I reached that crossroad some years back. As I have mentioned in the past, the Wilbert Coffin saga always held troubling moments for me. There were so many conflicting theories, so much rumour, so much idle gossip. I decided long ago that one day I was going to do what I could to help set the record straight. In April of 2006, I turned onto the crossroad. I am glad that I did.
Over the years, the same stories seemed to exist. They got bolder and bolder, comparing favourably to feeding time in shark infested waters. I was no longer interested in what those who had come before me had to say about the Wilbert Coffin case. I wanted to do a completely independent, step by step analysis based on my own work. This would be the only way that I could satisfy myself as to whether the course of true justice had been thwarted.
From the onset, it would be difficult. I knew that. Much water had gone under the bridge. Many folks were no longer with us, and those that were had to be found. My website would play an important role, and as a result, miracles began happening. Folks began reaching out to my requests for help and assistance. I was impressed, though not totally convinced that enough would come forward, however, I was determined.
Before I list the names of those involved, there is one light that shone above all the rest. You have witnessed me speaking of her on many occasions. She lived her younger years in Gaspe' with her family who endured personal suffering through accusations and verbal abuse as a result of this whole affair. Now living on the opposite side of the continent and many decades later, she sought me out through my website and indicated that if I was interested she was willing to come onboard. This lady's name is Lani Mitchell (Baker).
Lani, being bilingual was an absolute storehouse of knowledge. She has many connections. She has much respect. Things started to happen immediately. Between she and I we had people coming forward. We had people whom we had been told were deceased in the beginning suddenly being resurrected, and anxious to help us out. Suddenly, we were both of the opinion that when all was said and done, our report would stand out in the credibility department chiefly because I would not re-write what others had said before. Lani fully agreed with that.
Before we concluded the story a few weeks back, I took the time to peruse what we had accomplished. I noted that Lani had translated hundreds of pages of documents that we had received from various sources. Many of these documents were in French so it was necessary to make them workable. She worked tirelessly day in and day out. Occasionally there would be someone who spoke only French that needed to be interviewed for the story. Again, because of her language capabilities, Lani bailed me out. In addition, Lani put all of our collected information on disks. There was no way that a technology melt down was going to erase our efforts.
.Canada Customs and Immigration
.GoGaspe % Andy Patterson
.Ministry of External Affairs
.National Archives Canada
.New Brunswick Ministry of Resources
.T. Connors Drilling
.Marie Coffin (Stewart)