Friday, July 27, 2007






In proper context there was nothing that should have been particularly difficult with this story. True, as time wore on, outside elements were allowed to creep in and erode not only the true happenings which made the story, but also, the ability to employ common sense. Combined, and coupled with a half century of time, society ends up with one of the blackest etches possible on a national justice system.
When I commenced investigating and writing this story more than a year ago, I stood back and shook my head. I simply could not, nor can I till this day, believe the heap of crap that was available for the world to read and consume with reference to the Wilbert Coffin affair. The most startling aspect of it all was that largely it was put together by our big daily media outlets competing for a story depicting sensationalism.
Not a lot has changed in the past fifty years. Those outlets still exist, still kicking the same dead horse. I will suggest to you that the conclusion to this case will never present itself by carrying on in this fashion. The reason is simple. The stories have been rife with absurdity, but seriously lacking in credibility.
Immediately following the crimes in the woods at Gaspe', fortunately there were a couple of journalists, Jack Hebert, and John Beliveau who both worked tirelessly on the case. They are to be commended for their dedication and their commitment to detail in trying to reach a conclusion. Both of these gentlemen were driven in their desire to seek the truth, and in doing such, expose an obvious corrupt regime with the hanging of Wilbert Coffin.
You may not be aware, Jack Hebert, who later became a Senator was tossed into jail and ordered to pay a hefty fine because he was not afraid to speak out. In my final conclusion to this case, I will be making several references to information garnered by Mr. Hebert and Mr. Beliveau. I am most cautious when making references to the work of others. In the case of Jack Hebert and John Beliveau, I have no concerns whatsoever. The reason is very simple. They produced a quality product, and their written work was reflective of their attention to detail by ensuring documentation and affadavits of their informants.
In later years, I wish to acknowledge the work of Alton Price. Mr. Price did not have the comforts of a large media outlet, but he is to be commended and recognized for his years of hard work in the publishing of his book, "To Build A Noose." This was accomplished just prior to the days of computers and the internet. Alton was not a typist. He did it the old fashioned way. He used the telephone like we do today, however, he hand wrote all his notes and wrote his manuscript by hand. Mr. Price spent thousands of dollars of his own money travelling and doing interviews for his book. Without doubt, Mr. Price has earned his place in the short list of truly dedicated writers of the Wilbert Coffin case.
One year ago this month, Lani Mitchell joined forces with me in my quest to do what we could to set the record straight about this case. Our agreed upon mandate was simple. We would seek the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We were not interested in the tons of tabloid type journalism that had provided entertainment at the supermarket check stands. We would start fresh and develop our own data base of information. It would be necessary that I continue writing and posting the Wilbert Coffin story from the beginning. It was imperative that we develop public interest in the case and encourage folks to come forward with evidence and information. For the most part, it was a system that worked very well.
As I have told you, the case is now winding down. It would be easy to jump in and quickly say here are the facts and this is who the guilty party is. We would never do it that way, chiefly because, in order that our suggestions be taken seriously, it is imperative that we back them up with documentation and research including interviews.
Over the past year I can tell you that we have sent and received in excess of one thousand e-mails. The telephone calls would number in the hundreds. As the web site got known and recognized, we had many people come forward. In many cases the story was the same. They gave a sworn affadavit to the authorities back in the early 1950's and their evidence was never followed up. Very carefully we recorded their evidence, their names, their addresses and assured them that this time around they will be heard.
We studied autopsy reports, police reports and talked with many professionals about many aspects of the case. On a daily basis we had to select what we deemed credible, and that which we did not. We obtained the trial transcripts and poured through approximately sixteen hundred pages. We could see a pattern developing. We actively sought out people who were involved in the case, both law enforcement and civilians. In many cases we were assured that they were long ago dead, when in fact, we have now spoken with them and have them in our data bank.
We have stored our data base on a secure site, separate from the web site. We have done this to ensure preservation. That data base represents over one year of hard tedious work, some of which could not be easily duplicated. It contains over one thousand pages of our notes, police files, autopsy reports, transcript extracts, and many other documents pertinent to the case. That data base also contains the foundation for the success of our conclusion to this story. It will not be easily parted with. There are three persons who have access to our data bank. Those persons are myself, Lani Mitchell, and Elisabeth Widner, lawyer for AIDWYC (Association In Defense Of The Wrongly Convicted.) Lani and I have both made the decision to share all our information with AIDWYC in their endeavor to successfully overturn the conviction of Wilbert Coffin of Gaspe'.
Many folks are still not aware that Wilbert Coffin was charged and convicted only of the murder of Richard Lindsey. There has never been a separate independent investigation for the murder of Eugene Lindsey and Frederick Claar. There is no statute of limitations on the charge of murder, thereby creating two unsolved, uninvestigated murders. I have taken this fact up with the Department of Justice in Ottawa. I did not like their approach. They were not interested. They sent me off to Quebec because they said it was a Quebec investigation. The province of Quebec has already indicated they have no interest as otherwise they would have done something about it over fifty years ago. I am not however, prepared to leave it there.
The facts are fairly simple. Three United States citizens were killed by a person or persons unknown on foreign soil, namely the country of Canada. There was a conviction for the killing of one of these citizens, namely Richard Lindsey. Frederick Claar and Richard Lindsey were very close together when they were killed, thus creating the fact that the same evidence would apply to both victims. When you see the case that I have prepared based on facts that we have gathered, it is obvious that Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar died by the same hands of someone other than Wilbert Coffin.
This needs to be investigated without further delay. I am fearful that the Canadian Justice System will choose to leave it where it is at. In anticipation of that happening, I am in the process of approaching the services of an outside agency to investigate. That agency is "The Federal Bureau Of Investigation" or simply "The FBI." Part of their mandate is looking after United States citizens travelling legally abroad.
Should it be deemed necessary, I am prepared to turn over our complete file plus other relevant information to the FBI, to bring pressure on the Canadian authorities to act on this case. One way or another, I do not plan to leave this thing until every avenue is explored and every rock is turned over.
I am now ready to begin the final chapter. This will occur in approximately two days. This is where you will learn the results of our investigation and research, as well as the names of those that we identify as responsible for the murders.
It was necessary to tell you these things in this chapter in order to keep things in perspective, and to point out as to how certain things became part of the story. From now on until the end, the story is based on our research. The story will start based on May 29, 1953 as a starting point, and cover the period from then until approximately the third week of July of 1953.
I am also encouraging you to leave a comment on the comment page. That is most important to us all. Thank you and God Bless.
Lew Stoddard
News Talk Radio 88.9 from Saint John, New Brunswick will be doing a half hour special on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 on the Wilbert Coffin case. I have been asked to join host, Tom Young, as a guest on his show.
I ask you to join in and take a listen, wherever in the world that you my be reading this from. The air time for the show is 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Atlantic time, or 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern time.
You can access the show simply by clicking on the following link, and then immediately clicking on "Listen Live" when the page opens. Here is the link to the station


Sonia Theberge said...

Mr. Stoddard this is a very well worded piece to your story. You have worked long and hard. I do not blame you for not giving up easily. I like that FBI idea. Too bad someone has not thought of that years ago.

Sonia Theberge

Nephew Rick said...

July 15, 2007 Lew Stoddard with the help of Lani Mitchell posted a very positive statement re: Coffin Case!
They are the only two people, apart from family, that has ever told me verbally or by written word that my brother - Wilbert Coffin - WAS NOT guilty of the crime he was accused of! What a wonderful feeling those words gave us. My son Rick said it all, "Christmas in July." Looking forward to reading further postings.
Elsie Willett,
Haileybury, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone it gives me great pride and joy to have some great friends like Lew, Lani and Elisebeth and all the great people of aidwyc and every last one who has come forward to help clear my dad's name with all your help we will be able to get this done after so many years

thank you and god bless every one

James Coffin

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lew Stoddard and Lani Mitchell

We, the surviving siblings of Rhoda Coffin Stanley sister to Wilbert Coffin can not thank you enough for the work you have done on Uncle Bill's Case.

On Sunday, April 16th, 2006 you posted your first of the 61 posting to date about this black mark in Canadian history. You have worked tirelessly over the last 437 days and overcame many difficulties and obstacles.You’ve shown incredible perseverance in spite of your health concerns over this past year. With all the new information that you have been able to bring to light 53 years after the fact, is incredibale in its own right. Through your dedication we feel that the truth will be brought forth.

Lani Mitchell, we thank you for all the time you have put into this case with Lew. You have been a source of encouragement not only to Lew, but to us as well.

May the two of you be doubly blessed for the work you have done.


C Davis said...

This thing has gone on for far too long that is for sure. You have done a remarkable job. Good luck now as you approach the finish line.

C. Davis
Barrie, Ontario

Joyce said...

Mr. Stoddard,
I have been reading your story for sometime. I find it interesting but I am curious as to why people come to you with info, seems to me they would have come to others over the years. you obvious know less about these events than someone who lived back then. I must say that I question peoples priorities.

Bristol, N B

Anonymous said...

joyce you said you have been reading or followed the story it seems you don't know how to read or you only read between the lines and only the lines you like those people have all come forward before they all have told the police there story but the police at that time didn't want to hear anything other than a way to frame Wilbert Coffin and to please there useless boss duplessis

Jim Coffin said...

Hi everyone,

Just a short note to tell everyone that my cousin Bill Petrie has pasted away to cancer this evening.

He put up a hard fight but it finally got the better of him. When I talked to him earlier this week he was very happy for the work Lew had done on the case.

Knowing Bill if there is any way he can help from above he will.

Love and prayers to his family.

Jim Coffin

Wendall Stanley said...


Mr. Stoddard is doing a LIVE NEWS TALK SHOW with host Tom Young, from Saint John NB today July 31st.

Tom Young's program starts at 1:00pm and runs until 3:30pm Atlantic time. Mr. Stoddard will be discussing the Wilbert Coffin story live for at least one half hour of the program.

Tom Young is a "newsman's newsman," a leading talk show host and journalist in New Brunswick for over three decades.

The show is available over the internet by clicking on the link below. Click on the "Listen Live" button "top right side" just over the weather information.

Joyce from Bristol, N B
You might try staying out of the sun today between 1:00pm and 3:30pm and tuning into this broadcast….

By the way.. you can even recive it on your radio.

Tune your radio dialto 88.9 FM

Wendall Stanley said...

Copy and past the link into you web browser for Mr Stoddard's radio interview.

Sandra Doucette said...

Congratulations Lew Stoddard on a project that is taking shape as a huge success, for not only yourself, but for all of Canada.

Sandra Doucette
Mission, B C