No closure for loved ones as Garons laid to rest
Tim Wieclawski/Metro Ottawa
Friends and relatives of Alban and Raymonde Garon still struggled yesterday to come to terms with the violent deaths of such “warm and gentle people,” even as they gathered for the couple’s funerals.
Hundreds of people crowded into Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa to show their respects and grieve for the 77-year-old retired Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada and his 73-year-old wife — two of the three victims of a horrific triple murder in Ottawa on June 30.
The couple was discovered, along with 78-year-old Marie-Claire Beniskos, murdered in their apartment. Beniskos’ funeral will be held Friday.
The victims had reportedly been bound and beaten before they died, but police have released few other details about the case as they investigate. On Monday, five RCMP officers were assigned to assist Ottawa Police with the investigation, and Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Pollanen from Toronto’s Ontario Centre of Forensic Science, has also been brought in to assist local investigators.
In his eulogy yesterday, Donald Bowman, the current Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada, said it serves no purpose to dwell on the manner in which the couple died, but said no rational human could not ask, “Why?”
“How could two such gentle, good, warm people come to such an untimely and violent end?” he said. “We pray that the perpetrators of this cowardly and evil act will be found and swiftly and inexorably brought to justice.”
Bowman praised the couple, calling Alban Garon a great man who carried on with humility and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Raymonde, said Bowman, was a rare jewel. “We shall not see her light again.”
“It’s very difficult to comprehend or accept. Nobody deserves to end their life that way,” said one mourner, a woman who asked that her name not be used. She said her husband worked with Raymonde at the Montfort Hospital, where she was a nurse for 20 years.
“They were two beautiful, kind people. It’s very sad.”
Ottawa photographer Paul Couvrette knew the couple well. They had been in his studio a number of times and he took the official photograph of Alban Garon for the Tax Court of Canada.
“He was very pleasant, gentle; (a) giving guy, and his wife, as well. It’s a shock for everyone here,” he said.
“I was stunned when I walked through the airport in Toronto and saw his picture on the cover of every major newspaper,” said Couvrette.
Police still seek information from the public, and have specifically asked for tips about suspicious vehicles or people who may have been seen in the area around the time of the deaths.
A police forensics team attended the crime scene for several days.