DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Who Killed Theresa?: 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Life sentence for murder of Sherbrooke woman

MONTREAL - Hugo Bernier has been convicted of first degree murder, forcible confinement and sexual assault in the 2002 death of Julie Boisvenu.

Jurors at his trial returned their verdict Friday afternoon, and the judge handed down an immediate life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Jury members said they did not believe Bernier, who testified in his own defense, that Boisvenu's death was accidental.

Bernier said he met the 29-year-old at a bar in Sherbrooke, they drove to a wooded area and had consensual sexual relations in a car. An autopsy report revealed the woman died shortly after, in the early hours of June 22, 2002.

Her body was later found in a ditch in Bromptonville.

Bernier had no reaction to the verdict and had nothing to say when Judge Lise Coté handed down the sentence.

Lawyer Marc Labelle said Bernier was expecting the jury's decision.

"We're not surprised by the verdict. Basically it confirmed that what the accused said was not believed," Labelle said.

He believes there are several grounds for an appeal, though he would not elaborate. Bernier has not said if he will challenge the verdict.

Judge Coté urged Bernier to get treatment for his behavioural problems. Boisvenu was the second woman he had assaulted in ten years.


Friday, October 29, 2004

Arlene Gaudreault, tu es la Capitaine!

Merci pour une tres superbe collogue,



... et nous attendons le verdict.

bonjour vous trois

on vous informe que dès que le verdict est connu..on tiendra une conférence de presse au Delta de Sherbooke quelques heures après...ou le lendemain si le proncé a lieu l'après midi...

Vous êtes invités

Passez le mot

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu


Going Home

I've been in Quebec for five days. It feels like forever. I made time with Sandy Rinaldo in Sherbrooke. I visited my sister's dump site with my brother. I dined with the Boisvenus.

I attended the victim conference in Montreal. I watched the Sox win the World Series. It was goooood.

This morning I had breakfast with the new investigator on my sister's case (more on him later). He's also in charge of Julie Surprenant's file. We keep getting shuffled around like a deck of cards. Allore to Camirand / Dube... Allore to Bureau... Bureau's a bust. Allore off to Surprenant. I've never met the Surprenants. I hear they're a lot like me. At Christmas they cry.

I've got to go to the airport soon. I hate this part. Dorval looks like it's made of Legos. I hate clearing Customs. I hate sitting in the bar waiting for the plane to board. There's nothing to do but think about what a great place Montreal is, and the rotten reason why you're here.


Nancy Saint Pierre, your fifteen minutes are up

And to think I shed a tear over all of this

It was Mom's fault: Julie
'This isn't about settling a score'. Townships teen who vanished for 3 years tells her side of story in new book

The Gazette

Friday, October 29, 2004

A bitter Julie Bureau lashed out at her mother yesterday as the principal person who drove her into exile in Beauceville for three years.

The trouble between mother and daughter will be one of the issues Bureau will address as the 17-year-old prepares to release her book, La Vraie Julie Bureau (The Real Julie Bureau), on Sunday. Bureau called her mother a controlling woman and a source of psychological harassment in her life.

Reached yesterday at her home in Milan, Bureau's mother, Francine Poulin, said she is not happy with what's she's read of the book thus far.

But Poulin said she forgives her daughter for painting her parents - Poulin especially - in a bad light.

"We see that she is very unhappy," Poulin said. "She doesn't realize what she is doing."

Poulin hopes eventually for a reconciliation.

"When I last talked to Julie in mid-August, she said we wanted to control her life," Poulin said.

"I told her, 'You are so negative, and can only see the dark side of things. In a few years, when you see the good in life, we will talk again.' "

Bureau was 14 when she disappeared in September 2001 from a Coaticook restaurant. She ended up in Beauceville, about 60 kilometres from the family home in Milan, where she moved in with Jean-Paul Bernard, 38.

Bureau said she feels rejected by her parents and nothing has changed since she left. Bureau said that in interviews, her mother would profess how much she loves her but then would take a much more harsh tone when they met.

"I don't understand ... if you love your children, you don't just tell the cameras," Bureau said, her eyes welling up with tears.

"This isn't about settling a score," Bureau insisted during a press conference yesterday, sitting side by side with Bernard, the man who took her in for three years.

"I had to free myself. It feels good. It's not a battle. I'm happy that (the book) was my therapy."

The book gives few details of what Bureau was doing in the three years she was living in Beauceviile under the name Nancy Saint Pierre. It does say she was working and living a normal existence until her discovery last July.

Bureau and Bernard, who says he knew nothing about Bureau's real identity until this summer, are not romantically involved, both have said.

Bernard, the man dubbed the Good Samaritan in this case, will have a book published on his own life early next year by the same author, Andre Mathieu.

Despite the fact she was wary of the media attention given to her case, Bureau says she felt the book was necessary to help turn a page in her life.

While she said money was furthest from her mind when she agreed to the deal, she hasn't ruled out making a movie about her life, either.

"It is my book. I'm the one who decided to do it. No one forced me to write this."


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Two days at the Collogue Plaidoyer Victimes in Montreal and my brain is French-Fried


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Need a quick Halloween costume, but running out of time?

Why not go as Robert Blake!

Enjoy The Worst Halloween Costumes of All Time brought to you by Retrocrush.


Friday, October 22, 2004

While I'm away, enjoy the barf-pumpkin!


Slow blogging for the next little while as I'll be in Montreal next week.

John A


Thursday, October 21, 2004

More on Bernier trial

Bernier adamant: Woman's death during sex was an accident
Cross-Examined at murder trial; Crown presses accused to admit Boisvenu was forced into intercourse

The Gazette
October 21, 2004

Hugo Bernier insisted over and over again yesterday that the death of Julie Boisvenu was purely "an accident."

But as the Crown hammered at him to recount every detail of the alleged sexual tryst turned tragedy, Bernier showed not a shred of emotion for mistakenly killing the 27-year-old woman he thought had "nice eyes."

Bernier, 29, stuck to his explanations for Boisvenu's death as prosecutor Andre Campagna cross-examined him yesterday on the events of June 23, 2002.

Boisvenu disappeared in the early hours of that day after a night on the town in Sherbrooke. Her decaying body was found in a field near Bromptonville six days later. A coroner concluded she had been strangled.

Bernier was charged in September 2002 with first-degree murder and sexual assault.

But at his trial in Superior Court, Bernier told the nine-woman, three-man jury that his hand slipped while he was having consensual sex with Boisvenu in the back of her jeep.

He said when he fell on her, his elbow and forearm pressed on her neck for about 10 seconds, and by the time he managed to regain his balance, she was dead.

Campagna several times suggested Bernier's version of events was not how things actually unfolded.

He proposed to the accused that instead of striking up a conversation, going for a ride, getting affectionate and finally deciding to have sex with each other, Bernier forced it all on Boisvenu.

"That's what you would have liked to have happened, but that's not what happened, is it?" Campagna asked after Bernier described how Boisvenu eagerly jumped into the back of her vehicle and began disrobing when he suggested they have sex.

"No," Bernier said firmly.

"Isn't it more that you told her: 'Take off your shirt, take off your skirt, take off your panties, This is what's going to happen'?" Campagna continued. "And she said, 'Don't (ejaculate) in me. I know what you want.' "

Bernier again denied it.

The prosecutor also asked Bernier why he didn't call an ambulance for Boisvenu or try to revive her when he saw she was not breathing but instead drove to a field outside town, disposed of her clothes and ditched her corpse.

"It was an accident," he repeated. "I panicked."

"Did you think the police would think it was an accident?" Campagna asked.

Bernier said he lifted Boisvenu's body out of the back of her car and rolled it down a slope.

Campagna also prodded Bernier over the fact he drank as many as 20 beers that night, even though a probation order prohibited him from consuming alcohol.

Bernier was serving a sentence for breaking and entering, and forcible confinement, after pleading guilty to those charges in the Gaspe in 1999. He was also barred from setting foot on the property of a college in Gaspe where the victim of that incident studied, the jury was told.

Bernier's cross-examination is to resume today.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

LA pap...

Yes I did go see the Demon Dog speak last week at the Regulator bookshop in Duaham.


- we have to wait two more years for a sequel to The Cold 6,000

- Ellroy's becoming a cartoon (as if that's possible... wasn't he already Elmer Fudd?). His reading sounded like the Beastie Boys on Geritol.

- I love him anyway.

How can you not love a guy who authors, "Where I get my weird shit", "Hot-Prowl Rape-O" and "Hollywood Fuck Pad"


Accused testifies woman's death accidental

Oct 20 2004 12:30 PM EDT

SHERBROOKE - The man accused of killing a 27-year old woman from Sherbrooke told a jury Tuesday that Julie Boisvenu's death was an accident.

Hugo Bernier, who testified in his own defence, said after he met the victim at a local bar they drove to a wooded area where they had consensual sexual relations in Boisvenu's car.

It went wrong, the 29-year old said, when his arm slipped and ended up across the victim's throat. Panicked, he told the jury he left Boisvenu's lifeless body in a wooded area before abandoning her car in Sherbrooke.

Police believe Boisvenu was killed in the early hours of June 22, 2002.

Bernier rejected accusations from the Crown that he is responsible for throwing the victim's clothes into a nearby ditch.

After leaving the woman, Bernier said he went home, changed his clothes and drove to his brother's house in Montreal.

Questioning continued Wednesday with Bernier's brother, Lucas Bernier.

The Crown believes he made false statements during the preliminary hearing when he told police he did not know about his brother's actions. It is trying to prove Hugo told his brother he made a mistake the night of the murder.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Indemnisation des victimes d'actes criminels

October 12, 2004

File: Theresa Marie Allore
Date of Event: November 3, 1978

Re: Acknowledgement of receipt

Mr. Allore

I am in receipt of your September 28th 2004 e-mail.

Each and every time we spoke with the investigator we did receive full cooperation and all the available pertinent answers to our questions. So, the "problem" (and there is no problem) is certainly not in relation to communication. The point is that there is a pending investigation by the Surete du Quebec in relation to your sister's death. I do understand from what the investigators told us that the pending investigation and the results (if there are some results) will enable us to decide if your sister was indeed "murdered". The applicable rule of evidence at this place is "proponderance of probabilities".

In other words, it means that the criterias for the application of the (Quebec) Crime Victims Compensation Act are not met at this moment. Otherwise, I would have already made a decision. You do understand that the delays have nothing to do with the limits (the financial limits) of the program.

Your's Truly,

Andre Beaulieu, Lawyer
514-906-3019, poste 2050

October 19, 2004

Mr. Beaulieu:

I am in receipt of your letter dated October 12, 2004. May I ask, when you say, that in my sister's case "the criterias for the application of the Quebec Crime Victims Compensation Act are not met at this moment"...

Just what are those criterias that I need to have fulfilled? Or, in other words, what are the criteria for being considered a victim under this Act?

The coroner determined my sister's death to be "mort violente de nature indetermine"...

The coroner noted there were "marks of strangulation on her neck"

What does it take for an IVAC lawyer to consider my sister a victim of a crime?


John Allore


Monday, October 18, 2004

More about Key

You know, I wish they wouldn't turn this stuff into a cliche... I wish they'd say how much Debbie's sister didn't want to cry. That she's strong for her sister. That - despite the bitterness - this was an upbeat occasion.

Gathering recalls missing woman
Man faces charges in presumed death

By ANNE BLYTHE, Staff Writer

CARRBORO -- With tears in her eyes and halting emotion in her voice, Susan Key Gagnon stood in a restaurant across from the parking lot where her older sister was last seen seven years ago and talked about a family's pain of not knowing the whereabouts of a loved one and the blur of hopes and doubts.

It was to be an upbeat occasion the gathering at Jade Palace to remember Deborah Leigh Key, whose disappearance and presumed death has haunted family and friends since November 1997.

Friends brought photos and many fond memories to share.

Gagnon wanted to say some words for the family, the first spoken publicly since Sept. 9, when police charged Andrew Douglas Dalzell, 27, a longtime suspect, with second-degree murder. Key was last seen with the suspect in the parking lot outside Sticks & Stones bar and pool hall, which used to be across Main Street from the Chinese restaurant.

"It's just been great to see familiar faces. It just touches my heart," Gagnon said before the tears welled.

Deborah Leigh Key, born Sept. 21, 1962, was a slight, delicate woman who almost always sported a big smile. She was the one who would invite a stray cat in at a friend's house and with a gentle, childlike charm, persuade them to keep the critter. She loved music and socializing.

But Key, her sister lamented, was robbed of the everyday joys of seeing the sunset or of autumn leaves changing colors.

"We now know that she was murdered, and so that's another step in this," Gagnon said. "She was a very dynamic and outgoing person, and she was always there for you. She was also very kind and gentle and caring, and she brought love and joy into our lives. ... All this is given so we will be able to enjoy her smiles, hear her laughter again."

The family has been devastated, Gagnon said.

"In the United States, close to one-third of all homicides go unsolved. Deborah is not a statistic; she was my sister, a loving daughter, and had many, many friends. She is missed every single day."

Dalzell remains in the Orange County jail. A probable cause hearing is set for Oct. 28, said Orange-Chatham District Attorney Carl Fox. Friends and family members plan to stay abreast of the court case.

They talked Saturday night of wearing black armbands the first day of the trial.

But then Joy Preslar, a longtime friend, interjected, "No, pink. We need to wear Debbie colors."


Friends and family gather to remember murder victim

Hey, hey... I was at this gathering at the gracious invitation of Debbie's sister, Susan. It was a great pleasure to meet her friends and to hear about Debbie as she lived. To see pictures of her (I never knew what she looked like), and to understand how dearly she is missed.

I've never met a more loyal group of friends, may they stay together for as long as they feel the need.

I'd write more but I'm rushed preparing for the Quebec conference next week. It will be good to see Pierre Boisvenu again. More important, it will be good to see my brother.

By Susan Broili : The Herald-Sun
Oct 17, 2004 : 6:40 pm ET

CARRBORO -- People who love Deborah Leigh Key smiled through tears as the pain that never completely goes away eased a bit Saturday night.

They gathered over the weekend for the first time since the September arrest of a suspect in Key's murder seven years ago.

About 15 friends and family came together at the Jade Palace in Carrboro across the street from the parking lot where Key, then 35, was last since early on Dec. 1, 1997.

Key's sister, Susan Key Gagnon, became overcome with emotion and had to stop several times as she gave her family's first public statement since Carrboro police arrested Andrew Douglas Dalzell on Sept. 9 and charged him with second-degree murder in Key's death.

Dalzell remains in Orange County Jail under a secured bond of $90,000.

"This is good news for the family," Gagnon said.

"We are pleased that Andrew Dalzell has been charged and arrested for Deborah's murder. We appreciate the work and continued efforts of the Carrboro Police Department, Lt. John Lau and Anthony Westbrook, in particular," Gargnon said, from her prepared statement.

"We have spoken with [Orange/Chatham] District Attorney Carl Fox and we are confident that he and his team appreciate the magnitude of our loss and the horror of this crime. We have complete faith that Carl Fox will prosecute Andrew Dalzell to the fullest extent of the law. We will be working with him and his team to see that justice will be served," she said.

Gagnon asked Key's friends to attend the trial, which has not yet been scheduled, in order to show support.

She needed no notes to talk about her sister and how much she was missed.

"She had a very bright smile and she was very outgoing," Gagnon said.

She also spoke of the everyday joys of life her sister would never experience again: "the sunset, the leaves turning ... motherhood" and of how losing her had affected her family.

"The void in each of our lives is without measure. The pain is immense even to this day," Gagnon said. "We are devastated."

A real person

In the United States, close to one-third of all homicides go unsolved and, for every murder, solved or not, there is a real person who is forever missed, she added.

"Deborah is not a statistic. She was my sister, a loving daughter and had many, many friends. She is missed every single day," Gagnon said in her statement.

Friends spoke of feeling a range of emotions upon hearing that an arrest had been made in Key's death.

"I felt relieved, [angry]. I took a deep breath and then I broke down and cried," Laurel Schwartz said. "I'm very, very glad they finally got him."

"We can finally go ahead and process the thing," Joy Preslar said, of how the arrest was helping Key's friends and family come to terms with what happened.

Dave Hurlbert said that his initial impression of Dalzell had not been a good one when he had first seen the man in the Sticks & Stones bar at 102 E. Main St. in Carrboro, and Dalzell had been drawing "pornographic cartoons of women."

Some time later, Key had spent the evening of Nov. 30 into the wee hours of Dec. 1, 1997, at the same bar and had been seen there with Dalzell before she disappeared from the adjacent Nationsbank (now Bank of America) parking lot.

"I am certain she did not leave that parking lot willfully. She always took her purse with her," Hurlbert said.

When one of Key's friends noticed her car still in the parking lot, her purse was found in the car.

Prime suspect

After police had identified Dalzell as the man last seen with Key, hugging her in the Nationsbank parking lot on Dec. 1, 1997, they had considered him their prime suspect. But police were never able to come up with enough evidence to link him to her death until now.

"They've been keeping an eye on him and waiting for him to do something stupid -- and he did," Hurlbert said.

In August, Dalzell called police and asked them to provide security for him as he moved out of his Royal Park apartment. While an officer was inside Dalzell's apartment, he noticed craft supplies and figurines and, after checking with Hungate's where Dalzell had worked, learned that those items had not been purchased.

Police charged Dalzell with possession of stolen goods and larceny by an employee. After further investigation, police charged Dalzell with six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, the equivalent of possession of child pornography, and also with fraud for allegedly using another man's credit card to obtain access to a Russian mail-order bride Internet site.

While investigating those crimes, police said they obtained evidence that Dalzell had killed Key.

Police have not publicly identified the evidence that led to the murder charge, and have not released any information about Key's remains.

Key's friends would like some answers.

"I want to know what happened and why. I want to know where she is so we can bury her properly," Liz Edwards said.

Happy memories

At the gathering, Key's friends raised a glass of wine in her memory.

"Here's a toast to Deborah Leigh Key, who brought so much joy into all our lives," Hurlbert said.

Her friends spent most of the get-together sharing good memories of Key as they looked through photo albums.

"It's good to see the pictures and remember the good old days," Forrest Covington said. "She was just a lot of fun to hang out with."

Even though Key had been a country music fan, especially liked Patsy Cline and could sing a bit like her, she also enjoyed hearing Covington play classical music. "She loved to hear me play [Modest] Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' " he said.

Hurlbert recalled how hard Key had fought to recover from being completely paralyzed from Guillian-Barre syndrome, and how she had done so in only six months after doctors had said it would take years. That she had beat the illness only to be murdered just "accentuates the tragedy," Hurlbert said.

Key was kind-hearted and loved people -- and animals.

"We still have the stray cat she let into our house in 1996 after Fran," Hurlbert said.

Broken dreams

Laurel Schwartz remembered how Key had loved the Pittsburgh Steelers -- "she always wore a Steelers jacket" -- and the Penguins and had been a big fan of NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace.

"She never met a stranger -- until seven years ago," Schwartz said.

"We used to go and watch the sunsets at Jordan Lake ... and I sure do miss her," Schwartz said.

Edwards recalled how she and Key, who shared September birthdays -- Key's on the 21st, Edwards' on the 17th -- would celebrate by spending a week together at Topsail Beach.

She still wears the sapphire ring Key once gave her.

"She just was a loving person ... I still dream about her all the time," Edwards said.

It also saddens her that Key never knew Edwards' son Matthew, who is 7.

"I wish Debbie could have known him. She loved children," Edwards said.


Friday, October 15, 2004

More Signs

Ellroy's coming to town

The bestselling author of "My Dark Places" and "L.A. Confidential" returns with a new collection of flash-lit scenes from America's capital of kink.

Author James Ellroy will be at the Regulator bookstore in Durham to discuss his new book, Destination: Morgue!: L.A. Tales

Friday, October 15th, 7:00 pm. Any interested people are welcome to come.

flash-lit? capital of kink?


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Signs of the Apocalypse

The Beatles team with Cirque du Soleil
New Vegas show will replace Siegfried & Roy

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Only in Las Vegas: Beatles songs, as portrayed by the acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil, will replace animal training duo Siegfried and Roy at one of the city's biggest tourist theaters, according to a deal announced on Thursday.


Characters from Beatles songs like "Eleanor Rigby," "Nowhere Man" and "I am the Walrus" will be featured in the $30 million show about the Beatles' life in the 1960s, said Gilles Ste-Croix, the Cirque du Soleil vice president of creation in charge of the project.

Turn me on dead man

The show marks a musical first: the Beatles have never before allowed a major theatrical performance of their music, but surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison have approved the deal.

As goes George, so go The Beatles

The show will take the place of the magic and animal taming duo Siegfried & Roy, in a new, roughly $100 million, theater at the Mirage casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Montreal-based Cirque said.

Siegfried & Roy closed a year ago after a tiger mauled animal trainer Roy Horn.

Can we get Montecore to maul Paul too?

The Cirque show will be a financial partnership between Cirque, the Beatles' Apple Corp, and casino owner MGM Mirage, which will also pay for the theater.

Ah Apple Corp... It only got better; James Taylor, Badfinger, Cirque...

Before his death, former Beatle George Harrison struck up a friendship with Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, leading to the idea for the production.

Ya, I'm sure this just what George had in mind. John! Why have you forsaken us!


Jacques P. Dupuis
Ministère de la Justice
Palais de justice de Montréal
1, rue Notre-Dame Est
11e étage, Bureau 11.39
Montréal (Québec) H2Y1B6

October 14, 2004

M. Dupuis:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Allore. Twenty-six years ago my sister was murdered in Quebec while a student at Champlain college in Lennoxville. Over the past two years I have become a victims advocate for families touched by homicide.

The purpose of my writing you is to introduce you to CAVA, a new national victims advocacy group and to ask you to please help in providing financial support to get Quebec victims to attend CAVA's first annual conference to be held this December in Richmond, British Columbia.

CAVA is the Canadian Association for Victim Assistance / Association Canadienne aide aux victmes (CAVA - ACAV), a newly formed national non-profit charitable organization which will act as an umbrella information, resource and advocacy service for Canadian victim assistance organizations, advocates, professionals and the general public. Further information is available at our website, .

In organizing our conference we are thankful for the financial support provided by Justice Canada. Unfortunately, they were not able to give us any financial assistance for travel. We are asking that your office provide that assistance in the form of $3,000 that will be used specifically to cover the costs for air travel and accommodations for Quebec victims. I must stress that none of this money will be used by myself; I no longer live in Quebec, and at this time I am able to provide for my own needs.

It is important for Quebec to have a presence at this, our first national conference; more necessary that Quebec victims have the ability to express their questions and needs at a national level. I hope you will be able to help us to this end.

I will be in Quebec the week of October 25th through the 29th attending l'Association quebecoise Plaidoyer-Victimes colloque in Montreal. It would be a privilege for me if at that time we might arrange to meet to discuss this matter at greater length.

I thank you for your attention to this matter and I hope to hear from you soon.



Congratulations, you're still in the running to becoming America's next top model.

As for you, I'll see you in the board room where somebody will get fired.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

This from The Gazette

Allison Hanes
Montreal Gazette
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hugo Bernier confessed to the rape and murder of Julie Boisvenu while behind bars awaiting trial, a jailhouse informant testified Wednesday at his first-degree murder trial.

The career criminal -- who cannot be identified for his own safety -- is the second Crown witness to whom Bernier allegedly confided details about the gruesome 2002 sex slaying that shocked Sherbrooke.

A childhood friend told the nine-woman, three-man jury this week that Bernier showed up at his apartment in the days after Boisvenu, 27, went missing and said he’d “killed someone and made a big mistake.”

Bernier’s cellmate said the accused told him a similar story: that he panicked and suffocated Boisvenu after sexually assaulting her.
I'm wondering if the second confession to the cellmate was somehow set-up by the SQ, and will the Defence chip away at this...


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

For years after Theresa died my mother would continue to buy her presents on her birthday. On a good day this would strike me as mildly eccentric, at other times it was downright creepy.

You first must realize that I wasn't always this focused on the whole Theresa death thing. I probably went a good 20 years without ever thinking about it that much. Milestone dates would pass without notice - her birthday, the day she disappeared, the day she died. Over time I pretty much forgot when these things occured.

On Sunday I had a talk with my father. Before signing off he said, "now don't forget about your sister's birthday this week." How very unlike him, he hasn't mentioned her birthday in over 20 years... and as if I could forget about it anyway.

This year, I bought Theresa a gift. How very unlike me. And so I say...

Happy Birthday my old friend, may you continue to rest in peace.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Just spent a wonderful afternoon with Pierre Boisvenu and his wife who stopped by to visit us while on vacation in the States.

About the Boisvenus and their work for victims advocacy I will only say this; the federal and provincial government better know who they are dealing with... they have the potential of becoming the most formidable spokespersons for victims rights in Canada.


Friday, October 08, 2004

Montreal hosts death penalty opponents

Catherine Deneuve speaks to reporters during a Thursday press conference in Montreal.

Globe and Mail
Montreal —

French actress Catherine Deneuve will march in the streets of Montreal on Saturday at a protest against capital punishment.

Did anyone bother to inform her that Canada doesn't have a death penalty?

The Academy Award nominee said international pressure will help convince the remaining 66 countries that use the death penalty to abandon the practice.

“For me it's something that revolts me as a human being,” she said Thursday at an international conference against the death penalty.

That's great... very noble... may I ask, what they offer as an alternative to the death penalty? Because the present parole system isn't working.

She was joined by human rights activists Bianca Jagger, U.S. actor Mike Farrell of MASH fame and former Irish president Mary Robinson, among others.

Cripes! Catherine Deneuve, Bianca Jagger and Mike Farrell from MASH... talk about yer power trios!

"It's a sign of powerlessness that a person can think that the only way to punish someone for any crime is to take his life,” Ms. Deneuve said. The march comes at the end of the four-day conference against the death penalty. The 60-year-old actress narrated a documentary against executions several years ago and said she has given thousands of petitions against capital punishment to the United States embassy in Paris. It's a cause she said she's sure will earn her
critics, but added it's a personal crusade.

Bite me.

"I don't want to use my celebrity status, but coming here as a special guest is a possibility also to see people I might not meet personally in my work,” she added.

Get over yourself: the only thing any one remembers you for are those Este Lauder commercials.

Ms. Deneuve said she doubts anything will change U.S. President George W. Bush's support of the death penalty. But she hopes public pressure will sway undecided Americans and others. “I'm am pessimistic by nature but optimistic about this cause. I see so many people here and elsewhere mobilized by this cause. It's impossible that the nature of this won't result in changes.

Ya, George "let's put all the retards on death-row" Bush - I'm sure your opinion will have a big influence.


Thursday, October 07, 2004


A nice one via my brother-in-law


A nice interview with Pierre Boisvenu on Radio Canada's Justice

(click the pic to play the tape)

(though when he says he's passing up the Hugo Bernier trial and coming to the States to see me... I don't know about that... he hasn't turned up on my doorstep yet.)


News Flash! Toronto Top Cop to guest-host for Carson on next week's Queer Eye!

Common... could he be any worse than that fruit-soup guy?


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Now I ask you... Is this really a surprise to anyone?

Police added eight more names to Vancouver's missing women list on Wednesday

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Police added eight more names to Vancouver's missing women list on Wednesday, bringing the total to 69, many of whom are feared to be victims of accused serial killer Robert Pickton.

Police added the names after exhausting other efforts to find the women, but said there was no evidence so far they might have been killed by the Port Coquitlam pig farmer.

Pickton is facing 22 murder charges but investigators have found the DNA of 30 women on his farm -- 27 of whom are on the list and three whose names remain a mystery. His trial is expected to begin next year.

The Missing Women's Task Force was established in 1998 amid criticism that police were ignoring the disappearances of female drug addicts and prostitutes from the city's poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside neighborhood.

Investigators have been scouring reports of missing women from across Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, to determine if they might have made it to the Downtown Eastside before disappearing without a trace.

"By the time they reach the list, we've run out of options," said task force spokeswoman Vancouver Police Sgt. Sheila Sullivan.

The list originally had 31 names and has been increased several times. It includes a woman who has not been seen since 1983, but most disappeared from 1991 to late 2001.

Pickton was arrested in February 2002 and remains in custody. He is the only person charged in connection with the missing women.

The charges are based, in part, on DNA evidence collected in an 18 month search of his ramshackle farm in a Vancouver suburb. A court order prohibits the news media from reporting details of that evidence until the trial.

Pickton has not entered a plea to the criminal charges, but has denied any connection with the women's disappearances in a related civil lawsuit.

The criminal trial has been delayed because laboratories are still analyzing DNA evidence from the farm search.

Police hope to develop DNA profiles of the eight women added to the list on Wednesday to see if they match the DNA from the farm that has not been identified.


My "live" weblog from last night's VEEP debate

9:29 PM:

Edwards: These families have children.

Cheney: They're not my children.

Edwards: But they're somebody's children.

Cheney: Are you running a business or a charity ward?

Edwards: Well, all right . . .

Cheney: (interrupting)Not with my money!

Edwards: What makes you such a hard-skulled character? You can't begin to spend all the money you've got.

Cheney: So I suppose I should give it to miserable failures...


Edwards: I know very well what you're talking about. You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you. That's what you're talking about. Well, I've said too much.

Cheney: Sentimental hogwash!


Edwards: Well, most people say you stole all the rest.

Old Man Potter... errr.... Chaney: The envious ones say that, the suckers... Shove me up, shove me up! Now, I have stated my side very frankly. Now, let's look at your side.

Bailey (I MEAN EDWARDS!!): No . . . no . . . no . . . no, NO! Doggone it! You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, In the . . . in the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. You . . . And that goes for you too! And it goes for you too!


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hey look! Here's more reports of violence against women, two guys killed their wives with butcher knives!

Two women die after knife attacks
Child choked. Mother of 'model family' fatally wounded; husband arrested

PAUL CHERRY, CATHERINE SOLYOM of The Gazette contributed to this report
The Gazette
October 5, 2004

A 53-year-old man accused of using a butcher knife to kill his wife and trying to strangle one of their children in their Ahuntsic home is expected to appear in court today. That death became one of two homicides that occurred within hours in Montreal, as a woman stabbed in her apartment in Pierrefonds late Sunday died of her wounds last night.

In the Ahuntsic case, police were called to a two-storey building on Fleury St. E. early yesterday. Neighbours said the couple and their children had lived with other members of their extended family in three units in the building for nearly 20 years. Police found the victim, a woman in her 50s, lying unconscious and bleeding on the floor. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead. The woman suffered several wounds inflicted by the large knife, said Constable Steve Morissette, a Montreal police spokesperson.

The couple had three children age 15 to 19. Police learned during their investigation that a daughter had been choked but was not severely injured. Yesterday afternoon, the Montreal police major crimes squad found a Cantonese interpreter to help them question the suspect.
Another police spokesperson said the victim's husband is to be charged today with her death. He might also face a charge of attempted murder, the official said. Gilles Aubry described his neighbours in the building near Millen Ave. as "a model family."

"The children grew up here, went to the neighbourhood schools," he said.

"Often I would see children playing in front of the house."

The woman's death occurred within hours of another case of alleged spousal abuse. Kelly Ann Drummond, 24, succumbed last night to wounds suffered when she was attacked in a Pierrefonds apartment Sunday night. Martin Morin-Cousineau, 30, appeared in Quebec Court yesterday afternoon and was charged with attempting to murder Drummond. He would return to court today to face a charge of second-degree murder, Constable Miguel Alston, a police spokesperson, said yesterday. An ambulance was called to an apartment block on Pierrefonds Blvd., near Nanterre St., where they found Drummond in cardiac arrest. She had been stabbed in the back.

The two incidents occurred a week after Statistics Canada released a report indicating the spousal homicide rate in the country dropped by eight per cent in 2003. Last year in Canada, 64 men killed their wives and 14 women killed their husbands. Yesterday's deaths were the 33rd and 34th homicides reported in Montreal this year. There were 34 reported during the corresponding period last year.


We're number one! We're number one!

Canada: Indifference to the safety of Indigenous women must end

Wait a minute, that's bad.

4 October 2004

Canadian officials have too long ignored the threat to Indigenous women in Canadian towns and cities. Many are missing, some have been murdered and Canadian authorities are not doing enough to stop the violence, says Amnesty International in a report, Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada, released today.

"All women have the right to live in safety and dignity but overt cultural prejudice and official indifference have put the Indigenous women of Canada in harm’s way," says Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. "As a priority, the Governments at all levels in Canada must work with Indigenous women in the country to ensure that no more ‘sisters’ are ‘stolen’ from their communities as the result of discrimination and violence."

The report is being released as part of a global campaign to stop violence against women. The report tells the stories of Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been killed in Vancouver, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg, and draws on wider public information in concluding that this is a serious human rights concern.

Lack of consistent reporting and comprehensive analysis by Canadian police and government agencies of violent crimes against Indigenous women leaves many unanswered questions about the scale and sources of violence. It is Amnesty International's view, however, that the social and economic marginalization of Indigenous women has placed far too many women in harm's way.

The reality of this threat is borne out by the suffering inflicted on so many Indigenous families, sometimes more than once. In one family, over three decades, there have been two murders. On 12 November, 1971, Helen Betty Osborne, a 19-year-old Cree student from Manitoba, was abducted by four white men in The Pas and then sexually assaulted and brutally killed. A provincial inquiry found that police had long been aware of white men sexually preying on Indigenous women and girls in The Pas but "did not feel that the practice necessitated any particular vigilance."

Three decades later, on 25 March, 2003, Felicia Solomon, a 16-year-old cousin of Helen Betty Osborne, failed to return home from school in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Two months later in June 2003, body parts identified as those of Felicia Solomon were discovered. Her killer has not been found.

"When will the Canadian government finally recognize the real dangers faced by Indigenous women?" says Darlene Osborne, a spokesperson for the family. "Families like mine all over Canada are wondering how many more sisters and daughters we have to lose before real government action is taken."
The report makes the following links between discrimination and violence against Indigenous women in Canadian cities:

Despite assurances to the contrary, police in Canada have often failed to provide Indigenous women with an adequate standard of protection.
The social and economic marginalization of Indigenous women, along with a history of government policies that have torn apart Indigenous families and communities, has pushed a disproportionate number of Indigenous women into dangerous situations that include extreme poverty, homelessness and prostitution.
The resulting vulnerability of Indigenous women has been exploited by Indigenous and non-Indigenous men to carry out acts of extreme brutality against them.
These acts of violence may be motivated by racism, or may be carried out in the expectation that indifference to the welfare and safety of Indigenous women will allow the perpetrators to escape justice.

The report also notes the failure of federal and provincial governments to implement many of the recommendations made by past commissions and inquiries into the welfare and safety of Indigenous people in Canada. Timely implementation of these recommendations would have helped reduce the marginalization of Indigenous women in Canada and thus increased their safety.

The report recommends urgent measures that governments must implement to improve protection for Indigenous women. Police forces must work with Indigenous communities to develop protocols to ensure appropriate and effective police response to reports of missing Indigenous women and children. All governments must ensure adequate, long-term funding of the frontline services needed by women to escape violence. Comprehensive national research on the magnitude of the problem is immediately needed.

Action must be taken to recruit more Indigenous police and to train others to understand the complexity of Indigenous issues. And there needs to be a commitment by all agencies and levels of government to ensuring the full participation of Indigenous women in the design and implementation of the policies that directly affect their welfare.

"Violence against women is a global human rights crisis, to which all governments must give priority attention. Here in Canada, the double-jeopardy discrimination of gender and Indigenous identity has contributed to the disappearance and murder of so many Indigenous women -- this must now end," says Irene Khan.

For a full copy of the report: "Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada", please see:

For further information, please contact: John Tackaberry,, Phone: +1 613 744 7667.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

I Spy

Hey kids, wanna' find out who on the block's in the Kerry camp? Who's a Bush hog? makes political snooping easy! Find out the campaign leanings of celebrities, friends and family!


Who Knew?

Council appoints next Poet Laureate

September 29, 2004

Toronto City Council today appointed Pier Giorgio Di Cicco as Toronto's new Poet Laureate. After reviewing an initial list of 42 prominent Toronto poets, the selection committee unanimously recommended to City Council the selection of Mr. Di Cicco.

Toronto has 42 poets?