Bill Waiser – Who Killed Jackie Bates?

On December 5, 1933, a young RCMP constable came across a grisly scene in the Avalon schoolyard near Rosetown, Saskatchewan.  A child was dead and his parents in bad shape, one suffering from multiple knife wounds.

Who really did kill Jackie Bates?

Ted and Rose Bates were not unlike many in the depression.  Their business in Glidden, Saskatchewan failed, as did another business in British Columbia.  Falling through the cracks of the thin social safety net of the depression, they were unable to collect relief in either place and eventually fell into the depths of desperation. Their failed suicide pact set off what just may have been one of the most intriguing murder trials in Saskatchewan history.

As usual, Bill Waiser does a fantastic job of telling the story.  The book’s dedication is perhaps one of the most touching I have ever read:

“For Jackie and Harry,

who should have grown old together”

Jackie Bates

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