Jodie Whitney, Maura Murray, Brianna Maitland:
"Enough is enough! They should pull out all the stops."
Vermont ponders work of serial killer.
What is it about Vermont that strikes me as so creepy?
Who Killed Theresa?
Ce blogue est une investigation de le meurtre de ma soeur, Theresa Allore. Il y a 30 ans Theresa est mort aux secteurs de Compton, Sherbrooke et Lennoxville, Québec.
Life isn't fair, Justice is blind... and dysfunctional, and some cops aren't smart and dedicated like on tv.
Si vous avez information contact Sue Sutherland: CP 45 Succursale Lennoxville, Sherbrooke J1M 1Z3,Canada:email@example.com Tel: 514-264-7830
Monday, May 31, 2004
Jodie Whitney, Maura Murray, Brianna Maitland:
Dear Uncle E,
Your song really scares me:
BUS STOP BOXER
i don't miss where i came from
but each night i dream about being back home
when i wake up in the morning
i'm too tired
and tired of being alone
so i get up and go downtown
and pick me out a little piece of ground
where i can prove something to the world
i can prove something to the world
don't look at me
i'm the bus stop boxer
daddy put us in the truck and
dropped us off and said good luck
then one lucky kid waiting for the bus
made a winner out of one of us
don't look at me
i'm the bus stop boxer
going down to the railroad tracks
where people know that they better not relax
i'm the man
baby i am the man
this is where i can make you understand
Why do I find this so scary? Can you help?
Friday, May 28, 2004
Have you ever seen a dream walking...
Recently, my three-year-old daughter has been plagued by a reoccurring nightmare. She's in the back of my car strapped in her safety seat. The car is moving down the road, but no one is driving. She is alone and completely helpless.
What's odd is that this is the same dream my oldest daughter was having when she was that age. So what is this? Adolescent paranoia? Is this the little-tykes version of suddenly realizing your out in public with no clothes on, or remembering you forgot to take that final exam so you actually didn't graduate from college?
We all have our fears. If there's anyone out there with a loved one that's recently died? Let's see if this one sounds familiar:
I've been having these series of dreams. It is after my grandmother has died and we're all over at her house cleaning the place up. I keep seeing my sister out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to face her, she's gone. I go to the room where I think she's gone, but by the time I get there she's moved on to another room. I see her again, but she enters yet another room. She never looks directly at me.
This goes on ad infinitum. It's like trying to catch the air. It's maddening.
I don't dream about cars careening out of control, I dream about chasing something that's not there anymore. I'm so accustomed to it now that it no longer makes me sad. I've gotten used to the idea that I'm being messed with. It's like this little joke. So I smile.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Now here's a nugget of joy!
The Death Clock:
If they're right I'll kick off in 2037.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Ok, so I saw The Innocents; that photo exhibit I was talking about with the photographs of people who served time in prison for violent crimes they didn't commit.
It's extraordinary - these men and women who are sentenced as offenders of the most heinous crimes ultimately wind-up as victims.
The show is not to be missed, and you've only got through the weekend to catch it (sorry folks, North Carolina residents only, it's in Durham.)
Boy Scout Leader Charged With Possessing Child Pornography
I'm thinking he was friends with the clown .
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Julliard Student Sarah Fox Found
You sorta had a feeling this one wasn't going to turn out good.
There's a great photo exhibit on display at Durham's Center for Documentary Studies; if you're in the area I don't think you should miss it.
The Innocents is New York Times Magazine photographer, Taryn Simon's series of photographs of individuals who served time in prison for violent crimes they did not commit. This from the museum's press materials:
The mugshot—the emblem of photography in the criminal justice system—signifies the transition from innocent citizen to potential criminal. Whether it is recorded on film or in digital format, the mugshot is seen as raw and cheap: a small image, traditionally in black and white, that shows minimal detail of the subject. Simon confronts the mugshot form in these larger than life, high resolution color portraits that reveal more than the human eye can see on its own.
I saw the exhibit profiled on North Carolina Now last night and it looked very good. I'm going to check it out on my way home from work tonight. Unfortunately, The Innocents is about to close. The show will end Memorial day, Monday, May 31st, before heading for a Summer stint at MOMA in New York. Hurry to Durham if you want to check it out.
Krusty! Say it ain't so!!!
Circus Clown Arrested On Sexual Exploitation Charges
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Fayetteville police have arrested 23 year-old Thomas Allen Riccio -- who performs as a clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus -- on 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Investigators said they found images of young girls performing sex acts on Riccio's computer. The circus visited the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum last week. Circus officials had no comment, other than to say they do not condone the behavior.
"This is a criminal matter that is under investigation," the company said in a press release. "While the company does not have any further information on this matter, it does not condone any type of criminal behavior."
Alas, sad clown, how far you have fallen.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
CAVAC, BAVAC, FAVAC, IVAC, ... I'm so confused!
Recently I was asked to do a little critique of the various victim service providers in the province of Quebec. I have researched the topic for some time now, and gathered stories from people who have front-line experience with these organizations and am now ready to offer my opinions, but be forewarned - this is just my OPINION. I welcome anyone with further insights or war stories to chime in their information.
To begin with, I asked Claire Lessard, the head of Quebec's Provincial Working Group On Victims Of Crime, to provide me with a list of all victim service providers in Quebec. She indicated two; CAVAC and the Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes (that's sort of true, but we'll get to that - there are actually more than two groups.) Anyway before getting to CAVAC and the Plaidoyer, I should say a few words about BAVAC, the organization Ms. Lessard works for:
BAVAC stands for the Bureau d'aide aux victimes d'actes criminels. BAVAC is the office that manages the funds provided to CAVAC. In effect, they foster CAVAC's existence, and act as a buffer between the administrative hand (BAVAC) and the service provider (CAVAC). The actual financing of these funds come from FAVAC, Fonds d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels; though why there needs to be a further separation of duties with FAVAC is anybody's guess (this whole mess was created in 1972 through the Loi sur l'indemnisation des victimes d'actes criminels. BAVAC, CAVAC and FAVAC all fall under the umbrella of Quebec's Minister of Justice.
OK, so far - in case you haven't noticed - we have a whole lot of bureaucratic acronyms, but nothing for victims. This leads us to...
CAVAC stands for Centres d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels. CAVAC is the nexus of victim service provision in Quebec. The CAVAC consists of a network of 15 offices scattered across every region of Quebec. CAVAC prides itself on providing professional services in psychological intervention, criminology and social work. At its best, the CAVAC has been praised for their level of professionalism - unlike some provinces, Quebec offers victims some of the best services for counseling with legal and psychological problems related to victims’ issues. Yet, an oft heard criticism is that CAVAC members appear stuffy and aloof. Their professional accreditation distances them from some of the hands-on needs of victims. CAVAC isn't the most touchy-feely organization.
Many complain about CAVAC's invisibility - they don't exactly reach out and grab ya'. From my own experience, it should be noted that in the twenty-five years since
my sister's death no one in my family ever knew of the organization's existence - not back in 1979 when my parents were struggling to deal with the death of their daughter, nor recently when I myself publicly - very publicly - denounced the Quebec criminal justice system for their incompetent handling of my sister's investigation. The first time I ever met anyone from the CAVAC was at Justice Canada's National Victims Conference last November in Ottawa. They were not the most demonstrative bunch; they kept very much amongst themselves. It finally took forcing Pierre Boisvenu to introduce me to get some face-time with CAVAC. They shook hands, and that's about it. They never cracked a smile. Its ok, I'm used to that; but can you imagine a victim who is raw and new to trauma coming up against these stepford wives? CAVAC could use a little customer service training.
Ok, so CAVAC provides the victim support, but what about compensation?
I've suffered, I want to be paid for it, dammit!
For that you must turn to...
IVAC bill themselves as the "ray of light for victims of criminal acts". If that ray equates to cold-hard-cash, then, yes, IVAC is a gravy train. IVAC stands for Indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels. They are associated with CAVAC, but actually fall under the umbrella of Quebec's Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CSST). Again, like CAVAC, IVAC suffers from an identity problem - nobody knows about the organization. According to Kristian Gravenor who wrote about IVAC fairly recently in the Montreal Mirror:
Quebec began giving money to victims of violent crime in 1972 but, according to a Solicitor-General's report from 1987, less than one per cent of Quebec's crime victims applied for the money.
Gauthier says she does not know what proportion of current victims know about their potential for cash compensation, but mentions that IVAC's attempts to publicize their fund consist of once-a-year advertisements in magazines aimed at medical professionals.
The methods for calculating victims compensation seem very arbitrary. For instance, Pierre Boisvenu - the father of Julie Boisvenu who was murdered in downtown Sherbrooke two years ago - was given a check for $600 from IVAC to cover the cost of funeral expenses. In his case, this was the maximum amount IVAC permitted. This despite the fact that - now that the trial of alleged murderer, Hugo Bernier has been moved to Montreal - the Boisvenu family will incur countless expenses in traveling back and forth from Sherbrooke to Montreal to participate in the trial.
At the other end of the spectrum, in some cases IVAC has been known to be extraordinarily generous. According to Monique Gauthier of IVAC (again, this is from Gravenor) "Unlike other victims' compensation funds in North America, ours has no minimum or maximum payment. With some others, they only give up to $50,000 a year, but we have no limit and people can receive it all their lives." Indeed, I know one victim who complained about the "measly" $6,000 per month he had received from IVAC over the past 23 years. When I related this to Alberta's head of their provincial working group on victims of crime she nearly fell off her seat.
In my own case, just to see how the system worked, I recently applied to IVAC for compensation for my sister's death. Although you must apply to IVAC a year after a crime has been committed, I argued that it was only last year that the police admitted that a crime occurred, so I was entitled to my share. The form was easy to fill out, and they required me to submit some proof of death (I think I sent newspaper articles). I decided to shoot-the-moon and ask for $5,000, but their lawyer informed I was only eligible for funeral reimbursement; I'll let you know if I ever receive that $600 check.
Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes
Where CAVAC provides professional support and IVAC doles out compensation, the Plaidoyer-Victimes is supposed to fill in the holes through victims advocacy. I know little about this group (I know they won't return my emails) - but the word on the street is that this organization is a shadow of what it used to be. Any grassroots advocacy group needs a driving force; the Plaidoyer is a ship without a captain. Take one look at their website and you'll see what I mean, it hasn't been updated in years (though there are promises that updates are "coming soon"). Still, the Plaidoyer plans to hold a victims conference in Montreal this coming October. Maybe they will turn things around.
Recently there has been something of a victims revolt in Quebec. Last month I was asked to participate in a meeting between Quebec Victims and the former Minister of Justice, Marc Bellemare. The basic demands were a call for the reform of CAVAC and IVAC, and a request for funding of a new Quebec victims advocacy group - one that would replace the Plaidoyer. Although I was unable to attend the meeting, I understand that the outcome was positive (though Bellemare had a hard time saying no to any victim, and now with him gone, it's doubtful that any of his promises will be kept.)
So that's my two-cents on the state of victims service providers in Quebec. Again, if anyone has further insights, I welcome them. I'm trying to learn about these things too.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
You know, I was going to crack-wise with some Fargo joke about the Erika Dalquist murder that ocurred in Brainerd, but after reading details of the case I really don't see that it's that funny.
In fact, it's about as funny as an American making light of 61-year-old Terrebonne native, Claire Martin, who was beaten to death with a hockey stick.
A judge has dismissed a $750 million lawsuit against true-crime author Ann Rule.
Hmm... I would have thought Ann Rule could spare $750 million.
Quebec convenience stores propose discount beer for police officers
Hmmm... Beer and Cops, now there's a winning combination.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Anna Quindlen's Great Obligation
No doubt, Anna Quindlen is a fine writer, but her recent backpage article for Newsweek made me cringe.
In an effort distance herself from "frauds" like Jayson Blair and Jack Kelley, Quindlen moves to the moral high-ground. Journalists aren't just chroniclers of the times, apparently every time a faceless so-and-so victim is mentioned in print, said victim should be grateful that their lives are immortalized. Quoting David Halberstam "For most people [this is] the one time they got their name in print".
Oh thank you for validating my existence.
The brunt of Quindlen's piece concerns an article she wrote some years ago about the parents of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a Manhattan bus stop in 1979. Quindlen remains puzzled that the father, Stanley Patz no longer wishes to discuss the matter, nor can recollect the piece she wrote. Fortunately, Quindlen manages to rationalize this omission by somehow making herself the centre of Patz' universe:
"Still [Katz] clips stories out of habit. The original impulse is gone: "To create a history for Etan." If you're a reporter I leave you with that image for those times when you think what you do is fleeting. The closest thing this man has to the body of his son is the body of your work. If that doesn't make you want to do better, find another job."
Oh Anna, get over yourself! The closest thing we have are patch-work memories, and a few of the victim's earthly possessions, which - in the case of Kristen French - are getting fewer the last time they were checked. Yes, someone broke into the home of the parent's of Kristen French in St. Catherines, Ontario and stole jewelry that belonged to the young girl. That's low. I have some of my sister's jewelry; like the French's it is worthless monetarily, but personally, it is priceless - I keep it enshrined on my bookshelf.
And I love how the news headlines wouldn't even refer to Kristen by name; she was "that Bernardo victim" of course.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Why am I not surprised?
SQ COP CHARGED WITH DRUNK DRIVING
Friday, May 14, 2004
An SQ officer has been arrested for drunk driving after leaving a bar where he was celebrating Wednesday's raid of a Hell's Angels bunker in Trois Rivières.
The detective-sargeant had a alcohol level two times the legal limit.
An employee of a depanneur called police after noticing two men enter a car in an inebriated state.
The driver of the car failed a breathalyzer. He is due to appear in Trois Rivières court on July 12 to face charges.
Now if he'd of crashed his car into the bunker... THAT would have been news.
And for all my American friends... could someone explain in the Comments section just exactly what a "depanneur" is.
Thursday, May 13, 2004|
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Vince Bevan Being Sued by Mountie
CanWest News Service
May 12, 2004
An RCMP officer arrested at his work by city police is suing chief Vince Bevan and two investigators, alleging "improper treatment" and "bias" prompted by a custody dispute gone bad. The Mountie claims his estranged wife lied to her colleagues on the Ottawa force when she told them he assaulted her and her 10-year-old son in 2002. Charges were dropped after mother and son gave conflicting testimony.
And while we're picking on you Vince, how's that Ardeth Wood investigation coming along? Did you pull another Bernardo?
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Yes I feel sorry for the victims, but what exactly is the value in putting 75-year-old Leo Fournier in jail for a year, 35 years after he molested his step-children?
Friday, May 07, 2004
Stop staring at this screen, it's almost Mother's Day!
There's still time to call Mercury over at FTD!
Ah, my mom... she is a meek and gentle sole.
I'll never forget the struggle I went through trying to decide if go public about Theresa's murder would be too much of a shock for her. When the National Post ran a full page photo of Theresa on the cover of their life section I was ready for the worst. But as mother's are want to do, she surprized me:
The cover was too soft. They should have run a photo of her dead body in the water with the caption, "this is what will happen to your children if you send them to Champlain College!"
Ah mom, you frail, sweet thing, you.
Now I didn't plan on giving her flowers this Sunday (I'm cheap)... I figure a nice, long telephone conversation will make her happy.
Then there's my wife. Ten boxes of Chips Ahoy peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies, that's what she's getting. Old garbage-gut's got a sweet tooth. And not an inch of flab, I don't know how she does it. I figure breakfast in bed will be pretty good too. Then I'll take the baby out of her life for a few hours, the poor thing's got that kid nursing off her teat like a permenant fixture.
To all you moms out there, kick-back and pour yourself a tall one, you deserve it.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Dear Security On Campus:
I do hope you all have seen this:
Student From Cary Found Dead At UNC-W Dorm
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A murder investigation is under way at the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Police found the body of 19-year-old Jessica Lee Faulkner inside a dorm around 1 p.m. Wednesday. The sophomore is from the Cary area.
Curtis Timothy Dixon, a UNC-Wilmington freshman from Charlotte, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Faulkner's death. He is being held without bond in the New Hanover County Jail. Arraignment is set for Thursday.
There is no word about if the suspect and Faulkner knew each other or any possible motive.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
I still got nothin'
I've been thinking about Darryl Gray and how he's getting the rottenest kind of a deal. I've been thinking about the Toronto Police and how they're probably getting exactly what they deserve, but it likely won't change anything.
I've been thinking about the Calgary Flames (who knew?).
I think that the Eels' Daisies of the Galaxy is a perfect song. I'm worried 'cause my seven-year-old daughter likes Stephen Sondheim's Assassins - does this bode poorly for the future? I was thinking how John Duffy was right, Adrian Belew's solo on The Great Curve is one of the greatest pieces of guitar work form the 1980s.
Then I was thinking about Patricia and how I hope she moves out of Toronto - which has become such a stink-hole - to the Gatineau. I was wondering why Alex emailed me that photo from when I was twenty only to remind me that I'm now so-forty. I was thinking of Kenton and how we've lost touch.
Then there's dinner last night - tacos around the kitchen table, the first sit-down meal we've enjoyed since moving into the new house.
I was NOT thinking of the old house.
I was thinking about the vacation we've planned for July, and how we'll get to see Dan Zanes play in Prospect Park - the first real vacation I've had in five years that wasn't somehow tied to business or that other stuff.
I was thinking about how prices on a 30-year fixed have risen to 6%, and how I looked in four-weeks ago at 5 1/8, which makes me look like a genius, but I'm really just lucky - I've always been lucky.
I'm looking forward to tonight's episode of Queer Eye and Showbiz Moms and Dads (that Nutter father is such an idiot). I'm wondering if Rocco will get to keep his restaurant. I'm amazed that American Idol has lost its luster without John Stevens and the pen salesman; when they were on there I couldn't wait for them to be booted-off.
I've been thinking about all this shit to keep from thinking of you. I've been avoiding you - mostly because I have to go to Vancouver and speak of you and I don't know what to say. This conference is "themed" around hope, but I don't want to talk about hope. I'm leaning toward crotchety with lots of vitriol, what do you think?
To behave or not to behave...