Tuesday, December 30, 2008

IS IT A FAIR PROCESS OF LAW?
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YOU BE THE JUDGE.
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2008 is winding down with just one more day to go. It is time to get back into the thick of things and continue where we left off with the police reports on the Wilbert Coffin case. There are still many many reports to present, and I have to say that in many cases the police do not look very good with the handling of this case. The sad reality of the situation is, and always has been that a man took his final walk in life, to the gallows, based I believe on the way that this case was assembled and presented.
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As before, some of the stuff that I am going to show you, I have displayed previously. However, there are new folks joining the web site all the time, so it is imperative that they be brought up to date as well. Additionally, perhaps some of you did not fully understand everything the first time around so it is a chance to review what I am presenting. There are some reports that I had not presented previously, so I can guarantee we should all garner some knowledge from them.
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These police reports can serve as a reminder that one should view this Brossard Inquiry thing with a very open mind. You will not read the information that comes from these reports in the Brossard Inquiry, simply because in most cases it differs greatly with that which was presented at trial and at the inquiry. They simply did not want the public to know, otherwise the information would have been readily available, because much of it I am publishing for the first time in history. If it had been wide open as it should have been, common sense dictates to me that the course of the trial I believe would have been quite different.
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Firstly we are going to talk about handguns. Initially according to the police of the day, the Lindsey party did not carry handguns on their person. That is interesting. I want you to take a look at the following list of exhibits that the police assembled for the court. This list is supposedly made from the property of the Lindsey and Claar hunting party.
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Pay close attention to exhibit number 28. Very clearly the police specify number 28 as that of a handgun. Now the big question, did they have one handgun, did they have two, did they have five? How many did they have? We do not know that and never will. I suspect though there was more than one. I say that though because as I have reported in the past, I have had a gentleman come forward and admitted to me that he found a handgun in relative close proximity to where the crimes were committed. For obvious reasons I will not name him here, however, the information will be passed to the department of justice.
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One more question to ponder. Do we know for sure that all items in this list came with the hunters from Pennsylvania? If you say obviously it did, I will immediately ask you, how do you know that for sure? The police say that it was all the property of the Americans as well. They were not being honest though when they were making that statement in court. It is ok to ask me if I can prove that statement. My answer is that according to the police themselves they could not verify what the Americans brought to Gaspe' with them. I retrieved that information from a letter that Captain Matte himself authored. I invite you to read it. I have provided it here directly below the list of exhibits.
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In that same letter we get two police reports for the price of one, and they both offer contradictory testimony to what the police touted. I am referring of course to the amount of money that Eugene Lindsey was supposedly carrying on his person. Captain Matte, in his letter to his boss states that they could not determine the amount of money that Lindsey might have had. This was determined when he was in Pennsylvania, yet later during the trial the figure of $1,000.00 was the figure that the prosecution bandied about to the jury as the amount that Wilbert Coffin stole from Lindsey's wallet. I am of the opinion that manipulation was set into play in a big way.
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Even though Lindseys wallet was found void of currency, would it not be feasible that one of the searchers may have come across the wallet and helped himself to the contents? It may be circumstantial, but it is no more circumstantial than the figure of $1,000.00 itself, and the court even referred to "the" $1,000.00 figure as a known item when it was not. Again, I believe that it was manipulation by the prosecution preaching to an uninformed jury and a dud for a defense lawyer. I ask you to read the two letters and I welcome your thoughts.
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LIST OF EXHIBITS.
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The Coffin Case.

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2670.

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1) Geographical map used by M. Hébert to show the route followed leaving Gaspé to go to the place where one did the searches and found certain effects.

.2) Aerial photo indicating white diagram ( sketching) View of the whole of the region, small truck, etc…

.3) Stove ( cooker) found at camp no. 21.

.4) reservoir fort the stove.

.5) camera.

6) case of rifle.

7) Rifle; marked Winchester, model 66, caliber 30.06 series no. 131404.

.8) strap attached to the rifle.

.9) aerial photo indicating the place where the rifle was found, (letter c ) and letter (1) spot where the remains of Eugene Lindsay were found.

.10) (a) P-10 (c) 3 photos showing Lindsay Sr. skeleton.

.11) Aerial photo of camp 26.

.12) leather wind breaker? Young Lindsay.

.13) photo of pants of young Lindsay with pockets turned out.

.14) photo of wind breaker.

.15) photo sweat shirt “ Hollidaysburg tigers”.

.16) photo pierced shirt.

.17) (a) (b) (c) invoices produced by Tyrrel Eden clerk at Robin Jones.

.18) bottle of ‘ old Time ‘ syrup.

.19) box containing a stamped egg.

.20) fuel pump.

.21) invoice for the pump.

.22) copy of declaration sworn by Coffin to two police officiers.

.23) pick.

.24) shovel.

.25) tarp.

.26) Binoculars with case No.150870 7x35 Bushwell.

.27) knife with accessories.

.28) Revolver No. Series 4597.

.29) Serviettes ( blue) 1 large, 2 medium, 1 small marked Sears & Roebreck.

.30) 1 suitcase.

.31) overalls, blue.

.32) toilet paper (blue).

.33) 1 rifle marker Winchester, No. Series 147862 caliber 30.06.

.34) 1 rifle , no marking nor series number, identified by Clarence E. Claar.

.35) 1 T-shirt, 1 plain shirt, 1 mackinaw.

.36) 1 wallet.

.37) 1 wrist watch (no bracelet).

.38) 1 mackinaw, 1 sweat shirt, 1 shirt1 post card addressed to Mrs. Lindsay“ “ “ “ “1 ring belonging to the friend of young Lindsay1 wallet1 hunting cap1 distance binoculars 7x50’ Mercury”photo pelvis of human remains1 pr. Coveralls ( blue) produced by the defenseThe following exhibits P-6,P-7,P-8,p-35,P-38 were loaned to Dr. Roussel for study. Exhibit P-22 to M. Oscar Boisjolie official stenographer for transcription.

.(signed).

. Antonio Rail.

.Registrar for the Court

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Surete Provincial De Quebec
Director Adjoint De La Surete
Gaspe'.
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July 29, 1953
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We were not able again on this trip to obtain any certainty of the amount of money that Eugene Lindsey might have had in his possession before he left Hollidaysburg, neither a single detail about the sort of baggage that the hunters would have had when they were getting ready to come to Canada.
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(J A Matte) Captaine.
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In Charge Of Judiciary Police
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I shall be back in a couple of days to show you more. Thank you so much for taking an interest in my web site. As usual your signed comments are always welcome, with the usual rules in place.
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Lew Stoddard

10 comments:

Dan McBrine said...

Lew Stoddard

It appears confusing when you display correspondence from the police officers in this case that says they did not know the amount of money that this american fellow Lindsey would have when he left the states and yet if it is as you say they played with a figure of a thousand dollars in court. In a court does a prosecutor not have information that would tell him the amount? why would the prosecutor simply say he did not know the amount if that were the case?

Dan McBrine
Kingston

Lew Stoddard said...

Hello Dan,

Good point you raise and a couple of good questions as well.

Firstly the information contained in that letter was based on the information that Captain Alphonse Matte garnered from his trip to Pennsylvania.

If in fact that was the officers information about the money, and I have every reason to believe that it was because there is absolutely nothing on record stating otherwise, then yes, in the name of honesty and fair play that information should have been written into the trial. Mrs. Lindsey did state that her husband withdrew I believe it was $650.00 from their bank account. There was further information that he probably already had far in excess of that. The bottom line was they had absolutely no knowledge of the amount of currency that came to Canada with Mr. Lindsey. This is why it is so astounding that the prosecutor could play with the figure throughout the trial of $1,000.00.

Approximately three months back I took the liberty of presenting this set of circumstances to Crown Counsel in Vancouver. I was assured that in criminal proceedings it is the Crown, and most definitely not the police, that decide what will and what won't be used as evidence. The role of the police was to investigate and report. The crown is supposedly appointed by the provincial judicial body in order to maintain an arms length approach to proceedings when putting the facts together for the subsequent trial.

In my view these are the things that should have happened. However, in this case it would appear that a different set of rules were applied.

Thanks again for your query.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

R. Legere said...

Lew Stoddard I have been following your writings and study of Wilbert Coffins case. There are some things that I do not understand. One thing is how come your reports do not agree with what I see on another site about the Brossard report and what witness were saying. Why would these police reports information not be made clear in this Brossard report and the trial? Wouldnt it be because the police did not think they were important and it is the police who gather evidence so it was maybe not important to them at the time. Is that what makes the difference between your reports of events and C Fortins investigation?

R. Legere
Miramichi

Lew Stoddard said...

Reply to Mr. Legere,

Sir, thank you very much for your comment and questions.

Firstly Sir, I am pleased that you notice that a lot of what you read on this site does not agree with what you are reading on another site, because simply if it did, then we would not have been doing our home work.

You asked the question. . ."Why would these police reports information not be made clear in this Brossard report and the trial?" You went on to ask. . . ,"Wouldnt it be because the police did not think they were important and it is the police who gather evidence so it was maybe not important to them at the time."

The system is not designed to work in this fashion Sir. I am assured that it is the duty of the police to investigate and report. It is the duty of crown counsel to ensure that all pertinent information is put forward at trial for examination. When that step fails, and it appears to have failed many times in this case, then it is safe to assume that the accused did not get the satisfaction of a fair and impartial hearing.

You must understand, the Brossard inquiry was not an appeal, and it was not a trial of Wilbert Coffin. It was nothing more than an inquiry launched into motion against journalist Jacques Hebert in defense of themselves. Wilbert Coffin was nothing more than the catalyst that allowed the inquiry to take place.

I do not read this site to which you refer. If I see a comment to this page that makes direct reference to something that was read there by comparison to this one, then I refer to it as a means of answering your questions.

The blog owner of that site has admitted that he did not do any investigation of the case, that he was re-writing transcripts of the trial and the Brossard inquiry.

By comparison, prior to commencing my investigation and writing of the Coffin case, I purposely did not read trial transcripts and enough newspaper accounts of the case to sink a battleship. That was my way of not being influenced by others.

I make no excuses for what others may or may not have written in the past, or what they will write in the present, or in the future. I simply do not care.

What I do care about is presenting the pertinent facts of this case and exposing all the evidence that never made it to court, and further exposing those who were entrusted with this evidence and were easily swayed or were grossly derelict in their duties. These are the things that you will not read in the Brossard Inquiry or in the trial transcripts.

If Wilbert Coffin would have known prior to his trial the things that I have learned about this case in the past three years, I believe he would have then understood that he was in a much deeper peril than what appeared possible.

If I had decided to carry on and re-write and embellish all the old stories, then I would have concluded this investigation many months ago, and we would be right back where we started.

One further thing that you should consider, those police reports that I publish often, that are in opposition to what you have read over the years were not my words. Those letters and reports were written and produced by the judiciary officers themselves.

Thank you again for your questions and comments.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

Carl M. said...

Very interesting postings that you are presenting. It sure changes considerably what we have been accustomed to hearing over the years about this case.

Happy New Year to you.

Carl M.
Trenton

Marla K said...

A question for you Mr. Stoddard,

Why does it seem that you have copies of these police reports and no one else has or have had. it seems strange that somewhere they would not have surfaced over the years. I am not saying they are not important or not interesting. I am only saying that it seems strange that you would be the only one to have come forward. Did someone have a private little pile of them tucked away.
I will say one thing the contents of some of them has encouraged me to change my thoughts about certain things that were important to this case and I am the type of person who read everything that I could get my hands on regarding this case because two generations back my family had very close ties with the gaspe peninsula.

Marla K.
North Bay, Ontario

J. Higgins said...

Though I do not have close ties to the area or the case in general I have learned a lot about this case. I have done reports on it during my school years and I wish that I would have had the information that you now present about this case so many years after the fact.

I was always raised with the idea that one never qusetions the guidance that would be given by a police officer. If the officers stated it, then it was true, that was always my teaching and I do agree that is the way it should be.

As you have pointed out in the past, just look at what has happened in Ontario and other provinces. I am convinced that in the Coffin case the same thing occured. It is a sad situation.

You have been accused as one who knocks and criticizes the police and judiciary. I have never thought that. I can find where you stated that you have the highest respect and admiration for our authorities, those who carry out their duties in a fair, impartial, and honest way. It appears that you believe in exposing those who overstep their boundaries. I support that 100%. Keep up the good work on this case.

J. Higgins
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Bruce Ricketts said...

I need to spend a bit more time analyzing your thrust here. This case and the Brossard report take some deep thought.

However I think your comment/question about inventory item #28 is confusing. Clearly it indicates one handgun with a serial number.

Lew Stoddard said...

Reply to Bruce Ricketts. . .

Hi Bruce, thanks for taking the time from a most probable busy schedule to send a comment to my website.

In my latest posting with reference to exhibit #28, yes it was most definitely a handgun. I was merely jesting a bit because earlier on in the story the authorities had announced that the Lindsey party did not carry handguns. The exhibit list that I posted sort of proves otherwise.

There is no proof that this single handgun was the only one that the party carried, because I have had contact with a gentleman who found another discarded in close proximity to the crime scene. In other words I was merely jabbing at another police report that was not necessairly accurate.

Bruce, if possible could you send me an e-mail. I would like to talk to you with reference to a few things regarding the case that you might be interested in.

I can be reached at the following e-mail lewisstoddard@shaw.ca

Thanks again Bruce for the interest in my site.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

Marie Coffin Stewart said...

Here we are into another year. I pray that there will be more progress in clearing Wilbert Coffin’s name. He was my brother and I’ve never doubted his innocence.

There have been so many wonderful comments on Lew’s site, these have really warmed my heart.

Please, will you all write to your Member of Parliament and demand that this case be resolved. Surely if enough people demand this, the Government will move on this matter. I will never give up my hope that one day my brother’s name will be cleared.

God Bless you all,

Marie Coffin Stewart
Wilbert’s sister