Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stoddard Online

Stoddard Online ________________________________________Part Two


REGINA Vs COFFIN


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. . .

LIST OF EXHIBITS The Coffin Case
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. . .



LISTE DES EXHIBITS PRODUITS EN COURS DE LA CAUSE
NO.2670 LA RÉINE VS WILBERT COFFIN


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.
Pique
Pelle
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.

DQ 74890-53 LA SURETE PROVINCIALE DE QUEBEC
P3-2403-53
POSTE NO. 3 GASPE

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

DATE NOMS & ADRESSES NOMBRE DE JOURS DESTINATION

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.

DQ 74890-53 LA SURETE PROVINCIALE DE QUEBEC
P3-2403-53
POSTE NO. 3 GASPE

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

DATE NOMS & ADRESSES NOMBRE DE JOURS DESTINATION

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.

SÛRETÉ PROVINCIALE DE QUEBEC


Quebec, 21 July 1953

DQ-74890-53 NOTE FOR THE FILE

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


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.


RC/AG ( HENRI CHARLAND)
DIRECTEUR ADJOINT SUPPLEANT

Copies/rl
Quebec
4-9-53

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
“ MURDERS”

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

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

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

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.

SURETE PROVINCIALE DE QUEBEC

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





36 comments:

C Brand said...

I knew it would be bad but this is shaping up alreday to be a lot worse than I thougt it would be.

You have done a ton of digging Sir to come across all this stuff. You are to be commended for all your work. Only if this trial changes fast, and I don't think it will, should the trial itself not be grounds for an unfair march in front of the justice system?

C Brand
Saint John

Donald B said...

Why didn't they just have a secret trial and then take the man away and shoot or hang him. The trial has about the same meaning.

Donald B
Brampton

Susie C said...

Great posting to an ugly story Lew. I love your style. Hard hitting sometimes, but to the point. Have a great Christmas Lew.

Susie C
Rimouski, Quebec

Thelma M said...

Those cops were so crooked. The lawyers are as well. It makes me so mad and when you have to go to one of those people they pretend to be so straight and honest. What a joke!

Merry Christmas Mr. stoddard

Thelma M
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Trudy K said...

I can see now, when they set their sights and zeroed in on this guy there was no stopping them. They were out to nail Wilbert Coffin as he was an easy mark. I understand now fully what and why you have been preacing this for months. This is all so deplorable.
Merry Christmas to all The Coffin family.

Trudy K
Sussex, N B

Louise G said...

I shudder when I think that things like this happened in My canada. Poor Wilbert Coffin even put his life on the line for Canada throughout the war, and then we hang him for no reason. I urge people everywhere to sign petitions to get the government to set this right. This makes me cry, I mean For God's sake this is Christmas.

Louise G
St. Leonard, N B

M Lacombe said...

What a terrible tale this is. I simply had no idea, and yet I have known about this case for over 40 years. I grew up in Matapedia area.

I have learned so much on this site about this case. My husband and I have read it on this site from start to finish.

You have done a good work Sir. merry Christmas to you and all the Coffin family as well.

M Lacombe
Winnipeg

The Taggerts said...

Lew Stoddard,

Congratulations again for a super great posting to your story. Hope you are doing as the doctor orders Lew. Remember, we only live four hours down the road. Merry Christmas to you.

The Taggert Family
Kamloops, B C

Fred Nicols said...

The jury had to be incredibly stupid if they could not see through that prosecutor and his crew. But then again, a juror does not have to be incredibly smart either. If this gets worse as you say, it has to be real bad.

Fred Nicols

R. St. Pierre said...

Dirty tricks, lying, cheating. Great way to sell the province on sovereignty issues. Pretty scary really. We would sure have a great reputation very quickly. Time to clean this mess up.

R. St. Pierre
Quebec

Jan and Frank said...

Great chapter to your story Mr. Stoddard. You make it easy to understand the process that sent Mr. Coffin to the gallows, and a very unfair process it was.

The government has to do something to right this travesty of justice, because it was they who let this happen.

Merry Christmas to you, and look forward to the rest of your story. Good luck to all the Coffin family and Merry Christmas.

Jan and Frank Porrier
Montreal, Quebec

J Cote said...

If Wilbert Coffin would have had money this would never have happened. This proves that there is more than one level of protection in this country, the level for the affluent and the level for the everyday people. This is so unbalanced.

Both federal government and government of Quebec, you must do something here to acknowledge this wrong and at least make an effort for your sins and set Wilbert Coffin's name free now.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and special thoughts to all the extended Coffin family.

J Cote
Rimouski, Quebec

Gaspe friends said...

To the Coffins. You are our neighbors and you are our friends and have known you all for years and I wish you good luck and merry christmas

Thank you to lew Stoddard way out there on the west coast for taking such an interest in our community on the east coast.

long time gaspe friends
Gaspe Quebec

John in Halifax said...

That one scenario that you have covered in the courtroom with reference to this case is an ugly example of what is coming in this trial. I have heard bits and pieces over the years but never knew that it was so obvious as it is when you describe it.

Merry Christmas to all.

John in Halifax

H and G in Thorold said...

An ugly scar on the history of a great country. worst part is, it was man created. Worse than that it was allowed to be created by a bunch of thugs from the regime of Duplessis.

Merry Christmas Lew Stoddard and all the Coffin's.

H and G
Thorold, Ontario

B Ellis said...

Lew you have done your work, that is so evident. You are also understanding of all this to be able to put it all together as you do.

I have known of the Wilbert Coffin case for years and thought I knew the why's and how's of all of it over the years.

After following this for the past few months, I realize that i really knew nothing about it at all based on what I had heard. You do fine work my friend. Merry Christmas!

B Ellis
Halifax

Anonymous said...

I grew up with this story....my family lived in Murdochville (approximately 30 km from Gaspe). Both my parents always maintained that Mr. Coffin was innocent. Regarding your question on whether, as a juror, I would accept the evidence presented to me during the trial, I would have to say 'Yes'. If the evidence that you have presented had not been suppressed and if Mr. Coffin had been given a proper defence, then I would say 'No'. It would appear that the defence lawyer, a man clearly battling some inner demons, was easily threatened into submission by the Duplessis gang. You have also very clearly portrayed the climate of fear under which the people lived...which probably included the jurors. Life in the Gaspe was not complicated. To have the QPP descend on the area with such a show of power and omnipotence would have been frightening...to say the least. There were always so many unanswered questions and rumors. Like many people from the area, it will be good to finally hear the truth.

P. Shanahan
Calgary

Nephew Rick said...

Over the Holiday Season may you all have the chance to share your love with your families and friends. Merci mes amis

R Gendron said...

tigxjsqI am originally from the gaspe region now living in Alberta. My lady friend receives the Spec newspaper from the Gaspe region, and we depend on it to keep up to date with news from back home.

I am deeply disappointed with the obvious decision by the paper to not keep up to date with the Coffin affair which is local to all the folks there and from those living elsewhere.

I realize that they have extensively covered this latest ongoing with this Cabot character, and yes people should be made aware. That is all very well and good except there are many other things happening and this web site is a perfectly good example.

I have yet to read any reference to the work that Mr. Stoddard has done in the Spec paper.

At my expense, this morning I contacted Mr. Stoddard by phone to determine why his investigation and research is never carried in the Spec. He informs me that he has spoken to the news editor at The Spec, and telephone appointments have been set up, and no one bothered calling back.

I do not like the attitude of news outlets when they make the decision as to what I want to hear or read. I will decide that for myself.

We are not talking about an afternoon tea here, we are talking about a very serious crime that happened near our community.

Very serious things have been reported about this affair on this site, and surely the community has a right to know.

If there are others out there who feel as I do about this I am encouraging you to contact The Spec office ask why?

R Gendron
Edmonton, Alberta

Henriette C said...

Comment regarding Mr. Gendron and The Spec newspaper.

I live in the Matapedia valley and I buy the Spec each week. If I had to depend on the Spec to learn about all the happenings of this case I would still be wandering around in the dark.

Thankfully I was directed to this web page some months ago. You are correct, they hammered this Cabot thing senseless, and told us everything that we already knew.

The things that I never knew until I started reading this site was mainly as to how crooked and corrupt the Duplessis government really was.

The stuff that I am now reading here on the trial, I simply had no idea it was so bad. My complimnts to Mr. Stoddard, and with the documents that he produces and the people who contact him who were involved with this case, speaks a mighty big pile of his thoroughness to see this through. He deserves to be recognized and I do know that more and more people from the coast are reading his site.

I am hoping that the Spec might open up a bit and lean toward community news, and without a doubt, this was and is community news. It affected all of us in one way or another.

Henriette C
Matapedia

R baird said...

Good stuff Lew. You do a most comprehensive report.

If I ever need a lawyer, I may give you a call. You presented it a Hell of a lot better than the defense team ever came close to.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and as well, to the Coffin family.

R Baird
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Catherine and Terry said...

Merry Christmas to all the Coffin family. We think of you Marie way out here on Vancouver Island. You are a dear dear sweet person. Hubby and I admire you a lot.

Catherine and Terry
CFB Comox

Patty and Tim said...

They say that during our life time each and everyone of us comes into contact with someone who made a profound difference to us in our daily lives. My life has been no exception to that rule.

A number of years ago as a result of a very serious injury my husband and I encountered grave financial distress. Mu hubby was self employed at the time of his accident and we were left in a very bad way with two young children.

We ended up getting severely delinquent in our mortgage payments on our home, and the bank was foreclosing. Our plight ended up as an item in a community newspaper. The time had expired except for a few days and we were advised by a lawyer there would be no use to fight it even if we had more time.

With five days to go, and in the midst of packing our things, our door bell rang that evening. I answered the door and there was a smiling face at the door. The gentleman put out his hand and said hello, my name is Lew Stoddard. I heard about your problems and I would like to see if there might be something that I could do to help you.

We invited him inside and explained that we had only five days left before we had to be out. He said he was willing to make an application to take it before a judge for an extension due to the circumstances.

We explained that we had no money for the court costs, and had been told it was hopeless. He paid the expenses, and three days later he was before the judge, arguing against the lawyers for the bank.

We walked out of that courtroom with a brand new six month extension, and a conduct of sale in our names. That was almost eight years ago and we are still in that house to this day.

I shared this little story with you folks because it is Christmas time and is a time for sharing.

Lew, I also know that things are not well with you health wise right now. I do want you to know though, you shall always be with us in our thoughts and prayers. Your dedication has not changed. I see that as I read of your tireless efforts in this story.

Merry Christmas to each and everyone, and a very special one to you Lew.

Patty and Tim
Squamish, British Columbia

Ivan J. Coffin said...

Lew,I am very thankful for your ongoing investigation in this case. You are revealing so much that was never brought out before. Please keep up the great work!
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
The post from Patty & Tim is a great endoursment of the kind of person you are.
I know this is just a mout point but for clarification , P. Shanahan said Murdochville is 30 km from Gaspe. When I lived there it was 60 miles or 100 km from gaspe to Murdochville.
Ivan J. Coffin

Elise Comeau said...

I was just thinking this has been Christmas number 50 for the Coffin family since all this happened to a family member. So horrible, so unfair, and so very very cruel. I cannot begin to imagine the agony, grief, and anger this would have caused for a half century.

Do not give up. I know that is easy for someone else to say, but "HOPE" is the one thing that we can all cling to and fight for.

Elise Comeau
Quebec

W and B McMillan said...

Patty and Tim in Squamish, that was so very nice of you to share the story about the author of this site. I am glad it worked out for you.

That story is such a perfectly good example of what can happen when we don't give up. The odds may be against us, but we never really know till we try. That is the same thing applying for the Wilbert Coffin.

I am certain that Mr. Stoddard would be of the opinion as he was in the case of the young couple facing the loss of their home, we are not beaten until every avenue has been explored and fought and argued for.

This also shows that it is important that we stand behind his efforts. If you know something of this case, come forward to him as many others have. This is what I believe will force the government to turn the conviction over, and rtestore dignity to the Coffin name.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

W and B McMillan
CFB Greenwood, Nova scotia

Anonymous said...

to Lew

" A GOOD HEAD AND A GOOD HEART ARE ALWAYS A FORMIDABLE COMBINATION"
You are blessed with both and the Coffins are blessed to have found you!

Lise Theberge said...

Great story Patty and Tim. Do agree that it shows dedications and what can be done if we don't give up easily.

Let that story be a motivating factor in the new year to get off our fannies and get this thing happening. As others have said, if you can help with any informations, sign petitions, or lends support in any way, I am sure your help is appreciated.

Merry Christmas,

Lise Theberge
Quebec

Carolyn J said...

Merry Christmas to you Lew and all the others that I see commenting on these comment pages since this story started. I can see a roller coaster effect across canada and that is so good to see. Special Christmas wishes to you and your family Mrs. Coffin.

Carolyn J
Portage la Prairie

Doris H said...

I have commented in the past on your site. I enjoy the writings that you do. You are an excellent debater.

Merr Christmas to all

Doeis H
Timmins, Ontario

Daphne W said...

Merry Christmas to Marie Coffin Stewart and all the family. We are still with you during this ordeal. We sure like Mr. Soddard's web site. This way we keep up to date on your journey to get to the bottom of all this.

Daphne W
Rimouski, Quebec

Anonymous said...

nieces, Margo Roberts and Marjorie Patterson said:

We would like to take this opportunity Lew to wish you and all the readers of your site a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Thank you to one and all for the kind comments and wishes expressed to us through this site.
It has certainly warmed our hearts over and over again.

The Twins, Margo and Marjorie

Marie Coffin Stewart said...

Christmas is almost here and 2006 is coming to an end. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. May you be blessed in the coming year. I would have had a posting before this but I’ve spent a lot of time at the hospital with my husband and my sister-in-law. My husband comes home today.

For Lani and Marnie Baker. It takes a lot of courage to go public as you have. Thank you for all your help. To all the Baker family, I have never thought that Bill Baker was involved in this case other than trying to help my brother Wilbert. They were friends. I can never understand how the government and police could be so wicked. It didn’t only happen back then as it is still going on. We have to put a stop to these terrible injustices. We have to keep pounding on our Members of Parliament and our Prime Minister. They should all spend the Christmas Season in studying the Golden Rule and put it to practice.

I thank God every day for AIDWYC. I’m trying my best to do fundraisers as this is the only way AIDWYC can keep on. At present, I’m having a calendar fundraiser with a lot of help from my family. The calendars are $15.00 each and have beautiful pictures of Gaspé scenes. Someone has contacted me that they will match whatever I earn at fundraisers. So please Canadians, help me. Buy a calendar to help Wilbert’s case. You can contact me at (418) 368-7238 or:
481 York Blvd West
Gaspé, Québec
G4X 2M5.

Whenever I get discouraged, I re-read your wonderful comments on Lew’s website and things get a little brighter.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone and may God bless you.

Marie Coffin Stewart
Gaspé, Québec

B Daigle said...

Hi Mrs. Coffin,
So good to see you post a message on here. You always seem so full of energy, under very trying times. I wish you all the best and Merry Christmas.

B Daigle
Cabano, Quebec

Lani baker mitchell said...

For me, the renewed contact with some wonderful Gaspesians have made the hours and hours spent on this journey worth every mile.I wish all of you the very best this Christmas season, and most especially the Coffin family and other very special Gaspesians who have helped Lew so much.
As for Lew,I can honestly say I have never met a man so filled with a desire to help those in need.He is very very special, and the story that Tim and Patti tell about him coming to their rescue is but one of many I have heard.
I wish him and all of you the very best. Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël!

Nephew Rick said...

To all our armed forces personnel who have to put their lives on the line so we at home may enjoy this great land, God bless you all and safe return. We think of you all the time but especially at Christmas. WE ARE SO PROUD.