Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You will recall from the last posting that my plan is to continue sharing with you various police reports pertaining to the Wilbert Coffin case. That plan has not changed, however, I am pleased to say that I am now in a position to be able to share more with you. I think after you see some of these graphic examples you will be in a much better position to understand that Wilbert Coffin was not well handled.
You will see that I am not subjecting my opinion upon you, but allowing you the reader, to see first hand the reports filed by members of the judiciary, namely the police themselves. You will see that what was determined by the police was not always what was examined in the court at Perce'. You will also see and read much that never made it to the court.
We shall continue on here where we left off. I am going to display to you an exerpt from a letter written by Sergeant John Vanhoutte to his boss, Captain Alphonse Matte. The following represents the exerpt, and as we all know, translation is not an exact science, therefore small flaws may occur and I beg your forgiveness.

Gaspe P.Q.
From J.C. Vanhoutte, agent P.J.
Captain in Charge of the Judicial Police:
Re. Eugene H. Lindsay, Richard Lindsay and Frederick Claar (Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pa. Gaspé south PQ.
To follow your verbal instructions, those that were transmitted by Lt. Gerard Morel, July 23 1953, I left Quebec, to take myself to Gaspé, to accompany you to the present inquiry (investigation) and here at the 29th of the same month, then as were your instructions I was living at Gaspé in order to control different information concerning this affair, accompanied by the agent, Jules Fradette, actually stationed at the "Poste de Gaspé".
I am troubled by one statement above from Sgt. Vanhoutte. He states that on instructions from Captain Matte that he was now living in Gaspe' in order that he "might control different information concerning this affair". What do they mean when they say "control?" A nastier, more cynical person than myself might be inclined to read more than one meaning into that statement, considering the fact that many other allegations are beginning to float to the surface with reference to the conduct of the judiciary.
The following is paragraph 15 as the first exerpt that we shall look at. Sgt. Vanhoutte is talking about the entry permits that were a requirement to enter the forests throughout the controlled areas around Gaspe' town. Sometime back through a contact of Lani Mitchell's we were fortunate to acquire a goodly number of these permits, and I am pleased to say, we were blessed to receive the permits covering the period of time prior to Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford from Altoona, Pennsylvania arriving right up until after the Lindsey party entered the forest. As well, you will note Wilbert Coffin and Angus McDonald on the permits as well.
15) In the course of this investigation, I went likewise many times to the gate of the York river at Wakeham where I got all the booklets of permits (travel) in the forest given at this spot for June 1953. A complete list is made, giving the no. of permits, the person, the destination and the no. of days for which the permit given, for the day between 8am-6pm by the forest warden, Lewis Annett. Copies of this list is annexed to this report and in examining the said list one can see and easily compare the entries of Burkett, Ford at the end of May 1953, as well as Coffin, MacDonald, Lindsay and Claar in June.
It is important to note that the column just to the right of each name states the number of days that a party plans to stay in the forest. Equally important is the fact that these permits were entrance permits, and in reality the life of the permit expired when the permit holder left the forest, unless of course it was necessary to leave through the same gate for a short time and then re-enter by the same gate on the same date. I am told that in cases such as this, the gate keeper usually waived the necessity of acquiring a new permit.

. The following permit displays the emergence of Wilbert Coffin and Angus McDonald. They are accomadated by permit numbers 527 and 528 on June 08, 1953. If you scroll downward you will see where the Lindsey party arrives at the forestry gates and are awarded permit numbers 545, 546, and 547, on June 09,1953.
You will note that Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford were visiting the forest on an eight day permit. This permit was issued to them on May 27, 1953, which would have indicated that their eight days would be expired on June 04, 1953. The police knew the dates of these two gentlemens permit. You saw a few paragraphs back where the officer states that he had gone to the gate several times to view these same permits that I have just shown you. The permits look clear and straight forward to me.
You will see in my next posting where Captain Alphonse Matte made a journey to Pennsylvania. On this sojourn to the United States you will see in the police report that I shall be sharing with you that he spoke to Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford. Armed with the knowledge garnered from the gate permits and his conversations, he knew exactly the details of these gentlemens' trip to Canada.
This is now another example of where this investigation turned ugly. The prosecutor, who would be well aware of the police investigation implied that Wilbert Coffin was telling a lie when he had insisted that the vehicle and occupants that Wilbert Coffin had seen in the forest with the Lindsey's was not Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford. The prosecutor brought Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford to the trial to give evidence of their movements and times of arrival and departure, making it sound like Wilbert Coffin had tried to finger them as the people that he had seen.
The truth of the matter was that Wilbert Coffin did not even know of the existence of Doctor Burkett and Mr. Ford when he went into the woods. That is clear because of the fact that Wilbert Coffin entered the forest at least four or five days after they had made their departure. The entry permits prove that. It is sad when a prosecution has to rely on trickery, outrtight manipulation, and lies to present a case in criminal court. Prosecutors have a fancy title for behaviour such as this. They call it tossing in a "red herring". I call it outright manipulation, lies and deceit. In this case it was done for one reason only, and in my view, it was done to manipulate the jury into thinking that Wilbert Coffin was a liar and if he lied about this, then he was probably lying in many other areas. It is components such as this that could sway a jury when they begin deliberations.
This is where we will break for this posting. If you really read into this posting there is a lot to consume. I would like you to sit back and ask yourself, if it were you who was charged with this crime and you knew this stuff was going on, would you be satisfied that you were being subjected to a fair and impartial process of law?.
I will be back in a very few days to present more. As I have mentioned to you previously, some of these reports I have shared with you in the past, but you will now see it all in much more graphic detail. I now have many pages of various letters and reports from the police and judiciary of the day and my plan is to systematically present them for all to read. You must remember, a lot of this stuff was never reported at trial, therefore, it does not show on trial transcripts, and for certain, it does not show in transcripts from the Brossard Commission, because in my view, the Brossard Commission was really an investigation by the judiciary on themselves, in a half-hearted attempt to convince the public that they could do no wrong.
Thank you again for reading my site. I will be back in a very few days with what I think is something that you will find most interesting. We are even going to talk about a "Jeep" among many other things. God Bless you one and all, and talk to you again real soon.

Lew Stoddard.


Joyce said...

Those permits and ancient reports puts one in the story. This is so incredible that this stuff is still "findable" after all these years. You folks are not only doing your homework, you are studying it as well. Keep up the effort. It is slow, but it will be sure.

Bristol New Brunswick

Charles Rogers said...

I know it is easy to get mad at a jury but this part about Coffin and Ford and Burkett is a good eye opener as to how a jury could be influenced when they did not know the background,referring to the police and prosecutors saying that Coffin tried to imply that these two people were the ones he had seen when at no time did he point at them. my question is if witnesses are supposed to tell the truth then why is it alright for the authorities to lie and be less than honest especially in the courtroom. I know that you have other instances of this as well because you have mentioned them in the past. You are rigfht mr. Stoddard this was an ugly mess.

Charles Rogers
CFB Greenwood
Nova Scotia

G Cormier said...

I can understand why none of this stuff would surface at this Brossard thing as the judicial people would be admitting their own weakness and exposing themselves. It appears that this Brossard hearing only covered events brought up at trial, did not display the supressed evidence which obviously after reading your post today would have incriminated very badly the justice system.

I am very glad to see that someone like yourself and Mrs. Mitchell has taken the time and energy to investigate and study this case. If you two did not show this stuff now the Canadian public would never know. That is scary.

G Cormier

Jessica said...

I think Sir that you hit the apple dead on when you mention the troubling statement about control. From reading the Coffin story for the past couple of years it is evident the whole case was based on control, control by the authorities that is.

I wrote to you a long time ago and want you to know that you make a lot of sense. I also want you to know that I wrote an essay for class. The theme was a dark side of Canadian history. I chose the Coffin affair, and I used your writing and investigation many times. This is my opportunity to say thank you to you.

Keep up the good work. I am sending you an email and can hopefully arrange with yourself where I might send you a written copy of my school paper.


Sgt. G. Logan (Retired) said...

I have been looking at this other site. What is all the clamour about Jeeps going on for. Those Jeep pictures are not realistic Jeep pictures from the fifties and sixties. I know that because I grew up during that era. My Dad bought two of these ex military jeeps at an auction. They were very plain and the most horrid and ugly shades of brown and black that you could imagine. Give me a break, the Jeeps on that site are either museum pieces or Jeeps that have been worked over. Never in those days in eastern Canada did I ever see an ex military Jeep in fancy pastel colours complete with canvas and vinyl tops. Those things would stick out like a kids Tonka truck on an actual construction site.

Can you imagine in the middle of a war battle and you see a pretty little pastel yellow Jeep with detachable black canvas top coming down the side of a hill. Give this guy an "A" for humour though.

Sgt. G. Logan (Retired)

Garth said...

I was thinking the other day when I took a look at the Fortin site that he might want to take a look at HBO on satellite TV and tune into the "MASH" show. You know that old one with Allan Alda.

On that show he will see Colonel Potter either driving one of those little ex military Jeeps or a horse. In the show the horse is much closer to pastel colors than the Jeep is. As Sgt. Logan above said those Jeeps were the ugliest shade of browns and blacks imaginable.

Now that the humor is out of the way Lew I am enjoying reading the results of your work. I can see you try to lave no stone unturned. This should have been done before the trial. I am convinced that if that would have been done the accused would have been someone other than Wilbert Coffin.

Richmond Hill

Beth Topping said...

Excellent posting Lew. Sort of makes one quiver to look at those permits with the names of everyone on it including victims and the accused. It is all the more startling when one considers that one of those people would eventually hang. The sad part is he was hanged under under very circumstantial means, and there has certainly been a big question mark on that for over 50 years and the question mark is much bigger now than ever.

This study of the trial and this Brossard report doesn't prove anything. If it was wrong at trial the same things are being looked at with the Brossard report so of course, how could one expect anything else to change. I see what you mean when you say the police were really investigating themselves. Such a farce, the system that allowed this to happen.

By the way this is the second time that I have commented on your site, once nearly two years ago.

Beth Topping

Bob and Jess Rempel said...

You have made much headway in the past couple of years. Keep up the spirit and I hope that you are feeling better. I know you were on chemotherapy for the leukemia. That is dastardly in itself. I know this isn't a secret because you have talked about it on here in the past.

Anyway Lew Stoddard, my wife and I encourage you to keep at it and we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Bob and Jess Rempel
Prince George

Don in Regina said...

Anxious to read all those old police reports. Interesting to take a peek at that stuff. Keep it coming.


Marion said...

I love all the readers comments on the Jeeps. So funny but so true. It doesn't appear that Jeeps are that big an issue in all of this. You don't appear too excited by it all anyhow. Merry Christmas to you Lew.

Marion Woodrow
British Columbia

David Landry said...

Good morning from Halifax. Enjoyed your last posting yesterday regarding the forest permits. That certainly clears up the argument regarding the two guys from south of the border. The police don't smell very good though considering it is evident that they were using trickery.

Absolutely disgusting the way they were obviously trying to concoct a story as if Wilbert Coffin was trying to blame these two men. You did a fine job on that. Too bad you had not been the defense lawyer.

David Landry

Christine-NZ said...

Best wishes for a Happy Christmas to you and your family Lew.