092 – Collateral Damage – The Bombing of Flight 108 (QC)

Episode 092 – On the morning of September 9, 1949, a DC-3 Canadian Pacific passenger plane, CP Flight 108, on a routine small hop flight up the St. Lawrence River crashed into the remote forest of Sault-au-Cochon, Quebec. All 23 aboard, 19 passengers and 4 crew, were killed instantly. Thanks to eyewitness reports of an explosion and first responders reporting the odour of dynamite, it was quickly determined that the crash was the result of sabotage. A Quebec City jeweller, J. Albert Guay quickly became the main suspect, his wife, Rita Morel, had been on the plane and determined to be the sole target. She’d recently discovered his affair with the teenage beauty Marie-Ange Robitaille. Guay also took a $10,000 travellers insurance policy out on his wife the day he bought her plane ticket to the ill fated flight. The other 22 killed were merely collateral damage so one man could get what he wanted.

Guay was quickly picked up with his two unlikely accomplices, a wheelchair bound watchmaker and his 44 year old sister, who’d been smitten with Guay. They were charged with multiple counts of murder. As the three were tried a story of betrayal, infidelity and greed emerged shocking the nation. All three were hanged for their participation in what was, up to that point, the third worst air disaster in Canadian history.


Sources:
Crash of a Douglas C-47-DL near Saint Joachim: 23 killed
CBC: To murder his wife, he killed 22 more: The Sault-au-Cochon plane crash of 1949
Roger Lemelin in MacLeans Magazine – My Friend Guay 1951
Douglas DC-3C (CF-CUA c/n 4518) Canadian Pacific Airlines
VICE She Was the Last Woman Executed In Canada. She May Have Been Innocent
New Yorker 1953 article by EJ Kahn – It Has No Name
Newpapers.com search for Albert Guay

2 thoughts on “092 – Collateral Damage – The Bombing of Flight 108 (QC)

  1. Hi you guys!
    I love your podcast. This week’s episode hits home. Being born in Québec City, I’ve heard this story as a child. You talked about Roger Lemelin. I wanted to add a
    side note. Lemelin is a well known author who wrote the tv serie Les Plouffe. On 1980, Gilles Carle made adapted the serie into a movie. In 1984, Denys Arcand did a movie with the Sault-aux-Cochons storyline. Roger Lemelin worked on the script. I’ll put a link if you’re interested. So, when I saw today’s topic, I was happy to see my province focused in a weird way. Keep up the excellent work!! 😁

  2. I want to thank you for this episode. I grew up in Montreal and my father told me the story of Albert Guay (pronounced Gay) and La Pitre. He was a 13 years old boy then and went outside of the Bordeaux jail to see the black flag rise to announce the death of Mme Pitre, the last woman to be hung for a crime. To each era their experiences I guess.
    I really appreciate all your episodes and you are my favorite podcast. You show honesty and empathy towards the victims that we can share. The fact that you are Canadian is a bonus. Keep up the good work.

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