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The Desperate Ones

Forgotten Canadian Outlaws

by Edward Butts

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organized crime, criminals & outlaws
list price: $24.99
also available: eBook eBook
category: True Crime
published: 2006
publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction
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Short-listed for the 2007 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction
They were among Canada’s most desperate criminals, yet their names have been all but forgotten in the annals of history - until now! In their day these lawless men made headline news. Author Ed Butts has rescued their stories from dusty newspaper pages and polished them up for today’s readers in this fascinating volume.
The Markham Gang introduced Canada West to organized crime long before anyone had heard of the Mafia. Lew Bevis took on the whole Halifax Police Department in a blazing gun battle. The wild Macdonald cousins went to Michigan, where they ended their violent careers as victims of a savage lynching. Reid and Davis, the notorious Border Bandits of the Roaring Twenties, were the nightmare of every banker from Manitoba to the state of Washington. This rogues’ gallery of killers, robbers, and men of mystery shocked the nation, challenged the forces of law and order, and sometimes even got away with it.

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Contributor notes

Ed Butts is the author of several historical non-fiction books, including She Dared, Outlaws of the Lakes, and True Canadian Disaster Stories. He has also written a short novel, Buffalo: A Fable of the West, and a humorous look at English grammar, Idioms for Aliens. Ed lives in Guelph, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

Author Edward Butts ... pulls from the shadows a wide array of killers and thieves and various criminals who, in their time, shocked our nation. 

... some of the stories in this book may not have been re-told since they originally appeared in the local newspapers.

— Brandon Sun

This is a rogue's gallery of killers, robbers and men of mystery who shocked the nation, challenged the forces of law and order and sometimes even got away with their crimes.

— Prince Albert Daily Herald

... dispels the myth Canadian history is boring and Americans have more colourful characters in their past than Canadians do.

— The Guelph Mercury
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About the Author

Edward Butts

EDWARD BUTTS is the author of more than twenty books including The Desperate Ones: Forgotten Canadian Outlaws, which was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award, She Dared: Stories of Survival, which received a Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award and a Red Maple Honour Book Award, and Rum, Blood & Treasure: Stories Strange and True from Atlantic Canada. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.
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