Jeffrey Baldwin
December 20, 1997 - November 30, 2002 
In Toronto, Canada on November 30, 2002 emergency workers went into the home of Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman. What they were about to see was shocking. Elva Bottineau answered her door to let the emergency workers inside her home, she brought them to her kitchen and that is where they found the lifeless, emaciated body of a child name Jeffrey Baldwin. The emergency workers tried to revive him, but, Jeffrey was already dead at the age of five years old.

Shortly before he would turn six years old, Jeffrey Baldwin died of shock and bacterial pneumonia which was brought on by his severe state of malnutrition as well as sleeping in his own bodily waste. He weighed only 21 pounds, was skin and bone and was covered in sores and bruises. The marks on his body showed that he had been beaten with sticks and spoons. Confined to an unheated room at night, he was not even allowed to use a bathroom. He was forced to eat off of the floor, when he was fed. There is suspicion that this treatment of
Jeffrey had been going on for about a year and that the other children in the home had been living the same way. None of the other adults living in the home did anything to help the children.

Jeffrey Baldwin live in an home with his grandparents and several other children. Jeffrey had been taken away from his own parents for suspected abuse and with the support of the Catholic Children's Aid Society, he had been placed with his grandparents, as had three other grandchildren. What came to light after Jeffrey's death would shock many people.

The Catholic Children's Aid Society had been involved with Elva since 1969 when she gave birth to her first child. Over a course of more than five decades, at least three child welfare agencies in Ontario were involved with the Bottineau family. Elva was diagnosed twice as a borderline mental defective and was said to have been very mean. Elva suffered at least twice from major depression episodes. Elva had been a teenage mother and was convicted in the death of her first daughter who had died at the age of only five months with injuries that suggested Battered Child Syndrome. She plead guilty to the charges brought against her and was given a suspended sentence with one year of probation. Her other two children, a boy and a girl, were taken away from her.

In 1975, Elva began living with Norman Kidman. By 1975, the couple had three daughters and the two children that had been taken away from Elva had been returned to her and were also living in the home. in 1979, the Catholic Children's Aide Society removed the children from the home due to Norman's physical assault on them. Norman was convicted of 2 counts of assault, causing bodily harm and was given a fine of $150. on each count. He was given a suspended sentence and two years of probation.

A note that one social worker wrote concerning this family says:

“Ms. Bottineau was operating as a Society funded daycare provider and her worker at the time had 
no concerns regarding this family.”

This note was made even though just a short six year prior to the notation, Norman Kidman had pleaded guilty to assaulting children. All of this information was written in the files at the Catholic Children's Aid Society, yet NONE of it prevented this couple from gaining the custody of more children and being used as a day care for children
that were not their grandchildren. One check of the files could have and should have save the life of Jeffrey Baldwin and would have been what was needed to prevent ANY children from being placed in the home of child abusers.

After Jeffrey's death, the Catholic Children's Aide Society took the remaining children and placed them in fosters homes. Why they were allowed to even be involved in where the children went, is a mystery to me. They failed Jeffrey and as far as I am concerned, they had NO right to deal with ANY of the other children.

In court, Jeffrey's sister testified through a video taped statement. She talked about how the children were locked in their rooms at night and had to use the rooms as a bathroom and in the morning, they would be forced to help their grandmother clean up after them. Detective Kimberly O'Toole was told by Jeffrey's sister if they didn't clean up fast enough, Elva would hit them with a mop handle. She stated that at times, they were in their cribs when she would hit them. When she was asked what they would do when that happened she said they would cry.

The child talked about how bad things would happen to them at any time. They were forced to dig through the trash to get food scraps from meals that several adults had eaten and they were forced to get drinking water from the toilet. The children were called pigs and were at times told to stand in the pig corner.

Susan Dimitriadis, Jeffrey's other grandmother, was banned from ever seeing him. When she saw the video tape she was horrified:

"I didn't realize how bad it was for them," 

On the tape, Jeffrey's sister talked about how he had been very weak and was unable to stand up, on the night of his death"

At the time of his death, Baldwin was too weak to stand up. On the videotape his sister told what happened.

"The first time he came down the stairs my grandma placed him at the table and he fell down. 
And my grandpa started yelling at my grandma and my grandma thought he was just being lazy, 
but my grandpa said the kid doesn't get enough exercise.

The grandparents brought Jeffrey some milk, it wouldn't be enough to save his life. Jeffrey weighed about 21 pounds when he was found. A child who is six years old and healthy, weights about 42 pounds.

Norman Kidman and Elva Kidman were both convicted of second degree murder. Each of them has been sentenced to life in prison. It's a sad victory because Norman will be eligible for parole in 22 years and Elva in 20 and each of them can appeal for a reduced sentence after only 15 years. 

How sad is it that time after time a child is killed and the people who are responsible are not REALLY held accountable? These people all deserve to be in prison for life.

"When 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin died from the brutality and starvation they had inflicted upon 
him, his weight was that of a 10-month-old baby -- his years, according to Ontario Justice 
David Watt, "eked out" in the "miserable existence" of a locked room described as a frigid, 
urine soaked "dungeon" coated with the filth of human feces.

What that young boy endured is almost impossible to fathom, and no sentence his abusers receive today will ever do him justice.

Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman are simply a waste of air, and no mercy should be given.

An eternity in hell, in fact, would be too kind."
Mark Bonokoski - Toronto Sun
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Catholic Children's Aid Society has since admitted they that they made mistakes when handling this case. They have changed their screening policy for allowing family adoptions. That's mighty nice of them, huh?

The grandmother who was banned from seeing Jeffrey, Susan Dimitriadis holds up a t-shirt in Jeffrey's honor.



Return To Jeffrey's Story
 Click here for pictures of a Jeffrey Baldwin tribute

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