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9781721341764_cover

The Ballad of Jacob Peck

by Debra Komar
read by Matthew Josdal

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criminals & outlaws, social history
list price: $21.99
also available: eBook
published: 2018
ISBN:9781721341764
publisher: Brilliance Audio
Description

On a frigid February evening in 1805, Amos Babcock brutally murdered Mercy Hall. Believing that he was being instructed by God, Babcock stabbed and disemboweled his own sister before dumping her lifeless body in a rural New Brunswick snowbank. The Ballad of Jacob Peck is the tragic and fascinating story of how isolation, duplicity, and religious mania turned impoverished, hardworking people violent, leading to a murder and an execution. Babcock was hanged for the murder of his sister, but in her meticulously researched book, Debra Komar shows that itinerant preacher Jacob Peck should have swung right beside him.

The mystery lies not in the whodunit but rather in a lingering question: Should Jacob Peck, whose incendiary sermons directly contributed to the killing, have been charged with the murder of Mercy Hall? In this epic saga, media accounts of what happened in the aftermath of the murder have taken on a life all their own, one built of half truths, conjecture, and narrative devices designed to titillate, if not inform. A forensic investigation of a crime from the Canadian frontier, the tale of Jacob Peck, Amos Babcock, and Mercy Hall remains as controversial and riveting today as it was more than 200 years ago.

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About the Authors

Debra Komar

Debra Komar is the author of The Ballad of Jacob Peck, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler, The Bastard of Fort Stikine, which won the 2016 Canadian Authors Award for Canadian History, and, most recently, Black River Road. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a practicing forensic anthropologist for over twenty years, she investigated human-rights violations for the United Nations and Physicians for Human Rights. She has testified as an expert witness at The Hague and throughout North America and is the author of many scholarly articles and a textbook, Forensic Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Practice.
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Matthew Josdal

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