Debris

Debris from an airplane explosion above Sault-aux-Cochons.

Musée de la civilisation
c. 1949
1996 - 1183
© Musée de la civilisation


The Guay affair involved another spectacular crime. On September 9, 1949, a plane exploded over Sault-aux-Cochons, a town located at the confluence of little St. Francis River and the St. Lawrence. The plane had been scheduled to leave Montreal for Ancienne-Lorette (a Quebec City suburb) before heading to Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles. The entire airline crew and all the passengers perished in the explosion, including Rita Morel, the wife of Albert Guay.

The marriage of Albert Guay and Rita Morel was a happy union until the birth of their first and only child, whereupon both embarked on a series of extramarital affairs. After a few stormy attempts at reconciliation, the couple moved back in together. However, Guay was still madly in love with one of his mistresses, Marie-Ange Robitaille. When she dropped him, he promised to leave Rita Morel.

It was during this period (September 1949) that Guay, a watchmaker-jeweller, asked his wife Rita to travel to Baie-Comeau to pick up some jewels. He purchased the plane ticket himself and, in what was a common practice at the time, took out $10,000 worth of life insurance on his wife. Guay had to insist, because Rita ba Read More
The Guay affair involved another spectacular crime. On September 9, 1949, a plane exploded over Sault-aux-Cochons, a town located at the confluence of little St. Francis River and the St. Lawrence. The plane had been scheduled to leave Montreal for Ancienne-Lorette (a Quebec City suburb) before heading to Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles. The entire airline crew and all the passengers perished in the explosion, including Rita Morel, the wife of Albert Guay.

The marriage of Albert Guay and Rita Morel was a happy union until the birth of their first and only child, whereupon both embarked on a series of extramarital affairs. After a few stormy attempts at reconciliation, the couple moved back in together. However, Guay was still madly in love with one of his mistresses, Marie-Ange Robitaille. When she dropped him, he promised to leave Rita Morel.

It was during this period (September 1949) that Guay, a watchmaker-jeweller, asked his wife Rita to travel to Baie-Comeau to pick up some jewels. He purchased the plane ticket himself and, in what was a common practice at the time, took out $10,000 worth of life insurance on his wife. Guay had to insist, because Rita balked at making the trip. She finally agreed to do her husband the favour.

Before take-off, Guay, with the help of Généreux Ruest, made a bomb that he hid in a package. He got Marguerite Ruest-Pitre, Généreux’s sister, to take the package to the airport in Ancienne-Lorette. When the plane exploded, Guay thought he had killed two birds with one stone: get rid of his wife and pocket the insurance money.

© 1998, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Emission Spectrograph

Emission spectrograph manufactured by Bausch & Lomb.

Musée de la civilisation
c. 1950
242 x 164.5 x 58.5cm
1996 - 1178
© Musée de la civilisation


"Causes célèbres" Album

"Causes célèbres" album showing various cases and lab analyses.

Musée de la civilisation
1922 - 1952
1996 - 1183
© Musée de la civilisation


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Develop enthusiasm and continuing interest in the study of science
  • Identify and appreciate the way history and culture shape a society’s science and technology
  • Develop enthusiasm and continuing interest in Canadian history

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