.Let us review for a moment what we have to date. We have one group of people in the Gaspe' woods dreaming of striking it rich from the minerals in the ground. This group is aware of confirmed mineral content in some of the established claims, and are now prepared to mount resistance to anyone offering any degree of competition.
.In the opposite direction, this same group must be prepared to negotiate with those who might be willing to buy out a claim at a profit or at an inflated price. Suddenly, the free enterprize capitalistic system appears to veer off track. It gets scary. One has to quickly decide, does one's friends suddenly become the silent enemy, or perhaps were some of those that were designated as enemies over the years really surface as friends after all? .At this point, no matter which side they are aligned with, they have a common denominator, the "love" of money. On the other side of the coin, there is always the fast buck artist. They outright steal claims, they make deals, they falsely promote. They have always been there, and always will be. Their motive is simple, get in and make money.
.It appears that no matter how some people make their money, they have a built in system that encourages them to brag. They simply do not know how to keep their mouth shut. It is no different in the mining business, the haves and the have nots. With the claims of Wilbert Coffin's group, there were those who drew attention to the situation in their daily activities. A good example was Jack Eagle. Jack operated an illegal booze can on the Gaspe' coast. Many knew of this venture, many did not, including some of his close relatives and friends. I really have no quarrel with someone who has decided to independently run a business, except it attracts the unsavoury when it is operated outside the parameters of law.
.Mr. Eagle himself, openly bragged of the value of his claims adjacent to those of Wilbert Coffin. He also bragged of the value of those claims which he owned on the outside extremity of the main group of claims. Perhaps he did this to create hype and to encourage others to invest their money, but either way, someone is always listening with a plan.
.It is now necessary to back up in the story to the first week of June, 1953. In Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, Eugene Lindsey, his son Richard, and family friend, Fred Claar are making final plans for their fateful journey to the Gaspe' peninsula. Richard and Fred are excited about the trip, a chance to go bear hunting in Canada. Eugene is not caught up in the excitement. He has made the trip several times in the past. The one main thing that would be occupying Eugene Lindsey's mind this time would be the possibility of making a few bucks in the mining game in Canada.
.On a prior visit to the area, Eugene had expressed interest in how the system worked. In his home region, Eugene had confided to others his interest as well. Eugene Lindsey was not worried or concerned about raising the necessary capital to become involved in the mining exploration game. He would always carry sufficient cash on his person to satisfy the needs of any new venture, plus he had the added feature of having instant access to further funds back home if the need arose. He was in perfect condition to broaden his horizons.
.As most know who are familiar with this story will know, this venture into the forest would be the last for Eugene Lindsey and his party. At the hands of a person or persons unknown, the fate of these three American citizens was sealed. Three questions arise. By whose hands, why, and how? In order that a true picture emerge, it is necessary to study each murder systematically to determine the order each individual death played in the total crime involving the three individuals.
With the news of the discovery of the partial human skeleton in the forest, news services from across North America were buzzing with the story. Details did not appear to matter. It appeared that the people would believe anything. After all, they were describing the wilds of eastern Canada, way out there on the Gaspe' peninsula. Except for Canadians, the rest of the world would not know where it was located anyway. The more bizzare the tale, the more believable it was. Each new tale encouraged the next one and so on.
It was now prudent to assume that a case of murder, or at the very least, a case involving a death of very mysterious circumstances was rearing it's ugly head. The provincial pathologist, Dr. Jean-Marie Roussell was delivered to the area. His job was well pronounced, to identify the body, and establish the time and cause of death.
Let us set something straight for the record here and now. Unfolding was a case of monumental proportions. The Quebec Provincial Police were not capable of satisfactorily bringing the matter to conclusion. One has only to follow the chain of events following the discovery of the body parts to arrive at that conclusion. Here we have a search party of some twenty men tramping around in every direction, with absolutely no direction. You may ask, why was that? The answer is simple. Those leading the search party had no training. One cannot blame the searchers themselves, they were everyday ordinary working people who had left their respective places of employment to assist.
.The actions of Captain Raoul Sirois as head of the search team speaks volumes as to the mentality of some of the leaders. This particular captain exhibited bravery above and beyond the call of duty. Single handedly Captain Sirois took on a black bear in the area. Captain Raoul was forced to employ deadly force with his own service revolver to take down the bear. The only thing that tarnished this act of heroism was the fact that the bear was already dead when he fired his first shot. Captain Sirois did accomplish one thing however. He managed to tarnish a very important exhibit within the crime scene when he filled the dead bear full of lead. The carcass of that bear should have had an autopsy performed on it to establish the cause of death.
.It was impossible to pin-point an exact cause of death of the remains. This was due in part to the fact that it had lain exposed to the elements for several weeks. During that several weeks, scavengers had played an important and obvious role. Hungry and marauding black bears are not known for their table manners while foraging for food after a long hard winter. This was particularly evident considering the fact that the body had been dragged across a small river. Birds of prey would also be a factor.
.Based on the condition of the remains, exact identification would be next to impossible. The head and torso region of the body were never found, therefore complicating identification. Clarence Claar, father of Fred Claar suggested that if the body was that of Eugene Lindsey, he could be identified by his long finger nails.
It is not uncommon for those trying to cover up or sway belief in something to expose a far bigger gap that will eventually bring them down. The judiciary of Quebec did a grand job of deception throughout this case. In most instances though, they did not do a good job of covering their tracks. They refused to look beyond the box in their prosecution methods, and at the same time, they appear blind to the fact that some day, some time, and from somewhere, someone would trip them up. I am speaking specifically of the autopsy reports on all three victims in this crime. I have talked about it a bit in the past, however, I am now able to speak with much more certainty. Shortly, I shall be presenting to you the crime scene, depicting the death of Richard Lindsey and Fred Claar. At that time, I shall show you actual copies of the autopsy reports. I shall also show you two instances from those same reports that completely destroys the crown's theory as to cause of death.
This is where I shall leave you in this posting. It is a sad ending today because it closes the door on a fellow human being. True, you may not have liked Mr. Lindsey a lot but he had a right to life as do all of us. It was the love of money that brought him to Quebec in this particular instance driving a 1947 Green Ford Truck. It was now someone else's greater love for money that forced his trip back to Pennsylvania in the same 1947 Green Ford truck. This time though, someone else would be doing the driving. A cardboard box containing the skeletal remains of Eugene Lindsey would be one of the three pieces of cargo on the back of the truck, forming a pitiful reminder that life is precious and fragile.
It is necessary to include all these elements into the overall story. It is sometimes the little things, the things that others do not bother with, that provide the key to open the big door. I shall also tell you that those I have named as perpetrators of these crimes will be coming back into the story very very soon.
Posted by Lew Stoddard
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