It happened more than 50 years ago yet the story still elicits gasps.
And Toronto-based author Nate Hendley wrote the book about it.
“Imagine being a 14-year-old boy who takes a classmate on a bike ride one spring evening,” he said, reading from his book Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice. “In the days to follow, the classmate is found dead and you stand accused of rape and murder.”
Hendley read excerpts from the true crime book and spoke to a crowd of around 20 people at the Kennedy/Eglinton branch of the Toronto Public Library on Nov. 28 as part of the branch’s Fall Author Series.
The subject of the book, Steven Truscott, was sentenced to death for the murder of a young girl in Clinton, Ont., in 1959. He was acquitted in 2007.
James Rollingson, an attendee at Hendley’s talk, remembered following the trial decades ago, he said.
“I would like to thank you for an excellent presentation,” Rollingson said to Hendley during the question-and-answer period following the talk. “What you’ve just done is to remind me of all the steps that happened in (the Truscott case) and I’m very grateful to you.”
Hendley’s talk, the third in the three-part series at Kennedy/Eglinton library, was a success, branch head Marie Belanger said.
“We had a very good crowd: 20 people,” Belanger said. “I was very pleased with that. People came from a wide part of Toronto.”
The Fall Author Series was a first for the branch. In September, Sheila Dalton read from The Girl in the Box and in October, Rosemary Aubert read from Terminal Grill.
At each event, audience members heard the authors read from their books and answer questions. Afterwards, attendees had the opportunity to buy the authors’ books.
“It brings people together in a room to hear ideas (and) it exposes an author to a new audience,” Belanger said. “The author may be able to sell a couple of his books.
“So we promote a very healthy literary culture in Toronto. People come and sit and chat and they have a good experience at the library.”