Monday, September 29, 2008

YOU BE THE JUDGE.

As I have stated numerous times in the past I do not occupy my time in getting caught up in most of the junk that has floated around and haunted the Coffin case for the past half century. As long as there are people out there in society who thrive on sensationalism, there will be those who in my opinion, are ready to answer the call. These are the ones who traditionally occupy the "wannabe a best seller" shelf in the local book store.

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Again this is my opinion, but I do know that it is an opinion shared by others who have an interest in this case. Occasionally, someone will send me an e-mail pointing out something that they have read and want clarification on what someone is writing. Such is the case of things being written and published with reference to a particular gentleman named Jacques Hebert.

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I was pointed to the site of Clement Fortin. You will no doubt recall Mr. Fortin. It was his site that routinely "borrowed" information and comments from my site and published it as his own correspondence from his readers. You will also recall that it was necessary that I issue a cease and desist order to Mr. Fortin to curb this practise. You will also recall that I set up a fictious character and sent myself an e-mail from this fictious character and I then published it on my web page. Lo and behold, the very next day this fictious character that I named Reg suddenly began to breathe life and somehow was able to send Mr. Fortin the same letter for his comment page. I took this approach to prove that this type of activity that I describe was actually taking place. You may also recall that Mr. Fortin established a direct link to his page from mine without my permission, which again, forced me to advise him to remove it. I do not bring up these things again as a means of throwing salt into an already open wound, but merely as an avenue to display to you, the readers of this site, some of the credentials of the author who takes many cheap shots against Jacques Hebert and others.

It was suggested by a couple of readers that I take a look at what has been said about Jacques Hebert on Mr. Fortin's site. I have to say that I am much disappointed with Mr. Fortin. In my view, he comes just short of labelling Mr. Hebert a liar. It is real easy to knock a dead man. If Mr. Fortin had these things to say, why did he not make the statements directly to Mr. Hebert, whilst Mr. Hebert was still with us, as it was only last December that he departed.

I do not know how much you may or may not know about Jacques Hebert. I know that Jacques Hebert was a man of distinction. I know that he was respected by thousands and that he had many friends and aquaintances the world over. I had the honour, and I do class it as an honour to have spoken with Mr. Hebert on many occasions. He kept appointments and he answered my questions with class and dignity. Mr. Hebert believed in the innocence of Wilbert Coffin. He was really the only one, other than Jean Beliveau who had the courage to stand up and be counted on the matter.

You must remember the Brossard Inquiry was brought about as a result of Jacques Hebert. It was not convened because the judiciary cared anything about the people. It was a vain attempt to prove Jacques Hebert wrong in his sayings and writings. It was nothing more than the police and judiciary investigating themselves and shovelling it down the throats of the people. It did nothing to prove or dis-prove the case against Wilbert Coffin as when the inquiry took place he had been executed nine years before.

The following are some brief notes extracted from the official biography of Jacques Hebert.

Jacques Hebert received his early education in the maritime provinces. Mr. Hebert later received an honourary Doctoral degree from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto.

From 1951 - 1953 Mr. Hebert worked for Le Devoir newspaper.

From 1962 - 1970 Mr. Hebert worked as a host and writer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

From 1965 - 1972 Mr. Hebert was president of the Association of Canadian Publishers.

In 1963 Mr. Hebert, with Pierre Elliot Trudeau founded the Civil Liberties Union.

During his career, Mr. Hebert founded two publishing houses, Editions L'Homme and Editions du jour.

Jacques Hebert wrote and published many books, including the 1963 publication titled J'accuse les Assassins de Coffin which he steadfastly defended until his death.

Jacques Hebert travelled to more than 130 countries of the world promoting peace and harmony.

Jacques Hebert was the founder of Katimavik in Canada which promoted the involvement of youth, while promoting cultural diversity.

Jacques Hebert was nominated in 2002 to receive The Nobel Peace Prize.

When one peruses the above credentials of an individual such as Jacques Hebert, one has to be very cautious in accepting the cheap shots fired in his direction by someone such as Clement Fortin. One must remember, it is Mr. Fortin who constantly states that he is a lawyer. One must also remember that it is the same Mr. Fortin who evades the question when asked as to where he was engaged in private practise. He states that he taught law. What kind of law? Was it criminal or civil litigation? Down deep, I couldn't care less as to what the answers are to these questions. I do care a lot though when an individual can hide under a veil of secrecy and publicly try to influence the public to accept a doctrine for which there is no basis.

Equally disturbing is the fact that Mr. Fortin has embarked upon a course of action to discredit the late Sgt. Henri Doyon and the late Lewis Sinnett. These two officers were two of the very few on the Gaspe' coast who worked tirelessly on this case from day one. It would appear that because their opinions did not entirely parallel those of the thugs who were appointed to steer this investigation, Mr. Fortin has chosen to take passages out of context and label them as liars and drunks. Most of Mr. Fortin's passages are from the Brossard inquiry, which took place some eight or nine years after the trial at Perce. It is to also be noted that this enquiry was not to establish innocence or guilt, but was an attempt to convince the public that the judiciary of Quebec made no mistakes during the investigation and trial. It was an attempt that failed miserably. That is precisely why this case is still being studied more than fifty years later.

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Lew Stoddard

14 comments:

Joyce said...

I absolutely agree with you Mr. Stoddard. This person Fortin is not held in very high esteem by those who have known and studied this case. All he does anyway is copy and take out of context statements from the trial and commission. Not a very bright man, in my view.

Joyce
Bristol, New Brunswick

Bob Nairns said...

Great to see you back. Have heard that you are preparing a big report based on your investigation. That is good, we need that.

Bob Nairns
Ottawa

Ken McKnight said...

Hope you are feeling well once again. You have had a battle. I will send you an e-mail in next few days. Something that I dont want to put on public page.

Ken McKnight
Regina

Gillian M said...

You could not have presented Mr Hebert's attributes in a more convincing way. Anyone who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize has my vote. That does not come easily, and for certain it does not come without a lot of respect.

Mr. Fortin should be ashamed of himself for attemping to discredit an individual who walked so tall in life.

Gillian M
Trois Rivieres

Dave Chandler said...

This crap that Mr. Fortin is now pedalling aboutMr. Hebert, Mr. Doyon., and Mr. Sinnett. If he is truthfully finding all this stuff now, is he telling us that he didn't know of it when he wrote this so called book? It would appear to me that he has mired himself knee deep in his own crap.

Dave Chandler
Edmonton

Karen S said...

Lew, you do a job of cutting through the junk and getting to the facts. Keep up your work. Don't get alarmed about this junk. It is election day, the day when we sift through what we think is fact and fiction in this country and judging by the absense of commenters on Mr. Fortin's page, the absense of commenters speaks for itself, especially if you remove those self serving ones.

Karen S
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Bent said...

Lew, how are you doing? It's been quite a while since we heard from you.
Fortin has been a major irritant in your investigation of the Coffin matter. Let me just say this: There is always at least one in the crowd.
One who is so sure based on his flimsy "investigation". When it comes right down to it, he has nothing and the end result is that you have wasted your time on ..yes, nothing. I ran into the likes of Fortin in my Truscott research. Diehards, with 6 weeks of investigation under their belt, steadfastly claimed that Truscott was guilty as sin. Even people with 40 years investigative experience claimed the same.
Look at Truscott now. He has been found not guilty. The only reason he wasn't found innocent is that there is not a clause in our law to proclaim anybody innocent once found guilty. Unless there is DNA evidence or the murderer confesses, that elusive "innocent" stamp is not to be had.

Your fine talents are better used elsewhere. I suggest you and the rest of us just ignore Fortin. He is not worth our energies.
Some might say: Well, he might be able to throw a wrench in the works. Lies never manage to upset the truth. It is the truth that wins over lies.

Keep pluggin' away my man. Your job is almost done.

I will close with my usual appeal: If any of you people out there know anything about the murder of Lynne Harper, kindly send me an email. The address I use for internet purpose is:
bntbrm@aol.com
Thank you
best wishes
Bent

Sean said...

Lew,

Best of luck with your efforts. I have followed your journey for the past few years. My grandmother was a sister to Wilbert. Never did she or my father ever talk to me about anything related to Wilbert.

I clearly remember being with my Grandmother keeping me at my parents hoem while my parents were on vacation. The phone rang, it was my Grandfather who was staying at his home. He was calling my Grandmother to alert her that "Front Page Challenge" was doing a piece on the Coffin Affair. As my Grandmother left to answer the phone, I heard a little too much at an early age. When my Grandmother returned to the room her eyes saw mine, and we both knew, even I at a fairly tender age. Never did we speak about it. Proof that the family continued to bare a cross they should not have.

I wish you luck Lew, and thank you for all your hard work. We can only hope that if nothing else, the truth will be told AND recognized.

Sean

Carolyn K said...

Lew Stoddard I agree with Bent. These people do pop up from time to time with the only real agenda of trying to destroy what someone else is building.

It is so obvious with this Fortin character. He has no knowledge of the case, and has chosen to play follow the leader with a bunch of thugs from yester year. I just took a look at his site, it is so popular that I believe I spotted approximately 12 commenters and from the tone of at least half of them, I think it is quite safe to assume that he wrote most of them himself. Must be that bubbly personality that he obviously has.

Keep up the good work and pressure. I am certain that you are on the right track.

Carolyn K
Halifax

Gloria M said...

I must admit Mr. Stoddard that you have a respected web site in the town of Gaspe'. I was there this past summer visiting relatives and several people mentioned your site to me. One in particular mentioned to me that until your site came along, nothing was being said about the Coffin case, and now many people talk about it.

You are an articulate writer. You put one in the story, that is good. It makes one want to learn about this event.

Keep the pressure on.

Gloria M
Sherbrooke

Claudette Roy from Montreal said...

I wish to join many others and congratulate you for a job well done.

You have taken much time to investigate, research, and write about this case without the usual copying of other peoples reports. Yours are in such great detail by comparison. That certainly adds to the credibility of the points that you make.

By going back on your various written work on this I see where you have been blessed with a former resident of Gaspe', Lani Mitchell. Together you make a great team. Earlier in the year I had the opportunity of speaking with Marie Coffin Stewart. She had great praise for both Lani and yourself.

Claudette Roy
Montreal

Lise Marchand said...

Haven't had the opportunity to look in at your site for awhile. Glad to see you are still pushing forward. You make a lot of sense in what you say about this case.

For sure this case was as you have said, controlled by a bunch of thugs in the 50's. Makes one ashamed to say they were brought up in Quebec in those times. I was and I know what it was like. Duplessis ruled with an iron hand, and treated everyone who did not think as he did, like an enemy.

Thankfully things have now changed there. I became a teacher and moved onward, although Quebec is still my homeland. I have many relatives and friends there and visit as often as I can.

Please keep up the good work. I am confident as well that Wilbert Coffin was sacrificed in the end by an uncaring government. Please do not stop your work until this wrong is acknowledged. It is a black mark that must be erased.

Lise Marchand
Oshawa, Ontario

Randy McDougall said...

I share the same thoughts as your last commenter Lise Marchand. This is a terrible thing to have draped over the history of any province or country.

Randy McDougall
Halifax

Peter D in Winnipeg said...

This site that this dude Fortin has. he babbles on and on like a river running over bolders and it is impossible to follow his site. Looks like he copies it from the transcripts and then writes a bit to leave the impression that what he is writing is part of the official records. very strange

Peter D
Winnipeg, Manitoba