Steven Truscott

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by sydneyguilfoyle
Last updated 8 years ago

Language Arts

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Steven Truscott

"In the world today, only 2 people know for sure that I am innocent. One of them is me, the other is the killer." -Steven Truscott

In 1959, 14-year old Steven Truscott was convicted of the rape and murder of his 12-year old classmate, Lynne Harper. Following his trial, he was sentenced to be hanged, making him the youngest person ever to be sentenced to death by the Canadian court. His sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment and served 10 years before being paroled. After his release he moved to Guelph, changed his name, and started a family, but never gave up on proving his innocence. He stayed anonymous while attempting to clear his name. In 1966, a book titled “The Trial of Steven Truscott” by Isabel LeBourdais pushed the Supreme court to revise Steven’s case. The book led to tons of support for Steven and he filed for revision on his trial. With help from lawyer James Lockyer and people from the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, 6 years later, he earned his day in court. The appeal ended with Steven’s acquittal. It took Steven 48 long years, which made it one of the longest and well-known miscarriages of justice in Canadian history.

12 year-old Lynne Harper was last seen the night of June 9th 1959, riding on the handlebars of her classmate, Steven Truscott’s bike. In Steven’s insisted that he dropped her off on the side of the highway so she could hitch hike. He looked back to see her getting into a grey Chevrolet, which then sped off. Her father later that night reported her missing. She was found in a nearby woodlot called Lawson’s Bush in nothing but her undershirt. She had been raped and strangled with the blouse she had been wearing.

Lynne Harper, age 12.

Steven Truscott, age 62.

The Victim

Steven Truscott, with the bike he and Lynne rode together the night she was murdered.

His Story

James Lockyer, during Steven's appeal.

Steven Truscott

Fun FactAt the NAC there is a play called "Innocence Lost", which is completely based on Steven Truscott's story.

A young boy who plays the part of Steven Truscott in Innocence Lost.

Click here to view the play preview

By: Sydney G.

When I first read Steven Truscott’s story, I could not get over the fact that he was originally sentenced to death. He was only 14 at the time and was about to be killed for something he never did. I think that I will definitely remember Steven Truscott by being the youngest Canadian to be sentenced to death. Also, I was moved by the fact that he never gave up in trying to clear his name. He did whatever it took to prove his innocence and came out successful. I cannot personally relate to his story, but I do believe that it is a good motivator. Steven’s story made me believe that if I work hard enough, and sincerely believe in myself, I can accomplish anything I set out to do. Steven Truscott’s story is a perfect example of the wrongfully convicted. In 1959, Steven was stripped of his innocence and was never given a chance to restore it, until 2007. When he got his opportunity he was able to prove that he was in fact, not guilty. Steven Truscott is an inspiration to people who loose hope and believe they can never rebuild it.

My Thoughts

Click here to buy the book that sparked the controversy of Steven's innocence.

Lawson's Bush, where Lynne's body was found.

Click on Steven's Mug Shot to view a video filmed on the day of his acquittal.


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