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"Until you are Dead"
by Julian Sher
"Until You Are Dead":
Truscott's Long Ride into History
by Julian Sher
available in paperback
You Are Dead" chronicles the loss of Canada’s 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.
girl’s 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 TV’s the fifth estate, Julian Sher spent
two years investigating the Steven Truscott story for an explosive documentary.
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, Truscott’s 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.
TO BUY THE BOOK:
> Buy the paperback book
in Canada from
> Buy the paperback in the United States from
from other sources and
find out how to buy other
books by Julian Sher
> Read an
excerpt from the Amazon site
2002 - Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
- CAA Birks Family Foundation Award for Biography
this book. You will be jarred by the reality of our justice system. This excellent,
in-depth compilation of Steven Truscott’s very disturbing case keeps you absorbed
and in disbelief: Where is the justice?"
Guy Paul Morin
"Sher writes with a finely measured sense of disbelief.
How could this happen? he asks through every page. And we share his amazement,
notwithstanding David Milgaard, Donald Marshall, Guy Paul Morin and Thomas Sophonow,
all convicted until proven innocent ... Sher has written an important book. One
that ought to serve as a warning to those who administer justice against arrogance.
Nor should anyone be complacent on the issue, for every time a case is closed
with the wrongly accused, a killer is left free to roam among us. "
The Montreal Gazette
"The CBC television producer who earned
Truscott's trust and helped make a national case of his continued claim of innocence,
Montreal's Julian Sher, presents another compelling indictment of our justice
- The Toronto Star
have been previous books on the trial of Steven Truscott, but 'Until You Are Dead'
... is the most comprehensive analysis to date."
Globe and Mail