Monday, September 15, 2008

Bill Waiser will be reading from his newest book this Tuesday, September 16th, at 7:30 pm in the Prairie Ink restaurant of the McNalley Robinson Bookstore. Who Killed Jacki Bates? (Fifth House, 2008) begins with events on the morning of 5 December 1933, when 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. Bill 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. Bill's carefully researched take on the Jackie Bates story was first presented to the public as an episode of his celebrated "Looking Back" tv series on the CBC. One regular What's Up correspondent reports that he wept when he first heard Bill tell the story, though he went to add that the story will make you think and reflect as well as cry.