This page on JournalismNet has moved to:

Your browser should take you automatically to the new location within 15-20 seconds. If not, click here

If you have this page stored in  your Favourites or Bookmarks, please make the necessary changes.

      -  The JournalismNet Web Team

"Until you are Dead"
by Julian Sher



"Until You Are Dead":
Steven Truscott's Long Ride into History
by Julian Sher

Now available in paperback

"Until 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.

The 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.

"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, 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.



> Buy the paperback book in Canada from

> Buy the paperback in the United States from

>Buy from other sources and find out how to buy other books by Julian Sher

> Read an excerpt from the Amazon site


Finalist 2002 - Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Winner 2002 - CAA Birks Family Foundation Award for Biography


"Read 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 system."

- The Toronto Star

"There have been previous books on the trial of Steven Truscott, but 'Until You Are Dead' ... is the most comprehensive analysis to date."

- The Globe and Mail