Monday, January 08, 2007

R E G I N A
VS
C O F F I N


In any murder prosecution, the cause of death and the murder weapon are key components to proving the case against the accused. In the absense of both, it becomes a much greater challenge. This is where hypothesis, and the ability to convince a jury without evidence, places untold pressures on a prosecution team. This is where a dead beat defense lawyer is the best friend that a prosecutor has in the courtroom.

Such was the position of lead prosecutor Noel Dorion. True, he had a victim. The defendant, Mr. Wilbert Coffin was charged with murder in the death of this victim, identified as Richard Lindsey from Pennsylvania. Though not charged with their murders, Mr. Coffin was as well implicated in the murders of two other victims, namely, Eugene Lindsey, and Frederick Claar, also from Pennsylvania.

Noel Dorion would be forced to use everything at his disposal in order to convince the jury on a cause of death, complimented by the identity of a murder weapon. Prior to the introduction of his evidence, Mr. Dorion was careful in his address to the jury. He explained at length the crime scene, the body parts, and was specific as to the cause of death. Noel Dorion would explain that the death of the victim came as a result of being shot by a firearm. At this time, Noel Dorion was taking no chances. Systematically he described in detail. He referred to a firearm repeatedly, and how it caused the death.

At this point in the trial Mr. Dorion presented the autopsy reports on behalf of the victims. This is what defense lawyer Maher should have been waiting for. There would indeed be plenty of room here for good cross examination, as the provincial pathologist, Dr. Marie Charles Roussell, and the forensics doctor for Quebec would be giving evidence for the crown.

You will recall that I have shown you the autopsy reports some time ago in order to establish the quality of information garnered for this case. Prior to discussing the testimony of Dr. Roussell and the forensics doctor, I am posting the autopsy reports for you to look at in relation to the trial and how they should fit into place.

I will warn you, some of you may find these reports disturbing as they are depicting human beings who lost their lives under very disturbing circumstances. It is necessary that documents such as these be produced in a court of law, because they form a very vital factor in the equation which should help balance guilt with innocence. As with other documents from this case, translation from French to English was necessary, and thus, grammatical errors sometimes occur. I ask your forgiveness. Here are the autopsy reports of Eugene Lindsey, Richard Lindsey, and Frederick Claar.

LABORATORY OF LEGAL MEDICINEAND POLICE TECHNIQUE
443 St. Vincent Street
MONTREAL, August 4 1953

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

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

During the day of July 17, accompanied by Sergeant Doyon, of the local station, of the Surety Provincial Police, I transported myself to the same spot, designated by the name "Camp 24."

At this place, near a little river, an incomplete skeleton was found, and partly dislocated, to which adhered some malodorous scraps of skin.
The preliminary examination shows that it was only the bones of a single person, contrary to that which was believed at first; the bones were placed in a box and taken to Gaspé for a more detailed examination.

RESULTS OF THE EXAMINATION
Description of the Bones: - The bones are completely stripped of the muscles that were attached and are more or less disjoined; the head and the sides are missing.
The extremities of the upper limbs are relatively intact; the skin of the hands is of a blackish brown color, of a wrinkled consistency and in appearance somewhat mummified; the nails are long and rough.
The following bones then form the incomplete skeleton:
part of the spinal column
the two scapulas
the left clavicle
the bones of the complete upper limbs: humerus, cubitus, radius, wrists and hands
the pelvis comprising of the bones of the iliac and the sacrum, but without the coccyx
the bones of the complete lower limbs
Determination of Sex: - The size even of the bones, the marked relief of muscular insertions, the dimension of the pelvis and the force of the obturate holes are those that leave no doubt on the masculine sex of the bones.
Determination of the Size: The measurements of the bones of the members gave the following values:
- left femur 181/4" or 46, 35 cms
-right femur idem; (?)
-right tibia 14-5/8" or 37 cms
-right humerus 13-3/8" or 34 cms
When referring to the anthropomorphic table establishing the length of bones following the sizes, we obtain the following correspondences:
-left femur 463,5 mm – size 170,6 cms
-tibia 370,0 mm – " 168,5 cms
-humerus 340,0 mm - " 173,0cms
The means of the size corresponding to these three long bones is 170,7 cms, being 5 feet 71/2 inches.
The method of the coefficients gives us similar results:
-femur 483,5 mm x 3,66 = size: 169,64 cms
-tibia 370,0 mm x 4,53 = " 166,71 cms
- humerus 340,0 mm x 5,06 = " 172,04 cms
Average of the size: 170,1 cms, being about 5 feet, 7 inches.
Determination of Age: With the absence of the cranium, the only means to appreciate the age of the person who had the bones consists in the research of the degree of ossification of different parts of the skeleton.
Radiography demonstrates a complete welding of the epiphyses ( extremities) of
the long bones of the members, a welding likewise supplements the iliac peak with the pelvic bone and as well a welding of the crown vertebrae, the ones with the others.
And also, the presence of small osteophytes on the level of certain bones and evident signs of arthritis in the articulations of the thumb of the right hand, indicating that this isn’t the bones of a young man or adolescent and that we are in the presence of the skeleton of an adult of middle age.
Determination of Cause of Death: Except for the ( grugement)? spongy end of certain bones of the skeleton, the exam didn’t reveal any trace of significant violence, on the bones at our disposition; it is then impossible, in the circumstances, to confirm the existence of violence of vital origin.
The complete disappearance of the internal organs and other soft parts of the skeleton prevents us from establishing the cause of death.
Summary:
The bones found at Camp "24" are those of a man of middle age, measuring about 5 foot 7 inches tall.
The desiccation and the parchment of the skin and the soft tissue of the two hands indicate that death occurred at the minimum of one month.

J.M. Roussel, M.D.
Medical Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE ON THE PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS MADE BY DR. J. MARIE ROUSSEL, MEDICAL EXAMINER: 25-7-53
SKELETON "A"
Skeleton found 75’ from camp 26. (It was in a wood box (Dynamex) and included the bones of the cranium.)
Lower maxilla
All the vertebrae except one
18 sides
2 scapulas
2 clavicles
2 humerus, cabitus, and right radius
2 bones of the pelvis
2 femurs
Tibias and right fibulas
Tibias and left fibulas

NOTE: The bones of the lower maxillas are partially corroded and it is impossible to make a precise measurement.
Measurements: Left humerus: 33.5 cms or 13 3/16"
Left cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8"
Right humerus: 22.5 cms or 12 ¾"
Or 33.5 or 13 3/16" without measured angle
Right cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8
Right radius: 24.5 cms or 9 5/8"
CRANIUM:
Jagged (indented?) sutures (joinings?) evident everywhere past traces of ossification.
TEETH: Lower maxillas healthy natural teeth with no obvious decay, except in the line space of the right interior incisor medians. First lower left molars missing.
Upper maxillas: bad establishment of the right incisor (retreating). The first large left molar missing as well as the right.
BONE OF THE PELVIS: The iliac ridge is not definitely welded. With the tip of the pelvis that which indicates an age lower than twenty years.

CLOTHES:
A pair of black leather boots with the soles sewn with two rows of thread and two rows of copper rivets under the boots, and also a strap with buckles around the hoses, size about 8.
Trousers probably brown with a tinted red leather belt with a series of oblique marks and a buckle with the initial "R".
A handkerchief with brown and green edges and the second with finer stripes.
A white sweatshirt with the name " Hollidaysburg Tigers " on top of the figure of a tiger.
A sport shirt tinted green marked Sportop washable, size "S-14-14 ½" with two pockets in the front on the right and the left.
A windbreaker or red and black checked shirt marked " Woolrich ", size 15 zipper and two pockets in the front.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
SKELETON "B"
Pelvis with lumbar column and last cervical vertebras and 7 dorsal, vestiges of four sides, I free side with diaphise part of two femurs whose extremities are notched, diaphise tibia dr. notched.

CLOTHING:

1 plaid waistcoat red and black checked marked Woolrich with two sleeves turned out + (can’t read words written here)
1 pair of blue jeans, two pockets turned out
1 undershirt marked "Croftman" size No. 42
1 T-shirt red, large, Penney’s
1 left boot brown leather laced with eyelets, soles of black rubber neoprene, oil resisting, size 11.
25-7-53
Gaspé
/jvc
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTES of DR. ROUSSEL
(27-7-53)


CLOTHING:

Red waistcoat property of T-shirt marked Penny’s, 2 circular perforations measuring 7/16" to 1/2 " in diameter distance of 2 " located at the left anterior face of the thorax, a little on the left and in the lower part of the left center.
Circular perforations similar to the preceding ones located right face anterior of thorax 1" in inside of the seam of the sleeve at the level of the right pectoral area.
Large ovalaire (oval shaped?) perforation measuring about 1" long by 5 lines high situated with the anterior face of the thorax at the same level as the former at 1" to the right of the center line.
4 or 5 perforations or tears on the posterior right side of the sweater in the line of the armpit.

CHECKED JACKET
Checked jacket red and black Woolrich with chamois sleeves. One notes 2 perforations through the anterior pocket and the left side of the windbreaker.
Perforations or tears in the seam or junction between the right sleeve and the jacket (corresponding to the perforations like on the T-shirt.)
Tear close to the neck (collar) of the jacket at about 2 ½" with the top of the upper snap button corresponding to the ( ovalaire?) oval? tear noted on the T-shirt.

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

GREEN SHIRT:
Circular perforation at 3 ½" to the left of the centerline 5" of the lower part of the seam of the shoulder.

WHITE T-SHIRT:
Perforation at the edge shredded with the upper left region of the thorax ( or..could read…" shredded perforation at the edge of the upper left region of the thorax?) at 5 ½" of the center line and 4" below the seam of the shoulder surrounded by a zone of reddish color apparently ( tituée?) caused? by blood – No corresponding perforation in the back
.
NOTE:
The three clothing carry to the dorsal area dte? near the middle about 4" in the lower part of the lower seam of the sleeve, a circular perforation not found on the anterior front
**********
It is interesting to note, that at no time does the medical examiner suggest that the wounds originated as a result of a firearm. This fact is particularly important as prosecutors Dorion and Michelon would refer throughout the trial to the victims as having been shot to death.
Further, one should also note that the assumptions of gunshot wounds were made in the absense of flesh remaining on the skeletons, no broken bones that would surely have resulted from being shot numerous times, and as well, no bullets or bullet fragments, and no spent cartridge cases could be located in the area surrounding the skeletal remains of any of the victims. The theory that the victims were shot to death is nothing more than an "add on" by the prosecution to instill a cause of death to the jury.
True, there was an indent and some damage to one bone located. The provincial forensic specialist testified that it could have been made by a gunshot wound. The defense did make a half hearted attempt here at cross examination. When pressed for further scientific evidence that the marks on the bone were caused by a firearm, he was quick to add that the marks could have been made by the teeth of an animal.
With the revelation that the marks on the bone could have been made by a forest animal, the firearm theory should have been in very serious peril. Was it? Of course not, because defense lawyer Maher, probably nursing a hangover from the night before, couldn't discern the path separating success from failure. If the heat in this trial was ever going to be turned up to where the defense could have taken complete control, this would have been the time. The autopsy reports made that possible.
I am no lawyer. If however, I can spot these things fifty-three years after the fact, then the judiciary of the day, including defense lawyers, prosecution lawyers, and the police were very seriously lacking in their abilities to do the job for which they were charged to do. In the normal course of events, that may be acceptable, but where a human life hangs in the balance based on the decisions and actions of officials, then society is not well served.
I have talked about this before, and I shall talk of it again, and most probably, I shall talk of it until the day that I die. I have reason to believe, and I do believe that Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar did not die because of gunshot wounds. Why do I dwell on that you might ask? I dwell on it because the autopsy reports tell me that they did not die of gunshot wounds.
The autopsy reports tell me that circular perforations with diameters of 7/16 inch to 1/2 inch diameters were found in the clothing of both victims. That is the most compelling information in the reports, and yet, I can find absolutely no reference by anyone to this information other than the professional who filed the report. This is sad and embarassing. I expect more from the judiciary.
In 1953 and forward to this day, the three major ammunition manufacturers in North America were Winchester, Remington, and Canadian Industries Ltd. of Montreal. Did the prosecution have experts from these companies giving evidence? Of course they did not, and it is perfectly explainable as to why they did not. If they had, the jury would have very quickly learned that there was not, and never had been a cartridge manufactured that would even come close in size to 7/16 inch and 1/2 inch diameter.
As I have stated previously, with no bullet or bullet fragments, and no spent cartridge cases, there is strong reason to suspect that Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar died by stabbing. This would account for the variations in diameters. I gave an example of a round bayonet which at it's thickest point is approximately 1/2 inch diameter, tapering to a sharp point. There are possibilities of similar objects to be sure, however, at this point the actual weapon is not important.
This would also account for the fact that Richard Lindsey's rifle muzzle was filled with mud and debris. If he was stabbed from behind, he would have lurched forward, which would have embeded the muzzle into the ground. Again, the question, did the defense raise these concerns, and question the forensic specialist on the possibilities? Of course Mr. Maher did not. Had these questions arose,instantly the theory that these victims died of gunshot wounds would be down the toilet.
If approached properly, the jury would have also learned there was a reason as to why there were no traces of potassium nitrate. There are two reasons. Firstly, potassium nitrate deposits would have been impossible because as I stated, there were no gunshot wounds in the first place, and secondly, if there had been gunshot wounds made from 30 calibre cartridges, there would be no potassium nitrate deposits simply because they did not contain potassium nitrate.
It is okay to ask me at this point how do I know all this stuff. I know it because I have taken the time to research and investigate. Ammunition manufacturers were happy to provide me with details of bullet diameters, bullet weights, trajectories, and ballistics in general. They would have done that back in 1954 as well, if someone had gotten off their butts and checked it out. Additionally, I sought assistance from firearms professionals, and from forensic folks from other police forces. These questions, if applied by the defense in the court, would have sent the prosecution into a tailspin that would have landed them in a smouldering pile of rubble.
I have focused on this one aspect of the trial in this posting because it was a matter of utmost importance, and yet, it occupied such a small part of total court time. The case could have been won here for the defense. The prosecution knew that. The prosecution was smart. They knew when to leave it alone, and focus on the small things. They were able to manipulate the jury, unimpeded by the defense. The prosecution suggested the victims were shot by a handgun, probably by a 38 Special.
Wilbert Coffin had brought back a war souvenir from Europe. It was a German Model P38, 9mm calibre semi automatic handgun. Rest assured, had the prosecution been unable to prove the whereabouts of this pistol when the murders took place, they would have named the pistol from the war as the murder weapon. Suddenly the 9mm would have become the calibre used in the crime.
It is unfortunate that you have to learn of these things so long after the event took place. You did not read of any of this ballistics stuff in the newspapers, or hear of it on your TV or radio. The stuff that you heard was the same stuff day after day, year after year. They are still telling the same stories to this day. Journalists did not get off their duffs and get out there and chase a story down. They simply re-wrote what had already been written, or said, what had already been said. None of them followed with interviews with ammunition makers, or brought forth questions regarding the reported sizes of the perforations in the clothing.
I commenced investigating this case in April of 2006. I did not do it for my health, and I did not do it for monetary remuneration. I do mean business. I shall not be deterred. I come under fire from large media outlets as a result of this from time to time. That is a teriffic form of encouragement for me. That tells me that I must be touching a few sore spots. Will I relent and ease up and go the route of others who came before and start embellishing the old stories and spicing them up? Not a chance. The truth shall prevail. If it cannot be documented, it will not be published on this site.
Folks, I need not remind you. Time is running out quickly on this case. It is time to stop pussy footing around. It is time to be heard. It is time to make public the suppressed evidence, and the illegal wranglings that were so prevalent.
Our news media across Canada have a duty to report, and report they should do. I am not certain as to how many times I have tried to discuss with media different aspects of this case. I am not just talking about national media here. Some weeks back I even contacted The Spec newspaper on the Gaspe coast. I wanted to bring the local media up to date on a few new revelations about this case. I was assured on two occasions that he would be back to me the next day. I am still waiting.
In frustration, I made an announcement on the GoGaspe website. I got an e-mail from CTV News which astounded me. They were upset because they felt that I was stepping on the media because I had stated that it was apparent that the big media was only interested in the old stuff, in other words, rehashing what has already been said dozens of times. I said that, and I stand by it. I had been told by the gentleman from CTV that due to time restraints they had no time to clutter things with new evidence.
There will be some who will say what I have just told you didn't really happen, but again, as I always say, if I can't back it up with a document, it won't get published on this site. Here is an exerpt from the e-mail.
Dear Lew,
>>I just saw your posting on the GoGaspé web site. I'm a CTV reporter working>on the story. I undestand your frustation with a colleague from the>National Desk who interviewed you last month. However, it's wrong to>dismiss the media for taking a more general approach to the story. After>all, it's media scrutiny that keeps the Coffin story in the limelight.>>After the press conference in Ottawa from the living relatives, we decided>to go back to Gaspé with a camera crew so we could do an actual feature on>new elements in the case, and you will be glad to know that your work and>conversation with my colleague are key to this new story, which will air in>the coming weeks.>>Time constraints prevents us from getting bogged-down to new details of the>investigation.
>Regards,>>Stephane Giroux,
CTV News Montreal.
I am disturbed and upset when I hear of a national news outlet telling me that they have no time for new material to replace old worn out jargon, that for the most part, contained heaps of inaccurate reporting and gibberish.
I do stress however, that I am more than willing to share my information that I have collected with any media who cares to contact me. Our main focus should be to finally exonerate Wilbert Coffin. If a suspect emerges during that process, that is good, however, I implore the police to do their job as well, and bring that person to justice.
This process will entail putting together the new evidence, and as well, presenting what was suppressed many years ago. I am not looking to be a hero, just willing to do my part. Folks keep this in mind, if we don't pull together, we will get bogged down.
Lew Stoddard
Posted to site January 10, 2007
In approximately four daysI shall be posting the conclusion of the trial at Perce, and as well, you will see the 49 part deposition that Wilbert Coffin swore that would have been his evidence on each part had he been allowed to testify. This deposition was made just days before a scheduled execution date.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lew,
A thought occured to me re the size of the holes in the clothing. Could they have been made with a slug from a 10 (or 12) gauge shotgun.
I do not wish to detract in any way from what you are doing. In fact you may not wish to publish this. If so that is OK by me.

Lew Stoddard said...

Message to anonymous,

Good point, and yes of course I will publish it.

Could not have been done from the slug of a 10 or 12 gauge shotgun. I'll tell you why. Firstly, a 12 gauge slug is larger than 1/2 inch, and a 10 gauge is larger than that again. You see in shotguns, the smaller the gauge number, the larger the bore or diameter.

Also you must remember, if it was done with a slug from a shotgun, there would be the lead slug, or fragments of it embedded within the body. In the case of exiting the body, those same fragments would be subject to being found with metal detectors, the same as from a handgun or rifle, and none turned up. To further cast doubt, there could also be spent cartridge cases and there were none found.

Thanks for your interest, and thank you for reading my website.

Lew Stoddard

John B said...

Good posting Lew. You are most spunky in this posting but I believe that attitude must prevail. I also think that you will be successful in your endeavours in this. You make a lot of sense. Yes, I agree with you there is too much going on and on with the same old stories that were half truth, half myth that solve nothing. Good to see a new approach.

Don't let them get you off key in this.

John B
Winnipeg, manitoba

Susan said...

Mr.Stoddard,
I have a question for you on this case if someone said and will or did testife to this and it is in the paper "largenteuil" which you can see at "www.largenteuil.ca" doesnt it count for something.i have tryed to talk to my friend but he has not responded yet to my emails over this..i guess its not important information so i still think you should see it for your self. thank you for your time.
Bless you and the Coffin Family.

Marcia B said...

Mr. Stoddard I totally support what you are saying about the media coverage of this event over the years.

They repeat and repeat and dwell upon the same stuff that we know to be false. It is very frustrating. They have no right in getting mad at a guy like yourself whose only agenda is to set the record straight.

Marcia B
St. Catherines, Ontario

Carolyn W said...

I like the style that you employ in your story. You are easy to follow and you put one in the picture. That is good.

This was a terrible thing that happened back then. It is like a planned murder, the trial itself. That is my opinion. Thanks for giving me ther opportunity to express it Sir. Keep up the good work.

Carolyn W
Whitehorse, Yukon

Greg S said...

I see where you are going with this and I support you all the way.

Having followed your writings from the beginning on this Lew, your dedication to detail and the finished product are showing more and more all the time.

Congratulations on a fine piece of work.

Greg S
Prince Rupert, B C

Sandi M said...

If the people know the government did wrong, and the government knows that the government did wrong, then how come it takes so long for the government to fix this thing?

You have a great website and following Mr. Stoddard

Sandi M
North Bay, Ontario

Claudette R said...

I can tell over time on here that the feeling was the same between English and French on this matter.

This is a bad thing no matter which language that you happen to speak.

Claudette R
Quebec

Tony W said...

If the people just sit back on this one they are nuts. It is not ok for governments to walk over people in the name of law and order.

Good luck to all the Coffin family, and to you Lew, this is a good thing that you are doing for whatever reason.

Tony W
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Bonnie M said...

It is important that we reflect periodically on the fact that a very innocent man, Wilbert Coffin had to die over all this. I urge everyone, never never think this is insignificant! Always remember that please!

Bonnie M
Trenton, Ontario

Karen W said...

It was a cruel time when we could not trust the police. This is terrible to just think about it. This is only 53 yerars ago. That is classed as modern history. It is shameful yoo.

Karen W
St. George, N B

C Aucoin (formerley from Gaspe Peninsula) said...

It upsets me a lot to see grown men and women hiding under a veil of secrecy like they did throughout this messy affair.

To live in the Gaspe region, and to remain quiet if you knew something about this case is absolutely deplorable.

If it were the other way around, would you want people to remain quiet? I don't think so. There is no excuse for this.

Collette Aucoin (Merzereau)
Formerly from Gaspe Peninsula
Now from Barrie, Ontario

Thelma G said...

It is not difficult to understand why Mr. Coffin was convicted of this crime. When the system bands against you, how else would one expect it to go?

Where was the statement of Justice must be fair and perceived to be fair in this proceeding? Are you lawyers out there not embarassed over this? These lawyers, both defense and prosecution were part of the same group that you modern day representatives hold in such high esteem.

I see some of the more prominent ones across the country throwing in the odd bit of snippery on this case. Why don't you go the extra mile and collectively join forces and remove the black smudge here against your profession, and at the same time, restore an innocent man's name to the level of dignity that he and his family were forced to leave behind.

Thelma G
Toronto, Ontario

Ken M said...

I like the way that you describe the trial portion of this story. That is so absolutely incredible as to the language makeup of the jurors. Imagine that, half speaking French, half speaking English, and not being able to comprehend the others native tongue. That is so sick. Why is that not reason enough to grant Mr. Coffin a new trial based on that aspect alone. It would be today. It would be over before it started.

Ken M
Calgary, Alberta

J Wearing said...

I came across your site a few days ago while researching something entirely differently on the Wikipedia Site which is the online encyclopedia.

I have known about this case for many years. Or I should say, I thought I knew about the case.

You have certainly set me straight on many aspects of this case that I thought that I knew when in reality, I did not. I find that you provide a very comprehensive report on this affair, in an easy to read language. I now read each posting and your comments as they become available. Thought that I would let you know.

J Wearing
Nanaimo, B C

Lillia H said...

Mr. Stoddard,

Excellent job you are doing Sir on your story of the Wilbert Coffin affair. I am certain that it must take a large quantity of dedication to stay at the one topic for so many weeks and months. You do a great job on the story.

One thing that I an curious about, and I am certain that someone would have asked the same thing by now. I am curious, How and why are you involved so deeply into this subject?

Lillia H
edmonton, Alberta

Joyce L said...

I have debated this story a couple of times over the years during my time as a university student. The topic seemed to always leave more questions than it did answers, but will say one thing, no one ever come out of it thinking that Mr. Coffin was guilty.

The government needs to address that as well.

Joyce L
Prince George, B C

Bob Ellis said...

If the government uses this case as a barometer to test the pro's and con's of capital punishment, it obviously did the trick. If they know they were wrong, then why the Hell are they scratching their butts on this. Get the job done Mr. Harper. Get it done now. It should have been done years ago. As a matter of fact, it should never have happened to where there was a decision like this to make.

Bob Ellis
Toronto, Ontario

Brenda C said...

I agree with Bob Ellis. They should do this now, and yes of course, it should never have happened. It is important to get your name on petitions now to wake them up in Ottawa. Good Luck, to the Coffin family.

Brenda C
Cornwall, Ontario

mcjbyq said...

I am completely miffed as to why CTV would take the attitude of not having enough time to display new dimensions to an old story. Is that not what news outlets are all about? Or is it not what they are supposed to do? Afterall, I thought their function was to keep us informed.

Diana D
Princeton, B C

Debby C said...

With reference to the media coverage of this story, and with reference to what this person says to you in his e-mail.

To read what he says, one would think that if it were not for the media this story would die. I do not think so Dear Boy. Stephane, you have so much to learn. As long as there are guys like the Lew Stoddard's out there we can always count on the accurate version of a story to appear, and those stories will live, based on a true accounting of their happening, rather than an embellishment of the untruths.

Debby C
Yellowknife, NWT

Sonia Levesque said...

This Stephane Giroux from CTV should consider his words more carefully.

The media may be partly responsible to keep a story alive and going, but you should also be responsible to keep the people informed of new revelations regarding a story. I do not like the comment that mr. Giroux made to you about time constraints making it impossible to deal with new information, when as you say Mr. Stoddard, that stuff has always been there, it is just that they saw fir to ignore it in their "unbiased" coverage all these years.

Lew keep up the excellent work that you do, and the approach that you take. You display a level of professionalism that most of the others do not come close to measuring up to.

Sonia Levesque
Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Marchands said...

I would have thought that the local newspaper, The Spec, would be more than pleased to hear of your accomplishments in this case since this happened in the area where they reach.

I live in the Bathurst region of New Brunswick and my daughter a bit further up the line subscribes to the Spec.

I want to find out why myself. I am going to phone them and ask. So far they do what the rest does by printing old stuff that everyone else does over and over.

The Marchands

Janine Labelle said...

My Mum and Dad lived in the Gaspe region when this happened and are very familiar with it. I have heard Dad speak of it many times over the years.

They were always of the opinion that there was more to be told about the story, and you certainly indicate that as well.

You have done a lot of investigating and research on this and that is so nice to see after all these years. I do believe that you will eventually get the full trutrh of the matter into the open.

I hope for the Coffin families sake that Wilbert's name will be restored as it should be.

Janine Labelle
Burlington, Ont

Barb Meadows said...

Mr. Stoddard, it seems that you are a soft spoken person. I do not necessairly believe that. You come across to me as one who is soft spoken, but at the same time, one who could roll another over, should they get in the way.

I suppose that could be a good attribute. Perhaps a bit too stern though. I do notice that you jump on people sometimes quite hard. No no I am not criticizing here, just the way that you might be perceived.

I do like the rules that you have for your web site. That is so good. I look at some of the others and so many of them are nothing but filth. You have my very full support on some law and order and this proves that it can be done. It may be old but the "Be good, or be gone" theory works well in our society.

Overall Mr. Stoddard, what I am saying here is this, You have a real nice web site. Keep up the good work.

Barb Meadows
Hamilton, Ontario

D K said...

It is so hard to believe and accept that a case that appeared so routine and straight forward at the beginning could reach the proportions that it has. Your story overwhelms me, and I know it is not totally over yet. This is absolutely astounding.

I can understand why this would have been so hard on the Coffin family, and as well, coming from a small town. I met Mrs. Coffin (Stewart) this past summer and it was she who told me about your web site. She is a beautiful warm and caring person. I met her in a shopping mall in the town of Gaspe.

D K
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Claudette Michaud said...

Even when this story concludes, it really goes on and on. I mean hey, a man lost his life here and for what? That, at some point, does not just simply and suddenly become ok. It was an injustice, it is an injustice today, and it will always be an injustice tomorrow.

If there are those who bitch and complain about the length of your story, they should just count their lucky stars that it was not their family who was trampled on back in 1953 and onward. It was worse still when you consider that it was done with the full sanction of the Quebec government.

Claudette Michaud
Montreal, Canada, and proud of it

Doris H said...

I do hope and pray that one day the name "Wilbert Coffin" will be raised as a martyr representing Canadians who fought long and hard in the Second World War, came home, and as a special reward the government trumpted up a murder charge against him and then hung him in the jail courtyard for a crime that he did not commit. Shame! Shame!

Doris H
St. Catherines, Ontario

Beryl H said...

We hear all the time about crimes against humanity. Is trumping up a phoney charge and then hanging someone for it, not also a crime against humanity? I think it is, especially when that person put their life on the line for all Canadians during the length of the Second World War, comes home, and as a thank you, we hang him.

Beryl H
Fredericton, New Brunswick

C Moncrief said...

It is a sharp contrast when I read of the trial and the various aspects of this case on this web site compared to what I have been led to believe over the years. I accept what you tell me here as you back it up with documentation.

I think this is important as because otherwise, one never really would never know the extent of the corruption that prevailed from one end of this to the other.

Your efforts are certainly symbolized by the quality of your work Sir. Keep it up, you are most professional.

C Moncrief
Sooke, B C

David said...

A quick message to the Coffin family.

Congratulations on your efforts to clear your relatives name. I support you 100% as I know if it were me I would feel the same way. Don't give up the ship.

David
Trois Rivieres

T Moreau said...

It is unfortunate when a set of rules pertaining to criminal trials can be circumvented to suit the whims and desires of a corrupt Political regime.

Suddenly, it tosses out the window the distancing of politics and the judiciary. You hera about this stuff in dictatorships, but then again, this was Quebec, was it not?

T Moreau
Kentville, Nova Scotia

Carla M said...

I know that it directly is not your doing Mr. Stoddard, but I cannot get the site to come up where I can purchase the calendars from to support the cause.

If the lady who has the calendar drive under way happens to be reading this, by chance could you post the address and info again. I have two or three people who want to order calendars. Sorry to be a pest.

Carla M
Calgary, Alberta

L Boudreau said...

i am sure that by now someone has probably asked this question or you have made statement regarding it, but this is what I am wondering.

is this a family web site for the family involved? I suspect that it is as otherwise I am certain the depth of thiscase would never be to the extent th it is on here. also if it is i am not complaining,i just would like to know.

L Boudreau
Quebec

Adam C said...

It would have been obivious that W Coffin was not getting good protection at his trial by his legal defense. A judge would see that too. Would it not be a responsibility of the judge to take steps to correct that situation. This does not seem right if the judge was fair and impartial.

Adam C
Hamilton, Canada

Dan said...

In this day and age they would laugh that trial right out of the province. That was not that long ago. Why did they not do that then? Could it be that the judge was crooked as well, or maybe crooked as Hell? I think he was.

Dan
CFB Trenton, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Carla,

The website for the calendars is http://ca.geocities.com/clear_wilbert_coffin or you can email clear_wilbert_coffin@yahoo.ca

Thank you for your support. The funds raised from these calendars will be donated to the Association in the Defense of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) who are the lawyers that are working on the case.