EXCERPT FROM THE BROSSARD REPORT, PART VII, VOLUME 2,
(A literal translation by Clément Fortin)
The order-in-council has given the Commission the mandate to investigate the “credibility of the statements made by Francis Thompson to the Miami police, in November 1958”.
In order to report with full knowledge of the facts, the Commission has inquired into all aspects of this funny incident and it has heard, on this sole subject, 36 witnesses and collected 66 exhibits.
The study of this question suggests the following division:
I - Francis Gabriel Thompson’s personality;
II - The Miami events;
III - Notary J. Conrad Moreau’s trip;
IV - Thompson’s alibi;
V - Thompson’s credibility;
VI - Conclusions.
B) THE VINCENT PATTERSON CASE;
C) THE QUESTIONING OF WILBERT COFFIN, MARION PETRIE AND LEWIS SINNETT;
D) THE TWO PRISONERS WHO WERE PROMPTED TO TESTIFY AGAINST COFFIN
BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION, HERE IS WHAT JUSTICE BROSSARD WROTE ABOUT LEWIS SINNETT IN HIS REPORT, VOL. 2, P. 325-326.
YOU MAY ALSO CLICK ON THE ABOVE PICTURES TO READ AN EXCERPT OF THE INTERVIEW LEWIS SINNETT GAVE TO PIERRE NADEAU OF RADIO-CANADA.
Former officer SINNETT was examined at length on his activities in the course of the police investigation following the disappearance of the American hunters. He spoke of a note dated 13th of June which, to the exception of the date, the text was « unreadable ». He identified this note, as being exhibit 25, then asserted having seen three notes, the one represented by exhibit 25, a note left by young Claar’s parents when they visited in the woods at the time of searches, and the note dated the 13th of June, but unreadable.
He was then confronted with the text of the interview he had given on television ; in the course of this interview, he spoke of a note dated the13th of June on which one could read the words « I shall meet you at Mullin’s camp. »
He admits that after that interview, on television, he might have declared to a representative of the newspaper “La Presse” that he might have made a mistake on television « about the note that no message appeared on and the one that is partially written ».
What must be taken into account in Mr. Sinnett’s testimony, on the one hand, rather confused, is that, at the time of his television interview, he appeared to have referred to Miller’s note while speaking of a note dated the 13th of June and that, on the other hand, the would-be note dated the 13th of June was unreadable and consequently could not be connected to whomever and certainly not to one of the three American hunters.
Mr. GÉRALD GODIN, who participated in the recording of certain programs for the CBC French network and produced, in this capacity, the recording of Lewis Sinnett’s interview on the 1st of December 1963, but was aired only several days later, declared after this recording that he saw at Mtre Nöel Dorion’s office, in Québec City, a photostat of exhibit no 25 and that the same night he phoned Mr. Sinnett because doubts had crossed his mind and that of Mr. Pierre Nadeau’s, one of the two television animateurs then, in the course of this conversation, the only note that Mr. Sinnett described was that of Thomas Miller.
A lady JEAN THOMAS, then at the employ of the newspaper « La Presse », called Mr. Sinnett a few days after his television interview; it appears from that telephone conversation that the note that Sinnett pretended having been dated the 13th of June was, according to him, dated « June 53 », that it was torn and « glued with Scotch tape » and that it was not the one that the searchers had found and had handed over to him or at least that there was a resemblance to it.
It appeared to us obvious that Sinnett went right off the track on television, that truly he has seen only one note, that this note was the one that Thomas Miller signed; it is the only conclusion one may draw in comparing his television interview with the information that he has communicated to this Commission and what he has communicated to Mr. Godin and Mrs. Thomas. This former police officer that the Provincial Police never wanted to rehire after his voluntary resignation for financial reasons, has given us the impression, not only in this part of his testimony, but in all the rest of his testimony, that he had accounts to settle with the Provincial Police. In fact, of all the testimonies of former Police members that we have heard, this one is the one to which we may grant the least credibility.
Click on the above pictures to read excerpts from an interview he gave Pierre Nadeau of Radio-Canada in 1963.
Click on the following link to read what justice Brossard wrote about this MYSTERIOUS NOTE.
QUESTIONING LEWIS SINNETT
An incident related to the same subject would have happened during the year 1955 under the following circumstances :
In the fall of 1955, Mtre Charles Édouard Cantin was anxious, as well as the Solicitor General about “certain moves seemingly being prepared to present a file before the Supreme Court », « of what newspapers were publishing about Doyon stating that he had seen jeep tracks around the Lindsey’s pick-up truck when he went to the bush for the first time and that he was prevented to report this fact before the court. Being also informed that Doyon was in communication with the defence attorneys without first speaking with his superiors, they were eager to know whether Messrs. Vanhoutte and Sinnett had also been approached, they gave instructions for the questioning of Mr. Sinnett by captain Sirois in order “to get information out of Sinnett as to such approaches or as to confidences Doyon might have made to him regarding the declarations that the latter would have made to the defence attorneys, the whole in view of being prepared should such information was inaccurate.”
Officer Sinnett came to Québec City with sergeant Doyon and went first to the office of Mtre Charles Édouard Cantin where he stayed a few minutes without however being received by Mtre Cantin; he was led by certain police officers to a motel known as « Fleur de Lys », located on the borders of Québec City; he was met by colonel Lambert, Regional Director of the Provincial Police, by captain Sirois and one or two other police officers. Sinnett was questioned in accordance with the instructions given by Mtre C.E. Cantin as aforesaid in order to make sure that, he, Sinnett would not, also fail, as Doyon seemed to have done, to his oath of loyalty, discretion and discipline. The only reason for which this interview took place at that unsual place was that they feared that if the interview had taken place at the office of the Provincial Police, that sergeant Doyon might have known about it and that it might have given rise to worries and administrative harassment.
The presence of the Director of the Provincial Police at that interview had, in my opinion, under the circumstances, nothing irregular even if it might be unusual. Doubtlessly, it would have been eminently preferable that the need for such an intervention be not necessary within the police force and that such an interview had not taken place; but this happened after the first judgment of the Supreme Court and at a time where supreme efforts were attempted to destroy or modify the proof submitted to the Percé jury, as it was with the interventions with the unfortunate MacGregor, sergeant Doyon and certain jurors. Despite the sympathy that might have inspired the fate of the convicted, superior interests of justice had to be protected.
Evidence was establish, at the satisfaction of this Commission, that during this interview, Mr. Sinnett was not submitted to any threat, that the whole conversation was held on a perfectly normal tone and that Mr. Sinnett was so little troubled by this interview that he did not hesitate to join his colleagues to take with them, after the interview, a few drinks.
Attempts by Mr. Hébert and by Mtre Gravel to establish that this interview was the occasion for a binge resembling strangely that that was attributed to police officers at the Motel « Bleu Blanc Rouge », during the Percé trial and about which we will talk about hereafter, not only were they not convincing to the president of this Commission, but appeared to him an unqualified meanness. The preponderance of the proof shows that during all of this interview with Mr. Sinnett, not a drop of alcoholic liquor was drunk; before departing, colonel Lambert agreed to have a drink with his men, including Mr. Sinnett, and maybe two glasses of gin; after colonel Lambert’s departure, the other officers continued to take a few more glasses; there is no proof that any of them got drunk.
No doubt, it would have been preferable that no alcoholic liquor be drank by the police officers at a place where the owner had apparently no licence, but was it sufficient to smear the reputation of police officers otherwise not at all soiled. Such meanness is more likely to harm those who do it than those against whom there are meant... (TO BE CONTINUED)