baptism name was
Lucienne, though she was called Aurore and she was the second child of
Marie Anne Caron and Telesphore
Gagnon. Marie Anne was hospitalize with Tuberculosis and Telesphore's
cousin, Marie-Anne Houde, moved
into their home with him and brought her six children in 1916, she was
a widow. The next year, a child who was two years old and the brother
of Aurore, died under mysterious circumstances, his name was Joseph
Gagnon. In 1918, Marie Anne Caron
died and Telesphore married Marie Anne Houde. The beginning to the
abuse that would kill Aurore, had taken
was abused so
badly that she ended up in the hospital with an infection in her leg in
September of 1919.
infection in her
leg was caused by the wounds she had sustained while being beaten, even
so she was released back to the custody of the two people who had been
beating her, after about a month.
her release, her
father and stepmother continued to beat her and eventually, Aurore
would die as a result
the beating she was
receiving, due to exhaustion and blood poisoning. Aurore had more than
52 wounds on
body when she died,
having been beaten with multiple items including a poker, ax handle,
curling iron, rope
People began to wonder out loud about the death of this child.
Eventually, the Judicial System Officers of the
Provincial Government, specifically, a police officer and a medical
examiner, visited the village to do an autopsy
and investigate the situation. A coroners inquest was held in the
Parish Church and it was established that Aurore
had not died of natural causes.
Telesphore Gagnon and Marie Anne Houde were arrested and charged with
negligence and mistreatment and were taken to Quebec City and taken to
jail where they were facing an inquiry into homicide charges. A trial
Marie Anne took place between April 13 and April 21, 1920 with Judge
Louis-Philippe Pelletier presiding. A
trail for Telesphore Gagnon took place from April 23 and April 29, 1920
with Judge Joseph Alfred Desy presiding.
Telesphore Gagnon spent time in St Vincent De Paul prison, sentenced to
serve life for manslaughter, he was
released in 1925 for good behavior. He is said to have returned to the
town where he killed his daughter. On
August 30, 1961, Telesphore died.
Marie Anne House was sentenced to hang for what she did to Aurore.
since she was pregnant at the time, a judge allowed time for her to
have the baby and nurse it for the first
few moths of its life. On July 8, 1920, Marie Anne Houde gave birth to
twins, a boy and a girl, which she named Roch
Jean and Jeanne D'Arc. The children were baptized with a prison guard
and a prison matron acting as
Having the twins was good for Marie Anne since it cause the public to
sympathize with her if not for her newborn
children. The Canadian Prisoners Welfare Association started a campaign
for clemency in her case. September
19, 1920, only two days before her hanging date, Federal Minister Of
Justice, Monsieur C. J. Doherty, commuted
Marie Anne's sentence to life in prison. Marie Anne spent almost the
rest of her life in Kingston Penitentiary.
Marie Anne was released from prison on July 3, 1936 and died on May 12,
1936, of Cancer she had been
diagnosed with while in prison.
her to become an icon in Quebec, Canada and was made into two movies
books. Aurore is often
referred to as "L'enfant Martyre".