Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I must admit that I havn't read Mr. Fortin's book which he says was written based on the trial transcripts. I would pose the question---would't we read the same information that has been around the block several times? What of the documents, police reports, and affidavits, etc. that were disallowed at the trial? If these facts had been given to the jury to ponder and weigh, the scales of justice would have tipped in a different direction.
25 November, 2007
----- Original Message -----
----- Original Message -----
I wish also to point out something to readers of these sites. On the main opening page there is a link that states "View My Complete Profile." When this link opens up, one of the items displayed is a little box indicating the number of profile views since each individual site came into existence. That number cannot be relied upon to provide an accurate number of hits to any of the blog pages. The reason is simple. The number is too easily influenced. You could sit there from any computer on the internet and click in and out of the link and it would record a new visit each time. There are other ways as well. When the profile page is open, it is only necessary to click the "F5" key. As fast as you can click, it will record you another profile visit. I thought that I would point that out to you Mr. Fortin, because I notice that for the very short time that you have been on your site, you appear to have an inordinate amount of profile visits recorded, and there is always the chance that someone may be playing with your numbers. In your case though, based on your popularity, the figures are probably quite accurate. Personally, I have no faith in any system that can be so easily skewed.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
To add to the complexity of the murder scenes themselves, the theory that Wilbert Coffin was the last person to have seen and talked to the victims added a whole new dimension of suspense. It is true that Wilbert Coffin swore that the Lindsey party was in company with two male individuals driving a Jeep when he returned young Richard from town on June 09, 1953. The only ones who ever disputed this element of the story was the police, and I have evidence in the form of statements from those same officers acknowledging that these people did in fact exist. The problem being, was the fact that the police decided to hide this evidence, because without it, a jury would be much easier to manipulate.
It is important to note there was most definitely evidence pointing to the fact of others as well seeing and talking with the Lindsey party in the woods before they were killed. I have documented evidence proving that a Mr. Patterson, a Mr. Eagle, and others assisted in the removal of the Lindsey vehicle which was stuck in a brook. This particular Mr. Eagle was the son of Mr. Jack Eagle of Gaspe' who was involved as well with Wilbert Coffin and the mining claims. Very clearly, this places the Eagle family in a position to know of Eugene Lindsey's interest in the staking of claims and the mining business and the workings thereof. It also placed them in a position to know that Eugene Lindsey was in the habit of carrying large amounts of cash. I am not making accusations here, but I am pointing out what is known when all the elements of the case are studied.
To continue reviewing what has been documented and established with reference to Wilbert Coffin, it is important to once again reflect upon his last movements. After depositing Richard Lindsey with his father's hunting party upon returning from acquiring the new fuel pump, he states that he checked back in a couple of days, found the truck abandoned, did some drinking, and headed for his mothers house in Gaspe'. After socializing with family and friends, he would head out into the night for Montreal.
Prior to heading out on his journey to Montreal, there was a very important question created that has never been addressed. The question is simple. “Who did Wilbert Coffin socialize with that evening who would be in a position to gain as a result of hearing Wilbert Coffin tell the tale of the Lindsey party broken down in the forest?” In order to answer that question, we must establish the names of those at the party.
The names of several emerge. Among them, Wilbert's sisters Rhoda and Edith, Rhoda's husband Felix Stanley, Vincent Patterson, and Jack Eagle. Patterson's only interest appeared to be to acquire payment for assisting in the staking of claims, which apparently was a debt owed by Wilbert's brother, Donald. As the sisters had no interest in the outside activities, their interests would be purely social. The same cannot be said of Vincent Patterson and Jack Eagle.
Jack Eagle was associated with Wilbert Coffin, Angus MacDonald, and Bill Baker in the staking and establishing of mining claims. Jack Eagle was vocal about this fact. He was the one who bragged that he liked the outside perimeter whether there was mineralization or not, as that placed the stake holder in a position to control traffic into the inner core. That fact alone could mean big dollars should a strike be made in the centre. Jack Eagle's bootlegging business provided him the venue to always know what was happening in the forest, as to who was there, and what their interests were.
Vincent Patterson did not always display honourable intentions. He proved that by his own actions. In society, no-one likes a stool pigeon, especially one who stoops to accept monetary gain as a result of selling out their friends. Vincent Patterson apparently learned this the hard way. His methods earned him a right upper cut to the jaw by Bill Baker. Patterson had been hired by Captain Alphonse Matte to come back from Toronto on a special mission. That mission being the purchasing of information from anyone willing to talk about a third party.
A few chapters back I alluded to three individuals who would would play a major role in this whole affair. Their names were Angus MacDonald, Curly Richardson, and a “Mr. Soucy”. You will recall that these three gentlemen spent the night together at Wilbert Coffin's camp on the night of June 10 after Wilbert Coffin had returned from the forest with MacDonald. You will further recall that Wilbert Coffin had proceeded to his mother's house as was standard practice, and that he had dropped MacDonald off at his car which was parked at Frances Annett's house.
It is important to know the location of Wilbert Coffin's camp. It was located about twelve miles from Gaspe' near the forestry gate. It is also important to understand that Angus MacDonald, even though he lacked directional skills, was well aware of the close proximity of this camp to the forestry gate and Gaspe'.
Even though little has been said of Mr. Soucy in the past, he nonetheless, commands the most attention here. As I stated prior, he was an import to the area. From my research, I have determined that Mr. Soucy was well known from the maritimes, especially from the northern New Brunswick area, up the north east coast and into Quebec via the gaspe' peninsula. Mr. Soucy was a suspect in various break-ins of transient tourist cabins along the coast. Pure and simple, Mr. Soucy was a thief.
In the town of Bathurst, New Brunswick, there existed a branch of an American company doing diamond drilling to obtain core sampling of various minerals. In those days, copper was the mineral that everyone dreamed of. The name of this company was Connors Drilling, with a head office located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The name of the general manager of the local operation in the Bathurst area was a Mr. Theodore Arnold, also from the Pittsburg area.
It is documented that in the first part of June, 1953, Connors Drilling was to send a party of men away from the Bathurst area to sample drill and stake claims in a particular area. One of these workers was Mr. Soucy. This new area was near the village of Juniper, new Brunswick. The operation would entail the movement of equipment and man power from Bathurst to complete the assignment. Theodore Arnold, the general manager, provided a Jeep to assist in the transfer of equipment.
This is where the documentation gets interesting. This Jeep vanished for several days, as did two of the workers. There were reports that the Jeep had crossed the international border at Grand Falls/Van Buren on at least two occasions. Instantly, one wonders why the Jeep would cross the USA border on the west side of the province when it was reported to have travelled south on the east side of the province from Bathurst, to Newcastle, south on Highway 8, then turning westward to-ward Napadogan, and then on to Juniper some twenty miles distant. Something did not appear correct here, and I was determined to discover why.
A quick telephone call to Mr. Robert Fleming of Fredericton confirmed my suspicions. Mr. Fleming's family owned the firm of Fleming and Gibson, a local lumber and saw mill operation in Juniper for many years. Mr. Fleming pointed out to me that the reason the Jeep would have been in the Grand Falls / Van Buren area was because there was no road between Juniper and Napadogan in 1953. The road did not exist until 1959. This may appear insignificant, however, by knowing the true picture, it enabled me to tie the threads together to form the path from Juniper, continuing westward to the main north/south highway, that could lead to Bathurst and on to Gaspe'. It would also pass through Grand Falls, with Van Buren, Maine, less than a half mile away across the Saint John River.
With the loss of the Jeep and man power, a great hardship was placed on the drilling crew in New Brunswick. They were staying in the village of Juniper, and the drill site was on the North Ridge road, some eight miles distant. It was necessary to hire two replacement workers to fill the gap created. As I have said many times, this saga contains many twists and turns, and it was only in the past few months that I have learned that one of the replacement workers hired by this company was none other than my late brother, Ronald, who would also accompany the crew back to Bathurst. A sad reminder of the Wilbert Coffin tale still exists south of Wiley Brook, west of the North Ridge road in New Brunswick. Like a cairn that was unplanned, drilling core is piled in a heap like cordwood, untouched since it was placed there fifty-four years ago.
I do know that Mr. Soucy had travelled to Gaspe' during this period. I have obtained copies of police interviews with Angus MacDonald confirming this on two occasions. His boss, Mr. Arnold, also confirmed that he was in possession of a large quantity of American currency. Soucy had requested that Mr. Arnold exchange this United States currency for appropriate Canadian funds. His request was denied, and Soucy and two others from the company crew left town in much haste. One of those who accompanied him was his foreman, whose mother stated that they were planning to go to Vancouver, with a stop in Montreal. It is this stop that we will read more about a bit further on in the story.
We do not know for certain how many days and nights the trio comprising MacDonald, Richardson, and Mr. Soucy stayed in Wilbert Coffin's camp. According to documentation that I have obtained, I suspect that it was for approximately three days. During this time, Angus MacDonald had ample time to learn much about the Americans in the forest. He knew exactly where they had broken down, and where they had left the truck, simply because Wilbert Coffin had related this in the presence of Jack Eagle on the night that Wilbert had left for Montreal.
It is a known fact that Angus MacDonald spoke with a forked tongue. Again, in documentation that I have obtained in the form of police reports, MacDonald stated to Sgt. VanHoutte that he wanted to get his stuff back from Wilbert Coffin as he wasn't planning on staying in the area for much longer. He goes on sometime later and states that he is anxious to get his stuff back as he wants to continue prospecting. On another occasion, MacDonald states that he was under the assumption that Wilbert Coffin owned the truck that he was driving, when in fact, he always knew that it was Bill Baker's truck. His story is not believable when he states that it was Bill Baker who told him that Wilbert was in Montreal. In actual fact, Bill Baker did not trust Angus MacDonald, so it makes no sense to assume that he would report the facts to him.
It is highly doubtful that members of the Coffin family would have relayed information to Angus MacDonald as to Wilbert's whereabouts. It is apparent that someone did however. MacDonald states that he sent Wilbert Coffin a telegram, and Wilbert replied asking for money. This telegram was, according to MacDonald, sent to Wilbert at Marion Petrie's apartment. If this is true, then he acquired the information from someone. Outside the family circle, there would be one person who would have access to this information. His name was Jack Eagle, and he knew Angus MacDonald.
Without the use of Bill Baker's pickup truck, Angus MacDonald's mode of transportation was his car. This was no secret. It is mentioned many times in documentation. During this particular period of time, it is apparent that his friend Mr. Soucy arrived by Jeep from New Brunswick.
Angus MacDonald had a perfect alibi for wanting to go into the forest. In one statement that he had made, he stated that he had some more prospecting to do. Was the prospect of killing Eugene Lindsey on his mind, or was he really considering prospecting further for minerals? His reason for wanting Eugene Lindsey out of the way was two fold. Firstly, Eugene Lindsey had money. He could literally purchase any claim that he wished, and at the same time, legally muscle the outside perimeter area of the claims, and choke everyone out. This was exactly the same approach that Jack Eagle had suggested, however, there was a distinct difference. Eugene Lindsey had more money than Jack Eagle.
If a decision was made to seek out Eugene Lindsey in the forest, it may not be an easy task to bring him in line with everyone else's thinking. Eugene Lindsey liked to control, he was not known for sharing his business ventures. If talking failed, that would leave one option, because with Lindsey gone, the competition would be eliminated.
The question that begs an answer, is simply who would be willing and capable of carrying out the deed should the need arise? For the one who accepted the job, payment would be guaranteed. It was a known fact that Eugene Lindsey always carried lots of cash on his person.
Let us now go back to Mr. Soucy for a moment. He was a ne'er do too well, and always struggling to hustle a buck. Would he stoop so low? There is reason to speculate that he would, given the fact that lots of American cash would be starring him in the face. For someone who never had money, the lure was great, perhaps too great.
In film footage that I obtained, the late Constable Lewis Sinnett of the Quebec Provincial Police stated that he pulled over a “car” in the forest on June 11, 1953. Constable Sinnett is emphatic. He makes a point of stating it twice. He pulled over a “car”, not a truck or a Jeep. The two occupants of the car wore shirts covered in blood. When questioned, their story was that they had killed a moose. Constable Sinnett stated to them that moose were out of season, but because he was in a rush to get to Ste. Anne de Monts to avert a mine skirmish, he carried on. When questioned, he also stated that he did not charge these people or document them, as his priority was being sent to the mine. It was purely a judgment call. One must also consider that at this point of time the Lindseys had not been reported as missing, therefore, to criticize Cst. Sinnett for his actions here would be wrong. The shooting of a moose out of season was not high on the offence scale in the area. This was afterall, the Gaspe' peninsula.
Constable Sinnett did report the incident later on when it had been established that the Lindsey party was missing in the area. After their deaths had been confirmed, and Wilbert Coffin committed for trial, Captain Alphonse Matte instructed him to be evasive, answer only the questions asked, and to not give extra information. Sgt. Henri Doyon suggested that Cst. Sinnett open it wide and tell all. Captain Matte got his way. In the end, Constable Sinnett was convinced that he may have come across the killers.
Another misconception in these affairs was the scenario whereby Constable Lewis Sinnett accompanied Wilbert Coffin into the forest to aid in the search. This was done on two separate occasions. He has been criticized for taking a nap in one of the old camps. They did this because they were awaiting the arrival of Sgt. Henri Doyon, and they had been on the go since five o'clock in the morning.
Several persons have contacted me with reference to the broken down Lindsey truck and why was it never reported. You must realize, persons were admitted to this area on a pass system. It was a pass for the individuals, not for vehicles. Licence numbers were not recorded, therefore, until such time that the owner or his designate filed a report it would not be considered to be out of place if a vehicle was found parked in the forest.
I have as well obtained footage of lawyer Francois Gravel stating that he had documentation proving that Richard Lindsey was still alive on June 13, 1953. This is important and interesting because this date is three days after Wilbert Coffin had left the area and he would have been in Montreal by that date. Constable Lewis Sinnett goes on to say that he saw the dated note from Richard Lindsey as well. At the time that Cst. Sinnett saw the note, it was on the desk of Captain Alphonse Matte. It too, never made it to the courtroom.
As mentioned a short while back, Mr. Soucy and his coherts were heading out of the Bathurst area in a rush. They were heading first to Montreal. A report came from police in Montreal that a taxi driver had problems with some folks in his cab the night before. In the ensuing confrontation between the cab patrons, they had exited the cab into the night dropping their money in the cab as they departed. In excess of $700.00 in American funds was turned in to the police. Mr. Soucy was now broke again. It is important to note that all these things were reported to the police, but no action was ever taken. If action had been taken it would have required the police to build a new case, something they did not want to do.
To sum up this sordid tale, I have reason to believe, and I do believe that Angus MacDonald, Curly Richardson, and a Mr. Soucy all played an active role in the murder of Eugene Lindsey, Richard Lindsey, and Frederick Claar. In the case of Eugene Lindsey, I am of the opinion that Mr. Soucy may have been the dominant physical force behind the murder, but in the case of Richard Lindsey, and Frederick Claar, the crimes required the intervention of others.
I say these things because I contend that Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar were both stabbed to death and not shot. This is based on the fact that the perforations in the clothing varied in diameter and were much too large to be ammunition that was available then or now. To reiterate, there was no spent cartridge cases or bullets or fragments left behind. There were no broken bones and there were no exit holes in the clothing.
There is a possibility that Eugene Lindsey may have been shot with a pistol. During the course of my investigation, a gentleman confessed that he found a handgun wrapped in discarded toweling, and as well, he may have found it in the river. He does admit however, that he did indeed find the gun. He told me that he had taken it home and someone from town came and picked it up. It has come to my attention in the past three months that a certain pistol was discarded in a particular place in the Gaspe' town region. Two different persons have named the same spot. I will not identify the spot here because I do not want to jeopardize the situation. I can tell you this though, if it was discarded in this particular place, it is easily retrievable.
Ladies and gentlemen, this pretty much concludes the Wilbert Coffin case research. True, I guess any murder case is never totally under wraps, however, unless something magical jumps up, Lani Mitchell and myself have now exhausted every lead that came our way. I thank God for Lani's emergence and dedication to assist me in bringing this matter as far as we have.
I am hoping that the FBI will be able to offer some support on the case. We are both prepared to co-operate in any way that we can to achieve that goal. In the days to come, the web site will contain information and writings on a whole host of topics. That was the way the site operated until April, 2006, and since that date, it has been exclusively the Wilbert Coffin story. I can tell you this though, we are not abandoning the case, not at all. I still plan to devote a posting on the case at least once a week, and we encourage anyone to come forward if there is something to report.
Thank you so much for being a great audience and a patient audience. The Best to everyone and “May God Bless You.”
This manuscript is protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part, for whatever reason, is not permitted without the express written permission from the author, Lew Stoddard.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I cannot begin to remember the number of times that folks have suggested to me that this case happened over fifty years ago, and that the events as depicted on these pages could never happen in modern day. In other words, accept it and get on with life, and at the same time be happy that times have changed.
There are a couple of things that I wish to make abundantly clear with reference to the following report on the autopsies of the murder victims in this case. Firstly, statements that I shall be making are not based on my personal opinion. For the lack of a better choice of words, I have literally attempted to conduct an autopsy on the autopsy reports themselves. As I have stated previously, in order that a report be fair and factual, it must contain research and investigative material which relates to the specific crime, and not be reflective of unqualified opinion simply because he or she happens to carry the banner of provincial pathologist. The sad reality here of course is the fact that in many cases these so called professionals surface as a result of patronage appointments. I am not for a moment suggesting that was the case here, even though the premier of the day, the late Maurice Duplessis was known to have looked after his friends in many cases.
With reference to ballistics regarding this case, I have sought out and enlisted the support of persons in the field who have gained and earned the respect of many. Over the years it would not be an uncommon occurrence for various police agencies to access the same sources. It simply is not enough to merely state that “yes, this was done with a firearm.” What is important is to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the firearm was the weapon of choice, and be able to show that it existed, and further if it existed, would it be capable and probable to cause the results exhibited? In the absense of a direct answer of yes or no to these questions, then it is incumbent upon investigators to search in other directions.
In my search for professional information I went to Victoria and chatted a number of times at length with Mr. Dale Hayton. Mr. Hayton has been connected with the firearms industry in excess of 40 years. Over the years Mr. Hayton has routinely answered queries from law enforcement and has done much study on ballistics. He is well versed on all aspects of firearms, both handguns and long guns, and is equally knowledgeable on bullets and manufacture. Mr. Hayton does not dwell on assumptions. Dale was able to answer my questions in a clear and independent manner. In a former conversation with him, he had related to me that it would be next to impossible to get shot five times in the chest area by a 30 calibre type firearm without sustaining bone damage, considering the mushroom effect that results from bullet fragmentation.
I have been a member of the shooting fraternity for a lot of years. During those years one acquires much knowledge of various facts and figures. In the fraternity of shooting sports, I have personally pulled the trigger well in excess of one hundred thousand times at various recreational gun clubs and shooting facilities across Canada and The United States. This is not an estimate, but based on documentation. This is why I get incensed when I read “official” reports such as those as presented by Dr. Roussell and Bernard Peclet. To officially report that Frederick Claar may have been shot a total of five times sums it up well. In my view, I am being kind when I refer to it as absolute crap.
If you simply accept the belief that these things could never happen in modern day, I would suggest that you pay close attention to current news coming out of Ontario. The late news of are indeed confirmation that the government is not the one to be depended upon with reference to innocence and guilt. Here was a glowing example of wrongful conviction. As a consequence, the convicted served twelve years in maximum security for the most ugliest of crimes, the brutal rape and killing of a young child, in this case his young niece. This conviction was made possible because of the decisions of one man, the government pathologist.
Because of the severity of the recent court determination, the rape and killing of a child would very definitely have scored a wrongful death penalty if we still subscribed to capital punishment. In it's aftermath the real guilty party would have been allowed to walk free, while an innocent man would have gone to the gallows.
Enter the Wilbert Coffin case of fifty-four years ago. Other than the death penalty aspect, have things changed for the good? I think not. It can be argued that things have got progressively worse, considering that we have much more modern tools and technology to work with and we still can not get it right. This is serious stuff. Every murder charge should be backed by air tight forensic evidence that leave no questions. This is why I stress the importance of the autopsy report in this case. If you remove the autopsy report in this instance, you have no case. If you read the real information that the autopsy report provided in this instance, you also have no case. It was therefore critical and crucial to the conviction that satisfactory information emerge. That is precisely where I shall start, because it was through the government being able to manipulate people, that Wilbert Coffin did not live to see old age.
There are two main reasons for an autopsy where a suspicious death has occured. It is mandatory that the cause of death be determined, and as well, determine the time of death. In the case of the autopsy for the three American hunters, it was not as cut and dried as the authorities would have you believe.
In spite of what the authorities want us to believe, they are lying to us when they tell us that these three individuals represented a crime scene. In actuality there were three crime scenes simply because the three individuals were not killed together. They may or may not have been killed by the same murderer, however, there were crime signatures left behind in all three instances.
let us look at the murder scene of Eugene Lindsey, whose remains were found in close proximity to camp 24 in the Gaspe' woods. His head and thorax had been separated from his body. Was this the work of the murderer or was it the work of forest animals, presumably bears? We do not, and we will never know for certain the answer to that question. The missing body parts were never located. Was Mr. Lindsey shot or was he clubbed to death? Again, we do not know and we never will. We do know that some skin and hair follicles were found on the telescopic sight on his rifle. Were those traces of body parts representative of his body making contact with the rifle being used as a club? The same answer to this question prevails, we do not know.
The one other sign of trauma to Mr. Lindsey's rifle was a slight indent on the wooden stock of the firearm. The medical examiner, Dr. Roussell pointed out that this was the result of a bullet. Clarenec Claar, the father of Frederick Claar pointed out that the indent looked more like a gouge from carrying it through the brush than a bullet mark. I tend to lean toward acceptance of Mr. Claar's theory. He was after all, well versed in hunting and the elements. It would make sense to assume that Clarenec Claar would offer his opinion only after careful consideration, chiefly because whoever was responsible for this death, may be responsible for his son Frederick's as well.
It is also important to note that at this point positive identification of Eugene Lindsey had not been established. There was no wallet, no license, no identification papers. All the flesh had disappeared from the bones as a result of intervention of animals and birds of prey. The only bits of clothing was that found in animal droppings. His friend Clarence Claar would state that Mr. Lindsey had long finger nails. The remains of the corpse on the forest floor did indeed have long finger nails, and thus, according to Dr. Roussell he had established that it was in fact that of Eugene Lindsey. Dr. Roussell would go on to state that in establishing positive identification he had employed more scientific means as well. I have a tough job accepting that statement as truth, simply because if he would have had more concrete and scientific evidence, he most definitely would have stated what it was. Later on in court at Wilbert Coffin's trial Dr. Roussell would make the same statement, however, he was never challenged by the defense.
It has been reported over the years that Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar were located in exactly the same location. This is furtherest from the truth. Some two hundred feet separated their remains. Part of that two hundred feet contained the width of the river St. John, a small stream on the Gaspe' peninsula. Already, a whole new set of boundaries suddenly emerge for the victims. It also lends credence to the obvious fact that these murders were carried out by "more than one person."
It is a known fact that more than two miles separated the remains of Eugene Lindsey from that of his son, Richard. It was accepted as evidence at trial that Eugene Lindsey was the first hunter to fall prey to murder. If it was accepted as evidence, then it should be considered the truth. In a perfect world, that is the way that it should be, however, in the case of the three murders in the Gaspe' woods there is absolutely no hard evidence to prove who was killed first, nor was there a declared date when any of them truthfully died. We simply do not know that. It can be argued that since all three were killed, does it really matter? I suppose not, but the answer may shed some light as to the number of persons who were involved with the actual killings.
Let us separate the crime scenes of Richard Lindsey and that of Frederick Claar. To do otherwise and treat them as one does not appear plausible. It would mean that while one was being executed at the hands of the murderer, the other would be standing by waiting for the murderer to turn onto him. When one considers two healthy, young, and heavily armed males, standing idly by waiting for his turn with the executioner and not exhibiting any sign of force, suddenly the theory lacks serious credibility. Very definitely, at least two persons participated in the actual murders of Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar
I ask that you very carefully read and comprehend the following chain of events leading up to and including the murders, taking into account the motives, and those responsible for carrying out the crimes. True, some elements of the story will not end here, however, I am confident that had a proper investigation been carried out by the authorities in 1953, the events that I shall be describing here would have formed the basis for murder charges to have been brought forward against three indivuduals who managed to elude capture, made possible by the inept government and the judiciary of the province of Quebec. In the past few weeks certain questions were asked of me with reference to this chain of events. Hopefully, these questions will be answered as well.
The medical examiner, Dr. Roussell, lacks credibility in many of his statements with reference to the deaths of Richard Lindsey and that of Frederick Claar. I simply cannot believe that a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec would allow a jury to focus attention on evidence submitted by Dr. Roussell in this instance, considering that a man's fate was at hand.
Of particular interest is the fact that Dr. Roussell, the provincial pathologist and Bernard Peclet the provincial police chemist would concur that death was brought about as a result of gunshots. This is particularly disturbing considering that no murder weapon was ever located, and both crime scenes were void of bullets or bullet fragments. These gentlemen were allowed to swear testimony that in the case of Frederick Claar, he was possibly shot at least five times and Richard Lindsey, a total of two times.
Firstly, we must realize that when we see a ballistics chart making reference to thirty calibre bullets, the chart is not suggesting that thirty calibre is a solo calibre to itself. Calibre simply denotes bullet diameter. Situated within the thirty calibre range, would be everything from .300 inch diameter to .399 inch diameter. The thirty calibre range of bullets contains the widest range of bullet diameters and weights available on the market. A graphic example can be exhibited very easily. Simply go to your favorite hunting goods store and ask to see a selection of bullet calibres within the 30 calibre range. Both Dr. Roussell and Bernard Peclet were touting the theory that the murder calibre of the mystery firearm was a 30 calibre. This is also where both these gentlemen do a very fine job of displaying a double helping of stupidity.
Dr. Roussell officially stated that he found circular perforations in the clothing of the two victims measuring 7/16 inch diameter to 1/2 inch diameter. Unfortunately this threw the theory of 30 calibre into the garbage. Both 7/16 and 1/2 inch far surpasses the parameters of 30 calibre specifications. This is where the hunting goods store manager or a firearms specialist would quickly advise that these diameters would be far beyond anything that was available.
There is only one reasonable explanation as to the oversized holes in the victims clothing, combined with an absense of spent cartridge cases and fragmented bullets. These cartridge cases and fragmented bullets could never be located because simply they never existed. As I have stated in the past, it is clear that neither Richard Lindsey or Frerderick Claar were murdered by firearms. The holes in the clothing and lack of damage to tissue and bones within the bodies exhibited clear evidence of this fact. It is prudent to deduce that both of these victims died of stab wounds.
The fact that some of the circular perforations measuring 7/16 inch diameter and some 1/2 inch diameter is consistent with the diameter of a wound that would be created as a result of being stabbed by a round tapered object. As I have mentioned previously, a bayonet type of weapon would be a likely prospect. Some bayonets from WWII were a detachable type that could be used on the muzzle end of a rifle, or they could be removed and used in arm to arm combat. Either way, these weapons though perhaps crude, were effective in accomplishing what they were designed for, which was to cause death by bleeding and creating little or no noise.
In total length a military bayonet was approximately 17 inches. The average distance to penetrate the full thickness of the average male soldier was approximately 12 inches. The round spike bayonet was pointed and got larger in diameter as one progressed toward the hilt of the device. The average maximum diameter of the spike bayonet was “7/16 to 1/2 inch” in diameter. The deeper that the bayonet was thrust into it's target, the larger the entry hole followed in it's path. The war surplus stores were full of this sort of souvenir after the Second World War. Souvenirs of this nature sold for little more than a dollar.
Another type of tool that could be used in a similar way was the miners pick. Hardware stores were full of them and they would have been most effective. This would not be a rare item in the Gaspe' region in the early 1950's. Some months back I spoke to Keith Baker about the miners pick. Of course it was not developed to become a weapon or tool of death, however, I did ask Keith if it would be effective. Keith's immediate reply, "I sure would not want to be struck by one."
In the case of Richard Lindsey, he was found some distance away from his rifle which still had the firing mechanism in the cocked position, meaning that it was ready to fire. The searchers and pathologist could not determine why the muzzle of Richard Lindsey's rifle was plugged with mud and debris. This is relatively easy to explain, especially to anyone who has actively hunted over the years. One of the more common stances that most hunters adopt is the carrying of their rifle by resting the barrel in the crook of the arm with the other hand near the magazine and trigger assembly. It is probably one of the quickest methods of shouldering the rifle when game is sighted.
Think now for a moment as to what would happen if someone came up behind you by surprize and thrust a bayonet into either your front or back. At most you would gasp. You would not scream. You would instantly commence dropping to your knees. Your rifle would instantly be pointed downward to protect you from falling. The first part to make contact with the earth would be the muzzle, which in turn would fill the muzle with mud and debris. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may leave the rifle there and stagger away for a short distance until you succumbed to certain death. I mention these things because Dr. Roussell and Bernard Peclet should have considered them years ago, but I do not believe that they did, because, an investigation of this magnitude was far beyond their capabilities.
As I have reported previously, there was no flesh left on the bones of these two young men. Consequently, no bullet entrance or exit points were visible on the bodies. The most startling fact of all was that no bones were found to be fractured. One small bone from Frederick Claar's remains contained a marking that according to Mr. Pecelet, might have been made by a firearm, but he also stated that it could have been made as a result of a forest animal such as a black bear. If a firearm was used in these crimes, it was an impossibility to declare the calibre even though both Dr. Roussell and Mr. Pecelet made vain attempts to cover their butts. They did this by suggesting a very large and vast range of calibres, both in handguns and in long guns. They both appeared to lack comprehension as to the meaning of the word “calibre.” They placed heavy emphasis on thirty calibre, with little or no regard for bullet weights and diameters, and the fact that even though a cartridge could be in the thirty calibre range, the bullet weights and actual hitting power of the bullet from this array of diameters was vast. This is where it is necessary to grasp some elementary laws of ballistics. As an example, let us determine what this is all about, and in doing that, you will quickly realize what I am talking about here.
Upon finding the two skeletons in the forest at Gaspe' the searchers were quick to contact Captain Alphonse Matte, who in turn contacted Dr. Roussell, the provincial medical officer. His response was simple. “Box up the bones and deliver them to Gaspe'” and he would look them over and do his investigation when he could come to town. I can cope with ignorance, but I have a real tough time with sheer stupidity. Here you have two sets of skeletal human remains. Quite probably these remains will be those of two persons who have been declared missing. This was the point where the complete area should have been cordoned off and the area secured with the order that no one is allowed in.
As you can see, properly attacked in a court of law, any defense law team who was worth their salt could have sent the autopsy reports spinning into a wild orbit through outer space. Never should that report have contributed to the guilt finding of Wilbert Coffin at his trial. Simply put, it should have worked in his favour. Unfortunately, because of a dud for a lawyer, the most vital piece of evidence in the defense's favour never got cross examined.
I realize that a lot of space has been alloted to the autopsy reports in the writing and my investigation of this case. I have gone over it many many times, and approached it from many angles. The bottom line is and has always been, it was very badly handled. I do hope that the CCRG (Criminal Conviction Review Group) in Ottawa, who are now conducting an inquiry into this case equally allot as much time as is necessary to understand and learn all the facts regarding ballistics. I can guarantee you that in the present form, they do not understand everything that needs to be examined. They must do it with an open mind and spirit, and be prepared to bring in people who know what they are talking about. To merely review what was done 53 years ago is not enough. That will only show the errors of the 1950's and what was accepted at trial. In other words, if they did not know it was in error back then, to not look beyond the box today, the effort becomes fruitless.
I have received additional information that was supplied by the late Constable Lewis Sinnett. It has not changed those that I have named as suspects, but it does tighten the case against them. I have also acquired additional information from a report by Sgt. John Charles Vanhoutte of the Quebec Provincial Police that ties in very nicely with my roundup of suspects. I can now tell you that I now know for a fact that there were people from the Gaspe' region who knew the Lindsey family by name, and as well, knew that they were in the forest before they were reported as missing. That fact is interesting because it has always been reported that Wilbert Coffin was the last known person from the Gaspe' region who was known to have seen them alive. I have a police report that states otherwise, and I am not speaking of persons who may have been at the Lindsey truck the day that Wilbert returned young Richard to his Dad's hunting party.
A new posting will be coming in just a few days. Again sorry for all the delays. Trust me, it is very near complete. Thanks so much to one and all.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It is important to note that no heat or pressure whatsoever was placed on Angus MacDonald, Richardson, and Soucy. MacDonald especially, was allowed to make his appearance at will and then disappear from the scene. Though he did not know at the time, Wilbert Coffin had gone to Montreal. MacDonald stated to police that Bill Baker had informed him of that fact. I contend that he was lying. Bill baker did not trust the guy, so it is highly doubtful that he would have informed him as to Wilbert's whereabouts. In reality, if what MacDonald says was true and that he did wire Wilbert in Montreal, the follow-up should have been evidence in Wilbert's favour. According to MacDonald he wired Wilbert to find out about his tools, and Wilbert asked him for money, indicating he was broke. This would be in stark contrast to the report that Captain Matte had put together of Wilbert's lavish lifestyle during the trip to Montreal and the subsequent visit there. As trial evidence, we only heard of the grandeur of the trip, not the bump and grind of what it really was.
If the police had bothered to check out Soucy at this time they would very quickly have learned of his checkered past. They would have learned of his stealing vehicles in the maritimes, his drifting around, and his suspicious nature. Without doubt, it represents another scenario of police cover-up in order to build a stronger, more timely circumstantial case against their suspect, Wilbert Coffin..
This is where the defense lawyer would rise to his or her feet requesting to cross examine. The defense lawyer would do a short lead-in. You may be asked at this point if this photograph clearly represents your memory of the crime scene. You have already stated to the prosecutor that it does, so you concur with the defense.
The defense lawyer now requests from the judge permission to submit to the court an alternate photo for comparison purposes. You, as the witness will now be asked by the defense lawyer to select which photo most accurately depicts the crime scene, the one that you have previously selected, or the one that the defense team has just produced? Your response might be that they are so similar that both are accurately depicting the crime scene.
The defense lawyer will now move in for the kill. The next questions by the defense lawyer to you might go something like this, "Can you explain to the court how it is possible for the picture presented by the crown, to which you ientify in graphic detail as a vehicle tire in a snow storm depict this crime scene, when now you are telling me that the picture that I just showed you depicts the same crime scene, when in fact, the photo that I just presented is dirty dish water escaping from my stainless steel kitchen sink after washing last night's dirty dishes. I suggest the swirling snowflakes to which you allude are not snowflakes at all, but are actually the liquid Palmolive dish soap, coupled with some bits of grime and grease."
Guess what, if you as a witness was caught in such a scenario in court, your credibility as a court witness just went down the drain, because there would be no escape. You could have been the best witness in the country, but because of legalized deception and deceit, you would have been reduced to a smouldering ruins.
As you can see, with the right spin by a seasoned lawyer, the best witness has taken a chance when he or she decides to give evidence on a voluntary basis. True, this is a photo of dirty water escaping from a stainless steel sink. There simply is no tire in the photograph. If you were one of many who guessed that it was a tire do not feel bad. I displayed that for one reason only. I wanted to illustrate the fact that sometimes when something appears "is" really "isn't", and when something appears "isn't, it really "is."
The next posting of the story will be the last. It would simply have involved too much to include it with todays posting. We shall be taking an indepth look at the autopsy reports, and we shall be taking an indepth look at evidence as supplied by Constable Lewis Sinnett, and the ways in which his evidence and statements tie in with the known events of the time. In the next posting you will see the relevance of the autopsy reports, and the reasons why they are that way. You will also see the results of Mr. Soucy's trip to Juniper, New Brunswick, and the way in which he ripped off his boss.
.Ladies and gentlemen I thank you for being a great audience, and a patient audience as well. I look forward to presenting the final chapter to you in approximately four days.
This manuscript is protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole, or in part, for whatever reason, and by whatever means, is not permitted without the express written permission by the author, Lew Stoddard.