Monday, February 11, 2008

A SPECIAL POSTING TO THE CASE
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Sometimes it is necessary to reach out from the norm and change directions prematurely. I have reached the decision to do that after viewing my own web page in the past couple of days. It is difficult sometimes to comprehend the mentality of some supposedly sane adult individuals.
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I simply cannot understand the display of rudeness in a quest to out-do each other when I look at the name calling and remarks in general. It is little wonder that this case went to the dumps. From what I see, I ask myself, is this an example of what has been involved here for the past five decades? Seriously, are we not sharing a common goal? If we are, this is the wrong route to achieve success.
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I have dedicated the use of my web site for the past two years to the express purpose of finding out what happened in this case by arriving at the truth. The site is wide open for all to use and build a data base. I ask for little in return. I grant respect to all those who take part, and conversely, I ask for your respect.
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If I were to visit your home, it is expected that I would respect your rules, and the same would apply in reverse if you were to visit mine. From the onset, I have stated many times there are certain rules that I expect adherence to should you decide to contribute to my site. That does not mean coming in today and respecting the rules of the site and then coming back tomorrow expecting a free for all. I will not allow that to happen.
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Two of those rules are as follows and are without compromise;
1) No profanity
2) No maligning of an individual
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For the past week I have watched the site from a distance hoping that what I was seeing was an isolated example. I was wrong. It got worse. It got much worse. Specifically, and I am certain that most of you know as to what I refer, I am speaking about a former police officer from the Gaspe' region, the late Constable Lewis Sinnett.
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Let us begin with the question, Who was Lewis Sinnett, and why such a furor surrounding him at this late date? Lewis Sinnett was a traffic officer with the Quebec Provincial Police in the 1950's. I single out traffic officer because Lewis Sinnett was not permanently employed as part of the investigative team of the police in the Gaspe' area. That team was headed by the late Sgt. Henri Doyon.
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Constable Sinnett knew the people of the region well and the people knew him. He was very familiar with the topographical aspects of the region based on his hunting, fishing, and hiking in the region. Additionally, one of his greatest attributes was his knowledge, and fluency, of both English and French in both the written and spoken word. Thus, he would be a natural for highway patrol work considering the influx of English speaking tourists on the road especially during the summer months.
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Whenever an investigation of serious magnitude was eminent, it was not uncommon for Sgt. Doyon to contact headquarters in Quebec City securing permission for Constable Sinnett to work with him on these cases based on his abilities. Such was the case in the Wilbert Coffin affair.
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Prior to the emergence of the Coffin affair, Sgt. Doyon had requested that Constable Sinnet go directly to St. Anne De Monts to investigate and quell a miners disturbance before it escalated to larger proportions. The date was June 13, 1953. Knowing the area well, Constable Sinnett was able to travel the woods roads to minimize travel time.
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In film footage that I have in my possession, Constable Sinnett tells it in his own words. He states emphatically that he came across a "car" on the forest road containing two individuals. It was not a jeep, not a truck, but a "car." This car had two individuals inside. The shirt of one individual was stained with blood. He asked why. He was informed that these two individuals had shot a moose, which he explained to them was out of season. He "does not" state that he did not obtain their names, nor did he say that he did not record their licence number. He merely said in the interview that he was not sure at that point where the plates were from, or who these individuals were.
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At this point of time Constable Sinnett would have been forced to do what most police officers do dozens of times during their career. Simply, he was forced to make a judgment call. He would have been faced with obeying orders and continuing on his way to the mine disturbance, or negating that order and processing the moose story. Understandably, he would have chosen to continue because of the gravity of the situation.
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I can honestly declare that during the course of my investigation and study of events for this whole affair, never have I come across documentation stating that Constable Sinnett did not make a full account and report of his findings in the woods that day. For any of you out there who have been arguing that he did not report it, now is the time to come forward with your information. I implore you to do that right now, rather than stand back and make a lot of accusations which have no basis, while hiding under a veil of secrecy and the anonymity game.
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I can tell you this though and you should pay attention. I do have in my possession a statement from Officer Sinnett stating that he did report what happened in the woods with regards to the men in the car. Do I have a date on that? No, I do not. To the anonymous person who accused that he didn't report it and that it aided in the finding of guilt against Wilbert Coffin, I ask you to now come forward and we shall compare our actual proof. You do not have anything that will prove what you are saying. These are reasons why people such as yourself remain anonymous, because at best, it is easy for you to stand back and sling mud and never have to face the challenge of producing.
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Officer Sinnett states that he turned this information over to Captain Alphonse Matte of the Quebec Provincial Police long before the trial of Wilbert Coffin. Guess what! Captain Matte informed him to keep it quiet and to say nothing, as was done with a lot of evidence that should have gone to trial but never made it to the court. Sgt. Henri Doyon was aware of what Officer Sinnett had witnessed in the woods. He stated that it was too bad that somehow Officer Sinnett couldn't open the whole thing for the big picture, but it was impossible. The reason being was that all the questions for Officer Sinnett were structured by the police and prosecutors, with the old "answer only what you are asked routine." Again I stress to you. Come forth now with your evidence. Don't just stand there with a wagging tongue.
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It is important to note that when the forest incident took place with Officer Sinnett, there was no report of missing hunters. At that point, of course he did not tie these two people in the car with the missing hunters. He had no way of knowing. The problem here is comprehension. This has all been covered in the report on the affair at least once, and in some cases two or more times. Some of you excell in skimming what is written, but lack the necessary retention skills to grasp the story.
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Another aspect of the story was the account of Lewis Sinnett with Wilbert Coffin at Camp 26. He spoke of having a nap. Some of you questioned that. Again, this was covered in the writings on my story. You labelled him a poor police officer because they had a nap in the old camp. You must remember, they left Gaspe' at daybreak. You must also remember that they were told to wait at the camp for Sgt. Henri Doyon to arrive. Sgt. Doyon was late in getting there because he had some telephone calls to take care of before he left the area. Another important aspect that some of you missed entirely was the fact that this trip was repeated on another occasion. You are mixing the events of one trip from those of another. Again, this is the result of not paying attention.
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Some of you have questioned the distance travelled by Wilbert Coffin, Lewis Sinnett, and Sgt. Henri Doyon between the area where the skeletal remains of Eugene Lindsey, and those of his son Richard and Fred Claar were found. You make reference to the fact that they travelled approximately two miles. You did not read that in my story. You chose to accept that from one of the many erroneaus newspaper stories of the day, written by some over zealous reporter. What you would have discovered in my writings was the fact that the ravine between the two areas was approximately sixty feet. That evidence comes from Lewis Sinnett who was there, not some armchair journalist investigator seeking sensationalism.
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I am also in possesion of material from Lewis Sinnett where he clarifies questions pertaining to notes that were found near the Lindsey vehicle. Again, the authorities preached the wrong sermon with reference to the so called note. What they purposely did not tell the public was the fact that not one, but two notes had been found. The police reported the one written by Thomas Miller, which was nothing more than a note to anyone finding it, would direct them to the area that he had moved to. The one that they did not reveal was the one reportedly written by Richard Lindsey. It was dated June 13, 1953. It was particularly damaging to the crown because it was written after Wilbert Coffin had left the area to travel to Montreal. As it turned out though, it presented no damage to the crown's case at all, simply because they did not declare it as an evidence exhibit. The crown would deny it's existence. Constable Sinnett on the other hand confirmed it's existence. Constable Sinnett saw the note in detail on the desk of Captain Alohonse Matte, when Matte left the room.
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We should remember that it was Constable Sinnett who would report the collusion between the jury and the crown at the trial. The jury was taken out and treated to drinks and a movie, clearly in defiance of the rules of jurisprudence. In my possession, I can also produce evidence from Constable Sinnett reporting a photograph that Captain Matte kept on the wall during the Perce' trial. It was a photo of Wilbert Coffin. Someone had taken a felt pen and drawn a noose around Mr. Coffin's neck in the photo. The crown would deny it's existence. Others, including Lewis Sinnett would confirm it's existence.
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During the course of trial it was noticed that Wilbert Coffin was wearing his military button on his jacket. Constable Sinnett was given the menial task of going to the front of the court room and removing the button. It could sway a jury, the crown said. If that would sway a jury, make no mistake, a night of drinking and a movie would have done the job as well.
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I point out these things because we should take a long hard look at Constable Sinnett before we condemn him. Constable Sinnett played a very important role in the Wilbert Coffin affair. The administration of justice in Quebec portrayed him as a fool. They did this because by putting him down, they looked stronger. It was a case of the two very lowest cogs on the wheel, Constable Lewis Sinnett, and Sgt. Henri Doyon shouldering the cause for a very deep rooted, cheap, manipulative administration headed by Maurice Duplessis.
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To suggest that Lewis Sinnett helped send his friend to the gallows is nothing short of a real cheap shot. Again, here is an example of someone spouting off with no regard for the real facts. Lewis Sinnett tried repeatedly to speak with the Canadian Minister Of Justice in Ottawa by telephone to tell his story. The Quebec administration learned of this and told him that it would do no good and that it would be left to the province. Whether it would have or not, I cannot say. I can say though, here was another example of influence peddling from the top cog down to the lowest cog in the wheel. The important thing is that Lewis Sinnett tried. If your brother, Dad, or uncle, or whoever in your family was in Wilbert Coffin's predicament, would you have felt better knowing that he was at least trying? I think that you would have. To those of you out there, who on a daily basis make your rude comments, you should think about that.
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I am not saying that it is wrong to ask questions. I am merely pointing out the fact that there is a humane way of doing it. At the end of each day those of us who still remain have to co-exist in this old world.
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It is important to remember what happens to those who opposed the rule of Duplessis in 1950's Quebec. Sgt. Henri Doyon was thrown into an insane asylum, and then promptly fired three short months before his official retirement to avoid paying him his provincial pension. He was thratened, his wife and children were forced into hiding in the Eastern Townships, their home was ransacked. Constable Sinnett had a large family as well. He knew what the capabilities of this regime were. He feared for the safety of his wife and family as well. He was under teriffic pressure to conform.
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There are rumors that Constable Sinnett perhaps drank a bit too much. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. That is the duty of someone more qualified than myself to make that determination. Did alcohol affect the daily decisions of Constable Sinnett? Again, I do not know the answer to that question. I do know this much though. If Constable Sinnett's judgment was affected by alcohol based on his consumption, then the whole Gaspe' coast should have taken stock of themselves as alcohol appeared to be the order of the day.
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I can understand the reluctance of the Sinnett family to talk about this case for all these years. No one needs to be trodden on in any walk of life. It all comes back to the fact that we all have to live in the community in one way or another. I also ask you, the reader, to be a bit more cordial in the wording of some of your comments and questions, and consider, you are dealing with human beings here who are entitled to the same respect that you are.
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Those of you out there who are finding constant fault with Constable Sinnett, I suggest that you are not looking very hard for his strong points. As I pointed out, Constable and Mrs. Sinnett had a large family. It was not just another large peninsula family, it was a family that expressed love to each other and the community. Let us remember that.
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Lew Stoddard

26 comments:

Willard Clough said...

Excellent posting Lew. Too bad that these things are necessary but the air needed to be cleaned, as it was getting out of hand.

I think you have done a marvellous job on this investigation and the writing of the story. I can only wonder as to the dedication and the intensity necessary to come as far as you have.

You deserve a ton of respect for all your work, especially in view of the fact of a serious illness to which I am aware of.

If these people who are fighting you are from the Gaspe region then there is something seriously wrong because if you can clear the air and help correct this, it removes a cloud from overhead.

Willard Clough
Calgary, Alberta

Betty Milheron said...

You are truly bold in your words but you make a lot of sense. Too bad that most people can't recognize what they have until it is gone.

Betty Milheron
Nanaimo, B C

Bent said...

Hi Lew,
Sadly we run into people like this all the time. People who don't take the time to sit down and think things through, but simply bring you down by making a mockery of your research, based on some very flimsy quasi-research they have done on their own.
It was bound to happen here, and it was bound to happen to me also in my research and internet involvement on the Truscott case.

Rest assured, there is at least one in every crowd. You had several people like that, same as I did.

I hope these same ignorant individuals read this and hopefully take some learning from it.

I ran into people who, based on one or two visits to the scene, actually convinced themselves and others that Truscott was guilty.
Or, they might have visited the scene a few times and taken some pictures and sought to prove their case by posting those pics on a web site. They actually got a few unknowing people on their side, just by their sheer gift of gab and sounding convincing to less or non-informed people who were too lazy to study the case and make up their own minds.

As such individuals go, however, all they are out to do is not seek justice but simply to have an audience to their ill-conceived agenda. Once the audience quits responding, so does the person get discouraged from pushing their crap. It took me a while to learn this lesson which is: Ignore them and they will eventually quit.There is absolutely NO way to convince these individuals. They are stuck in their own beliefs and biases.

Keep up the great work, Lew. It is just a matter of some time now and you will see the fruits of your labor.
Regards
Bent

Susan Adams said...

Message to all readers of this site. . .

I wish to make something clear. I have to admit that I have written to this site on occasion and yes, I am one of the ones who sometimes appears to be rude and obnoxious in my way of asking questions and making comments. That was wrong and bad judgment on my part. As well i would follow up by signing anonymous.

Your posting today mr. Stoddard made me stop and think. i think of all your determination and drive to acomplish your goal in trying to set this affair straight. One can only try to specluate the number of people that you have reached out to for help since you started this two years ago. the last thing you should have to do is take the time which you did of sweeping up messes made by rude and inconsidrate people writing to your site.

You make an excellent point when you say that your site is open to all and that you expect little in return, just some respect. that statement mr. Stoddard hit home with me.

I am sorry that I allowed myself to fall into this group. I do not know of any other print group where I can have instant inteaction with others as one can do on your site and because of that you do deserve much respect and many thank yous.

i am not signing as anonymous today. I am proud to add my name to a very large group of supporters that you have across canada.

Susan Adams
London, Ontario

Davis Marcotte said...

Mr. Stoddard,

It is too bad that you were not in the Gaspe region in the 1950's. If you had been we would not be going through all this today. Keep the pressure on and do not give up.

Davis Marcotte
Montreal

Mortimer Snerd said...

Oh come on, really???

Charlie McCarthy said...

Mortimer
Is that you talking or our old friend Edgar B? You never did have a thought of your own :-)

Your old friend Charlie McCarthy

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stoddard sir,
I am sorry if I offended you by asking the name of the mine in saint-anne-des-monts.
I was just curious, as I said; I did not know there was a mine there. You are right in saying I need to look up that information myself. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry sir for having made fun of you sir.

Lew Stoddard said...

I couldn't care less how much fun you make of me, that is not the point. I just find it troubling that childish games have to get in the way of something that is serious. I say serious because we are dealing with a man here who had his life snuffed out by a crooked regime, and there are still people out there willing to play little games in an effort to attain their fifteen minutes of fame.

I do not know who you are, but you know if you are one of those in the category to which I speak. Rather than being apologetic, you might consider studying the Wilbert Coffin case in some detail, and then you may decide that your spare moments could be better spent than acting out the part of a grade five student.

Lew Stoddard
Host of Stoddard Online.

Anonymous said...

On June 15, 1953, Coffin told Marion Petrie that the last time he saw the three hunters, they were ALONE. (Marion Petrie's statement, Montreal, August 6, 1953.)

On July 20, 1953, Coffin told his mother that the last time he saw the three hunters, they were WITH TWO HUNTERS IN A STATION WAGON. (Mrs. Albert Coffin's testimony before the Brossard Commission, in Montreal.)

On August 6, 1953, Coffin told the police that the last time he saw the three hunters, they were WITH TWO HUNTERS IN A JEEP (Coffin's statutory declaration, Gaspe, August 6, 1953.)

Anonymous said...

No matter which side of the fence one sits on this thing, I think that we all agree that one of the thorns in the side of this case is the fact that Coffin was less than forthright and honest in relating his side of the story.

Sometimes when a witness or an accused is found to have lied it can colour the judgement of those looking at the merits of the case in a disproportionate manner. Perhaps it would be wiser to look at the evidence in the case at hand while dismissing everything Coffin said entirely.

If you look at the case through this perspective you may reach conclusions that will surprise you.

Jerry McCallum

Anonymous said...

Coffin said that he had about $55. when he left Gaspe for Montreal on June 12, 1953. (Coffin's statutory declaration, Gaspe, August 6, 1953.)

Marion Petrie later testified that he arrived in Montreal with $20. left.

It has been proven that Coffin spent a lot more money than $35. ($55. - $20.) during his trip to Montreal.

Anonymous said...

Shame on John Edward Belliveau for having kept silence about Coffin's statutory declaration, signed in Gaspé, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Shame on Jacques Hébert for having kept silence about Coffin's statutory declaration, signed in Gaspé, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Shame on Alton Price for having kept silence about Coffin's statutory declaration, signed in Gaspé, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Hats off to Me Clément Fortin for drawing Canada's attention to Coffin's statutory declaration, signed in Gaspé, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Anonymous said...

Shame on John Edward Belliveau for having kept silent about Marion Petrie's statement, signed in Montréal, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Shame on Jacques Hébert for having kept silent about Marion Petrie's statement, signed in Montréal, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Shame on Alton Price for having kept silent about Marion Petrie's statement, signed in Montréal, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Hats off to Me Clément Fortin for drawing Canada's attention to Marion Petrie's statement, signed in Montréal, Québec, on August 6, 1953.

Jerry McCallum said...

Here we go again...

Jerry McCallum

Anonymous said...

At the Percé trial, in July, 1954, Marion Petrie delivered an overwhelming testimony for Wilbert Coffin, in which she said again what she had said in her statement of August 6, 1953, that Coffin told her that the last time he saw the three American hunters, they were just the three of them.

R Thomas said...

Mr. Stoddard,

There are a few things that need to be said here and I am certain that you will not disappoint. This guy obviously has not read your writings on this affair.

I still maintain in my mind that you make the most sense out of this whole smelly affair. I say smelly because the administration of the day allowed it to go rotten with no regards for the innocents left behind.

R. Thomas
Barrie, Ontario

T Hackett said...

This story certainly speaks well on behalf of the strength of the Coffin family who have had to endure this on a daily basis for the past fifty years.

Little wonder of the reluctance to talk about the case. I am certain that you are a breath of fresh air Mr. Stoddard, you are one who does not back up, and one who for sure digs to the bottom.

T Hackett
Fredericton, N B

Anonymous said...

With the testimony of Richard Lindsey's mother at the Percé trial, it has been proven that the multi-implements knife found at Marion Petrie's in Montreal had just been offered to him for his high school graduation, and that he set a high sentimental value on it.

With the testimony of Frederick Claar's father at the Percé trial, it has been proven that the high-quality and costly binoculars ($65. in 1952)found at Marion Petrie's in Montreal had been lent by him to his son for the hunting trip, under the promise that Frederick would take very special care of them.

So it's hard to believe that the knife and the binoculars have been given to Coffin by the hunters for having help them, as told by Coffin to Marion Petrie on July 15, 1953. (Marion Petrie's statement, Montreal, August 6, 1953.)

Anonymous said...

A SPECIAL POSTING TO THE CASE !

It's lie after lie with Wilbert Coffin. While signing his statutory declaration (Percé, Québec, August 6, 1953), he doesn't know that at the very same moment the police in Montreal is questioning Marion Petrie. His story in his statutory declaration is not the same than the one he has told Marion Petrie on June 15. In his statutory declaration, he doesn't say a word about the knife and the binoculars. He rather says that he has received $40. for having help the hunters.

Lew Stoddard said...

Message to all who read the site.

Just a note to all asking that you be cautious with regard to what you are accepting as fact from this person who is signing under the "Anonymous Banner."

Later this evening, I will be posting pertinent information that you should read. It is not based on my opinions, it is taken directly out of police reports, evidence statements, and other venues which cast a different light on the situation.

By the way, and this is not just my opinion either, the ruse is up, I now know who the author of these statements are that has been signing under "anonymous." Sir, when would you like to be introduced to the folks? You will recognize the fact that I know who you are because I will tell you this much here, "you and I had telephone dialogue a few weeks ago." You said something that gave yourself away. You also did something on my site a few weeks ago and got caught by myself. Do you remember that Sir, I know that you do.

On one of your tirades today, you also gave yourself away without realizing the fact either.

I ask you Sir to read the posting tonight, as eventually you may learn the true story of the Wilbert Coffin affair.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

Anonymous said...

Lew,
The person under the Anonymous Banner is me, grandson of Maurice Duplessis.
God bless

Anonymous said...

Mr Stoddard
Speaking of Maurice Duplessis, just a note to tell you that a secret file of the police shows that he was in the Gaspe woods, hunting bear, at the time of the crime.
I'm sure you understand that I must remain anonymous.

Lew Stoddard said...

You tell a great lie Sir, but one thing wrong with it. If you are Duplessis' grandson, then he is only proving what I have been saying for years, that he was a nanipulator and one of the great prevaricators.

You see, he never married, and in his belief a grandson could never happen, remember he was a staunch supporter of his church.

Try again, but do a better job next time. God Bless you as well!

Lew Stoddard

Jerry McCallum said...

Hello again Mr. Stoddard,

I've been observing this blog over the last little while and can see that it appears to be in danger of spinning out of control.

A couple of comments or suggestions in relation to this...

Some people appear to be in "baiting mode". It may be best just to ignore such people and posts.

Second, one of the difficulties that people have with this case are the inaccuracies and lies found in statements made by Coffin. Maybe you could help us out by guiding us through some of this stuff.

Thanks and continued best wishes.

Jerry McCallum