**This online event is open to everyone – no RSVP or registration is required. Follow this link to tune in to the discussion.
What are the risks and opportunities presented by personal investigative journalism? If the institutions fail, how do we proceed?
Please join us for this virtual book launch of Wish You Were Here: A Murdered Girl, a Brother’s Quest and the Hunt for a Serial Killer by John Allore and Patricia Pearson, who will both be in conversation with Emmy-Award winning film-maker Ric Esther Bienstock, whose new documentary on the trans-Atlantic slave trade Enslaved has been recommended by the New York Times as one of the top 20 shows to watch this fall. This event will be hosted and moderated by Massey Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers.
Wish You Were Here: A Murdered Girl, a Brother’s Quest and the Hunt for a Serial Killer
Written by John Allore and Patricia Pearson
As compelling as Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark or James Ellroy’s My Dark Places, this is the story of a brother’s lifelong determination to find the truth about his sister’s death, a police force that was ignoring the cases of missing and murdered women, and, to the surprise of everyone involved, a previously undiscovered serial killer.
In the fall of 1978 teenager Theresa Allore went missing near Sherbrooke, Quebec. She wasn’t seen again until the spring thaw revealed her body in a creek only a few kilometers away. Shrugging off her death as a result of 1970s drug culture, police didn’t investigate.
Patricia Pearson started dating Theresa’s brother John during the aftermath of Theresa’s death. Though the two teens would go their separate ways, the family’s grief, obsession with justice and desire for the truth never left Patricia. Little did she know, the shockwaves of Theresa’s death would return to her life repeatedly over the next forty years.
In 2001, John had just moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and young children, when the cops came to the door. They had determined that a young girl had been murdered and buried in the basement. John wondered: If these cops could look for this young girl, why had nobody even tried to find out what happened to Theresa? Unable to rest without closure, he reached out to Patricia, by now an accomplished crime journalist and author, and together they found answers far bigger and more alarming than they could have imagined–and a legacy of violence that refused to end.
John Allore has worked in victim advocacy since 2002. His website, Who Killed Theresa? is one of the first crime blogs on the internet, which began as an investigation into the unsolved murder of his sister, Theresa Allore.
John was a founding board member of AFPAD, Quebec’s Association des Familles de Personnes Assassinees ou Disparues, and a founding member for CAVA, the Canadian Association for Victim Assistance. He has presented at victim and justice conferences across North America. Currently he is the board vice-chair for Long-Term Inmates Now in the Community (LINC) in Mission, B.C. a non-profit whose project, Emma’s Acres helps former offenders and victims re-integrate into the community.
John is a graduate of Trinity College, the University of Toronto, and holds a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in Justice Administration from North Carolina State University.
In 2017 John started the podcast, Who Killed Theresa? which focuses on unsolved murders in Quebec, as well as other issues of criminal and social justice.
For years John lobbied for the creation of a Surete du Quebec cold case unit. In 2004 the squad was created, with a mandate to solve over 600 cases under its jurisdiction. The first case added was Helene Monast. In 2018 the Surete du Quebec added 25 officers to the unit, significantly increasing its capacity. By the spring of 2018 all the major cases referenced by John Allore on his website that were under the Surete du Quebec’s jurisdiction – Louise Camirand, Chantal Tremblay, Helene Monast, Denise Bazinet, Manon Dubé and Theresa Allore – had been added to the Surete du Quebec’s cold case website.
Also in 2018, John was awarded the Senate of Canada’s Sesquicentennial Medal for his work in victims advocacy.
Mr. Allore currently lives in the United States, though he spends significant time in Quebec. Wish You Were Here, the book written with his writing partner, Patricia Pearson, about unsolved murders in Canada will be published by Penguin Random House in September 2020.
Patricia Pearson is an award-winning journalist and novelist whose probing books have earned her a reputation internationally for upending conventional wisdom. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, USA Today, and on NPR, CNN and BBC, among many other media outlets.
Her first work of non-fiction, When She Was Bad, which won the Arthur Ellis Award for best nonfiction crime of 1997, is an exploration of the methods and motives of female violence, and is being republished in January, 2021, with a new chapter on serial killers in healthcare settings.
A Brief History of Anxiety…Yours and Mine, which the New York Times assigned “major points for wit and flair” was adapted for television and won the Rocky Award for Best Social Issues Documentary at the Banff International Television Festival.
Her book, Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying may be trying to tell us about where they’re going, was a finalist for the B.C. National Book Award, was excerpted in the Daily Beast, has been published in twelve countries, and was the basis of a CBC Radio “Ideas” documentary.
Ric Esther Bienstock is an acclaimed Emmy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker best known for her investigative documentaries. From sex trafficking to the human organ trade, from corruption in the world of Boxing to Ebola, Bienstock’s hallmark is gaining unprecedented access to major international stories. Her films, including “The Accountant of Auschwitz”, “Tales From the Organ Trade”, “Sex Slaves (aka The Real Sex Traffic)”, “Ebola: Inside an Outbreak”, “Boxing: In and Out of the Ring”, “Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour” and “Ms. Conceptions”, have screened at over 80 international festivals and she has produced and directed for most major broadcasters around the world.
In 2020 Bienstock was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for “her commitment to raising awareness of global events and conflicts through film”. This is Canada’s highest civilian honour. In February 2015, she was awarded the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. This Award is presented to a Broadcast Journalist for an exceptional body of work and a significant contribution to the international profile of Canadian television journalism. She is the only female independent producer to ever receive this award. Bienstock was selected by a jury of journalists specializing in the arts, culture and entertainment to be honoured at the Toronto International Film Festival with the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film as one of Canada’s leading women filmmakers.
Bienstock is currently producing the 6-part documentary series entitled “Enslaved” featuring and executive produced by Samuel L. Jackson.
She is the first Canadian to ever win two back-to-back Edward R. Murrow Awards for the films Sex Slaves/The Real Sex Traffic and Tales From the Organ Trade. Her work has garnered dozens of other prestigious awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, a Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, a British Broadcast Award, a Distinguished Achievement award from the IDA in Los Angeles, 2 Hot Docs Awards, a Scripps-Howard Award, 2 Amnesty International Awards and a Bafta nomination, among many others.