Monday, November 19, 2007

THE WILBERT COFFIN CASE
"THE END OF THE ROAD"

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.”

Lew Stoddard

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.

42 comments:

Celene St. Pierre said...

This is an incredible chain of events depicting this case. I am much impressed with your discoveries, rather than opinions. I can not begin to imagine the volume of hours that you and Ms. Mitchell have put into this. You have my support and I just want you to know that I believe that you have travelled the right track on this affair.

I have commented on your site in the past and want you to know that I have been following it on a regular basis.

Celene St. Pierre
Quebec

Paul McIntyre said...

Congratulations on a job well done. Canadians should be proud of your accomplishments in the study of this affair. Now it is the governments turn to show that they care about the personal lives of Canadians.

Too bad we can't offer them a pay raise if they were to work toward a satisfactory settlement in this case in a timely fashion, but we can't do that because that would be illegal!. . . and we all know that governments never do illegal things. . .

Paul McIntyre
Burnaby, B C

Cyril said...

I love Paul McIntyres sense of humour. Seriously though it is about time that the government got off their high horse and do what everyone knows should be done. I encourage all to get in touch with their members of parliament. One of the best methods to be heard is phoning and writing to their constituency offices in their ridings and insist that the member be made aware of your concerns and politely inform them that you will be phoning back in a couple of weeks for the reply from the member of parliament.

Cyril D
Regina

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say congratulations. You have brought this case a long way. I have a question. It is said Mr. Sinnett pulled over a car with two men covered in blood on June, 11, 1953. At this time the American hunters were not reported as missing. I would like to know at anytime after he found out the hunters were missing, and when Mr. sinnett was searching for the American hunters, after the bodies were found, or at any of the inquests, or trial, or before the hanging of an innocent man, did Mr. sinnett ever give a description of the men he saw covered in blood to anyone….since he thought he saw the real killers. if he was convinced he may have encountered the killers, it is likely he gave a description of the men to someone…he was the one met those men face to face…maybe they could have been brought in for questioning….

Lew Stoddard said...

Reply to Anonymous
Those are good questions that you ask. They are answered in my posting, however, I am pleased to again provide you the answers that you seek.

As I stated, when Constable Sinnett pulled over the vehicle in the forest, the hunters had not been reported as missing. Remember, this was only June 11, which was only a few days after the hunters entered the forest, and they were by no means overdue at this point.

Conatable Sinnett may have even recorded this sighting in his daily report, but again, at that point it would be relevant to nothing.

To answer your main question, as to whether Constable Sinnett ever reported this incident to his superiors prior to trial etc. Yes, very definitely he did. He reported it to Captain Alphonse Matte, the lead investigator. Matte informed him that he was to answer only the questions that was asked of him and to not elaborate on the witness stand. Of course he was not asked about the event on the witness stand because Captain Matte suppressed the evidence, therefore, it was never brought up for scrutiny.

Sergeant Henri Doyon was also aware of the information, as he was present when it was relayed to Captain Matte. Sgt. Doyon's remark was,"why don't you open it up and present a broader picture?"
Constable Sinnett's hands were pretty much tied in the matter. As the trial date got closer, Constable Sinnett could also see what the judiciary was doing to Sgt. Doyon.

Constable Sinnett feared for the safety of his wife and children, and if you are familiar with the outcome of Sgt. Doyon, then you would see that he had very good reason to be afraid.

It is not proper or prudent for anyone to place Constable Sinnett as a villian in this matter. The villians were most definitely his superiors, from Duplessis right down to Captain Alphonse Matte.

In the film interview that I have obtained, Constable Lewis Sinnett was trying to contact the minister of justice of Canada on his own to try and save Wilbert Coffin.

I hope this clears the air a bit on this. If you need further information, I shall do my best.

Lew Stoddard
Host Of "Stoddard Online"

Brenda said...

By your writings on this story and your investigation it looks as if you endeavoured to follow a systematic approach. That seems sensible, as one can see where things in this case didn't always follow a pattern.

I am hopeful that all involved with this case can at least see and understand the effort that you have put forth.

I have followed this case for years but I can honestly say that you have presented so many elements at this late date that were never exposed over the years, and that is so sad. It proves that we as citizens are not being provided the full picture of what happens out there in the big world. We do have a right to know. Information and knowledge should not be a luxury for a select few. That goes against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Good luck to you Sir, wherever or whichever road you now decide to travel. I plan on keeping up to date with your web site. I recently took the time to read all of your archives. I had no idea. You are a very knowledgeable man in many fields.

Brenda Thornton
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Tony Alberto said...

My question. . Are any of these people still alive? If they are, they should be put on the hot seat and investigated. If they are guilty and they had relatives who knew about this and harboured them all these years I hope they are proud of themselves.

Tony Alberto
Toronto

Anonymous said...

Lew:

Job well done sir! You and Lana have worked long and hard and I hope it has positive results for the Coffin family. I am amazed at how you can come up with this 50+ years after the fact. I know that police work was not as it is today but if all is the way you portray it - and I'm sure it is - I think even back then they knew without a shadow of a doubt that they were hanging an inocent man.

All the best with your own health Lew!

Kerry Verstad said...

My hat is off to you Sir for your efforts, but in reality, if this thing is solved as you claim that it is, have you really gained anything?

By now the people involved would be deceased like Wilbert Coffin so it makes little sense now. This is my opinion on the matter. It would be different if it somehow would change things but it wont.

Kerry Verstad
Calgary, Alberta

Marilyn C said...

I know that you worked hard on this but you also constantly put down the police. One day you may have to reach out for help and they will look mighty good then sir.

Marilyn C
Surrey, B C

Gus Mitchell said...

marilyn c said, in reference to the police" One day you may have to reach out for help and they will look mighty good then sir."

Well Lew, she may be right - Just make sure you don't ask for that help at the VancouverInternational Airport

outraged resident of gaspe said...

Mr. stoddard you have a lot of nerve. You really amaze me. I have always read your site but from a distance I might add. Some might even apply the old saying of "a snake in the grass". I am refering to your story chapter published today. i am from the peninsula area and i find it most offensive the references that you make regarding gaspe people today.

you pretend to be everyones friend and then you go making statements like you did. and if that wasn't enough I see you have even published some stuff today on the goGaspe site and floweering it up with thank yous and pretending to be such a nice gentlemen. i hope the coffin family can see through you. You are out to make a buck on this and nothing more.

Outraged resident of gaspe

james coffin said...

this is to marilyn c and all the people like her you wouldn't have wanted to reach out to any cop like matte the only thing lower than him was the dirt he walked on you know what that piece of **** did to my dad they beat him for three weeks to get him to sign that he killed the americans they used rubber hose and telephone book just like you hear of in the movies but this was no movie after three weeks matte was hiting my dad and he reached up and pulled matte over his shoulder onto the floor and told matte he wasn't man enough to make him sign for something he never did and matte got up and said to my dad then you will hang have things really changed since so that why we are asking everyone to call write fax your MP and don't forget to tell all your neighbours friends and family to do the same on June 23 2008 (father's day) i'm going to be start my walk to Ottawa to help make everyone aware of the case and too kerry verstad how would you like it if it was your dad who's name was blacken in Canadian history

Jack Thorpe said...

Hey whoever you are there crying and moaning in Gaspe and feeling ofended. get on with life. i lived most of my life in that area and i know a lot of my relatives were not angels back in those days either, and swipes have been made once in awhile but what the hell its part of life.i actually like this webbsite,tells it like it is. why didnt you sign your name or is there something that you dont want us to know.

Jack Thorpe
Kingston, Ont

Old Shorty the long haul driver said...

Lew old buddy, have been so busy on the road but havent forgot about you. read your post today and am up to date on all of it now. You have done a great job. will keep closer contact from now on as I am back in calgary for long stretch now.

Old Shorty
The long haul driver from the prairies

Jeanette Landry said...

Mr. Stoddard,
Have followed your writings for some time and have commented previously on your site.

Congratulations on a very fine presentation of your efforts. Both you and Mrs. Mitchell have been very busy on this for a long time. I think that your last posting really says it all.

Jeanette Landry
Kingston, Ontario

Bent said...

Lew,
I commend you for a job well done! I have said it before, people who are interested in righting wrongs could model their investigation/web site after yours.
It has been a most interesting reading about this journey over the last year and a half.
I have learned a lot from you, sir, and I hope, as you mentioned a while back, that you are now ready to take on other tasks.

James and Marie: I hope you will be able to make it to the AIDWYC meeting again this year, Dec 1. I would love to talk with you once again.
With respect,
Bent

email me at any time: bero1"at"rogers.com

Anonymous said...

Hey there Gaspe resident… I am also from Gaspe; it is not Mr. Stoddard’s fault this story is being told, or that the truth is being told. It should have been told in 1954 in the courts in perce…maybe then Mr. coffin would be with his family today…it is the fault of the police, lawyers and governments, and yes, some gaspe residents who decided to become -the snakes in the grass-, as you put it….I have always wondered about the coffin case, and felt he was innocent. This case has left a black mark upon out town. Yet today when you ask a question about the coffin case, people feel they need to reply in a whisper, that he was framed….their fear is real, .after all those years the fear seems to have remained, and this is sad…
I would like to thank Mr. Stoddard for bringing us the untold story.
I do hope one day to see a book; I will be the first one there to get my autographed copy. It should sit on everyone’s bookshelf, as a reminder to all Canada, of how corruption within the law and our governments, took the life of an innocent man…
Good luck James coffin.

Gaston Daigle said...

I have to agree you have presented a lot of information that apparently had never been reported in the past. This is good I guess but I am troubled because if this is true then how come media outlets over the years nevr got hold of it.

Some of the claims that you make appear to make a big difference as to the overall picture of the case. I guess that is what leaves me in a quandry as to what I accept. Though I am open minded, I am sorry but I still need to be convinced.

Gaston Daigle
Montreal

D McKeen said...

As a law student, I have been taught, and as well have discovered on my own, that in many instances, the true story behind serious crime is the story that never gets told.

I am impressed with your gathering of information, and wish to let you know that I have made reference to your findings a couple of times while doing research for test assignments.

I am certain that as this case nears the decision making process by government, your version of events will be very carefully considered.

D McKeen
Law student from Toronto

Anonymous said...

I realize that time must march on but I am curious as to why you are leaving the site at this stage of the game. I am sure you are disappointed as people have told you that you would be, but seems a strange thing to do to just up and walk away. Are you admitting defeat in your plans at cracking this case? Looks like you are sir.

I am sure this does not look very good to the Coffin family and a lot of other followers.

Anonymous

Bent said...

Anonymous said...

" I realize that time must march on but I am curious as to why you are leaving the site at this stage of the game...."

Gee, another one who didn't bother to read the story and digest it...No...just spout off garble. Of course this is easy when you have the opportunity to go anonymous. I am sure that postings like these don't bother you in the least, Lew. Keep up your good work!
Bent

D Lalonde said...

I have been following your accounting of this event from the beginning. I agree that it is a baffling case, especially due to the fact of such a time lapse.

I also am of the opinion that an innocent man went to the gallows and I admire your dedication to research and investigate the case.

I do notice that james Coffin the son of Wilbert Coffin is now taking an active role to prove his father wronly convicted. I do not blame him, I would do the same thing, but I would have done it much differently.

My question is this,where was James for the past number of years? it would have made a lot more sense to be in there pitching over the years than to just come onboard at this late date. I do not understand why he would go this route when one considers that many of the players in this story have long since died.

These questions trouble me when I see how hard people such as yourself Mr. Stoddard and Lani Mitchell have worked on this in the past couple of years.

D Lalonde
Trois Rivieres, QC

P Dumont said...

Based on the chain of events that you portray in this matter, you put together a very compelling case against thse three individuals.

Your case against them appears much stronger than the case that the government brought forth against Wilbert Coffin, and yet they hung the man.

I am certain that if your case had been built back in the 50's when it should have been, it would have been much stronger still.

You and Mrs. Mitchell are good detectives, and you in particular sir do a great job of lacing it all together. Congratulations!

Phillipe Dumont
Saint John

james coffin said...

to D Lalonde if you or anyone else have any suggestions on how to move this case forward feel free to e-mail me my address is jimca1@hotmail.com this can only get solved with the help of everyone

M Racette said...

I do wish everyone well in this matter and hope success will follow with the government.

I do agree I guess with D. Lalonde as to why James Coffin did not take an active roll in all this for so many years and yet now appears to be gung ho on all of it especially I understand now he even plans to walk to Ottawa. Maybe a lot could have been done had he worked at it over the years as well.

M Racette
Trenton, Ontario

james coffin said...

so many ask the same why didn't i come forward before this my mother didn't want me in the media said she went through this so many times always ending the same way now that my mother has pasted away a few years ago now with the help of Aidwyc(Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted) i believe we can get my dad's name cleared Lew and Lani have added new information for thought about the case and i thank them very much but it's only you peolpe putting presure on the government from all sides and Aidwyc going before CCRG will we get to the bottom of this matter

Anonymous said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive! Lew, together you and Lana have certainly done a suberb job at untangling that web. At the same time, you have given Aidwyc a lot to consider.
Once again thank-you Lew and Lana for all you have accomplished on behalf of out family. I have been asking myself if my mother, Rhoda, was still with us what would she say? I believe she would begin by thanking God for sending both of you and for keeping you motivated during the many times of discourgament She would say a thank you would never suffice for all you have done and then she would add “May our God in heaven richly bless all of your wildest hopes and dreams” and I would echo that prayer.
For my family, Lew, you and Lana have broke the silence of all those years. With the help of your postings healing has begun and shame has been removed. It has been wonderful to find out that there are a lot of people behind us.
For this nation of Canada you have made everyone that would log onto you website aware of a dark blot on our history and have caused many to rise up and do their part to make things right. Thank you to all.
For our politicians I pray that they will be motivated by their love for Canada to see that history is righted and truth reigns – not to point fingers but to see Canada go forward to take a higher place in this worlds system.
Lew and Lana I don’t believe you are through with this matter yet so thanks in advance for all you will be doing behind the scenes.

It’s a little early for theis but the Christmas season will soon be upon us. So May the God of Peace be with each and everyone of you this Christmas season and in the New Year.

Marjorie Patterson
Timmins, Ontario

M Boucher in Edmundston, N B said...

Studying the elements of this case, there is room for questions as to the sincerety of Constble lewis Sinett. from what you have said it is apparent that you have knowlege of this officer and what his intentions was, can you share that with everbody in greatter detail.I am not saying he was bad,i just dont understand.

M Boucher in Edmundston N B

Anonymous said...

kxxvvbI have heard it said that this officer Sinnett was a drinker? is this true because if it is would that not tend to impair his judgment of things? Could that not affect his decisions on this matter? I think this is important, and i am sure you do as well.

Anonymous from Rimouski

J Marchand said...

Can it be proven that this Mr. Soucy had American money before he supposedly went to Montreal? If not how do you know that his money could have come from Eugene Lindsey?

If you know these things then I will say you have convinced me in what you say happened to the American hunters?

J Marchand
Kingston

Lew Stoddard said...

Response to J Marchand in Kingston.

Theodore Arnold, the general manager of the drilling company in Bathurst gave this information at the Broussard Inquiry that his employee had approached him to see if he would exchange a large sum of United States currency for Canadian currency. Mr. Arnold refused his request. This was prior to Soucy going to Montreal.

Very definitely there is a thread that can connect the found money in Montreal to the crimes in Gaspe with Soucy being the carrier.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

Clément Fortin said...

After all you have written on the Coffin affair, I invite you to read my book L'affaire Coffin: une supercherie? published at Wilson & Lafleur, in Montréal. You would read an authentic account of what was said before the Percé jury. My book is based on the 2250 pages of court transcripts. You should also visit my blog:
http://fortinclement.blogspot.com

Geri Ironside said...

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.

Geri Ironside
Pt. Coquotlam, B.C.

Sharon Rideout said...

This guy named Clement Fortin? What planet did he just arrive from? Is he really a lawyer? Makes one wonder with the stupid statements that he makes.

He states that he based his book on the trial transcripts, as if he is the only one to have seen the transcripts. You have made mention of the transcripts dozens of times in the past year, and have quoted from them.

I think he is only interested in self promotion of his book. If he wants people to buy the book, he should consider an English version as 68% of the people in Canada speak and write only English

Sharon Rideout
Grande Prairie, Alberta

Lew Stoddard said...

\Message to Clement Fortin

Mr. Fortin, through an act of kindness, I decided to not pull the plug on your recent comments on my web site. I reached that decision purely because anyone who would march unannounced into anothers house and make rude statements to feather their own nest at someone else's expense is in need of therapy. I shall attempt here to provide the help that you seek.

You point out that your book on the Coffin affair is based on the trial transcripts and the information that was presented to the jury. It could be argued that you are suggesting that I have not read those transcripts. As a matter of fact, I have studied them in depth a number of times during the past year and a half.

You state that if I read your book, I will see an authentic picture of what was said before the Perce' jury. Are you suggesting Sir, that my accounting of this affair is less than accurate and authentic?

Though I believe that certain members of this particular jury were involved in something far beyond their means, never have I criticized this jury for the decision that was made based on the information presented before them. I am not concerned with the information that was put before them, but, "I am deeply concerned with the information that was never put before them."

I speak specifically of the suppressed evidence, I speak of the twisted evidence, and I speak of the thwarted attempts to mislead the jury. The autopsy reports can be proven to be a sham in a big way. I haven't even mentioned the fact of jury tampering by the prosecutors and the police at the inquest by forcing a cancellation of a verdict and the forcing of another. In this case, the judge was equally at fault because he allowed this to continue.

You Sir are a lawyer. I need not remind you of your obligations and responsibilities as an officer of the court. If you do need to be reminded of these things, in my view, then obviously you have been in a position that you were not, and are not, qualified to be involved with.

Again, in my view, if you feel that it was alright to hang Wilbert Coffin under such circumstances, then Sir, you are just as guilty as the cheap, sleazy, and dirty campaign of the 1950's, and there simply is no way that I am going to allow you to walk into my web site unannounced fifty-three years after the fact and scrape Wilbert Coffin from the bottoms of your boots. It simply will not happen.

Lew Stoddard
Host Of "Stoddard Online"

Reg Mersereau said...

I agree 100% it was the evidence that "wasn't" put before the jury that caused Wilbert Coffin to be executed. If it has taken this Fortin guy 53 years to understand that, then his head has been in the sand. I am not a lawyer but I have no trouble seeing that.

Reg Mersereau
Fredericton, N B

Anonymous said...

when people like this clement fortin come along they are only in for the money his book isn't even good for toilet paper he is only doing this because the case is being reviewed and he has come to make money if he was any kind of man he would be helping Aidwyc clear the name

Bill said...

It is impressive reading of your accomplishments regarding this case. It has garnered so much attention over the years, but always seems to be the same information over and over.

It is refreshing to see that you have gone in your own direction, separate from what has been said and done in the past. I have been watching the correlation of events as you have declared them over the past several months and they fall into place.

I have taught high school for a lot of years, and this case has been discussed since my days in university at Sackville, New Brunswick many years ago.

Good luck to you now Sir. It is unfortunate that perhaps one of the biggest hurdles of all will be our own federal government and the Quebec government. So sad, because I do feel that an innocent man was executed here.

William C
Hartland, New Brunswick

Beth Ogden said...

I have sent off an e-mail to my MP and also tjhe Prime Minister. Hope many others will take an example and do the same. Good Luck everyone.

Beth Ogden
Surrey, B C

S Patterson said...

A good job you have done Sir on the investigating and writing of this affair. Just want you to know that I sent of a letter to the prime minister from your new site. That is a great idea that you have there, makes it real easy with no excuses for not doing so.

S Patterson (Formerly from Gaspe)
Toronto

Anonymous said...

I think there are unanswered questions where officer sinnett is concerned. You do suggest many times, he was in a great rush to reach st Anne de monts...
if this was so, why did he take his precious time to pull over that car….something must have happen to make him decide to stop that car, being he was so very rushed…then when he saw the occupants covered in blood, and they told him they had just shot a moose, he never asked for identification or took the time to jot down the licence plates number. Like a good police officer would have done. This would lead me to believe the two occupants were residents of Gaspe, that Mr. Sinnet did know them, and this was the reason he did not charge them, or need information from them… Even in the Gaspe, shooting a moose out of season would get them a fine, unless the officer knew them, and let them go…shooting a moose would not have left them covered in blood, unless they had cleaned it, skinned it and cut it up, and then where was the moose at that time…did Mr. sinnet not wonder about this… Had he been so rushed, then he would not have taken the time out to stop this car. Or did he just stop to chat with them….

As you say, when Mr. Sinnett took time to pull them over, and he was in a great rush, he did not know the American hunters were missing. When he found this out, he must have then realized the two occupants of that car had more then likely not shot a moose at all…

From 1953 onward, Mr. Sinnett did not come forward with any information to help clear Mr. Coffin’s name. Why Yet he had come face to face and spoke to the two occupants covered in blood. He also believed them to be the killers…
It was said he feared for his life, and that of his wife and children, for this to be so, he must have knew the two occupants of that car were the killers of the Americans…
Was Mr. Sinnett threatened by the two occupants to make him fear them?
For if the two occupants of that car were strangers, only guilty of killing a moose out of season, then why would Mr. Sinnett be afraid of them, and have to fear for his life..

I am not saying captain sinnett was a villain, I do believe he did not do his job properly on that day. If he was in such a great rush, he would not have took the time to stop that car at all…
There are a lot of unanswered questions here….