The Last to Die
Ronald Turpin, Arthur Lucas, and the End of Capital Punishment in CanadaBook - 2007
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.