Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rather than answer your questions individually on the comment page, I made the decision to create a posting involving your comments and concerns. I did this chiefly because some of your comments and questions will involve a detailed answer, and as well, some of them tie together.
It pleases me to see that some of you take the time to write a comment or ask a question. As I have said many times, all are welcome. As usual, I must insist that your comments and questions bear a name in order to be published on this site. A comment signed as anonymous will not be accepted for publication. As well, profanity and maligning of other commenters is not allowed. These rules are quite basic, very similar to writing a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.
Today, I am starting off with one the last comments received on my last posting dealing with the autopsy reports. Mr. S. Dewitt of Halifax asks a very good question, that I have pondered many times. He wants to know" how long the Lindsey truck was stationery in the spot where it was found."
From my digging and researching Sir there is no available direct answer to your question. We can assume, and I do hate the word assume, that the truck was parked there and abandoned for the duration. I believe that it was, although admittedly, that cannot be proven. It was abandoned on a reasonably well travelled road leading into the logging camp areas of the forest. I simply do not believe that the truck could have set there all that time without someone asking questions about it. It is also reasonable to believe that if it was there for that extended period, then the truck and it's contents would have also been vulnerable, and yet there were still items found in the truck including a rifle. This is one area where I have always felt that someone knows something but has chosen for some reason to remain quiet.
One thing is for certain, anyone who would have seen this truck parked there for an extended period would also have known that the Lindsey party was in the woods as the truck contained plates from the state of Pennsylvania. and further to that, Mr. Lindsey was apparently assumed to have been carrying valuables, thus if he could be located in the forest, he would be easy prey.
Lloyd Mason of Toronto asks an interesting question pertaining to finger print evidence. Very definitely finger print evidence was used in the fifties. It was not used in this case nor was it attempted because the police felt that it would reveal nothing. They made this decision without making an attempt to determine if it would be successful, and it is here that I reiterate what I have said many times. Raymond Maher, the defense lawyer was nothing but a dud. Otherwise he would have challenged this decision during the trial. He could have made the prosecution look real bad because of that decision.
The next comment that I shall reply to is from S. McGuire in Saint John. Mr. McGuire asks "if we know the exact date that the hunters were killed in relation to when Wilbert Coffin came out of the forest?" The quick answer to your question is no, we do not know the answer. I sincerely wish that I did, and that I could prove it. The answer to that question would have been instrumental in proving Wilbert Coffin's innocence. I have it well documented as to the date that Wilbert Coffin came out of the forest, and of course there are those who say that was the date the hunters met their death. I will go on record as saying that any who say that was the day that the hunters were killed, they are merely guessing and making up stories. I further state there was absolutely no evidence that would link the death of these three individuals to any given day. It simply was never established.
As a matter of fact, during the trial at Perce' the crown steered around the possible date that the hunters may have been killed. There was a reason for this, and the reason being that there was a possibility that they could get caught in a trap by making a statement as to the date of death and not being able to prove it.
Dean Simmons from Niagara Falls wrote "how far apart were the remains of these hunters found?" Good question Dean, and for the answer to that I will refer directly to a police report from Captain Alphonse Matte. Here is an excerpt from a letter that he wrote to his boss on the matter.
"In place, accompanied by Capt. Sirois, Sgt. Doyon, Gend, Romuald Poirier and others, we put in some boxes the remains found about 75 ft. from the camp known as no. 26 of Canton Holland and that the complete skull, the jawbones, the bones, such as parts of shoulder blades, collarbones, thighbones, tibias, fibulas,"
He continues on now in the same report with the finding of the second remains, "The same day, being 23-7-53, in proximity to the first skeleton some remains belonging definitively to a second skeleton, were found about 115 feet from the first, on the other side of the St Jean river in a flank of a mountain bordering camp no. 26; a pelvis with part of a spinal column, traces of four sides, 2 femurs and some other small bones. That which allowed us to make identification of this second skeleton was the inferior jaw bone and a denture, the two fit perfectly together.;1 pair overalls "Jeans" blue, where the pockets were inside out, were furthermore found, 1 red t-shirt, size "large of Penney’s " 1 ankle boot, left foot, in brown leather laced with eyelets, sole of a black galosh, being probably size 11 or 12.
These two sets of remains were those identified as those of Richard Lindsey and Frederick Claar. The remains identified as the father, Eugene Lindsey, were found approximately one week prior approximately two miles from the young men in an area known as Camp 24.
This is a good time for me to reply to those who suggested that I was too critical of the medical officers report and the search in general for the bodies and the subsequent discovery. Critical? Yes I was. I am guilty as charged. However, I do not believe that my level of criticism which I levied was strong enough to adequately address the gravity of the situation. Look at it this way. Here you have the discovery of two skeletons in close proximity that probably account for the two, yet unaccounted for missing hunters.
You just read in the police report above that these bones were disturbed and tossed into cardboard boxes. You also read Captain Alphonse Mattes report that he was able to positively identify the upper and lower jaw portions as belonging to the same body because of an inferior jaw bone as they seemed to fit perfectly together.
This guy and his crew did not collectively form the brightest star in the sky in terms of smart police officers and here you have them making scientific evaluations on skeletons in a triple homicide. It was one of these same dimwits that pulled out his service revolver and fired some lead into an already dead bears carcass thereby destroying it as potential evidence instead of having an autopsy done on the bear to determine it's stomach contents.
The bottom line with respect to the medical officers report and the handling of the crime scene was appalling. Society was deserving of more and the defendant was deserving of more. I can deal with ignorance, but I have a real tough time with stupidity. To sum up my findings, I am of the opinion that stupidity reigned supreme in this case with the actions of the judiciary of Quebec. This case was truly beyond comprehension and someone should be held accountable.
The comment posted from D. Landry of Moncton speaks volumes when comparing my investigation to the stuff that has been written repeatedly over the years. From the beginning it was my personal mandate to investigate and explore every known avenue of this case without reading all the junk that has been written in newspapers over the years. This stuff was written based on sensationalism, not on investigation. I had no interest whatsoever in retelling a story that had been beaten into submission by newspapers and periodicals in a quest to garner a fast buck.
Again I thank you for your comments. I read each and every one of them. They are important to me. It gauges the depth of the impact that my investigation of this case has made on Canadians, and thanks to all you good folks, the impact has been positive and rewarding.
Lani Mitchell and myself have come a long way with this affair but it is not totally over yet. I know there are some who make comments which displays the fact that they really know nothing of the case and I guess their reward is their fifteen seconds of fame in reading their own comments on the comment page. As someone once said, "it is difficult to soar with the eagles when first you have to deal with the turkeys."
I will talk to you again in a few days. In the meantime, write, sign, and send your comments. I have some good material to show you that will explain how a few things came to pass. God Bless You one and all.
Lew Stoddard


Dean Harris said...

I find it incredible that someone would make some of the comments that they do. Do they really think that way, or are they just flapping off at the mouth? You would think that they would all be supportive in getting the truth out in this case.

Dean Harris

M Macklin said...

I was looking back over your writings on this affair. I found it most bleak with your segment on the federal governments involvement in this affair.

It was absolutely incredible that our government of Canada could be so cruel and right under the noses of Canadians and get away with it.

It is further incredible that as I type this comment that the news item currently on the screen is telling about the death of Donald Marshall of Nova Scotia. You will recall that Donald Marshall was another who was unable to fight the system and spent many years in prison for a murder that he very definitely did not commit. It took a lot of years to get the government to admit the error, and at that, it did not come about without a long struggle.

Mr. Stoddard you stand tall in what you are doing. I wish there was something that I could do to help you.

I can only suggest that to those out there who really have nothing of substance to say, then keep your mnouth shut and keep out of the way of those who are trying to accomplish something for all Canadianns.

M Macklin

Barb Peters said...

I believe that there are still people alive in and around Gaspe who know the deep secrets about this case. You know the right thing to do, so why do you not do it?

Barb Peters

R. Theberge said...

I have often felt as well that in the Gaspe area there would have been someone who knew the facts of what had gone on. I am curious as to what the responses have been to people that you have spoken with.

I have wondered about this for sometime and I know that you would have been digging there because you always appear thorough. Would appreciate hearing from you if possible.

R. Theberge

Joyce from Bristol, N. B. said...

In reviewing your previous writings on this affair, I saw where a reporter from one of our major TV Networks in Canada had told you in a letter words to the effect that they were not interested in covering new stuff that has come up on the case and they lacked the time. I can see why. If they did that, then they would more or less be admitting that they put out a lot of plain "BS" in the past with no checking of facts.

Can you believe that? A major journalistic outlet and they do not have the time and are not interested in covering events recently unearthed affecting a news story that shocked a nation!

Bristol, New Brunswick

Sara Holmes said...

Do we know why Duplessis refused to allow Wilbert Coffin to marry Marion Petrie, his common law wife? Why would it have mattered, other than for considerations for their son?

Sara Holmes

Evelyn Dafoe said...

It has been a long time since I last commented on your site. I am sure that you have opened many eyes and ears about this case since you began.

The question that looms with me is Why did the police never look for an alternate suspect? There is absolutely nothing with Wilbert Coffin that would have jumped out and said here is your man. Everything was so circumstantial, and very weak at that.

I believe that the jury was very weak, and obviously Wilbert Coffin did not have a decent lawyer. I can only assume that these two elements were really what permitted Wilbert Coffin to hang.

That does not make it right though and even at this late date someone should be held accountable.

Evelyn Dafoe

Shorty the long haul driver said...

Hello lew,
havent spoken with you for some time but I do read each of your postings. You have done a great job on this whole affair and you make it easy to understand and follow.

Been awful hot here on the prairies this summer and have been hauling steady to the southern states so I know what heat is all about. The invitation still stands to go with me on one of my trucks for a trip down south. Dont worry as they are air conditioned so you wont cook.

Anyway Lew keep up the good work and give me a call.

Shorty the long haul driver from the prairies

C. Kincaid said...

I am not sure if you located the gate permits that you were looking for from the Murdochville side of the forest. That was sometime ago but I do know of a gentleman who may be able to help you. He is an elderly friend of my Dad's. I spoke with him a few days ago and he is willing to speak privately with you.

I sent you an e-mail and if you could send me a note I shall provide you with his telephone number etc. I did not want to put that in the e-mail until I was certain that the e-mail that I had for you was still current.

C. Kincaid
Burlington, Ontario

M. Devers said...

Excellent coverage on this topic considering it is in excess of fifty years after the fact. Keep up the good work Sir.

M. Devers