Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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Translated document

The witness shall be sworn in before being heard

Canada }
District of Quebec }


In the presence of the coroner Dr. G. Will. Jolicoeur and the jurors chosen to conduct the inquest on the body of Aurore Gagnon, ten and one half 10 ½ years of age at present lifeless in Ste. Philomene on February 13, 1920

Testimony of Thelesphore Gagnon, farmer of Ste. Philomene de Fortierville aged 37 years who, being duly sworn on the Holy Gospels, doth depose and say: The body that is the subject of this inquest is that of my daughter Aurore Gagnon, aged ten and a half years. I am married to Marie Anne Houde, my second wife, who is the widow of Napoléon Gagnon and the mother of four children from her first marriage. I myself had three children from my first marriage, and the deceased was the second one. I have been remarried for two years. The deceased lived with me. About three weeks age, the deceased had “bobos” on her arms, her legs, and her body. I did not look at the body of the child to observe the wounds that were there. My wife was the one who treated the child, and I did not tend to her. I did not call on a doctor to come to treat the deceased. Doctor Lafond came yesterday, but I do not know who called for him to come. I came home from the woods yesterday at about four o'clock. Someone came to get me because the child had grown worse. When I arrived at the house, I found the child unconscious, and she died without regaining consciousness at about seven o'clock yesterday evening. The child was difficult to raise and I punished her several times with a lash whip and other times with a piece of wood. I would punish her like this when I observed her misbehaving or when my wife would report her misbehaviour to me. I was never aware of my wife beating her in front of me. These last few days, the child did not appear any worse than usual and was still getting up. Yesterday morning, she got up again and, during the morning, after I left, I'm told that she suddenly grew worse, and she died yesterday evening. And thus hath signed

Sworn before me
at Ste. Philomène de Fortierville,
this 13th day of February, 1920

Telesphore Gagnon

Dr. G. Will. Jolicoeur

Source: ANQ, , TP12, S1, SS26, SSS1, 1960-01-353\2344, dossier 33, Cour des sessions de la paix, enquête du coroner, greffe de Québec, Témoignage de Télesphore Gagnon, enquête du coroner sur la mort d'Aurore Gagnon, February 13, 1920, 2.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History