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Robert Stewart

Railroaded to Collins Bay Penitentiary

Michel Giroux, the deceased, was a small time drug dealer who sold drugs at the Carlsbad Springs Show Bar and out of his home in Cumberland. He sold ¼ and ½ grams of cocaine mostly to local patrons. After his body was found, the police quickly learned of his drug dealing and his associates at the Carlsbad Springs Hotel. All of his close friends, who would be in a position to know, claims that Michel Giroux supplier was a man named Dave Dunbar. Mr. Dunbar was an Outlaw Motorcycle gang member. It is apparent from an ongoing undercover drug operation at the hotel that he and his associated kept watch over who sold drugs there and likely gave Giroux permission to do so.

According to at least one close friend Giroux, just prior to his death, expressed concerns about owing Dunbar money. According to another, Giroux was concerned that Dunbar thought he was a police informant and Giroux, therefore, had been staying away from the Hotel. Again it is evident from the parallel drug investigation that Dunbar was very aggressive with those he suspected of being police or informants in the bar.

There are several witness, as well, who dealt drugs for Dunbar in the past at the Carlsbad Springs Hotel, and who built up a small debt to Dunbar who were physically assaulted, threatened and/or run out of town by Dunbar.

The investigation continues from January 19, 1990 to Feb. 3, 1990 when Mr. Gaudreault first became involved with the police. Once the police had spoken with him, the size of the investigative team was cut and the focus shifted to Robert Stewart and his associates. That is where it has remained.

When the defence raised concern and questions about Dunbar and other suspects around the Carlsbad Springs Hotel or known to associate with the deceased, the police would occasionally go back out to re-interview some of the witnesses -- usually three or four years after the fact and usually with a view to trying to get them to connect the four accused with Giroux in some way.

Mr Dunbar, for instance, was interviewed once in late January, 1990. He clearly lied to the police about his involvement with Giroux at the time, but was not even asked where he was on the night of January 16th or 17th, 1990. Since the defence seemed to be focussing on Mr. Dunbar, he was interviewed for a second time in 1994. He was told by the investigator that the police were satisfied that they had the right quys in custody for these murders, but that the defence had been asking questions about him.

The investigator explained to Mr. Dunbar that he didn't expect him to remember where he was that night some four years later but that he had been sent out to ask him anyways. Mr. Dunbar told the officer, not surprisingly, that he had no idea where he was when the victims were shot.

The officer thanked him and noted that it confirmed for him that Dunbar was telling the truth because if he had known where he was after so much time had passed, it would be suspicious indeed!

The prosecutors and police in this case are prepared to go to any length to try to explain away lies and false evidence by their witnesses and to provide excuses for them with respect to their current conduct. There are many, many examples of tunnel vision in this case but one would need to review the case as a whole to fully appreciate the single minded determination of the prosecuting team to convict these men no matter what the costs.


Denis Gaudreault's Stories . . .

Autopsies on a man and woman shot to death in their Cumberland home show the couple was killed "execution" style Tuesday around 10 pm police said Monday.

That's one day earlier than originally suspected said supt Wib Craig of the Ontario Provincial Police in Toronto.

Michel Grioux, 24 and Manon Bourdeau, 27 who was seven months pregnant, were found dead Thursday about 5 pm by a neighbour attempting to deliver a message.

Autopsies show that Grioux, whose body was found between the kitchen and the bedroom, was shot in head and chest, Bourdeau was shot in the head. Her body was discovered on her bed in the bedroom.

The couple was killed by a shotgun said Graig. He described the shooting as "execution style," perhaps someone settling a score with the couple. Both TVs in the house were on when the bodies were found, indicating they may have been surprised by the attack, said Craig.

Wednesday February 7 1990

A few hours after his sister told him the police were looking for him in connection to the murders and were willing to make a deal... he called her back....

Denis:
They "eliminated" the guy, ok, they shot him once
in the body and once in the head. After that they heard the
television in the room, Ill tell you, the room was at other
end of the living room, they heard a TV. They thought
there wasn't anyone else because they were going to take furniture and things like that, you know, check for money. Then the c**t was sleeping in bed and they shot her in the head while she slept.
You can tell that to the bulls., ( Heather Lamarch ).
She was sleeping when they shot her in the head.

Sylvie:
Well you don't have to call c**ts because frankly I'm a
woman also, uh, and I wouldn't like someone to call me that.

Denis:
Well then the girl was shot in the head while she slept, and there's no one because even when he came to my place
and told me he said, "I didn't even know that the fu**en
broad was pregnant seven months cause I'd never do that.

This newspaper article contains some false information that was deliberately planted by the police in order to weed out false informants.

This is a transcript of a phone conversation between Denis and his sister. Denis is telling her about his "Special Info" that only he knows about what happened. His story also contains the false info the police planted in the newspaper.

The experts all agree, apparently not the ones in Canada, that a person who is not being truthful, will never tell the same story twice, it will keep changing.

Mr. Gaudreault and his many different versions of his continuing to evolve stories frustrated the police so much that they actually disposed of evidence by throwing a gun in the river . . .

It cost the taxpayers thirty million dollars, for a flawed murder investigation and Mr.Gaudreault`s lies, to convict four innocent men !

In spite of all the lies, continuing his criminal activities while in Witness Protection, his constantly changing story, his fabricated evidence, and the fact that his "Special Information" contained false information deliberately released by the police, both the Crown and the police were sure that Denis had "Special Information" regarding this case.

During the months of December 1989 and January 1990 Mr. Gaudreault had been on a cocaine binge, smoking crack cocaine heavily on a daily basis and running up some large drug debts.

Prior to the murders, Mr. Gaudreault had already begun planning to leave town.
He deliberately set up a drug deal with some of his customers, took the money and never delivered the drugs . . . . it was a rip . . .

Shortly after the murders Mr. Gaudreault stole an estimated twenty five thousand dollars from Mr. Stewart and then left town, he would later brag to his sister that it was actually forty five thousand dollars.

Mr. Gaudreault would soon learn that you can run . . but you cant hide. Mr. Gaudreault realises he is in big trouble, he will need to do something soon or his sister will be forced to sell her house in order to pay for his drug debts and the money he stole.

Coming Soon !

Here we will demonstrate, in Mr. Gaudreault`s own words, the evolution of his stories.

Quote:
Denis: (inaudible) ... you know well enough that I'll call you later in the
week, I'll un, I'll "inform myself about a few things" and I'll call you back.
End quote:

Later, Denis would make this statement:

Quote:
Sylvie: Wendy was a friend of you guys. She was your neighbour. She ..
Denis: That bitch is no f***en friend of mine. I'll tell you that. And if I had a chance I would have hit that guy for double if I would have known this was gonna happen.
Sylvie: What guy?
Denis: A little guy. Anyhow. So if you want, I can do that for you. Tomorrow they just have to be there.
End quote:

One needs to ask the same question . . .

What Hit ? ?

What Little Guy ? ?

This phone call was made after Mr. Gaudreault "Informed himself"

All Mr. Gaudreault`s "Special Information" is contained in this newspaper report. As more info is released his stories evolve.

Denis Gaudreault

"All my life, I've been a crook and a thief and a liar and a dope dealer and all that. Do you think I'm gonna trust the cops the first time around?"

Denis Gaudreault, October 8, 1991.
Preliminary Inquiry.


The Thirty Million Dollar Con-Job

While being questioned by the police in connection with her "husbands" arrest, Linda Beland met an OPP officer.

In April 1991, just four months after Mr. Stewart's arrest, Linda "Stewart," and her children, moved in with Colin Burrill. They stayed together until December 1998.

Mr. Stewart was finally convicted in February 2000.

Over the years Mr. Burrill would make reports to the police, concerning Linda Beland.

After helping to raise Linda`s son Doug for nearly 8 years, Mr. Burrill was absent at both the funeral and visitation. ( See: Roberts Son Murdered )


AFFIDAVIT OF LINDA BELAND

I, Linda Beland, of the City of Kempville, in the Province of Ontario,
MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:

1. I was married to Robert Stewart, the Appellant, and was his wife or former wife at all times material to this matter, and as such have a personal knowledge of those matters hereinto deposed except where stated to be based on information and belief, and where so stated to be based on information and belief I verily believe the same to be true.

2. After the arrest of Robert Stewart on charges of homicide in the deaths of Michel Giroux and Manon Bourdeau, which occurred on or about the 16th or 17th day of January 1990, I began a relationship with a gentleman who showed great interest in myself and my children . That gentleman was Colin Burrill, and at the time he was working with the Ontario Provincial Police in an auxiliary capacity.

3. I was interviewed by the Ontario Provincial Police and by members of the Crown Prosecutor's office many times during the years following the arrest of Robert Stewart in relation to the above charges.

4. I cannot remember ever being asked by any of the many officers that interviewed me in the many interviews that I participated in about the details of what occurred that night that I allegedly drove Mr. Denis Gaudreault from the residence of Robert Stewart and myself to the residence of Mr. Gaudreault after the killing of Michel Giroux and Manon Bourdeaux. I was asked if it was possible that I drove him home but not given any specifics to refresh my memory or otherwise.

5. The first time that I recall anyone asking me about the details of the allegation that I had driven Mr. Denis Gaudreault home as indicated in paragraph 4 above was in a telephone conversation with Robert Stewart in May/June 1999 when Robert Stewart indicated that Mr. Denis Gaudreault had testified that not only had I driven Denis Gaudreault home as stated, but that just prior to me giving Denis the ride five guys were running around in my house like chickens with their heads cut off. This came as a complete shock to me as none of it was true. I would have remembered such details of the night since it was, I believe, supposed to be a school night and I would have been concern about sleeping children in the house. I expressed my shock and concern that I had not been informed that those circumstances were supposed to exist to Robert Stewart over the phone.

6. I am advised by Robert Stewart that he tape recorded the May/June 1999 conversation noted in paragraph 5 above and that he provided that tape to his then defence counsel, Susan Mulligan. I am also advised that this tape was never produced as evidence and that it has apparently been lost or misplaced by Ms. Susan Mulligan.

7. On May 22, 2003, Robert Stewart again contacted me by telephone to discuss the accusations that I had knowledge that a murder had been committed and that I had this knowledge the night that Mr. Denis Gaudreault claims I drove him home from the residence of Mr. Robert Stewart and myself on St. Joseph Boulevard in Orleans, Ontario to Hochelaga Street in Ottawa.

8. That annexed hereto as Exhibit 1 to this affidavit is a transcript of the telephone discussion between Robert Stewart and myself on May 22 of 2003. The said transcript has many spelling and grammatical errors but I believe it to be an accurate record of what was said between Mr. Robert Stewart and myself.

9. That, as indicated in Exhibit 1, I was surprised by much of the information that Mr. Robert Stewart provided to me during that telephone conversation. In all the interviews that were conducted with me, and all the conversations that I had with Colin Burrill while we lived together between April 1991 to approximately Christmas 1998, I was never asked about most of the matters that Robert Stewart discusses with me in Exhibit 1. No other officers or Crown representatives had mentioned the details of the night in question at any time to the best of my recollection.

10. That in on all occasions in Exhibit 1 that I express surprise the surprise is genuine. The conversation topics were not discussed with Mr. Robert Stewart prior to the telephone call May 22, 2003, except during the call of 1999 as indicated above, and the answers given by myself to Mr. Stewart in Exhibit 1 are truthful to the best of my knowledge.

11. That there are occasions that I express my lack of memory of certain circumstances that have happened in the last 14 years, but most of this is due to the great number of times I have been spoken to or have had to answer questions about the circumstances of my relationship with Robert Stewart and his business dealings while we were married and living together. Those matters which I do remember I remember well. Those matters which I do not remember I admit to not having memory of. There was no attempt at any time during the conversation in Exhibit 1 that I attempted to fabricate memories of otherwise pretend that I remembered matters that I did not.

12. That I was married to Robert Stewart from 1984 to 1992 when the Court granted a divorce from Robert Stewart. This divorce is now final. Although I harbour no ill will against Robert Stewart I also do not have any reason whatsoever to lie or fabricate evidence to assist Robert Stewart.

13. That during the time I was married to and living with Robert Stewart I had very little knowledge of Robert Stewart's business dealings. Robert Stewart often advised me that his business was none of my business and I did not need to know what was going on. I am certain I would well remember if there had been discussions of matters concerning Robert Stewart's business or his business associates in my presence.

14. That I make this affidavit understanding that it is to be used in support of an application by Robert Stewart for release on bail pending his appeal and in other legal proceedings in relation to Robert Stewart or his other three co-accused, Jim Sauve, Rick Trudel and Rick Mallory.

Sworn before me at the City of )
In the Province of Ontario )
this day of, 2004. )

Linda Beland


A Commissioner of Oaths
In and for the Province of Ontario

This was a brutal murder, not a drug rip, not a robbery. Who ever did this intended on killing Doug Stewart. He was most likely killed while he slept, the back of his head was crushed by several blows by what the police suspect was a tire iron.

Douglas Stewart was only 19 years old when he died. Doug was only 5 years old when his father was arrested, charged with murder and held in custody for 10 years until his conviction in February 2000.

Doug was planning on moving back home with his mother in just a few weeks and had been actively distributing material concerning his fathers Wrongful Conviction.


Teen's skull crushed

Friends find bludgeoned body of son of convicted murderer, dealer

THE teenage son of a convicted murderer and drug dealer was found bludgeoned to death in an east-end apartment late Wednesday night. The lifeless body of 19-year-old Douglas Stewart was found by a friend at about 11 p.m. in the bedroom of his 15th-floor apartment at 1240 Donald St.

When the friend arrived, the front door was unlocked.

Stewart was found lying in bed, his skull smashed by several blows from a blunt object. There were no signs of forced entry into the apartment. Police have not yet determined a motive for the murder and no one is in custody. They said it doesn't appear anything had been stolen from the apartment.

It's the city's fourth homicide of the year.

Stewart's father Robert was convicted of first-degree murder four years ago in connection with the 1990 shotgun slayings of drug dealer Michel Giroux and his common-law wife, Manon Bourdeau, in Cumberland.

Now serving a life sentence in Collins Bay Penitentiary in Kingston, Robert Stewart says he was wrongfully convicted and has filed an appeal. Two other men who were convicted for the same murders have since won their bid for a new trial after one of the witnesses allegedly recanted his testimony.

COLLECTION OF CLIPPINGS
Police said yesterday they have no evidence that Douglas Stewart's murder is connected to his father's crimes, although neighbours said the youth often showed off a collection of news clippings about his dad.

"He would say, you don't know who I am? I'm a Stewart,' " said neighbour Martin Faubert, who lives just down the hall from Stewart's apartment and saw him frequently. "He tried to prove who he was."

Stewart dropped out of school in Grade 9 and didn't have a job. He worked briefly several years ago for an uncle installing security alarms but gave up the job after only a few weeks of work. He was on welfare at the time of his death.

He had been charged with two counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, but those charges were dropped on Jan. 16. He had also been seriously wounded last summer when he was stabbed in the back during a robbery at the South Keys transit-way station. Despite the knife missing his heart by only inches, Stewart refused to co-operate with police, saying he "didn't trust them."

Relatives said Stewart often visited his dad at Collins Bay. His most recent visit was about three weeks ago, when he stayed for the weekend. "I think he kind of looked up to his dad," said neighbour Kealey von Tobel, 21.

He is also survived by brother Raymond and mother Linda.

Faubert said the murder happened just days before Stewart planned to move out of the high-rise.

"He was trying to get out of here," said Faubert, 20, adding Stewart gave no indication he was in any sort of trouble.

"He didn't tell us if he owed any money or anything," he said.

'NO RUCKUS'
Faubert and his roommates only learned of the murder when police came by at 1:30 a.m. to ask about names and phone numbers of people who frequented Stewart's apartment.

While Stewart often hung out with several other residents of 1240 and 1244 Donald, Faubert and his roommates said they heard nothing out of the ordinary Wednesday night. "There was nothing. No ruckus, nothing," he said. "If something would have went wrong he would have run here first. We were just starting to get to know the guy."

Police are still looking for several of Stewart's friends and associates. Anyone who knew Douglas Stewart or has information about his murder is asked to call police at 236-1222, ext. 5184.

Slain teen 'not a bad kid at all'


Murder victim's pals remember 'happy' young man

DOUGLAS Stewart's life may have ended violently, but his friends preferred to spend yesterday remembering happier times. "We were almost all like brothers," said Rick "Pat" Laviolette, 28, a childhood friend of both Stewart and his older brother Raymond. "We went on vacations together when we were younger and our families spent a lot of time together."

On Wednesday night, a friend found the 19-year-old bludgeoned to death in his bed in his 15th-floor apartment at 1240 Donald St.

Ottawa police major crime investigators were conducting interviews yesterday. However, no arrests have been made and the motive for the killing remains unclear. "We do not believe it is a random act," said Staff Sgt. Monique Ackland.

Stewart's father Robert is currently serving a life sentence in Collins Bay Penitentiary in Kingston after being found guilty of the first-degree murder in 1990 of drug dealer Michel Giroux and his common-law wife, Manon Bourdeau, in Cumberland.
Robert Stewart has since filed an appeal.

Friends say Stewart was very close to his dad and visited him in prison at least once a month. Laviolette said Robert is taking the news of his son's death extremely hard.

'VERY OUTGOING'
Stewart was also close to his brother Raymond and mother Linda. Laviolette said the teen was planning on moving out of his apartment to go stay with his mother and may have had a construction job lined up. Stewart had dropped out of school in Grade 9. "He was very outgoing, always happy. He didn't mope around all the time, he was always in a good mood about things," he said. When they were younger, Laviolette and the Stewart brothers would go to the beach, visit the cottage and ride four-wheelers. As they got older, their pastimes included playing video games, shooting a game of pool or just "hanging out." "He is not a bad kid at all," said Laviolette. "When we were together we never got into trouble, we always had fun together." Laviolette last saw Stewart when he and Raymond dropped by the apartment on Sunday.

HELPED OUT PALS
"We just stopped by to see him, see how he was doing," he said. "Nothing seemed wrong."
The teen's friends say he was the type of guy who would do anything to help out a pal.
"He was a very sociable person, easy to approach, liked by everybody," said a close friend who asked not to be identified. "The second Doug talks to you, you like him right away."

Anyone who knew Douglas Stewart or has information about his murder is asked to call police at 236-1222, ext. 5184.


Killer to attend funeral

Granted escorted absence from jail, will be at service for slain teen son

CONVICTED KILLER Robert Stewart has been granted a temporary escorted absence from prison to attend his murdered son's funeral in Ottawa tomorrow. Stewart told the Sun yesterday he will be escorted from the medium-security Collins Bay Institution in Kingston to mourn with family and friends after the violent death of his 19-year-old son, Douglas Stewart.

Douglas was found bludgeoned to death in his bed in his 15th-floor apartment at 1240 Donald St. late Wednesday night.

Police believe the killer delivered the fatal blows by repeatedly hitting Douglas in the back of the head with a tire iron. No one has been arrested in connection with the slaying.

Robert Stewart said he last saw Douglas about three weeks ago, when they were able to spend a weekend together in an unsupervised trailer.

PRISON VISIT
"He was here for three days. He wasn't worried about anyone hurting him," Robert said, adding Douglas seemed to be in good spirits.

The visit came only days after a pair of drug charges had been withdrawn against the teen.

"I told him not to bother with the dope," said Robert. "He told me he wasn't going to."

Robert Stewart, who was sentenced to life in prison four years ago for the first-degree murder of drug dealer Michel Giroux and his common-law wife, Manon Bourdeau in Cumberland in 1990, said Douglas was helping him fight for an appeal.

Two other men who were convicted in the Cumberland murders have since won an appeal after a witness allegedly recanted his testimony. Robert Stewart, who has long claimed he's innocent, has since filed an appeal and said his experience with police leaves him wary.

Sgt. Anthony Costantini, now the lead investigator in the Douglas' murder, also testified at Robert's murder trial.

"I really don't have any faith in the system," said Robert, who suggested there could be a link between him and his son's murder. But police said yesterday that doesn't appear to be the case.

Although Correctional Service of Canada spokeswoman Michele Pilon-Santini could not confirm that Robert Stewart was being allowed to attend the funeral, she said escorted temporary absences can be granted for compassionate reasons.

"If an individual is serving a life sentence it requires the permission of the National Parole Board," she said. "The security risks are examined."

Robert Stewart, who will be accompanied by at least two prison guards and be under constant supervision while in Ottawa, said he is appreciative for the chance to pay his final respects. "They've been really good over this," he said.

Douglas Stewart will be laid to rest tomorrow after an 11 a.m. service at the McEvoy-Shields Funeral chapel on Kent St. Visitation is today at the funeral home from 2-9 p.m.


Slain teen laid to rest

Friends, family members fill chapel to remember victim

MUCH IS lost and left unfinished when a life is taken at 19. Friends and family of Douglas Stewart were grappling to deal with that belief yesterday as they laid him to rest.

The young man was beaten to death in his bed Wednesday. So far, no arrests have been made.

Before reading a poem, a distraught Raymond Beland wondered aloud who could have done this to his "baby brother."

He said it was only a few weeks ago Stewart told him things were going to be okay, that he was thinking about going back to work.

LOVED FAMILY
Through a flow of tears, Beland spoke of a young man who would place little kisses on his grandmother's eyes and have wrestling matches with his grandfather. "His biggest love was his family," he said.

His mother Linda Beland cried out as she accompanied her son's casket in to the sounds of Amazing Grace.

At her side was Stewart's father Robert. Having been granted a temporary escorted absence from Collins Bay Institution in Kingston where he's serving a life sentence for murder, Stewart was clad in a fleece sweater, splash pants and sneakers, with his hands in cuffs and his legs in shackles.

The funeral home chapel was packed with Stewart's young friends, many of whom were clearly anguished. Throughout the service, his parents went to several to comfort them.

Those gathered heard Stewart was always most content when playing his PlayStation and eating.

"Jesus is playing (PlayStation) with him right now," Father Joe Leclair said in an effort to console the family.

Beland said their favourite game was Tony Hawk 3. "We never finished it, but I will," he said, before giving his brother a kiss. With the casket set to be closed, G-Unit's song Smile -- Stewart's favourite -- throbbed through the room.
"He liked it loud," Beland said of the hip-hop music.

'ONE LAST KISS'
Beside him, his mother stood sobbing. "Can I give him one last kiss?" she asked the attendant.

Half an hour after the service, Robert Stewart was escorted out the funeral home's back door and whisked away by Corrections Canada officials. He's serving a life sentence at the medium-security institution for the 1990 murder of drug dealer Michel Giroux and his pregnant common-law wife Manon Bourdeau in Cumberland.

Two other men who were convicted have since won appeals after a witness allegedly recanted his testimony.

Stewart, who's long claimed he's innocent, has also filed an appeal.


Where's the justice?

A year after Douglas Stewart's murder, his distraught family is desperate for help in finding the killer, as Laura Czekaj explains

The uncanny likeness of a smiling Douglas Stewart is etched in black ink on the upper arm of his older brother Raymond. But it's the pain etched on the hearts of Stewart's family that has them reaching out to the public for help on the first anniversary of his brutal murder.

"I just need to know why, who did it and why," says Stewart's mom, Linda Beland, as she sits on the edge of the sofa in her west-end Ottawa home, surrounded by mementos of her slain son.

"Douglas was the type who would stop fights. He would hang around with his friends and if there was a fight, he was always the one to stop it 'cause he didn't like violence."

Pausing as tears well in her eyes, the bereaved mother's voice breaks as she sobs.

"That's why it hurts me so much because I don't know if he was awake, or if he suffered, if he asked for me, for his brother."

The approach of the one-year anniversary of Stewart's unsolved murder on Friday is taking a toll on his family, who say they can't find closure, and neither will Stewart's spirit, until his killer is brought to justice.

"Somebody took away somebody else's life, that is not allowed, that is the worst thing you can break, that's God's commandment," says Raymond, 26. "He deserves justice. (The killer) should be put away."

FOUND BY FRIEND
On Feb. 18, 2004, the 19-year-old's lifeless body was found on his bed by a friend. Stewart was ruthlessly bludgeoned to death, his skull smashed in by several violent blows from a tire iron. There was no sign of forced entry to his apartment at 1240 Donald St., indicating Stewart may have known his killer. There have been no arrests in the murder, although lead investigator, Ottawa police Sgt. Anthony Costantini, says he has a few "persons of interest." "It's been close to a year now and there are still obstacles that we are trying to hurdle over as far as witnesses coming forth or persons with information," says Costantini. "But I believe we are closer now than six months ago."

The investigator says drugs appear to be the motive for the murder -- possibly a drug debt or revenge for Stewart's own dealings -- or retaliation of a gang nature. "There was information he was not affiliated, but associated to persons who are affiliated to gangs," said Costantini. But Stewart's minor criminal past didn't warrant the savage way he died, says Costantini. "He was a good kid who sometimes ran with the wrong crowd and got himself mixed up in situations that might have been beyond his control," he says. "But nobody deserves to die that way."

Stewart's grieving family will mark Friday's tragic milestone with a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. at the building where he was killed. Many friends and relatives are expected to attend. The public is also invited to lend support to the family.

But the vigil won't include Stewart's dad, Robert, who is serving a life sentence at Collins Bay Penitentiary in Kingston for killing drug dealer Michel Giroux and his common-law wife, Manon Bourdeau, in Cumberland in 1990. Robert maintains his innocence and is appealing his conviction. Police say Stewart's murder is not connected to his father crimes.

Stewart's untimely death robbed his loved ones of a young man who would do anything for his family and friends.

Sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with his dead brother's photograph and his moniker, "Dougie Fresh," Raymond says he lost more than just his brother, he lost a second chance. Last December, Raymond decided to turn his life around and rekindle his relationship with his brother. "That was the first time last year, last January, that we said 'I love you' to each other," he recalls. "We were getting along good. It was unfortunate it was only for a month and half of his life."

SENSE OF DISBELIEF
Just a few feet away, Raymond's infant son, Raymond Jr., smiles in his sleep. The baby -- whose middle name honours his dead uncle -- and his five-year-old sister, Grace, bring joy to the saddened heart of their grandmother. But Beland can't bring herself to believe her son is dead and says she still feels as if he may walk in the door at any moment. The night before her son was found murdered, Beland spoke to him on the phone about his plans to move out of his apartment and move in with her in Kemptville.

"That was the last word I heard from him was ... 'I love you' like always," she says. "No matter what, even when I was mad at him, I still said, 'I love you.' "

Stewart had only been living alone in the apartment for about a month before his death. Before that, he shared the space with his brother and a friend. Stewart worked at his uncle's alarm company for two years and a moving company for about four years. He was briefly on welfare just before his murder, to make ends meet during the slow moving season.

While police are getting closer to finding the murderer, Costantini says solving the case may rest on whether a key witness or someone who knows the killer comes forward. They may be afraid of retribution, but the investigator says they must also keep in mind the pain of the victim's family in not knowing who committed this horrific crime.