Laporte is dead
The day after the proclamation of the War Measures Act Pierre Laporte’s body was found in the trunk of a car in the parking of a small military airfield on the outskirts of Montreal. Was it a cold-blooded deliberate execution or the action of frightened and violent young men who suddenly realized the enormity of the consequences of what they had done? Did the FLQ really planned to murder Laporte? If so, why did they not follow suit and didn’t kill James Cross?
An unanswered question will always remain on the October Crisis: Had the federal government not proclaimed the WMA and sent in the troops, would Laporte be alive? But FLQ, namely Laporte’s kidnappers were not the only ones to react with panic. Fear, hysteria and panic became general, affecting the country touching down here and there with different results.
Claims were made that the FLQ had infiltrated the all key institutions of Quebec and that at least three thousand armed FLQ men were ready to begin an insurrection; that the terrorists had a “hit list” of two hundred people marked for assassination; that a massive bombing campaign was to start; that more kidnappings were to follow and a revolutionary plan existed to establish a provisional government and execute all the English.
There is no doubt about the criminal responsibility of those who murdered Laporte. His life was sacrificed for reasons of state – to protect the integrity of Canada. But the state wanted more. An elaborated state funeral was put on, during which Elliott Trudeau, Robert Bourassa and Jean Drapeau sought public justification for their actions.