The investigation that helped
clear Steven Truscott's name
"A chilling search for the truth."
"Julian Sher has uncovered new evidence and written
a compelling story detailing how Truscott's 1959 murder
trial was horribly flawed, his conviction gravely tainted
and his Supreme Court of Canada appeal compromised."
- Vancouver Sun
"Passionate, thorough and highly readable
weighty indictment of our criminal system and the terrible results
when it goers wrong."
- The Kitchener-Waterloo Record
More on the book:
More on the history of the case:
More on Truscott's victory to clear his name:
"Until You are Dead" chronicles the loss of
Canadaís innocence. Prior to June 11, 1959, Canadian parents
could allow their children to play outdoors, unsupervised, in
places children traditionally love: schoolyards, fields and
nearby swimming holes. But on that hot summer day, when the
body of a twelve-year-old girl turned up in a woody area near
Clinton, Ontario, that innocence was shattered.
The girlís name was Lynne Harper and she had been raped and
murdered. The summer was barely over before a popular schoolboy
named Steven Truscott, fourteen years old at the time, was tried,
convicted and sentenced to hang. Truscott spent ten years in
prison after the federal cabinet commuted his death sentence.
He has always maintained his innocence.
His trial in 1959 was the most famous and controversial in
Canadian history. As a producer at CBC TVís the fifth estate,
Julian Sher spent two years investigating the Steven Truscott
story for an explosive documentary.
"Until You are Dead"reveals witnesses not called
upon to testify; other, more likely suspects, including a known
pedophile, never questioned; and important leads that were kept
from the defence, the judge and jurors. Boxes of police files
and military records hidden or buried in government vaults reveal
astonishing and disturbing information about an investigation
and trial the authorities always claimed was above reproach.
All told, the book uncovers a wealth of information that could
have lead to a different verdict and a very different life for
the young boy who was nearly executed over forty years ago.
In the fall of 2001, Truscottís lawyers presented a 700-page
brief to the federal justice minister. Early in 2002, Ottawa
decided to re-open the case, naming a retired judge to investigate.
The updated paperback recounts this historic triumph.