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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Who Killed Jackie Bates?

by (author) Bill Waiser

Fifth House Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2011
Post-Confederation (1867-), General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2008
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price

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Short listed for 3 Saskatchewan Book Awards:Non-Fiction Award, Saskatoon Award, Book of the Year Award. On the morning of 5 December 1933, a young RCMP constable discovered a grisly scene in the Avalon schoolyard in rural Saskatchewan. A young boy lay dead in a rented car, an apparent victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the car with him were his parents, who would survive both the effects of the gas and self-inflicted knife wounds only to face murder charges in their son's death. The subsequent trial of Ted and Rose Bates ranks as one of the most hotly debated in Saskatchewan history.Historian Bill Waiser examines an incident long held up as an example of the sheer despair and bureaucratic heartlessness of the Depression and shows that the truth is much more complex. Through meticulous research, including letters, police and trial documents, contemporary accounts, and interviews with people who knew Ted, Rose, and Jackie, the author recreates the troubled lives and desperate times of Ted and Rose Bates in order to explain what led them to that isolated schoolyard on a cold December night. Waiser traces the Bates' story from Ted and Rose's arrival in Canada as immigrants searching for a better life to the final outcome of their dramatic trial. The story is written with an immediacy that goes beyond a more traditional narrative approach in order to provide a better understanding and appreciation of the circumstances behind the sorry incident. The words spoken throughout the book are taken verbatim from the sources and serve to reinforce that the Bates were not simply helpless victims of the Depression, but flawed people with complex personalities.Who Killed Jackie Bates? superbly recreates the Depression ethos to provide insight into a time and place that seem light years away from the Canada of today."

About the author

Bill Waiser has been a member of the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan since 1984. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books, including Loyal Till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion, which was a 1997 finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction, and Saskatchewan: A New History, which was named the best book in prairie history in 2005 and awarded the Clio Prize by the Canadian Historical Association.

Bill Waiser's profile page

Other titles by Bill Waiser

In Search of Almighty Voice

Resistance and Reconciliation

by (author) Bill Waiser

Reconsidering Confederation

Canada’s Founding Debates, 1864-1999

edited by Daniel Heidt
contributions by J.R. Miller, Marcel Martel, Colin Coates, Martin Pâquet, Maxime Gohier, Phillip Buckner, Robert Wardhaugh, Barry Ferguson, Patricia Roy, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ken S. Coates, Bill Waiser, Raymond B. Blake & Andre Legare

A World We Have Lost

Saskatchewan Before 1905

by (author) Bill Waiser

A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011

contributions by Alan MacEachern, John Sandlos, Ben Bradley, Bill Waiser, C.J. Taylor, George Colpitts, Oliver Craig-Dupont, Ronald Rudin, David Neufeld, Brad Martin, E. Gwyn Langemann, I.S. MacLaren & Lyle Dick
edited by Claire Campbell

All Hell Can't Stop Us

The On-to-Ottawa Trek and Regina Riot

by (author) Bill Waiser

Loyal Till Death

Indians and the North-West Rebellion

by (author) Bill Waiser

Tommy's Team

The People Behind the Douglas Years

by (author) Bill Waiser & C.S. Houston

Portraits of an Era

The Aerial Photography of Howdy McPhail

by (author) Bill Waiser
photographs by Howdy McPhail

Everett Baker's Saskatchewan

Portraits of an Era

by (author) Bill Waiser

The Prairie West as Promised Land

contributions by Doug Owram, R. Douglas Francis, Chris Kitzan, Laurence Kitzan, Matthew Wrangler, David Hall, Sarah Carter, Anthony W. Rasporich, Bill Waiser, Randi Warne, Bradford J. Rennie, Catherine A. Cavanaugh, Steve Hewitt, George Melnyk, Michael Fedyk & Brett Fairbairn