The Cassock and the Crown: Canada's Most Controversial Murder Trial
Louis A. Knafla is a professor of history at the University of Calgary
and the co-editor of Law, Society, and the State: Essays in Modern Legal
On January 7, 1922, Raoul Delorme’s body was found in the Snowden
suburb of Montreal. He had been shot six times at close range. His
half-brother, Father Adelard Delorme, became the only credible suspect.
The bullets matched those from a gun he had purchased only days before
the murder, and he had recently taken out a life insurance policy on
Raoul, naming himself as beneficiary.
This well-documented study by Jean Monet, grandson of the judge who
presided at the original trial, details the police investigation and the
four trials that resulted. A notable trial participant was Dr. Wilfrid
Derome, the father of forensic medicine. The priest emerges as a highly
calculating figure who was actively engaged in prostitution, gambling,
and narcotics. The real hero of the book is the indefatigable inspector
Georges Farah-Lajoie, whose career was ruined by the case.
Monet’s study is objective and intriguing. Unfortunately, his
treatment of the last three trials lacks the depth and context he
provides for the first.