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.
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.
- Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Non-Fiction
"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."
"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."
Other titles by Robert J. Hoshowsky
Other titles by Peter C. Newman
Hostages to Fortune
The United Empire Loyalists and the Making of Canada
Miracle at the Forks
The Museum that Dares Make a Difference
Maclean's on Justin Trudeau
The New Liberal Leader: A Life Lived in the Spotlight
We Gambled Everything
The Life and Times of an Oilman
When the Gods Changed
The Death of Liberal Canada
The Secret Mulroney Tapes
Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister
Here Be Dragons
Telling Tales Of People, Passion and Power