Sunday, March 23, 2008

You will recall a few days ago in my last posting that I alluded to certain things that were being stated on another blog site with reference to the Wilbert Coffin case. Much of what was being discussed concerned material that I have covered in the past. I find no cause for quarrel at being used as the centerpiece for the table. As a matter of fact, it is gratifying to discover that other writers choose my site when they are in need of factual and informative information. The disturbing fact here of course is the taking of certain things out of context, rendering the appearance of an altogether different meaning.
I have been accused by this person as one who is always blaming Maurice Duplessis for the misfortunes of Wilbert Coffin. That is partly correct. I blame Duplessis where it can be proven that he was responsible. I can assure you, there are many instances where Duplessis can be blamed.
I make no excuses for statements that I have made, and given the same set of circumstances, I would do it again. The problem is that someone should have said something back in the 1950's, but chose to set back and say nothing. That is precisely why the Wilbert Coffin case was allowed to end up as it did. People were afraid to voice their concerns to a premier turned dictator.
Interference is one thing in all walks of life, but when it has to be fought at the top level, it takes on new meaning. Such was the case in Quebec in the 1950's. The stumbling block there of course was the leader himself, none other than premier Maurice Duplessis. From the days of his first being elected, Duplessis, assumed a dictatorial role. He would maintain this stance, surrounded by his handful of henchmen throughout his party's tenure in office. Without doubt, Union Nationale spelled Duplessis, and Duplessis spelled Union Nationale. He was the Lord and ruler, and woe unto anyone who got in his way.
I wish to point something out. On this other web site the author criticizes me for blaming the government of the day for the illegal application of rules with reference to the inquest verdict which was changed to reflect responsibility and guilt on the part of Wilbert Coffin. The author points out that it was not Maurice Duplessis, the premier, who made the decision to do this. I am in receipt of documentation which clearly states, "the attorney general of Quebec has stated that Wilbert Coffin will be charged with murder, no matter which way the verdict reads". I would suggest that the author of this blog refresh himself on the history of Quebec during this period.
I do agree, yes it was the attorney general of Quebec who made that statement, but the damaging aspect is the fact that the attorney general was none other than Maurice Duplessis. You see, in order to exercise complete control , it was necessary to appoint himself to all the big cabinet posts, as well as wear the hat of the premier. There are those who do not like for me to make reference to these facts, but the bottom line is, these are the markings of a dictator. If that person has his sights set on you, your chances are slim to none of escaping his grasp and wrath when he comes calling. Wilbert Coffin is an excellent example.
Much emphasis is now being placed by a few on the importance of the Brossard Inquiry. I have stated it before, and I'll state it again, the Brossard Inquiry was nothing more than "window dressing" subsequent to the execution of Wilbert Coffin to shut up those who were asking questions with reference to the judiciary of Quebec during the Coffin affair. This inquiry was not about Wilbert Coffin's dilemma. Not at all. Wilbert's case merely cleared the path and provided an avenue for the government and police to get at Jacques Hebert, because it was none other than Mr. Hebert who put all the pressure on the government. You must remember, by the time that the decision to hold the Royal Commission into this affair was decided upon, Wilbert Coffin had been in his grave for nine years, and the guy at the top, Maurice Duplessis, had occupied his for six years.
Even though Duplessis had departed, the rumours and anxiety continued to mount to the point of affecting the day to day operations of the new government. With the death of Duplessis, came the death of the Union Nationale Party. It was important that any new government distance itself immediately from the political fallout associated with the Union Nationale Party and Maurice Duplessis.
The new Liberal government under Jean Lesage did just that. Lesage knew that the Brossard Inquiry would accomplish nothing. However, it might quiet down the people who were still up in arms over the Coffin affair. It would be a cheap price to pay if it could accomplish this goal, and it may instill some public confidence in the Liberal party once again in Quebec. Now you can perhaps see, with the intervention of government the affair started to turn bad at the tainted inquest, and by now we are studying the affairs of the second government during their best to mop up the slop left by Duplessis and the boys.
To reiterate, the Brossard Inquiry was not an inquiry extension dealing with the guilt or innocence of Wilbert Coffin. Pure and simple, it was nothing short of a group of good old boys doing an inquiry on themselves, and headed up by one of their own by the name of John Charles Vanhoutte. The agenda was simple, make the judiciary of Quebec look honest, trustworthy, and transparent in the eyes of the public.
A few days ago I told you of an interview that I had just conducted with a long time Gaspe peninsula resident. His name was Gilles Bastien. He was the former Quebec Provincial Police officer whose job it was, to prevent Wilbert Coffin talking with his legal team during his trial. You will recall, on the day of that posting I alluded to another Gaspe' businessman whom I discovered on the coast and was willing to talk to me about the Wilbert Coffin affair. This gentleman, like Gilles Bastien, is still very much alive and pleased to talk to me. I shall now introduce him to you. His name is Michel Pouliet.
Mr. Pouliet is a pilot. During the early 1950's Mr. Pouliet owned a firm called Air Gaspe'. He had his runway, office, and service centre at Haldimand on the peninsula coast. Being the first and only air service in the peninsula region, Mr. Pouliet came into contact with many people from many walks of life.
I found Mr.Pouliet's story to be most interesting. For the most part it displays congruency with what Gilles Bastien had told me earlier in the week. You will recall that Mr. Bastien had explained his role in causing Wilbert Coffin to be unable to meet up with his legal counsel during the trial at Perce'. Mr. Pouliet was now ready to relate to me his role in preventing Wilbert Coffin from speaking with his counsel prior to the trial, when he was being transported between Quebec City and Gaspe'.
Mr. Pouliet owned four aircraft. Prior to transporting Mr. Coffin, Captain Alphonse Matte, or John Charles Vanhoutte would contact Mr. Pouliet by telephone. Their instructions were simple. They had a passenger going to Quebec. He would not be boarding the aircraft at the hangar. Mr. Pouliet was advised to taxi an aircraft to the end of the runway prepared for flight. The passenger would emerge from the bushes in the accompaniment of the police officers. They would then board the aircraft and receive flight instructions from the officers. Mr. Pouliet recognized the passenger as Wilbert Coffin. This arrangement was never to be discussed with his lawyer, Mr. Alphonse Garneau.
On the day of the wrap-up of the trial, and after the verdict was announced, Mr. Pouliet experienced a very unusual happening with his small aircraft company. Earlier in the day, he received an unusual request from a gentleman. The gentleman had a question. How many planes do you own? Mr. Pouliet informed him that he owned four airplanes. The next question was, "how much to rent a plane for all day?" The answer was $500.00 per aircraft. The gentleman said he wanted all four of them but would only be using one of them. The remaining three would remain at Haldimand, and the fourth plane would fly a reporter from Haldimand to Dalhousie, New Brunswick. They must get there in time to be able to transmit a picture of Wilbert Coffin to New York as he emerged from the court house at Perce. The same rules would apply whether Wilbert was found to be innocent or guilty. This reporter was from "The New York Times" newspaper, and they wanted to be the first across North America to publish the Wilbert Coffin story.
I am told that all things in life eventually work out to a common good. You may recall that since I have been writing and investigating this story, I am constantly on the lookout for this person or that person and eventually they come forward. It is usually after several people have informed me that the person I am looking for has entered eternity.
This week has been no different. I received information on a gentleman that I have been looking for. He is a former police officer from the 1950's and he worked on the Wilbert Coffin case. The best part is, he is willing to talk to me. Indeed, I am looking forward to later in the week when I will have the opportunity to ask my questions of this person. It does pay to be persistent.
The next posting will cover the forensic and ballistics portion. This will be a most important part, as it is this section that actually controlled the whole affair. You will see and understand, that had saner heads prevaled from the onset, the Wilbert Coffin case would have been a routine murder case, the perpetrators could have been brought to justice, and I believe that Wilbert Coffin could have lived out his life to old age.
Lew Stoddard
This manuscript is covered by copyright. Reproduction in part, or in whole, by whatever means, or for whatever reason, is not permitted without the express written consent of the author, Lew Stoddard


V McLean said...

Unbelievable after all this time and you are still digging up information. Makes you realize how little was really done on it 50years ago.

V McLean
Perth Andover, N B

J Milheron said...

What is this guy Fortin trying to do anyway? Is he on some sort of destroy mission?

J Milheron
Burlington, Ontario

Bob W said...

I was looking back at your older postings about the causes of death of the young men. I am anxious for you to go over that again. It makes so much sense what you say about that part of it. Unfortunate that they never considered that in the past as it seems to be what really happened.

Bob W
Barrie, Ontario

V Ouelette said...

This theory about these murders based on the trial transcripts. That stuff proves nothing as one is only looking at what has already been presented. That is easy to draw conclusions doing it that way. As you preach on this it is necessary to study the evidence that was held back. We already know this junk. This is a waste of time. Did this guy say he was a lawyer or did I dream that one night?

V Ouelette
St. Hubert

Emile in Cabano said...

I see what you mean about this Broussard Affair. why spend time and study that cause it took place years after the crimes. you are right Lew,this is suppose to convince us that the police did an ok job. what a laugh.

Emile in Cabano

M Lyons from Halifax said...

it was nice of formr officer mr. Bastien and the pilot Mr Pouliet to come to the front after all these years. no doubt either that they are telling the truth as their stories are so similar. I like to hear things like that. You do a good job of getting the small stories as well as digging for the big one.

M Lyons
Halifax, N S

Anonymous said...

The guy Fortin will show you in what way Coffin helped those American hunters. He will post a picture of the gas pump he is SUPPOSED to have replaced on their broken-down pick-up truck.

Carla Muirhead

Dave Marsden said...

I am curious Mr. Stoddard if you are in possession of a list of all the trial exhibits that the crown took to court for Wilbert's trial? I was thinking of thst a few days ago. I am also curious that if they did, was each and everyone of the exhibits examined in the trial? If you could answer my question I would be very pleased. Thanks.

I have only been reading your site for about three months, I am impressed and you do a thorough job. Pay no attention to the dim wits who appear on here from time to time.

Dave Marsden

Lew Stoddard said...

To Anonymous (AKA Carla Muirhead)

Even though I believe this to not be your name, I will reply to you because obviously you lack necessary knowledge on the Coffin affair to be making public statements. I am always pleased to bring someone up to date on this affair, as that is one of the chief reasons why I took the time to study it in such vast depth.

Firstly, in the forest, Wilbert Coffin only offered to help in whatever way he could render assistance.

It was not Wilbert Coffin's suggestion that he drive someone to Gaspe'. He was asked if he would do that by Dad Lindsey.

It was the suggestion of Fred Claar that the fuel pump was unserviceable, not Wilbert Coffin.

True, they bought a new fuel pump in Gaspe', but again, it was only because the old one was suggested to be unworkable. If you can possibly locate a book outlining a chronology of the events, you will quickly learn as well that the garage owner gave Richard Lindsey a lesson as to the workings of a fuel pump. You will also learn that he had to use the new pump, because Richard had not brought the old one to town with them.

Your statement that Wilbert Coffin was to have repaired the American truck with the fuel pump is not true. There is absolutely nothing on record quoting Wilbert Coffin making the suggestion that he change their fuel pump.

As a matter of fact, it is on record whereby Wilbert Coffin offered to check back in with the hunters on his return journey, and upon doing that, he found the new unused fuel pump in the rear of the truck.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

"You will note Clement that it is necessary to get the facts of the small statements in order, prior to taking on the big ones."

Anonymous said...

Lew Stoddard said...
Message For Clement Fortin:

I am told that you are a fervent reader of the "Stoddard Online" site, so thought perhaps I would reach you here.

To use your favourite superlative Clement, which I believe is "stunning", I just wanted to let you know that old beat up 1947 Ford pickup does not really fall into that category.

You see Clement, you always hear me preaching that we do not publish anything on "Stoddard Online" that cannot be backed up without documentation, the Lindsey truck being no exception.

The problem in this case being that Eugene Lindsey was a cheap skate, unless he was trying to impress someone of course, then he was at the top of the heap.

Let us play a little game of pretend for a moment Clement. Let us pretend there is no one reading this right now, because you should really know this part as well. "Clement, Lindsey's junker truck did have a defective fuel pump. The police had determined they had had problems with that on the way to Gaspe' in a small town called Binghampton, in New York state".Just to let you in on a teensy bit of the story in advance, the old Ford truck was used to convey the skeletal remains of the three victims back to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. It gave problems on the way back as well. And yes, it was driven back by the same fellow who backed out and din't come on the trip the night they departed originally for Gaspe'.

By the way Clement, should you require it, I have the licence plate numbers for the Lindsey truck, and as well, his driver's licence number. I got all of that when I searched in the state of Pennsylvania for Eugene's driving record. I doubt if I shall need that stuff, but if you require it, just let out a yowl!

I know what it is like when one is looking for something, that is why I back everything up with documentation.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

B Arnaud said...

There is no possible way that Mr. Clement Fortin on his site could convince people that the fuel pump that he shows and the knife as well are authentic as being part of this affair.

That particular fuel pump was the same one used on several hundred thousand motors, maybe even more than a million. I should know, I worked for them for 25 years, I have seen several thousand of them myself.

In the case of the knife, it is a common everyday "Swiss Army Knife". Most every boy carried one of these things in his pocket, and every hardware, sporting goods store, and department store sold them, and still do to this day by the dozens.

Sorry, but you have to do better than this Mr. Fortin for exhibit. You scrapped the bottom of the barrell on this one.

To Mr. Stoddard I apologize for sending this note to Clement Fortin by your web site but otherwise he would not publish my letter.

B Arnaud

Bent said...

B. Arnaud,
I think you did us all a favor by posting it on this site. It just shows that you know your stuff when it comes to the 47 Ford Pickups. I can, in a very small way, confirm what you said about 'millions of fuel pumps' etc.
My father owned a 47 Ford pickup, therefor I have read a little bit on them. These were the last models to be identical to the pre-war model pickup. As I understand, Ford kept this model running until 1948 or maybe even later?, at which time they re-tooled and a new-looking model came out. So, yes, there were likely millions of the 47-and -earlier- models. Including fuel pumps for these.
So the Fortin fuel pump is just one of a million...something like the DNA that didn't match !

Bent Romnes

Lew Stoddard said...

Lew Stoddard said...
Notice To All From Lew Stoddard

\Just a note to remember to Not Mark Your Comments From "Anonymous" as they cannot be published this way. Your comments must bear a name from the sender to get published or to get a response from myself. I am happy to answer all questions put forth, however; it is a rule of the site to not accept anonymous comments.

I do receive many great questions and would love to respond, but please understand, it was because of so many disturbances by a few people that caused this rule to take effect. Thanks for being understanding.

Lew Stoddard
Host Of "Stoddard Online"

Sandra Doucette said...

Sandra Doucette said...
Hey Lew, I completely agree with your last comment. Folks should make this a prime example of what happens when a few make it bad for many. You have put your heart and soul into this, and you certainly are deserving of the respect and understanding that you have earned. The results of your site are witness to that.

Remember Lew, you are always welcome to drop into the newsroom. We miss you.

Sandra Doucette
Mission, B C

G Geddes said...

G Geddes said...
I looked at this Dude Mortimer Fortins site. He says he is going to talk now about the pressure from the United States adminstration on the Coffin scene. He will never go deeper than what you did on that part of the story unless he crawls through a worm hole back to 1956. You impressed many people with your depth of coverage and the way you tied that in with the affairs of the government of Canada and the Supreme Court.

I do want to hear your update of the reports on the autopsy reports and the ballistics reports. That, my friend was interesting stuff and is evident that you know what you are talking about in that department.

G Geddes
Calgary, Alberta

Margaret Powers said...

It seems strange Eugene Lindsey's killers were more concerned with covering his crime than with the young people? Is there a specific reason for this? I suspect there is?

Margaret Powers
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Darla M in Sherbrooke said...

Judging from your photo Mr. Stoddard, one of two possibles are in order with regards to yourself and this case.

You are obviously in your 30's at the most by the picture, which means you have had a great interest in the history of our land since a young age, or, You look super for a "mature" guy possessing a great interest in local history and folklore.

Which is it? Either way, you are a great detective, and you do a great job with words. You can assist me with my studies anytime you choose!!!!

Darla M