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The Acquittal of Steven Truscott

Forty years ago the Supreme Court of Canada refused to intervene in the case of Steven Truscott (see Reference re R. v. Truscott, [1967] 2 C.C.C. 285). The case came before that Court not as an appeal but on a Reference. The Reference was ordered in response to public concerns regarding Truscott’s 1959 murder conviction for the death of his twelve-year-old classmate, Lynne Harper. Based on the information before the Court at that time, a majority of judges (with Justice Hall writing a strong but lone dissenting judgment) refused to intervene.

From then until today, Mr. Steven Truscott was in the eye’s of the law a convicted murderer and subject to a life sentence. Although Truscott was at liberty, and used his freedom to work and live under an assumed name in Guelph, Ontario where he went on to marry and raise a family, he remained a convicted killer whose status in the community was forever subject to the possibility of parole revocation.

And so things stood until today. Minutes ago the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its judgment in a second judicial reference on the case. See Reference re: R. v. Steven Murray Truscott 2007 ONCA 575 . Unlike the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario concluded that the guilty verdict could not safely stand. In an unusual step, the court allowed Mr. Truscott’s appeal, overturned his conviction and entered an acquittal. Steven Truscott is finally an innocent man in the eyes of the law.

Although much will be written about how the justice system failed Steven Truscott, and there is no doubt it did fail him, miserably in fact. It is also true that it failed Lynne Harper, her family and the community, none of whom benefited from the arrest, prosecution and conviction of an innocent young man while the real perpetrator of this horrible crime escaped justice. No doubt, some will be careful to point out that the Court’s judgment acquitting Truscott is not the equivalent of a declaration of innocence (see Tim Shufelt, “Acquittal, but not innocence, likely for Trustcott” The Globe and Mail (August 28, 2007). But this is a rather artificial distinction. The fact is, like anyone whose guilt has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, Truscott is now subject to the presumption of innocence. He is innocent in the eyes of the law, and should be so regarded in the eyes of the community.

To be sure, there is also a success story here. Not the one that will likely be trumpeted by politicians, who will point to the result as proof that the system works. The fact is, the system did not work for nearly four decades! The true success story is the one that few will notice or write about, and that is of the Charter‘s impact on the criminal justice system. You might wonder what the Charter has to do with any of this. The truth is, it has everything to do with the vindication of Steven Truscott.

Much of the evidence that the Court relied upon today to acquit Truscott was not made available to him by the Crown at the time of his trial. Before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in R. v. Stinchcombe, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 326 the quality of disclosure received by those accused of crimes in Canada varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and from one prosecutor to the next. Stinchcombe concluded the right found in s. 7 of the Charter to make full answer and defence required that prosecutorial officials hand over all relevant information in their possession or under their control to the defence.

It has only been because of Stinchcombe, and the Charter right that it recognized, that the cases of so many wrongfully convicted individuals – Steven Truscott included – have come to the forefront. So, although Steven Truscott’s case is simply tragic, it does effectively answer those critics who claim that the Charter hasn’t really made a positive difference in Canadian society. Today Steven Truscott joined the ranks of countless innocent Canadians who have benefited profoundly from a constitutional document that is too often, in the public consciousness at least, associated with the guilty.

[filed: Truscott (2007)]

86 Responses to “The Acquittal of Steven Truscott”

  1.               I Noel

     

    I was thrilled to sit in front of my television and finally see Justice done in Mr. Truscott’s case. I am 52 years old, and have followed this case since I was a teenager, after the first book was published in 1966. I too had to take on the Justice System with regard to family law, and while I was not facing as serious a charge, myself and my son were fighting for freedom and safety in the face of a system that refused to see the dangers that we were facing. I was finally successful in my fight for complete freedom, by only after years of tears and fear, and with the help of a wonderful, truly caring lawyer.

    His lawyers comments on the David Millgard case struck a painful blow to me. I was living in Saskatoon when his fight for Justice was on, and even had the frightening experience of meeting Larry Fisher in a public setting in 1994, and with his latest “girlfriend”. I will never forget the cold feeling that I got after looking in his eyes, and the elation when he was finally charged and convicted of the rape and murder that David served 28 years for. The lawyers comment that “when the wrong person is found guilty, the right person is still free” was very emotional, and so true.

    How wonderful for Mr. Truscott and his family. I hope someone finds it in their hearts to give him his trip to Hawaii, and soon. And I do hope that the government will find it in their hearts to at least apologize to Lynn Harper’s family for allowing her killer to go free. Their wounds will never heal – my heart goes out to them.

    I do hope that this site is set up for the Truscott family will be able to read all the good wishes that will be sure to come in after today’s announcement – he should know how many of us have been hoping this for them for many years.

  2.               Antonin I. Pribetic

     

    Certainly, the quashing of Mr. Trustcott’s wrongful conviction and acquittal is both welcome and long overdue. My first reading of the 303 page Court of Appeal judgment leaves some lingering doubts that, as Professor Stribopoulos suggests: “He is innocent in the eyes of the law, and should be so regarded in the eyes of the community.”

    The fact that Mr. Trustcott could not persuade the five-judge panel that he was “factually innocent” due to lack of reliable, exculpatory evidence (primarily DNA from the scene) begs the question if this is the appropriate test in cases involving such a serious “miscarriage of justice”. Admittedly, there is no Criminal Code provision for a declaration of innocence or exoneration, albeit there should be.

    In the U.S. criminal justice system, the standard of appellate review focuses not on “factual innocence” but rather “actual innocence”; the latter of which involves a claim made in an appeal of a criminal conviction when the convicted person presents additional or new evidence not available at the trial. In order for a person convicted of a crime to prove “actual innocence,” the accused must adduce evidence that undermines the court’s confidence in the verdict reached by the jury: “A finding of actual innocence, as that term has come to be used in federal habeas corpus jurisprudence, is not the equivalent of a finding of not guilty by a jury or by a court in a bench trial.” Lambert v. Blackwell, 134 F.3d 506, 509 (3d Cir. 1997); House v. Bell 311 F.3d 767; 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23930; 2002 FED App. 0406P (6th Cir.)

    The following is an excerpt from the Texas Center for Actual Innocence at the University of Texas at Austin which summarizes the analytical approach:

    The Center uses a very strict definition of “actual innocence.” TCAI defines “actual innocence” in two ways: First, the inmate did not engage in the conduct for which he was convicted, nor did he participate with others in the conduct. In other words, it was a case of mistaken identification of the inmate as the perpetrator of the offense. Examples of situations in which the inmate might be “innocent” of the offense, but which would not qualify for “actual innocence” treatment would be claims of self-defense, defense of third persons, duress, or legal insanity. In each of those situations, the inmate was present and engaged in conduct that might or might not have violated the criminal law, depending upon the defense presented.
    The second situation in which there might be a claim of actual innocence is a case of false accusation of the inmate as the perpetrator of an offense. In this situation, there was no conduct engaged in by the inmate that violated the criminal laws. The offense may or may not have been committed by somebody else. This most typical situations in which such claims occur are cases involving an accusation of sexual assault on a child.

    The Court of Appeal’s decision to acquit Mr. Truscott tempers the axiom “justice delayed is justice denied.” However, the following quote is apt:

    “Injustice, swift, erect, and unconfin’d, Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o’er mankind.”

    Alexander Pope (1688–1744) The Iliad of Homer. Book ix. Line 628.

  3.               Barbara

     

    I have been following this story. I am so happy to hear this great news. I started a blog, “Barbara’s Journey Toward Justice” , http://barbarasblogspot.blogspot.com after I read ‘Journey Toward Justice” by Dennis Fritz. Dennis Fritz is the other innocent man in John Grisham’s book “The Innocent Man”. I am not a writer just someone who feels these cases should get great media attention. I have many posts and links on issues of wrongful convictions. Way to many people are innocent in prison. If I save one innocent person I feel all my hard work is worth it.

  4.               Denisse

     

    I am so happy to hear this news about Steven Truscott. I have always believed that he was innocent. I am familiar with Clinton Ontario as I was stationed there in 1957.

    I have always questioned the fact that Lynn Harper at the age of 12, would be out on the road trying to hitch a ride. You must remember that on the Airforce Base there were many personal, men as well as women stationed there. A 12 year old girl should not be permitted to hitch a ride with strangers.

    I also questioned the police’s investigation, within 24 hours they claim to have the guilty person! (what irony, a 14 year old school playmate???) There were so many people on the Airforce Base, anyone of them could have done it. The whole thing smelled like a scam, with the jury out to lunch.

    The more it changes the more it stays the same. Why did it take 50 years for the Courts to aquit Steven???

    May God Bless You Steven and your family, for your arrest has remain with us for the past 50 years.

    Sincerely,

    Denise

  5.               Cathi

     

    I read this story when I was in High School and seen the made for tv movie…have read the book a couple of times since then…and have always thought that Steven Truscott was innocent…why wasnt more done for this boy…now living life that was taken away from him..all the years he missed….more power to you Steven….

  6.               Peer Lovell

     

    Steven was innocent, period. Anyone who read anything about his case could only come to the same conclusion.

    I’m thrilled that he finally got justice.

    At the same time, I am disgusted by the actions of the police and the pathetic response by the Canadian judicial system.

  7.               ForLynne

     

    I am perhaps one of the few Canadians left who still believes that Truscott is guilty. I will not succumb to popular opinion that children are incapable of murder-James Bulger anyone??

    Nor to the “just because everyone believes it true so it MUST be true!” mentality.

    And I am thankful that Truscott was not sentenced to death at the age of 14-an appalling way to deal with justice in our free and modern society (although I do think he should have spent LWOP in solitary confinement for the unspeakable pain he caused).

    I have my own reasons for believing in Truscott’s guilt. And there was a lot of evidence in the early case to prove it. It is too much to write here.

    –For one, Truscott said he left Lynne in the same place where she was found dead-even though he said he took her to the highway.

    –Truscott had a deep interest in young women and was strong young man (there is a big difference between the strength of a 12 year old and that of a nearly 15 year old)

    –much of his testimony didn’t add up..but you will not read that in the paper

    Read this statement of analysis from a neutral source:

    http://www.statementanalysis.com/truscott/

    …it’s very compelling

    And lastly DON’T FORGET THE REAL VICTIM IN THIS STORY–LYNNE HARPER AND HER FAMILY…

    Never once has Steven said anything about the fact that her killer has not yet been found and must be and you’ll read that in the statement analysis.

  8.               James Stribopoulos

     

    ForLynne,

    The Court of Appeal for Ontario had not only the record from the original trial before it, but a considerable amount of evidence that has only become available since then. After reviewing all of the evidence five of the most respected criminal law jurists in the country concluded that Mr. Truscott’s conviction was unsound and that he should be acquitted.

    If you read the Court of Appeal’s careful analysis, in which the four central pillars of the prosecution’s case are systematically dismantled, you will be hard pressed to place so much stock in some isolated excerpts from Steven Truscott’s youthful testimony.

    The tragedy of Lynne Harper’s murder has for too long been compounded by the injustice of Steven Truscott’s wrongful conviction. Thankfully at least one of these profound injustices has finally been remedied.

  9.               Dave

     

    There is a significant difference in a ruling of insufficient evidence to support a finding of guilty and a ruling of innocence. The court, quite rightfully, chose the former. No new evidence has been discovered to date. The only thing that has changed since his conviction is our legal system. When Truscott was convicted, there was no requirement for the prosecution to provide disclosure to the defence of all of the evidence collected during the investigation. Today, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the disclosure principle established in the Stinchcombe case makes this mandatory. It is mainly on the basis of the lack of disclosure to the defence back in 1959 that the Supreme Court in 2007 has issued its ruling. No one likes to think that a 14 year old is capable of murder. It is far too easy to blame it on some mysterious stranger in a dark car. Unfortunately Columbine and other school shootings have demonstrated the fallacy of that thinking. Long ago we lost our “justice” system and saw it replaced with a “legal” system. No wonder then that the true injustice in this case is to Lynne Harper and her family.

  10.               Tom Schreiter

     

    Dave,

    You seem to accept the Court of Appeal’s acquittal, based on insufficient evidence. In the world that I want to live in, justice is done only when a ruling of guilty is grounded in sufficient evidence.

    It is human nature to empathize with the victim of crime, and to revile the accused. I think it is to surmount these psychological barriers that our criminal justice system has so many safeguards in place to favour the accused at trial. The legal system helps to ensure that justice is done by balancing the field.

    Clearly you empathize with the victims of this crime, as we all do, but surely you can also empathize with the horror of being accused of a crime you did not commit.

    Steven Truscott was found guilty without enough evidence to support that finding. He was sentenced to hang. It is true in this case that the legal system failed to find justice, but its failure is the opposite to the one you suggest.

    This case should reinforce the pride that many lawyers feel in the safeguards of our system, and help to ease the revulsion so many in the public feel towards them. And it should help us find new ways which we can ensure that no innocent person (or, if you prefer, anyone without sufficient evidence of guilt) is ever convicted.

  11.               James Stribopoulos

     

    I remain very troubled by this “not guilty” versus “innocent” distinction that many, including you Dave, are going to great lengths to sustain.

    Declarations of factual innocence are rare. They tend to be reserved for cases where the accused is cleared through scientific evidence, like DNA analysis, which has come to be regarded as virtually fool proof.

    Absent DNA exoneration, there is always the chance that the acquitted individual got away with it. Even when there is exculpatory DNA evidence, some still claim that this does not equate with conclusive proof of innocence. For such committed skeptics, a negative DNA result simply proves that some unidentified third party might also have been involved, along with the accused. These innocence skeptics have even coined a term for this sort of putative accomplice: “the unindicted co-ejaculator”. Sadly, I am being serious.  (I happened to come across an example of this very phenomenon after posting this comment, see Shaila Dewan, “Despite DNA Test, a Case is Retried” New York Times, September 6, 2007.)

    The presumption of innocence and the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard go hand and hand for a reason. In our society, the importance of each individual means that we are not prepared to sacrifice anyone of us to the label of “criminal” without proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Absent such proof, each of us is presumed to be innocent – Steven Truscott included.

  12.               Interested

     

    Statement of Analysis from a neutral source? I read that statement and it’s totally biased. Besides that, it contains no facts, just opinions (very far fetched at times).

  13.               infracaninophile

     

    While “statement analysis” has some promise as a branch of the social sciences it is at present a very inexact one. For any of its results to have value, they must be based on the *exact words* of the person concerned. This is not the case with the Truscott “statement analysis.” The analysis is based on the words of a co-author, Bill Trent; the exact words are nowhere represented as being those of Truscott (the “story” is his, not the exact mode of telling). Such books are written by extensive interviews with the subject (Bill Trent interviewed Truscott and spent time with him), but the writer (Trent) does the actual crafting of the language in the text. Usually the subject (Truscott, in this case) has limited editorial input. A statement analysis based on ghostwritten material has no value whatever, except possibly as a party game.

    Similar exercises have taken place in the field of literary text analysis but have fallen out of favour after the same techniques “proved” that Conan Doyle did not write the Sherlock Holmes stories, that Jane Austen didn’t write her novels, and so on. The fact is that inconsistencies and contradictions will be found in everyone’s words and behaviour if they are scrutinized carefully enough.

  14.               Critical Reader

     

    ForLynne, you have a few unsupported (erroneous) statements in your submission. You assert, “there was a lot of evidence in the early case to prove [Truscott's guilt].” If this “evidence” is known only to you, you had a duty to share it with the Court (and Justice Kaufman earlier on). If it is generally known, just what is this evidence that “proves” guilt that the Court of Appeal justices were not aware of?

    The ruling of a miscarriage of justice is due to the LACK of evidence connecting Truscott to the crime. There is no direct evidence at all; only a minuscule chance that Lynne died in the early evening of June 9, and the requirement for conviction on circumstantial evidence alone is that the evidence be so strong and incapable of other interpretation that only one conclusion can reasonably be drawn. Now that it has been shown that even Dr. Penistan, at autopsy, determined that Lynne died on June 10 (and the myriad other experts were in line with his estimate), it can no longer be reasonably inferred that Truscott was the likely perpetrator, whether he was interested in girls or not.

    By the way, Truscott was not “almost 15.” He was 14 years and 4 months. Also, he *has* called for justice for Lynne and highlighted the fact that her killer has not been found (although it’s not likely he can be at this point — a consequence of convicting the wrong person is that the real offender is free….to offend again and again).

  15.               Bent

     

    James,
    Thank you for posting the explanation for “not guilty” vs. “innocent”.
    I had been struggling with the answer for some time because of the many varied opinions on this, especially from those on the guilty side of the fence.

    Of course, this is how it will be: Steve is now at a point where he was before he was charged for this crime. And the law tells us that we are innocent until proven guilty, NOT that we are not guilty until proven guilty.
    In other words, since Steve has not been proven guilty he is innocent.
    This should close this part of the case.

    I remain troubled, however, to read the post from “ForLynne”.
    It seems that his/her opinion is that the only way we can find justice for Lynne, is to hang on to the idea that Steve is guilty. This, ForLynne, is a misguided sense of justice and if you truly are looking for justice for Lynne, you should shed the notion that Steve is guilty.

    It would be nice that you would say this instead: Steve is innocent. He has been proven innocent with evidence to spare. Now is the time for those of us who truly want justice for Lynne to concentrate our efforts to identify her killer. This would be the only measure of justice we could serve on her at this late date. This might also serve to bring some kind of closure to the Harper family who have been traumatized for almost 5 decades believing what the government has told them: That Steve was the murderer. Now the government has re-opened the wounds in declaring Steve not guilty and leaving this poor old man and his sons in a legal no-mans-land, not knowing what to believe any more.
    The sooner we can get our minds off the guilty/innocent argument, and get together in our search for the murderer, the sooner we can offer some small measure of justice to Lynne and a bit of solace to her old father

  16.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    This post is for “ForLynne.”

    We supported Truscott’s innocence, not out of the naive belief that “children do not kill,” nor because it is just popular to think him so, but, because the facts did not add up to him being the guilty party.

    First of all the timing in which it would have taken Truscott to rape & murder Lynne was much too tight (a span of 40-45 min). Remember, he had to be home on the night of June 9′th by 8:30pm, to babysit his younger siblings; he had already returned to his friends, by 8:00pm, unscathed & totally relaxed.

    Secondly, children saw Truscott with Lynne riding over the bridge, further north of the woods where Lynne’s body would later be found, & then returning alone. These children, now adults, stick by their stories to this very day.

    And finally, although the coroner had originally placed the time of death around the time Lynne was with Truscott, he would later change his autopsy results to a much later time period. He described his reappraisal as “agonizing.”

    The fact that at age 14, Truscott was interested in young women (or rather, “girls”) is not in anyway evidence of him being Lynne’s killer. All 14-year-old-boys are interested in girls. It is perfectly natural. Point of Fact: the fact that Paul Bernardo was interested in girls and had plenty of girlfriends wasn’t evidence of the fact that he was a sex killer either. Such a notion as the accused having an interest in the opposite sex would never be used as evidence in a court of law.

    God Bless,

    Carolyn.

  17.               Dave

     

    The conviction was quashed right from the Crown’ assertion that the time of death was between 7 and 7:45.

    Scientifically this was not tenable. It could not be offered as “exclusive” such that a latter time of death would be excluded.

    Lynne could still have died by 7:45. However, the jury apparently was not adequately instructed or informed by the defense that the time of death could also have been much later.

    Had the jury been able to grasp this, it would have allowed for reasonable doubt about the Crown’ assertion of exclusive opportunity for Truscott. Reasonable doubt in a circumstantial case equals acquittal.

    For those that cling to Truscott’ story that he had to be home by 8:30 in order to babysit, it is amazing that everyone accepts this a evidence of his alibi but No ONE remotely question’s the likelihood of a little 12 year old girl wanting to take off on a hitchhiking adventure on a school night.

    Finally, for any parents out there, what kind of a 14 years and 4 month old senior kid thinks that it is totally normal to drop a younger girl off on a highway somewhere without at least advising the girl against it or at least being responsible and reporting back to the parents that “your daughter” took off hitchhiking?

    The police had every right to focus on the person who was definitely last seen with Lynne.

  18.               Interested

     

    Certainly, explore the person who was definitely the last seen with Lynne, but not to the exclusion of all other possibilities which it appears (to me anyway) they did.

    Also, I read an interview with a close friend of Lynne’s wherein it was stated that it was normal for them to hitch hike – they apparently did it all the time.

  19.               Bent

     

    Dave,
    Yes they had a right to focus. But then, when that focus should have weakened due to lack of evidence, they started fitting the evidence to Steve. And disregarding serious clues and facts that might have brought them to the murderer.
    The one thing the cops had early on Wednesday morning was that she had been picked up by a 59 Chev car going east as told by Steve and confirmed to some degree by the young airman who was driving along and overtook a car with the same color and same color plates. That alone should have made them check their records and rap sheets. They would have found 1 person in Seaforth and area with history of attempts to pick up little girls, and another with a conviction of rape.
    Stack these cases up against Steve and it shows clearly that at least one of these had a propensity for sexual violence, whereas Steve had no priors, nor had he ever demonstrated a propensity for violence.
    I am not suggesting that either of these men might have killed Lynne. But should they have been investigated? They were not. There is full agreement by everyone that of course they should have been.
    By the way..your assertion that Steve was “definitely the last one to have been seen with Lynne” is just not so especially in light of his recent acquittal. At best, he was the last KNOWN person to be seen with her.

  20.               Dave

     

    Dear Interested

    The credibility gab lies with the improbability that Lynne Harper would go hitchiking by herself on a school night. Mr Leslie Harper testified in 59 that Lynne didn’t go hitchiking. In 2007 at 90 years old and failing, Mr Harper asserted again that Lynne did not go hitchiking. The Harper family had routine, two attentive parents, rules and curfew. Lynne was well cared for and monitored in a way that any good parents would do over their little 12 year old daughter.

    Catherine Beaman (for Mr Truscott) alleges that the kids hitchiked all the time. Nonsense. Not Lynne Harper and certainly not while the Harper parents were about.

    The hitchinking alibi was that of Mr Truscott.

    Mr Truscott was the only one positively identified as being last seen with Lynne (trial). Mr Truscott does not acknowledge being witnessed by any other persons other than as he alleged at trial.

    Again, would a high school aged adolescent (and lets get rid of the Isabel Labourdais) smiling picture of a 9 year old child…….would you not expect that a adolescent of this age to have at least advised a little girl against hitchiking? Would it have not at least been an example of the “military way” to have occurred to Mr. Truscott to report this activity to the Harper parents or the nearby Brownie leaders?

    Was Mr Truscott so responsible to hurry home to babysit yet be totally void of any sense about what he alleged just happened with Lynne Harper?

  21.               Bent

     

    Dave

    This discussion is reverting back to before Steve was acquitted. I have been through this same quarrel with people with other names on the other forums.

    If you and others see any sense in carrying on with this non-nonsensical debate, go right ahead.

    Just remember, the authority has spoken and Steve has been acquitted based largely on the time of death. That being so then it does not matter whether or not Lynne hitchhiked, if Beaman spoke the truth or all the other stuff you put forth. It matters very little if your lone voice says that the Beaman testimony is ‘nonsense’.

    Steve is innocent. Get it through your head. Someone else murdered Lynne. If you are really concerned about justice for Lynne, you should be out there looking for her killer.

    You and your like-minded sound like a bunch of sore losers.

    Bent

  22.               Dave

     

    Dear Mr/Mrs Bent

    There are no “sore losers”. Maybe Mr Harper is a loser (again) but he certainly isn’t a sore loser.

    The OCA judgement is what it is. He has been acquitted. It is the OCA judgement that they feel the need to identify that he was not factually found innocent. Why they did that I don’t know. Do you?

    Going off hunting for Lynne real killer? Hunting in the area for persons with the propensity to kill little girls? Well if they did that, I suppose every excon out on parole living in the area would have a visit from the OPP. Did Mr Truscott get a visit everytime a girl went missing in the tri-city area from 1974-1996? Would that not have infringed on his rights and caused harm to his family?

    This quest for the real killer is fiction!

  23.               Interested

     

    Dave, haven’t you ever done something that your parents didn’t know about? Just because Mr. Harper didn’t know Lynne hitch hiked, doesn’t mean that she didn’t hitch hike. I’m not saying she did or didn’t, I just don’t think you can rule it out as nonsense. Things were a lot different back in 1959. Kids had a lot more freedom than they do now (I grew up in the 60′s; we would play outside for hours before our parents thought to wonder where we were). If, in fact, the kids hitch hiked all the time, I don’t think it would be unreasonable that Steven wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

    I think if you have a preconceived notion about something, it is easy to make the evidence slant to fit with your views. You believe he’s guilty, so you see his actions of not advising Lynne against hitch hiking and not telling anyone else that she did, as proof. I believe he’s innocent and don’t think it would be unusual for a 14-year old boy in 1959 not to advise someone against hitch hiking. (If they did hitch hike all the time, his actions make sense – to me anyway.)

  24.               Dave

     

    Interested

    Steven has been acquitted. I accept it. My position was based upon the record of the past 48 years. No preconceptions on my part, just the record.

    The long running message put forward by (Martin) 66, (Hall) 67, (Kauffman) in 2006, and now the OCA, is that the evidence taken at its highest does not demonstrate innocence. The issue was always “did Steven get a fair trial” and if not, was he therefore wrongfully convicted. The OCA in 2007 said yes. The passge of time through no fault of Mr Truscott does not allow for the best solution which was a new trial presented again to a properly instructed jury.

    Unfortunately there were no books, movies, websites or interviews or activist groups speaking about Lynne. After 48 years of silence Mr Leslie Harper spoke in the Globe and Mail, that Lynne didn’t hitchike. That was the first voice anybody heard on Lynne’s side. Taken with Lynne’s proven responsible habits versus the statement by Catharine Beaman (For Mr. Truscott), I’m just going accept Lynne’s side on this one.

    For 48 years we were informed about Steven’ personality and in particular that he was a respected, admired kid, with leadership abilities etc. We also saw that he was responsible (babysitting). I do not think it was a stretch to wonder why all of a sudden that he would demonstrate such a highly irresponsible act as to leave a little girl at the highway. As Lynne body was found back up a the Bush, I just think that “little hitchiking alibi” remains improbable. Personally as a father, and if that was my little girl and if I had encountered the passive indifference as exhibited by Truscott on the morning of June 10th that Mr HARPER ENCOUNTERED,I would have throttled him right there.

    You could be right though. A little 12 year old girl with a sucker (given by the brownies that night) could very well have taken it upon herself to go hitchiking. As a parent myself, it seems unlikely that the little girl would do so by herself and on a school night……….but we were all foolish kids once.

    No slant for me…just common sense.

  25.               Bent

     

    Dave,
    “I had encountered the passive indifference as exhibited by Truscott on the morning of June 10th that Mr HARPER ENCOUNTERED,I would have throttled him right there.”

    Passive indifference. I believe such a characterization is misguided. How can you say Steve was impassive when he told the truth?
    You say that you would have throttled him. All I can answer to that is that violence begets violence. If you had throttled him right there, you would have throttled an innocent person. Also, I doubt if Mr. Harper thought Steve to be impassive. At the preliminary inquiry, on being asked how Steve reacted to his questions, Mr. Harper replied: “He was very straightforward in his answers.”

    As to hitch hiking: I have it from two different people that young girls did hitchhike at that particular corner…and that very same night that Lynne disappeared. I am not saying that either sighting might have been Lynne. One girl got dropped off..at all places: the pony place. The other I don’t know. But it does illustrate one thing that you are adamant about: It was common for young girls to hitch hike…alone. Not only that, but it also shows that it was a popular corner to hitchhike from. Also… it shows that they did hitchhike very small distances: To the pony place .

  26.               Greg

     

    James, perhaps you could clarify something for those of us who aren’t law students. I am puzzled by all the discussion in the media and here about Truscott not being “found innocent.” Have we been watching too much American TV or what? I cannot think of any cases where courts declared someone “innocent.” Wouldn’t it have been big news if the court had done this, but it is usual that the court did not do it? Weren’t the AIDWYC lawyers trying to get something unprecendented?

    Maybe I don’t remember the other cases very well. I thought they were acquitted by appeal courts (Milgaard, Morin) but it was some other body that said they were innocent. I would appreciate some information on this. I tried to look up some of those references to “actual innocence” but it looked as if most of the material was from the USA.

    I was in the court the day Catherine Beaman was on the stand. I believed her when she said the girls took rides with people they knew. But I too thought it was not likely that Lynne hitch-hiked alone or on a school night. What I thought likely happened was that someone she knew came along and offered her a ride. It might even have had nothing to do with her disappearance. Look at the case of the little girl in Trois Riviere, a possible witness to her abduction never told the police because he didn’t want to get involved.

    We’ll never know what Lynne was really doing that night, she probably had some plan in mind. The pony place may just have been the story she told Steven. I kept a lot of relatively innocent kid stuff to myself too, I knew my mother would worry if she thought I was exploring or playing in the woods or climbing trees. Kids will be kids. I seem to recall Steven told one of the police who interviewed him before he was arrested that he didn’t think anything of dropping her at Highway 8 at the time but in hindsight he wished he had told her parents about it. What’s that saying, hindsight has 20-20 vision.

  27.               James Stribopoulos

     

    Greg -

    They were indeed asking for something rather unprecedented. Your recollection is correct, courts rarely, if ever, declare those that they acquit “innocent”.

    Arguably, Truscott’s lawyers may have overreached a bit by asking for this sort of declaration. By doing so, they ran the risk of the court rejecting their request and that in itself becoming a part of the story, which it unfortunately has.

    As I have repeated a number of times now, from a legal standpoint an acquittal restores the presumption of innocence. Hence, that is how Truscott deserves to be regarded.

    That said, an acquittal alone does not necessarily lead to compensation. Compensation usually only follows where there has been a “wrongful conviction”. Arguably, non-disclosure in the earlier prosecution makes the circumstances surrounding Truscott’s conviction sufficiently “wrongful” to warrant compensation. Based on what we know now, if the Crown had provided timely disclosure of all the evidence in its possession or under its control, it seems rather unlikely that Truscott would ever have been convicted.

  28.               Bent

     

    I was at the press conference and tried to hear an understandable explanation of Truscott’s status. It came with James Lockyer when he said:

    Steve was not declared innocent because he could not prove his innocence. The same way that I cannot prove I did not kill Lynne Harper.

    To me, that is as good as innocent gets.

    On the same token it is interesting to note how the tables have been turned on Truscott, and this is so hard to grasp: He now needed to prove his innocence. This seems contrary to our basic rights which state that we are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. It does NOT say that we are to be presumed not guilty until proven guilty. Is there a bit of a double standard in our law here?

    Would it be possible to re-write this basic part of our law, in light of the fact that we seem to be up against this dilemma as wrongful convictions crop up more and more?

    Greg, the way I see it is that the courts never declare anybody ‘innocent’ and I believe there is no clause in our current law that permits that declaration except in two circumstances: If irrefutable evidence exists, meaning DNA, or where there is a verifiable confession from the perpetrator. Guy Paul Morin would be a case in point for the DNA.

  29.               infracaninophile

     

    James probably knows this lecture, but Hersh Wolsh wrote a very interesting piece called “Presumption of Guilt” included in Counsel for the Defence: The Bernard Cohn Memorial Lectures on Criminal Law. He explains how the very wording “innocent until proven guilty” is actually a presumption of guilt, not innocence, when contrasted with “innocent unless proven guilty.” Wolsh recounted how in his days as a Crown attorney he would point out this difference to the jury. He would use the example, “I will speak to you until I become sick,” which implies that eventually he will have to make a sudden exit and is preparing them ahead of time, whereas the sentence “I will speak to you UNLESS I become sick” merely means that an interruption is theoretically possible. So, he would say to the jury, “innocent until proven guilty” just means, nudge nudge wink wink, we hold the possibility of innocence in mind until all the evidence is laid out and it will of course demonstrate guilt. I think “presumption of guilt” is really the popular perception. Even today many ordinary citizens are of the opinion that you can’t be arrested or charged unless you are already guilty! Many comments online about the Richardson case in Alberta, or the Imeson case in Ontario, reflect this.

  30.               Bent

     

    Infracaninophile,
    That makes sense. That would be a good one to start with in the re-write that I suggested in my earlier post.

  31.               anonymous

     

    Dave,

    Good commentaries. I for one concur with guilt. The outcome of the appeal was inevitable. If one impresses innocence upon the public long enough then the perception changes.

    I also agree that there is no need for the OPP to re-open the matter. The correct verdict was issued many years during the trial, NOT an appeal.

    I have read a letter issued by Frank Donelly to a law professor in Hamilton (1984). The letter was in response to the professor enquiring on his belief that Truscott suffered a miscarriage of justice. Essentially, what Mr. Donelly stated is that the only issue at the trial was whether Steven Truscott was Guilty or Not. He also asserts that all the hearsay of bias in the community, etc. was nonsense.

    Obviously, Truscott’s defence in 59′ failed to set the record straight.

    I have to chuckle at how the facts in the trial which clearly illustrate Truscott’s guilt have been skimmed over. Read the trial transcipt and the police statements from Godette’s father. He clearly stated that someone came to the door at 5:50pm. He even goes further to state that his son, Andre informed him that Steven was at the door. One would assume that if Mr. Godette was covering for his daughter, that it would have been more compelling to state that he heard and saw Steven at the door.

    I don’t think Steven was buying coffee.

    This skimmed testimony along with Mr. Lawson’s testimony that Jocelyn was looking for Steven, in corrobation with George, Glover & Burns testimony means nothing to the truth.

    There is so much evidence available but some only see what they want to see.

    Tchiau for now.

  32.               Dave

     

    Re: Opening the case

    Much is being made by some that the case must be reopened and investigated again. Personally i do not think that it will happen, however, if it is, I have a question.

    The OCA decision did recognize that the crown had evidence but judged that the evidence now would not likely exceed a threshold necessary to lead a jury to convict. But there is evidence non the less. Right?

    1. AS acquitted, Mr Truscott reverts back to being innocent in the eyes of the law and society. Can he then be contacted not as a person of interest but rather as a potential innocent witness for questioning?

    2. Can he refuse to answer questions pertaining to any new investigation if one was undertaken?

  33.               Bent

     

    Dave
    1. Yes
    2. Yes

    That is because he has been re-instated to where everybody is, including you and I:
    Innocent until proven guilty.

    If the investigators so desire, they can attempt to contact anybody they want for an interview. It is also up to the contacted individual whether or not he/she wants to make a statement.

    Bent

  34.               Interested

     

    Anonymous:

    What the trial transcript doesn’t mention is evidence supporting Steve’s claim of innocence that was supressed by the prosecutor and police.

  35.               anonymous

     

    Now what happens should the investigative leads revert back to Mr. Truscott? Do the investigators skim over the obvious. At what point are they allowed to conclude that Mr. Truscott is culpable? Or are they permitted to go there? Or do they simply do what’s politically correct and throw in the towel?

    Dave,

    The hitchhiking alibi stinks. There is a clear disconnect between the willingness to ride a classmate 2 km, only to define a barrier on his riding limits. Truscott stated that he had a fishing hole across the highway, so we know he was not confined to the limits of County Rd. Should Mr. Truscott of had a reasonable cause for not proceeding an additional 350 meters (such as an argument with Lynn) then his alibi would have been more solvent.

    The alibi is so disjointed as we are to believe that she requested Mr. Truscott to drive her 2 km with the intention of hitching a ride 350 meters to see the ponies.

    It doesn’t wash. Mr. Truscott has been granted the gift of time and a great spin doctor for counsel.

    Mr. Truscott asserted to Peter Mansbridge in 2001, that his reemergence is only about regaining his family name. NOW HE HAS IT, so I challege him to forego the compensation. After all there is sure to be a made for TV movie of which he can collect on.

    A.

  36.               Bent

     

    I guess there will always be a few people who just don’t get it.

    Truscott is innocent.

    Sure, it’s a free country where we can have our own opinions. But please base those opinions in fact, not ill- or non-researched data. I suppose for some it is hard to admit defeat. Look at it this way: It is not about admitting defeat but rather that justice has finally won in a case that has bothered our collective conscience for 48 years.

    Some ‘researchers’ have jumped on the bandwagon in the last 4 or 5 months and claim to have the answers…compared to bona fide private investigators, police investigators, judges etc who now say, after an exhaustive review, that the murder of Lynne Harper was committed by someone unknown.

    These same people also seem to argue that support of Lynne and giving justice to her can only be upheld by clinging to Truscott’s guilt despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Would it not be more appropriate to show our respect for her memory by all banding together in one final attempt to identify her killer? This is not as impossible as some defeatists like to assert. Remember…there are several persons of interest.

    What can we do to make the proper authorities re-open this cold case?

  37.               Dave

     

    Several persons of interest?

    Ok…………but certainly number uno is Steven Truscott.

    A new investigation still has to start with Mr Truscott.

    It is most disturbing that some amateur sleuths are out there invading privacy rights and maybe trying to invade ID on innocent people because they have a “hunch” about other POI.

    (some have boasted about researching insurance records, paying insurance agents for ID info on innocent people).

    If Mr Truscott exercises his right to not cooperate (dosen’t answer any new investigative questions) …well then what?

    I would agree that the acquital is a gift. Reopening the investigation? Symbolic at best and I am sure for all concerned, not an option that the main players really want to see activated.

  38.               Interested

     

    I don’t understand why everyone has such a hard time accepting the hitch hiking theory. The Harpers themselves told police the night of Lynne’s disappearance that they believed she may have been hitch hiking to her grandmother’s.

    Steve not taking Lynne the additional 350 metres is not implausible to me. Perhaps it was a case of “well, I’ll give you a ride to as far as I’m going” kind of thing. Since they weren’t close friends, perhaps he had no compunction to go that extra 350 on her behalf.

  39.               Bent

     

    Yes..several POI..HAve you not read any of the documents? (690 application, Hon. Kaufman report)
    Number one is certainly not Truscott.
    Had you read all the documents you would have noticed how there is no evidence against him. Whatever evidence they thought they had has now been effectively proven to be without merit. Any evidence that people think still exists against him is worthless once you get analyzing it, just like the judges did in this last round.

    So I emphatically disagree with your assertion that a new investigation starts with Truscott.

    What you say about amateur sleuths is also inaccurate in my opinion. They know enough to realize that it is not an invasion of privacy to approach their potential interviewee and ask if he/she wants to answer some questions. If they say yes then it is ok. If the answer is no, then the interviewer leaves.

    I have never heard of anybody paying insurance agents for info. This would be unethical on both parts, and also totally counter-productive. That is just not how things are done.

    Also, I can assure you that after many years of research into this case, these researchers are working on a little more than “hunches”.

    I resent your subtle jab that Truscott would not cooperate. Up to now he has cooperated to the fullest of his ability and memory. We must remember one point:
    Truscott is nothing more than a quite important witness in a very small piece of this big story: giving Lynne a ride on his bike. There is very little, if anything, he can add to what he has already told the cops, lawyers, judges, private investigators and those amateur sleuths you refer to.

    The acquittal is not a gift to him. It was Steve’s right to be acquitted for a crime he did not commit. But it could be that I misunderstood your statement here. If you meant that it was a gift to someone else well… In any event I felt it was an odd statement to make

  40.               anonymous

     

    Interested,

    An isolated incident of hitchhiking is very plausible and I would have no problem with that. However, Truscott’s alibi is different.

    Firstly, Truscott stated that Lynn asked him to ride her to Highway 8. It would stand more to reason that if the ponies were 350 meters further, that the question would be posed as, “Can you give me a ride to see the ponies?”

    It is nonsense to think that Lynn would have asked Truscott to ride her to the corner of the highway in order to hitchhike a mere 5 min walking distance.

    If you read the the official investigative and medical statements you will see exactly why they honed in on Truscott. There was no collusion amongst the investigators. In fact they were still checking other leads well after Truscott was formally charged.

    Barry Harper said it well, “This thing has a life of its own.”

    Bent,

    I’ve been down many paths with you in the past and you still don’t afford me reasonable arguments. Please address your commentaries to anyone but me. I need fresh ideas.

    A.

  41.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    Hello Anonymous,

    “If you read the official investigative and medical statements you will see exactly why they honed in on Truscott.’

    Are those investigative & medical statements the a)the sores on Truscott’s private parts, & b)The autopsy that was performed on Lynne Harper?

    Both have been later proven to be faulty evidence against Truscott. Medical experts on genital areas had stated that the sores were not consistant with rapes, & the autopsy which had originally declared Lynne’s time of death was later changed to as early as 9:00pm(hours after Truscott had left Lynne), by the very pathologist who performed the original autopsy.

  42.               Kilbride,Ontario

     

    I believe some kind of investigation into the murder of Lynne Harper should be undertaken. Even now there could be important evidence just sitting in the files, things that were overlooked at the time. I grew up in rural Flamborough and was in Grade 6 when 10-year-old Marianne Schuett was abducted in 1967 from in front of Kilbride Public School on her way home. The crime rocked the community and many of us were afraid to walk to and from school for months afterwards. A difference from the Harper case is that many people saw Marianne get into the car and drive away with the man (they supposed the man was a family member). Marianne was a sweet, gentle, very home-loving child, she was only a few hundred metres from her front door, she knew not to take rides with strangers and had no need anyway of a ride for 700 feet, no one could figure out why on earth she would have gotten into the car with this man, who did not use force (he didn’t even get out of the car). It made no sense. But she did it. Witnesses provided police with a good description of the man and the car. In spite of a massive search no trace of Marianne was ever found except her shoe, lying along the shoulder of Highway 25 near Acton.

    25 years later the case was turned over to a full-time investigator or two, new to the case, who went over all the material from the ground up and found that there had been a witness who got the licence number of the car, and other important information too. The police were able to identify the driver who turned out to be a known pedophile who was then under investigation for molesting several other young girls. One witness was able to identify this man in a photo line-up. There were other things that matched up, too. Unfortunately for Marianne’s family, the man committed suicide when he found out they were preparing to arrest him, and he never revealed what he had done with her body. But the case does show that a careful investigation of the available information may turn up something important. It does not have to be a very expensive proposition, just one involving a thorough and trained investigator with fresh eyes and insights.

    Since no one has been trying to “solve” the Harper murder, there is the possibility that in all the material about other people and tips called in to Crime Stoppers and so on, there could be valuable information. I believe justice requires that some kind of investigation be done and it could be a fruitful one even if nothing can be conclusively “proved” in a court of law now. At least Marianne’s family has a fair certainty who killed her and that he is now dead. The Harper family certainly deserves to know whatever can be found out, and the only way we will know if there is something to find out is if someone actually takes the trouble to look.

  43.               anonymous

     

    Carolyn,

    Let’s clarify something for all readers. The original medical and investigative evidence was never deemed to be faulty. Only that, other interpretations and opinions were given which afforded reasonable doubt.

    ie. Defence counsel elected to change the timing of Lynn leaving home after dinner to 7pm to assist in changing Truscott’s County Rd timings. They based it on a call from Leslie Harper on the night of June 9, 59. However, we know that Lynn left home shortly after 6pm (as per the record). Leslie informed the police on June 10, 59 that Lynn was last seen in the school field at 7pm (not leaving home at 7pm)

    I suggest that you read the official statement of Dr. Addison, Truscott’s family physician who Dan Truscott recommended for the physical examination. Then read Graham and Trumbley’s official statements. There was no malice.

    I also know that Truscott was no angel in 1959. There is documentation denoting that.

    I’ve also read a rebuttal to LeBourdais’s book from Graham. He exposes a lot of misquotes and conjecture inserted in her book. And he is clearly correct on those points.

    In 1966, several biologists and pathologists supported Penistan’s autopsy results and findings. However, there was some who believed that Penistan should not have been so specific on the timing of death.

    Don’t be naive. There are others out there who were well affiliated with Truscott and don’t believe in his innocence.

    Here’s food for thought. When Truscott was a convicted rapist/murderer all his supporters were steadfast in claiming him innocent. This being after a trial conviction and a Supreme Court decision upholding his conviction. So why should I or any other reasonable person believe in the current acquittal.

    If the Crown were to appeal the OCA decision and win would that make Truscott more guilty than before. (3-1) I hope you can see that it is all a game.

    In 1966, politics got him a hearing and today politics got him an acquittal.

    A.

  44.               Bent

     

    Dave, yes, when people see that a gross miscarriage of justice has occurred, they cause a case to take on a life of it’s own. That is because the Truth always wants out.

  45.               Dave

     

    Investigations

    There is a high level message that some seem to be missing. (Amatuer sleuths) ought not to be diggin up private confidential records on ANYBODY. That includes insurance records. Nor should they be directly contacting anybody else that “they” think fits their description of a potential suspect. Some should be reminded that they are the ones that (posted) described trying to get at insurance records on innocent people. Whats next…CPIC, health records, job evaluations, prison confessions, divorce records, bar room bragging?

    Can you imagine the number of (quitely living-law abiding) parolees and excons or just plain ordinary people who grew up in and around Clinton in 1959, who are now living in fear that “Mr. So and So” is coming to ask them a few questions? What if an amateur sleuth made inquiries of Mr Truscott in the 70s and 80s everytime some child was murdered or was assaulted in the Guelph area? The kids might have said…Hey Dad…why does that man keep coming around here…whats up?

    The problem is, that if in your mind these people are POI, and if they just politely decline your questions as you suggest, YOU will most assuredly interpret that as further evidence of their obvious quilt. It comes up all the time in your posts about all the different things “you know”.

    Re Truscott question: I don’t care if you are offended by your interpretation/understanding of my question. If Mr Truscott REFUSES to answer questions in a new investigation (which I suppose now he can)…what then? I think it looks bad on re opening the investigation don’t you? Isn’t Mr Truscott at least one of the best historians of this case? Many witnesses have died by now.

    As the OCA used a hypothetical model to arrive at an acquittal, I would like to propose that a hypothetical investigation be budgeted out. Lets say…a couple of million$$ for a hypothetical OPP/investigation etc. Take that money and instead of wasting it on a useless reopening of the case…… give that money to the Harper family or some Harper family trust in memory of Lynne or Victims rights.

  46.               anonymous

     

    ForLynne,

    I have viewed more positions of guilt presenting themselves of late. This is a positive.

    It is important to clear ones mind of all the “innocent” blogs and horrays, in order to reason piece by piece what the witnesses in 59′ had to say “on record”.

    Add when incorporated with a poorly thought out alibi, suddenly the inNOsense starts to expose GUILT.

    Stick to reason. Don’t let any spin intellectually deprive you of the truth.

    A.

  47.               anonymous

     

    When reading the OCA summation I had to ask myself, how much did the justices reason out the events (on record).

    One comment which troubles me is their assertion that the crime was more likely the work of a sexual deviant…Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong and Wrong.

    3 young saplings (no more than an inch in diameter) were severed and placed over Lynne’s body. Reason tells me that someone was attempting to conceal the body, and probably in a state of panic.

    Now lets review the Truscott alibi. Lynne was allegedly wisked away, in an easterly direction, down Highway 8. Assuming that the mysterious person in the Grey Belair was the perpetrator, then one has to ask why return Lynne to County Rd/Lawson’s Bush in an attempt to conceal her body. Highly unlikely.

    If there was a 2nd vehicle involved, then why the attempted burial when she has already been placed in a woodlot and furthermore a vehicle is available to move her elsewhere. It is highly unreasonable to believe that the perpetrator would discard Lynne’s body so close to home.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt, the perpetrator did not have access to a vehicle and placed the saplings on top of Lynne in a panicked attempt to conceal her. Panic certainly accompanies guilt and paranoia. Without an association or fear of being seen with the victim then there would be no need to spend more time attempting to hide the victim.

    Would a sexual deviant have concerned himself with the saplings? Probably not. Remember, she is concealed in the bush already. However, if his association with Lynne was too close, then there may have been concern.

    If the perpetrator lacked access to a vehicle then reason tells me that the only way to have gotten Lynne into the field, let alone the woodlot, would have been through persuasion, some sort of coaxing or via a friend. I don’t think persuasion or coaxing would have worked on a 12 year old in the twilight hours.

    I think my thesis is stating that we can reason with a degree of certainty that the perpetrator did not have access to a vehicle and clearly had an association with Lynne Harper.

    A.

  48.               Dave

     

    Hello A

    The OCA document is a very interesting piece of work especially for what it says and how it goes about “not saying”………… they couldn’t afford to have a dissenting opinion so they covered it off with words like probable, likely, hypothetical, and acquital is not the only option , a jury still could convict but…etc…….Its a gift!

    I find it interesting (according to the press) as to why MR Harper and the Harper family have been consulted and invited to comment on whether Truscott should receive any compensation.

    If the OCA judgement now presumes Truscott to be pure as the driven snow before the law, why bother with what Mr Harper has to say about rewarding Truscott?

    Really…why bother?

    Or is there some other behind the scenes angle?

  49.               Bent

     

    Kilbride,

    Your story about Marianne Schuett is a stark reminder that investigations have to be thorough and needs to be branched out to include known pedophiles. In other words..investigate the crime, and that will lead you to the right suspect.

    I think I have most of the clippings regarding the Schuett abduction. Interesting indeed and also interesting to note that if the cops had narrowed the search to where the shoe was found and not around the school area, then the story might have shown a different outcome. This suspect was a ‘known’ pedophile. He drove a car of which there were only a couple of in a large area. The license number was even on file. Had this been followed up at once, again the story would have had a different outcome.

    Also, the parallels to the Lynne Harper murder are obvious: There were known sexual deviants in the Clinton/Seaforth area that were not followed up on nor investigated. There was a car with a yellow marker mentioned by Steven Truscott where only a half-hearted attempt was made to locate. Instead, the police took the easiest way out and charged the one who at the time looked like the most promising suspect to Insp. Graham. In retrospect, how sadly Mr. Graham was mistaken.

    Great strides have been made in the ways of crime scene analysis, and crime investigation in general. So much has been learned, even since 1980. All new-found talents should be applied to a new investigation. All experts should volunteer their talents and efforts. We owe this much to Lynne Harper as a final attempt to serve justice on her.
    We owe it to Mr. Harper and his sons who have been misled for 48 years by a government who has told him that the perpetrator has been found when in reality, the perp has been running free for 48 years.

  50.               Chris Kelk

     

    Anonymous,
    Why would the perpetrator return to the woods with Lynne’s body?
    Easy. Alexander Kalichuk was a friend of the Harper family, and Lynne could very easily have chattered on about how Steven had dropped her at the highway. Kalichuk would then have realized that if he put her in the woods, the guilt would fall on Steven.

  51.               anonymous

     

    Chris Kelk,

    “Easy.” You are kidding, I hope.

    Okay, let’s consider your suggestion that Mr. Kalichuk was up for such a diabolical act. My 1st question to you would be,”Why not simply discard Lynne’s body along side the road. Why sweat it out climbing through barbed wire? If his intention was to frame poor Steven, then why conceal her in the woodlot?

    My 2nd question would be, why take it further and attempt to bury the body in saplings if you are not concerned about the body being found?

    It’s twisted logic. Why would Mr. Kalichuk have returned Lynne so close to home and risk being seen himself, more so, if he was such a good friend of the Harper family? ILLOGICAL.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Kalichuk has become the proverbial scapegoat when there has never been a reasonable link to connect him with Lynne on Tuesday, June 9, 1959. It is just too easy to point the finger at the guy who’s name has become soiled through the Truscott media.

    In order for you to accept your own words, I assume that you accept Truscott’s alibi. I won’t rebut the alibi at this time as I have touched on its lack of merit in earlier submissions.

    Do yourself an honest deed and don’t bother with Mr. Kalichuk? The guy may have had issues in his time, but I will assure you he played no part in the Lynne’s murder.

    Dave,

    I had issued a submission, however, I believe that it is still under edit review.

    A.

  52.               Dave

     

    Re: Kalichuk

    Two questions?

    1. What evidence do you have that Kalichuk was a “friend” of the Harper family?
    This seems somewhat astonishing if we are to accept the character of Kalichuk being (alcoholic, depressive, sexually deviant towards little girls) contrasted with the character and respect (and rank) of the Harpers. “A friend of the Harpers”? Really?

    2. What evidence (physical or circumstantial) do you have that puts Kalichuk as a suspect in “this” murder?

  53.               Interested

     

    A: Your dismissal of a vehicle is interesting. What about the fresh vehicle (not bicycle) tire tracks discovered by the police on the afternoon that Lynne’s body was found? The tracks were found on the laneway leading to the bush and “appeared to have been made by a car spinning” (this evidence was never disclosed by the police and prosecution). Do you just dismiss that out of hand?

  54.               Dave

     

    Hello A

    I guess we are on the same page about the query into Kalichuk. The postings on this site sometimes have a timing all of its own but I’m in agreement on your points.

    I am still perplexed though as to why the Crown/Gov. would ask the Harper family to way in on the compensation issue. I don’t recall the victims of the Morrin or Millgard incidents being consulted as to an amount. Does the Harper family get to express some kind of victim impact statement against Truscott or the recent judgement? Something just doesn’t sit right.

    Anyone have a theory as to why the Harper family is/should have a say?

  55.               anonymous

     

    Interested,

    Can you tell me when the vehicle tracks were made? I doubt you can, just as investigators could not determine when the bicycle tracks were made. They are just what they are, vehicle tracks. And considering the gravel along tracks, it would not be too improbable to imagine a vehicle spinning their tires.

    Robert Lawson had made mention of a vehicle parked on his property occupied by a young man and what appeared to be young lady late one evening. Does this not allow for other vehicles to be parking along road ways or even lane ways?

    Unless one can take the tire track and credibly link it to the events of June 9, 1959, then it becomes purely irrelevent. There is no point in chasing blind leads.

    What you have to revisit is Truscott’s alibi and if you can afford it any degree of merit, then you have to start asking questions? And there are several. I have made mention of some of them in earlier submissions.

    If you don’t buy into the alibi, then the tire tracks can be dismissed entirely.

    One other key point to be made. No one piece of circumstantial evidence should be allowed to stand on its own merits.

    Dave,

    From what I read in the Crown’s compendium, they believed that the guilty verdict should have been upheld. As do I, without a doubt. It was only unfortunate for them that they were placed more in a defensive mode during the appeal hearing. And due to the age of the alleged “fresh” evidence, they were time and time again forced to utter the words, “we just don’t know.” The only thing the Crown could offer was there own reasonable explanation as to why there were no disclosure issues.

    When dealing with these matters, there has to be a degree of compassion for the victim and the victim’s family. It would be absolutely, unjust and completely apathetic on the part of the judicial system to disregard their input.

    If the Attorney General’s office is convinced of Truscott’s guilt then, the Harper family may aid in reducing the financial settlement.

    In the end, Truscott will walk away with his compensation. It is a sad state of affairs, but Truscott has momentum on his side.

    Cheers, A.

  56.               anonymous

     

    Dave,

    One comment I had overlooked in your last submission was “why the Crown/Gov. would ask the Harper family to way in on the compensation issue?”

    They didn’t. Barry Harper called the Attorney General’s office immediately upon hearing the acquittal verdict. He requested that the Harper family be allowed to offer a formal statement in the matter of compensation. Essentially, their position on why they feel Truscott should not be afforded compensation for taking the life of their daughter.

    Remember, the actual loss of life at such an early age should hold considerable weight in contrast to Truscott’s alleged 48 years of suffering. If Truscott was declared innocent in the eyes of the law then the outcome would change considerably.

    I am hopeful that whatever Barry puts forward will have an effect on the compensation package.

    A.

  57.               Dave

     

    Hello A

    Thanks for the clarification as to “who called “who” first.

    Seems like the Harpers (Lynne) become the victim once more.

    The OCA judgement was so cleverly written as to ensure that nobody was left to blame while Truscott was “granted” his acquital- (with words like “probable”, “likely”, and “hypothetically” added in as if to add emphasis).

    First the Harper lose their daughter. Then a trial, an appeal and a reference confirm and at least provide the Harper’ with a sense of justice. Now it all gets reversed and no one is left holding the bag………except the Harper family.

  58.               anonymous

     

    Dave,

    I echo your sentiments.

    What disturbs me is the resurrection or as I have deemed it in the past, a redefining of the truth.

    I have never reasoned the events of June 9, 1959 to be planned and deliberated, with respect to the outcome.

    I believe things started innocent, probably some touching, and then things got out of hand. An objection of some sort is probably what precipitated the outcome. Conjecture, of course, but well reasoned.

    I think the biggest blunder the Crown of 59′ did was adhering to their belief that Truscott and Lynn entered the bush along the trail. I assure, beyond a reasonable doubt and after doing the metrics, that the 2 players hit the river first. Unless, you understand the layout of the field with respect to the woodlot and river, things just won’t connect.

    Now as far as the Harpers go, your correct, they saw justice on 2 fronts and got on with their lives. Suddenly, the resurrection and boom, the acquittal. What a shock. My heart is with them.

    A.

  59.               Chris

     

    Re ForLynne:
    Am I being obtuse or does the statement “Truscott said he left Lynne in the same place where she was found dead even though he said he took her to the highway” make no sense whatever? In any case, he never at any time said he left her in Lawson’s Bush and even prosecution couldn’t find anyone who had seen them go into the bush or him come out.

  60.               Dave

     

    Re: For Lynne

    Chris: You are not being obtuse. You are simply encountering one of many elements that just don’t add up.

    The single alibi by Truscott was that he gave a 12 year old girl a bike ride down the county road, away from all her friends, away from his fishing hole, away from the kids plaing at the bridge, away from all the social activities and games going on the evening of June 9th. Truscott was nothing more than a 100% taxi service…totally neutral…just a means of transportation from A to B. Right?

    Dropped off, by herself at a busy highway, on a school night, with the alleged purpose of hitchiking a couple of hundred YARDS up the road to the house with the ponies.

    If you believe that, and accept this as Truscott’ alibi, then nothing else matters…including the different statements, commentaries and quotes etc made by Truscott, as well as all other reasoning regarding the events, evidence and the body in Lawson’ bush.

    His alibi is all or none.

  61.               anonymous

     

    Chris,

    “Obtuse”. Absolutely not. I think the statement requires clarification.

    Dave, I concur with your view. You either accept the alibi or NOT. In addition, the alibi has to incorporate all comments and contradictions afforded by Truscott. It’s one package.

    To assess the alibi is to assert reason into the analysis of the events of Tuesday, June 9, 1959.

    - Lynn specifically asked Mrs. Bohonus, “Can I Stay?” to help with the Brownies. Does this reflect the mindset of a 12 year old girl who wants see the world beyond Highway 8?

    - Does the request of a ride to Highway 8 not seem incomplete? Why not request a ride to the alleged destination 350 meters further. The ponies.

    - Lynne Harper was a Girl Guide, quite frequently hung around with one of her friends mother, fondled the neighbours baby before leaving home to meet her fate, and was involved in swimming and baseball. Does this paint the picture of a 12 year girl wanting more than holding hands with a popular boy of whom she held a crush on?

    - Truscott spends the whole evening loitering reclusively, and never elects to enter the water to swim or fish with his friends. When asked at one point (6:50pm) whether he is going to the river, he responds, “Maybe later”. He never makes the invite. The following night, its business as usual. Truscott has recovered from his slumber and visits the river with 3 of his good buddies, Arnold George, Alan Oates (remember the boy who stopped 800 feet from the river when seeing Truscott, and turned around and went home) and the other boy escapes my memory.

    We all must discern for ourselves, but use common sense in order to prevent Truscott making fools of us all.

    Take care, A.

  62.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    Hello Anonymous,

    “and risk, being seen himself, more so, if he was such a good friend of the Harper family? ILLOGICAL.”

    I beg to differ with you, Anonymous (or should I say ‘Matthew’). No illogic here. First of all, the perpetrator most likely returned Lynne in the dead of night, when everyone is asleep in their beds. Secondly, if it was someone (I’m not going to suggest that I believe it was Kalichuk, by the way, as that would be making accusations) known to the Harper family, then it is quite likely that Lynne would have trusted him (or them).

    You know, when you really think about it, your arguments against it, being (a) somebody known to the Harper family, & (b) leaving her body where it would be found, rules out Truscott (& any other children living on the base). Taking into consideration that Lynne was last seen alive riding on the handlebars of Truscott’s bike, right in front of hundreds of witnesses would be extremely foolish if he was planning to commit a date rape on that night.

  63.               Dave

     

    Hello Carolyn

    The “hundreds “of witnesses all seemed to disappear somewhere before that bridge .

    In fact you make a good but troubling observation. With hundreds of “witnesses” around, nobody can seem to put together a coherent observation as to when Steve’s bike first hit the concrete on the bridge to the moment his bike leaves the bridge heading to #8.

    Lynne trusted Steven Truscott.

    No evidence to support “the perpetrator would most likely return Lynne in the dead of night”.

    At 12 years…Lynne was a child…I agree. (babies and suckers remember?)

    At 14 and eligible for high school and past that magic puberty age of 13…..I wouldn’t put Truscott in that little innocent child range anymore, would you?

    Ultimately though Carolyn: You simply accept without any question, that Steven did nothing more than provide a taxi service for Lynne from the school straight to Highway #8. No questions, no doubt…..totally 100% comprehendable to you, that 12 year child-Lynne simply wanted to go hitchiking on a school night.

    No doubt whatsoever!

  64.               anonymous

     

    Hello Carolyn,

    The the weight of your recent rebuttal to my submission rests on assumption alone.

    A suggestion might be for you to cater your argument around known facts. Arbitrarily concocting statements like, “the perpetrator most likely returned Lynne in the dead of night, when everyone is asleep in their beds” maims your position and credibility.

    You are also reinforcing the unfounded hearsay that Kalichuk was a good friend of the Harper family, and hence Lynne would have found trust in him. You are doing exactly what Truscott had attempted to do over the years, and that is to redefine the truth.

    Isn’t it wonderful how most credible references over the past 50 years have defined Steven Truscott as the boy culpable in the murder of Lynne Harper and who appealed his conviction and lost. But tomorrow your children’s children will wake up understanding all culpability to lie with Mr. Kalichuk. A man who had no credible link to the crime.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. All because all the reason put on your plate failed to subordinate your committed faith in the man of which you claimed to have been such an honor to meet.

    Savour your faith but don’t start changing the history books quite yet.

    A.

  65.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    Hello Dave,

    “Lynne trusted Steven Truscott.”

    No dispute there. They went to school together & she had a crush on him.

    “No evidence to support “the perpetrator would most likely return Lynne in the dead of night.”

    Except, of course, the fresh tire tracks (from a car) found in the bush.

    Yes, at 12 years old Lynne was still a child. From what I read, she was immature for her age (still playing with dolls). However, she wasn’t that much younger than Truscott. She was only about a 1 1/2 years younger than him(she was only 2 months shy of her 13′th birthday at the time of her horrible sexslaying).

    Yes, I accept Truscott’s explanation for poor Lynne’s disappearance on that night all those decades ago. I & most people today. People who have done far more research into this mystery than I can ever dare to dream about. You seem to find it incredulous that Lynne Harper would have gone hitchhiking on a school night, back in 1959. However, it is not as difficult to believe, as you seem to think. Here’s why:

    Yes, it was a school night, but, it was in June, & with only about 2 or 3 weeks left of school. Lynne Harper was apparently a very good pupil, so therefore, any possible tardiness that would result from her mucking about on a school night in June will not in anyway seriously damage the outcome of her year.

    Secondly, it was only a couple of weeks prior to the longest day of the year. The time in which Truscott left her on the side of the road, would have still been light out. Lynne would therefore, feel no insecurity about being out by herself on the highway, that night, regardless if she was going to visit some horses or go into town for a couple of hours.

    Finally, this was the 1950s, & a far more innocent age. The dangers of hitchhiking was not really known back then. Rape was an almost unthinkable time back then.

  66.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    Good evening, Matthew,

    “You are also reinforcing the unfounded hearsay that Kalichuk was a good friend of the Harper family…”

    Where in my post did I say that? I said in my post that I wasn’t going to form any opinion one way or the other, concerning Kalichuk’s guilt or innocence in this crime. The killer could have been anyone who had picked up Lynne Harper that night(& before you add ‘including Truscott’, he has been ruled out based on the change in the autopsy reports & eyewitnesses who saw him with Lynne north of the bush, & returning alone with out her).

    When you are going to rebut my posts, get your facts straight concerning what I say or do not say!!;-0

  67.               anonymous

     

    Carolyn,

    You’ve done it again. You stated that “rape was an unthinkable time back then” and “The dangers of hitchhiking was not really known back then” and ” the 50s a far more innocent age”. You also state that Truscott was ruled out due to the autopsy report and the witnesses who saw him and Lynne north of the bridge”

    Where do you create the belief that rape was unthinkable in 59′. A police statement taken from one of the mothers on the base stated that Arnold George’s cousin (Michael?) had told her that Lynne had been raped 1 day prior to the discovery of the body. Michael was 15 years of age. My educated guess is that if a 15 year can speak of rape then the entire adult world would be well aware of rape. Are you living in a bubble and see 1959 as the dawn of civilization. Hormones have been with man since the dawn of time.

    Murder and rape have been a part of civilization since the dawn of time. No era is exempt.

    Hitchhiking was cautioned back in 1959. During the Kaufman enquiry many of the girls from 59 testified that they would either hitchhike in groups or only accept rides with familiar people. Do you honestly think that the girls of 59 were too stupid to comprehend the dangers of riding in a vehicle with a complete stranger?

    Truscott was never ruled out as being culpable in the murder/rape of Lynne Harper. Stop trying to reinvent facts. The autopsy issue was based around the contention that Penistan should have afforded a wider range of possible times, should Lynne have been under some stressful event prior to her death. However, under normal circumstances all pathologists concur with his timing of death. Penistan later adjust his findings by incorporating a broader range of possibilities. The stomach analysis on the consistency of the food confirmed the timing of death to be within 2 hours of eating her last meal. This is why there was so much emphasis in matching her dinner ingredients with the findings in her stomach.

    Lynne being a “star pupil” as you state, would assert a degree of intelligence and commitment to her studies. Do star pupils go hitchhiking alone on school nights with no purse, no money and without informing her parents of her whereabouts?

    And Carolyn, believe it or not, I am quite knowledgeable in the the Truscott matter without years of research. Reason doesn’t take years to discern. I think you may want to step outside your shell so you can start listening to the reason with a tad of fresh air.

    A.

  68.               Dave

     

    Hello Carolyn

    How could you determine that the tire tracks were fresh? Were they compared with tracks that were stale? What night was the tire track imprinted? Did anyone notice that the tire tracks were not there on June 8th for example?

    Finally and a I really do not mean any disrespect to you…but can I assume that perhaps you are not a parent?

    Im sorry but your explanation about the probability and likelihood of a little girl undertaking a hitchhiking adventure against the backdrop of a family (Harpers) where structure, routine, communication, love and respect was firmly in place, demonstrates on your part, a very assuming , unexperienced perspective.

    Carolyn, fundamentally I do not believe Steven Truscott’ alibi. There is simply too much in support of the character of Lynne Harper and her family to so easily dismiss this little girl in favor of a (as the OCA said in its judgment) a person (Truscott) who still possess certain immutable facts against him.

  69.               Carolyn Barratt

     

    Entomology has finally exonerated Steven Truscott!!!!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/Story?id=3769512&page=1

  70.               anonymous

     

    Carolyn,

    If one searches, one will always find others whom support their views. That is why Crown and defence cousels have the ability to find well qualified experts with polarized views.

    At this point in time, 48 years later, it would highly improbable to find absolute answers re: entomology. Current testimony is built around opinions, not absolutes. If we had absolutes, then Truscott would have been deemed factually innocent. This is not the case.

    It’s a facade Carolyn.

    I suggest to you that all the answers are right in front of our eyes, however, we have to be capable of discerning the truth.

    The article you referenced has clear bias…””It was a horrific crime,” he said in an interview. “I could never imagine how this kid who went to school with this girl and was a friend of hers could have done this.” The comment was made by a defence witness. He can’t imagine Steven Truscott committing such an act which solidified his conviction of innocence, this creates clear bias and impairs judgement.

    Your referrenced article does nothing but emphasize the OCA verdict.

    I don’t believe that you have addressed our queries.

    A.

  71.               Paul

     

    Just found this forum today. I see all the “usual players” are here.

    Am I LEGALLY allowed to say, publicly, that I think Steven Truscott killed Lynn Harper? After his aqcuittal?

    Carolyn, please tell me that your exclamation of Oct 24th is a joke. That article is pathetic, and if you are grasping at this, then that is sad.

    Of course, the millions of supporters can now grasp at the OCP document, which I have carefully read, and I’m no legal mind, or genius, but I am apalled at several lapses of common sense in it. Perhaps Law and Common Sense were never great bedfellows?

    I’ll see if this post “takes”, and when it takes, and see what I’m ALLOWED to say, LEGALLY and all, before I (maybe?) touch on those parts of the Decision which make me shake my head in absolute disgust and disbelief.

    I didn’t think I’d be doing this ever again. But, acuittal and innocence can mean two different things.

  72.               anonymous

     

    Paul,

    It is good to see some activity again. This is a very contentious matter which has caused me much frustration. I have spent endless efforts on this site and more so on another site trying to elicit reason from all the facts on record and the Truscott published material.

    To no avail. Paul I will say in earnest and in sadness, I have absolutely no doubt that Steven did the crime. I even made the effort to drive to the location to orientate myself and assess the metrics.

    I have no doubt the the (59) Crown alongside the investigators made one glaring error when presenting there story in Goderich. The entry point to the woodlot near the discovery site. This clearly had an impact on the (07) justices decision.

    Anyhow, this matter has raised a lot of passion. It really hurts me that a little 12 year old girl died in vain and is in a state of unrest, where the young boy (who I believe to be clearly guilty) has lived a fully productive life and now is about to be rewarded in the matter. It is a sad state of affairs.

    My sorrow goes to Lynne and rest of the Harper family.

    A.

  73.               Curious

     

    What piques my curiosity is the role of Jocelyn Gaudet. Having sifted through various readings it is still unclear to me what her role was. Was she simply the prosecution’s motive with whom they customized her testimony, or did she have her own motives for testifying against Truscott? What was her investment in asking Bob Lawson to alter his statement regarding the time she was at his farm? What am I missing??? Is she simply a liar who still lacks the courage to admit her wrongdoing to authorities?

  74.               Bent

     

    Curious,
    A very good and poignant question. If people reply, I am afraid you will get a variety of different answers.

    Have you been to other sites on this case? It has all been hashed over.

    Jocelyne’s testimony answers could not be substantiated then, and they literally fall apart now.

    Her testimony/memory was not considered reliable enough to be included in the 2006 round of court hearings.

    It is interesting to note, however, that the testimony from the two witnesses considered to be the crown’s lynch pins in 1959( Jocelyne and Butch) literally collapsed in 2006 under their own weight.

    Conversely, it is interesting to note how the two main defence witnesses, Doug Oates and Gord Logan (plus others not mentioned here) Have prevailed to this day and have not deviated one iota from their original testimony.

  75.               anonymous

     

    Curious,

    Why Jocelyn Godette (Gaudet) seemingly altered her timings on County Rd on June 9th, 1959 is her quote “deep, dark secret”

    I think Arnold George said it best during the Kaufman enquiry, when he stated that everyone lied to protect Steven. I have found several variations on times given to police and later during testimony. This would seem quite reasonable considering that Steven was the proverbial, popular “jock”. I don’t think anyone would have imagined that Steven could have done this act.

    However, his friends who knew him quite well started doubting him later due to his actions and words. The writing is there and clear if you read enough of the relevant material, from his lame alibi and right up through his books.

    Gaudet lied about the times and as far as we know, that’s all. She didn’t lie about someone coming to the door at 5:45. Her father’s police statements validate that. Her father was limited to his testimony at trial due to hearsay. He was aware that someone was at the door at the time but was told by Jocelyn or Andre that it was Steven.

    Neither Jocelyn or Arnold George wanted to condemn their friend. It just doesn’t fall within reason. I think Jocelyn simply wanted to put herself on County Rd at a time other than that of Steven’s. It doesn’t appear to be rocket science. I am quite confident that Gaudet is holding a very delicate secret.

    During her phone testimony at the Kaufman enquiry, Gaudet responded to Steven’s words with “why does that fuc-er keep lieing” She is clearly bitter with something.

    Arnold George went from lieing for him to protecting him. Why? Is George simply a pathological liar or was Truscott just too popular with the schoolyard girls? I think reason, along with testimony from his other friends will clearly tell you the truth. Kids don’t lie to kill.

    As far as compensation, I really feel for the Harper family. I hope Barry gives one heck of a submission before the ajudicator.

    Take care, A.

  76.               anonymous

     

    Curious,

    Doug Oates claimed to have been at the bridge with Arnold George when Steve and Lynne crossed going to Hwy 8. Doug also stated that he left the bridge to go home approx 10 minutes after Steven and Lynne passed going to Hwy 8.

    2 clear lies.

    Arnold George could never have been on the bridge when Steve and Lynne would have allegedly crossed. I’ve already shown this on other occasions. He couldn’t have been there. Doug made this statement after Steven had already spoken with Arnold George (Butch). This was prior to Butch coming clean and spoke the truth.

    The distance from Hwy 8 up to the school, where the service roads branch off, is 2km. The time it takes for a bike to ride that distance is approx 6 min. The distance from the bridge to Hwy 8 is 430 metres. Approx 1/5 the distance. Therefore, 1.5 minutes would have been more than suffice for Steve and Lynne to hit Hwy 8 from the bridge. According to Steven’s alibi, he only drops Lynne off and then returned to the bridge. This would have taken no more that 3-4 minutes. Steven would have seen Doug upon his return and furthermore, Doug and/or Karen would have seen Steven. This didn’t happen. Steven doesn’t even recall seeing Doug or Karen on his return to the school.

    If you couple this with Doug’s brother’s (Allen) questionable testimony at trial, it becomes quite clear that Arnold George was correct in stating that everyone was lying to help Steven.

    A.

  77.               anonymous

     

    Curious,

    On June 11th, 1959 at 10:30am Steven was interviewed once again by the investigators at the school. This time Steven makes a statement to the police that Lynne was wearing a necklace with an air force crest on it.

    This statement was made 3 hours prior to the ground search discovering Lynne’s body.

    What would compel Steven to make mention of the “necklace”, the only item taken from her person. Why not state that Lynne was wearing a headband? I believe that Steven made mention of the necklace to divert attention elsewhere. In otherwords, create a search for the necklace rather than hone in on Steven.

    Here’s some more food for thought…

    When Mr. Harper appeared at the Truscott doorway the morning of the 10th of June, 1959 he was greeted by Doris Truscott with Ken standing on the basement stairwell and Steven standing behind Doris on the steps.

    Mr. Harper posed the question, “Did any of the boys see Lynne?” Mrs. Truscott looks to Ken who says NO, and then has to enquire on a response from Steven who just the night before afforded her a ride on his bicycle.

    Mr. Harper picked up on the fact that Steven made no immediately attempt to address the matter until prompted by his mother.

    Steven Truscott has always made it clear that he never hung out in Lynne’s circle of friends and essentially tried to distance himself from any personal ties with Lynne.

    However, it was Steven who elected to seek Lynne. He stopped and parked his bike several feet away from where Lynne was sitting. There were no other peers around, only a couple of adult women and little brownies. It is quite clear that his attention was directed to Lynne.

    When one looks at Steven’s behaviour that evening, things starts to become clearer. He was reclusive for the majority of the night. He was seen on the bridge by himself at 6:15. He was seen riding in circles on the road beside the tractor trail at 6:35. He was also seen sitting on his bike on the road beside the tractor trail. He was later seen sitting on his bike on the east side of the school by two of his buddies (6:50), who ask him if he is going to join them at the river. Steven responds, “Maybe later” and never makes the invite.

    Just before 7pm Steven makes it to the brownie camp at the rear of the school and the rest is history.

    Ask yourself, why does Steven pass up playtime with his buddies all evening, but affords someone who he never claimed to have interest in a ride on his bicycle?

    By the way, the following evening Steven was back to his usual self, down by the river with several of his buddies. I trust that all the reason in the world can’t overlook that disconnect.

    Cheers, A.

  78.               Lawyer Boy

     

    Hey Everyone,
    I was recently speaking with a legal expert about the subject of Truscott, and he pointed something out to me. Truscott has already had 2 appeals, and a special review by the Supreme Court of Canada. All of the sketchy evidence that led many to believe Truscott was innocent was addressed in previous hearings, and the conviction was still upheld. It seems to me that Truscott has already had his fair share of trials. I still believe Truscott to be guilty, based on some of the evidence from the first case, and the fact that even with new evidence, Truscott’s conviction has been upheld by the Supreme Court. The media has put such a huge spin on this whole case, and in my opinion, corrupted the views of so many. Go ahead, search Truscott on Google or Yahoo, and virtually all of the hits are regarding Truscott’s innocence. The fact is Truscott has been tried, found guilty, had several appeals, and a special review by the Supreme Court, all of which maintained his guilt.

  79.               anonymous

     

    Lawyer Boy,

    Well said. You are so right. I have been stating this for awhile now.
    Truscott has been fooling so many for so long now. He now has manipulated the very system of which he so often condemned in the past. How is this possible?

    There is an old saying that goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” This so applies here.

    I am very confident that Lockyer and the gang are well aware of Truscott’s guilt, but it is a business. Lawyers and ethics fit into the oxymoronic grouping.

    I trust that when you came to the opinion that Truscott was guilty, you based you belief on reasonable discernment. That is all I want to see others do. Get off the Truscott bandwagon and start reasoning and understanding what the hell is happening.

    Steven Truscott is about to be REWARDED millions of dollars for essentially taking the life of a (to many) faceless victim. I’m sure the bleeding hearted Truscott supporters will state that Truscott was the victim who lived with that cloud over his head for 48 years. That is BS. He lived a very middle class life, owned his on home, raised 3 children and had a loving, trusting wife who believed in him. Most importantly he got to keep his life…something taken from Lynne Harper.

    Truscott even told Peter Mansbridge in a CBC interview that the Guelph community knew who he was and accepted him.

    The CLOUD of a murderer is legal spin to generate (KA CHING) more money. And believe you and me, after working with Truscott for 10 years, Lockyer wants all he can get for his client (I’m sure you can read between the lines)

    The only victim in the matter is Lynne Cheryl Harper and the rest of the Harper family.

    And for all those pro-Truscott cyber blogs…most are simply wasted space.

    Take care and get others thinking.

    A.

  80.               James Stribopoulos

     

    I have refrained from wading into this debate for some time. We have kindly given those of you who continue to insist that Steven Trustcott is guilty a forum to flesh out your arguments and challenge those who insist otherwise.

    I do wonder, however, how many of you who continue to insist that Mr. Trustcott is guilty have taken the time to carefully read the Court of Appeal’s judgment acquitting him? Do you really think that five of the most experienced judges in the province, each of whom is an expert in criminal law, were simply duped?

    Further, to suggest that Mr. Lockyer and the other lawyers that represented Trustcott believe that he is guilty is simply absurd and without any foundation in fact or reality. Unfortunately, this sort of empty rhetoric is reflective of much of the “logic” that a number of you have employed in continuing to label Mr. Trustcott a murderer.

    As I have noted before in earlier comments in response to this post, Mr. Trustcott has been acquitted and therefore is legally presumed to be innocent. Thankfully, in a constitutional democracy that operates under the rule of law that is all that really matters.

  81.               Bent

     

    James,
    It was high time we heard from someone in charge. I thank you.
    As can be seen, I have tried to convince the nay sayers to no avail. I have stayed in the background lately, since I have learned that people who can’t see beyond their own beliefs and biases, will never change their mind.
    It is a bit too easy to sit in your armchair and spew out rhetoric when you can be anonymous.
    They know not the first thing about investigation and going out in the field to do your own research year after year and eventually arrive at the only result possible in this case: Innocence.
    No, instead they claim to have “even” been at the scene once or twice and thereby qualify themselves as experts on the subject.

    I wish we now could forget all these self-proclaimed experts and home in on the most pressing issue:
    Steven Truscott has seen his day of Justice. He is innocent. He is in good hands. I, and 10000′s with me wish him all the best.

    Mr Harper has not seen justice for his dear daughter Lynne. For almost 50 years he has been lied to by the Canadian government who has continually told him that Truscott was the killer. Now, when the poor man is 90 years old and surely cannot stand any more trauma, the government again twists the knife in the wound and says oops, sorry, we got the wrong guy. The very least that we owe this man and his sons is for a representative or two from the government to fly down to LA and start doing some sincere apologizing to this man and convince him that it is they who have been wrong and convince him once and for all that Steven is innocent.

    Nothing less will suffice. Time is running out. Should we let this old man go to his grave without doing this simple task of humanity?

    I suggest that our Federal Justice Minister take the Ontario Attorney General with him and hop the first plane to Los Angeles.

    Bent

  82.               anonymous

     

    My goodness, has a nerve has been struck?

    For those in charge. Thank you so much for accommodating my submissions. It also appears to be quite clear that this site was constructed on the backdrop that free speech has limits.

    And for those out there who keep asserting that my reason is baseless, try challenging the reason I have asserted in my submissions.

    Try to understand that not all out there buy into the acquittal. Remember, NOT FACTUALLY innocent.

    For the idea of entertaining a new investigation and furthermore a new trial, too late. Time and loss of witnesses would curtail the intended truth from ever being exposed in the written documents. A new trial would only favour the defence anyhow.

    Empty rhetoric…hummm. I believe that my comments are based on my opinion and my own reasoning. Why don’t you prove me wrong? If that feat can be accomplished, then we can speak of empty rhetoric.

    Remember one thing. I am not here to make friends, only to bring awareness.

    Respectfully yours, A.

    PS. Anonymous holds no less value than does John or Frank. If my submissions ever held any authority then I would clearly enter a more official alias.

  83.               anonymous

     

    Good day,

    1. The implications by some appear to be that by not accepting the verdict of the OCA hearing, one condemns the 5 justices decision. This is absolutely wrong.

    The justices of the court did exactly what they felt best inclined to do and were quite clear in specific distinctions, such as:
    - the evidentiary facts have to be taken as interpretations and inferences
    - a new trial would be the best decision however, not practical at this point
    - we believe that Mr. Truscott would receive an acquittal should another trial be had, although it may not be the only outcome
    - Mr. Truscott is to be deemed acquitted in the eyes of justice however, not factually innocent.

    It is clear that the scales of justice could have teetered either way. Mr. Lockyer presented his case and believe me with a lot of manipulation of evidence (ie. the County Rd timings)

    The problem is that there is an abundance of circumstantial evidence linking Mr. Truscott to the murder of Cheryl Lynne Harper. I could go on and on. And when you start to dive into the books you start to find all the contradictions.

    2. Let me illustrate why Inspector Graham would have honed in on Steven on the evening of June 12th, 1959.

    Graham obviously was aware that Steven was the last person known to have seen Lynne Harper alive. The police found the observations from the bridge to Hwy 8 very limited (I have been to the site and concur). The police ran checks on all combinations of the license number given to them by Steven, but all checked out.

    Then on the day of the 12th, Graham received the lab report indicating the time of death (7-7:45). Gaudette is also interviewed, along with her father and it is noted that Steven had set a date at the very bush where Lynne Harper’s body was found. It was also stated that Steven visited the Gaudette home at 5:50pm on the evening of the 9th.

    Suddenly, things are mounting against Steven. Graham elects to have Tremblay pick Steven up and bring him in for interrogation.

    During the interrogation, Steven is asked to repeat his alleged ride to Hwy 8 and in doing so he stated that upon returning to the bridge he saw Lynne’s THUMB out hitch hiking. Steven later retracted THUMB and stated that it was her arm he saw.
    (questionable)

    Then he is asked about several cuts and marks over his arms, but he has an excuse for all (questionable)

    He is then asked if he had ever visited Gaudette at home and he stated, No, he only associated with her at school (very questionable)

    During this interview Graham became quite concerned and clearly held high suspician. He then tells Steven that they need to speak with his father and that is when Graham requests the physical examination of Steven. And his hunch sure did pay off as there were 2 lesions found on Steven’s penis.

    The point I am making is that things just didn’t fall on Steven. There was a progression of circumstantial evidence compiling against him.

    The justices did there job and Lockyer did his job, but I have no doubt that Truscott is as guilty today as he was in 1959.

    Take care, A.

  84.               anonymous

     

    Good day,

    I hold my opinions on the ethics of lawyers. Like anything else, there are the good who support integrity and there are the not so good who work to fill the pocketbook.

    When we view the trial of OJ Simpson in 1994 we watch the workings of some of the top legal spin doctors in the US of A. We also had the ability to view and reason the facts from the Bronco chase right up to the acquittal. However, the acquittal has done nothing to sway the truth from the minds of most around the globe.

    But are we expected to contravene reason and pat OJ on the back for winning his freedom. Absolutely NOT. My point here is that ACQUITTALS DO NOT REFLECT INNOCENCE.

    There is a lot of material available in cyberspace covering the dark side of lawyers, however I have attached a link which I find both satirical and meaningful.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Trials.shtml

    Enjoy, A.

  85.               anonymous

     

    Good day,

    Here is some logic extracted from the movements of some on County Rd on the night of the 9th of June, 1959.

    - 2 children, Philip Burns and Richard Gellatly, are seen leaving the BRIDGE somewhere in the area of 7pm – 7:10pm. Burns on foot and Gellatly 10 ft ahead on his bike.

    - The timing for a bike to ride from the school (along County Rd) to Hwy 8 is approx 6 min. The bridge is approx 420 metres south of Hwy 8, and approx 600 metres from the north end of the bridge to the tractor trail (this is along the north side of the woodlot where Gaudet is looking for Truscott)

    - Gellatly, riding south, meets Truscott and Harper riding north by O’Brien’s farm (south of the tractor trail). Gellatly would have encountered Truscott/Harper in no more than 6 min.

    - The police time Burns walk from the bridge to his home. It took Burns 10 mins to reach to tractor trail when timed. Therefore, when Gellatly meets Truscott/Harper, Burns would not even be up the incline in the road.

    - In 6 min Truscott/Harper should have hit Hwy 8 (alleging that Burns did not see Truscott/Harper ride past him going north on County Rd)

    - Therefore in approx 12 min from the time Gellatly and Burns leave the bridge, Truscott/Harper should have reached Hwy 8.

    - In 12 min, Burns would have just met Gaudet (who enquired on the whereabouts of Truscott/Harper. 4 min later Burns encounters Arnold George (who enquired on the whereabouts of Truscott/Harper). If we give another minute for George to reach the tractor trail where he converses with Gaudet for, lets say another minute. And then we give 2-3 more minutes for George and Gaudet to ride north to the bridge.

    - We now have an additional 8-9 minutes since Truscott/Harper should have reached Hwy 8. It would have taken Truscott no more than 2 minutes to return to the bridge. Remember, he was only a taxi service that night.

    - In addition, there is a downward slope in the road going north shortly after the tractor trail. Upon reaching this slope George or Gaudet would have had a view right up to Hwy 8 and would have certainly of seen Truscott returning to the bridge.

    - So why do George and Gaudet not see Truscott?

    - What I have shown is that Truscott and Doug Oates would never have seen George at the bridge when Truscott rode across the bridge with Harper. George had to of been well behind on County Rd.

    - So now lets take this a little further. Lets say that Philip Burns was sleep walking until he meets Gaudet, and fails to see Truscott/Harper riding past on his green racer with the streamers blowing from the handle bars. And lets say that Doug Oates and Truscott were simply mistaken about seeing Arnold George.

    Where is Truscott? Why is he not at the bridge when George and Gaudet arrive? Did Doug Oates actually see Truscott/Harper cross the bridge? Oates doesn’t see Truscott return from Hwy 8, however due to his timings given, he should have been there for Truscott’s return. Could Truscott have taken Lynne Harper further than Hwy 8? Or did Truscott simply turn on to the tractor trail at the top of the incline where Burns would have been at a poor vantage point to see?

    I leave it to others to discern for themselves.

    Cheerios, A.

  86.               James Stribopoulos

     

    Sorry folks, but we have decided to shut this one down. There has been great discussion about the case. Much of it, however, has veered rather far away from responding to the original post or even the comments of other contributors. We would prefer not to become the default site for all discussion on the web regarding the Truscott case. We thank all of you for your interest in TheCourt.ca and encourage to visit us on other topics.

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