Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Before I get into today's posting, it is important that you understand the difference between an autopsy and an inquest. In their proper context, both can be considered as vital components in both identifying a deceased body and establishing a cause and time of death as is the case with an autopsy. Though autopsies are routinely performed nearly every day in large hospitals in the interests of medecine with the permission of a deceased next of kin, they are mandatory where there is a suggestion of death due to foul play.
The inquest on the other hand is used to study and make the determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence to consider criminal proceedings as in the case of a cessation of life at the hands of another human being. It is important to understand that an inquest can proceed with or without a formal autopsy depending on the circumstances, and conversely, an autopsy most definitely can be carried out without an inquest.
This posting will focus not only on the autopsies of Eugene Lindsey, Richard Lindsey, and Frederick Claar, all found deceased in the Gaspe' woods in 1953, but will also cover the chain of events leading up to the autopsies, namely the initial search for the remains. It was necessary that I carry out exhaustive research and investigation with reference to these three discoveries. Simply and clearly, I was never satisfied that what was conveyed to the public subsequent to these crimes was a true and accurate accounting.
It has taken over two years to reach my conclusions. I am now ready to proceed with my findings and share them with you. You will no doubt recognize some of which I have stated previously. However, as a result of further investigation, I am able to enhance certain aspects based on information previously unknown to me.
In this whole affair the autopsy reports as put forth by the government of Quebec conducted on the remains of Eugene Lindsey, Richard Lindsey, and Frederick Claar could best be described as shameful. I am convinced that the shameful acts did not begin with the autopsies themselves, but rather with the complete process beginning with the search for the bodies, and the subsequent discovery of the remains by searchers.
As you will see and hopefully understand, the quality and control of the investigation and search would deterioate greatly as soon as the judiciary from Quebec City, under direction from Captain Alphonse Matte seized control from the local detachment of the Quebec Provincial Police at Gaspe' headed up by Sergeant Henri Doyon. This will become abundantly clear as you read and consume this phase of my investigation.
Firstly, with reference to the search, one has to convey the greatest respect to the search team members. True, they were not professional searchers and I am certain they were all taking part for genuine reasons but I have to be fair here. I say that because not all the searchers came from a particular group, and thus, many would not have personally known others taking part. My reasoning for this will become clearer as you read on.
From this point onward I shall give you warning now. Some of the scenes that I shall be describing do not depict pretty scenes. If you find the thoughts of what you might read here troubling, then perhaps you should not read it. However, it is necessary that I describe the scenes to you in order to fully illustrate the sloppy and unprofessional route that the Quebec Provincial Police allowed this case to take, and further become part of the official investigation that would send a man to the gallows.
The date was July 15, 1953. The remains as identified as that of Eugene Lindsey was located on this date. His skeleton was anything but intact. The head was completely missing as was a large part of the thorax region of the upper body. As a result of marrauding hungry black bears in the area, very little flesh remained on the bones. Approximately one week later the skeletal remains identified as those of Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar were found a short distance away.
The following represents the autopsy reports as performed and compiled by Doctor J. M. Roussel. At the end of the reports you can read of my conversation with a pathologist with whom I presented Dr. Roussel's reports.
443 St. Vincent Street
Re. The disappearance of three hunters at Gaspé- June-July 1953-bones of Camp 24

Last July 15, at the request of M.Charland, directeur-adjoint suppléant of the Surety Provincial of Quebec, I went to Gaspé, so as to examine the bones that were discovered in the woods, about 60 miles from Gaspé.During the day of July 17, accompanied by Sergeant Doyon, of the local station, of the Surety Provincial Police, I transported myself to the same spot, designated by the name "Camp 24."At this place, near a little river, an incomplete skeleton was found, and partly dislocated, to which adhered some malodorous scraps of skin.The preliminary examination shows that it was only the bones of a single person, contrary to that which was believed at first; the bones were placed in a box and taken to Gaspé for a more detailed examination.


Description of the Bones: - The bones are completely stripped of the muscles that were attached and are more or less disjoined; the head and the sides are missing.The extremities of the upper limbs are relatively intact; the skin of the hands is of a blackish brown color, of a wrinkled consistency and in appearance somewhat mummified; the nails are long and rough.

The following bones then form the incomplete skeleton:part of the spinal columnthe two scapulasthe left claviclethe bones of the complete upper limbs: humerus, cubitus, radius, wrists and handsthe pelvis comprising of the bones of the iliac and the sacrum, but without the coccyxthe bones of the complete lower limbs.

Determination of Sex: - The size even of the bones, the marked relief of muscular insertions, the dimension of the pelvis and the force of the obturate holes are those that leave no doubt on the masculine sex of the bones.

Determination of the Size: The measurements of the bones of the members gave the following values:- left femur 181/4" or 46, 35 cms-right femur idem; (?)-right tibia 14-5/8" or 37 cms-right humerus 13-3/8" or 34 cms

When referring to the anthropomorphic table establishing the length of bones following the sizes, we obtain the following correspondences:-left femur 463,5 mm – size 170,6 cms-tibia 370,0 mm – " 168,5 cms-humerus 340,0 mm - " 173,0cmsThe means of the size corresponding to these three long bones is 170,7 cms, being 5 feet 71/2 inches.

The method of the coefficients gives us similar results:-femur 483,5 mm x 3,66 = size: 169,64 cms-tibia 370,0 mm x 4,53 = " 166,71 cms- humerus 340,0 mm x 5,06 = " 172,04 cms

Average of the size: 170,1 cms, being about 5 feet, 7 inches.

Determination of Age: With the absence of the cranium, the only means to appreciate the age of the person who had the bones consists in the research of the degree of ossification of different parts of the skeleton.Radiography demonstrates a complete welding of the epiphyses ( extremities) of the long bones of the members, a welding likewise supplements the iliac peak with the pelvic bone and as well a welding of the crown vertebrae, the ones with the others.And also, the presence of small osteophytes on the level of certain bones and evident signs of arthritis in the articulations of the thumb of the right hand, indicating that this isn’t the bones of a young man or adolescent and that we are in the presence of the skeleton of an adult of middle age.

Determination of Cause of Death: Except for the ( grugement)? spongy end of certain bones of the skeleton, the exam didn’t reveal any trace of significant violence, on the bones at our disposition; it is then impossible, in the circumstances, to confirm the existence of violence of vital origin.

The complete disappearance of the internal organs and other soft parts of the skeleton prevents us from establishing the cause of death.

Summary:The bones found at Camp "24" are those of a man of middle age, measuring about 5 foot 7 inches tall.

The skeletal remains were identified as those of Eugene Hunter Lindsey of Pennsylvania.

The desiccation and the parchment of the skin and the soft tissue of the two hands indicate that death occurred at the minimum of one month ago.

WHITE T-SHIRT:Perforation at the edge shredded with the upper left region of the thorax ( or..could read…" shredded perforation at the edge of the upper left region of the thorax?) at 5 ½" of the center line and 4" below the seam of the shoulder surrounded by a zone of reddish color apparently ( tituée?) caused? by blood – No corresponding perforation in the back.NOTE:The three clothing carry to the dorsal area dte? near the middle about 4" in the lower part of the lower seam of the sleeve, a circular perforation not found on the anterior front.

J.M. Roussel, M.D.

Medical Examiner


NOTE ON THE PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS MADE BY DR. J. MARIE ROUSSEL, MEDICAL EXAMINER: 25-7-53SKELETON "A"Skeleton found 75’ from camp 26. (It was in a wood box (Dynamex) and included the bones of the cranium.)Lower maxilla,All the vertebrae except one,18 sides,2 scapulas,2 clavicles,2 humerus, cabitus, and right radius,2 bones of the pelvis,2 femurs,Tibias and right fibulas,Tibias and left fibulas

NOTE: The bones of the lower maxillas are partially corroded and it is impossible to make a precise measurement.

Measurements: Left humerus: 33.5 cms or 13 3/16,"Left cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8",Right humerus: 22.5 cms or 12 ¾",Or 33.5 or 13 3/16" without measured angle,Right cubitus: 26.5 cms or 10 3/8,Right radius: 24.5 cms or 9 5/8",

CRANIUM:Jagged (indented?) sutures (joinings?) evident everywhere past traces of ossification.

TEETH: Lower maxillas healthy natural teeth with no obvious decay, except in the line space of the right interior incisor medians. First lower left molars missing.Upper maxillas: bad establishment of the right incisor (retreating). The first large left molar missing as well as the right.

BONE OF THE PELVIS: The iliac ridge is not definitely welded. With the tip of the pelvis that which indicates an age lower than twenty years.

CLOTHES:A pair of black leather boots with the soles sewn with two rows of thread and two rows of copper rivets under the boots, and also a strap with buckles around the hoses, size about 8.Trousers probably brown with a tinted red leather belt with a series of oblique marks and a buckle with the initial "R"
A handkerchief with brown and green edges and the second with finer stripes,
A white sweatshirt with the name " Hollidaysburg Tigers " on top of the figure of a tiger.
A sport shirt tinted green marked Sportop washable, size "S-14-14 ½" with two pockets in the front on the right and the left
.A windbreaker or red and black checked shirt marked " Woolrich ", size 15 zipper and two pockets in the front.

This skeletal remains was identified as that belonging to Richard Lindsey of Pennsylvania



Pelvis with lumbar column and last cervical vertebras and 7 dorsal, vestiges of four sides, I free side with diaphise part of two femurs whose extremities are notched, diaphise tibia dr. notched.


1 plaid waistcoat red and black checked marked Woolrich with two sleeves turned out,1 pair of blue jeans, two pockets turned out,1 undershirt marked "Croftman" size No. 42,1 T-shirt red, large, Penney’s,

1 left boot brown leather laced with eyelets, soles of black rubber neoprene, oil resisting, size 11.

This skeletal remains identified as that of Frederick Claar of Pennsylvania






CLOTHING:Red waistcoat property of T-shirt marked Penny’s, 2 circular perforations measuring 7/16" to 1/2 " in diameter distance of 2 " located at the left anterior face of the thorax, a little on the left and in the lower part of the left center.

Circular perforations similar to the preceding ones located right face anterior of thorax 1" in inside of the seam of the sleeve at the level of the right pectoral area.

Large ovalaire (oval shaped?) perforation measuring about 1" long by 5 lines high situated with the anterior face of the thorax at the same level as the former at 1" to the right of the center line.

4 or 5 perforations or tears on the posterior right side of the sweater in the line of the armpit.


Checked jacket red and black Woolrich with chamois sleeves. One notes 2 perforations through the anterior pocket and the left side of the windbreaker.

Perforations or tears in the seam or junction between the right sleeve and the jacket (corresponding to the perforations like on the T-shirt.)

Tear close to the neck (collar) of the jacket at about 2 ½" with the top of the upper snap button corresponding to the ( ovalaire?) oval? tear noted on the T-shirt.


A"Red and black checked jacket with zipper- perforation in the upper left region at 3 ¼" from the 3" in the line of the center and 4" with the top of the higher edge of the upper anterior pocket and to 5" to the lower part of the seam of the shoulder


Circular perforation at 3 ½" to the left of the centerline 5" of the lower part of the seam of the shoulder.


Perforation at the edge shredded with the upper left region of the thorax ( or..could read…" shredded perforation at the edge of the upper left region of the thorax?) at 5 ½" of the center line and 4" below the seam of the shoulder surrounded by a zone of reddish color apparently ( tituée?) caused? by blood – No corresponding perforation in the back.


The three clothing carry to the dorsal area dte? near the middle about 4" in the lower part of the lower seam of the sleeve, a circular perforation not found on the anterior front.

I seized upon the opportunity to discuss the above autopsy reports with a pathologist at a large modern hospital. This particular pathologist has performed many autopsies, not only as a result of his routine work in hospitals, but also doing and working on autopsies as a result of trauma deaths. His first question to me was where is the autopsy report. He snickered and shook his head when I said, "what you see is what there was."

The good doctor pointed out to me that a first year medical student would be expected to turn out a report far superior than what I was showing him. He simply could not believe those reports as stated could help form the basis for the scientific evidence in a multiple murder investigation.

He went on to say that Dr. Roussel's report is little more than an inventory of the clothing worn by the deceased. It could also be a display by the examiner of his knowledge of bones and their names, something that any medical doctor is required to know. It lacked the key ingredients, namely declaring the trauma if any on the skeletons.

The doctor asked me if I knew how these persons supposedly died, to which I declared that officially two of them were listed as dying from gunshot wounds. He then asked where were the bullets or bullet fragments, to which I declared none were ever found. He asked about spent cartridge cases, again the same answer, none were ever found. He then asked about a weapon. The same answer applied, none was ever located.

I suggested to the doctor that one of the younger victims had been reported to have been shot multiple times, and further, that in the case of the younger victims, both were reported to have been shot in the abdominal and chest area. His reply there was the same as I have said many times, that it is difficult to comprehend a human body being felled by firearm multiple times or even a single time in those areas without breaking bones. I explained to the doctor that the provincial chemist had found a mark on one rib, but had also said that it could have been made by a forest animal.

The doctor went on to say that he assumed that a defense lawyer would have been quick to do an "autopsy on the autopsy report" in the courtroom. He cringed when I informed him that was not the case as there was no cross examination on this by the defense.

The doctor also asked me as to how and why they settled on the cause of death as firearm related. I explained that because they had discovered some holes in the clothing they were assuming they were bullet holes. I showed him in the report where the size diameter of the holes to be 7/16" and 1/2" to which he replied as not consistent with small arms to which I readily agreed.

I asked him about the possibility of a stabbing with a round tapered object, to which he agreed was an excellent thought.

I also explained to the doctor that Richard Lindsey's rifle was found with the barrel muzzle filled with mud and debris. I explained to him that a favorite stance of hunters is to walk and stand with the barrel resting in the crook of the opposite arm pointing out to the side. I suggested to him that if someone were walking or standing like that and they were stabbed from behind that they would probably drop and the muzzle of the rifle would be driven into the ground. He suggested to me that my thoughts on that were very reasonable.

He wanted to know if the police considered these avenues. Again I could only speculate that if they did, they kept it to themselves.

When all was said and done the doctor did say to me that even though Dr. Roussel states on each autopsy report that each set of bones were identified as belonging to each named individual, there was absolutely nothing in his examination that would have told him that without outside help.

In the case of Eugene Lindsey, Mr. Clarence Claar had stated that Mr. Lindsey had long finger nails, and you will note in the autopsy report on Mr. Lindsey, Dr. Roussel points out that the skeleton had long finger nails. He pointed that out simply because it had been conveyed to him already.

My conclusions with respect to Dr. Roussel's reports are as follows. These conclusions are not based on my personal opinion. These conclusions are representative of evidence that was put forth by the judiciary of Quebec. As I have stated numerous times, the purpose of this three year investigation was not to offer my personal opinions, but to display to the public as accurately as I can, the events as they unfolded and became part of the overall investigation leading to the execution of Wilbert Coffin.

1) He did not establish a cause of death

2) He did not establish a time of death

3) He found no markings on the skeletal remains to suggest firearm trauma

4) He left no known instructions to the police to convey to the searchers with respect to the handling of the other two bodies should they be found, and as a result bones were simply tossed into cardboard boxes and transported to Gaspe'. There is no way that searchers would have known which bones belonged to either of the two remains.

5) He gave no consideration to the fact that the area should have been cordoned off as soon as the first sighting of human remains became apparent. As a result searchers were going in every direction, picking up remains and items.

6) The police have to shoulder some responsibility here. With the number of people concentrated in the search area, how would the police know if one of them decided to not turn in found items. Afterall, it was the police who touted the story that Mr. Lindsey's money was stolen.

7) The police allowed the area to become a media frenzy upon discovery of the remains. Searchers were taking turns posing for pictures holding up boxes containing human bones, and in some of the pictures that I have acquired, the police officers are in the photos as well.

8) One of the lead police officers in the search in his hair brained wisdom saw fit to pull out his service revolver and fill the carcass of a dead bear with lead instead of doing an autopsy on the bear to find out what it's stomach contents were.

In any homicide investigation the crime scene is where it all begins. It has to be that way. Otherwise it becomes a complete sham, which is exactly what happened in the Gaspe' woods after these murders. It is little wonder that my doctor friend stood shaking his head as I related the chain of events to him.

Before I conclude for today I want to make you aware of another interview that I conducted yesterday with respect to the Wilbert Coffin case. It was with a lady named Evelyn Dodson. Evelyn lost very heavily in the Gaspe' woods as well, when these murders were committed. Evelyn lost her brother. Evelyn was the former Evelyn Claar and it was her brother Fred Claar who was murdered. In the next posting, I shall outline some of the material from my interview. It is interesting because Evelyn, who was seventeen at the time, attended the trial at Perce' with the rest of her family.

This has been a rather long posting but I felt it pertinent for the public to be exposed to the shoddy piece of workmanship that went into the pathology end of this affair.

Lew Stoddard


Bent said...

It is simply amazing to read how a wrongful conviction usually follows a botched autopsy. That was the case with Lynne Harper (wrongfully convicted Steven Truscott), as well as the case of William Mullins-Johnson, just to mention two cases where a bad autopsy was largely to blame.

D Hammond said...

I have followed your invstigation and writings on this affair from the beginning. You are a dedicated and patient man.

Something that puzzles me though. These people that you are able to come into contact with that are obviously elderly after all these years, do they find you or do you find them? Either way it is a fine piece of detective work.

I never would have guessed that the search, discovery, and recovery of the remains in this case would have been so sloppy. I would have thought that they would go strictly by the book.

I have nothing to offer you Sir to assist you other than my support but I am sincere when I say keep up the good work and that it is appreciated.

D Hammond
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dave Adams said...

It is bad to have to admit that our police are an embarassment but that is exactly what they were in this case. Unfortunately even here in modern day there are many examples of the same thing.

After reading your posting on the autopsy reports a third time, I now see clearly that medical officer, Mr. Roussel already knew the names of these individuals when he commenced his autopsy.

He didn't have to identify them at all, was already done for him, and even at that he did not define a cause of death, so really, what role did he really play, other than window dressing the whole affair.

Dave Adams

Jerome Savard said...

A sham is quite right sir with the disposition of the bodies after the remains were found. Even by 1953 standards much more should have been demanded and expected.

Tell me why no-one ever pressed the judicial people when all this was going on. Surely there must have been a few people around and could use their brains and say this does not seem right.

though it is over 50 years later something still should be done on the part of the government body that handled all this affair.

Jerome Savard

Janice W said...

Lew I heard you on the radio yesterday talking about this case. Very impressive and I was amazed that you have done all this, you were very informative. I am certain that you have opened lots of eyes and ears on this event.

Janice W
Abbotsford, B C

Roger Cote said...

I heard your interview as well. My Dad and Mum are formerly from the Gaspe' coast and Dad heard the radio interview as they lived on the coast when all this happened. They were surprized that after all these years that something solid appears to be being done.

Keep up the effort Sir and my Dad says thanks.

Roger Cote
Hope, B C

Catherine Hubert said...

I was just reviewing your previous postings on this case. So sad as I see where the trial lasted 19 days and the jury deliberation took just 30 minutes or one minute and 12 seconds of deliberation time for each full day of trial time. Absolutely incredible!!

Catherine Hubert
Kingston, Ontario

Sandra Doucette said...

Hey there Mr Deep sexy voice. . .

I heard you as well on the radio. When are you going to come back and work at our station. We need that deep voice of yours reading news. I was told to tell you that you can start any day that you wish to come in.

I see you were doing your homework on the autopsy reports, I found that interesting, sure is a different world today than it was 50 years ago.

Anyway Lew, drop in this week if you can. It is your turn to buy coffee. I am on holidays after this week.

Don't work too hard Lew.

Sandra Doucette
Mission, B.C.

Jeanette Mersereau said...

Haven't had a chance to look in on your web page for the past while until yesterday. I see you have never let up the pressure. That is what will get the job done in the final stretch. You and Ms. Mitchell have worked tremendously hard on this. I hope and pray that we can convince the politicians.

Jeanette Mersereau
Saint John, New Brunswick

Georgette Gautier said...

Mr. Stoddard,

Are you attempting to establish that the remains found in the forest may not have been those of the Lindsey party? It appears that way based on the way that you criticize the medical officers report.

You do state that the examiner did not establish conclusively that the remains were identified. I think you owe it to everyone for an explanation on this.

Georgette Gautier

Greta Thompson said...

Mr. Stoddard you talk all the time about the police in the early 50's as being too aggressive. I tend to think that you too are being far too aggressive and I think that you are far too bold in many cases.

Is this the way that the Coffin family wants you to be as you research this for them? I am willing to bet that they are somewhat upset with you in some of your high handed methods.

Your last posting on the autopsy reporting is a prime example.

Greta Thompson

D Michaud said...

I am of the opinion that if the autopsy reports were as skewed as you display then they would have been questioned in the trial. Your first commenter on this page, the gentleman named Bent might want to stop and have some thoughts on this as well, considering his comments. It is always easy to blame those in authority.

D Michaud

J McLean said...

I believe it to be cruel and unnecessary for the insinuations that you make against the search teams who took part in the search for the missing hunters bodies.

I simply could not believe what I was reading there, those people gave freely of their time and resources, but not to get put down like that.

J McLean

C. Donovan said...

To all those out there who are critical of this web site and the way that Lew Stoddard has investigated, reported, and written about this case should ask themselves one simple question.

They should ask themselves if this had of been one of their family members who was hanged at the end of a rope in the name of justice, wouldn't you want to know the true story behind the scenes?

Would they just accept it at face value, or would they be thankful that a guy such as Lew Stoddard came along and decided to tear it all apart from start to finish and raise lots of questions as to a very possible wrongful conviction and execution, all made possible as a result of the hard work by he and Ms. Mitchell

Wake up and smell the roses.

C. Donovan

Margo Roberts said...

Thank you for your continued work in exposing the wrongs in this whole case against my uncle. We appreciate your work. I think a lot of people just do not understand the political environment of Quebec under the Duplessis government.

Margo Roberts
Kinosota, MB

Joyce from Bristol said...

Message to Lew Stoddard,

I have been a long time contributor to your web site as you know.

I will admit in the beginning that I was a bit upset and I voiced my opinion correspondingly when you first published information regarding the autopsies in this case.

I must now offer you my apology because I better understand your style of reporting this case and the overall sensitivity that you employ in getting your point across, and with the people that you interview.

I was upset last year because I thought perhaps you were being too harsh on the medical examiner and the judiciary in Quebec.

The events during the past year in the province of Ontario has certainly opened my eyes. It is appalling to read of the wrongful convictions there that have been proven wrongful, as a result of aautopsies and reports filed by a medical examiner who did not know what he was doing.

Just imagine how many people could have gone to the gallows in Ontario as a result of that man's so called expert testimony as a medical examiner.

Mr. Stoddard, I fully support what you are doing and your latest posting says it like it should be said, if that was the way it happened. Keep up the good work and pay no attention to some of these armchair know it alls.

Bristol, New Brunswick

Wes Manley said...

I am glad to see you are bringing the autopsies to the front in this affair. I had no idea that it was so dis-organized, not only the actual mrdical examination, but the search and disposition of the remains as well.

Never in modern day would society put up with that, and neither would the law. I don't believe that it was right back then either. I further believe that there were safeguards in place and rules pertaining to this type of crime back in the fifties as to how it was investigated. That is where the police looks real bad, and yet all that was out of sight for all these years.

Shame on all levels of government for allowing this sort of thing to happen.

I encourage you Sir to expose everything that you can. It seems to be the only way to achieve results.

Wes Manley

Dean Simmons said...

I am a bit unclear as to how far apart the remains of these three hunters were found. You have probably covered that, but is it possible to touch upon it again? Thanks in advance.

Dean Simmons
Niagara Falls, Ontario

D Landry said...

It is sure easy to see that had the things that you write about been brought up at trial, the results would most definitely been different.

Your investigation is such a far cry from that stuff from this Brossard report and the trial itself. The whole thing was a sham, one would have to be a complete idiot to not see that. It is remarkable that you have been able to do this without rehashing what others have written, and copying from the transcripts of the trial and the Brosard report as is the case on another site.

D Landry
Moncton, N B

R Holmes said...

Your investigation has taken shape nicely. You have certainly convinced me that an injustice took place with the hanging of Mr. Coffin.

R Holmes
Halifax, Nova Scotia

B Kinney said...

I am curious as to why the local paper, "The Spec" on the Gaspe' coast has such a closed mind in regard to the Coffin affair.

From time to time they do a blurb, stuff that we have all seen and heard a million times, but never do they make mention of your research and investigation. I find this very troubling, especially when you document your work in such an articulate fashion and back up what you are saying with authority.

I am sick of hearing about this Brossard inquiry. As you state that came about long after they had already hanged Mr. Coffin, and yet you have produced all sorts of new evidence that never made it to trial and of course is not mentioned in this Brossard report, because obviously, that would have made the judicial process in Quebec smell very badly.

Again Mr. Stoddard, I feel that the local Gaspe' paper should cover your work. Is it not a newspapers agenda to keep the public informed?

B Kinney
Former Gaspe' coast resident

claude marcotte in hull Quebec said...

How come on this Mr. Fortins report i do not read the same stuff as on this one as i dont know waht to believe as he never talks about stuff like you do but he is a lawyor so he should know about the true story i believe. i have read your stuff for a long time and it does interest me but i have problems to understand about stuff the way he writes it. he must study the same stuff as you doesnt he so why are you so different to him.?

thankyou sir and i hope you will answers me.

Claude marcotte in hull Quebec

Pierre Landry said...

I think in some ways you have been expecting too much perhaps from the police back in the mid fifties by comparing them to todays investigations. They have a lot more to work with now and I guess that is why they appear a lot better today than back then. Just my thought anyway for what it is worth.

Pierre Landry

Blair Adams said...

You do not have a whisper of a chance of getting the authorities to overturn this conviction at this late date considering they already hung the man they convicted over five decades ago.

At what point will you say this is a waste of time and put the keyboard to rest?

Blair Adams

S. McGuire said...

I have read your writings from start to finish on this case a couple of times, and some of it more than that.

One thing that I find very troubling, and perhaps you have covered it and maybe not but my question is, did the authorities know for sure the date when the hunters were actually killed in relation to the date that Wilbert Coffin came out of the forest?

You have done a great work on this case and I commend you and Lani Mitchell for your dedication considering all the time that you have spent on this?

If you get a moment I would sure appreciate a reply to my question.

S. McGuire
Saint John

C. White said...

I cannot believe that there were none in the Gaspe' region who could have shed some light on these murders.

Gaspe is and was a small town and even the out lying areas was and are communities that inter-mingled with the people of Gaspe'.

Is it that people were afraid? Are they still afraid after all these years? If Wilbert Coffin was wrongly put to death, did they not feel remorse?

These things trouble me. I really do not believe that no-one heard anything. This whole area was teeming with bootleg joints, and these places everywhere were like hair dressing salons when it come to gossip?

C. White
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Lloyd Mason said...

You may have covered this but I couldn't find it. Was there any attempt to gather finger print evidence?

Lloyd Mason

S. Dewitt said...

I want to know how long the Lindsey truck was actually stationery in one place unattended. Something is very strange here.

S. Dewitt

Kim, niece said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

to blair adams
I have to respond to you. You are so wrong in your view . Listen to the whisper of the family and supporters of those whose names have been cleared (Steven Truscott and David Milgaard come to mind). Whispers can topple wrong. It was those whispers that have given the Coffin family so so much hope and comfort over the years and have strengthened us to continue to battle till Uncle Bill's name is cleared . I cannot tell you the rejoicing that went on the night we got the news that Steven Truscott ordeal was over, but i will tell you this it felt like the best Christmas ever when everyone in the family had got what they wanted. It renewed our hope that Canada will do the right thing. So to use your words stop wasting your time give your computer a break , lay off trying to stop what will happen, cause we will never give up till we win! We will fight with the rest of peace loving justice demanding Canadians till Justice is for all. And may i add we are fighting this fight for you and your family.

Uncle Bill's niece
Diane Peter

Anonymous said...

To all the supporters of our fight
I have to add that the Coffin family appreciate and are so thankful for all those who by their tireless efforts and prayers support us in our fight to clear my uncle's name
thank you from the bottom of our hearts

Uncle Bill's niece
diane peter

Kim, Niece of Wilbert Coffin said...

Entering a battle of wits with those that come to the battle unarmed isn't something I really like to do but there was a comment that really deserves a response from the family and I hope that there are several.......

To Blair Adams...people like you are the reason tragedies like this happen..people who can't see beyond the end of their own nose....Everyone is entitled to their own opinion..but to make such a heartless....moronic.....close-minded comment as yours...really requires special talent...I'm just thankful that there are not many like you and the majority of people realize the importance of and believe in what we are trying to accomplish.

Kim, Niece of Wilbert Coffin

S. Greer said...

Dear Lew Stoddard,

I decided to send you this e-mail to let you know that I admire and support your efforts on this case. I know of no other person who would have been willing to exert the time and energy that you have expended to get the message out to Canadians. It is unfortunate that our politicians do not take a page from your book when they speak of their dedication to the community.

I must say that the underlying motivator that encouraged me to send you this e-mail is the fact that I am a relative of the extended family of another who was wrongly convicted and finally cleared of a crime that he did not commit.

I know the frustrations, the anger, the fear, and I know the hurt of seeing elderly family members pass on without ever learning that the truth finally prevailed. I can also say that I can personally relate to the statement that Diane Peter made on your web page as to the rejoicing that was felt the night that Steven Truscotts ordeal was announced as being officially over.

Though officially the battle was over, it came at great price. Things do not just suddenly become mended. The mental anguish and the deep hurt are scars that will remain forever.

I have taught school for the greater part of my life in central Canada. Respect and forgiveness have always formed a large part of the curriculum. It is sad to see the things that some people say. I note on your web page the comment that a Blair Adams made.

It would have taken the same amount of energy for Mr. Adams to state something to the effect that even though he doesn't think it possible, would there be something that he might do to help?

I believe that the two ladies Kim and Diane did a good job with expressing the hardships placed on a family during times like this.

I encourage you Sir, that is about all that I can offer. I apologize for the lengthy e-mail. If you desire you may publish it or part of it as a comment. It is your choice. You have my full permission.

Keep up the good work Sir.

S. Greer

Lew Stoddard, Host of "Stoddard Online" said...

Message to S. Greer,

Though I do not often comment directly on the comment page, I want to publicly acknowledge your e-mail to me, and to further inform, that I published your e-mail in it's complete form, even though it was received in a bit of a round about way.

I thank you for your words of support. This web site commands a large following from one end of Canada to the other, and as well, we often see letters from countries abroad.

Though I have personally met only one member of the extended Coffin family, it is not uncommon to speak with members on a somewhat frequent basis. The one member that I have personally met is James Coffin, the son of Wilbert Coffin. I can certainly understand what you say when you describe the horrors of a family member being accused and convicted of a crime that they did not commit.

To reply to your comment as to the work and dedication necessary to bring this to a head, yes, it has been an enormous undertaking. I am not complaining though as I could have walked away at any moment. It would have been a disgrace to do that, especially when I could see that the deeper we dug, the more muck that was beginning to ooze to the surface.

Thank you for your thoughts and sharing them with us all. Feel free to jump in at any time, and this applies to all readers of the site. The rules are simple, but you must sign your comments in order to be published.

God Bless us all.

Lew Stoddard
Host of "Stoddard Online"

Bob said...

maybe you havent met members of the coffin family but it dont mean you dont get paid for your work beecause nobody would do all this stuff for free so how much do you they pay you.

Bob in north Bay

A "Wannabe Writer" named Erica said...

I am curious as to the response in general that you receive when you suddenly emerge to an elderly person and you want to talk about this case that happened over 50 years ago. Are they generally friendly, excited and do they ever just hang up on you and if they do, what do you do then especially if you think they may know something that can assist you?

I am assuming that you have to have a thick skin to be a detective or an investigative journalist. Sort of intriguing actually!

A "Wannabe Writer" named Erica

G. Myers said...

If one reads various histories of Canada and compares it to other countries, it is quite obvious to see that Mr. Duplessis while premier of Quebec could very easily be portrayed a dictator.

My question is simply this, why would the other provinces put up with it and further, why would the federal government in Ottawa not make a stand against his actions. Confederation was based on unity of the provinces under a democratic movement, therefore I say, Who the Hell was Maurice Duplessis to be able to blow his own horn. As you have said in the past, Ottawa had a responsibility in this case at the time so in no way are their hands clean.

G. Myers

Marshall B. said...

It has taken a long time, over 50 years in fact but I now see much appearing on this case that was never visible in the past.

It is incredible that the big media outlets pounded the same dead horse over and over and accomplished absolutely nothing in bringing the whole true picture to the front.

By comparison Mr. Stoddard, you came along with no budget and no team of reporters fifty years after the crime and suddenly any who are interested in the case and I see there are many, can get a clear unbiased accounting of the case at the click of a button.

I commend you and Mrs. Mitchell for your efforts and the hundreds and hundreds of hours that you have obviously endured through very trying circumstances considering your health etc. Pay no heed to the idiots out there who make stupid comments.

Marshall B.
Calgary, Alberta

Kim, niece of Wilbert Coffin said...

To Bob in North Bay

Thankfully there ARE still good people in the world....people that understand that there is no price tag on doing the right thing, that a good deed is not done with the expectation of a reward. Lew is one of these people, for the endless hours he's spent researching, looking below the surface, digging for the truth, for the numerous dead ends, for refusing to let the negative comments sway him from his chosen path, for taking strength from the positive comments(thankfully those far outweigh the negative!). We are all so appreciative of the effort he's put into uncovering the truth and there is no thanks enough for everything he's done and continues to do. To try to take away from that with an insinuation such as yours, is insulting, hurtful and shows an extreme lack of manners. But as always Lew and everyone else involved see instances such as these merely as an insignificant bump in the road. We may stop and examine it for a moment, but we have far more important things to focus on than the negativity..what we are working towards is so beyond the understanding of all the naysayers it is laughable....but if people don't get it after all the information Lew has brought forth they never will...and we need to focus on those that do get it, because in the end it is those voices that will be heard...those voices that will be victorious