( A literal translation by Clément Fortin)
MONEY THAT MR. LINDSEY, SENIOR, HAD IN HIS POSSESSION
At the trial of Coffin, the Crown established a relation between the monies spent by Coffin during his trip from Gaspé to Montréal, between the 12th to the 15th of June, and the amount that Mr. Lindsay, senior, might have had on him when he was murdered; to this end, it called to the stand, Mrs. Lindsay who informed that, according to her, her husband could have had the sum of approximately six hundred and fifty dollars ($650.00) when he left Hollidaysburg for Gaspé. There is no doubt that this proof was one of the incriminating factors for Coffin. The Crown knew, at that time, that Coffin had declared in his affidavit of the 6th of August of 1953, that when he left for Montréal, he only had $50.00 to $60.00, but this affidavit was not filed in court for the reasons that we know of; if it had been, the proof that Lindsay had on him the sum of $650.00 and that of expenses made by Coffin during his trip, it would have been all the more so incriminating
Messrs. Belliveau and Hébert ignored, without doubt, the existence of this sworn declaration that Coffin made on the 6th of August 1953. It is probably the reason why, they tried so hard in their books to give the impression that Mr. Lindsay might have had on him a sum much more important; sweeping with and easy blow of hand the testimony of Mrs. Lindsay who was, without doubt, the person the most likely to know how much her husband had on him when he left; they constructed, on paper, a proof based mostly on would-be newspapermen’s declarations, specially on a declaration that Mr. Robert Ritz , father of Mr. Lindsay’s son-in-law, made to Edwin Feeney, newspaperman with the Toronto Star.
Here is what Mr. Edward Belliveau affirmed in his book at page 39 :
« What the trial court, nor any of all those courts through which Coffin’s case was at length to move, never knew was the story of Lindsey’s son-in-law, Ronald Ritz. During an investigation of the crime by newspapermen, Ritz told a reporter in Pennsylvania that Lindsey’s with his habit of flashing money, had a sum more like $2,600 than $600 when he left home. Ritz made the remark after Mrs. Lindsey had told the reporter her husband had carried about $500.”
Mr. Jacques Hébert, for his part, wrote in his second book what follows :
Page 27 :
« Mrs. Lindsay declared however to newspapermen that her husband might have brought more than $650.00: « He could have had more ». However, this was of no interest either to the Police or to the Crown.
On the 24th of July 1953, Edwin Feeney published, in the Toronto Star, Robert Ritz’ testimony, a member of the Lindsey family who knew well Eugene Lindsey: « I think, said Ritz, that Lindsey had rather $2,000$ than $600.00. Eugene had just sold a fleet of buses. Those who had bought it were paying him regularly hundreds of dollars. I saw his wallet; it was literally bursting so much it was filled with big bank notes. One day Eugene Lindsey told me: « If anyone ever tries to get my money, it will be over my dead body”.
In the Lindsey’s family circle, they are more readily of Robert Ritz’ opinion than that of Mrs. Eugene Lindsey’s who, in matters of finance, was not her husband’s confident. »
We see from what precedes that the hypotheses constructed by Messrs. Belliveau and Hébert would be based on a declaration that one Mr. Ritz (Belliveau says Ronald, Feeney and Hébert say Robert) would have made apparently at Gaspé to Mr. Feeney of the Toronto Star who would have quoted it in the issue of the 24th of July 1953 of that newspaper, a quotation that Messrs. Belliveau and Hébert grabbed, we understand with so much joy, to make of it an “irrefutable” proof which should have been submitted by the Crown to the Percé jury who, according to Messrs. Belliveau and Hébert, ought to have known.
This Commission went to the source ; to this end, it was able to obtain from Mr. Robert Ritz, who did not want to travel and that this Commission could not oblige to come and testify, a sworn declaration. In this declaration, Mr. Robert Ritz has given us the following information : (Click on the pictures to read this declaration and after having read it, read the following justice Brossard’s conclusion.)
Here is what boils down to this proof of enormous sums of money and, at any event, superior to the sum indicated by Mrs. Lindsay, that her husband might have carried with him when he left for the Gaspé peninsula : hearsay, essentially hearsay. It appears manifest that, except for those surrounding Mr. Lindsay at the time of his departure for his hunting party, no one, no one, I repeat, could have been able to say how much he carried with him ; Mrs. Lindsay was the only person the most likely to know about it.