Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online The Baker Family Of Gaspe'. . . . Part Two

I asked keith Baker some pertinent questions with reference to his Dad, Bill Baker. Keith pointed out to me that he would be pleased to answer whatever queries that I had. I explained to Keith that my objective was to get to the bottom and come forward with facts, and that I had no plans to write about things which were not true, and not supported by documentation or personal interviews.

Keith informed me that to the disbelief of many, Bill baker was a strong Liberal supporter in his political beliefs. It has been reported many times over the years that Bill Baker was a staunch supporter of The Union Nationale Party of Maurice Duplessis. He may have given that appearance on occasion, however, as you read this report you will learn the reasons why it may have appeared as such.
In reality, according to Keith, "his Dad would have had three strikes against him in the eyes of The Union Nationale Government, as in addition to being a Liberal, Bill Baker had an excellent command of the French language, but he insisted on conducting himself and his affairs in English, and he was born a Roman catholic, only to reject their directives and become a protestant." These three reasons would be adequate to bring down the wrath of Maurice Duplessis. It is a known proven fact, that during the dark days of the reign of terror of Premier Maurice Duplessis, anyone who was not Roman Catholic, not francophone, and to top it off, not Union Nationale in their political leanings, was not worthy of recognition. Bill Baker was such a person. A bit later on, you will read some examples of what this would mean, if you were not in favor of the government during those years.

Keith tells us that in the very early days of the 1950's, his Dad, working with Gaspe' local Jack Eagle, and a fellow named Mr. McDonald worked together and prospected and staked claims near St. Anne De Monts whoich was close to Mount Albert. As a result, Noranda Mines became interested and took out an option on the properties. Taking it a step further, Noranda did the necessary geophysical work and discovered mineralization on the claims. Further tests however, would determine that the minerals were not of a sufficient quantity to establish a mine.

Keith would later work for Noranda on these properties, and also at a property west of Bathurst, New Brunswic
k. As a result of this venture, Bill Baker and Jack Eagle were hooked on the idea of prospecting and the mysteries and excitement that accompanied it. At about this same time, along came a mutual friend and acquaintance who also had prospecting for minerals on his mind. This friend and acquaintance had ore samples from the head waters of the St. John River area in Gaspe'. His name was Wilbert Coffin, and he wanted to stake claims in the area.

Instantly, a loose partnership was formed, bringing onboard as well, Mr. McDonald. Later in the story, we will learn that even though Mr. McDonald had knowledge of mining and prospecting, he lacked skills associated with successful forest and terrain navigation.
There are elements that are necessary for the success of any venture. Firstly there is the necessity of knowledge of the workings of the venture. This partnership had that, especially considering that Wilbert Coffin had been combing these hills and mountains for a long time, and when combined with Mr. McDonald's knowledge of the workings of the mining business, would go a long way toward the success of the operation.

Two of the key elements for the success of any operation is equipment and the availability of resources and funds. Firstly, they had the equipment, from the combination of Mr. McDonald, and that which was owned by Wilbert Coffin. Mr. McDonald had some money so he was in a position to advance some venture capital. It had the makings of a small, but successful operation. Keith Baker informs me that with his Dad being caught up with interest in the venture, willingly supplied the services of his new pickup truck for transportation of equipment and travel. Without doubt, the services of the truck were monumental, especially in the terrain to which they were heading.

From my research, I have determined that the day to day hotel business in Gaspe' would keep Bill Baker close to home. This way he was able to be a partner in the mining venture and run his own business simultaneously.
Keith Baker informs me that his Dad had been involved in an accident as a youth that would leave him with permanent neck injuries. As a result of fusing of vertebrae Bill Baker was unable to turn his head, making it necessary to turn his body for the simple task of being able to see activity at his side. As a result of this procedure, Marnie had explained to me earlier that their Dad was plagued with back problems and constant pain.

In his own words, Keith explains the death of their Dad as a very trumatic experience for all the family. He describes the death scene in detail in much the same way
that sister Marnie described it earlier on. He describes the extent that his Mum tried to help him, and frantically going to the opposite end of the hotel to the bar for help, with the end result being there was nothing that could be done for Dad, in spite of the best efforts put forth.

Keith goes on to explain local family doctor, Dr. Guy Fortier gave his findings as a heart attack, which occured in the bathroom, and as Marnie stated earlier, in falling their Dad struck his head and neck on the edge of the porcelain toilet, which quite probably fractured his neck. That fact had been conveyed to her later on by her Mum in consultation with Dr. Fortier. An autopsy was deemed to be unnecessary, as Dr. Fortier was satisfied as to the cause of death.

June Baker simply did not insist on an autopsy just to appease those spreading rumours. She was satisified that the death was natural, and not by his own hand.
A chilling aspect to the above scenario is the fact that local coroner Lionel Rioux was away on a holiday. With absolutely nothing to base his decision on, Dr. Rioux would state that the death could appear suspicious. That statement that would accelerate the wheels of the rumour mill. Years later Doctor Lionel Rioux would state that perhaps Dr. Guy Fortier acted a bit too hastily. That is a broad and bold statement to come from the doctor.

On the subject of acting too hastily, Dr. Lionel Rioux had a very short memory. It was this same Dr. Rioux, who as coroner with his band of merry men consisting of Owen Patterson, Gabriel Bernard, Wharrel Annet, Lloyd Kruse, Lloyd Annet, and Lewis Miller allowed The Quebec Provincial Police and a provincial prosecutor to fraudelently seize control of a public inquest, that set the stage for Wilbert Coiffin to be hanged in the first place. In this writers view, there simply was no justification for that action, and for Dr. Lionel Rioux to be making a statement such as is quoted, that Dr. Fortier perhaps acted too hastily, this without doubt is a classic example stupidity.

Keith Baker tells me that Dr. Fortier felt the best course of action for his Mum in response to many of the underhanded remarks floating around was possibly to ignore them without dignifying them with a response. Keith has always felt that with that approach, many of those making remarks and asking questions would eventually go to Dr. Fortier and enquire for the professional version. On record, I cannot find where any ever did.

Keith Baker also told me that at the time of the trial, Wilbert Coffin's lawyer, Raymond Maher would make statements about the trial at the Ash Inn. This lawyer would of course be very familiar with the local wa
tering hole, because he was a drunk, we all know that. Keith told me that Mr. Maher made the statement to Bill Baker at the Ash Inn that Wilbert Coffin would not be found guilty as there was not enough evidence. He further stated there would be a further trial, but it would be at the expense of the prosecution.

There is no question, Bill Baker was deeply concerned for the dilemma that Wilbert Coffin was in. True, Bill Baker and Wilbert Coffin were friends but it went deeper. Simply put, Bill Baker knew that an innocent man was being manipulated towards the gallows.

Sometime back someone e-mailed me and asked me if I was aware of the fact that Wilbert Coffin and Bill Baker had argued on occasion about their business dealings? Of course they argued, they were partners. Show me any business partnership where the partners have not argued, and I can guarantee that you have a very weak association.
Previously in this posting, I alluded to the pressure that the government and Catholic Church could exert on businesses and individuals. Many folks probably are not aware of things such as this. Marnie gave me a very graphic example. Their family business was the hospitality business. They had lounges and restaurants. They legally served alcohol. In direct terms, if they did not financially support the Catholic Church, then pure and simple, their source of supply could quickly dry up. If they did not support the Union Nationale Party, their supply source could also dry up. Remember, in the eyes of Duplessis, you simply did not exist if you were not Catholic, and as well, a supporter of Union Nationale.

If you have doubts as to a provincial premier actually resorting to this sort of pressure and control, I would suggest that you take the time to research and see what happened when a group of Jehovah's Witnesses were legally practising their beliefs in Montreal during the Duplessis reign. He had them all thrown into jail. They had no money for bail. Out of the blue, a successful restaurant and lounge owner from Montreal responded to their plight and bailed each and every one of them from jail. Duplessis was swift and absolute. He instructed his minister responsible for liquor to immediately pull the liquor license of the restaurant owner. Fortunately, Duplessis had met his match. It required a trip to the Supreme Court for reinstatement and cost Duplessis substantially personally. I tell you this as an example of the type of axe that Duplessis was willing to swing in the direction of those who opposed him. Bill Baker was under that kind of pressure. He was not located in mainstream Quebec.

Over the years Bill and June Baker provided employment for many people in the Gaspe' region of Quebec. Some of them are still alive to this day. A few have
even taken the time to respond to my requests to come forward and relate knowledge of Bill nad June Baker. The following is a generous sampling that I am pleased to share with you.

I received an e-mail approximately two months ago from a lady named Catherine M. from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She told me that she worked in the summers for the Bakers in a restaurant at the hotel. She told me that they always encouraged her to stay in school. She told me that she did stay in school and when she graduated, as a gift, June and Bill Baker presented her with a beautiful silver pin. Catherine told me that she still has that pin to this day. She also went on to say that it was cruel and ugly for June Baker to have to endure the smear left unwarranted on the Baker family name.

Another noteworthy e-mail was received from a gentleman named Gaston M. who grew up in the Gaspe' area as a youngster. Gaston related to me that after one particularly deep snowfall on the peninsula, the town was virtually buried. Bill Baker personally recruited Gaston and five of his friends to shovel snow from around the hotel. Bill paid each one two dollars, a tidy sum for a school boy in 1951, to clear snow for a few hours. They were fed lunch, and when the work was complete, Bill Baker threw the first snowball to touch off the snowball fight.

As a young man, lifetime resident Fabien Sinnett was in the carpet business in Gaspe'. Fabien told me that Bill and June Baker were steady customers of his. He furt
her stated that they were a joy to do business with. They were polite, understanding, and above all, they paid their bills.

You will recall that I told you at the onset of this piece that if you were looking for intrigue, suspense, ghoolish tales and all those other things that you would be disappointed. You see, the lives of June and Bill Baker were not at all unlike most all of us. I have presented all this to you as a means of attempting to quell the cloudy atmosphere that has developed over the years with reference to this family, and has been a destructive force to younger generations.

I am hopeful that I have been successful in putting a human touch on their existence. I have researched this family over a long period of months, and have found nothing that sets them apart from most other young couples across Canada, raising a family and operating a small family business. Because of these facts, Bill and June Baker deserve my respect. They deserve yours
as well.

In the next posting in about three days, we shall be going into the court room at Perce. This will be an interesting part as you will quickly discover what bush league justice is all about.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site November 12, 2006


Jennifer McQueen said...

What a touching conclusion to the episode of the story depicting the Baker family. I have heard a lot of the stories over the years referring to this man, but never have I seen it expressed in this way. The daughter Marnie's letter to you Sir, and this picture that you post of a young smiling couple makes me want to cry.

This is sad, and should be a reminder that before we are quick to judge, we should consider what is and what isn't the truth.

Jennifer McQueen
North Bay, Ontario

Helen H said...

Great posting on a very important part, and a very interesting part of the Wilbert Coffin story. It is interesting to note that there are so many close relatives ie brothers and sisters left from this family.

There is no excuse as to why media outlets from the past could not have set the record straight with these people.

Again, Good work Sir.

Helen Hargreaves
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Lani Baker Mitchell said...

You're right. Between the two Baker men, there were 10 kids..nine of us still very much alive and approachable. Some of us spend time in Gaspé and family and friends there know where to find all of us. I'm not aware of anyone looking, but then I'm not sure that family and friends would have put journalists in touch with us as they tend to protect their own when they feel they might be taken advantage of. Over the years there also seems to have been an unspoken'code' amongst the Bakers..that we don't talk about those times except with those close to us.... maybe this has helped fuel the fires? It's only when someone like Lew who is respectful to those he interviews comes along that we feel we can trust that he will seek the truth. (whether it's in our favour or not)
To give Lew's readers another insight into the tactics of the Provincial Police who dealt with the investigation, I'd like to tell this story. It is from my Mom. Daddy was spending a lot of time quietly looking into what really happened in this case. One night the police visited him. He was visibly shaken when they left. Apparently they had told him he had better stop nosing into this case or they would have him committed to an insane asylum. He was both furious and probably scared..anyone in those Duplessis days knew that these were not idle threats. They could and would do these awful things! Mom was outraged and said " those damned fools!"..the strongest language anyone would hear from this exceptionally gentle woman.She talked about how upset Dad had been.I'm sure the fact that Daddy backed off from this troubled him all his life. I know that when he and I talked about the case over the years, he still couldn't contain his anger. I know that the same tactics were used on Sergeant Henri Doyon. Bad times for so many!

Anonymous said...

To put a human touch on a story...In that, you have succeded very well, Lew. You were able to show how investigations do not have to be stark answer and question format, nor do they have to be of the adverserial type to arrive at a solution.

The humanistic approach like you have demsonstrated here, shows that you get more cooperation and arrive at a solution quicker and easier.

It also shows what I was trying to convey in my email, that with this approach, people come to you most willingly. That is why I would like to do what I wrote to you.

It has been exciting to read about the Bakers and how family and friends so willingly gathered around the Baker family and supplied their honest opinions and heart-warming stories.
Looking forward to more great stories on this case!

Lucy H said...

I have heard so much with reference to the Bill Baker scene during the course pf the Wilbert Coffin affair. Of course there was nothing else to go on, other than what one heard or read, This certainly puts a whole new twist on things. People are strange I guess, we always tend to believe the first thing that we are told and that can be so wrong.

Good luck to all the Coffin family throughout all this. I can see where this would be very hard on all concerned.

Lucy H
Saint John, N B

M. Mezereau said...

I have never known a lot about this case, mainly from what I have heard my elderly parents say about it over the years. My Dad worked on the Gaspe' coast in the early to late fifties so were there when all this happened.

I do know that from hearing it discussed many times, it was always felt that Mr. Coffin was not responsible. Never though have I ever heard it discussed to the depth that you have done from the beginning of your story.

My Dad is gone now, but my Mom said that it only proves more and more what was already known and that was that W. Coffin did not do this. She made that decision drom reading this story. We now live in the Grand Falls area of New Brunswick and thre are many older people here who feel much the same of this case over the years. Thank you and just wanted to share that with you and all your readers.

M. Mezereau

H Rennie said...

Mr. Stoddard I am impressed with the way that you combine the good with the bad in this tale and then tastefully present it to the public. Tjat is a work of art in itself, yo be able to do that.

Where were you fifty three years ago? If you had been around then, this story would never have taken place. Congratulations for a job well done Sir.

H Rennie
Woodstock, new Brunswick

G Cote said...

A message to Mrs. Stewart Coffin

So difficult for you I am sure, but I do feel that it is going to work out at long last.

G Cote
Bathurst, N B

A Theberge said...

My hope and prayers are with all the Coffin family during this long ordeal. This story told on the innernet like this is so helpful for people everywhere to understand just how things happened and why. There is so much detaol here and also the lottle things that people never think about.

A Theberge
Riviere du Loup

Brad P said...

I can see now the overall effect that the coroner Rioux had on this case when he allowed the police to seize control of the inquest. That is unbelievable that something like that could happen, and for the jury to not speak up, that is so ctuel and coward;y.

Brad P
Calgary, Alberta

C Comeau said...

How do you teach trust and understanding, and at the same time try to drill respect into our kids when we read of the way that the government handled this affair.

Who are we yo look up to if we cannot look up to our government in a democratic process. This is very bad.

C Comeau
St. Leonard

D Crantz said...

I must say that I have wondered about the possible involvement of Mr. Baker in all this. If there was involvement at all I am convinced the Mr. Baker was determined to assist mr. Coffin in his defense of this. I do not believe that Bill Baker was part of this crime. I think that the media has been very unfair to Mr. Baker and the family over the years.

D Crantz

dianepeter said...

thank you Lew

Diane peter
uncle Bill's Niece

Bob and Cathy said...

As we have said in the past, you are doing an incredible job on all parts of this story. You have combined well the touchy and sentimental parts with the hard core drama aspects. Not an easy story to write I am sure.

We are impressed with your investigative qualities and accomplishments as well, as it relates to this affair.

Bob and Cathy
Prince Rupert, B C

Darlene J said...

I first learned about the Coffin case in school during debates, and have since kept up as best I could with following the events over the years.

I have been convinced since a student of Mr. Coffin's innocence in this affair, and after having been reading this for the past few months, I am more strongly convinced than ever. I can now see the influence that the Quebec government played in this matter.

I hope the Coffin family are sussessful in their effortd to gain a successful review and exhoneration of Wilbert Coffin.

Darlene J
Fredericton, N B,

G geddes said...

Bill Baker may have been colorful and outgoing, but I don't happen to think that being a personality is a reason to tar him with a brush of murder or suspicion. he was quite probably one of the few who did speak out about this case.

G. Geddes
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niece Anne said...

to all the supporters out there thank you all so much from the coffin family and Lew and Lani thank you very much for all your hard work and dedication to this tragic miscarriage of justice.

allan J said...

a week ago i wrote a message here about what you post on this site. I still saye that you are arrogant because you put down what people tell you about this case.You say most of it is nothing but roomers. You should publish it and let the people decide.I mention to you that i am startying a web site about this story too because I want the people to know what really happen back then.

With your atitude you should not be allowed to write a site like this one because if they dont agree with you you dont even recognise them. They are all welcome on my new site and sorry I have to do this but you dont make me much choice.

Allan J
London, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stoddard.
I am interested to know the date of Bill Baker’s death. It is written on your post that Wilbert coffin was executed on February 9th, 1956, a few moments before midnight.
You have also said in your post of Bill Baker, that it is written that Bill Baker died a short time after Wilbert coffin’s execution. Then, as the stories got bolder over the years it is written that it was two weeks to the day after the execution. You say this is false.
On they have a site called Genealogy, where you can look at old church records of births and deaths of Gaspe people.
It is written there that Baker William (Bill) Austin died on February, 26 1956.

Is this date correct?

Lew Stoddard said...

Message to Anonymous. . . I stand by the accuracy of what is written on the site. I have cut and pasted from the posting precisely what it says. Suggest that you re-read. . .

It was a cold day in Montreal on the ninth day of February, 1956. A few minutes before midnight Wilbert Coffin was on the final journey of his life. He was walking with guards and The Reverend Sam Pollard on his way to the gallows. The place was Bordeaux Jail. Wilbert Coffin would state that he had forgiven those who were responsible for him being there. He was also seen to be exhibiting a smile as his final words echoed through the execution place. Those words were "I commend My Soul Unto You." The story would end with the same words that it started with as a title.

At two minutes past midnight, the black flag of death was hoisted high over the walls of Bordeaux signifying that someone was about to die. Wilbert Coffin's time on earth was no more.

It is quite correct, when they commenced their walk to the gallows it was February 9, however, Wilbert Coffin was executed at just past the stroke of midnight which would be February 10. As well, if Bill Baker died on February 26 as you indicate, my calendar tells me that is not two weeks to the day. Thanks for your query.

Lew Stoddard

Ps. I can recommend a couple of good optometrists if you require.

Anonymous said...

What is the significance of when Bill Baker died?
Would it make any difference if it was a day, a week, two weeks, a month?
I can't understand why people are fixated on this. The man died of a heart attack and they can happen at any time.

T Myles said...

It is difficult for me to accept the fact that the government would pick on one simple member of society to inflict all this on. Why Wilbert Coffin, why Joe Smith, Why anyone? Are you not over doing this all just a bit.

Face it Sir, what do you hope to accomplish by all this tirade? If it is your fifteen seconds of fame that you are seeking, I think most would agree that you have hogged centre stage for far too long.

Are you trying to insult my intelligence, or prove me an idiot by throwing all this stuff at me almost daily?

T Myles
Toronto, Ontario

Beryl H said...

Message to T Myles in Toronto.

I want to thank you Mr. T Myles of Toronto. It is because of people like yourself that Mr. Stoddard has a "Dress Code" on this web site. If it were not for that rule that states "No Profanity" I "would" tell you what I really think of you.

I guess I could take my chances and suggest you are an "Ass" but then I would feel like apologizing to the donkey for making the comparison.

Mr. Stoddard, don't pay any attention to these Dim Wits. They are a dime a dozen. You are doing a great job in getting the true message out there with respect to the Wilbert Coffin case, and I support the Coffin family all the way in their fight with the government.

Mrs. Beryl H
Barrie, Ontario

B Dixon said...

Hey Mr. T. Myles of Toronto,

You ask the question, is Lew Stoddard trying to insult your intelligence? My comment is this, in order to insult your intelligence, would it not first be necessary to establish that you possess intelligence to insult?

With respect to him proving that you are an idiot, I suspect that you have taken care of that department yourself.

Keep up the pressure Lew Stoddard, I am anxious to read what is coming. To the Coffin family I will say there are many many Canadians who have become aware of this affair through this web site, and also it has reminded those who may have put it aside in their minds over the years.

B Dixon
Vancouver, B C

Nadine L said...

I wish to make a special memo to the Coffin family. I support you in your efforts to clear Wilbert's name.

I learned about this case from this web site several months ago and I have read it on an on going basis and as well, taken the opportunity to read a lot of other available information. I have found that this site is much more in depth and informative than most of the other stuff.

I have never commented here before but when I see pure junk from people such as this T. Myles, this convinced me all the more to say Thank You, and Good Luck.

Nadine L
Woodstock, New Brunswick

Anonymous said...

Let's not try making a soap opera out of this very tradgic miscarriage of justice. The real concerns should not be the timely death of Mr. Baker but the reason he died, being a heart attack. In my oppinion the focus should be on the innocence of Wilbert Coffin and the government that can and should open this case wide. The family of Mr Coffin deserves to see this justice. God bless the Families of this tradgic miscarriage of justice. My prayers are with you all. Geri, Northern Ontario

Geneva K said...

Hello Marie (Coffin) Stewart. You are a beautiful person, so caring, so sincere, and so dedicated. Have never met you or commented here before, but I see you periodically on TV and I see you comment on here sometimes, so I think it important for folks to get behind you and tell you that there are a lot of us who support your efforts.

This web site has done a wonderous job of drawing people in on this matter, and that is so good after all these years. Lew Stoddard has a great way with words in his writing of this sad affair. May God richly Bless all your family too.

My grandson is typing this for me as old Grandma's like me don't understand all this new stuff but we say it from the heart.

Geneva K
Stanley, New Brunswick

Anonymous said...

Sorry if my question offended anyone. It was not my intention to do so.
Hey, I happen to have great respect for June Baker. I will always hold a special place in my heart for her, and her kindness. Maybe one day I will get to tell her family the story.
My opinion of June Baker is that she was a kind and loving person. I am sorry for her and her family, who had to suffer because of the rumors and gossip.
Yes, I put on my glasses sir. The date was February 25, not February 26.
Sorry sir!

T Myles said...

Mr. Stoddard, a question or two for you Sir.

Finally it comes to light. You have "hogged" centre stage on this as I said the other day fir far too long.

Do you now finally bow out after reading the current story in the Gazette newspaper on this subject? I think we now have the proof that we need to put this matter to rest.

Hopefully, now maybe your lips and fingers will be frozen in time on this one. What is your next news subject that you are going to report on? I can hardly wait Mr. Stoddard.

T Myles
Toronto, Ontario

Darren M said...

Now Mr. stoddard, don't you wish you had taken my advice months ago when I suggested that you leave this thing where it was at. Does this current Montreal Gazette story finally tell you that.

Being a large newspaper, they obviously are correct in what they are reporting, so that throws out many of your theories. I am sure the Coffin family are finally resting much easier on all this now with the confession and all. Wilbert Coffin finally is cleared now.

Darren M
Saskatoon, Sask

James V said...

Finally this proves the end of this mess with the story in the eastern paper. Hopefully now it will all be cleared up in a matter of a few weeks with the confession.

James V
North Bay, Ontario

Robert said...

You gave it a good shot Mr. Stoddard, almost had me convinced. At least we see the true story and that is good. Maybe your writings have inspired the truth to finally emerge.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

c cote said...

I am glad now to see this thing finally happen with the newspaper story about this case and now i know the truth facts.i know you don't need it now but i did sign a pettition but good now as people know before they do a lot of work to get these thingssigned as lot of work talking to people about it. this must make coffins happy now and i am glad for that.

c Cote in Quebec

G McPherson said...

Lew I am sure this makes you feel good just the same with the obvious confession in this case by this man, and that will free Wilbert Coffins name now. You worked hard and long just the same sir and are to be congratulated.

Gloria McPherson

Colleen bates said...

It is good at least that people were willing to get behind this case and do the petitions and speak out. It did show that many were and are prepared to help when asked, especially with respect to the petitions to government. Your writings have been good my friend and good luck in your endeavours.

Colleen Bates
Saint John

Sarah M said...

I can't believe that after the passage of more than fifty years a confession would emerge from all this. The Coffin family must all be so excited over all this now, to finally see daylight with being able to put this ordeal to rest, and as well, the Baker families.

Sarah M
Timmins, Ont

E Byers said...

Mr. Stoddard I will say you have brightened our hearts with your dedication anyway. You certainly cleared up many mysteries in your work on this. I am sure you agree, this latest story is very interesting and will make many happy at long last.

E Byers
Kingston, Ontario

Anonymous said...

I skimmed through the story in the Montreal paper...very interesting, yes. I don't know very much about the legal process, but am questioning how far the story will go in actually legally clearing Coffin's name. And don't forget that there have been other people over the years who have for whatever reason confessed to this crime, but actually did not do it. Let's not leave the Coffin family now--things are moving forward, but Mr. Coffin's name is not cleared yet!

Nephew Rick said...

Hi good people. There is no signed confession from Cabot or a afadavit from his son. This story has been around for quite awhile and we pray that something becomes of it, but too long have our hopes been crushed, to hastily accept this at face value. Don't accept this a final solution because it may not be true at all. Again thanks to everyone who has supported the Coffin family and please don't stop until you hear from the governments of Quebec and Canada that Uncle Bill was innocent. Thank you very much.

Lani Baker Mitchell said...

Everything seems to happen while I'm still travelling thru' Australia :-) but wanted to stop and say that a few of you posting right now are WAY out of line with your criticism of Lew!!! What on earth makes you think that Cabot is a name we haven't already studied in depth in Lew's research? You should not lose faith with what Lew is doing here! There is so much more to be revealed to help the Coffin family in their struggle. I would suggest you all ' stay tuned!'

Anonymous said...

The only thing the gazette story has done for me is direct me back to the known autopsy results. No indication of crushed bones from being run over, holes too big for a known caliber of rifle. finaly, no live witness to relate the information to a court - just hearsay and letters telling of it. Lew, I await your enlightenment on the facts yet to be presented.

Anonymous said...

I for one will stay tuned to Lew’s story. I will believe what is written in the Gazette newspaper when the son of the alleged killer steps forward and confesses to the public.
Until then it is just hearsay.

Wendall M Stanley said...

To all the readers of this site:

It gives me great pleasure to let you know that we have started to receive some of the petitions that we requested you to sign and return to us. Thank you.
To the ones who have chosen to sign the petitions, and have their MP present them to the House of Commons it would be appreciated if you could send me an e-mail letting me know how many signatures you have submitted. The reason for this is that I want to add another page to my web site and have a running total province by province.

This weekend in The Montreal Gazette there was an article where members of Philippe Cabot’s family said that they were told that he was responsible for killing the three American hunters.

From some of the comments posted, I get the impression that some people believe that the fight is over and that everything is settled.

This is far from true – there is no mention of a signed confession from the father, nor an affidavit from the son as to what he saw – just them repeating what had been told to them. Will this be enough to clear my uncle’s name? Will it even be admissible legally? We will have to wait and see what is done with this information.

Please do not think that this has ended just because it was put in print in a newspaper. Over 50 years ago the newspapers reported the same thing, this is over, the killer has been brought to justice, and Wilbert Coffin was hanged.

In the meantime, we need to continue the battle, continue to keep the pressure on the government and one of the ways that is done is by your signatures on petitions.

So, I am asking you once again, to go to my web site, pick up a copy of the petition, sign it, have others sign it. Then you can either mail it back to us, or, if you get 25 names send it or take it to your MP for presentation in the House. However you decide to do this, just do it now.

First and foremost we need to have Wilbert Coffin declared NOT GUILTY by the Government, then we can move on to the who done it.

Wendall M Stanley
Gaspé Quebec

H J Cramer said...

At long last it looks as if the ordeal is almost over, that is a major obstacle removed in this case.

Imagine that, a confession after all these years. Won't matter i guess what the government says now, the admission of guilt says it all. Congratulations to all the family.

I never would have thought that would ever happen.

H J Cramer
Swift Current, Sask

Ted C said...

It pleases me greatly to see what is now happening with this case. It was obvious that you were way out to lunch on this one.

Maybe you won't be so critical of others now that this thing is quite obviously solved. Just a matter of things falling into place now.

I hate to say it, but you have probably hindered this thing since you became involved.

It would be good to see you come on here and admit that this thing is now almost complete.

Ted C
Barrie, Ontario

Dean T said...

Overall I agree with the last commenter. I am not quick to condemn Mr. Stoddard as I do think that down deep he meant well.

In re-reading that article that was in the newspapers I think there is a quite a stretch of the track to complete yet.Lew you do have egg all over your face though. You were too bold.

Dean T
Kingston, Nova scotia

G Weaver said...

I simply cannot believe what I am reading here. You have an individual who has given so generously of his time, has hooked up with others, and worked tirelessly, and now you gang up and attack.

Where the Hell were all of you for the past half century. You sit back and criticize the work of someone else, and yet rip someone else apart. Now that you seem to think that you have all the answers, what have you done to bring the matter to closure. Surely you are smarter than all that. If you are not, then little wonder that things get so severely messed up in this country.

I am willing to bet that within a day or so, this thing isn't going to be looking half as good as you think that it might right now.

G Weaver
Toronto, Ontario

Brenda V said...

Thus far based on the content of the newspaper story, I am not prepared to abandon ship just yet.

Learned a long time ago, there is always a story within a story when you read it in the papers.

Before I jump up and down and declare victory, I shall wait and see what the wind will blow in over the next few days.

Brenda V
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Clara C said...

Have been reading this for a long time, and have commented a couple of times in the past.

Just want to say that I too look at this current revelation as a bit surprizing, though I do not in any way chalk it up as a win yet.

At the same time, I think it important that even though on occasion I have not agreed with Lew Stoddard, I do not have the right to shoot the messenger just because I don't like what the messenger delivers for a message.

Clara C
Burlington, Ontario

S Theberge said...

I agree with what T Myles from Toronto had to say. Centre stage is great, but sometimes you lose the right to be there. Right Lew?

S Theberge
Montreal, Quebec

Anne said...

before everyone goes and condems Lew look back at the evidence he brought forward with regards to the so called bullet holes. It was examined by a ballistic specialist and declared to be impossible to be a bullet hole but the paper reports that the Cabot guy shot these American. Is this another cover up by the government. Take a long hard look at all the evidence people and think if the government did cover up evidence 50 years ago is it possible that this is also a cover up. Lew has been researching this for a long time and has documents to prove his postings. Should we all believe what the newspaper writes or is this another conspiracy from the government. What about how the daughter of Cabot refused to give a statement and then all the sudden she is talking with the press and declaring that her father killed these Americans. Something is just not adding up. For the Coffin family who I am a part of, we hope and pray that this is a breakthrough but we have doubts and questions. Please everyone don't let yourself be hoodwinked into false hope we still need your support and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Please give Lew a break.....He has worked long and hard and the story in the gazette is for the moment just a's all "he said, she said". We need someone from the Cabot family to come forward and admit all of this before we can accept it as being the truth......anyone can write a story, it doesn't make it true. Lew I am still with you - keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, folks. Just because we have a newspaper account of what supposedly happened, that in no way means that this is the final word.
The fact that we have 2nd? 3rd? person hearsay of a 'confession' is of no value to the courts. Did somebody also write about 2 'confessions'that had been made earlier?
It is easy to be misled when we hear someone confessing. A lot of solid evidence is needed to back it up.

Please re-read Lew's posting of the 20th.
Carry on as before Lew. You will succeed in the end!
Bent Romnes

Anonymous said...

I believe that all of you that are quick to condemn Lew and what he has done thus far are missing the whole point. I have followed this story from the start and from what I see all Lew has ever tried to do is bring out enough or lack of enough evidence to prove that Wilbert Coffin didn’t kill anyone and to have this miscarriage of justice overturned by having the Government review this case and declare Wilbert Not Guilty.

Then and only then should anyone consider who the guilty party might be, This Gazette news paper article is a story, it might be true but then again it might Not! They have only printed a story without any proof. Is this just someone looking to get his or her name in the news or is there some truth to this story? It has been long believed by many that someone other than Wilbert did this terrible crime but WHO???

Gary C.
Wolfville NS.