On November 13, 1998, Michel Trudeau, youngest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and younger brother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was reported as having drowned following an avalanche that swept him into Kokanee Lake, British Columbia.
His body was never recovered.
According to an article published by Scientific American, four factors affect the pace and completeness of human body decomposition. The most important is temperature.
“Anything that blocks exposure to oxygen, such as burial, submersion or high altitude, will slow decomposition. Depending on the interplay of these four factors, the body can turn into a skeleton as rapidly as two weeks or take more than two years.”
In terms of physical preservation of a human body, Kokanee Lake would rank as just about ideal. The water is cold year-round, particularly in the month of November when young Mr. Trudeau was said to have drowned by way of a freak avalanche.
Kokanee Lake is one of over 30 alpine lakes located in British Columbia’s Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The lake sits at an elevation of 1,981 metres (6,499 ft).
It was here that Michel Trudeau and several friends trekked toward in early winter, 1998. As it happens, CAP spoke with a “mountain man” type familiar with the local terrain. His opinion is that a three-month window in summer would provide an opportunity to find the body; the cold water and stillness of the lake likely to preserve the body for an extended period of time.
Supposedly unsuccessful in retrieving Trudeau’s body in the winter, by early June of the following year, it would be green-light time to begin a fresh search. It never occurred.
“Bodies have been retrieved almost completely intact from waters below 7°C after several weeks, and as recognisable skeletons after five years,” says Wikipedia.
Lake Kokanee is well below 7 degrees celsius in winter, not to mention spring and summer. According to our local contact, in late May the sun begins to emerge from behind the mountains, melting the surface ice on the lake in the process.
Even if a body has decomposed, the skeleton remains long-term. Forensic analysis can determine the identity through dental records, as teeth are also preserved. Not a stitch of any of this was ever applied to the death of the youngest of the three Trudeau boys.
Back in mountain man-land, our contact informs us that it takes around 5 hours to trek from “base camp” to Lake Kokanee.
“Three other skiers also present on the slopes were rescued by a national park service helicopter from the provincial park. in the wilderness area northeast, where the young Trudeau was presumed to have been pushed off the ski trail by an avalanche and swept down into Kokanee Lake, where he was believed to have drowned.”
As reported, in winter conditions, at an elevation of over 5000 ft, Michel Trudeau and friends carried skis on their backs during a five-hour trek to a remote, isolated mountain lake. Sound rather fishy, no?
Michel Trudeau is said to have expired on Friday the 13th, 1998. Downplayed by the Canadian press is the fact that Michel Trudeau was nearly killed five months previous to his actual death.
In an interesting coincidence, that may not be a coincidence at all, Michel Trudeau was allegedly nearly killed on Friday, July 17, 1998– five months previous to his actual death when his motor vehicle was broadsided by another vehicle while driving through Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
“The alleged accident was so powerful that the truck Michel Trudeau was driving rolled over several times and was a complete write off– it was reported that it was a miracle he survived.”
Five months later, young Mr. Trudeau was dead. Under-reported by Canadian media(it all was) is the fact that those in-the-know spoke of an unusual “friendship” formed between Michel, and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“Nicknamed ‘Miche’ by Fidel Castro (of all people) during a visit with his grandparents to Cuba in 1976, Michel Trudeau was born only four months before on October 2, 1975, in Ottawa, Ontario.”
A Maclean’s article published on November 16th, 2016 speaks of an unusual closeness between Castro and baby Michel:
“Everybody I interviewed for Three Nights in Havana, including many of the leading diplomats on both sides, said the real catalyst for the warmth in the Trudeau-Castro relationship was Michel.”
“It was the moment when Pierre Trudeau and Margaret, holding Michel, came down the stairs of the plane, and there was Fidel at the foot of the stairs, ready quite literally to take Michel in his arms.“
For what reason would the Cuban dictator be so gleeful about holding baby Michel? His behaviour sounds more like that of blood relative than a casual family friend.
“There are many, many photographs taken of Fidel Castro holding the baby,” wrote journalist John Geddes in the original article.
We stand aghast. Can it be that the curious relationship between Castro and Michel Trudeau hold the key to myriad oddities surrounding the so-called “expiration” of the youngest Trudeau son?
Obviously, Cultural Action Party cannot confirm with certainty that any form of connection exists.
As drawn from the Canadian Encyclopedia, “the following day, searchers made an attempt to probe the lake’s 100-m depths with a miniature submarine. But clouds again closed in, nearly trapping a helicopter moments after it dropped off an advance team.”
“The team was forced to retreat, retracing the path of Trudeau’s ill-fated group along the lake in a 4.8-km hike back down the mountain. With that setback, the search ended – at least until ice on the lake is solid enough to support travel, and possibly until next spring’s breakup.”
And what occurred when winter finally broke in late May, 1999? As far as CAP can tell, not a damn thing. No reports of Michel’s clothing, skis, backpack or any other tangible item was reported.
Body preservation is just about guaranteed. Skeletal remains even moreso.
“At the discussion where the decision was made to suspend the search, Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau, middle brother, expressed the family’s desire that no one else be put in danger to search for the body,” stated RCMP Cpl. Randy Koch.
Quite. The caring, altruistic[insert sarcasm here] Trudeau family showing more concern for complete strangers, as opposed to achieving closure regarding the death of free-wheeling Michel Trudeau.
What should have occurred is obvious. Once warmer weather arrived in June, a search for the body would resume. Under the circumstances outlined, the body of Michel Trudeau would have been in tact at this time.
Lake Kokanee is a still body of water 1200 meters in length, 400 meters in width, and 100 meters deep. At a reasonable pace, an adult can walk the length of the lake in a 15-20 minute time period.
All told the circumstances make for a fascinating tale of mystery, intrigue and possibly nefarious play. Relative to Trudeau family “fame,” Canadian media underplayed the death of the youngest Trudeau son. Perfunctory and devoid of detail were press reports at the time.
In the twenty-five years since the death of the son of Canada’s most recognized political figure, not a word has been written up regarding the mysterious death of Michel Trudeau, deceased.
“Michel Trudeau lived his early life in Ottawa and later Montreal upon his father’s retirement from politics in 1984, where he was a classmate of Sophie Grégoire.”
Rumour has it that at the time of Michel’s death, his girlfriend was none other than Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.