Drop Dead

Drop Dead : A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada

3.7 (27 ratings by Goodreads)
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Shining a light on the dark history of hangings in Canada.

Take a journey through notable cases in Canada's criminal justice history, featuring well-known and some less-well-known figures from the past. You'll meet Arthur Ellis, Canada's most famous hangman, whose work outfit was a frock coat and striped trousers, often with a flower pinned to his lapel. And you will also encounter other memorable characters, including the man who was hanged twice and the gun-toting bootlegger who was the only woman every executed in Alberta.

Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada illustrates how trial, sentencing, and punishment operated in Canada's first century, and examines the relevance of capital punishment today. Along the way, learn about the mathematics and physics behind hangings, as well as disturbing facts about bungled executions and wrongful convictions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 340g
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • Bibliography; Index; 25 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1459738225
  • 9781459738225
  • 2,639,195

Table of contents

Author's Note


1 Celebrating Confederation: Three Hangings in the First Year

2 The Deadly Game of Hangman

3 The Assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee: A Murder Mystery

4 Crowd Control

5 The Hangman's Job

6 Treason: The Case Against Louis Riel

7 The Petticoat and the Noose

8 The Science and Art of Hanging

9 Arthur Ellis: Canada's Most Famous Hangman

10 Reasonable Doubt

11 The Troubling Case of Wilbert Coffin

12 Steven Murray Truscott: A Kid on Death Row

13 The Last Women to Hang

14 The Last Drop

15 Under Lock and Key

16 The End of the Rope

17 Beyond Death Row

18 Britain Heads Toward Abolition



Selected Bibliography

Image Credits

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About Lorna Poplak

Lorna Poplak is a writer, editor, and researcher, with a fascination for the stories behind the facts of Canadian history. She lives in Toronto.
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Rating details

27 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 30% (8)
4 19% (5)
3 44% (12)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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