If you have seen the film "A Letter To Zachary", this is essential reading. For those who have not yet seen this film, this book is about a truly mindboggling real life miscarriage of justice. It is about Andrew Bagby, a promising doctor and a decent man, who was shot in cold blood. The prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner, fled the USA and returned to her home in Newfoundland. Andrew's parents, barely functioning through the shock and grief of losing their only son in this way, were then confronted with the news that Shirley was pregnant with Andrew's son. They packed up their entire lives and moved to Newfoundland in order to make sure the only remaining piece of Andrew left in the world was not left alone when (surely 'when') Shirley went to jail. But the process of extradition was agonisingly slow. Shirley was set free on bail and the Bagbys were then locked into a sickening process of having to share custody of their only grandchild with the woman who had, in all probability, murdered their son (the anecdote about Shirley asking the Bagbys to put a picture of her and Andrew in their home was particularly stomach-churning). The Canadian social services did not seem to see anything wrong in this, despite the Bagbys pointing out that Shirley was wanted in the USA for pre-mediated murder. For a while, this warped arrangement worked, as the Bagbys suppressed their revulsion for the sake of Zachary and cherished every moment they spent with him. And then the unthinkable happened: Shirley drowned Zachary and herself. Out of this horrible tragedy came the film and this book, which puts a clear and unarguable case for the change of law regarding bail of suspects accused of murder.
For those wondering about Shirley's background and her other children, barely mentioned in the film for understandable, this gives you much more detail. David Bagby also elaborates on why the extradition process took so damn long, though why she was let out on bail remains a mystery, even to the official investigators of the case. It is impossible to read this book and not be affected by what you read. If you have children, and especially if you have grandchildren, it will hit you hard.