1. Thinking he's tired of Facebook
2. Tired of not being able to properly express his opinions
3. Thinking of coming back to blogging
4. Thinking he and Missy can share this space
What do you think?
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:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 514-264-7830
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Is it too late to get a public inquiry into Theresa’s death?
Tonight I was watching CBC’s Fifth Estate report of Laura Gainey’s death. (She’s the young woman who was swept overboard on the tall ship, the Picton Castle, last December.) I also watched the news and once again, they aired the story of the Polish immigrant who died after being Tasered by the RCMP at the Vancouver Airport. Public inquiries have been launched into both deaths. (I think there are about five public inquiries/inquests underway into Robert Dziekanski’s death alone.)
While my heart goes out to both the Gainey and Dziekanski families, I couldn’t help but wonder why the murders of Theresa Allore, Louise Camirand, and Manon Dube, (all Canadian citizens who were killed on Canadian soil) never warranted a full-scale public inquiry.
Is it too late to lobby the government and get one now? Do we need to rally the residents of the Eastern Townships to demand a public inquiry? After all, it was their communities that became the killing fields and it was their public health that was threatened by a possible serial killer.
Quebec’s Public Inquiry Commissions Act states:
“Whenever the Government deems it expedient to cause inquiry to be made into and concerning any matter connected with the good government of Québec, the conduct of any part of the public business, the administration of justice or any matter of importance relating to public health, or to the welfare of the population, it may, by a commission issued to that effect, appoint one or more commissioners by whom such inquiry shall be conducted.”
To read the rest of Quebec’s Public Inquiry Commissions Act, click the following link:
Canada’s Inquiries Act states:
"… that a public inquiry may be called into “any matter connected with the good government of Canada or the conduct of any part of the public business thereof.” This includes almost any event or issue relating to government. Further, the Act states that a public inquiry may only be called when the Governor-in-Council (or Cabinet) deems such action to be “expedient.” Put differently, Cabinet has complete freedom in deciding whether or not a public inquiry should be called."
For more information public inquiries in Canada, click here:
Gainey dismisses report into====
daughter as 'coverup'
27, 2007 9:44
Hockey great Bob Gainey is slamming an investigation that concluded his daughter Laura, who was swept overboard a tall ship nearly a year ago, was the "unlucky victim" of an accident.
"Like any lie or coverup it's to try to take something that's happened and change the results," Gainey told the CBC's The Fifth Estate, in his first television interview about the incident since his daughter's death.
Laura Gainey, 25, was sailing on the Lunenburg, N.S.-based Picton Castle when a rogue wave washed over the ship off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., on Dec. 8, 2006.
An initial probe into the incident by officials in the Cook Islands, where the Picton Castle had been registered, raised a number of safety concerns. But a final
investigation determined the accident was unavoidable — a conclusion Gainey dismissed.
"It's so simple for most people to see that if you're in the middle of the ocean in a bad storm that perhaps lifejackets would be wise, perhaps harnesses would be wise," said Gainey, who is the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, a team he played his entire career with.
"There's information that they could hear my daughter for hours but they couldn't find her," Gainey said….
…The Cook Islands wrote a new report exonerating the Picton Castle and concluded Laura Gainey was simply an "unlucky victim."
"No silver bullet was identified whereby if any one thing or things had been done differently it would have certainly saved Laura Gainey's life," concluded the July 13 report, according to the Canadian Press.
"Laura Gainey was an unlucky victim of the risk that she took by electing to go to sea."
It concluded Laura's fatigue couldn't be proven as a factor in the accident; the crew worked "regular" shifts; staffing levels weren't an issue, and the crew was "well trained" in man-overboard procedures.
But after lobbying by the Gainey family, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada announced last week it will do its own inquiry into how Laura Gainey was swept off the tall ship.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Find the clothes…find the killer
The clothes that Theresa wore the night of November 3, 1978, were never recovered. If we could find them, they might yield some important pieces of evidence. (Anon sent me an article--reprinted below--about a case with some similarities to Theresa’s. The big difference is that the investigators collected the victim’s clothes, kept them as evidence and were able to get DNA evidence some 30 years later.)
Were these Theresa’s clothes?
“It is six o’clock on the morning of Sunday, November 5th, and hunters, Steve Mandigo and Samuel Burnham have been up for hours. ..This morning they have chosen a spot at the crest of a rise overlooking a spectacular view of Lake Memphremagog. It is beautiful country. The lakeshore is peppered with dozens of cottages belonging to the affluent members of the Montreal English elite. They come to unwind each summer, to this area near the tiny village of Austin.
"Late autumn. The lakeshore is now closed for the season. It is cold, but the first snow has yet to fall. Mandigo and Burnham pass silently through the thick, dense forest. They are hoping for deer. Near a fallen tree they spy something. They approach the tree. Resting neatly on a log they find clothing. Upon closer examination, they see that it’s a woman’s shirt and a pair of blue pants. The clothes look new. The men place the clothing back on the log and continue with their hunting. Around noon, the two men exit the interior of the forest. They come out onto the gravel service road where their trucks are parked. They briefly discuss the articles of clothing they found in the woods. They consider whether it would be best to notify the Police.” (Posted by John Allore on November 6, 2006)
Murder victim's clothes held critical clue for 30
New DNA evidence helps police pinpoint a suspect in the
1978 killing of Sara Beth Lundquist
Sara Beth Lundquist would be well into her 40s by now. The way she loved children, perhaps she'd have a few of her own. Maybe, just as she'd planned, she'd be a nurse.
Though her family will never know what the 15-year-old could have become, they're finally getting answers about who may have abducted her near a Ballard bus stop and stabbed her to death almost 30 years ago.
Seattle police say DNA evidence now points to Clarence E. Williams, who killed a young woman less than three months later. On Wednesday, King County prosecutors charged him with murdering Lundquist in 1978. He will be arraigned Nov. 7 in King County Superior Court.
"I feel like this is going to be healing. ... Having this question answered has got to bring some relief," said Lundquist's mother, Lynne Carlson, who still lives in Seattle. "I often thought I might die before I knew."
Lee Lundquist remembers with "photographic clarity" the day he learned, at age 10, that his big sister wasn't coming home. He's always believed her killer would be found. He needed to believe it, he said.
"I've known for a long time that finding out who did this to Sara certainly would not make the loss any less severe," he said. "But knowing would certainly help by reducing the mystery and unknowns surrounding her case."
On Tuesday, Detective Mike Ciesynski, who investigates Seattle's "cold cases," paid Williams a visit in a Minnesota prison where more than 400 Washington inmates are being housed. The 62-year-old man -- who has a chance for parole in less than eight years -- insisted he didn't kill the woman he's convicted of murdering and had nothing to say about Lundquist's death, he said.
Ciesynski said he wants to make sure Williams doesn't kill anyone else.
"Here are two girls who were killed in a similar way, two months apart. They were similar in appearance. Both were abducted," he said. "It's my personal belief that a serial murderer will not just stop because he's 60 years old. Once he's released, he'll do it again."
It was the year the historic Camp David Accords were signed and serial killer Ted
Bundy was finally caught. The U.S. Mint began cranking out Susan B. Anthony
dollars, and people were disco-dancing to the Bee Gees.
Sara Lundquist was a blue-eyed Ingraham High School sophomore who taught Sunday school, played piano and practiced steering her mother's car around a Shilshole Bay parking lot, her sights set on a driver's license.
On July 2, 1978, she and a girlfriend saw a movie downtown and took the bus back home to Ballard. She was last seen walking from the bus stop toward her house on 20th Avenue Northwest. Her body was found the next day in the men's room of a gas station on Leary Avenue, more than a mile away. She'd been stabbed in the neck, chest and head.
Police concluded she'd almost made it home. A neighbor reported hearing a scream and the screech of tires. Lundquist's purse and clogs turned up in an alley.
At the time, police made a public plea for clues. Her father and others later offered a $5,000 reward for information, but the case eventually reached a dead end.
Her family was devastated. Over the years, Carlson said, she has continually agonized over who could have done it and became suspicious of many.
She and her brother, Jim Abbott, said living with heartache, fear and uncertainty simply became part of life. Now, Abbott said, they are trying to accept that "as far as we know, it was totally random."
DNA profile finds match
Ciesynski began looking into the girl's unsolved killing after a call a few years ago from Lundquist's brother, who'd occasionally checked with police over the years.
He tracked down old reports and remnants of the investigation: The denim outfit Lundquist had worn -- a ticket stub for "Damien: Omen II" still tucked into a pocket -- and the key: microscopic evidence that she may have been sexually assaulted.
He sent the evidence, found inside the girl's clothing, to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, where scientists and today's DNA technology revealed a genetic profile. They entered it in a database of convicted felons' profiles last year and found a match with Williams, Ciesynski said.
To read the rest of the article,
click here: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/336600_cold24.html
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
How did Theresa get back to Compton on November 3, 1978?
In the past 29 years, a lot of theories about the night Theresa disappeared have been discussed. Here's another one...
I feel quite confident in saying that Theresa made it back to Compton on Friday, November 3, 1978. There are two eyewitness accounts that place her in King's Hall from 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm. The autopsy found that Theresa still had food in her stomach at the time of her death which means she would have eaten late in the evening as Tamara Westall indicated.
Based on those two facts, the possibility that she was picked up and murdered by a stranger while hitchhiking from Lennoxville to Compton is remote. (If she got a ride from a stranger/murderer on the way back to Compton, I very much doubt that he would have dropped her off unharmed at King's Hall and somehow managed to cross paths with her again later that same night outside the residence. However, if the driver was also connected to King's Hall, there is a stronger possibility that their paths DID cross again.)
So …if she made it back to Compton that Friday night, how did she get there? (And what was she doing between 6:15 pm when she was last seen walking toward the bus and 9 pm when Sharon Buzzee saw her in King's Hall?)
There are two blog entries written by John Allore that inspired my latest theory:
"(Roch) Gaudreault believed it was a murder, and it happened in residence. I said, "a murder done by someone outside the school, or by someone inside the school". He said, inside, and that Gaudreault had two strong suspects. I asked if Gaudreault had ever mentioned any names. (Gerry) Cutting said, "No, he would never do that, but one of the suspects was a teacher." [March 15, 2006]
"On April 2nd, 2002, I had a telephone conversation with Jeanne Eddisford. She confirmed that Peacock was then the Director of Residence, and that he was absent from campus in the evenings on several occasions." [March 12, 2005]
Now what if Theresa spent a few hours in Lennoxville running some errands and bumped into a member of the Champlain staff or a fellow student? Maybe this teacher/ student/ casual acquaintance was in town shopping or enjoying a drink on Friday evening. (Ms. Eddisford said at least one staff person was known to be off-campus in the evenings on several occasions. No doubt there were others.) Maybe this person offered Theresa a lift back to Compton-- which she probably would have readily accepted because she "knew" the driver.
Here's where it gets confusing for me. Sharon Buzzee said Theresa looked as if "she had just come in from outside" which leads me to believe she walked into King's Hall unaccompanied. So if she got a drive from someone who also lived/worked at King's Hall, why wouldn't they have entered together?
Maybe the driver dropped her off at the front door of the residence and left to park the car.
Theresa was seen walking up towards the second floor. Why? Did she want to see her brother Andre…maybe to borrow money? (Her wallet was found with no money in it...did she spend it in Lennoxville and remember she needed to buy smokes or some liquor?) When Andre didn't answer the door, it seems she went back down to the dining room to get a bite to eat. Could she have then met up with that same person who gave her a lift back to Compton and was offered another ride to the store in the village?
I don't think she went back to her room after her late-night snack. If she did, she probably would have changed clothes, stopped by her friends' room, etc. Somebody would have noticed her. Was Theresa on her way there through the annex that connected King's Hall to Gillard House when she was encountered someone who convinced her to go back outside again?
OK...so if she disappears shortly after being seen in the dining room hall...how was she convinced/taken outside? Did a student or teacher in the dining room ask her if she wanted to accompany him to get something at the store?
There are just so many questions about the night of November 3rd that we'll probably never get the answers to unless someone confesses or comes forward with new information. But ultimately, someone brought Theresa back to Compton that night. Who was it and why didn't they share that information with police at the time?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Time of Death
- In her sworn statement on April 19, 1979, Josie Stepenhorst said Theresa had finished her meal in the Dewhurst Dining Hall by 6 pm.
- Theresa was seen by Tamara Westall around 9:30 pm grabbing a late-night snack in the King’s Hall dining room.
“The stomach contains a small mass of solid food, digested or decomposed. The intestines are void of matter.”
--Teresa Sourour, pathologist with the Laboratoire de medicine legale, in her April 14, 1979 autopsy report of Theresa Allore
"The ME can often use the contents of the victims stomach to help determine time of death. After a meal, the stomach empties itself in approximately 4 to 6 hours, depending on the type and amount of food ingested. If a victim stomach contains largely undigested food material, then the death likely occurred within an hour or two of the meal. If the stomach is empty, the death likely occurred more than six hours after eating. Additionally, if the small intestine is also empty, death probably occurred some 12 hours or more after the last meal.
"At death, all digestive processes stop. This means that any food in the stomach or intestines remains as it was at death, until decay sets in….The stomach empties in about 2 hours and the intestines in about 12. So, if your victim was known to have eaten at about 6 p.m. and the ME found that his stomach contained the meal, he could state that the time of death was between 6 and 8 p.m. If the victim ate at 6 p.m. and the stomach was empty, he would say that the death was after about 8 or 9 p.m."
--D.P. Lyle, MD, “Timely Death”
- By 9:30 pm, Theresa’s meal from Dewhurst Dining Hall would be fully digested and therefore not present in her stomach or intestines. Therefore, the food discovered in her stomach during the autopsy would have been what she ate in the King’s Hall dining room. This means that Sharon Buzzee's and Tamara Westall's testimony is accurate.
- Theresa definitely made it back to Compton and King’s Hall on November 3, 1978.
- Theresa’s time of death should be estimated between 9:45 pm and 11:45 pm on November 3, 1978.
- Where did Theresa go after her late-night snack? She wasn’t seen back at Gillard House. Nobody at the store in the village remembered seeing her. Did she meet up with her killer/fate at King’s Hall or on the way to the store? Did somebody invite her outside for a smoke in their car? Did somebody ask her to go with them to buy some weed or liquor?
- How did Theresa get back to Compton? She missed the 6:15 pm bus. Could she have met up with someone she knew in Lennoxville (e.g., student/teacher) who offered her a ride back to her residence? If so, why didn’t this person admit to giving her a ride? If she hitchhiked and accepted a ride from a stranger, why didn’t that person come forward?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Next Arrests in Florida?
Blog readers Anon and Bill Widman suggested I post some more playing cards from Florida's Cold Case decks to see if they get solved next. (The first card that I randomly picked, Ingrid Lugo, resulted in a suspect being arrested.) As Anon and Bill say, it can't hurt to profile a couple more of the cards and see what happens. So here are my latest selections. I chose them because of their similarity to Theresa's case. Ladies and Gentlemen...place your bets!
Tiffany Sessions (Deck One)
Mary Jo Shelleby (Deck Two)
Read Malcolm Gladwell's piece in The New Yorker, Criminal profiling made easy
Read your piece in the New Yorker. Thank you for writing it. I am just finishing a Masters Degree in Justice Administration and Public Policy(in the last 3 years I have studied a fair bit on deviant behavior).
And because I blog about unsolved crimes I see more than my fair share of intimate details about crimes, and far too many wack-job emails from pseudo sleuths - with good intentions - who should really find something else to do with their voyeur energy.
I am so glad you wrote what you wrote. From all that I've seen most of these crimes are solved by good policing and a fair bit of chance /luck. I have worked quite closely with Dr. Kim Rossmo over the last 5 years who specializes in geographic profiling; sure, he gets most press from Pickton and the Washington Sniper, but his methods are much more alligned with British crime solving practices, which to my mind are far more practical and based on common sense (I love where your guy talked about all the reasons a woman's blouse may be pulled up.)FYI: I contributed a chapter to a book edited by Rossmo on Criminal Investigative Failures. I'm told it will be coming out in early 08. That's not to blow my own horn as a writer (I am far from it), but to let you know that I think there were many people hoping someone would write a piece like you did to topple psychological profiling. Far too often I get emails from people wanting to help with my sister's murder that start with a phrase like, "And I have read all of Douglas and Ressler's books".
I'm going to close by leaving you the email I received below from a British Psychic some time ago (just to prove to you that I haven'tlost my sense of humor). Oh yeah, she got it all wrong.
One last thing: Now that you are famous, what are people like me supposed to say when you come up in conversation? Last week in class there was a long winded discussion about your book Blink. It was unbearable, people attributing things to you that were unrecognizable from the man you are, and the book you wrote (all positive, but plain wrong), And I had to sit through it and say nothing, stating that I went to college with you would only make the situation worse.
So Malcolm, what are are people like me supposed to do in these situation?
Theresa mentioned snow boarding which was her first love and how the first time she did it, her brothers had taken her. She said shef rightened you to death because she took off and was so fearless right from the start. She said you were exasperated and shouted at her because your father wasn't there and you were supposed to be responsible for her. She snow-boarded down a particularly steep slope and actually left the ground and just wouldn't stop. She said she carried on the way she began. Her nose, by the way, always tended togo quite red when she was snow-boarding, just the tip of it.
I gather it was something she excelled at beyond normal comparison because of her balance and sense of timing. Her balance was most acuteand she could do tricks on it too.
She said you have 2 children - 2 boys. And Andre has 3 - 1 boy and 2 girls.
She said that you moved her to the shared accommodation when she went to the college, in your car.
She said she hadn't been there that long.
There were some situations in her childhood when she would do some extraordinary things. She would hide a lot, and when she was verysmall the family found her in various different places they wouldnever have imagined; even under the house.
She was always a live wire. She liked to play games with/on others in the family, and this hiding was part of this. She would hide under the bed, under almost anything, particularly to avoid something she didn'twant to do, but it was just a little game.
She talked about school and that she liked it, but the best part was not being there and being outdoors.
She said she'd had some soft toys, bears mainly.
Must have been some other Theresa
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In case you think that “lost” evidence can’t miraculously turn up elsewhere, take a few minutes to read the following news stories.
Belmont County Cold Case File Heats Up
November 12, 2007
Story by D.K. WrightWTRF-TV, Wheeling, W.Va.
A man left home one evening, joking to his family that he had a hot date. He was never seen again.
It happened 25 years ago in Belmont County, Ohio.
Now this cold case is heating up.
The case file on the Leon Moncer disappearance was lost years ago during a previous sheriff's administration.
But after an intensive search of a storage building, the file was found last week.
Murder trial told of 'lucky' swab find that reopened case
John Robertson, The Scotsman
A DETECTIVE told a jury yesterday of an "incredibly lucky" find during a cold-case review of a 1980 murder.
Ian Kennedy had been checking to see whether evidence gathered at the time of Elizabeth McCabe's death was still in storage and discovered that a swab had gone missing. However, it was traced after a chance conversation with a colleague and later sent for DNA testing at a specialist laboratory in England…
Mr Kennedy said he learned that the productions from the McCabe and the Lannen cases were stored in boxes in a room in the cells area at police headquarters in Dundee.
He said items found to be missing included Ms McCabe's pants and tights… Another item was an intimate swab taken from her body at the post-mortem examination.
Referring to a swab shown to him in court, Mr Kennedy said: "In a chance conversation with a colleague, he recalled putting them [swabs] in a large cabinet and myself and another member of staff went down there and, by sheer fortune, the second folder we took out contained this. It was incredibly lucky."
Detailed evidence search is called for in DNA-linked appeal,
judges rule exhaustive effort must be made before declaring it lost
By Alia Malik
Baltimore Sun reporter
August 2, 2007
Maryland's highest court yesterday demanded that police and prosecutors conduct thorough searches before declaring trial evidence to be permanently missing - checking storage rooms, offices and even judges' chambers if necessary.
Potential problems found in police storage of drugs
By Suzanne Smalley and Tracy Jan,
Boston Globe October 8, 2006
Some of the drugs seized by Boston police are not where they should be in the department's central drug depository, where evidence such as cocaine, OxyContin and marijuana is stored, the acting police commissioner, Albert Goslin, said yesterday.
The disarray of the drug depository, discovered during a police audit, has prompted concern among officials, but Goslin said it's too early to determine whether evidence is missing, because the audit is not complete. He did not indicate the amount or types of drugs that have not been found.
Goslin said the disorganization in the drug warehouse concerns him because of the possibility that drug evidence could be missing, but at this point, nothing points to police corruption. ``It's a lot of stuff and a major burden on us," he said. ``It's contraband. It's illegal. If the audit doesn't go the way it should go, then we'll look into it."
Three officers have spent the past six weeks combing through drug evidence from 190,000 cases, some dating back more than 20 years, because the department is modernizing the tightly controlled facility, Goslin said. The department wants to find an easier way to track the evidence; officers are moving the drugs to a different part of the building.
Some evidence that auditors had initially thought was missing was found elsewhere in the Hyde Park depository. ``They'd find things that were supposed to be in one place and would be three bins over," Goslin said. ``It's a huge nightmare and problem . . . I haven't found stuff missing but at this point, I can't say."
The site of the evidence and where the drugs were supposed to be according to a log book sometimes do not match, Goslin said.
According to Boston Police Department rules, drugs, upon seizure, are temporarily stored in a safe at the district station before going to a central drug depository
Missing evidence found in 1996 murder case
By Natalie Morales
Dayton Daily News
February 06, 2007
Clark County (Ohio) Clerk of Courts Ron Vincent almost didn't believe staff members who told him they found the missing evidence from the 1996 murder case of death row inmate Timothy Coleman.
A federal judge granted a September request by Coleman's attorney, Kelly Culshaw, to have independent DNA testing done on some evidence.
Murder victim Melinda Stevens' shorts and underwear were requested from the local clerk's office. Friday, Vincent said all of the woman's clothing was missing from the evidence box.
The clerk's plans to continue "digging around" for the missing clothing worked out Monday when staffers found a bag containing the clothes on the opposite side of the room from the evidence box, Vincent said.
Vincent attributed the misplaced items to the commotion in the office during an Aug. 22 flood that started in the courthouse's third-floor law library and drained into the second-floor clerk's office.
"Evidently it got pulled out of the box when things were being moved around," Vincent said.
Monday, Vincent said he was relieved to have found the clothing and he notified the state attorney general's office, the public defender's office and Culshaw.
New Evidence Furor Hits HPD
Mislabeled boxes may be final straw for full-scale probe
By Roma Khanna
August 27, 2004
The Houston Police Department has discovered evidence from thousands of cases that was improperly tagged and lost in its property room, Chief Harold Hurtt said Thursday, suggesting that problems with handling evidence may go back 25 years.
The evidence was contained in 280 mislabeled boxes that were found in the department's property room last August. But the boxes sat unopened for a year, even as an ongoing Harris County District Attorney's Office effort to retest DNA from 379 cases stalled because of missing evidence in 20 cases.
Investigators began opening the boxes last week and found an array of evidence that ranged from a fetus and human body parts to clothes and a bag of Cheetos.
The boxes were labeled with the numbers of individual cases. Now, HPD officials said, it appears that evidence from as many as 8,000 cases, from 1979 to 1991, was packed into the 280 cartons.
The discovery of the forgotten boxes of evidence comes as questions about the analysis in a 1987 rape case have widened doubts about the quality of the crime lab's work.
Monday, November 12, 2007
“Over time, sometimes homicide perpetrators, associates of homicide perpetrators, or witnesses, may want to talk about an unsolved homicide. This is common in the cold case business. It’s getting unknown or unidentified witnesses to come forward that’s difficult.”
--Vito Spano, the former commanding officer of New York’s Cold Case Squad
"We're not going to rest until we find (witnesses) because the alternative of not having witnesses, of not prosecuting people, not holding them accountable, means more crime."
--Saginaw County Michigan Prosecutor Mike Thomas
If you’ve been following the Who Killed Theresa blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably realized that there isn’t a whole lot of physical evidence in Theresa’s case. Most of the evidence, if not all, has been thrown out, misplaced or never retrieved from the crime scene. That’s why we need witnesses to come forward.
Maybe you weren’t present when the crime took place, but perhaps you DO have knowledge of why it happened, how it happened, who was involved, who helped keep the secrets, etc. We need to hear from you.
So why haven’t you stepped forward yet?
Well…I surmise there are a number of reasons—most of them being fear-based. These reasons may include:
- You fear retribution/retaliation.
- The suspects have intimidated you into keeping quiet.
- You have a misplaced sense of loyalty due to family or friend connections.
- You fear the police and that you won’t be believed.
- You’ve bought into the "Stop Snitching" culture.
- You’re embarrassed.
Why should you come forward?
If you can overcome your fear and get the courage to tell what you know, you will feel the relief of having a huge emotional burden being lifted from your shoulders. You’ll break free from guilt. You’ll feel empowered knowing that you’ve done your part in bringing a murderer to justice, making your community safer and delivering some peace and closure to the Allore family.
How can law enforcement and the community help?
- Offer bigger rewards for information. (For instance, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says the usual $10,000 reward offered by the city is not enough to entice witnesses. He says, "What is $10,000 going to buy them? How can they get their mother and sister out of San Francisco? How can they start a new life which is what they have to do?” So Newsom is now offering rewards of $100,000 for arrests and convictions in unsolved homicides.)
- Get serious about witness protection programs. (California has a program. They provide money to relocate and to reimburse witnesses.)
- Hand down tougher punishment for witness intimidation. (Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is introducing legislation that would make first-degree murder of witnesses a crime punishable by death. Del. Anthony G. Brown is introducing another bill that would make less-severe witness intimidation subject to a 20-year prison sentence.)
- Get the police to do more interviews. (People who weren’t interviewed during the first investigation should be interviewed now. Follow up on the leads provided since the case went cold.)
- Ensure law enforcement is open-minded and approachable. (Treat witnesses or tipsters who have come forward with respect. Don’t be antagonistic. Encourage them to talk. It took them several years to work up the courage to say something so hear them out.)
- Speak to witnesses’ sense of humanity/guilt/remorse. (Prod their memory/conscience with billboards or posters in high-visibility areas. They will serve as constant reminders that Theresa’s case is still very much a priority.)
Some people have already shared their ideas and information with John Allore. Think about doing the same thing yourself. His email address is email@example.com
Who knows? You may have the needle in the haystack we’ve been looking for during the past 29 years.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Another cold case has been solved in Florida thanks to playing cards that were distributed in July to 93,000 inmates in the state’s prisons. This is the second arrest directly attributed to the playing cards.
I understand that a similar initiative is currently underway in Canada. I hope the project gets enough funding and support from the government so that the cards make it into Canadian correctional centres as soon as possible. The sooner these cards get into the prisons—the sooner law enforcement can start following up on the tips they generate.
Let’s hope Quebec’s police will be as thorough with follow-up as their Floridian counterparts. Families, including the Allores, are desperately waiting for resolution of their loved ones’ cases.
Cold-Case Playing Cards Lead To Arrest
By Josh Poltilove of The Tampa Tribune
Published: November 8, 2007
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrested Bryan Lamar Curry, 36, at his home Tuesday in connection with the strangulation of his ex-girlfriend nearly three years ago. The woman, 34-year-old Ingrid Lugo, was found dead in December 2004 in a Manatee County retention pond.
"We're quite pleased," Manatee sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said of the arrest. "This guy was a suspect right from the get go, but we just didn't quite have enough. We feel the card pushed us over the top."
Curry's arrest may be the second case solved because of the playing card initiative, an FDLE news release states. The statewide initiative's goal is to crack Florida's unsolved homicide and missing-person cases by handing out playing cards to Florida's prison inmates. Lugo's card was the six of spades in the first-edition deck.
"Tips from the cards continue to come in, and our law enforcement partners are aggressively working those leads," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said in a release. "Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Ms. Lugo. We believe there will be more families who are ultimately provided with answers through the statewide playing cards."
Lugo's body was found fully clothed, minus shoes, in the retention pond the same day her brother came to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office after she had failed to return from meeting with Curry, an arrest warrant shows.
Two inmates at the Cross City Correctional Institution saw Lugo's playing card and called Crime Stoppers to report Curry's involvement in her death, Bristow said. Curry had served time at the Cross City institution on forgery charges.
Curry had told the inmates information only a person involved in Lugo's death would know, Bristow said.
Detectives initially considered him a suspect but didn't have enough probable cause to arrest him, Bristow said.
In July, about 100,000 cold-case decks were distributed to about 93,000 inmates in the state's prisons.
"This case won't be the last one solved," Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough said. "If you're a criminal on the lam, we are going to you."
To learn more about the initiative and view the 104 cases from the two decks, go to www.fdle.state.fl.us/OSI/unsolved.
Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 259-7691.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
When is a tip, not a tip?
Solving any crime requires the public’s participation. Unfortunately, the public can be “too helpful” and call the police with tips that merely tie up valuable police time while other solid leads languish at the bottom of a paper avalanche.
In the Cedrika Provencher case, the Sûreté du Quebec received approximately 15,000 calls to their hotline in just three months. Only 4,000 of the tips were worth investigating. Add e-mails, letters, interviews and more months to the total and you’ll quickly understand how processing tips can paralyze an investigation.
In Theresa’s case, the number of tips certainly don’t come anywhere near Cedrika’s tip tally but it’s still important to make sure whatever tips we do offer to police have enough information to make them “actionable” and move them up the priority list.
If you think you might have information pertaining to Theresa’s murder, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is it specific? (Who? What? When? Where? And why?)
2. Is it true?
3. Can it be corroborated?
Before passing along information about a crime, try to gather, and remember, as many details as possible. Rumours, ambiguous connections and speculation usually end up wasting time instead of solving crime.
That being said, if all you remember is a detailed snippet of a conversation, a photo or a few letters from a license plate, it may still be enough to establish a connection—especially if Quebec’s law enforcement had text mining software like COPLINK.
What is COPLINK?
Developed in Tucson, Arizona, in 1998, COPLINK analyzes vague pieces of information and finds similarities in order to identify suspects. It searches multiple police databases, and can retrieve information in seconds that once took trained investigators hours, days, even weeks to sort through.
Users can provide facts about an undergoing investigation and the system will find relationships between that information and existing data, providing new leads and avenues for law enforcement organizations to explore. It pulls together clues from arrest reports, jails, citations and crime records and makes them all available with just a few key strokes.
Approximately 550 jurisdictions in the United States already use it with success.
According to Knowledge Computing Corporation, the company that sells the software, "The reason COPLINK has been as successful as it's been is that 80 percent of the crime is committed by 20 percent of the population. The suspect might not be in your databank but he's in someone else's databank…Criminals can commit a crime in two different cities and live in a third city, making information-gathering slow and time-consuming.
For more information on COPLINK, visit http://www.coplink.com/
Saturday, November 03, 2007
It was 29 years ago today…
That Theresa Allore disappeared from Compton, Quebec.
>>>>This photo was taken this past summer by a reader of this blog. It is from the top of Compton Station Road looking east toward Compton. The red arrow indicates the bridge over the bog next to the Gagnon farm where Theresa's body was finally discovered in April 1979.
Friday November 3, 1978
Temperature: 55 degrees F and sunny during the day…about 30 F at night
What she was wearing: a white t-shirt, blue cords, long beige sweater coat, Chinese slippers, long green scarf. No socks.
6 pm: Suzanne DeRome and Josie Stepenhorst spoke to Theresa at Dewhurst dining room. Theresa was going to meet with them at 9 pm back in Compton to listen to music. Bummed a smoke.
6:15 pm: Josie was on the bus back to Gillard House in Compton and saw Theresa leaving the dining hall walking toward bus.
Before 9 pm: Greg Deacon, a student, stopped by Theresa’s room in Gillard Hall to see if she completed her homework. He knocked but there was no answer.
9 pm: Josie and Suzanne were in their residence listening to records. Theresa never showed up.
9 pm: Sharon Buzzee talked to Theresa on the stairs of King’s Hall. Sharon asks Theresa what her plans are for that night. She replies that she intends to do her homework. As Buzzee leaves, Theresa appears to be heading up the stairs of King’s Hall toward the second or third floor. Police said her report was unreliable.
9: 30 pm: Tamara Westall says she saw Theresa in King’s Hall dining room grabbing a late-night snack.
9: 30 – 10 pm: Andre Allore hears footsteps in the hallway on the second floor. He knows it’s a female’s footsteps because the floor creaks differently if a man walks over it. There is a knock on his door. He doesn’t answer it. Whoever knocks walks away.
Case Milestones (spearheaded by John Allore and his team of volunteers)
- Theresa’s death has been ruled a homicide
- The case has received national media publicity
- Quebec establishes Cold Case Bureau
- A proper search of the area where Theresa was found was finally conducted.
What still needs to be done
- Keep the pressure on law enforcement.
- Keep the case in the public eye.
- Encourage people to come forward with tips
- Take advantage of new forensics techniques.
- Determine if evidence from Theresa’s case is irretrievably lost or just misplaced.
- Conduct a search in the Lake Memphremagog area to see if remnants of the clothing the hunters report they found are still in existence.
- Get the police (Quebec's Cold Case Bureau) to actively investigate Theresa’s case and resolve previous leads.
- Identify Theresa’s killer before the 30th anniversary of her disappearance.
If you have anything else you’d like to add to this list, or if you have information you think could help, e-mail me (email@example.com) or post a comment on the blog.
Friday, November 02, 2007
briefed on Theresa’s case
I am very pleased to report that, on October 24, John Allore had a productive meeting with Robert Lafrenière, deputy minister of Quebec’s Public Security Department. Mr. Lafrenière is responsible for policing, prevention and security services. He served 31 years with the Sûreté de Quebec prior to joining the provincial government.
During their meeting, John discussed several issues including the Poitras Commission Report, the SQ’s current strategic planning and the status of the province’s Cold Case Bureau.
Some of the action items that John asked Mr. Lafrenière to follow through on include:
1. Transfer the files of Theresa, Louise Camirand and Manon Dube to Quebec’s Cold Case Bureau. Apparently, the Province of Quebec quietly launched the Bureau two years ago with an initial mandate to review unsolved homicides dating back 25 years in Level 1 territories. Since the Eastern Townships aren’t a Level 1 territory and since Theresa’s, Louise’s and Manon’s cases date before 1980, they didn’t get referred to the newly formed unit. The Cold Case Bureau is currently staffed by one lieutenant and six full-time officers who are working on approximately 400 cases.
2. Assign a motivated investigator to Theresa’s case. If her files actually make it to the Cold Case Bureau, John feels confident that Theresa’s case will finally get the attention it deserves.
3. Develop and implement a provincial policy on evidence retention so mistakes made in Theresa’s case aren’t repeated.
Although Mr. Lafrenière was very accommodating, he wasn’t able to give John a firm commitment. He did say that if anyone could follow through on John’s requests, he’d be the person.
John feels confident that the deputy minister has taken his concerns seriously. But he also reminded Mr. Lafrenière that if he failed to initiate a proper investigation of Theresa’s case, John would ensure that he would take it over in “full view of the police and press”. (Bravo John!
He expects to hear back from Mr. Lafrenière’s office with some positive news in the near future. (If I were the deputy minister, I’d make sure this happens sooner rather than later. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of one of John’s “spirited” and mass distribution emails!!)
Let’s hope the deputy minister can make a difference. I’m sure we’ll all be watching and waiting to see if he does!