Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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[Handwritten letter (plea) attributed to Francoeur, n. d.]


May it please your Lordship,

After having heard the evidence as put before this Court by the various witnesses, it appears very clear to us that the accused, Madame T. Gagnon, caused the death of the little girl Aurore Gagnon. Anticipating a verdict from the jury in keeping with this opinion, and before this verdict is rendered, I believe it is my duty to draw the attention of the Court to the truly extraordinary circumstances surrounding this tragedy and, in particular, to the accused's frame of mind as revealed by the series of abnormal and, in our opinion, pathological acts that led to this child's death.

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Agreeing on this point with general public opinion, and strengthened by the advice of our medical experts, Doctors Marois, Derome and Daigneault, we cannot resist the need to express, before this Court, our doubts regarding the mental state of the accused and, if the Court shares these [doubts], to suggest that a committee of medical experts be named to inquire into the mental responsibility of the accused; in other words, to establish whether the actions that led to little Aurore Gagnon's death were committed under a pathological influence or under the influence of a perverse passion

Source: ANQ, , TP 9, S1, SS1, SSS999, 1960-01-35769, 3B 023 03-05-002A-01, Cour du banc du roi, assises criminelles, district de Québec, Plaidoyer de Francoeur pour une demande d'experts, n.d., 2.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History