Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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Kingston Penitentiary, Dec. 7th. 1931.

Hon. and dear Sir;
Appeals to your subordinates in the past on behalf of my protege, Madame Houde, or Gagnon, having met with unsatisfactory results, I now make direct representation to you.

Madame Houde was sentenced for amonstrous crime it is quite true. Her husband, whose child furnished the corpus delicti, who was an accomplice before and during the fact, after serving five years of a life sentence, was liberated from ST.Vincent de Paul penitentiary on July 8th. 1925..

Mrs Houde has ever maintained that she retains no slightest memory of her crime; she was, I understand, enceinte at the time which should mitigate if not condone the dreadful charge of murder laid against her.

However, my appeal for her is based on altogether different grounds. During the many years that she has spent with us she has been a model prisoner; not once has she contravened the rules; always has she performed her work well and uncomplainingly.


Incentive should be given, encouragement offered, to all prisoners to hasten the day of their liberation by their own reform. Failing this you have despair.

In past communications with the Justice Department on behalf of this woman it always seemed that sentiment in her own community barred the door to her freedom. If such feeling still persists it need no longer work to her disadvantage; I am able and very willing to furnish a home and employment for her in Kingston, if opportunity to reassemble her five children in her own home is still denied her.

I am, Sir, with the expression of my high personal regard,

yours sincerely,

[signature]W. T. Kingsley
Catholic Chaplain Kingston Penitentiary.

Source: ANC, , RG 13, Box 1507, File Houde Marie-Anne, vol. 1, part. 1, W. T. Kingsley, Letter from Father Kingsley, December 7, 1931, 2.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History