Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child
Skip to page: 58, 59, 60, 61, 61 1/2, 62



- 58 -

City of Québec.
(Preliminary Inquiry)

Examination of ADJUTOR GAGNON, thirty-nine years of age, of the parish of Ste. Philomène de Fortierville, farmer,

taken under oath on this twenty-fourth---- day of February,------in the year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and twenty,------------------in the City of Quebec, in the aforesaid district, before the undersigned, Judge of the Sessions of the Peace, in and for the City of Quebec, in the presence of the accused, Télesphore Gagnon

Examined by Maître Arthur Fitzpatrick, Crown Prosecutor:-

Q. Are you related to the accused?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Do you know the accused, who is present in this courtroom?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. Have you ever been to his home?

A. Yes, Monsieur. The evening before she died.

Q. Before then, had you ever been?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. When was that?

A. The 17th or 18th of January.

Q. Did you know the little girl who died?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. Now, when you were there, on the 17th or 18th of January, did you see the little girl?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. Where was she?

A. At home, in the kitchen there.

Q. What condition was she in?

A. Her eyes were black, here, there, below the eyes.

Q. Besides that, was there anything else?

A. I didn't get to see.

- 59 -

Q. Were her eyes really black?

A. Pretty much black.

Q. Was there something wrong with her forehead, too?

A. I didn't notice.

Q. Did you ask about how it had happened?

A. We didn't ask, but her mother told us…

Q. Was Gagnon there?

A. Yes, Monsieur. ….She said that it was on account of her going outside barefoot.

Q. Did she tell you that she had fallen on the stove?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Did Gagnon speak, then, the accused?

A. He was saying that raising a family, with that little girl, wasn't easy, and the accused said: "Between now and spring, I'll have her placed."

Q. What did he mean by that?

A. That’s more than I can say.

Q. Did he say anything else about her? Did he use other expressions, when speaking of this child?

A. In front of me, he cursed her.

Q. What expressions did he use?

A. Well, while looking at her, he called her a name I can't remember, and he cursed her.

Q. What did she do, the little girl, when she heard her father curse her?

A. She said nothing.

By the Judge: -

Q. What expressions did he use? Tell us the expression, what he said.

- 60 -

A. I can't remember the name he called her. When he told her to go wash the dishes, he cursed her, he called her that name; he said: "Damned ____ , go wash the dishes."

By Maître Arthur Fitzpatrick, Crown Prosecutor:-

Q. But was it an expression he used, as when people say, "Damn it! Come here!" "Damn it! Go there!"?

A. He said: "Damned little _________," using that name, "go wash the dishes."

Q. Did she go?

A. No, she wandered back and forth between the table and the stove, and other places, and the dishes weren't getting washed.

Q. This was after supper?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. You say the child had black eyes?

A. That child, yes.

By the Judge:-

Q. Now, when the mother said that she had black eyes because she had walked in the snow, did the child say anything in reply?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Did she seem to understand what they were saying?

A. I can't say.

Q. Was she bright, this little girl?

A. I can't say.

By Maître Arthur Fitzpatrick:-

Q. On the twelfth of February, did you go there?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

- 61 -

Q. With whom?

A. Alone.

Q. At what time?

A. At about three, three thirty.

Q. Who was there when you arrived?

A. Her father, one of her uncles, and one or two neighbour women; I can't exactly recollect.

Q. Was the child dead?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Where was she, the little girl?

A. She was lying on the bed, there.

Q. Downstairs?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. Did you look at her?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

Q. In what condition did you find her?

A. I found that she had greatly deteriorated. The Justice of the Peace had told me to go see her, and to take a good look at her.

Q. What were you able to see, Monsieur Gagnon?

A. I thought that she was really thin and had changed a lot.

Q. Were there marks on her head?

A. Her cheek was bruised.

By the Judge:-

Q. Did you ask whether they had sent for the doctor?

A. He had already been there.

Q. Was it the day she died that you went there?

A. Yes, Monsieur. She died at seven o'clock at night.

- 61 1/2 -

By Maître Arthur Fitzpatrick:-

Q. Did you stay there until she died?

A. No, I was in the house about five to ten minutes.

Q. What did you do after that?

A. I went home and continued to work.

Q. Now, Monsieur Gagnon, did you know, personally, that the accused beat his child?

A. Not at all.

Q. You never saw him beat her?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Did he ever tell you that he beat her?

A. No, Monsieur.

Q. Did the wife of the accused ever talk to you about that child, with the accused present?

A. No, Monsieur. If she spoke to me about her, it was always about little things, nothing worth talking about. She never told me anything important.

By the Judge:-

Q. Why had you gone there, that afternoon?

A. At the request of the Justice of the Peace.

Q. Why had he sent you?

A. I don't rightly know, but he was the one who made me go.


Cross-examined by the Honourable J.N. Francoeur, K.C., for the accused:-

Q. You live two houses over from the accused?

A. Yes, Monsieur.

— 62 -

Q. How far, approximately?

A. About three arpents.

Q. Are you a farmer?

A. Yes, Monsieur.


Source: ANQ, TP12, S1, SS1, SSS1, 1960-01-357605, 3C 030 03-07-001B-01, Cour des sessions de la paix, matières criminelles, greffe de Québec, Déposition de Adjutor Gagnon, enquête préliminaire de Télesphore Gagnon, February 24, 1920, 6.

Return to parent page

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History