When 19-year-old Theresa Allore went missing from school in Quebec's Eastern Townships in November, 1978, Champlain College was in disarray.
The campus was bursting at the seams due to record enrolment. Students were housed at dormitories in the countryside where there was limited supervision and infrequent transport to and from classes. Many students, including Theresa, resorted to hitchhiking.
Theresa's disappearance went unnoticed for a week, and in the end it was her friends who alerted police. School officials of the day did little to support her parents in their search.
Instead, the campus director of the day suggested to Theresa's father her vanishing had something to do with "lesbian tendencies" and that she'd need psychiatric help when she eventually turned up.
During the long winter between Theresa's disappearance and the discovery of her body face-down in a creek on a farm the following spring, Champlain continued to bill her parents for her room and tuition, plus interest.
Theresa's younger brother, John, has been a harsh critic of the cold indifference shown to his sister's fate since going on a quest for closure six years ago. That quest quickly morphed into amateur sleuthing of a likely murder by a possible serial predator who went undetected due to small-town police incompetence -- and remains unsolved.
But Mr. Allore's pressure on Quebec's big bureaucracy -- from the college to the provincial police force and the justice department -- may have finally turned a corner.
Tomorrow he will attend a ceremony at Champlain Regional College in Lennoxville, Que., as it is now formally called, to announce a $1,000-a-year memorial scholarship in Theresa's name and launch a $20,000 fundraising drive for the endowment.
Mr. Allore vows not talk to about the mystery surrounding Theresa's death, nor his ongoing efforts to resolve it.
"In that room it's going to be about Theresa and celebrating her memory," he said.
Mr. Allore has other reasons for returning to Quebec this week. He will be talking up the chapter he contributed for a new book, which came about when he was called upon to tell his story to Kim Rossmo, a former Vancouver police officer who invented the widely used crime-solving technique called geographic profiling.
Mr. Rossmo, now a professor at Texas State University, was the first to sound the alarm about a serial killer stalking sex workers on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside when he was pioneering his methods in B. C. But he was dismissed and left town before he was eventually proven right with the conviction of Robert Pickton.
Mr. Rossmo used statistics to substantiate Mr. Allore's theory that a serial killer was stalking Quebec's Eastern Townships in the late 1970s and helped him draw a possible link between Theresa's death and two others: Louise Camirand and Manon Dube.
Mr. Rossmo book, Criminal Investigative Failures, is due out in November and will serve as a manual for how law enforcement can avoid the blind spots and biases that often undermine police work.
Mr. Allore said it meant a lot to him to be able to provide the human touch to a very technical text.
"He told me this is like the anchor of the book," he said. "I'm really honoured and really proud of that.? This is an academic book. It's not a titillating kind of thing. It's going to be used for research and teaching."
Mr. Allore said he is under no illusion Theresa's slaying will be solved imminently, but he hasn't raised his hopes, either.
"I'm at peace with the crime never being solved. I was at peace with that five years ago -- the point was to make sure that kind of thing never happened again."