Thursday, March 24, 2016

It Happened in Canada - Historic True Crime

What Happened to Mickey?: the life and death of Donald "Mickey" McDonald, public enemy no. 1 (M)
by Peter McSherry the age of 31, Donald McDonald was only "dirty little Mickey from The Corner," the notorious intersection of Toronto's Jarvis and Dundas Streets in a neighbourhood known in the 1930s as "Gangland." After Mickey was charged with the January 1939 murder of bookmaker Jimmy Windsor, he became a national crime figure. What followed were two murder trials, a liquor-truck hijacking, a sensational three-man escape in 1947 from Kingston Penitentiary, and a $50,000 bank robbery. According to police, as gleaned from underworld informants, Mickey was killed in the 1950s in the United States "by his own criminal associates." Author Peter McSherry presents several versions of McDonald's demise, one of which he endorses, and tells why it happened, delivering a compelling denouement to the chronicle of a criminal readers will never forget" - publisher

The Massey Murder: a maid, her master, and the trial that shocked a country (M)
by Charlotte Gray"In February 1915, a member of one of Canada’s wealthiest families was shot and killed on the front porch of his home in Toronto as he was returning from work. Carrie Davies, an 18-year-old domestic servant, quickly confessed. But who was the victim here? Charles “Bert” Massey, a scion of a famous family, or the frightened, perhaps mentally unstable Carrie, a penniless British immigrant? When the brilliant lawyer Hartley Dewart, QC, took on her case, his grudge against the powerful Masseys would fuel a dramatic trial that pitted the old order against the new, wealth and privilege against virtue and honest hard work. Set against a backdrop of the Great War in Europe and the changing faceof a nation, this sensational crime is brought to vivid life for the first time." - publisher

Snatched!: the peculiar kidnapping of beer tycoon John Labatt (M)
by Susan Goldenberg
"In 1934, fifty-three-year-old beer tycoon John Sackville Labatt was kidnapped from his Lake Huron summer home and held ransom for three days. His captors, a group of ex-rum runners, desperate in the days following prohibition and the Great Depression, were hoping for a big pay day. This bizarre true crime story traces the abduction through to the trials of the abductors. From a heavily populated hideout to a case of mistaken identity, follow the story of Labatt, the first person in Canada to be kidnapped for high ransom"" - publisher

Arctic Justice: on trial for murder, Pond Inlet, 1923 (M)
by Shelagh D. Grant"Arctic Justice recounts a critical episode in how Canada came to control its High Arctic. In 1922 a mad trapper threatened to kill the sled dogs of a group of Baffin Island Inuit and, following the Inuit customary law that individuals who endanger the community must be killed, he was executed. Nuqallaq, an Inuk, killed Robert Janes, a white man, and Canadian authorities made the unprecedented decision to put him and two accomplices on trial for murder, leading to the establishment of Canadian law enforcement in the North. Shelagh Grant shows that Canada's action was motivated more by international political concerns for establishing sovereignty over the Arctic than by the pursuit of justice." - publisher

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