DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Who Killed Theresa?: 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

This from the CJAD newsroom:

It's the last long-weekend of the summer and the Sureté du Quebec is trying to avoid having too many guts to scrape-up off the asphalt.

Well if you're anything like me - and you are, that's why we're having this conversation - I like to end the long weekend with a burger and a brew, and I definitely hate it when the holiday gets all mucked up with that guts-on-the-asphalt thing.


My two front teeth...  and scads of Federal dollars

Here's a nice summary of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police's wish-list as they wrapped up their annual conference this week:

Chiefs need feds for national strategies

OTTAWA, Aug. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - In Montreal, Canada's police chiefs have
wrapped up their 103rd Annual Conference, on the theme "Better Diversity
Management Through Partnership".
CACP President Deputy Director General Steven Chabot of the Sûreté du
Québec makes it clear that the Chiefs will ratchet up their agencies'
knowledge and understanding of diversity, including ethno-cultural, gender,
sexual orientation, age and special needs.
"We must draw upon the richness of Canada's diversity, to strengthen the
community's relationship with police and police agencies themselves," said
Mr. Chabot. "We are committed to becoming better service providers and better
employers of a diverse workforce."
In Resolutions adopted by the CACP, the Chiefs are calling upon
governments at all levels to address some pressing community safety issues
that require a national approach.
The Chiefs are asking the federal government to commit resources for a
national strategy on voice communications interoperability among public safety
agencies across Canada. The ability of first responders to communicate using
the radio spectrum is essential, and a strategy to enable full
interoperability of voice communications within ten years was promised by the
federal government in 2005.
Federal and provincial/territorial governments should create a new
national responsibility centre for community safety, health and well-being,
with a mandate to serve as a coordination body for all orders of government
and a resource centre to support community-based partnerships that are working
to achieve safe and healthy communities.
The Chiefs are challenging governments to work together on a national
strategy to reduce poverty, which marginalizes groups in our society and is a
risk factor for victimization and crime.
A resolution adopted by the Chiefs seeks adequate federal funding and
support for First Nations policing, so that First Nations have access to
policing services that meet community needs as well as acceptable quality and
service standards.
The federal government is asked to provide funding for municipal and
provincial police agencies to implement the National Sex Offender Registry in
their jurisdictions, and to adopt the legislative and software features of the
more comprehensive Ontario Sex Offender Registry.
Along the same lines, federal funding is needed for the provinces to
adopt a single database and a consistent practice in investigations related to
missing persons and unidentified human remains.
All police agencies in Canada are being asked by the Chiefs to adopt the
Canadian Criminal Intelligence Model, so that intelligence and operations can
be aligned strategically among municipal, provincial and federal levels.
On the legislative front, the Chiefs want the federal Justice Minister to
strengthen bail and sentencing provisions in the Criminal Code so that chronic
offenders are incarcerated for longer periods of time.
The CACP officially recognized the Drug Evaluation and Classification
Program, currently under the stewardship of the RCMP, as the sole approved
training for roadside sobriety and drug tests.
In adopting a set of principles for modern policing, the Chiefs are
calling again this year for a common framework to guide policing in Canada.
Policing is a responsibility shared by all orders of government, and for
several years the CACP has expressed concern about the need for clarity around
federal, provincial and local police responsibilities.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interesting piece in today's News and Observer about local and unsolved homicides; Janet Abaroa, Michelle Young, Rose Wynn, and Nancy Cooper:

In each case, authorities have not treated the crime as random violence. While investigators have looked closely at the victims' husbands – Raven Abaroa, Jason Young, Rev. Sam Wynn and Brad Cooper – they have not made any arrests or officially named any suspects...
Yes, there can be challenges to these types of cases, but I don't think investigators should get a pass merely because a case is difficult.  Local scuttlebutt says there is something wrong with the investigative methodology when so many of these types of cases remain unsolved in North Carolina.


Fear of a Black Planet

Controversy continued this week as members of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police tackled the issue of diversity in the ranks.  Compounding the problem, everyone in command appears to be white:

Nevertheless, CACP president Steven Chabot, and the deputy director of the Sûreté du Québec, appeared to have a firm grasp of the problem, and the challenges faced in the coming years:

"Most of the people who are members of minority communities are quite young," he said.
"It's going to take a few years, but they will start making their way to the upper management levels."

White Rapper Steven Chabot

Ah 2008... when the black race was still in its infancy. Sure Steve, all they need is some growing up and they'll be in charge in no time


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now We're Getting Somewhere

In today's Gazette, Criminologist, James Drennan, addresses Quebec Police's long problematic and blatantly obvious “sang et langue” recruiting policy:

- Police must recruit more minorities into their forces, or risk losing the confidence of the public... "You can lose public confidence overnight,"

So I did a little canvasing of the recruiting pages for some Canadian police forces. Here's what I came up with:

The Vancouver police, ok, we've got the Asian and female thing going on...

The OPP, a chick and a black guy, very good...

The turban's overcompensating, but at least the effort's there...

Alright Toronto... we get it, you're the poster-child for diversity.

The Montreal police: Hmmm... don't really like that the women and the black guy are blurred in the background...

Madames et Monsieurs, The Snowy Whites!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Framing The Problem

Oh silly me, It's a gang thang!

... and all this time I was thinking it was an issue of police oppression / supression:

Stockwell Day says street gang prevention having positive impact in Montreal
2 hours ago

MONTREAL — Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says federal government funding for street-gang prevention has had a positive effect in Montreal.

"We have increased the funding across the board when it comes to supporting police across the country," Day told The Canadian Press on Monday in a phone interview.

"We're always looking at what more needs to be done."

Day was in Montreal on Monday for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Conference.

Earlier this year, the federal government announced $92 million in funding over five years for street-gang prevention in Quebec.

On Sunday, Day joined anti-gang officers on a tour of a north-end Montreal neighbourhood that erupted into a riot earlier this month after police shot and killed 18-year-old Fredy Villanueva.

He said the increased police presence was having an obvious impact in reducing gang activity.

"I could see already that. . . their presence is already recognized, they're having an affect," Day said.

It is "causing street gangs to be less aggressive and more restrained in their activities."

Montreal police say more than 30 people have been arrested as part of the investigation into the riot.

The minister wouldn't comment on the police shooting and subsequent riots.

"That's a municipal and provincial responsibility and they're handling it at that level," he said.

Overall crime has been falling in Montreal but criminal activity related to street gangs has been increasing.

Montreal police believe there are about 20 gangs operating in the city with between 400 and 500 core members.

Fourteen homicides were linked to gang activity in Montreal in 2007.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shark Jumping

Gotta strike when the iron's hot I guess. 

Never mind that  that case has already undergone rigorous review including investigation of the SPVM by Quebec City police, crown prosecution involvement, and a review by the Police Ethics Committee (one of the best ethics committee processes I have ever observed I might add).

Can we have a public inquiry into the Quebec public's knee-jerk, excessive need for public inquirers?  


Friday, August 22, 2008

Mme Marois, your agenda is showing...

Pauline Marois weighs in on Montreal North:


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Montreal North Goes Ga-ga

"And free ribs for life at the Bar B barn for anyone who ever knew Fredy!"


Hedwig Did It

Oh dear. Durham Attorney Larry Pollard is back in the news with his owl theory. Seems Esq. Pollard is still convinced an intrepid strigiforme is responsible for hitting Kathleen Peterson - not her crazy-ass husband - repeatedly over the head with a fireplace poker... or something like that.

Yes owls: known throughout the hallowed halls of behavioral science for their homicidal aggression.



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And all the peacemaker turn war officer
Hear what I say

Is it just me, or is this the first time the media has given us any coherent version of what happened the night Fredy Villanueva was shot?

The day after the shootings, Montreal police issued a news release saying an officer fired at the group because police felt threatened by Fredy Villanueva, his brother Dany and a number of their friends. Police were trying to search Dany Villanueva when the altercation began.
A few days after the shootings, a Montreal police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Gazette the officer who fired his gun did so after his female partner was badly beaten.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In the wake of last week's unrest in Montreal North, The Canadian Press publishes a list of riots in Montreal from recent memory. Notice a pattern here? Nothin' a little face-wash won't solve:

"Here is a list of major incidents involving civil disobedience in Montreal.

April 21, 2008 - Rioters set five police cars ablaze and smash windows after a Canadiens playoff victory over the Boston Bruins. Police arrest 56 people.

1993 - A victory celebration for the Habs Stanley Cup win ends with rampant looting and vandalism. As many as 980 officers are needed to return order to downtown streets.

"Maudite, forget about our sovereign rights, just give us the F-in' Cup!"

1986 - 5,000 people rampage through downtown Montreal following the Habs victory over Calgary. Police arrest 168 people.

1968 - Police arrest 290 people and 125 people are injured on the eve of the 1968 election, when Prime Minister Trudeau ignores threats of separatist violence and attends the St-Jean-Baptiste Day parade.

1955 - Fans at the Montreal forum revolt when NHL President Clarence Campbell shows up after suspending Maurice Rocket Richard. A smoke bomb empties the building, beginning seven hours of rioting."



Can Andre Marin get his hate-munch on for the Quebec Police or what? 

True, Montreal Police should have been interviewed... oh, say sometime in the current millennium,  but did Marin really have to imply that Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis had the spine of a sea-slug? Read on:

"Why am I better? Because I'm from ONTARIO already!"

Internal police probe called 'bogus'
Process derided after shooting of Montreal teen
Katherine Wilton, Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ontario's ombudsman says he has zero confidence in the Surete du Quebec's ability to impartially investigate the recent fatal shooting by Montreal police of a young Latino man.
Quebec's practice of having one police force investigate another is outdated and should be replaced by an independent civilian body to oversee incidents where a member of the public is seriously injured or killed by an officer, Andre Marin said.

But Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis has full confidence in the provincial police force's ability to investigate the shooting, spokeswoman Emelie Rouleau said Monday.

Rouleau added that Dupuis wouldn't comment on Marin's statements and would make no further statements on Quebec's investigative procedure while the probe continues into the death of Fredy Villanueva, 18.

The Surete du Quebec and the Montreal police brotherhood also declined to comment.
Marin said it's ridiculous that the Surete du Quebec waited almost a week before talking to the two Montreal police officers who were present when Villanueva was killed Aug. 9.

"When police investigate police, there is favouritism in the investigation," Marin told the Montreal Gazette's editorial board Monday. "It was seen right away in this case when they failed to interview the witness officer immediately."

Investigating police often use the trauma card and say they are giving the officers time to compose themselves, Marin said.

"It is completely bogus," he said of the practice, adding that it gives the officers time to consult with union lawyers.

In Ontario, a police witness would have been required to give a statement to the province's civilian Special Investigations Unit within 24 hours of a police shooting.

The SIU was established in 1990 after a rash of police shootings of young black men in Toronto. Marin was its director between 1996 and 1998.

The shooting of Villanueva sparked a riot the following evening.

Marin said he isn't sure when a civilian body will be established in Quebec because "there is a lack of political will to take on the powerful police unions."

"It takes a lot of political fortitude for a minister to say to rank-and-file police, 'I am in charge and I am going to be making the decisions,' " he said.

"The police union has a very powerful lobby with politicians, and I think in many instances the government is afraid of the police."

In Alberta, the solicitor general decides whether an investigation will be conducted by police or by an independent civilian unit.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

It IS too soon to talk about a public inquiry 

Allow me to be the contrarian on the Fredy Villanueva incident. It has been less then a week since the young man was shot dead by police in a scuffle over a game of dice.  In less than a week we have seen:

1.   A full scale riot in Montreal North, as only Montreal can do it, with burning cars and looting (not sure how this helps the Villanueva family).

2.   Quebec's Minister of Justice, Jacques Dupuis' reaffirmation that there will be a police inquiry conducted by police from different agencies (in this case the Surete du Quebec investigating the Montreal Police) that will look very seriously into the matter.

3.   The establishment of a trust fund for the Villanueva family to defray the cost of funeral expenses with any excesses going toward a scholarship fund for youth in the impoverished- read: minority dominated -  Montreal North neighborhood. 

All this in less than a week. But that's not good enough for some people. Instead we have rival political parties (ADQ and Parti Quebecois) making political hay of the matter. We have the media salivating over the topical hot-button issues of racial profiling and police brutality.  We have citizens demanding instant reform,  asking Dupuis to open up the inquiry to include a citizens panel. And now we have talk of the need for a full-on public inquiry.

People of Quebec, please read your history. Look at the millions of dollars and years of effort you spent over your last public inquiry into the police, The Poitras Commission. I hesitate to say wasted-effort because some reform did come out of that inquiry (organizational reform for the SQ, implementation of strategic planning, shoring up of ethical considerations).  But Poitras came with considerable emotional costs to citizens that I believe are still not fully appreciated by Quebec society.  What in this shooting incident at this moment justifies more citizen oversight?  If anything, possibly an investigation of the societal pressures that impinge on the Montreal North community - of which the police is but one element - need to be investigated. Separating out the police from that community, and merely looking at their actions will not accomplish reform, that is a witch hunt. Let Dupuis' inquiry run its course and see what happens. 

I am not one for cosying up to the police. Do I suspect the police acted brash and may have incited the violence? Without question.  You only have to look at the Montebello incident two years ago and this to get a flavor for how subversive and hostile a paramilitary agency can be. But because I know that, I also know this: I fear the police. I would never do anything to provoke them, anger them, or get in their way. Fredy Villanueva's death is a tragedy because he was young, and all his promise is lost. But I will not place the blame squarely on the police for the loss of his life.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Or I may be two-tracking the problem

The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  First, to address certain goals...  

It was my intention to bring some public awareness to the fact that the Quebec police and a Quebec educational bureaucracy had not done their jobs, and to rightly shame them for their lack of professionalism, their ineptitude and indifference. This has been done repeatedly in the last 5 years, it will be done again, with credence and authority this Fall with the release of the book, Criminal Investigative Failures, edited by Kim Rossmo.

Second, regarding Champlain college: there was not much left to be done but to reconcile. I think the Theresa Allore Memorial Scholarship will go a long way to heal past differences, and I am looking forward to working with Champlain on this project this Fall, the 30th anniversary of Theresa's death. (much more on this in the coming months).

Third, The case now:  We started a petition asking for a cold case bureau, and for Theresa's file to be included in that bureau, and for that case to be actively pursued.  Three years later, that has been done. I can't speak for the active pursuit, but we got what we asked for. Not only does the Surete du Quebec have a cold case squad, the Montreal police do too. Welcome to the 21st century boys.

So what's left?  Solve the crime.  In case you missed it, this has not been my arena for some time now.  Let the police solve the crime, let Sue Sutherland assist them with the work she does on the ground in Sherbrooke.  This is not an area where I want to be involved anymore.  Happy to assist, not willing to lead.  I was willing to do so for about two years there (2002-2003), but I have not been driving leads on this case for some time now.

If someone has information, I am glad to direct that information to the proper people in the cold case unit. I can tell you they follow up on things. In the last year they have pursued information we have given them including old license plate numbers, prior criminals and crimes, etc...  When asked, they will do their job.  Believe me, if anyone has a suggestion for the SQ to do a better job (a suggestion that avoids sarcasm and unrealistic amounts of time devotion to one particular case), make that suggestion and I will bring it to the police's attention. 

Beyond this, I don't know what else I could possibly do other than getting myself more impossibly embroidered in a matter that has already become an unhealthy obsession. I'm not willing to do that.  Despite the blog title, Who Killed Theresa?, I was never that driven to a resolution of this matter. I was always seeking reform. Is the horizon bleak at times? Sure. Every time I read a headline like this or this.  And it bothers me greatly that a case like Sharron Prior's falls through the cracks and has no cold-case refuge.

But here are some positive take-aways from the last 5 years:

-  The SQ has implemented strategic planning and results-based management with a clear statement of it's mission, vision and goals. Now you can be as cynical as you want about this kind of stuff, but I can tell you an organization that does not use modern management practices is destined for corruption and entropy.  The Quebec police has a clearly stated purpose, they are no longer permitted to fly by the seat of their pants.

-   Quebec now has the largest victim advocacy group in Canada. AFPAD is a powerful lobbying group, and the people of Quebec are fortunate to have a man like Pierre Hugues Boisvenu at the helm. He will not allow Quebec bureaucracy to ignore and evade the rights of crime victims.

-   Canada now has a Federal crime victims ombudsman. Let me say that again, a FEDERAL Crime Victims Ombudsman.  That is no small piece of work. I can remember when victims advocacy in Canada was a mish-mosh of grassroots orgs (basically a few dedicated people fighting the good fight). Those before me can remember a time when Canada didn't even have any kind of Federal voice in victims affairs (before The Policy Centre for Victims Issues, a branch of Canada's Justice Bureau that becomes more impressive to me the more time I spend studying public policy). Your Ombudsman is Steve Sullivan, and he answers his emails; which is more than I can say for my initial contacts with the Federal government back in 2002.

This doesn't mean I am in retirement. The 30th anniversary of Theresa's death in one more chance to draw attention to this case, and I fully intend to take advantage of the opportunity to possibly solve Theresa's murder. But after November 3rd, if I pack it in, I hope you'll understand that I've given my best effort, and I am content with the many progresses I have witnessed.


Friday, August 08, 2008

This Pig Has Flown

Email I sent to the SQ  last week:


I was told today by a reporter with NBC that M. Robert Lafreniere's office confirmed that the Surete du Quebec's cold case bureau mandate has now been extended to go back further than 25 years, and to investigate all cold cases in Quebec. Does this mean that the files of Theresa Allore, Louise Camirand and Manon Dube have now officially been transferred to the Surete du Quebec's Cold Case Bureau?

Please confirm,

Today it was confirmed. All Surete du Quebec cold case files have been transferred to the force's Official Cold Case Bureau (not just the ones with a 25-year shelf life).  

I don't know what's left to do, that's what we asked for and we got it. 

Close to packing it in folks?


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cold case of university student solved after 38 years

“The last remaining unsolved murder at (Michigan State University) has been solved. Marie Ann Jackson, whose body was found in an isolated wooded area of MSU property near College Road on Nov. 21, 1970, had been lying in the woods for up to four days before her body was found. (The 19-year-old) had been strangled.

"Now, 38 years later, members of the MSU police homicide task force have confirmed that DNA and tissue analysis match Carl Finch, an acquaintance of Jackson’s. Finch, an Eaton Rapids resident, committed suicide in Florida in 1997.

“For family members of someone who was murdered, it gives them hope that the cases that their loved ones were involved in are cases that can be solved,” she said."

I like this story for obvious reasons:

1. They finally identified who murdered Marie Ann Jackson 38 years ago.
2. The MSU campus police solved the murder. I think this is the first story I’ve come across where the campus police took the lead role in the investigation and ended up solving the murder of one of their students.
3. The university never “forgot” about Marie and continued to work on her case. (And I don’t think the family had to continually prompt then to do so.)

However, the best writing connected to this story was from a reader who posted the following comment at the end of the online article. He said:

“Tell your parents not to worry, kids! According to Sgt. Florene McGlothian Taylor, if you get murdered on campus, they’ll figure it out within 40 years.”

Let's hope Theresa's murder doesn't reach the 40-year mark! It just takes some people with a conscience to SHARE what they know--anonymously if necessary. We hope to hear from you soon ( or Again, all information provided will be treated with the utmost discretion.

To read more about this story, click here:

Maritime Missy