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Biography & Autobiography Criminals & Outlaws

Black Donnellys

The outrageous tale of Canada's deadliest feud

by (author) Nate Hendley

Formac Publishing Company Limited
Initial publish date
Jul 2018
Criminals & Outlaws, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2018
    List Price

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The gruesome saga of the Black Donnellys has been heavily mythologized beginning with the first book on the story by Thomas Kelley in 1954. A thick layer of rumour, legend and hearsay has built up around the facts of the case. But one thing is clear —  the murderous events that occurred near the town of Lucan, Ontario, in the 1870s are unforgettable.

This new edition of Black Donnellys by Nate Hendley has been updated to include numerous black and white and colour photos pertaining to the Donnelly family. This book was the subject of a leading case in Canada's Federal Court on whether anyone can claim copyright on historical facts. The court's decision in 2021 was definitive -- no one owns history, and no one owns the facts -- and was not appealed.

This book offers a short account of Canada's most notorious 19th century case of vigilante action leading to murder. The killers were by men from a community harassed by a no-holds-barred criminal family. They went to their graves protected by a conspiracy of silence among those in the know. The story has been told and retold in books, songs, plays and a movie -- and in this readable and engaging account by author Nate Hendley.


About the author

Nate Hendley was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1966 but grew up in Waterloo, ON. From 1985 – 1989, he attended Trent University in Peterborough, ON, and graduated with an Honours BA in Cultural Studies.In 1991 he returned to school to study journalism at Conestoga College in Kitchener, ON. Shortly thereafter, he began freelancing. Since the early 1990s, Nate has written hundreds of news articles, features, profiles, investigative pieces, advertorials, corporate stories and public relations items.His writing credits include The National Post, The Globe and Mail, Marketing Magazine, eye weekly, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Journal, etc. He is particularly adept at writing about political, social and cultural issues, automotive, high-tech and business topics and health-related concerns. In addition to his work as a journalist, he is a published author, formerly with Altitude Publishing, and now with Five Rivers.Nate is the Ontario Regional Director of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. PWAC is a national organization that represents the interests of freelance writers.

Nate Hendley's profile page

Other titles by Nate Hendley