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True Crime General

The Last to Die

Ronald Turpin, Arthur Lucas, and the End of Capital Punishment in Canada

by (author) Robert J. Hoshowsky

foreword by Peter C. Newman

Publisher
Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2007
Category
General, General, Criminals & Outlaws
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781770704978
    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price
    $8.99
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781770702462
    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price
    $24.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781550026726
    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price
    $24.99

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Description

Short-listed for the 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Non-Fiction
Although they committed separate crimes, Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin met their deaths on the same scaffold at Toronto’s Don Jail on December 11, 1962. They were the last two people executed in Canada, but surprisingly little was known about them until now. This is the first book to uncover the lives and deaths of Turpin, a Canadian criminal, and Lucas, a Detroit gangster. The result of more than five years of research, The Last to Die is based on original interviews, hidden documents, trial transcripts, and newspaper accounts.
Featuring crime scene photos and never-before-published documents, this riveting book also reveals the heroic efforts of lawyer Ross MacKay, who defended both men, and Chaplain Cyril Everitt, who remained with them to the end. What actually happened the night of the hangings is shrouded by myth and rumour. This book finally confirms the truth and reveals the gruesome mistake that cost Arthur Lucas not only his life but also his head.

About the authors

Robert J. Hoshowsky's work has been published in over 1 magazines and newspapers, including Maclean's, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Homemaker's, and La presse. He has also contributed to successful television programs, including Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He lives in Toronto.

Robert J. Hoshowsky's profile page

Peter C. Newman has been writing about Canadian history and politics for half a century. His previous works include the bestselling history of the Hudson Bay Company, Company of Adventurers, as well as books on prime ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and Brian Mulroney. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean’s, Newman has won a half dozen of the country’s most illustrious literary awards, including the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize for his memoir, Here Be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion, and Power. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada. Newman lives in Belleville, Ontario.

Peter C. Newman's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"This essential bit of Canadiana briefly relates the life, crimes, trials and execution of Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas — the two men who at Toronto's Don Jail on Dec.11, 1962 were the last to die by judicial hanging in Canada."

Guelph Mercury

"This is a courageous and shocking book."

British Journal of Canadian Studies

"...Robert Hoshowsky's absorbing account of the last two men executed for murder in Canada is also a first-rate social history, evocative of a Toronto long gone in its acceptance of capital punishment but startlingly contemporary in its fear of gun violence."

Maclean's magazine

Other titles by Robert J. Hoshowsky

Other titles by Peter C. Newman