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'Until you are Dead'
Steven Truscott's Long Ride into History

The investigation that helped
clear Steven Truscott's name

"A chilling search for the truth."
-Hamilton Spectator

"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…a weighty indictment of our criminal system and the terrible results when it goers wrong."
- The Kitchener-Waterloo Record

 

 

"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.

 


 



 




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