Fatal Intentions: True Canadian Crime Stories


156 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88882-167-0
DDC 364.1'523'0971





Reviewed by Don Crosby

Don Crosby is a journalist in Durham, Ontario.


Barbara Smith demonstrates at length how Canadians rank near the top
when it comes to murder and mayhem. The seven true crimes Smith examines
are, she claims, “not only interesting in themselves but
representative of their place and time.” In fact, the crimes depicted
in this book are nothing more than repugnant acts of violent passion
bereft of any redeeming social value. Even the Boyd Gang—who enjoyed
the status of folk heroes in the 1950s for robbing banks, breaking out
of jail, and killing a police detective—were little more than hapless
misfits whose criminal exploits were romanticized by a hungry press.
Smith handles the genre well. She is thorough in her research and has a
knack for re-creating the social and personal histories of her subjects.
Nevertheless, by recounting these stories, she unwittingly makes a
strong case for the return of capital punishment.


Smith, Barbara., “Fatal Intentions: True Canadian Crime Stories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6694.