Sunday, January 11, 2009


When conducting an exhaustive investigation such as we have been doing for the past months it is not uncommon to receive mail from folks wanting clarification on this and that. The past few days have been no different with respect to the Regina vs Coffin case.
In my view, the disturbing aspect of the matter in this case is simply that questions are being raised based on information garnered from a source ignorant of the overall picture, preferring instead to re-write information that was skewed from the beginning. Unfortunately, it would appear that this case was built upon a such a foundation many decades ago. I say that because my last posting provided that information to me. Read on and you will see what I am alluding to.
As you are no doubt aware I am immersed in police reports from the Coffin case. Planning for each posting includes the question, which one will I show next? For the last posting, I decided the timing was correct to insert the report listing the exhibits for trial. Specifically, as you will recall I focused on item #28, listed as a revolver. I thought it would be interesting to determine the degree of focus that some others from a particular web site would place on this particular item because I know their knowledge on the case is extremely limited. However, they would be forced to take a stand because there is always the slim chance that someone may ask them a question, other than themselves posting comments and answers to themselves and each other.
In my last posting and later follow up's to answer readers comments and questions I was very careful to not not use the word "revolver." Instead, my reference to exhibit #28 was always the same. I called it a handgun, which in the broad sense is exactly what it was. You may wonder what that has to do with anything, well I suggest that you read on and you will see the significance.
I received some e-mail with reference to this revolver on the exhibits list, asking what if anything could I offer that ties it into the case. I was told that on this other site, this firearm was being labelled as Wilbert Coffin's. The blog author went into a long song and dance about how Wilbert Coffin had retrieved his handgun from a friend who was holding it as security by approaching him in the wee hours of the morning demanding it back. Since I have now touched upon this aspect of the event, I will explain to you what really happened before moving forward with the rest of the investigation regarding the revolver.
Wilbert Coffin had borrowed the sum of $10.00 from his friend Mr. Earl Tuzo. As security, yes he did leave his handgun with him. Earl Tuzo's Mum did not like the idea of the handgun being in the house, so when Wilbert returned from the forest and learned of the Mum's displeasure about the gun, he repaid the $10.00 to Earl Tuzo and regained possession. The information with respect to the gun being in the house was conveyed by Mrs. Francis Annett, a long time friend of all concerned.
Mr. Fortin went on to say that the police "found" the handgun in Montreal. They did not find the handgun at all. Wilbert Coffin voluntarily stated to police where the handgun was in Montreal. Wilbert Coffin had sold it to his wife's brother, a Mr. Harold Petrie. He sold it because he had every right to sell it. It was his own personal and private property. Mr. Fortin it would appear, attempted to lead you down the garden path to make you think that the police found it as a result of an extensive search and investigation. That may be the way that it was written into the Brossard Commission, but keep in mind, anything that was put on record in the Brossard Commission was based on information of events that happened at least eleven years in the past.
Now that we have cleared the air on that element, I shall carry on now with exhibit #28, the famous revolver. As I mentioned, folks apparently were curious about this revolver and on that site that I speak of, it was being touted as Wilbert Coffins handgun. I am sorry to burst your bubble here but guess what? That particular handgun listed as exhibit #28 was not the handgun of Wilbert Coffin. A good question here would be can I prove that statement? By now you should be familiar with the fact that if I can't back the statement up with documentation or an interview, it doesn't get published on this site. I invite you to go and get another coffee and read on and I will explain to you how we learned that.
Let us make reference to item #28. By the authorities of the day it was listed as a revolver. They are quite correct up to a point. It is listed as Series 4597, again correct to a point. It leaves one to assume that the number 4597 is the serial number of the firearm. It is not. One key thing that we are not told here is the calibre of the firearm.
It was approximately one year ago that I conducted the investigative nature of this firearm, something that should have, but obviously was not done fifty-five years ago. We tore apart this element of evidence as we did most everything else pertaining to this case. The following constitutes my findings with reference to item #28 of the crowns exhibits list.
The fact that the handgun was being touted as a revolver told me that it was most probably North American manufactured. There was and still is two companies in the United States who manufactured this style of handgun. These companies are highly respected Smith & Wesson and Colt.
The number 4597 is not a serial number. It represents just what it says in the list, "Series 4597." It denotes a particular style of handgun. In this case, a revolver. It does not identify the calibre, however, in this case it would have been either 38 Special or 357 Magnum, and most probably was 38 Special. There would have been a separate serial number to identify a specific firearm which is, and was required by law. There were literally thousands of this type of handgun produced.
The term "revolver" simply means that it is a firearm with a magazine consisting of a rotating cylinder. These firearms were produced as well with a variety of barrel lengths from less than two inches to six and eight inches. The six inch barrel was probably the most popular. The longer the barrel, the more cumbersome a handgun is to draw from a holster. The longer barrel does offer a much longer sighting plane. This style of handgun was until about twenty years ago a favourite of law enforcement. It was also popular with those wishing an inexpensive firearm to shoot targets and tin cans.
Mr. Fortin alludes to the picture on page 14 in Alton Price's book "To Build A Noose." The firearm that Mr. Claar is holding is very definitely a firearm from this series. In the photo, it is easy to spot the revolving magazine open. This is how new cartridges are loaded into the firearm, and spent cartridges removed. This style of firearm had a capacity of six cartridges, and with Colt especially, this is where the term "Six Shooter" originated from. In the case of Colt, many of this style of firearm was silver or metallic in colour giving it the old west image and were used extensively in the movies.
In the case of the firearm that Mr. Claar is holding, and the revolver mentioned in the exhibits list, they are very definitely Smith & Wessons. Having established that fact, I will now state to you that Wilbert Coffin did not possess a Smith & Wesson. Here comes that question again, "Can I prove that statement?" Of course I can. As usual, if I cannot back it up with documentation I do not publish it on this site.
Due to the length of this posting I am going to break it here and I do promise to be back in two days explaining and displaying to you the firearm that Wilbert Coffin owned. In the mean time I am leaving you with a better picture of the series of handgun that I talked about today. I invite you to compare my photo of this style of handgun and that from Alton Price's book. I am certain that you will agree the style is one in the same.


Thank you again for reading my web site. As usual, your signed comments and questions are most welcome. I shall see you in two days for the other half of this posting. God Bless you one and all.
Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"
Do not plagiarize. Please note, material from this web site is not to be copied or reproduced in whole or in part by whatever means and for whatever reason without the express written permission of the author, Lew Stoddard.


M. Adams said...

Mr. Stoddard,
An absolute work of art, your investigation and work on that revolver listed on the exhibit list of the crown. I have not seen your report yet on the firearm that you say was Wilbert Coffins but if your report is anywhere close to the exactness of the firearm on the exhibit list, there will be no doubt.

I cannot believe the determination and drive that you and Ms. Mitchell have shown on this case. My hat is off to you both. More and more it is becoming evident that a miscarriage of justice occured in this case.

Congratulations Sir, and keep the pressure on.

M. Adams
Richmond Hill, Ontario

Rick Willett. Nephew said...

Hi Lew;
Happy New Year. Looking forward to some more postings of new revelations about this case. I know that some people are attracted to the "Brossard web sight" but they are reviewing stuff that has been incorrect for 50 years. I do not even bother to go to that site. Your work is the new work and backed up with documentation.

Ryan Cameron said...

I certainly agree with Mr. Adams above. I also wish to say that when one reads your various reports backed up with documentation on the main events of this case, one quickly realizes that this other site that promotes their own agenda based on this Brossard report does not know anything about this case. I guess some will do anything to sell a book.

Ryan Cameron
Calgary, Alberta

Raymond Martin said...

It is about time that someone really got into the details of this case as you have done in the past couple of years or so. If it would have been done over 50 years ago the rightful conclusion would have prevailed in this case at Perce', Quebec at trial.

It is so obvious that the whole thing was a rigged process, my family have always felt that and we date back to the shores of eastern Quebec long before this ever happened. And no, in case anyone is wondering, we are not relatives of the Coffin family, nor did we know any of them personally.

Raymond Martin
Kingston, Ontario

Barb Saunders said...

The work that you completed on this identification process of these handguns is remarkable and I haven't even seen the results of the process on Wilbert Coffin's firearm. If the first one from the exhibits list is any example I am certain it will be a thorough process.

This site that is always so critical of your work has suddenly gone silent on the matter. I wonder why?

Barb Saunders
Swift Current, Saskatchewan