James Richard Cross, known to have been kidnapped by the Front de liberation du Québec (FLQ) in October 1970, died more than 50 years after these events.
The former British diplomat, born September 29, 1921 in Nenagh, Ireland, died at the age of 99 from complications from COVID-19.
His kidnapping in Montreal on October 5, 1970 from his residence on Redpath-Crescent Street, by members of the Liberation cell, marked the start of the October Crisis.
To release him, the FLQ had set conditions such as the release of a number of political prisoners, the payment of $ 500,000 and the publication of its manifesto in newspapers in Quebec.
Mr. Cross was finally released on December 3, 1970 after 59 days of captivity, in exchange for a safe conduct for his captors who then fled to Cuba.
In a telephone interview with The duty in 2010 from his residence in Seaford, on the south coast of england, james richard cross told the daily about his kidnapping: “i always thought i was going to die. I was never sure it wasn’t going to be the case. How did you want me not to believe it? ”
“I knew that if the police came, there was a risk that things would go wrong and we would all die. Deliberately or accidentally. I have never been reassured, ”continued Mr Cross, who suffered post-traumatic stress and returned to the UK following the October crisis.
Before his kidnapping, James Richard Cross was aware of the actions and demands of the FLQ, but nothing more, he told Le Devoir. “I was following the situation, the movement was gathering momentum, incidents endangering people had been happening everywhere for some time. But it was none of my business. And you will understand that after my kidnapping, I had no sympathy … “
James Richard Cross said he returned to Quebec three or four times after the events of October 1970, the first time in 1981 to see friends.
James Richard Cross was luckier than the Liberal provincial minister Pierre Laporte, kidnapped a few days after him by the Chénier cell of the FLQ. Mr. Laporte’s body was found a week later, on October 17, 1970.
Mr. Cross revealed that he learned of the death of government minister Bourassa while the television was on in the house where he was being held prisoner.