Download The Lynching of Peter Wheeler by Debra Komar PDF

By Debra Komar

At 2:21 am on September eight, 1896, specialists in Nova Scotia killed an blameless guy. Peter Wheeler — a "coloured" guy accused of murdering a white lady — was once strung up below a porch with a slipknot noose. The placing was once state-sanctioned however it used to be a lynching the entire comparable. Now, a second look of his case utilizing smooth forensic technological know-how unearths one of many maximum miscarriages of justice in Canadian background. at the evening of January 27, 1896, 14-year-old Annie Kempton came across herself domestic on my own within the picturesque village of endure River, Nova Scotia. She didn't reside to work out the morning. presently after dead night, Annie used to be assaulted and bludgeoned with a section of firewood. Her killer slit her throat 3 times with a kitchen knife then coldly sat and ate a jar of do-it-yourself jam sooner than fleeing into the evening. The mindless and brutal slaying devastated the city and plunged her mom and dad right into a near-suicidal abyss of guilt and grief. At trial, the prosecution's case eager about the...

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The cop on the beat spent his days enforcing bylaws, not collaring the city’s riff-raff. As a consequence, corruption was rampant and almost any offence could be overlooked for the right price. A series of comedically inept attempts at altering public perception of law enforcement failed miserably. By mid-century, the image of the uniformed officer patrolling the street, keeping harm at bay, had become a cynical joke. ”1 As the century waned, Halifax waxed. The port city, willing to turn a blind eye to more than most, grew in leaps and bounds, bloated with waves of immigrants and groaning under the weight of its accumulated urban blight.

The Kemptons lived in a sturdy if modest frame house in a village full of the same: Bear River, Nova Scotia. ”2 Clean and industrious to a fault, the Kemptons found themselves scattered far and wide in the dawning days of 1896. Annie’s father and brother spent weeks at a stretch in the surrounding forests, cutting lumber. Her mother and three sisters had all fled south, across the border to the Boston area — a consequence of marriage for Annie’s siblings, a matter of financial necessity for the family matriarch.

Commerce abhors a vacuum and the press is first and foremost a business. There was money to be made in murder, and ruffling the feathers of a few society dandies seemed a small price to pay for such bountiful riches. The London tabloids had inadvertently stumbled on a winning formula — one readily translated across the globe — and their Canadian counterparts wanted in on the action. England had the Ripper and Holmes; it now fell to the colonies to find their equal. The roles were already scripted: all the media needed were the right actors to fill them.

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