Here Be Dragons
I'm going to tell you two things from my experience about doing your own criminal investigation:
1. You get a lead, then another and another... and you get excited chasing this linear progression of events. It's a bit like a drug. But then you get more leads, they don't necessarily all add to the same position, so you compromise, you begin to shift positions and realize you have primary information, but also secondary and tertiary info that may lead to other crimes (you may follow up on that when you find the time).
The next thing you know, you're not following leads, your following strands in a web... and you're stuck in the middle of it. And no one (least of all yourself) realizes it's pulling you in.
2. You can get consumed by what Freud and Jung called "The Shadow Self". I don't mean to be enigmatic, or dramatic, bu that is what it is. You are looking at this darkness, and in order to interpret it, to master it... you start to thinking a little bit like it. And before you know it you've lost your sense of self.
This is one of the reasons I would much prefer approaching this case any further "as a group"; we can watch out for each other, protect each other. When I deal with crime issues now on my own I'd much rather consider large scale policy questions, in the aggregate. It allows me sleep at night.
If you think I'm being silly, or over reacting then you've most likely not experienced what I'm describing. If what I say resonates, then you've probably stepped a little off the path, and (hopefully) have been able to find your footing again.
Who Killed Theresa?
Ce blogue est une investigation de le meurtre de ma soeur, Theresa Allore. Il y a 30 ans Theresa est mort aux secteurs de Compton, Sherbrooke et Lennoxville, Québec.
Life isn't fair, Justice is blind... and dysfunctional, and some cops aren't smart and dedicated like on tv.
Si vous avez information contact Sue Sutherland: CP 45 Succursale Lennoxville, Sherbrooke J1M 1Z3,Canada:email@example.com Tel: 514-264-7830
Friday, February 29, 2008
Here Be Dragons
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Police bust Magog coke ring
More than 100 police officers staged a massive raid on an alleged cocaine trafficking network in the Magog region of the Eastern Townships this morning, raiding 10 premises and rounding up 15 individuals.
The sting was part of a year-long operation codenamed Degré launched by the Memphrémagog police and aided by the Sûrété du Québec. Other police forces lent a hand this morning.
Police say the raid should put an end to the trafficking network that was run by a criminal organization in the region. Several residents had made complaints.
Bless you Terry Gross for your piece on Sony's new Glenn Gould releases: it brought me to tears recalling my favorite pianist and classical iconoclast. You could not grow up in my house without my mother spinning the black circle with Gould's music; a gift which has enriched me.
"But gee, where will I get my Executive Valet Charging Station?"
This is funny:
And finally... ANOTHER STORY ON THE QUEBEC 400 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS!
Seems planners failed to include Montreal in the process:
The Horror... The Horror...
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Decision not to try Pickton on 20 more charges outrages families
I believe this to be a worthy decision; as policy, I don't see where you could responsibly come to any other conclusion. . He's never going to see parole. Trying him again would only be a symbolic gesture, at a cost of millions to taxpayers. If the people feel that justice has been served, then let that stand. It is not the victims or their representatives that get to mete out what they deem justice.
If it were me? Sure, I'd be mad as hell. But, just as sure as you can't raise the dead, you can't punish Willie Pickton any more than he's been punished.
Fast forward to 2008…
Once again, another 19-year-old female university student has been discovered strangled. In this instance, the victim was found in a field in Reno, Nevada.
A few things worth noting when you read the article below:
- Manner of death: abduction and strangulation
- Brianna Denison’s body was found only 8 miles from where she was staying
- The number of law enforcement agencies involved in the search/investigation
- The fact that the police asked the public to be on the lookout for “suspects who…suddenly quit their job or move away without explanation…”
- Reno Police have a “Secret Witness Program”
- Brianna’s murder may be linked to other sexual assaults and crimes in the area
Nevada Police Seek Clues in Female Student's Death
Salem-News.com (Feb. 19, 2008)
An autopsy has determined the remains of a female discovered in a Southwest Reno field Friday are those of 19-year old Brianna Denison who was abducted January 20th.
(RENO, Nevada) - An autopsy has determined the remains of a female discovered in a Southwest Reno field Friday are those of 19-year old Brianna Denison who was abducted from a friends’ residence in Reno in the early morning hours of January 20th.
Police said the official cause and manner of death was due to strangulation making this a murder investigation. Police also estimated the full autopsy report would not be completed for several weeks due to pending protocols that include toxicology and
An employee of a business at a light industrial complex discovered the remains in an adjacent brush covered field on the south side of Sandhill Drive between Double R Boulevard and Prototype Drive, and reported the finding at about 12:13 PM Friday.
Responding Reno Police Patrol officers found the remains about six minutes later and began to cordon off and secure the area around the site, estimated at about 2-3 acre. The site is located about eight miles south of the residence from which Denison was abducted.
Investigation of the scene on Friday was conducted by Reno Police detectives, Washoe County Sheriff’s detectives, crime scene investigators from the Washoe County Crime Lab and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office RAVEN Helicopter assisted with the investigation through aerial observation and photography of the site.
The location was secured by law enforcement officers throughout the night. A search of some nearby open fields was conducted by Reno Police officers on Friday. A search dog went over the area where the body was discovered early Saturday morning. That area was also later searched by members of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team who also conducted searches other nearby open fields.
At a news conference at the Reno Police Department Saturday, Police officials expressed their condolences to the family of Brianna Denison and thanked the numerous volunteers, organizations and law enforcement agencies that have cooperated in the search for Denison since her disappearance.
Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns also asked the community to continue to focus on the identification and capture of the suspect in Denison’s abduction and death. "We’re asking the public to be observant and look for behavioral changes in people who match the description of the suspect, even in people they don’t think could commit such a crime."
Johns said those signs can include people who suddenly become overly anxious or nervous, who suddenly quit their job or move away without explanation or who unexpectedly sell a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description. Johns said those changes could have occurred in January or even recently.
….Anyone with information about the investigation is being asked to contact either the Secret Witness Program at (775) 322-4900, or the Reno Police Department’s 24-hour tip line at (775) 745-3521.
DNA evidence from the scene of Denison’s abduction has been linked to DNA evidence from an abduction and sexual assault that occurred nearby on December 16th, and a sexual assault that occurred on November 13th. The victim in the December 16 assault was also the victim of an attempted burglary at her residence on January 19th, the day before Brianna Denison was abducted.
University of Nevada Reno Police are working with Reno Police to determine if there is a link to another sexual assault that occurred in a UNR parking garage on October 22nd.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Indiana bets on cold case playing cards...
Another jurisdiction has decided to distribute cold case playing cards to inmates in the hopes of clearing up some unsolved homicides. Not only will inmates be playing the cards, they'll be printing them too!
The following story appeared February 18 in the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune.
Will DOC inmates put cold-case cards on the table?
Officials at the Indiana Department of Correction are using playing cards in their efforts to solve cold case crimes.
By PABLO ROS
The ace of spades is Ruth Shelton, an 18-year-old who was abducted by robbers from the restaurant where she worked in Johnson County, Ind., and whose lifeless body later was found in a wooded field.
Shelton’s slaying, which was Nov. 18, 1978, is one of 52 homicides or missing-person reports featured on a deck of playing cards that the Indiana Department of Correction plans to distribute to its inmate population in hopes of solving cold case crimes.
“The idea here is to improve public safety,” said Randy Koester, a spokesman for the DOC.
Koester said this is the first time that the DOC has done “anything like this” and that its goals are to seek closure for the victims’ families and apprehend those responsible for the crimes.
The cards feature 45 unsolved killings labeled as “murder,” four missing person reports and one “body found” from a total of 26 Indiana counties. The cold cases featured in the deck of cards span more than 30 years, from the slaying of John Terhorst in Boone County in 1971 to the killing of Tracy Sissom in Brown County in 2004.
Koester said the DOC was seeking information from the state police and the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center, a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, when the idea came about. He compared it with a deck of cards that the federal government issued in its search for possible terrorists.
Koester said the 52 cold cases featured are not necessarily the oldest or most difficult to solve. But they do come from across the state and were the ones provided to the DOC by the state police and the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center.
Although none are from St. Joseph or Elkhart counties, four cold cases from nearby LaPorte County are featured in the deck:
- 16-year-old Rayna Rison’s body was found in a pond after her disappearance in 1993.
- The body of Linda Weldy, 10, was found along abandoned railroad tracks after she failed to come home from school in 1987.
- Jonathan Jones, 18, was shot and killed in Michigan City in 1995.
- The body of Juanita Boyd, 32, was found in the trunk of her vehicle in 1981.
Koester said the DOC is asking media outlets in the state for help in collecting photographs of the victims. Each card would display a victim’s photo with a brief description of the crime. The crimes were randomly paired with the cards in the deck.
The cards will go on sale within a month or two, Koester said this week. The printing plates with the design for them are ready.
Koester said inmates at the DOC will print the cards using prison equipment. They will be among other items that inmates make, including license plates and furniture.
The cards will be sold not-for-profit to the DOC’s inmate population of 26,000 offenders for $1.10. Eventually, Koester said, the cold case cards would become the only playing cards available to the inmates to buy through the DOC. He said the cards will not be marketed to the general public.
Koester said the DOC hopes that through the use of the cards, inmates would be more likely to offer clues that could help solve a cold case. He said offenders might gain useful information through their interaction with other offenders at the DOC.
He said that although some might seek to cooperate in the hopes of receiving a sentence modification or other reward, others might do so earnestly.
“Offenders are people like you and me, and if they know they can help, they have the same desire to do something that could resolve a crime,” Koester said.
Asked whether the DOC had consulted with victims’ families in undertaking its initiative, Koester said the DOC has spoken primarily with prosecutors and sheriffs.
Koester also said that in the future, other decks of cards might be created to include other unsolved crimes.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Mme Espiegle, Es ce que vous pouvez me contacter a firstname.lastname@example.org?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Open Letter to Roch Gaudreault
"To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle."
Dear Mr. Gaudreault:
It has been nearly 30 years since Theresa Allore’s body was found face-down in a bog at the edge of a farmer’s field in Compton, Quebec. You were the lead investigator on her case—the person entrusted by the community to find her killer. You saw her body. You talked to the grieving Allore family. But ultimately, you abdicated your sworn responsibility as a law enforcement officer and abandoned Theresa and her family when you were needed most. Now it’s our turn to ask questions. And it’s your chance to clear up assumptions, half-truths and half-baked theories. It’s never too late to get to the truth.
Here’s what we need to know:
1. Who were the suspects in the Louise Camirand and Manon Dubé murders? Were they ever considered for Theresa’s murder?
2. Who were the two persons you believed were suspects? One was a teacher. Why was he/she/they person(s) of interest?
3. Why did you believe Theresa’s murder happened in residence?
4. What is keeping you from sharing what you know about Theresa’s case with her family? Is it because you’re fearful of professional or personal repercussions?
5. What assurances do you need to convince you to re-visit the details of Theresa’s investigation with her family/friends?
There is a legitimate and generous offer on the table to pay for your time to sit down with John Allore and another investigator of his choosing to discuss details of the case.
If that's not an option, why not send a "blind" e-mail. You’re a detective. You know how to protect your identity and anonymity.
We need to know what you know. And you need to get this information off your chest. I doubt you were intentionally incompetent. I don’t believe you don’t care. I do believe you’re worried about something…but surely, we can work around that can’t we?
A young woman was murdered on your watch. A family still grieves. And a community is still searching for answers.
Please understand that we’re not on a witch hunt. We just want to know who killed Theresa Allore. That’s all.
All Roads Lead to the Police
1. Thanks for the poem Bill. Well done.
2. TR: What you write in the comments to the preceeding post is very persuasive. What you are saying is, "all roads lead to Roch": why-the-f%$* aren't the SQ leaning on him? We have they not even spoken to him? I know, I know... The Brotherhood.
Maybe a new tactic is in order. Maybe we apply media / government pressure to question you-know-who.
Ultimately, is that what I'm hearing?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
On Effective Policing
Would the RCMP have done a better job investigating Theresa's murder in the 1970s then the Surete du Quebec?
From inception the SQ were created to be traffic cops and riot busters. They were like the state highway patrol. In the late 70s, when the Parti Quebecois siezed control, the SQ broadened its mandate. But they were never given the funding to fulfill this mandate. And they didn't have any expertise in criminal investigation. Not to blame it all on higher government. The SQ certainly didn't help themselves - they could have sought out expertise, learned from others. But they have federalist leanings (look to the orgins of policing in French - Vidocq) and are thus completely insular by nature. Add to that the language stigma and you pretty much have an organization that operates with its ears stuff and its eyes shut.
Friday, February 15, 2008
The more things change,
the more they remain the same…
Today, I read my copy of the Halifax Herald and once again, the front page is dominated by two more gruesome crimes against young girls/women.
The first one is about a 12-year-old girl, Karissa Boudreau, from Bridgewater, NS, whose body was found on the upper banks of the LaHave River six days ago. She had been missing since January 27 after she and her mother allegedly had a fight in the local Sobeys parking lot. After two helicopter searches, two underwater searches of the river and a community search of the area failed to turn up anything, a passerby found Karissa’s body on February 9th across the street from a blind man’s house. The police took six days to perform an autopsy and declared her death a homicide. Today, the RCMP had two suspects in custody.
Some of the interesting statements in the news coverage include:
… an RCMP profiler from Ottawa "came down to the scene, looked over the file and certainly felt that (the local RCMP) were going in the right direction,"
… Karissa was found within walking distance of her home.
… the police did not have video evidence to back up the mother’s story that she left Karissa in the car after their argument.
… They also won’t say whether family members, including Karissa’s mother, Penny Boudreau, and her boyfriend, Vernon MacCumber, have been ruled out as suspects.
These statements tell me two things:
1. The media seems to be asking the right questions.
2. The police, in this instance, seem to be doing all the right things—acting quickly, bringing in additional resources and experts and not leaving anything to chance. Let’s hope they keep the pressure on until the killer(s) are brought to justice(?).
I can’t help but wonder if Theresa Allore’s death occurred in 2008 outside the Province of Quebec, would we have a need for this blog? Have the Sûreté du Québec’s policing techniques kept pace with the times?
Somehow, I doubt it. Maybe the parents of Julie Surprenant and Cedrika Provencher could tell us.
Martin Provencher, the father of Cedrika said the SQ failed to issue an Amber Alert and begin a prompt investigation in the days after his daughter was reported missing. He also says the SQ haven’t been sharing information with the family. (Surprise, surprise.)
Is it just me or is there a marked difference between the way crimes are investigated in Quebec?
The second story is about Charlene Knapp, a pregnant mother of one, who was brutally stabbed with a SWORD by her fiancé. She almost died, she lost her unborn baby and she is now permanently disabled. Her fiancé received 14 years in jail which means he’ll probably be out in seven. Sad commentary on our justice system.
Read more about Karissa Boudreau’s homicide here:
Read Charlene Knapp’s story here:
Yer Mourning Newz
"In one case, a neighbour reported seeing a man outside a rooming house, which he believed was a centre for drug dealing. An RCMP investigation found that the man had in fact just dropped off his child at a nearby school, and was standing next to the house having a cigarette. Nonetheless, a file on the man was kept in one of the secret RCMP databases for seven years. "
Can we just abolish the RCMP and start over from scratch?
And I could give a rats-ass... Gave up my television 10 months ago, suggest you do the same.
You know, I haven't gotten the flu this year? I think 10-years of kids have turned me into the Collosal man - I'm a living petri-dish of immunity.
Un autre départ au 400e Canoë
Yes the director of communications and marketing for Quebec's 400 anniversary celebrations, Denys Légaré has announced his departure, and the party has even started.
Can you say boondoggle?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Here's one you've never seen. Theresa's ballet recital:
And I will remind you all of a 30th anniversary. Thirty years ago this year Theresa was murdered. And here we still sit and wait for answers, for justice. True, leads dry up over time, but I do know this; you will not solve this case by sitting at your desk in Montreal waiting for the public to come to you with information. That's akin to me sitting at this computer and waiting to drop 10 pounds: get up off your arse and do something!
I'll tell you what was going on 30 years ago right about now. I celebrated my birthday. Theresa gave me two records; Jethro Tull, Aqualung and Rush Farewell to Kings. We were preparing to move from Montreal to Saint John, NB. In March I would begin a new semester at a new private school. Theresa was getting really bored with working in a factory on route 40 on the West Island; she asked my mom to pay for her to go back to school - to Champlain college where my brother was already a first year student. My parents agreed. She would visit us in the summer of 1978 in Saint John with her boyfriend Vlad, start classes in the Fall at Champlain, come home for Canadian Thanksgiving, and then she was gone.
I'm not sad to have lost her, I'm over that. I'm enraged that the justice system hasn't done more to solve her murder.
Bill, you're right. I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees, and forget the fundamentals. That is - in part - because it is not in my nature to do a "tribute site", though undoubtably whokilledtheresa has those elements, and can't escape that flavor. But I should stick to some repeated re-enforcement of the basics of the case; my sister was murdered, the case is unsolved, mistakes were made by major government agencies. Without frequent repetition of those basics, an outsider may have a hard time figuring out what is going on here. More importantly, a clue might never be offered.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
These Are The Dog Days
No comments, no comments...
I'm not gonna bite you! Missy, please post something before this blog becomes a permanent rest-stop on the info-highway.
Ok... what are the issues? What's everyone thinking about? What do you want us to post?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Yer Mourning Newz
Not even going to comment on it - just too disturbing.
Les relations seraient au beau fixe entre Charest et Harper
Harper looks great, but what-the-hell happened to Charest?
Ice chunk that tore into bedroom came from plane's lavatory
Was it brown? There, I said it.
That must have been some argument.
February 2008 Fund Drive
Support North Carolina Public Radio with a Pledge. Thank you!
Ok, I admit it, I'm a public radio free-rider. Here's why: For every 1 minute segment of the brilliant Frank Deford I'm made to suffer through two hours of the mind-numbing tedium of The Diane Rehm Show. I figure that's payment enough.
Céline Dion : Une 7e date au Centre Bell
I call it, The Week-In-Hell Tour.
"Maudit Harper, next time bring more federal goodies or I'll kick your English pancake arse!"
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I have to lead a seminar group tomorrow night in class. No reason why you can't read my stuff:
Target Crime Reduction Efforts In Ten Cities
by Erin Dalton
Following the example of Boston's Operation Ceasefire (The Boston Gun Project), a pilot program in co-operation with the National Institute of Justice and The Kennedy School of Government designed to reduce youth gun violence, the author presents a review of replicated programs initiated in 10 communities, the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI).
SACSI was (is) a crime targeting initiative designed to identify root causes of crime and apply strategic, long-term interventions to eradicate these criminal elements. SACSI is characterized by a community based approach to crime prevention involving stakeholders at the local and national level, as well as police and non-policing agencies (community leaders and the clergy). It is hoped that lessons learned from the SACSI model may be carried over to more recent crime initiatives such as the Bush administration's Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Elements of the SACSI Model
Leadership and buy-in from top level partners (US Attorney's Office).
Strong project management, community involvement and a sustained effort.
Deep understanding of the targeted crime problem (contextualizing motives and behaviors).
David Kennedy, a designer of the Boston Gun Project, stressed the need to study crime problems for sustained periods before suggesting an intervention strategy. He also recognized the challenges inherent in this process (the need for more data, reaffirmation of leadership, more resources to complete studies). Ultimately there was no "magic bullet" for reducing gun violence. What was good for Indianapolis (addressing semi organized gangs and turf wars) was not necessarily good for Rochester (targeting drug-house robberies and individual status issues).
Balancing Short-term wins with Long-term results
SACSI cities struggled to identify interventions that would achieve both demands. Kennedy's decision rule for program success needed to satisfy four conditions (biggest impact, how long will it take, doable, political will). After these conditions were met, SACSI had success with a number of efforts:
- The List (targeting the "worst of the worst")
- Lever-Pulling (clear communication that there would be severe repercussions for certain criminal behavior. ex: Bush 43: "If you use a gun illegally, you will do hard time")
- Home Visits (follow up interviews with parolees by a team of stakeholders)
SACSI has shown significant results (reduction in gun violence). The program continues to monitor effectiveness (longitudinal data continues to be assessed).
Referring to Engel, what police supervising style do you feel would be most effective in a crime targeting program such as SACSI?
As the article points out, programs like SACSI require significant allocation of time and resources. Community involvement puts considerable strain on these elements. Is there a diminishing return in terms of achieving community buy-in? At what point do the community's needs become a hindrance to effective policing?
Policy makers have been analyzing the data from Operation Ceasefire and SACSI for almost 20 years. Are these long-term programs worth the effort?
Friday, February 08, 2008
I did get an update on Theresa's file. In fact I got it the day after I made the cold-case update, I just forgot to mention it. Theresa's case remains with Benoit. Though he's training to be a polygrapher, the SQ decided to keep the file with him. This means Theresa's file IS NOT with a specified cold-case unit within the Quebec police.
Let's do a little Alpha Rating on this:
1. Status quo is maintained: the case doesn't have to be explained to another nubbie.
2. Following on 1, I don't have to re-establish the rules of engagement from the family's perspective.
3. We have a stable environment - we're not back to ground zero again (lost ground).
1. Again, the status quo. No new ideas, no innovation. The case has stalled, and it will remain stalled.
2. Without getting personal, Benoit is "old school", he's not going to lift a finger beyond what is required. He will sit and wait for information to come to him rather than being proactive.
3. A polygrapher / cold-case investigator?
4. Benoit's in Ottawa through the end of March for polygraph training, that puts him out of commission for 3 months with a case where time is running out.
Gunman Kills 5 People at City Council Meeting
"Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, 52, was well-known in Kirkwood, a quiet, middle-class town west of St. Louis. He frequently disrupted council meetings to protest what he called persecution by the mayor and the city attorney. In 2006, he had to be removed from a meeting in handcuffs; he was convicted of disorderly conduct."
I think most of you know that I work for municipal government here in North Carolina. I used to attend a lot of council meetings. I liked the carnival atmosphere and the crazies (and Durham has it's share of crazies believe me. I once was walking through a mostly deserted second floor and bumped right into Victoria Peterson and Michael Peterson... talk about your freak show!)
These days I try to stay away from council meetings, and the reasons are largely related to what happened in Missouri. For some reason, certain people believe dealing with local government gives them an inherent right to behave in the most uncivil and grossly inappropriate fashion. It is not uncommon to see people like "Cookie" - apparently a sweatheart in his daily life - go ballistic and rail against public officials. This may seem a strange comment coming from me, I have often been guilty of letting my emotions get the best of me. But I never take these issues personnally. There is no desire in me whatsoever to mete out justice against any individual who has been a player in the affairs of the last 30 years.
As I say, I now mostly avoid council meetings. It is a strained environment and I value my life - increasingly strained with a tanking economy. Foreclosures are up, there've been layoffs locally... a climate ripe for someone to blame some government official. I have always been hyper-aware that someone might just snap and I'll be that guy holding up a chair to fend off an automatic weapon. But it doesn't even have to be violence, actually it's the verbal abuse I find most offensive. I just don't like to be party to any event where these people have a podium, it's too toxic.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Yer Mourning Newz
Police scour Brampton suburb for 'Dr. Horror'
Dr. Amit Kumar: He'll make you a true believer.
Son of Bill 101
Call it what you will; the law of diminishing returns, regression to the mean... the French population in Quebc is shrinking. While Marois and Dumont make political hay, and Charest attempts to throw money at the problem, you might as well take that money and flush it down the toilet.
Poland sends two helicopters to aid Canada in Afghanistan
Bush Ready to Back GOP Nominee
In fact we have video of W puckering up for McCain's Sicilian Kiss of Death:
Park Police Rebuked For Weak Security
You got Barney Fife guarding the Washington Monument; what did they think would happen?
NASA beams Beatles' "Across the Universe" to aliens
Remember when NASA had credibility and clout and didn't have to resort to cheap gimicks to keep itself newsworthy?
Oh, enough of The Wire already!
The Case for CFL
3 downs v 4 downs
Oh... not that CFL...
Maharishi, you'll get yours yet...
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
But It's My Lucky Hat
Recall: I had 6 comprehensive exams over 2 days. That meant 4 hours on a Friday for:
And 4 hours the next day (Saturday) on:
I haven't said much since I wrote them (I didn't want to jinx anything). I passed them all. Which is great given 20 - 25% fail at least one of them.
What a friggin' hassle that was! I studied my ass off and still felt I only knew about 5 things: if I could allow my mind to operate like a Chinese box I might be able to expand on those 5 things.
Day two was a nightmare, people were giggling mid-exam without provocation. I had to do a mental verta-hold on my retina to keep from going brain dead. By the 6th hour I was in a crisis; statistics, and no room for bullshit - you either know it or you don't. My answers became terse to the point of haiku. They were riddles really... I dare you to question my competence. What a tightrope... any temptation to expand on the rational thought process would surely be callout for the malarkey it was, and destine you for certain failure.
So how'd I get through it? Two toques. The one on the left for Friday, the one on the right for Saturday.
Something on my noggin to remind me why I was there.
Monday, February 04, 2008
U.S. Cold Case Squads Fighting For Life
That was today’s ominous headline in a USA Today article… but it certainly could apply to Canada’s cold case squads too. Just ask Kathy Caughlin—sister of Karen Caughlin, a 14-year-old who was brutally beaten to death 34 years ago in Petrolia, Ontario. Kathy wrote an email to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Julian Fantino two weeks ago begging to keep that province’s Historical Investigations Unit alive.
Fortunately, her pleas were heard. Although on life support, the OPP cold case team has been given a one-year reprieve. (http://news.therecord.com/article/300568)
But after that…what happens?
Statistics Canada says approximately 3,600 homicides (15%) have gone unsolved in this country since 1961 (Nov. 8, 2006, StatsCan “The Daily"). If that statistic doesn’t make you nervous, then change the numbers around.
It means that thousands of murderers, currently roaming our neighbourhoods, will continue to do so unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes his tough-on-crime stance one step farther.
Yes. We need tougher legislation. Yes. We need anti-drug strategies. Yes. We need to combat terrorism. But we also need to bring each and every killer to justice. And hiring more police officers to patrol our streets isn’t going to cut it.
We need some of those police officers in cold case squad rooms doing investigative work. And they need the budget, the human resources and the political support to make EVERY murder case a priority. Just because a case isn’t easy to solve doesn’t make it any less important.
Does equality for all Canadians only apply to those who are living?
Excerpts from USA Today articles
- Andy Rosenzweig, a former lieutenant in the New York Police Department, said about 60% of all murders go unsolved.
- Federal funding for cold case squads dropped by 40% in 2007, falling to $8.5 million from $14.2 million in 2005, according to the (US) National Institute of Justice.
- “Sgt. John Jackson, who supervises the St. Louis Police Department's cold case squad, said the first step in cold case investigations is getting the file into working order. Over years, detective's notes get lost, evidence is misplaced and information can be stored in different locations.”
- "The lack of proper case file organization, the lack of following all leads, too much tunnel vision — it all hinders solvability issues tremendously," said James Adcock, an instructor at the institute.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Premier against more Afrocentric schools:
That makes two of us. You know, being in American schools my kids really get short-shafted understanding anything about the rest of the planet. Yet while I bemoan the U.S. education system for not covering the finer subtleties of the BNA Act, I realize it is my responsibility to feed my kids whatever I feel their not getting in those hallowed halls.
Kids are under-performing in schools everywhere. The last I saw the drop-out rate in North Carolina was over 60%. Afrocentric schools is another fad treatment for a complex problem that will require a number of measures to correct.
Speaking of fad treatments, Mario Dumont believes he has the answer: more dicipline in schools. Réjean Parent, head of the Quebec teachers union called Dumont an "idiot", saying he didn't have the understanding to address the situation.
These are complex problems that require thoughtful, long term solutions, not some "off the top of my head" epiphany from a politcal gasbag.
Take a look at the marker on this map:
That's DeGaspe Street in Montreal. This is where Jackie Robinson lived when he broke the color barrier in baseball and came up in the majors to play for the Montreal Royals in 1946. The American civil rights revolution was trailblazed in Canada, not the U.S. DeGaspe street in the cultural epicenter of Montreal, nested between Delormier Downs and Jarry Parc: Baseball history, Canadian history, American history.
Rachel Robinson tells it best:
We left the South bruised, stimulated, and more contemplative than we arrived. A more resilient pair. Our totally opposite experience in Montreal later that year provided us with an excellent springboard into the majors...
My first intimate encounter with the city came when I went apartment hunting. I selected a location from the Royal's list of available apartments, and went to an attached home on DeGaspe Street, in a French Canadian neighborhood, and knocked on the door. The woman who opened it set the tone for the entire stay. She said "Welcome!" in English, and meant it.
Now that's nothing I'll find in either an American or Canadian text book, but I intend to teach it to my children.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Yer Morning Newz
Lennoxville, Quebec celebrates 30-years of peepers, prowlers, pederasts and panty-sniffers!
Guy Lafleur's so-called perjury statements: Given the choice between my kids and the legitimacy of Quebec's criminal justice system? I'll choose my kids every time.
A slightly different story than we were hearing yesterday
According to the French morning papers, a red Acura has been siezed by the Surete du Quebec in hopes of finding trace evidence of missing 10-year old Cédrika Provencher.
This is a different story than I was hearing yesterday... that Martin Provencher was running his own investigation and the police weren't cooperating. In truth, I trolled the news wires yesterday and could not find evidence of any acrimony between the Provenchers and the police. And it is quite common for a family to undertake their own investigative tasks (M. Provencher travelled to New Brunswick last year to follow some leads); the family has more vested in this, and thus more time to pursue ideas than the police.
This is one of the reasons I backed off on the radio interview of addressing anything to do with the Provencher investigation: I could not find evidence that the Surete du Quebec was doing anything but cooperating and participating in full with the search for Cédrika.
Britney Spears returns to psych ward
Lest we forget even Manson was capable of writing the occasional good song
Clinton, Obama Debate Change Vs. Experience
Is it asking too much of the Washington Post to give us something a little less trite here?
I'll give you a better headline:
Clinton, Obama: Tube Socks versus Footies
Quebec's 400 anniversary fete:
Finally two sticks have caught fire within the planning committee. Rather than throwing a $6.3 Cirque du Soleil-esque opera spectacle, why not just invite Cirque du Soleil and be done with it.