Quebec provincial police update cold case website as families wait for answers
Quebec’s provincial police force is revamping its cold case website with intentions of making it more user-friendly, and hopefully leading to resolutions to previously dead-end investigations.
Nineteen-year-old Theresa Allore went missing one night near Lennoxville, Que. in 1978, her body was found a year later about 15 kilometres south, in a river near Compton.
Police never arrested or charged anyone, but her brother, John Allore, spent decades trying to solve his sister's murder.
“You just kind of have to catch yourself because your heart is racing a little bit and your expectations getting ahead of yourself,” Allore told CTV news during an independent search in 2006 in the Eastern Townships.
The former Quebecer has been living in the U.S. for 30 years. These days, he runs a website and hosts a popular podcast called “Who Killed Theresa,” where he tries to uncover the truth behind his sister’s death.
He regularly revisits cold cases in Quebec and elsewhere and has found a pattern in the late 70s in the townships, indicating there could have been a sexual predator involved in other disappearances.
Allore's case isn't the only cold case the Surete du Quebec (SQ) wants to revive.
There was the notorious case of Sharron Prior. The 16-year-old Pointe-Saint-Charles teen who was raped and killed. Her body was found in Longueuil, and authorities reopen her case every few years.
There’s also Tiffany Morrison from Kahnawake, who was last seen in Lasalle in 2006. Her remains were later found in the community four years later. Her sister, Melanie Morrison, holds information and awareness events every year under the banner “Justice for Tiffany Morrison.”
“Even though we don't have any information on cold cases, we’re still looking (for it),” said SQ officer Nicolas Scholtus-Champagne.
“We're still gathering information through the family, through the community,” he said.
For his part, John Allore says he wants Quebec’s police to be more proactive when it comes to cold cases.
“The SQ’s current position is ‘call us, email us information,’ so it's a very passive approach,” he said. “They're waiting for the phone to ring.”
The SQ denies being passive and says it has 25 people working cold cases. And while long-silent witnesses do come forward on occasion, science is their biggest tool in uncovering long-hidden clues.
“Due to technologies like DNA coming out,” explained Scholtus-Champagne, “it can lead to a positive outcome of the case.”
But for John Allore, older cases, including his sister's often suffered from what he feels were bad investigations to start with.
“Police would say, ‘she's missing? She must have run away she must be pregnant, she must have gone somewhere to lose the baby’,” he said. “And then, when she was found, ... It got more and more absurd.”