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Double Trap: The Last Public Hanging in Canada Paperback – Sep 17 2005

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"A True crime story that combines Canadian history with thrilling writing worthy of a popular murder mystery, Double Trap: The Last Public Hanging in Canada is worth a read by any individual fascinated by true crime or our country's hidden history." Brandon Sun, November 6, 2005

"John Melady is a gifted story teller, who has offered an interesting glimpse into his family history, and in doing so, allows the reader to see the complexities of the law, and justice in another time and place, very close to our own surroundings in Ontario."


Joan Sutter, Shelf Life, Spring 2006

"John Melady has turned his family skeleton into an absorbing mix of social history and true-crime thriller." (Maclean's Magazine 2005-10-03)

A dozen years before the Black Donnellys were butchered at Lucan, Ontario, another murderous rampage took place a few miles away. On June 6, 1868, three men robbed and killed a rich farmer, his wife, and her unborn child. They concocted an alibi, stuck to it, and almost got off. In fact, two of them did.

The third, Nicholas Melady, went to prison and fell in love with a beautiful woman in a nearby cell. There to entrap him, she listened, learned, and led him to the gallows. When he was hanged in Goderich, hundreds watched, but thousands were late for the spectacle. They were bitterly disappointed because they had missed the last public hanging in Canada.

About the Author

John Melady is a former high school vice-principal and author of several books, including Heartbreak and Heroism: Canadian Search and Rescue Stories, published by Dundurn Press. His book Acts of Courage was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Award in Atlantic Canada, and Korea: Canada's Forgotten War was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Excellent writing. It's an excellent read March 19 2015
By Kathy Koeck - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Excellent writing. It's an excellent read... My uncle wrote the book. For me it was great to learn my family history.... For readers not knowing The Melady story will love to read about Canadian History..