Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online
There is an old adage. It merely states the importance of having the right tool to do the job. The prosecution team had the right tool, there is no question of that. The tool was none other than Raymond Maher, the lead defense lawyer. Truly, any defense team headed by such an induividual would be viewed as a work of art by any prosecution team who was worth their salt, especially if they were a team who excelled in sleazy tactics at the expense of an unfortunate, uninformed and broke defendant, facing the gallows.

Across this nation, Canadians are led to believe that we are protected from inept oafs practising law by governing bodies called law societies. Fancy, three dollar words they are, but, do they have any real meaning? It could be argued that if they did, then Wilbert Coffin would have lived to see old age. A law society is supposedly that self policing body that protects the interests of the citizens by guaranteeing fair and equitable representation.

Where was this body in 1954? Obviously, they were not paying any attention to what was happening in the court house in Perce, Quebec. Or, were they? It is important to note here that premier Maurice Duplessis was also the attorney general, and the solicitor general for the province, Antonio Rivard, was little more than a puppet of Duplessis. I suggest there is certainly room for speculation here. Duplessis controlled everything else, so why not the law society as well? Every other well meaning group in the province was afraid of Duplessis and his henchmen, so it appears prudent to surmise that this "independent body", known as the Law Society of Quebec may have shared the same quarters.

Were the long black robes with white trimmings resembling a colony of penguins on an ice floe really masking the evil secrets of collusion between prosecution and defense in this case, or was it simply a case of a drunken buffoon trying to hitch a ride to glory? We will never know for sure because the province of Quebec decided to allow the law society to seal the records of dud lawyers who had run aground.

Being the shy, quiet man of few words that I am, I find it difficult to adequately express my revulsion for the process that took place at Perce. Clearly, this trial sickens me. The process that made it possible causes me to want to vomit. I know there are members of the legal profession who read this site, and if there are amongst you, those who would say that I am wrong in my thoughts on this, then I challenge you to step to the plate, as it is your turn at bat.

I shall now continue with the murder trial of Wilbert Coffin from July, 1954 in Perce, Quebec.




After the first four days of the trial, the prosecution team very quickly realized that they would own the trial. Each day simply showed more evidence of that fact. In spite of his insistence that he would be calling upwards of one hundred witnesses, the lead lawyer for the defense, Raymond Maher, showed no signs of being able to make good on his claim. Time after time the prosecution would call another witness to the stand, firing off questions from a prescribed text. Occasionally, Maher would make a half hearted attempt at cross examination, and in many cases he simply sat silent.

You will recall in the previous posting of the trial, mention was made of a wallet in the list of exhibits. Though not properly identified, this was either the wallet of Eugene Lindsey, or that of Richard Lindsey. Richard Lindsey's wallet was located near his remains, that of Eugene Lindsey was located some distance from his remains in the brook, both void of currenecy, other than five dollars found in Richard Lindsey's wallet.

Mrs. Mary Lindsey would testify that her husband withdrew the sum of $650.00 from their banking establishment prior to leaving Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania for their trip to Canada. The prosecution in their wisdom would play very heavily on the amount of money being carried by Eugene Lindsey while in the forest. Eugene Lindsey had been rumoured to carry large amounts of cash. The prosecution would choose to play with a figure of $1,000.00. Numerous times, this figure would be thrown about to the French/English jury. This was done in an attempt to display lavish spending by Wilbert Coffin on his journey to Montreal. With no defense, the jury obviously believed it and lapped it up.

Lawyer Maher missed or purposely neglected numerous chances for cross examination with reference to the wallets and money. There will be many of you who will believe that Eugene Lindsey was carrying a large amount of cash while on his hunting trip. The question here, why do you believe that? You believe that because prosecutors Paul Miquelon and Noel Dorion were able to feed that to the jury, which in turn, created a motive for murder, and thus, a conviction and execution followed.

As I have repeatedly expressed to you, it is my intention to completely rip apart and examine each and every piece of evidence that the crown brought forth in this trial. It is also my intention to produce factual documentation that will set the record straight with regard to this evidence.

I ask that you pay strict attention to what I am going to display to you. I also want you to understand here, that I am proving something that should have been incumbent upon a defense lawyer to prove to this jury more than fifty- two years ago. I am going to prove to you that prosecutors Miquelon and Dorion were a pair of blatant liars by quoting dollar figures to the jury with respect to Eugene Lindsey's finances. I am able to prove this because the Quebec Provincial Police were not smart enough to get rid of all the incriminating evidence that could destroy their case.

The following is an exerpt from a letter written by Captain Alphonse Matte to premier Maurice Duplessis, who doubled as the attorney general. I have highlighted the sentence that says it all.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Gaspé, P.Q.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>July 29 1953

From J.A.Matte, Capt. Pol. Jud.

We were able to obtain again to this trip not any certainty of the amount of money that Eugene Lindsay might have had in his possession before he left Hollidaysburg; neither a single detail about the sort of baggage that the hunters would have had when they were getting ready to come to Canada.

(J.A.Matte) Captaine
In Charge of the Judiciary Police

Mrs. Lindsey was probably accurate that Eugene Lindsey withdrew $650.00 from their account, but there is no proof that this money ever came to Canada, and if it did, where could it have gone? You will recall in an earlier posting that Eugene Lindsey owed gambling debts. You will also recall that Eugene Lindsey is reported to have been involved in off color activities in his home town area. To complete the $1,000.00 as touted by the crown, Mr. Lindsey would have required a further $350.00 on his person. All these figures were simply picked out of the air. They were a lie, they were meant to manipulate, and in this case, sway a jury in their efforts to thwart justice.

By now it is evident the crown did not have a very strong case. Each and every piece of evidence that I have brought forward thus far was relatively easy to destroy with a few facts. It required patience, it required digging, and it required me to make a nuisance of myself and be generally nosey in certain circles. I should not have to do the work of the defense team, fifty plus years after the fact. I feel it is my duty as a writer and investigator of facts to expose the dirt. I am not saying that it has not happened, however, I do not personally know of any media outlet that has bothered to investigate and report on these aspects of this case during the past five decades, and that is sad and disappointing.

Lew Stoddard
Posted January 01, 2007

The next posting, January 05, 2007 will be quite extensive. In keeping with my theme of tearing apart this trial, I shall be presenting to you some very interesting police interviews and comments with reference to Wilbert Coffin's journey to Montreal. The police and the attorney generals ministry tell many lies, from here on in to conclusion.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stoddard Online

Lew Stoddard's Christmas Message

Christmas is that special time of year. It is for families, it is for friends, and it is a time for reflection and sharing. As we grow older, it is those fond memories that make us realize how very fortunate we are, compared to many others in the world in which we live. No matter where we are, and no matter how far we have wandered, there is no place on earth like home, especially at Christmas.

Vividly, I recall my boyhood days growing up in central Carleton County, in the province of New Brunswick. Coming from a closely knit family of nine, plus Mum and Dad, supported by farming and forestry, the simple things of life were the staples of our very existence. I can still recall those smells of something wonderful as we would enter Mum's kitchen upon returning from school on a cold day. The cakes, the cookies, the squares, and all those other special treats that were always so plentiful at this special season of the year added a dimension beyond words.

After graduating from high school in Juniper, New Brunswick, I can recall that first Christmas away. I had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Police. I was in training at St. Jean, Quebec. I was homesick and devastated. I recall a big box arriving addressed to me, containing presents, and samples of all Mum's goodies. This was just not fair. Suddenly, I realized there is only one place to be at Christmas.

Mum and Dad, and some of my siblings are no longer with us. They are however, and always will be, part of my reflections of what Christmas is all about. It is true, life must go on, and I thank God for the opportunity to experience that. In closing, I ask that you join me in remembering the oppressed, and the less fortunate in our world, and at the same time, take into consideration that Peace and Tranquility on the earth are the most precious and fragile gifts of all.

Merry Christmas one and all,

Lew Stoddard

We are going to take a short break for the Christmas season on the web site. If you know of someone who reads the site, and if you might like to send them a short Christmas and holiday message, I encourage you to do that. It is as simple as clicking on the comments link under this message and following the few easy steps. This will be an excellent way to determine the volume of folks who read the page as well. I look forward to hearing from a good number of folks from across Canada and around the world. I will leave the page open for a few days, so again, I am looking forward to hearing from you. I will be back with a new posting on December 29, 2006.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online ________________________________________Part Two


Upon dispensing of the reading of a charge of murder against Wilbert Coffin, and the defendant entering a plea of not guilty, the prosecution team set about outlining the crown's case. Though admitting the crown's case was circumstantial in nature, the prosecutor, Noel Dorion was adamant to the jury that they would prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of the defendant, Wilbert Coffin.

In his outline to Judge Lacroix and the jury, prosecutor Noel Dorion would declare that the court would hear from some 40 persons giving testimony to support the crown's charge. In addition 39 exhibits would be presented to the court, plus autopsy reports from the provincial pathologist, and as well several pieces of documentation relevant to the crown's case. Each member of the prosecution would outline his part very carefully, in a very calculated convincing fashion to the jury.

By comparison, the defence, headed by Raymond Maher, would strut the precincts displaying an air of authority, based on his earlier revelation that he would be calling upwards of one hundred witnesses to support the defense of Wilbert Coffin. At this point Wilbert Coffin and his family would be confident that a successful conclusion would prevail.

At this point of the trial the prosecution would present their exhibits which would form the basis for the major part of the evidence that they planned to use to secure a guilty verdict. In order that you, the reader be able to relate to these exhibits I am going to show you the report here as compiled by the province of Quebec. This list was compiled as a result of initial police investigations, and as a result of follow up preparations for the trial. In fairness to all my readers I am presenting the list in translated English, immediately followed by the French version. As ususal with translation between languages, grammatical errors do occur from time to time. Here is the English version. . .

NO. 2670

1) Geographical map used by M. Hébert to show the route followed leaving Gaspé to go to the place where one did the searches and found certain effects.
2) Aerial photo indicating white diagram ( sketching) View of the whole of the region, small truck, etc…
3) Stove ( cooker) found at camp no. 21
4) reservoir fort the stove
5) camera
6) case of rifle
7) Rifle; marked Winchester, model 66, caliber 30.06 series no. 131404
8) strap attached to the rifle
9) aerial photo indicating the place where the rifle was found, (letter c ) and letter (1) spot where the remains of Eugene Lindsay were found
10) (a) P-10 (c) 3 photos showing Lindsay Sr. skeleton
11) Aerial photo of camp 26
12) leather wind breaker? Young Lindsay
13) photo of pants of young Lindsay with pockets turned out
14) photo of wind breaker
15) photo sweat shirt “ Hollidaysburg tigers”
16) photo pierced shirt
17) (a) (b) (c) invoices produced by Tyrrel Eden clerk at Robin Jones
18) bottle of ‘ old Time ‘ syrup
19) box containing a stamped egg
20) fuel pump
21) invoice for the pump
22) copy of declaration sworn by Coffin to two police officiers
23) pick
24) shovel
25) tarp
26) Binoculars with case No.150870 7x35 Bushwell
27) knife with accessories
28) Revolver No. Series 4597
29) Serviettes ( blue) 1 large, 2 medium, 1 small marked Sears & Roebreck
30) 1 suitcase
31) overalls, blue
32) toilet paper (blue)
33) 1 rifle marker Winchester, No. Series 147862 caliber 30.06
34) 1 rifle , no marking nor series number, identified by Clarence E. Claar
35) 1 T-shirt, 1 plain shirt, 1 mackinaw
36) 1 wallet
1 wrist watch (no bracelet)
38) 1 mackinaw, 1 sweat shirt, 1 shirt
1 post card addressed to Mrs. Lindsay
“ “ “ “ “
1 ring belonging to the friend of young Lindsay
1 wallet
1 hunting cap
1 distance binoculars 7x50’ Mercury”
photo pelvis of human remains
1 pr. Coveralls ( blue) produced by the defense

The following exhibits P-6,P-7,P-8,p-35,P-38 were loaned to Dr. Roussel for study
Exhibit P-22 to M. Oscar Boisjolie official stenographer for transcription

(signed) Antonio Rail
Registrar for the Court

Here is the French version. . .


Carte Géographique utilisée par M. Hébert indiquant la route suivie à partir de Gaspé pour se render à l’ endroit où l’en a fait des recherches et retrouver certains effets.

Photo aérienne indiquant trace blanc. Vue d’ensemble de la region, camionnette, etc.
Poele trouvé au camp No.21
Réservoir pour poele.
Camera Exhibit P-5 (a) (b) (c) (d) Photos.
Etui à carabine.
Carabine, marque Winchester, Modèle 66, caliber 30.06 No. série 131404.
Courrois attachée à la carabine
Photo aérienne indiquant l’endroit où la carabine fut trouvée, (letter c) et letter (1) endroit où furent trouvée les restes de Eugène Lindsay.
(a) P-10 (b) P-10 (c) 3 photos représentant squelette Lindsay (Sr.)
Photo aérienne du camp 26.
Coupe vent en cuir, jeune R. Lindsay.
Photo pantaloons jeune Lindsay avec poche retournée.
Photo du coup vent.
Photo (sweat shirt) Hollidaysburg Tigers.
photo (chemise trouée)
(a) (b) (c) factures produites par Tyrrel Eden commis chez Robin Jones.
Boutielle de “Old Time” syrup.
Boite contenant un oeuf marqué.
Pompe à gaz.
Facture de la pompe.
Copie de declaration assermentée de Coffin aux 2 officiers de police.
Toîle (tarpaulin)
Longue vue (Binoculars with case No. 150870 7x5 Bushwell.
Couteau avec accessories.
Revolver No. de série 4597
Serviettes (bleu) 1 grande, 2 medium, 1 petit marque “Sears & Rocbreck”
1 valise (suit case)
1 salopettes (overalls blue)
1 serviette de bain (bleu)
1 carabine marque “ Winchester “ No. de série 147862 calibre 30.06.
1 carabine pas de marque ni de numéro de série, identifiée par Clarence E. Claar.
1 “T” shirt, 1 chemise ordinaire, 1 mackinaw.
1 porte monnaie
1 montre bracelet ( pas de bracelet)
1 mackinaw 1 sweat shirt, 1 chemise
1 carte postale addressee à Mme. Lindsay.
1 “ “ “ “ “
1 bague appartennant à l’amie du jeune Lindsay.
1 porte-monnaie.
1 casquette de chasse (hunting cap)
1 longue vue Binoculars 7 x 50 “Mercury”.
Photo basin d’un cadaver humain.
1 pr. Salopettes ( bleu) blue coveralls, produit par la defense.

Les exhibits suivants P-6, P-7, P-8, P-28, P-35, P-38 ont été laissés à Dr. Roussel pour expertise.
Exhibit P-22 à M. Oscar Boisjoly sténographe official pour transcription.

(Signé) Antonio Rail
Dép. Greffier de la Paix

It is interesting to note here that some of the items in the exhibits list would appear at first glance to pose nothing of value to the investigation. There are others that of coure the crown would dwell upon throughout the trial. I ask that you pay particular attention to the wallet. The wallet will take on new meaning as the trial progresses. At the beginning of the investigation, you may recall that it was the determination of the police that this party did not carry handguns while on their hunting trips. There was never any proven reference to where handguns had been reported while crossing the international boundary between Canada and the United States. Yet mysteriously, you will note that item #28 in the exhibits list is very definitely a handgun. If this was true, was there only one, were there two, or were there more? We simply do not know for sure. You will note later on this is never covered in the trial. The one thing that we do know, and this is substantiated by Clarence Claar, his son Fred, had a particular fondness and love for handguns.

It is also to be noted that item #22 from the exhibits list, the declaration that Wilbert Coffin supposedly swore to police officers would be entered as evidence. Crown would also outline their trip to Montreal from Gaspe' following in the footsteps of Wilbert Coffin. This trip was made to try and determine every cent spent by Wilbert Coffin and with whom he visited along the way. You will see repeatedly the prosecutors putting words into the mouths of witnesses, and as well, presenting suggestions in the form of facts, purely as a means of preying upon the weakness of a jury who would be spellbound by the lack of understanding of the language.

Included with the evidence of the crown is the documents from the Quebec Provincial Police in the form of gate receipts for the York River area for individuals entering the forest from that location. These receipts cover the area from June 02, 1953 to June 09, 1953 inclusive. The following lists that documentation from the police. The single or double digit number following each name denotes the number of days of the intended stay in each area that the permit is issued for.


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


469) 2-6-53 Omer Diotte 30 Madelaine Fork
470) “ “ Frank Lacombe “ “ “
471) “ “ Wilbert Coffin 1 “ “
472) “ “ Angus Macdonald 1 “ “
473) “ “ Ralph Clark 2 Mills Brook
474) “ “ Joseph Fournier, Newport 30 Madelaine Fork
475) “ “ Harold Goldberg, New York 2 Oil Wells & Mine
476) “ “ G. Berardi, New York “ “ “

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, Gaspé 1 “ “
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, Detroit,Michigan 1 “ “
544) “ “ Rupert Girard, Belle Anse 1 Galch

545) “ “ E.H. LINDSEY, R.D. No.1, Hollidaysburg 10 jours, St. John River
546) “ “ R.C. LINDSEY, R.D. No.1, Hollidaysburg 10 jours, St. John River
547) “ “ FREDERICK CLAAR, East Freedon 10 jours, St. John River

As I stated previously, it is my intention to display to you the reader, the events and evidence brought forth by the crown. Simultaneously, it is my intention to tear apart and examine each piece of crown evidence, just the way that it should have been done by the defense team. We will soon discover what would have stood up to scrutiny, and that which would have disintergrated into a smouldering ruin.

Let us tarry here for a few moments. The crown pretty much had their own way from the beginning. The entry into the forest by Wilbert Coffin and others is a good starting point for dissection. You will note above in the gate receipts that Wilbert Coffin and Angus McDonald first entered the forest in the month of June on the second day of the month for a one day stay. There is no argument posed on this entry.

They leave the forest and do not enter the forest again until the eighth day of June. This time they take out a four day permit, and are driving a green pick up truck which will be later identified as being owned by Bill Baker of Gaspe'. Upon having some difficulties, they leave the area after staying only one day and night. They plan to return early on June 10, 1953. Wilbert Coffin expresses to Bill Baker his disappointment with Angus McDonald. McDonald, according to Wilbert Coffin was a hinderance. He could not be depended upon, could not sense direction in the forest, and easily got lost. The next morning, according to Wilbert Coffin's statement to police, Wilbert makes the decision to not pick up McDonald, and thus, go it alone. That decision would turn out to be the biggest that he would ever make. In the end, it would cost him his life.

From my research, I was unable to locate a gate receipt for the York entry gate for the next day, June 10, 1953 for Wilbert Coffin's return to the forest. I was determined to find documented proof of this. There simply had to be a thread somewhere to tie it all together. Finally, through sheer determination I found the thread. Not in the form of a gate receipt, but from pouring through an inch deep pile of police interviews with various persons.

I located an interview that Captain J C Vanhoutte, of the Quebec Provincial Police had done with a twenty-two year old man named Lewis Annett, a provincial forest warden from Wakeham. It would have to be in the very early morning on June 10, 1953, that Wilbert Coffin was entering the forest, and the interrogation with Captain Vanhoutte portrays that perfectly to coincide with the interview with Wilbert Coffin conducted earlier in the year. The following is an extract from Vanhoutte's interrogation reports. Again as previous, translation was necessary.

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.

The trial then details Wilbert Coffin coming upon the stranded hunters, and subsequently driving young Richard Lindsey to Gaspe to secure a new fuel pump. Wilbert Coffin would return later in the afternoon from Gaspe' and deliver young Lindsey back to his party, consisting of his Dad, and friend Frederick Claar. Wilbert Coffin repeatedly told police over the preceeding months that when he arrived back with Richard Lindsey, his father and his friend had company in the form of two young men driving a converted Jeep vehicle with out of province license plates. The prosecution began painting Wilbert Coffin as one who cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

This is the point where the trial is allowed to take a very bad turn. Immediately, the crown plots a course to crucify Wilbert Coffin's credibility. They are able to achieve this because Raymond Maher, the defense lawyer sits on his duff and objects not. The crown has a virtual hay day portraying Wilbert Coffin to the jury as nothing but a liar. This was as a result of his assertion that he had witnessed two other people when he returned young Lindsey to the broken down truck.

The crown would contend that Wilbert was caught up in his own lies, and had been tripping over details of his own story. The crown did admit there was a Jeep vehicle who's occupants had been hunting in the general area. They stated that Wilbert would have heard about these people from Altoona, Pennsylvania. As it would turn out, one of these people, an elderly doctor named Burkett, would know Eugene Lindsey. This doctor had enquired of Eugene Lindsey from the guides in the area. The prosecutor would insist that Wilbert Coffin was not only lying about seeing a Jeep and it's two occupants when he returned with Richard Lindsey, but he was trying to nail them for murder. Doctor Burkett's testimony as to time of arrival and departure was exactly supported by a gate receipt fro the York Gate. I am posting an extract from that gate receipt reflecting the day's in question.


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


405) 27-5-53 Charles Ford, Altoona, Pa. 8 Keays Camp York River
406) 27-5-53 Dr. Gordon Burket, Altoona, Pa. 8 “ “

**As you will note, these gentlemen entered the forest on May 27, 1953 and had been issued an eight day permit. They would have exited the area by June 05, 1953. Therefore Wilbert Coffin was lying according to the prosecution when insisting that they were there on June 10, 1953 when he returned with Richard Lindsey.

In reality, Wilbert Coffin had never insisted that he saw Mr. Burkett and his partner with the Lindsey party Specifically, what he had said in interrogations was that he had seen a Jeep with out of province plates and of a particular description. It was the crown who had concocted the story that Wilbert was referring to Dr. Burkett and his partner. The crown's team did this because they knew they could successfully "prove" to the jury whatever route they decided to take in this matter.

The prosecution team, from premier Maurice Duplessis who doubled as attorney general, all the way down through the police and the actual prosecuting lawyers in the courtroom knew that the Jeep evidence in this trial would be crucial. They knew that the Jeep would be the vehicle that would drive their case from victory to the garbage bin. It was therefore critical to get rid of the Jeep element without bringing it to the trial. They would simply downplay any reference to a Jeep as if it did not exist. It is interesting to note that as we did research for this report, my research assistant, Lani Mitchell once remarked to me that we have enough "factual" evidence of the existence of Jeeps to create a Jeep traffic jam on the Gaspe' coast. Jeeps were everywhere. Jeeps were cheap and easy to obtain. The prosecution team would have known this.

If you are doubling as an armchair juror as you read this, I suggest that you pay very careful attention to the next few paragraphs. After you read this part, reflect for a few moments as to who the real liars and cheats are with respect to the Jeep evidence at the trial. I want you to decide what this would have done to influence your decision as to whether you accept the crown's admission that a Jeep did not play a role. I present to you here a few documents from police documents, detailing Jeep evidence. You will see lies and cheating all the way from premier Duplessis down to the police. You will see the reference on some of these reports referring to "APGSC". These letters refer to the highest level of authority, which in this case is premier Maurice Duplessis. Had there been a defense at the trial, the foillowing is what is documented and could have been presented.


Quebec, 21 July 1953


Re. Eugene H. Lindsay, his son Richard Lindsay, and Fred Claar (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) Gaspé, City and District of Gaspé, P.Q.

After several phone calls and following information that was furnished to me by the APGSC, it would seem that about the 11th June, another group of Americans likely coming from the same place as Lindsay, reportedly would have met the party of three to which we are presently referring, and Sergeant Doyon must double check (verify) this information, and, further more, Wilbert Coffin reportedly spoke of this to Doyon, and they went, as well, in the woods where one of the bodies was found, in order to provide him with details.



I invite you to read on concerning another Jeep sighting,

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

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.

In the town of Gaspe, another reputable citizen furnished information to the police team. This particular gentleman's name is Fabien Sinnett. He reportedly saw a Jeep in Gaspe during the week in question which matched perfectly the Jeep that Wilbert Coffin had described as having seen with the Lindsey party. Mr. Sinnett is still alive and well. I first spoke with Mr. Sinnett in July of 2006, and he informs me that his recollection of the event is still vivid and clear and would swear an affidavit. His evidence never got beyond Duplessis' office and the police. As a result of no defense at trial, Mr. Sinnett was never called to speak in front of the jury.

Dr. Gordon Wilson and his wife Mimi also spotted a Jeep on the ferry in the St. Lawrence River. This Jeep plus the two occupants also matched perfectly that which Wilbert Coffin had described. Most disturbing is the fact that the Wilson's made known their sighting to the Quebec Provincial Police prior to the trial. They made an affidavit. Again, as with other evidence, it never made it to the court. It was long thought that the Wilson's were deceased. Not true. Mrs. Wilson located me, and she wants her evidence heard.

Think carefully about the following exerpt from a letter sent by Captain Alphonse Matte of the Quebec Provincial Police to his lead investigator, J C Vanhoutte. This exerpt can be interpreted as a good reason why evidence never reached the court or the investigation stage.


Personnelle Quebec, July 31 1953

Agent J.C. Vanhoutte,
A/S Poste de la Surete Provinciale
Casier postal 67,
Gaspé, P.Q.

My Dear M. Vanhoutte,

1. Would you verify as I've ask you, I think, on all the cars that entered the forest since the beginning of the searches for the American hunters, and try also to find the car that lost the metal circle of a headlight.

2. Verify also, and eliminate if possible, the story of a jeep that might have entered the forest around the date that really interests us, between the 8th of June and the 20th of June. With the information given by people of Fox River.

JAM/rl (J.A. Matte-Capitaine)

This is where we shall break for this part of the trial. The question that you must ponder is simple. You have heard the Crown's denial of the existence of a Jeep in this tale. You have seen credible evidence that could have been provided but was not, because of the dishonesty of the Quebec justice ministry. You have seen directives from the police dishing out orders to eliminate and control evidence.

We have dealt here with only one aspect of the trial, the entry into the forest by Wilbert Coffin. Speaking to you as a sit at home juror and providing that you had access to all these facts, would you have accepted the crown's theory that no Jeep existed and that Wilbert Coffin was a liar, or would you be inclined to suggest that the real liars were the members of the judiciary?

If you are inclined to think that what you have read here about this trial thus far is deplorable, I will suggest to you that you haven't seen anything yet. It gets worse. It gets much worse.

Lew Stoddard
December 19, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stoddard Online





The month is July. The year is 1954. The place is Perce, on the Gaspe' Peninsula. The province of Quebec is about to embark upon what will become the most costly criminal proceeding against an individual since confederation. The past dozen months has been nothing short of an uphill battle attaining the necessary courage to proceed to the court room.

Premier Maurice Duplessis and the government are in a quandary and they know it. Win or lose they are going to look bad. If the crown wins, the government will be viewed as a bunch of tyrants by a huge majority of the Quebec population. A win however, will get the federal government off their backs.

On the other hand, if they lose this case, they will be viewed as a bunch of blundering idiots by that same population, because the people would be of the view that while the government wasted time on this prosecution, the real perpetrator of the crime was allowed to escape justice, and the wrath of St. Laurent and the boys from Ottawa would be monumental. This scenario would be created because the government of Quebec chose to not pursue any course of action other than that against the accused, in this case, Wilbert Coffin.

The delay in going to trial was simply because the prosecution was running scared. There were no eye witnesses, there was no murder weapon, there was no bullets or fragments, there were no spent cartridge cases, and most importantly, there was no confession from the accused.

The Quebec justice ministry had worked on building a circumstantial evidence case throughout the past year. This would be their only glimmer of hope. It did not matter whether or not the jury members believed the circumstantial evidence. What mattered here was whether the jury members could be coersed into bringing in a guilty verdict.

There are two ways in life to be number one in the selling game. The first of course is having the best product which will generate sales leadership with little or no effort. The second is having an inferior product, but complimented by an effective sales team. It also helps tremendously if the opposition team is headed by a drunken buffoon lacking leadership and creativity.

Very definitely, the crown would go into this case with the inferior product. They knew this. They would however, compensate with the best oratorical skills available in the province. They took stock, they studied the area, and they did their homework. They were determined that even though they were going into this trial with the weakest of case against a popular area resident, they would come out with a convicted murderer ready for the gallows.

In a top priority case such as that before the court it would be standard procedure for the attorney general of the province to delegate the Superior Court judge to hear the proceeding. In the case of the province of Quebec during this period of history, the premier of the province had appointed himself to also hold the office of attorney general. Therefore it came back to premier Maurice Duplessis to control the strings. The defendant, Wilbert Coffin was now a doomed man.

Upon consultation with his solicitor general for the province, Antoine Rivard, Duplessis would name Judge G. Lacroix to hear the case at Perce, Quebec. The trial date having been set for July, it was now time to get down to the business of selecting a jury to get the trial in motion.

From the onset, it would be apparent that Wilbert Coffin was going to experience stormy seas. It was indeed going to be a rough ride. Even though justice fell under a slightly different set of rules prior to our constitution of 1982, certain aspects were the same, namely innocence until proven guilty, and jury selection in the language of the accused. A new set of rules would emerge in this trial for jury selection as you are soon to see.

It is interesting to note, that even though Wilbert Coffin had requested an all English jury to correspond with his native language, the pool of prospective jurors did not reflect that decision. During the selection process Judge Lacroix would declare that it would be a mixed language jury. There would be six English speaking, and there would be six French speaking. The excuse rendered for this was simply that they could not find a total of twelve all English prospective jurors.

In reality, that would be a lame excuse because the trial could simply be moved to a venue that could accommadate the language barrier. What should have happened here of course was for Wilbert Coffin's lawyer, Raymond Maher to spring to action. Did he do that? No, he did not. He sat there like a dazed dummy and watched as the machine rolled over his client. The trial would be conducted as the judge declared it would be, with no dissenting opinion.

The prosecution team in this trial would leave no stone unturned. There was no room for error. If they were going to hang Wilbert Coffin, it had to be a planned, well orchestrated chain of events, and they absolutely must maintain control of the trial.

The prosecution duties would be shared by top guns Paul Michelon, Noel Dorion, and a host of lesser names. In stark contrast, the defense side of the courtroom severely lacked the finesse, and expertise associated with the prosecution. Raymond Maher was the man at the top, assisted by Francois Gravel who had no experience, and former judge Louis Dorion.

Judge Lacroix enters the courtroom. The standard announcement is made for all to rise in respect. The judge sits down, and the clerk reads out the charge of first degree murder against the accused. The trial of Regina vs Coffin has now begun. . .

If one takes the time to read the transcript of this trial, you may be inclined to suggest the first day was a total waste of time. Throughout this day, you will read of the praise that the prosecutors lay onto each other. The praise that they extend to the judge could make a well person vomit. As if all this is not enough, they now start praising the defense lawyer as well as assistant Louis Dorion. Francois Gravel who has virtually no experience even gets honourable recognition. The judge gets into the act and hands out some praise of his own. They point out their political alliances, where they have crossed paths, their families backgrounds and anything else to show respect for each other.

Do not be fooled by the above love-in. That was all part of the calculated rounded out ploy that I wrote about earlier. Sure it was sickening to read, and I imagine even more sickening to sit and listen to, but it was done for a purpose. It was designed and delivered for one reason, and one reason alone. It would influence a jury. By including the judge and the defense, it would play a role in gaining the support of a juror, because don't forget, these jurors were simple everyday working folk suddenly thrust into the limelight to sit on a jury. If they all praised each other, any statement that the jury heard must certainly be the truth and have the support of the others in the team, therefore it must be right for the jury to accept. This is what manipulation is all about.

With the court now getting ready to go, it is important to consider where all this was taking place. True, it was in the courthouse at Perce, Quebec. There was one main courtroom in the building, and it was bursting at the seams with people clamoring for seating. The temperature is stifling. It is in the middle of July. There is no air conditioning. There is a jury retirement room off to the side for deliberations. The washroom is located in this jury room. This was also the room that defense lawyer Raymond Maher would visit on occasion, and return with the stench of alcohol on his breath. Very definitely, this was not your average criminal trial in a modern courthouse in downtown wherever.

Lew Stoddard
December 11, 2006

I invite you to join me in two days as the crown outlines it's case and commences with the producing of the evidence that will be used against Wilbert Coffin. The next two postings are very important. This is where deceit and manipulation will reign supreme, and it is where you, the armchair jurist, can place yourself in a jury chair at the trial and reach a verdict on what is presented.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stoddard Online

Sgt. Henri Doyon and wife Marcelle

At the beginning of this story I told you about Sgt. Henri Doyon, officer in charge of the Gaspe' region of Quebec during the time of the murder for which Wilbert Coffin was executed.

Sgt. Doyon was unwavering in his stance against the establishment in the prosecution of Wilbert Coffin. He openly opposed Captain Alphonse Matte and crew when they arrived from Quebec City under direct orders from premier Maurice Duplessis. Matte's only question upon arrival was who was the last known person to see the victims alive? Upon learning that persons name was Wilbert Coffin, there was no turning back. He would be guilty of this crime, pure and simple. Matte was under orders from Duplessis to nail someone, and do it quickly. The rest is history.

As soon as Sgt. Doyon voiced his opinion and concern for the process, immediate plans were put into place to remove him, and he would be replaced by Captain Matte and crew. Sgt. Doyon would be reduced to little more than a joe-boy, and a course plotted for his removal from the area to Quebec City.

Between the time of the laying of the official murder charge and the trial, Wilbert Coffin would be housed in the local jail, or so they thought. Little did the authorities know, Sgt. Doyon and his wife allowed Wilbert Coffin to live with them in the quarters over the jail, and allowed him to eat his meals with them and their family. Obviously, Sgt. Doyon was steadfast in his belief of the innocence of Wilbert Coffin, because in reality, if one thought otherwise, then common sense tells one that the prisoner would not have been allowed to mingle with the family in their home.

After transfer to Quebec, Sgt. Doyon would pay a heavy price for his years of service to the province of Quebec. With only months to go before his twenty five years, Sgt. Doyon was fired, thus eliminating any hopes for a pension for his service. At his age, this was a cruel and shocking blow. It destroyed him. Being a shy and reserved person, many folks were not aware of what he had been forced to endure during his last couple of years on the police force.

Sgt. Doyon suffered extreme and severe depression which resulted in admission to the provincial mental hospital at Quebec. Locked away and virtually forgotten, Sgt. Doyon spent many days reflecting on what was, and what could have been. Thankfully, a journalist interested in his plight visited with him and allowed him to tell his story. This story has previously been told, however, I am presenting it to you, as there will be many of you who will never have seen it. It is a sad chilling tale, almost to the point of being beyond belief.

I also want to point out that immediately following Sgt. Doyon's interview and story there is another story that I am presenting to you in this posting. It too is from a member of the Doyon family. It is also a story about the experiences of Sgt. Henri Doyon and his family following the murders during the Duplessis reign.

I have been working on this part of my story for some time now. I was delighted when Henriette Doyon, the daughter of Sgt. Henri Doyon came forward and agreed with the idea that I publish her story. Her story will make some angry. it will make some sad, and it will make others feel a sense of shame. This story, as told by Henriette Doyon showcases manipulation, deceit, and mental cruelty. In it's ugliest form, this declaration from Ms. Doyon suggests the lowest form of humanity on the part of a senior police official when he suggests to Sgt. Doyon that he sacrifice his wife for one evening as a means of acquiring his pension.

This story had been offered by Henriette Doyon to the larger print media outlets earlier in 2006, however, only exerpts were ever published. I am presenting the story on this site in it's entirety. It is being published in both English and French. I apologize for the fact that you will encounter grammatical errors. This sometimes happens where translation is necessary as translation is not an exact science. Here are the declarations of Sgt. Henri Doyon and Henriette Doyon. . .

"If I had to do it again, it would be absolutely in the same way. The Doyons of Beauce inherited Christian principles. I will preserve them and I could never settle for anything but the truth."

Sitting on a small chair in the somber corridor of the Saint Michel Archange hospital in Quebec, Henri Doyon ex-sergeant of the Provincial police tells his story. He has known personal anguish especially since the Coffin affair, the last being his internment in the institution for mental illness in the provincial capital. Henri Doyon seems a lucid man. He talks calmly, with assurance. This son of a farmer who worked in a blacksmith shop and a garage before entering the ranks as a provincial policeman in 1937, had for more than 24 years a career in the Surety du Quebec.

At the time of the Coffin affair, Doyan had been in Gaspe for 14 years. He was in charge of the office of the Surety in this place. It was then he who took the lead of the investigation.

But Doyon was and is still today convinced of the innocence of Wilbert Coffin.
"They truly wanted that I think like them but, me, I knew that Coffin wasn’t responsible", recalls Doyon in explaining how he rapidly was ousted from the lead of the investigation of the triple murders of the Americans. "Soon as the Inspector Matte arrived, he demanded of me who had seen the hunters for the last time and right away he began to focus on Coffin."

Not long after, Sergeant Doyon was transferred to Quebec to the general force of the provincial police. " There, I made some investigations, but at each moment they started to discredit me. From Sergeant, I passed Corporal, plus agent during 6 months but they didn’t……… and finally the 16 June 19?? (Can’t read this part.unclear) just after I had completed more than 24 years of service in the police force I was dismissed from the Provincial police because of (incompatibility of his functions?) and consequently the Surete refused his demand for a pension. " This pension I had a right to, but it was refused without ever telling me why."
Having lost his career, Doyon continued to make private investigations, not without having spent some time as a deliveryman of oil in order to survive

The Coffin Affair profoundly marked him. But Doyon doesn’t regret his conduct even though he knows that if he had cooperated with the demands of his superiors he would be today in a high post in the administration of this police force " like all those who drenched in the process." he says

Today Henri Doyon contemplates the four walls of the place in which he stays at St Michel Archange, where he was admitted four months ago as an " aliene mental dangereux."
" I’ve had a long depression after becoming an ex policeman but I never thought I’d find myself here." Therefore Doyon hopes he can leave the institute where his wife and two other persons admitted him 4 April 1970

An appeal has already been presented and rejected by Judge Jacques Du Four of the Superior Court, but the procurer of Doyon, Mr. Francois de B Gravel will plead his case in the Court of Appeal in the month of October if his client is still interned.

I am confident that I will be able to leave and to be able to resume my job as private investigator. Doyon says that he is happy about the change in government, without which
" I would spend the rest of my days here."

Here is the story of Henriette Doyon, first in English, followed by the French version. . .

Ex-sergeant of de la Sûreté provinciale du Québec in Gaspé
Dedication of a book by Jacques Hébert (Three Days in Prison.)
"Dedicated to Henri Doyon, former Sergeant of the Sûreté provinciale, an honest man."

A native of Beauce, Henri Doyon did his studies at Police School. He also took his pilot training at Québec. His parents absolutely refused that he fly airplanes. It’s too dangerous! But OK to be a policeman, it’s less dangerous!…

After some years of employment in the Provincial Surety, Doyon was promoted to the position of Sergeant. He was rapidly sent to Gaspé to open the first police station in the Gaspésie, in the year 1940. He was the only one serving the large territory of the Gaspé peninsula, from Chandler to Ste- Anne- des- Monts.

Henri Doyon was an honest and just man towards all and he rapidly gained the respect, the support and the friendship of Gaspésians. In spite of the hard working conditions of the time, he loved his Gaspésie. He detests violence. He uses then methods of education and prevention rather than roughness during arrests.
(Often at risk to his life.) For him, a human being is good until the contrary was proved!

In July 1953, three American hunters, coming to hunt bear, are murdered in Gaspé. Sergeant Doyon is the first to arrive at the site of the murders. He begins his investigation. He gathers the clues, the evidence. He does excellent work. He had already questioned Wilbert Coffin, one of a number of witnesses. Coffin admitted to having stolen from the Americans (a pen knife, binoculars) to reimburse himself for the repair of their broken down jeep in the woods. Coffin, hunter of bears, was also an excellent mechanic. The Americans were to return to him with a payment in cash, but he never saw them again. After several hours of waiting, Coffin then collected some effects in his own way as payment for his work and left, nothing more… thinking that he had been tricked by the Americans. Not too serious!

Doyon knew very well that Coffin spoke the truth. He noted well the facts, the clues, and the evidence. Coffin had stolen but not killed. That’s very clear. Doyon saw the tracks of the other American jeep (still hidden today). Doyon could prove that Coffin, alone, could never murder three hunters armed to the teeth, according to the position of the corpses…according to the time of the murders….according to the alibi of Coffin…according to the rifle used, etc. (But all of this was never used at the trial.)

Although there is a specified pace to the investigation, the government and the Surety Police of Quebec give orders to Doyon to accelerate very quickly the course. It harms the tourist reputation of the Gaspé:
much coveted for hunting bear by Americans. That takes a culprit…and that’s pressure!

Doyon completely ignores the order. He works at putting in the time and finding the one who was truly the culprit. The investigation is taken from him. He is incompetent!…Some days later, the Director of the Surety of Quebec, in Quebec, goes to Gaspé and takes charge of the investigation. (The same evening of his arrival, this last one accompanied by his " sheep" makes a festival, a party that calls for celebration, in a chalet on the river with a photo of Coffin on the hearth, rope around his neck)…to the great desperation of Sergeant Doyon.

The investigation is finished. Coffin stole. He is then the killer…(moreover hung with circumstantial evidence.) One came to quickly find a culprit and save face for the leaders of Quebec. Then the trial of Coffin. Doyon submits the accumulated evidence to his superiors to show Coffin’s innocence. This evidence is never presented in the trial…Doyon is an incompetent!

The only person in whom Coffin would have placed his confidence till the time of his hanging was Sergeant Doyon. The only person to whom he was accepting to make a declaration. (The only honest person.) That confidence was reciprocal since the beginning of the charge of Coffin….Doyon had an order to imprison Coffin in the cells in the basement of the Surety of Quebec in Gaspé where the building was the private residence of the family on the second floor. Doyon once again ignored the orders and housed Coffin " the prisoner" in the guest room, affirming that he wouldn’t let his dog sleep in the cold, humid basement. Throughout the course of the trial in Percé, the S.Q. never knew that Coffin was in the guest room. He ate and slept with our family, without ever trying to escape. Coffin had nothing to hide and was confident that justice would find him innocent.
In spite of the long and hard battle of Doyon, the trial was rotten. Coffin was hung on Feb.10 1956.

The death of Coffin doesn’t shut Doyon up at all. Justice would be made one day in his memory! Doyon will never stop defending the cause of Coffin and shouts about the injustice. His superiors of the S.Q. returned him to Quebec. It was easier to control him there than in Gaspé. One could watch him more closely….

Becoming a resident of Quebec, he dares to ask for a promotion. He had a right to it for a long time, since his mobilization in Gaspé for a number of years, the only and unique service for the population of Gaspésians who he loved. The response to his request was, rest assured, negative! In fact, the response of his superior was this: " Being given your lack of collaboration, I can perhaps despite everything grant your request. But it would be necessary to do that that you lend me your little Marcelle for an evening." ( Marcelle is his wife, my mother…a superb and lovely woman of the times) Doyon refuses categorically! But he isn’t at all surprised at such a response. For him, it’s the norm! This was part of the habits of the leaders of the time. If you want to advance, you must be a part of the gang of crooks and pigs! It’s like that, that’s all!

Doyon is baited and doesn’t latch on. If there is but one person who is just in the S.Q., it is simply me! Never leave my skin there! Honesty is not negotiable….. One has it or one doesn’t! Doyon associated then, in the 1960’s with Jacques Hébert, journalist who became a writer, dedicated to proving the innocence of Coffin. This association succeeds in bringing about the second book published by Hébert on the Coffin Affair " J’Accuse: Les Assassins de Coffin."

The inquest is finally reopened. The truth most certainly will triumph. Coffin wasn’t the culprit. A huge error was committed in 1950’s in Quebec. Doyon was right!
But…once more, the process is corrupt. The same injustices repeat themselves, the evidence is hidden, etc…etc.. One sees again that " the machine" has all the power.

At the time of the reopening of the inquest, in the 1960’s, the Surety of Quebec find Doyon very very very tiring. Too much, it’s too much! Our house is watched 24 hours a day for several months. All the more, the young journalist, Jacques Hébert, becoming a writer, spends the major part of his evenings at our place. I was about 8 or 9 years old. I see men in front of my home. Are they good or malicious? My father tries to reassure his wife and his children. My mother has long discussions with Jacques Hébert that I overhear…she thinks I’m asleep. My sister and I aren’t allowed to play outside for several days. The inquest takes a turn for the worse!

Some time later, the anonymous telephone calls begin: " Doyon, you shut your mouth or you will die. Doyon you are going to die." Until one day where an anonymous call, at suppertime, threatened directly the loss of his wife and his children. My father immediately went to the basement of the house and, the same night, he took us to La Beauce, to the farm of my aunt where we stayed for three weeks, hidden, without him…Doyon had returned to Quebec, throwing himself once more into the lion’s den, in the name of justice!
The reopening of the investigation was a complete failure, from all points of view. Justice wasn’t rendered and worse again!

Doyon decides finally to quit the Surety of Quebec. Even though he hadn’t yet swallowed the Coffin affair. The time had come to think, if not of himself, then of his family. He already had 24 years and 8 months in the service of the surety of Quebec, and he had a right to his pension. He then informed the S.Q. of his retirement in four months. The Surety of Quebec responded that he is out….The reason: insubordination against his superiors ( non execution of received orders). Doyon tried hard to find work to support his family following this and the government always blocks him. Cursed vengeance!…Doyon fought over the years to get his pension…no! Doyon finally lost everything, no income. A process server came one day to get everything, car, furniture and house. They left us with a single thing of value: honesty, the only non-negotiable thing said my father!

Henri Doyon died shortly after. He died one day after being in good health the day before. A unspecified doctor gave my mother the certificate of death on which someone had written "uremia" (failure of the kidneys) in the space of two days. However no kidney problem was ever known with my father. His loyal friend, M. Mercier, also a policeman with the S.Q. never was convinced he died a natural death. (Very like the deaths that happened at the time of the Coffin case.) M. Mercier had seen this happen to others in his career…He tried to convince my mother to have an autopsy of the body, but in all her pain, she refused. Her great love had died and she only wanted simply that one gave him peace!

One will never know the cause of the death of Doyon…maybe did he finally die of sorrow? Maybe he simply should have been hung beside Coffin, the same day… He would have avoided a long and anguished agony, undeserved.
Henriette Doyon, daughter of Henri Doyon 2006

Here is the French version. . .

Natif de la Beauce, Henri Doyon fait ses études à l’école de police. Il fait également son cours de pilote à Québec. Ses parents refusent carrément qu’il pilote des avions. C’est trop dangereux! Mais OK pour la police, c’est moins pire!…..

Après quelques années à l’emploi de la Sûreté Provinciale, Doyon est promu au poste de sergent. On l’envoie rapidement à Gaspé ouvrir le premier poste de police en Gaspésie, dans les années 1940… Il est seul à desservir le grand territoire de la péninsule gaspésienne, de Chandler à Ste-Anne-des-Monts.

Henri Doyon est un homme honnête et juste envers tous et il s’attire rapidement le respect, la sympathie et l’amitié des Gaspésiens. Malgré ses dures conditions de travail à l’époque, il adore sa Gaspésie. Il a horreur de la violence. Il utilise donc la méthode éducative et préventive plutôt que la rudesse lors d’arrestations. (Très souvent au risque de sa vie). Pour lui, un être humain est bon jusqu’à preuve du contraire!

En juillet 1953, trois chasseurs américains, venus pour la chasse à l’ours, sont assassinés à Gaspé. Le sergent Doyon arrive le premier sur les lieux du meurtre. Il commence son enquête. Il accumule les indices, les preuves. Il fait un excellent travail. Il a déjà interrogé Wilbert Coffin, un des nombreux témoins. Coffin a admis avoir volé les américains (un canif, des jumelles) pour se rembourser de la réparation de leur jeep en panne dans le bois. Coffin, chasseur d’ours, était également un excellent mécanicien. Les américains devaient lui revenir avec un paiement en argent, mais il ne les a jamais revus. Après quelques heures d’attente, Coffin a donc ramassé quelques effets en guise de paiement de son travail et est reparti, sans plus… et sachant qu’il venait de se faire « fourrer » par les américains. Pas grave!

Doyon sait très bien que Coffin dit la vérité. Il a bien constaté les faits, les indices, les preuves. Coffin a volé, mais pas tué. C’est très clair. Doyon a vu les traces de l’autre jeep américaine (encore cachée aujourd’hui). Doyon peut déjà prouver que Coffin, seul, ne pouvait pas assassiner trois chasseurs armés jusqu’aux dents, selon la position des corps… selon l’heure des meurtres… selon l’alibi de Coffin… selon la carabine utilisée… etc. (Mais tout cela n’a jamais été soumis au procès).

Malgré que l’enquête se précise, le gouvernement et la Sûreté du Québec donne ordre à Doyon d’en accélérer très sérieusement le cours. Ça nuit à la réputation touristique de la Gaspésie; bien convoitée pour la chasse à l’ours par les américains. Ça prend un coupable… et ça presse!

Doyon ignore complètement l’ordre. Il s’acharne à y mettre le temps et trouver le ou les vrais coupables. On lui retire l’enquête. Il manque de compétence!… Quelques jours après, le directeur de la Sûreté du Québec, à Québec, débarque à Gaspé et prend l’enquête en charge. (Le soir même de son arrivée, ce dernier accompagné de ses « moutons » font la fête, un party bien arrosé, dans un chalet sur la rivière avec la photo de Coffin sur le foyer; corde autour du cou)… au grand désespoir du sergent Doyon.
L’enquête est terminé. Coffin a volé. Il a donc tué… (d’ailleurs pendu sur des preuves circonstancielles). On vient de trouver rapidement un coupable et sauver la face de nos dirigeants du Québec.
Lors du procès de Coffin, Doyon soumet les preuves accumulées à ses supérieurs pour l’innocenter. Ces preuves ne seront jamais présentées lors du procès….. Doyon est un incompétent!
La seule personne en qui Coffin aura fait confiance jusqu’à sa pendaison est le sergent Doyon. La seule personne a qui il acceptait de faire une déclaration (la seule personne honnête). La confiance était réciproque depuis le début de l’accusation de Coffin… Doyon avait eu ordre d’emprisonner Coffin dans les cellules du sous-sol de la Sûreté du Québec à Gaspé dont le bâtiment était la résidence privée de la famille au 2ième étage. Doyon a encore une fois ignoré l’ordre et hébergé « le prisonnier » dans la chambre de visite, affirmant qu’il ne laisserait même pas coucher son chien dans les cellules froides et humides du sous-sol! Tout au cours de son procès à Percé, la S.Q. n’a jamais su que Coffin était dans la chambre de visite. Il a dormi et mangé avec notre famille; sans jamais songer à s’évader. Coffin n’avait rien a se reprocher et était confiant que la justice l’innocenterait…
Malgré la longue et dure bataille de Doyon, le procès est pourri. Coffin est pendu le 10 février 1956.
La mort de Coffin ne ferme pas la gueule de Doyon pour autant. Justice sera faite un jour en sa mémoire! Doyon ne cessera jamais de défendre la cause de Coffin et crier à l’injustice. Ses supérieurs de la S.Q. le rapatrient donc à Québec. Il sera plus facile à faire taire qu’à Gaspé! On pourra le surveiller de près!…

Devenu résident de la ville de Québec, Doyon ose demander une promotion. Laquelle il aurait eu droit depuis longtemps, n’eut été de sa mobilisation à Gaspé depuis de nombreuses années, au seul et unique service de la population gaspésienne qu’il adorait. La réponse à sa demande a, bien sûr, été négative! En fait, la réponse de son supérieur fut celle-ci : «Étant donné ton manque de collaboration, je peux peut-être malgré tout t’accorder ta demande. Mais il faudra pour cela que tu me prêtes la petite Marcelle pour une soirée. (Marcelle est son épouse, ma mère… une superbe de jolie femme à l’époque). Doyon refuse catégoriquement! Mais il n’est aucunement surpris d’une telle réponse. Pour lui, c’est dans les normes! Ça fait partie des habitudes des dirigeants de l’époque. Si tu désires avancer, tu dois être parmi la gang de croches et cochons! C’est comme ça, c’est tout!

Doyon s’acharne encore et ne lâche pas. Si il n’y a qu’une personne juste à la S.Q., ce sera simplement moi! Quitte à y laisser ma peau! L’honnêteté ne se négocie pas… on l’a ou on l’a pas! Doyon s’associe donc, dans les années 1960, à Jacques Hébert, journaliste devenu écrivain, convaincu de prouver l’innocence de Coffin. Cette association aboutit au second livre publié d’Hébert sur l’affaire Coffin « J’accuse les assassins de Coffin ».

L’enquête est enfin réouverte. La vérité va certainement triompher. Coffin n’était pas coupable. Une grande erreur a été commise dans les années 1950 au Québec. Doyon avait raison!

Mais… encore une fois, le procès est corrompu. Les mêmes injustices se répètent, les preuves sont cachées, etc… etc… On constate encore une fois que « la machine » a tous les pouvoirs.

Lors de la réouverture de l’enquête, dans les années ’60, la Sûreté du Québec trouve Doyon ben, ben, ben fatiguant! Trop c’est trop! Notre maison est surveillée 24 heures sur 24 pendant plusieurs mois. D’autant plus que le jeune journaliste Jacques Hébert, devenu écrivain, passe la majeure partie de ses soirées chez-nous. J’ai environ 8 ou 9 ans. Je vois les hommes devant chez-moi. Est-ce des bons ou des méchants? Mon père tente de rassurer sa femme et ses enfants. Ma mère a souvent de longues discussions avec Jacques Hébert que j’entends… elle pense que je dors! Ma sœur et moi venons de recevoir interdiction de sortir pour jouer dehors pendant quelques jours. L’enquête se corse!

Peu de temps plus tard, les téléphones anonymes commencent : « Doyon, tu fermes ta gueule ou tu vas tout perdre. Doyon tu vas crever. » Jusqu’au jour où un appel anonyme, à l’heure du souper, a menacé directement la perte de sa femme et ses enfants. Mon père nous a immédiatement descendus au sous-sol de la maison et, le soir même, il nous amenait dans la Beauce, à la ferme de ma tante où nous sommes restés trois semaines, cachés, sans lui… Doyon était retourné à Québec, se jeter encore une fois dans la fausse aux lions, au nom de la justice!

La réouverture de l’enquête fut un échec total, à tous les points de vue. Justice n’était pas rendue et pire encore!
Doyon décide enfin de quitter la Sûreté du Québec. Malgré qu’il n’a pas encore digéré l’Affaire Coffin. Le temps est venu de penser, si non à lui, à sa famille. Il a déjà 24 années et 8 mois de services à la Sûreté du Québec et il a droit à sa pension. Il informe donc la S.Q. de sa retraite dans 4 mois. La Sûreté du Québec lui répond qu’il est mis dehors… La raison : insubordination envers ses supérieurs (non exécution des ordres reçues). Doyon n’a jamais pu recevoir sa pension du gouvernement du Québec laquelle il avait plein droit. Doyon a bien essayé de retrouver un travail pour faire vivre sa famille par la suite et il a toujours été bloqué par le gouvernement. Maudite vengeance!… Doyon s’est battu pendant des années pour obtenir sa pension… négatif! Doyon a finalement tout perdu, faute de revenu. Un huissier est venu un jour tout chercher, voiture, meubles et maison. Il nous a laissé une seule valeur : l’honnêteté, la seule chose non négociable comme disait mon père!

Henri Doyon est décédé peu de temps après. Il est décédé du jour au lendemain en bonne santé! Un médecin quelconque a remis à ma mère un certificat de décès sur lequel était inscrit « urémie » (arrêt du fonctionnement des reins) dans l’espace de deux jours. Pourtant aucun problème de reins n’était connu chez mon père. Son fidèle ami, M. Mercier, également policier à la S.Q. n’a jamais été convaincu d’une mort naturelle. (Tout comme les décès précipités lors du procès de Coffin). M. Mercier en avait vu bien d’autres dans sa carrière… Il a bien tenté de convaincre ma mère de faire une autopsie du corps, mais dans toute sa peine elle a refusé. Son grand amour venait de décéder et elle voulait simplement qu’on lui fiche la paix!

On ne saura jamais la cause du décès de Doyon… peut-être est-il finalement mort de peine! Peut-être aurait-il dû tout simplement être pendu auprès de Coffin, le même jour… une longue et pénible agonie, non méritée, lui aurait été évitée.
Henriette Doyon, 2006

As previously mentioned, I find this to be a chilling tale. It is indeed a story that has no place in a free society such as Canada. This story comes from the heart, from a middle aged lady who has obviously endured a life of Hell, brought on by the corrupt, dishonest tactics of a justice system that was navigated from the top by none other than the provincial cabinet and premier of the day, the late Maurice Duplessis. In my personal opinion, this whole affair is representative of the darkest moment in Canadian history.

It is incumbent upon us all as citizens to ensure that these events never be repeated. Not only did we as a nation allow one of our citizens to be eliminated, in reality, we created the vehicle that made possible the destrution of lives and families of many who came after. Simply, in this case, the passage of a half century has not erased the pain, or diminished the love that Henriette displays for her Dad.

Lew Stoddard
Posted December 06,2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LETTER TO THE EDITOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is an open letter to the editor of The Montreal Gazette Newspaper,and as well, to reporter Marian Scott. It is being transmitted via my web site for two reasons. Firstly, by doing it this way, it is guaranteed to be published. Secondly, it is guaranteed to be published in it's entirety without having it's strength diminished through editing. As well, I am also making available here the letter to the editor and reporter that was transmitted to me from Lani (Baker) Mitchell with reference to the same story.

I am writing with specific reference to your story of November 18 of the Wilbert Coffin affair, written by staff reporter, Marian Scott. Without doubt, this story is a true example of journalistic freedom of speech gone wild. Indeed, if such freedom exists for a professional publication to routinely toss out trash such as this to an uninformed public, then that same freedom must exist for me to speak out against it.

I will go on record here and state, not a person exists in Canada that has done more exhaustive investigation and research than what I have done on this case. I therefore, take great exception to many of your comments in this story, particularly those associated with William (Bill) Baker of Gaspe'. Frankly, in my view, your comments about this man are cruel, and are made without foundation.

It is not necessary here that I repeat what was contained in the article. Lani (Baker) Mitchell has done a fine job of that. I will tell you this though and I ask that you pay careful attention. In my research, I conducted a special, separate, and independent study of Bill Baker and his association with Wilbert Coffin. I can tell you this , there was nothing that turned up anything of the nature of what you suggest. I will further state, that what Lani (Baker) Mitchell states with reference to Bill Baker, it concurs absolutely with my findings as well.

You make reference to "Other Theories." Webster defines theory as "an organized body of ideas as to the truth of something, usually derived from the study of a number of facts relating to it." From that, I presume Ms. Scott that you are in possession of that organized body of ideas complimented by the facts relating to your reference of Bill Baker's involvement. I am challenging you. I am calling your hand. It is time to turn your cards over. What are your facts?

On occasion Ms. Scott you have phoned me, always on the pretence of telling me what a great job I am doing on the web site, but within a few moments into the call, you are asking in a round about way if I can give you this person or that person's phone number or e-mail address. I would never do that of course, but you do try. On occasion, you have asked me about this and that scenario pertaining to my investigation and the case. My answer is always the same, check the web site and you will find it out when the rest of Canada finds out.

I did tell you one thing though Marian. I explained that I have a couple of revelations coming up at the conclusion of this story. I further explained that when this time arrives, I would keep you in mind for a real scoop on this story. That day is not far off Marian, and I can personally guarantee, you would be most interested. Perhaps, it will happen in the next couple of weeks, definitely, within the month. I have to tell you Marian, things have changed dramatically. Offering you the scoop on the story is not going to happen. That is, until such time as you write and publich a full retraction and apology to the Baker family for the grief and embarassment that your story caused.

The following is the letter written by Lani (Baker) Mitchell to the Montreal Gazette. I was not aware that Lani (Baker) Mitchell had sent this letter, nor is she aware that I have sent mine.

I have just received a copy of your November 18th article on the Coffin case written by Marion Scott, and would like to point out that Ms. Scott is providing coverage to her readers, not through valuable research that one would expect from a leading paper, but through rehashing of old gossip and innuendo found in books known to be full of errors.

In her comments " Gaps in Case Against Coffin", Ms. Scott has decided, once more, to provide your readers with titillating hurtful information on my Uncle Bill Baker of Gaspé.

" Some have speculated that Coffin took the rap for his friend, Billy Baker, a rollicking alcoholic, who was the son of a local hotel keeper."

Our family takes great offense to this! Bill Baker was NOT a rollicking alcoholic. Where on earth did Ms. Scott gather this destructive information? Bill Baker was NOT the son of a local hotel owner! Bill Baker was THE hotel owner.

Ms. Scott goes on to suggest that Bill Baker died by means of suicide. This is UNTRUE. Bill Baker died of a heart attack , and he WAS NOT age 42 when he died, but aged 46. He did not die two weeks after Coffin's hanging. At least get basic information right!

When my Montreal sister showed this article to her Gaspésian friends who knew Uncle Bill, they were horrified and said, "That is not the Bill Baker that I knew." I speak for my Baker family when I tell you that this article is very offensive to all nine of we children, nieces and nephews of Bill Baker.

It is time that a newspaper such as yours stopped reprinting old and suggestive material, and begin to show leadership in providing correct information, easily obtained by studying available documents and talking with the people who were actually involved in this case, rather than relying on those who have made a career of writing books based on misinformation.

Marion Scott might try reading closely where information is given only after careful factual support is found. As well, Ms. Scott might consider that she writes of someone who was loved and respected by many, not some Gaspésian buffoon who makes for a " good story."

Lani Baker Mitchell, speaking for the Baker family.

Lew Stoddard
Posted to site December 03, 2006