of July, 1953, it would be necessary for the crown to gather evidence, lots of it, as the only evidence that existed was circumstantial, and very flimsy at that.

It was evident that the suspect, Wilbert Coffin, would yield nothing that would assist the crown in the building of a case. The crown set out to create a series of events that would hopefully change their fortunes. They would carry out an exhaustive investigation of Wilbert Coffin, they would follow his footsteps to Montreal, paying careful attention to money spent, to whom, and where. This procedure would later be presented at trial. It was imperative that the crown be able to establish that Wilbert Coffin spent large sums of currency, money that the crown contended he did not legally have.

As well, Captain Alphonse Matte and his crew would interview many people in and around Gaspe' hoping to discover a thread of evidence to bolster their case. As the crime occured in the woods near Gaspe', that is precisely where we shall begin the trail with both the victims and the accused entering the forest as we shall see on the followig forest permits, depicting names and dates. This information is extracted from police files of the day.

There should be enough material here to keep you reading for a couple of hours, as I ask that you look at it in depth. There will be a posting following this one in approximately three days.

This is the part where I invite you the reader to be an arm chair detective. There is something contained in the information that you will read from here to the bottom of this post that would have thrown the trial into disarray within the first three days. I am certain that if it would have been challenged by a lawyer who was worth his salt, Wilbert Coffin would have lived to see old age. Unfortunately, a lawyer strutting around in his robes in a drunken stupor, would not pick up on this fact. I know that I have some criminal lawyers who read this site as well, so here is your chance to test your observancy of evidence as well. And folks, just to have a bit of fun with this, please post your findings on the comments page. I shall be revealing later what this information is.

DQ 74890-53


LA SURETE PROVINCIALE DE QUEBEC
P3-2403-53
POSTE NO. 3 GASPE

Liste de permis de circulation émis à la barriére du Camp York,
Gaspé PQ
Emis par le garde forester Ernest Miller.

DATE NOMS & ADRESSES NOMBRE DE JOURS DESTINATION

523) 8-6-53 G. Dormer Quebec 1 York Lake
524) “ “ “ Donald Boulay, Gaspé 1 “ “
525) “ “ M. Pouliot Gaspé 3 “ “
526) “ “ J.S. Gagnon Gaspé 1 Oat Kaig Lake Holland
527) “ “ Wilbert Coffin, York Center 4 St John River

528) “ “ Angus McDonald, York Center 4 St John River
529) “ “ Rupert Girard, Belle Anse 1 York River
530) “ “ Michel Pouliot, Gaspé 1 York Lake
531) “ “ Philius Fournier, Fontenelle 30 York River
532) “ “ Thomas Miller, Wakeham 1 The Narrows
533) “ “ L. Bernier, Cape Cove 31 York River
534) “ “ Archel Labarre, Fontenelle 30 “ “
535) “ “ Ralph Collin, Cape Cove 30 “ “
536) “ “ Roger Kelly, Gaspé 30 Madelaine Fork
537) “ “ Johnny Cote, St. Maurice 30 York Lake

538) 9-6-53 Lloyd Adams, 1 Gaspé
539) “ “ G. Dormer, Quebec 1 “ “
540) “ “ H. Doyon, Gaspé 1 Holland Lake
541) “ “ Erné Boudreau Gaspé 1 York Lake
542) “ “ Dominique ? Barachois 1 Mississippi Brook

543) 9-6-53 H.M. Lasson, 1 Detroit,Michigan
544) “ “ Rupert Girard, 1 Belle Anse

545) “ “ EH Lindsey, R.D. No.1, Hollidaysburg 10 jours, St. John River
546) “ “ RC Lindsey, R.D. No.1, Hollidaysburg 10 jours, St. John River
547) “ “ Frederick Claar, East Freedon 10 jours, St. John River

You will note from the above Wilbert Coffin and Angus McDonald entering the forest gate on June 08, 1953, and at the bottom, you will see the Lindsey party of three entering the forest gate on June 09, 1853.

Some folks may find the next part disturbing, and I do understand that. It is however, necessary to talk about this part of the investigation, as it forms a part of the overall picture.

On 15 July, and the 23 July, 1953 the skeletal remains of the Lindsey party were found in the forest, inside the same mentioned above gate as stated above. They would be declared dead of suspicious means, however, cause of death was not immediately established, nor was positive identification confirmed. They would be positively identified later on inspection by the provincial coroner, Dr. Marie Roussell, from Montreal. Here are the results of those autopsies.

LABORATORY OF LEGAL MEDICINE
AND POLICE TECHNIQUE

443 St. Vincent Street

MONTREAL




EXPERT REPORT

Re. The disappearance of three hunters at Gaspé- June-July 1953-bones of Camp 24.


Last July 15, at the request of M.Charland, directeur-adjoint suppléant of the Surety Provincial of Quebec, I went to Gaspé, so as to examine the bones that were discovered in the woods, about 60 miles from Gaspé.

During the day of July 17, accompanied by Sergeant Doyon, of the local station, of the Surety Provincial Police, I transported myself to the same spot, designated by the name “Camp 24.”
At this place, near a little river, an incomplete skeleton was found, and partly dislocated, to which adhered some malodorous scraps of skin.
The preliminary examination shows that it was only the bones of a single person, contrary to that which was believed at first; the bones were placed in a box and taken to Gaspé for a more detailed examination.

RESULTS OF THE EXAMINATION

Description of the Bones: - The bones are completely stripped of the muscles that were attached and are more or less disjoined; the head and the sides are missing.
The extremities of the upper limbs are relatively intact; the skin of the hands is of a blackish brown color, of a wrinkled consistency and in appearance somewhat mummified; the nails are long and rough.

The following bones then form the incomplete skeleton:
part of the spinal column
the two scapulas
the left clavicle
the bones of the complete upper limbs: humerus, cubitus, radius, wrists and hands
the pelvis comprising of the bones of the iliac and the sacrum, but without the coccyx
the bones of the complete lower limbs

Determination of Sex: - The size even of the bones, the marked relief of muscular insertions, the dimension of the pelvis and the force of the obturate holes are those that leave no doubt on the masculine sex of the bones.

Determination of the Size: The measurements of the bones of the members gave the following values:
- left femur 181/4” or 46, 35 cms
-right femur idem; (?)
-right tibia 14-5/8” or 37 cms
-right humerus 13-3/8” or 34 cms

When referring to the anthropomorphic table establishing the length of bones following the sizes, we obtain the following correspondences:
-left femur 463,5 mm – size 170,6 cms
-tibia 370,0 mm – “ 168,5 cms
-humerus 340,0 mm - “ 173,0cms
The means of the size corresponding to these three long bones is 170,7 cms, being 5 feet 71/2 inches.

The method of the coefficients gives us similar results:

-femur 483,5 mm x 3,66 = size: 169,64 cms
-tibia 370,0 mm x 4,53 = “ 166,71 cms
- humerus 340,0 mm x 5,06 = “ 172,04 cms

Average of the size: 170,1 cms, being about 5 feet, 7 inches.

Determination of Age: With the absence of the cranium, the only means to appreciate the age of the person who had the bones consists in the research of the degree of ossification of different parts of the skeleton.
Radiography demonstrates a complete welding of the epiphyses ( extremities) of
the long bones of the members, a welding likewise supplements the iliac peak with the pelvic bone and as well a welding of the crown vertebrae, the ones with the others.
And also, the presence of small osteophytes on the level of certain bones and evident signs of arthritis in the articulations of the thumb of the right hand, indicating that this isn’t the bones of a young man or adolescent and that we are in the presence of the skeleton of an adult of middle age.

Determination of Cause of Death: Except for the ( grugement)? spongy end of certain bones of the skeleton, the exam didn’t reveal any trace of significant violence, on the bones at our disposition; it is then impossible, in the circumstances, to confirm the existence of violence of vital origin.
The complete disappearance of the internal organs and other soft parts of the skeleton prevents us from establishing the cause of death.

Summary:

The bones found at Camp “24” are those of a man of middle age, measuring about 5 foot 7 inches tall. The skeletal remains were identified as those of Eugene Hunter Lindsey of Pennsylvania.

The desiccation and the parchment of the skin and the soft tissue of the two hands indicate that death occurred at the minimum of one month ago.


J.M. Roussel, M.D.
Medical Examiner
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NOTE ON THE PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS MADE BY DR. J. MARIE ROUSSEL, MEDICAL EXAMINER: 25-7-53

SKELETON “A”

Skeleton found 75’ from camp 26. (It was in a wood box (Dynamex) and included the bones of the cranium.)
Lower maxilla
All the vertebrae except one
18 sides
2 scapulas
2 clavicles
2 humerus, cabitus, and right radius
2 bones of the pelvis
2 femurs
Tibias and right fibulas
Tibias and left fibulas


NOTE: The bones of the lower maxillas are partially corroded and it is impossible to make a precise measurement.

Measurements: Left humerus: 33.5 cms or 13 3/16”
Left cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8”
Right humerus: 22.5 cms or 12 ¾”
Or 33.5 or 13 3/16” without measured angle
Right cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8
Right radius: 24.5 cms or 9 5/8”

CRANIUM:
Jagged (indented?) sutures (joinings?) evident everywhere past traces of ossification.

TEETH: Lower maxillas healthy natural teeth with no obvious decay, except in the line space of the right interior incisor medians. First lower left molars missing.
Upper maxillas: bad establishment of the right incisor (retreating). The first large left molar missing as well as the right.

BONE OF THE PELVIS: The iliac ridge is not definitely welded. With the tip of the pelvis that which indicates an age lower than twenty years.

CLOTHES:
A pair of black leather boots with the soles sewn with two rows of thread and two rows of copper rivets under the boots, and also a strap with buckles around the hoses, size about 8.

Trousers probably brown with a tinted red leather belt with a series of oblique marks and a buckle with the initial “R”.
A handkerchief with brown and green edges and the second with finer stripes.
A white sweatshirt with the name “ Hollidaysburg Tigers “ on top of the figure of a tiger.
A sport shirt tinted green marked Sportop washable, size “S-14-14 ½” with two pockets in the front on the right and the left.
A windbreaker or red and black checked shirt marked “ Woolrich “, size 15 zipper and two pockets in the front.

This skeletal remains was identified as that belonging to Richard Lindsey of Pennsylvania.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SKELETON “B”

Pelvis with lumbar column and last cervical vertebras and 7 dorsal, vestiges of four sides, I free side with diaphise part of two femurs whose extremities are notched, diaphise tibia dr. notched.

CLOTHING:

1 plaid waistcoat red and black checked marked Woolrich with two sleeves turned out + (can’t read words written here)
1 pair of blue jeans, two pockets turned out
1 undershirt marked “Croftman” size No. 42
1 T-shirt red, large, Penney’s
1 left boot brown leather laced with eyelets, soles of black rubber neoprene, oil resisting, size 11.

This skeletal remains identified as that of Frederick Claar of Pennsylvania

25-7-53
Gaspé
/jvc
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTES of DR. ROUSSELL
(27-7-53)



CLOTHING:
Red waistcoat property of T-shirt marked Penny’s, 2 circular perforations measuring 7/16” to 1/2 “ in diameter distance of 2 “ located at the left anterior face of the thorax, a little on the left and in the lower part of the left center.

Circular perforations similar to the preceding ones located right face anterior of thorax 1” in inside of the seam of the sleeve at the level of the right pectoral area.

Large ovalaire (oval shaped?) perforation measuring about 1” long by 5 lines high situated with the anterior face of the thorax at the same level as the former at 1” to the right of the center line.

4 or 5 perforations or tears on the posterior right side of the sweater in the line of the armpit.

CHECKED JACKET

Checked jacket red and black Woolrich with chamois sleeves. One notes 2 perforations through the anterior pocket and the left side of the windbreaker.

Perforations or tears in the seam or junction between the right sleeve and the jacket (corresponding to the perforations like on the T-shirt.)

Tear close to the neck (collar) of the jacket at about 2 ½” with the top of the upper snap button corresponding to the ( ovalaire?) oval? tear noted on the T-shirt.

CLOTHING “A”

Red and black checked jacket with zipper- perforation in the upper left region at 3 ¼” from the 3” in the line of the center and 4” with the top of the higher edge of the upper anterior pocket and to 5” to the lower part of the seam of the shoulder

GREEN SHIRT:

Circular perforation at 3 ½” to the left of the centerline 5” of the lower part of the seam of the shoulder.

WHITE T-SHIRT:

Perforation at the edge shredded with the upper left region of the thorax ( or..could read…” shredded perforation at the edge of the upper left region of the thorax?) at 5 ½” of the center line and 4” below the seam of the shoulder surrounded by a zone of reddish color apparently ( tituée?) caused? by blood – No corresponding perforation in the back.

NOTE:

The three clothing carry to the dorsal area dte? near the middle about 4” in the lower part of the lower seam of the sleeve, a circular perforation not found on the anterior front.

___________________________________

With murder now confirmed and a suspect charged, as mentioned above, Captain Matte and crew set about interviewing witnesses, and retracing Wilbert Coffin;s footsteps. Here are many of the interrogations that were carried out in and around Gaspe' during this period. Please remember these documents have mostly been translated from French to English, and thus, good grammar will appear violated in many cases, and of course these documents are over a half century in age, so they have faded and show many signs of wear and tear.


In reading these documents, if you see your name, or that of a loved one or acquaintance, it is not published to embarass, or to suggest involvement. It merely formed part of an official murder investigation. The following represents police reports on a goodly number of the interrogations with various folks. There will be many more documents that I shal be publishing in subsequent posts.




Gaspe P.Q. 8th Aug 1953
From J.C. Vanhoutte, agent P.J.

Captain in Charge of the Judicial Police:

Re. Eugene H. Lindsay, Richard Lindsay and Frederick Claar (Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pa. USA) Cantons Castonguay and Holland, Cté. Gaspé south PQ
“ MURDERS”


To follow your verbal instructions, those that were transmitted by Lt. Gerard Morel, July 23 1953, I left Quebec, to take myself to Gaspé, to accompany you to the present inquiry (investigation) and here at the 29th of the same month, then as were your instructions I was living at Gaspé in order to control different information concerning this affair, accompanied by the agent, Jules Fradette, actually stationed at the “Poste de Gaspé”

Eddie Du Marec, 59 years, farmer, Riviere aux Renards, Cté, Gaspé-south, P.Q.

Interrogated on 30-7-53 on the subject of the version he had already given to agent Jules Fradette on 18-7-53, declared that on this occasion he made a grave error concerning the dates that he had mentioned. He declares that the day that he and his companions met the Americans in the area of Mississippi Brook was well May 29 1953 and not June 12 1953 that he had already declared. He explains that after the agents left on 28-7-53, he discussed it with his companions, and they recalled that it was not 12-6-53 but 29-5-53 was the day that the big ship of the International Paper loaded at Riviere aux Renards.That day there was 29-5-53, about 8:30 or 9 o’clock a.m. a little below the bridge of the Mississippi brook, and then when he went to work at Beaver dam, he was overtaken by a jeep covered in the back (?), he couldn’t recall the colour, after passing them the driver of the jeep signaled them to stop and they saw then that the occupants got out to shoot at a bear. He said that the driver appeared to be a young man, but that he didn’t see the face, it was him who had the rifle. He said that also on this same day, around 11 am, he saw another jeep that seemed to him in better shape than the first but he can’t furnish a detailed description, and then the three occupants demanded directions to go to Keays camp. These individuals spoke English and he said that they took the directions to the Keays camp only to see them to go back over them not about 15 minutes later. He ends with saying that he had the intention of going to the office of the Surete provincial to inform them of the error they had made concerning the dates.

William “Bill” Baker, 43 years, hotelier, “Ash Inn’, Gaspé

Interrogated on the subject of information that he might furnish for this case, Bill Baker tells me he is the owner of a pick up truck, Chevrolet, ½ ton, 1953, colour light green. So, without being able to be precise with the date, but as well as he could remember, at the end of May or the beginning of June 1953, Wilbert Coffin of York Center came to the hotel with a man called Angus MacDonald, 62 years, of Long point Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with samples of copper minerals saying that he had found this copper at the St John river. They….rest of page missing
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)

10) William “Bill” Eagle, age 49, Sunny Bank, Gaspé P.Q.
The above mentioned says that the 9-6-53 around 10 in the morning he was with Thomas Patterson and Oscar Patterson in a Howard Smith company truck and they were returning all three from Murray brook looking for goods that they had left in the camps of the company. He said that at the time given they met three types who seemed to be hunters who were broken down in the stream, because the bridge at this point was collapsed. Oscar Patterson pulled out the truck of these hunters with his big truck. After that these hunters told Eagle that they entered the woods the day before, being 806-53, and that since then their truck had stayed all night in the brook. (stream). He said that with the big truck, they got the hunters truck going, and because that truck there couldn’t cross the said river, they had to retrace (turn back) on the road. They were together about 1-11/2 hours. He couldn’t say if the oldest of the hunters paid to the man for his troubles. The only other person that they met in the woods that day there was the forest warden, Jerry Patterson.
11) Thomas Patterson, 47 years, superintendent of the woods, for company Howard Smith, Sunny Bank, Tel: 43-z-23
Patterson recalls that on 9-6-53 before leaving for the woods with William eagle and Oscar Patterson, he knew that some Americans were broken down at Indian Fork for the good reason that the forest warden, Jerry Patterson, had met them (sitting up, staying up, watching, patrolling?) when he tried to get them out of there with his jeep but without success. Then the same night Jerry Patterson came to his home to ask him if he was going in that direction the 9-6-53 to make sure to offer help to these men who were broken down in their bad position. He collaborates with the balance of the version of William Eagle in the preceding paragraph but insists that he knew the names of these individuals, that was Eugene H. Lindsay, his son Richard and Frederick Claar, for the reason that he had stayed at the same camp as them in 1951 on a hunting trip plus he had already had the occasion to meet them in the forest and to talk with them. He declares that he has never seen these Americans carrying revolvers and he is certain that Lindsay never paid Oscar Patterson for his trouble but, instead, gave him a gift of a box of five cigars. According to him, these three men were in as good humour as in past years. That which he can know about Wilbert Coffin he informed me that he had only been a prospector since last winter, and not in this region, where he hadn’t prospected since before springtime. He never saw him in possession of a revolver. He ends by saying that the Saturday, the 11th of July 1953 with Oscar Patterson and Thomas Miller, he recalls the truck of Lindsay. He doesn’t think that the hunters would have slept in Gaspe on arrival for their hunting trip. They also informed him that they wanted to stay in the forest for about ten days.
12)? …Top line missing. This is probably interview with Oscar Patterson?
Eugene Lindsay gave him a box of five cigars as a gift. As far as he recalls, he had already met Eugene Lindsay and his son, Richard, in 1951 but he can’t say if Fred Claar was with them or if Thomas Miller of Sunny Bank was their guide that year. He never remarked (noticed?) whether those Americans carried revolvers. He informed me likewise that he was with Thomas miller when the truck was retrieved at the start of July 1953 after one heard that three hunters hadn’t returned (missed their roll call)
In a 2nd interview with Oscar Patterson he informed me that the morning before they left Sunny Bank to return to the forest to deal with the search, they went with Thomas Miller to his neighbour, Weston Eagle, and there they spoke with Wilbert Coffin’s mother who was at this house. On this occasion, Mrs. Coffin said that the Americans had given Wilbert Coffin something as a gift but she couldn’t recall exactly if this was a set of…… or a knife that had different uses for a hunter.

13) Esther (Wife? Of Thomas) Miller, born Patterson, 36 years, housewife, Sunny Bank, Gaspé
Questioned about this affair, the above mentioned, she informed us that Thursday July 9 1953, she was at Russel Patterson’s visiting and while she was there they received a phone call from the police in Hollidaysburg demanding news about the Americans. Afterwards her husband went to Gaspé and then in the forest where he found the truck of Lindsay in the forest. She informed me that her husband guided Lindsay in 1951 on a hunting trip in the same district, but she herself didn’t know Lindsay except for having seen him one time near the house, that he never had been in her home. In 1952 he hadn’t written to her husband to arrange a trip, but at the end, he came with some others. On this occasion the names were Campbell, the Lindsays, an individual whose first name was Emerett, and another large man with the name Tiny. The one named Emerett was accompanied by his two young boys and they had eaten a meal at her house on that occasion. She adds to have never been (encontact) with Wilbert Coffin in each circumstance and about that which concerns……… that Coffin would have received as surplus for payment on the part of the Americans. She says she had talk of that by Claar the father on his first trip to Gaspé before the disappearance, and she also claimed to have heard that that year the three hunters slept in their truck on their arrival in Gaspé.

14) Thomas Miller, 43 years, ‘ journalier’, Sunny Bank Gaspé

The named informs us that he knew the Lindsays and Claar since 1951 when he worked for them as a guide, be it so, for Eugene Lindsay, his son Richard Lindsay and Fred Claar. They went then to hunt at the North Fork and the South fork of Douglastown below camp 21. For their trip this year they had a ½ ton truck all black. They stayed there 8 days. They didn’t have a revolver but three large rifles, 30/30 and one 22. That same year they made a second trip but he didn’t go with them. There was Lindsay, the father Claar, and two others, one of whom was called “Tiny” Swope. In 1952 they came again to hunt, being Eugene Lindsay, Bill Campbell, Tiny Swope, and another named Emeritt with his two sons. They had two purses (?) and they seemed to carry a good amount of money, without being able to state exactly how much.

In that which concerns 1953 Miller said that the July 9 1953 he received a phone call from the American police asking him to locate them if possible. Then the next morning he went to the gate at York to see if Lindsay had asked for a permit. He went also to the Provincial police on the subject of this affair and there one told him to go to the forest and if he found something, not to touch anything and to report back. He got Oscar Patterson and having a good idea of the spot where they would have gone hunting, after having seen a copy of their permit for the forest, and having been told by Thomas Patterson that Wilbert Coffin had met them and took one of them to Gaspé, he went to the Coffin garage in Gaspé where he learned that after them (visiting the garage?) Wilbert had driven to the area Of Caribou Creek. They then both left and went without stopping until they arrived at Lindsay’s truck about 6pm. Then they examined the cabin without touching anything and all that they noted was a sack of potatoes in the rear of the truck. He didn’t notice if there was a rifle in there.
He looked around the surrounding area and then continued with Oscar Patterson to camps 21, 24, 25, and 26 without finding anything unusual. Because it was getting dark they got back on the road. They found it very odd to have not found any provisions. They didn’t meet anyone. As for Wilbert Coffin he had heard it said that the night of his return from the woods he had gotten drunk and that had ended by the trip to Montreal.
Before finishing with Miller, having asked him if he had any helpful details that he thought to tell us, he informed me that the morning of 10-7-53 before leaving for the woods with Oscar Patterson, he had spoken with Wilbert Coffin’s mother who told them that Lindsay had given Wilbert a nice knife with many features after and that Lindsay gave him that to recompense for his trouble. By the way she spoke, she had seen this knife. This was said in the presence of Oscar Patterson (see par.12, pg.5 of this report) and to Mrs. Weston Eagle, daughter of Dame Coffin.

15) In the course of this investigation, I went likewise many times to the gate of the York river at Wakeham where I got all the booklets of permits (travel) in the forest given at this spot for June 1953. A complete list is made, giving the no. of permits, the person, the destination and the no. of days for which the permit given, for the day between 8am-6pm by the forest warden, Lewis Annett. Copies of this list is annexed to this report and in examining the said list one can see and easily compare the entries of Burkett, Ford at the end of May 1953, as well as Coffin, MacDonald, Lindsay and Claar in June.

16) The above mentioned declares that it was he who would give the permits No.537527 and 537528, one to Wilbert Coffin and one to Angus MacDonald on June 8 1953 for 4 days in the direction of the St John river and he is positive that the two went into the woods. They were traveling in a ½ ton truck……….(line missing…)
of traveling permit, but all persons who say they are on the main road to the mine must have a permit.

17) Lewis Annett, 22 years, Forest warden, No. 2492, Wakeham, Gaspé, P.Q.

This person declares that that which concerns the permits No.583114 given on June 10 1953 he is certain after 6pm because he starts work at that hour. He recalls that the permit was given to Wilbert Coffin, although on the permit it reads “William.” On this occasion Coffin entered the guard’s hut to get this permit and Annett said that he didn’t say if he had anyone with him. He couldn’t give other details except that he told us that before about June 10 1953 the gate stayed open between midnight and 5am.

18) Jerry Patterson, 57 years, forest warden, Sunny Bank

Declares that the 8-6-53 when he was making his rounds in the forest, arriving at Indian fork, he met 3 American hunters who had asked him if it was possible to cross the river with their truck. They made an attempt bit stayed there broken down. They then tried to get out with his jeep but it wasn’t possible. When he left them he said that they had decided to camp there for the night and they asked him if he could send someone to help them get out, that’s what he said on the same night talking to Thomas Patterson. He verified the same their permit in noting that their names on the (calapin?) were Eugene H, Lindsay, Richard Lindsay and Fred Claar, having a permit for the St John River.

19) Etienne Poirier g.c. Chef de District, Ministere de la chasse et de la peche Sandy Beach Gaspé P.Q informed us that Mar 3 1952 Wilbert Coffin of York center was arrested for having shot a deer out of season and on this occasion, someone told him of searching in the lumberjack camp, seized a luger P.38 revolver. He didn’t have, however, the serial no. of this firearm. The same revolver was returned to Wilbert Coffin Mar 10 1952 after correspondence with his department. He told me that the only hunting permits sold that spring to non-residents were to Chs. E.Ford and Dr Burkett of Altoona Pa. and the three victims in the case.

20) Seraphin Fournier, 39years, barber, Gaspe P.Q.
This person declares to be the giver of licenses and permits conveyed for the provincial revenue dept. and that 12-6-53 in the evening he sold to Wilbert Coffin of York center, a driving license No. 1052926 for 1953 at the cost of $2.50. He said also that he could remember that Wilbert Coffin appeared sober at that time.

21) Russell Patterson, 24 years, truck driver, Haldimand West, Gaspé P.Q.
Patterson said he was a guide for Dr Burkett and Chs E. Ford of Altoona Pa. this year of May 23 1953 near the camp of international paper and didn’t go to 21, 24, or 26 that year. He recalls that in the course of their trip Burkett and Ford mentioned that Lindsay also planned to hunt this year in Gaspé. He said he had encountered Lindsay two years ago when he was a cook for the Howard Smith Company, but he hadn’t seen him this year. He said that Burkett and Ford had for rifles, a .300 with a telescope and a .270 also with a telescope. Russell Patterson also told us that during their journey in the forest, they had occasion to meet a truck, and that it was possible that they met the kind like the Riviere aux Renards (the one at Riviere Renards?), that in question in paragraph 2 of this report. You find here- annexed the original letters between Patterson and Dr Burkett to organize their springtime trip to Gaspé.

22) John Fottler Eagle, “Jack”, 55 years, carpenter, Sunny Bank Gaspé P.Q.

The above mentioned declares that as far as he remembers a Friday night, probably 12-6-53,he had gone to Albert Coffin at York center (father of Wilbert) and then that he was in the house about 8-8:30 pm with the Coffin mother, Weston Eagle, Dame Weston Eagle, Felix Stanley and his wife. At a certain time, Wilbert coffin arrived. He had with him a bottle of scotch and they had some drinks together. Wilbert talked to him then about his voyages in the woods and that he had met three Americans and also that he had made a trip to Gaspé to get a fuel pump. He said then that these guys were nice boys and, as well as he can remember, he told him of having received between $20-$40 for his trip, explaining that they were satisfied too for having paid for the gas expenditure and he was more than satisfied with the payment received. Jack eagle said then that Wilbert Coffin also showed him a knife, the kind of pocketknife with a spoon and fork on it, explaining that he had received the knife from the Americans on his trip. Eagle also said that he took the knife in his hands and said to Wilbert “Wilbert, you better take good care of it, because the first chance I’ll have I’ll steal it from you.” He didn’t have a question at that time of a shaving set. Eagle also said that he didn’t examine the truck that Wilbert had because it was parked about 100 feet from the house. He couldn’t say either whether Coffin had another bottle of scotch at that time. At the end he said that on leaving Coffin’s house that night that Wilbert was still at home and he didn’t know if he left for Montreal the same night.
Concerning the revolver, he informed me to being in agreement that Wilbert had already shown him a P.38 of the army two or three years ago. This was a luger with a holster (case). The last news that he had of Wilbert, that’s when his son Weston Eagle who worked at Donald Coffin’s garage (brother of Wilbert) received a phone call from Wilbert going to Montreal and asking him for money because he said he was broke.
Noticing that the truck of Jack Eagle, ½ ton Fargo, red colour, had a front-end accident, I asked him to explain this accident. Immediately he explained that during March 1952 in a snowstorm he couldn’t bring it with him to the house and he left it on the street between Wakeham and Sunny bank. The next morning he noticed that his truck was banged and he found the pieces of the left side headlight. He didn’t make…….( line missing)

23)…(words missing)…
….Ford of Altoona Pa.. On the registration card No. 8168 dated 3-6-53 one sees that these two tourists slept that night in room no.8, said hotel, to leave the next morning.

24) Murray McCallum, 29 years, manager hotel, Gaspé

Says without recalling the date exactly, but says that it was at the beginning of June 1953, one day Wilbert Coffin arrived at he hotel around noon and told him that when he went into the woods, he met three Americans who were hunting bears and that their truck had trouble and he had brought them to Gaspé to buy a fuel pump. He repeated that Wilbert Coffin made an utterance he says like this “ I have a couple of them with me in my truck.” Coffin consumed then one small bottle of Kings Beer and bought three to take with him. McCallum couldn’t remember what kind of money he paid.
At the time Coffin left; this witness said that he had the impression that two other persons waited for Coffin in the pale green truck of owner Bill Baker. Asking him to be as precise as possible about two passengers, he couldn’t confirm (swear) categorically to this. In finishing he informed me that of the rumours he hears, he had heard that Coffin, was on a drunk a couple of days as Melvin Stuart’s of York center, and that someone said that they saw 4-5 40 oz. bottles on the table in the house. He couldn’t give me any more details.

25) Having heard talk during our research that Wilbert Coffin had bought a case of hard liquor before leaving for Montreal, we attempted to check this rumour very seriously in questioning, the following hotels, Hotel Baker, Hotel Gaspe, the Ash Inn, Mountain View Hotel, all in Gaspé, but without success on this side. We also questioned on the subject, Ernest Boyle of Wakeham and Jack Eagle of Sunny Bank, reputed to be selling illegal liquor, but without any success.

26) Ernest Boyle, 47 years, carpenter, Wakeham, Gaspé P.Q.
The above mentioned tells us that about June 12 1953 Wilbert Coffin stopped at his house around 7-8pm. He had Bill Baker’s truck and he asked for a bottle of beer, saying he was in a hurry. Boyle said that he “gave” him one and they discussed prospecting claims. He confirms never having sold him a 40 oz.

27) Benny White, 53 years, hotelier, Mountain View Hotel York center, Gaspé P.Q.

Declares that as far as he remembers, a couple of days before he learned that Wilbert Coffin left for Montreal, he stopped at his hotel and bought only two bottles of beer, never 40 0z. confirming “ We never handle the stuff.” For him that was the day that Coffin came to Gaspé to buy an auto part for the Americans. (In his declaration of 6 Aug 1953, Wilbert Coffin declared that when he arrived from the woods on 12-6-53, he bought one dozen beer from Benny White.) However I could never get admission of such a purchase at White’s.

28) Walter O’Connor, 30 years, manager Camp York Lake, P.Q.

Having verified the registrations of tourists passing by this camp during June 1953, one sees that the 4-6 June 1953 was…(line missing)………was armed, explained like many others “ if I was sure, I would have paid more attention (to it)

Roger D’Astous, 48 years, agent Campbell Company, Gaspé Copper Mine, P.Q.

Declares to having remembered that at the start of June when he was working in the camp of the company situated about 5 miles from the York gate, someone stopped at his office to see if he could supply him with a fuel pump for a Ford truck. He replied simply that that he didn’t have any. He didn’t go out of his office and couldn’t give any other detail.

Ross Biard, 42 years, forest warden, Haldimand West, P.Q.

The named who is the gate guard on the St John river, place where Wilbert Coffin went to get to his prospecting camp, informed us that one day about 20 July 1953, when he was in the company of Damien grant of Douglastown, they went in the forest to do an inspection tour and examined at this time Wilbert Coffin’s camp. In the corner of the camp underneath a bed, behind some boxes, there was dynamite, they also found a case (holster) for a revolver, colour black, leather, big enough, said he, to carry a revolver at least caliber .45.
He informed us that that spring an individual named Fred Gegerik, ( polonaise?) prospected in company with Wilbert Coffin and that the 6-19th of June he was supposed to be prospecting “Up West” being along the St John river with Coffin, he said he got this information from Angus MacDonald. This Gegerik worked for others and could actually be employed by the Mine.
He said also that the 8 or 9 of June 1953 he agreed that Angus MacDonald gave Coffin $20 to prepare the truck to go “up West” and later MacDonald told him that he never would have (could have?) rejoin Coffin for going up with him. He said he was knew the details for the good reason that he himself prospected and that Angus MacDonald was interested in his claims. In that which concerns the truck of Bill Baker, that Coffin had it in his possession for several days before June8 or 9 th and he was under the impression that this was Coffin’s truck.

Damien Grant, 28 years, forest warden, Douglastown, P.Q.

This one although confronted with Ross Briard, declares he remembers all concerning their inspection, but can’t confirm having seen the holster of a revolver in Wilbert Coffin’s camp.

32) On 31-7-53 I received from the hands of George LaCouvee, store manager, LaCouvee brothers, here in Gaspé, an unsealed letter addressed; Mr. Alphonse Matte, Gaspé. LaCouvee recalls that this letter was sent to his servant (worker) Alphonsine Matte, then the father was named Alphonse Matte, but opening it before reading it, she saw that it was an error so gave it to him. This letter seemed to come from a person named R.P. Plante, either from Mont Louis or Mont Joli. It was practically incomprehensible.

Lew Stoddard

Posted to site October 22, 2006

54 comments:

M W said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I want to help, but I am totally frustrated with the petition process.

A few days ago in the comments there was a link provided to print and sign a petition.

I did that. It was almost impossible to get a printed copy. Prior to receiving the petition, I am told to mail it to the address provided which is in Gaspe', Quebec. It tells me not to deliver it to my Member Of Parliament. Why? That is why we elect those people.

Why should I send a petition that I work hard for in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to eastern Quebec, and then have a member of The Bloc Quebecois deliver it on my behalf?

The Bloc Quebecois is not even the official opposition in this country, and I view them as a separatist movement. I do not like that.

There is no legal requirement that petitions to the federal government has to be delivered by The Bloc. If there is, then Mr. Stoddard, I want no part of it.

I realize this is a separate site to yours, but I have to ask you to get this cleared up. Otherwise, count me out of the petition signing up process in this matter.

I do not want to publicly place my e-mail address here. I am sending you this message as well by e-mail, and as well a copy to the host of the petition site.

I am sorry about this. I do want to help, but, it must be reflective of my area, and as well, I think it would certainly look much better with a variety of MP's across the country supporting this.

Thank you Sir.

M W
Dawson Creek, B C

Judy Kaley said...

I agree with M W Mr. Stoddard. If you are going to link an address for a petition, you have to make it easier to access, and as well, I am very definite in the same concerns about getting my area MP to work on my behalf.

Again, I know this is not your site dealing with the petitions, but if you advertize a link from your site, naturally people will be asking you about it. Please straighten this out.

You are doing a great job on the story and the investigation stuff you published today is most interesting. I am still trying to be the first to solve your quiz question. That adds a little flavour to the web site. Great idea.

I know you are busy with all this and hate to bug you about the petition, but it is frustrating, and needs immediate attention.

Judy Kaley
Toronto, Ontario

Mary rogers said...

i couldn't even print the petition something about some kind of Pdf file or something i dont know enough about the computerto do things like that. has to be simple as lots of the olderpeople dont know all that stuff to do.

I do enjoy the way you do the story on hereto read each time.

Mary rogers
Brandon

T in Gaspe said...

Mr. Stoddard,

I have said in the past that you have done well with this story. You have now stepped out of bounds Sir. I take exception to your making names public of who was interviewed by the police. This can lead to much embarassment for people, and for living relatives.

I am saying this on a personal note, as I already see one of my relatives named in an interview. why can you not keep these parts hidden from view. i live in the region where this all happened and you are only going to get people upset real quick.

T
Gaspe

G. St. Pierre said...

Hey Mr. Stoddard,

You are starting to get into the real facts of this thing now. I am from Rimouski and my family has been very familiar with this event for decades. My Dad at one time, actually during this time, worked near Gaspe in the woods. Yesterdays part of the story has already told me a couple of things that I had no previous knowledge of.

I am still mulling over your quiz question. Has caused me to rtead it three times from yesterday, I will spot it yet. Keep it up Sir.

G. St. Pierre
Rimouski

Barb said...

Yes Sir, that is a bit of a schmozzle on the petition thing, but I am sure you will sort it out. I have faith in you. You work so hard on this, is obvious? I plan to be the one who will answer the evidence question that you asked? It will jump out at me soon.

Barb in saskatoon

Simon said...

Comment to this mr or mrs T in Gaspe
hey dont feel bad here you will get over it.my family made the most honourbled mentioned list alredy in this last part of the story too. my uncle ran one of the busyest bootleg joints on gaspe coast in the fifties.his name will probly come up some more. he even got caught and did a few weeks in the famos hotel with the bars on window. who knows maybe your relative was one of his costomers. remember this is gaspe.get this crap out in open finaly and clear up this messe.
i am trying to figgure out the answere to the question.sorry about my speling. this is good stuff lew.

Simon in riviere du loup

S McVickers said...

This is the stuff that folks have been waiting to hear and see with reference to this affair. Already it is taking on a resemblance of an affair that was not entirely above board.

I am glad that you are doing a systematic study of it from start to finish leading to the trial. Too bad the lawyers of the day did not do that in Wilbert Coffin's defense.

You are correct I believe Sir, that had certain things been done, he most probably would have lived like the rest of us.

I support here fully what you are doing, and do not change your pattern for the sake of a few who may get their "lily whites" soiled a bit. Usualy, one is only afraid of the truth if they have something in the closet to hide.

S McVickers
Burlington, Ontario

G Watters said...

I am certain that you will correct me if I am wrong but I think the answer to your question is, How do we know that the Lindsey party stayed in the forest without interruption? Could they have been killed elsewhere, and had their bodies deposited where they were found?

That is my answer to your question, Mr. Stoddard.

G Watters
Calgary, Alberta

Brenda said...

Here is my answer. I was not there as you know, but I think your facts so far point to the entry into the forest of the victims as being questionable? Dod they come back out prematurely and then go back in? There is a chance that they could have done this, is there not? I think that would create reasonable doubt.

Brenda in Saint John

Kevin said...

hey man i support the coffin family in this thing in a big way. I hope it all turns out the way they want. You Sir are a good detective as well as a great writer.

My answer to the question. Do we know for sure that the gate guards are above board?

Kevin
Fort McMurray

Brad Wilson said...

I would never have thought that all this information was available after all these years, but then again, why should I say that? The public has always been left in the dark about this complete process for all these years.

I do know one thing though. The past few months have proven to me and many others that the police, government, and the judiciary in general were a bunch of corrupt liars during these years.

I hope they do not find a way to throw you into jail Sir for making that fact evident to the Canadian public.

I will read again your post of today and try and find the answer to your riddle? Excellent idea, that is Lew.

Brad Wilson
Delta, british Columbia

Marion G said...

Is thgis the answer you seek?

The conflict of information between Damien Grant and Ross Briand, relating to the same incident concerning a holster for a pistol in Wilbert Coffin's camp.

One said he saw it, the other said he had no recollection of it, but yet he concurred on everything else. Strange revelation, don't you think?

Am I now a famous crime solver?

Marion G
Prince Rupert, B C

Dave R said...

Good luck to all involved in this thing, especially the Coffin family.

Good writing Lew, factual, articulate, and all the bases covered. Look forward to more. I plan to answer that question, I just need a bit of time, Ok?

Dave R
Parksville, B C

Nephew Rick said...

As I mentioned earlier, this case has never been concluded and affects not only the Coffin family but many others , as can been seen by concerns raised. The whole of Gaspe has not had closure and that is what, hopefully, will happen this time around.As to Lew's question, doesn't it seem strange that the police said, there was no other way in without being recorded, but Mr. Annett states that the gate stayed open from midnight until 5:00 am.?

G gervais said...

Story getting more interesting as time goes on. Will admit, it is not a simple tale.

Trying to sort out what this clue is that you are talking about, lots of interesting suggestions, but I don't think they are what you are looking for.

I have a hunch that it has to do with the pulling out of the Lindsey truck when it was stuck in the river, and the party who pulled them out, and the gift of the cigars? Could this be what it is, as it would account for the cigar wrapper found in the forest later.
Regard,

G Gervais
Edmundston, N B

Yvonne landry said...

I am enjoying your story as well, but I am no good as a detective. Will leave that stuff up to the more imaginative. You are writing this well, am sure the Coffin family would agree.

Yvonne Landry
Bathurst, N B

Sam M said...

Good Day to you. These are ionteresting interviews. There seemed to be quite a bit of drinking in that area.

I agree that the answer you are looking for concerns the crew who rescued the truck from the river and the giving of the gift of cigars. It is quite evident now that I have studied it again.

Good job Sir in creating interest in this story across the country,

Sam M
Brooks, Alberta

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stoddard
I studied this posting carefully.
My questions…
I am looking at the cigar butt here also with question
However, I see on woods permits post # 3 Gaspe that there was an H Doyen given a permit on 9 June 1953. Could this have been Henri Doyen of Provincial Police department?
Thomas Miller swore that he gave a woods permit to Wilbert coffin#537527 and Angus McDonald #537528 on 08-06-53 for 4 days…
Then Lewis Annett swore that he gave a permit 583114 to Wilbert Coffin on 10 June 53 at around 6:00 P M, because his shift started at 6 pm …….but permit reads (WILLIAM) it was written that Wilbert Coffin was in Gaspe on June 10 -53 -with one American hunter to get a fuel pump for truck? He already had a woods permit, why would he need another one????
What were the hours of Mr. Annett’s shift?
Mr. Annett told that on about June 10-53 the gate stayed open from midnight until 5:00 am.
Was there someone tending gate from midnight until 600 am?


You are doing a terrific job Mr. Stoddard. I am sure you have a lot of people playing detective here today.
Good luck to the coffin family.
D B

R D L said...

Hi Mr. Stoddard,

You have an interesting, though unusual web site. I say unusual, because so many times these sites contain completely useless and boring material. I particularly enjoy your style of presentation combined with your detective skills.

I am a retired member of the legal profession so naturally possess a keen interest in things of this nature. Over the course of this story, you have posed some real challenges, and am certain that you have much more to come.

I am very familiar with the chain of events that were created with this case. In your latest posting, I can certainly spot about three areas that should have been good fodder for a good defense lawyer in a court room. To the best of my knowledge, none were ever challenged. A very curious situation, it would have been.

I must admit that I am not able to select the scenario that you describe that would have perhaps thrown the case into chaos. I do not deny it's existence, but must say I am anxious to learn about it.

I have taken the liberty of sending you a separate e-mail, as there are a couple of things that I wish to ask about, with reference to this case.

Meanwhile Sir, carry on, as you have taken a most remarkable stance with your story.

R D L
Halifax, Nova Scotia

B Hardie said...

I am unable to express in words exactly what the incident would be that would have been as important as what you say, but I am sure that it has to do with this fellow Bill Baker who was interviewed.
Anyone who has read the Coffin story over the years will know that this Baker person was deep involved and maybe took part in this. You can discover that in the books about this that have been wrote. That is how I have learn all about this case.

B Hardie
Kingston Ontario

jack in Cornwall said...

I have always thought that Mr. baker is involved in this as he was mr. Coffins partner so to speak. that Build a Noose book makes one wonder what his part is in all this, but it makes you realise that he probly is part of all this. i notice in the intervews that the police talked to him to.that would mean he was a supsect.

jack in Cornwall

Joyce said...

I can imagine that this is embarassing to many people in the Gaspe region to read about themselves or relatives being questioned about a murder case.

This is not right for you to put this stuff out in public. It would make me vomit at thoughts of someone out of the blue making public something about me or my family that was private back then.

Mr. stoddard I have lost respect for you on this. I suspect the Coffin family will feel the same way as I do. Just my opinion, but my God man use your head.

Joyce
Bristol, New Brunswick

reg d said...

I think as well that it has to do with this baker dude. I have read many of the things as well and it looks like he was suspected for some role early on as I see here they interviewed him and that would mean they thought that too. That is how police works, they talk to people without showing the person they think they might be part of the pikture.

Good luck to all the Coffin people. This is a messy story I know.

Reg D
Port Hardy, B C

Glenda H said...

This is much better doing this story the way that you are. You are actually allowing anyone to take part with their thoughts and input.

Much more interesting this way than just reading some one's supposed research and a bunch of their personal clam baked ideas worked into the story, when it was really just editorializing to sell books.

Sort of reminds one of a trial that we can all take part in. Great stuff Lew.

A note to the Coffin's, we are with you in our house. My hubby and I have known of this event for a lot of years. He comes from the Chicoutimi region of Quebec, north of the St. Lawrence River. Marie, you are a pillar of strength. Keep it up Dear. We love you. God Bless!

Glenda H
Sarnia, Ontario

Paul L said...

Hey Lew instead of calling your web site "Stoddard Online", I think a better name might be "Stoddard PI"

You are doing a great job on this story, not just your special way of making the words dance, but your deep thorough investigation of events that happened over fifty years ago. That Sir, is truly incredible.

People, whom many of us had considered long gone from this earth, have and are surfacing and identifying themselves to you with offers to help. That speaks many volumes as to your credibility.

You are going to pull this off, I know it. You are starting to get the momentum of the nation in motion over this case.

Just yesterday, I heard reference made to your name and web site about this matter on a radio station in the province of Saskatchewan.

I work in the media, and when something like this is alerting the country, there is definitely a driving force behind it.

Gerald M said...

Here it is Wednesday morning in the province of Manitoba, just checked in with your site as I usually do. Interesting comments, As you say Lew, Diverse Opinion Is What Makes This Old World Spin.

Have commented a long time ago on your site, but want you to know that I am enjoying your presentation of this story. I have actually promoted it over the past few months and can say that I know of at least four new followers of your site now.

Good luck to the Coffin family.

Gerald M
Winnipeg, Man

D Atkins said...

Excellent version of a true tale. It is a horrible story overall, but I am satisfied that you are doing your best to make it as factual as possible. That has been the problem here, too much fabrication over the years, was at the point where no one knew what the true facts were.

I know this must be difficult for the Coffin family, but stick in there. I am certain of one thing, when this story concludes, we will all know a lot more about it, but with a big big difference this time, as it will be a better picture of what the truth really held.

D. Atkins
St. Hubert

Lew Stoddard said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all who have responded thus far to my question. I shall let it stand until tonight, 9:00 PM Pacific Time. At that time I shall post here on the message board the answer that I am seeking.

Honourable mention goes to several though, great comments and observations. Thanks again, and stay tuned.

Lew Stoddard

Anonymous said...

Mr Stoddard
I read your site all the time and have thoroughly enjoyed the story so far, have also enjoyed reading all the comments left by other readers.

You asked us all a question which I would like to have a shot at replying to.

So here goes, I found the autopsy reports very interesting. You have a problem with the diameter of the circular perforations in the clothing in more than one instance. it states that two of the victims clothing bore such identical marks, and it would be stated later, at an earlier inquest that the individuals died of gunshot wounds. The reports are emphatic of the diameter which states 7/16 to 1/2 inch in diameter. That is totally out of the question as there are no small firearms that would come close to a bullet that size, therefore suggesting the cause of death should not be classed as by firearm, with no supporting physical evidence such as a weapon or used cartridge case.

I believe, based on my experience as a former court worker here in New Zealand, this revelation would have been reason to cause trauma and chaos to the prosecution case, and would have immediately opened big doors for the defense of Wilbert Coffin

So Lew should I give up my job and become a private investigator?

Ainsley Woods
New Zealand

Anonymous said...

Lew,
I find the following a bit puzzling:
The guards report the Lindsay party having entered the gates at June 9/53.
Several witnesses report running into the Americans in the forest at this time. For example Bill Eagle says he saw the hunters at 10 AM on this date.

Then we have Eddie du Marec. First he claims to have seen the hunters on 12/6/53. Then, at a later date, Eddie goes back to the police with the information that he was totally wrong. After checking with his friends, and attempting to back up this new date with the sighting of a ship, Eddie claims he saw the Lindsay party on the 29/5/53.
This sounds incredible because of the very fact that the Lindsay party was not known to have arrived before 9/6/53 according to the entry log at the gate.
Unless I have missed something obvious, I would say they should have double checked on du Marec and friends. A sober lawyer might not have missed this.

Bent Romnes

Nephew Rick said...

To Bent; The changing of times of observation are important.If you look back to one of Lew's earlier postings, in a letter from Matte to Vanhoutte, Matte tells Vanhoutte,"Verify also, and eliminate if possible, the story of a jeep that might have entered the forest around dates that really interests us, between the 8th of June and the 20th of June. With the information given by people of Fox River."

Lew Stoddard said...

The hour has arrived for revealing the answer to the question to which I posed to all of my readers. I am totally impressed. I can honestly tell you that we have a winner.

Ms. Ainsley Woods of New Zealand is obviously a person who looks beyond the box for answers.

Ainsley, you hit the nail right on the head. There is absolutely no small arms type firearm that is capable of firing a projectile that has a diameter the size of the bullet holes as identified by Dr. Roussell.

You are quite correct, the circular perforation diameters are identified in clothing worn by both Richard Lindsey, and Fred Claar. Dr. Roussell states this diameter was 7/16 to 1/2 inch in diameter.

Firearms that would be capable of such a large cartridge as this would be of the anti aircraft variety, and rest assured, these individuals did not meet their doom by such a weapon.

I discovered this fact early on in my investigation, and sought professional ballistic advice which confirmed my suspicions.

I shall be posting the results of interviews with professional people which support the reasoning, that based on the facts of the autopsy reports, I am prepared to state that Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar did not die as a result of gunshot wounds as depicted by the crown.

With reference to a cause of death, I shall be publishing at a later date, prior to the conclusion of this case, a very real likelihood of how they died.

Ms. Woods, you are most observant, and obviously did your home work. Perhaps Ms. Woods, you are a target shooter, and combined your skills with your knowledge of the court process. Whatever the reason, you did a great job, and are to be commended.

In response to your question, should you quit your job and become a private investigator? I will say this much. You were able to spot here in real life, the stuff that normally takes a crime drama script writer to write into a fictional crime show.

Honourable mention goes to Rick, D B. and Bent for their suggestions as to the answer. I shall be responding to their suggestions tomorrow. All made very valuable contributions.

Wendall Stanley Gaspe said...

SKELETON “A”
This skeletal remains was identified as that belonging to Richard Lindsey of Pennsylvania.

CLOTHING “A”
These clothing belonged to Richard Lindsey, Uncle Bill was charged and convicted with his murder. So disregard the other two for now. The crown prosecuted on the grounds of the missing rifle taken by his lawyer and dumped into the St Lawrence River off the Quebec Bridge. If this had been the murder weapon there would have had to be exit holes in the clothing. Richard Lindsey was murdered with a smaller caliber gun, Not the rifle that the crown portrayed.

Further more I believe (and I will be corrected if I am wrong) that Richard Lindsey’s clothing was the only clothing that the crown could prove that the holes were indeed caused by a fire arm and the only clothing that blood was mentioned on.

I also recall been told by one of my uncles many years ago that this is the reason that they decide charge Uncle Bill with Richard Lindsay murder and not one of the other two.

Blair N said...

lew Stoddard I am of the opinion and support the story that this Bill Baker had something to do with all this. There is just too much written to consider otherwise. I just referred to the TO Build A Noose Book, and it sure stands out in there.

You do not seem interested in this theory as you never really write about it as you are obviously very biased for some reason, are you a relative of the Baker family or something?

Blair N
Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Anonymous said...

I must say that I had similar theories to a number of the other readers and I look forward to seeing the responses to some of them. I decided to give my answer which turned out correct only because no one else had raised it already.

While I am here I will give my opinion on something that someone brought up, the naming of relatives in this story, I believe this had to be done to gain the impact that was needed. Naming people here is no different to it being reported in other media, happens all the time in criminal cases. There is no need to be embarassed for a relative to be named, you cannot control what other people have done in the past or will do in the future.

Anyway, back to the question which was answered correctly, do I win a prize?

Ainsley
NZ

Bradley M said...

WOW WOW ! What the heck do you have up your sleeve on this? Something good is brewing. If you are right on the theory that these people were not shot, that completely changes the whole picture.

You Sir are a good writer and investigator. I have told you that before. It is just that it is such a totally different twist to it.

I went back and looked at the autopsy reports and you are right, it is there in black and white. The government cannot argue with that. It was a government pathologist who stated those perforation diameters. This makes for a challenging twist to this thing like never before mentioned for over 50 years.

Keep at it Lew, you are going to crack this yet.

Bradley Martens
Toronto

D Y in Sherbrooke said...

How could that have gone unnoticed for all those years. It mentions those figures in The Noose Book, but obviously the writer couldn't comprehend what he was writing, otherwise he should have picked up on it So many people cannot see the forest for the trees.

A message to the Coffin family, this could be very good news for you, Good luck.

D Y
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Anna Reese said...

If this is all true now what you are saying, and it appears that it is, then the whole flimsy circumstantial case against Wilbert Coffin should be scrubbed permanently from the system. If the authorities could not spot this 53 years ago and act upon it, then why should their weak case have credibility. Wilbert Coffin's name deserves to be restored to dignity.

I have posted before Lew, and you are doing an incredible job on this. I also mentioned your health in the past, are you looking after yourself? I hope so.

Anna Reese
Port Coquitlam, B C

Tony Blake said...

Have watched a multitude of murder mysteries in my life, this one has all the elements of the best one ever.

Your search and investigation is paying off.

Tony Blake
Montreal

R D L said...

Hi again Mr. Stoddard,

I posted on your site a day or two ago with reference to this case. You will recall that I am the retired member of the legal profession from the Halifax area.

My compliments to you Sir. That is an interesting piece of information that you bring to the front, with respect to cause of death of the victims in this crime.

The lady from down under in New Zealand is to be complimented as well for her attentiveness to detail. I believe she indicates she is a former court worker. Very intuitive, good quality.

Mr. Stoddard, you have the infrastructure here to build a good case, depending on the details that make up the total package. Build your case slowly, but surely. I am certain that you have all the details to do just that. Good luck with it Sir. Keep in touch.

R D L
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Anonymous said...

First of all, Lew, I hope it is ok with you that I do this. My reasons for appealing to RDL will appear below.

This message is to RDL:
You wrote this to Lew:
Mr. Stoddard, you have the infrastructure here to build a good case, depending on the details that make up the total package. Build your case slowly, but surely.

As you may be aware of, my heart lies close to another murder case and a wrongfull conviction, The murder of Lynne Harper and Steven Truscott's wrongful conviction. I say this rather forcefully because I have convinced myself through serious research that Lynne's killer was allowed to run free.

The words you spoke to Lew could just as well have been spoken to me.
That is because I believe that I have the infrastructure to build a case against a suspect. I have, like you suggest, tried to build my case ever so slowly but at this point it seems to have bogged down for reasons I cannot talk about here.

Would you be willing to help me? Coach me as to what to do next, how to proceed in a way that will ultimately lead to the apprehension of the suspect or my clearing of same and moving on?
You may email me at:
bero1@rogers.com
I thank you kindly.

Bent Romnes

carter davis from yukon said...

Let's be real here mr stoddard what have you got. a piece of paper over 50 yers old i dont see how will change anything. i want to seeyou be able convit the real murdrer if coffin not the one. was you there yhat daye neither was i so why should i belive you. it tells what happen in the build a nooose book an i know that is true because it is in a book

Carter davis from yukon

The Tasggert Family said...

A whole new day is emerging here Lew. We have commented in the past as you know, but truly, We think most folks can now see where you are steering this thing now. We feel good for you, you have worked so hard, and a personal note of encouragement to Mrs. Stewart Coffin, as this latest revelation would appear to open a big door to discredit the case against Wilbert.

Lew, look after your health, we worry about you. Kamloops only about 4 hours away, dinner served at five PM on Saturday. Get the hint Lew?

The Taggert family
Kamloops, B C

Robert Branson said...

Dear Mr. Lew Stoddard,

I have been following the long journey of the Wilbert Coffin case on your web site for some time. I first learned of your writings on this matter through the Google search engine, and have kept abreast of the happenings ever since.

You have done a very decent and credible explanation in the chronology of this affair. For a case that would appear on the surface to be fairly routine in judicial circles, one has to wonder how it ever reached these proportions.

It is apparent that Mr. Coffin very definitely was nothing more than a chess piece in the Quebec and Government of Canada's chess game.

It would appear that your recent declaration now casts a mighty big doubt on the crown's case. It casts doubt on a cause of death, destroys the declared murder weapon theory, the credibility of the government pathology department, and most of all, it undermines the whole circumstantial evidence package used to convict Mr. Coffin.

This can, and must be addressed. The unfortunate scenario here is the fact that those now charged with the responsibility to study the case, namely government representatives, are representatives as well of the government that created the mess. I have a problem with governments and professional organizations, such as crown agencies investigating themselves.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Branson, Legal Services

Byron said...

I believe that now the true picture will emerge with reference to those of The Gaspe region who knew a lot about this case, and the involvement of local people, one in particular. This person knew too much to not be involved in this. He was from the town of Gaspe too.

Byron D
Shediac, New Brunswick

Danielle Legere said...

Message to Byron D,

You are typical of those of so many years who choose to snip and snipe. You obviously have no knowledge of what you are accusing, but you are like hundreds of others over the years, you have got a big mouth that is driven by a brain the size of a marble. You notice that I say "A" marble, because you have lost all the others, that is if you ever had others to lose.

Danielle Legere
Riviere du Loup, Quebec

Carmen F said...

It may be necessary to involve such things as autopsy reports in a case such as this but you step far out of line when you publicly display material of this nature.

This is sick and disrespectful, not only of victims families, but also for people who read your web site. Do not just assume that I wanted to read that stuff. That is not a fair judgment of me. You rammed that down my throat unexpectedly, I do not like that.

Carmen F
CFB Trenton, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Carter Davis,
You know it's true cause it's in the book, eh? So that book is your bible, it is better than the researched material that Lew brings forth? Letting you state such diatribe gives me the right to state this: You wouldn't know the truth if it came and hit you in the face. Good Day to you.
Bent

Lew Stoddard said...

Carmen Carmen Carmen. . . Usually you send me e-mails and I do not respond behind the scenes, however, today you decided to post your thoughts on the comment board, and thus, true to form, I shall respond publicly on the board for all to see.

Carmen, I assumed nothing in reference to you reading the autopsy reports that I published. I would assume though Carmen, that you being an adult of sound mind and body, you would make the distinction of whether you should read the material or not that I posted. You Carmen, merely exercised your rights to freedom of choice. Don't blame me if you made the wrong choice.

Lew Stoddard

Ps. Carmen. . . As a shy old newsman, I have a question for you. If you got up on Monday morning and you had two newspapers lying on your table to peruse over your coffee. The headline on one said "Beautiful Day Yesterday, Family Seen Walking To Church" and the other newspaper had a headline which said "Farmer Gored By Horns Of Angry Bull" Play my normal little game here Carmen and pretend no one is looking at this, and tell me which story you will read first.

Have a great day Carmen, and as usual, Thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

Carmen F:
Before you let Lew "ram it down your throat" as you so eloquently put it, you could have stopped reading as soon as it became obvious that it was an autopsy report that you were reading, which was very obvious in about the second line. Don't push your misguided sense of what is right and wrong on Lew and the rest of us who respect Lew for what he is doing.
The point is this: The Coffin case is fifty-three years old. to even have a chance of righting a 53-yr old wrong, every detail of the case has to be looked at and also given to the public to read. Lew cannot do it himself. He needs our help. That is why he is posting these sensitive materials. For those of us who get too queasy to handle it, you have the freedom of choice. You simply click the "back" button on your browser and close your eyes to this abhorrent miscarriage of justice and pretend that all is well with the world.
Respectfully
Bent Romnes

Lani Baker Mitchell said...

I'm sitting at the airport in Sydney Autralia waiting to fly to Cairns.(Beautiful country!) Checked Lew's site and the comments. I just wanted to say to the Gaspé folk that are troubled about relatives being named publically on this site...relatives of many of us have been named, quoted, misquoted, etc. in newspaper articles and books for many years.I think we all need to read the whole event. We need to know who said what and why..not just read parts that keep us comfortable....and I know that each person that was interviewed in the early 1950's gave his/her testimony of the events as he/she understood them at the time. There can be no shame on any Gaspé family if their family member was interviewed by police.At least those witnesses came forward to offer whatever their perspective was.This is far better than silence and innuendo.
As for the continuing references to my Uncle Bill Baker, I've said as much as I can to dispell people's perspectives on Uncle Bill which are largely created by books such as To Build A Noose. I know Mr. Price was dedicated and put many many hours on this case when he researched for his book, but the book contains many errors. I am willing to have the readers
' ponder ' the role of Uncle Bill if it brings answers that help the Coffin family.I can only hope at the end of all this, the public will finally let my Uncle Bill Baker rest in peace.

Sherri-Lynn said...

I am completely flabbergasted as to how this case appears now to be coming to a pinacle after fifty three years.

It is amazing, yet embarassing that we see this sort of thing happening in a country such as Canada, and yet, when attention is brought to it, it will take the government several more years to reach conclusion.

I suspect also they will weasel out of a final analysis on it should there be an election call. My advice is to expect the unexpected. Good luck to all in any case.

Sherri-Lynn Arthur
Barrie, Ontario

Tom M said...

Just came in from work, was going to take a stab at your question. Drats! Some lady named Ainsley in New Zealand beat me to it. Congratulations Ainsley, I will admit, my answer was not the right one anyway. You are most observent.

Lew Stoddard let me say that I believe the evidence that you wanted us to find will go far to making a decision on this case. It is a startling fact that you uncovered.

Tom M
Burns Lake, B C