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Drop Dead

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Program Description

Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada Join Lorna Poplak for a captivating one-hour online journey into the chilling history of Canada's experiment with capital punishment. Ms. Poplak brings to life haunting stories of the gallows, revealing shocking tales of alcoholic executioners, nervous sheriffs, and hanging judges. Explore notorious cases and uncover the scientific underpinnings of hanging and the unforeseen disasters it brought. From a society that celebrated hangings to a mid-twentieth-century awakening to wrongful convictions, trace the evolving perceptions of crime and punishment. Learn about the abolition of the death penalty and its aftermath, including the lingering debate prompted by notorious criminals like Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams. Engage in a thought-provoking discussion with Ms. Poplak about the potential reinstatement of the death penalty. Don't miss this chance to unravel the dark threads of Canadian history in an hour of chilling revelations and historical insights. Secure your spot for a captivating exploration with Ms. Poplak — what's your verdict on capital punishment? SCHEDULE: Thursday, March 26, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM This presentation will take place online. You will receive a link to the class by email 24 hours before the presentation begins. ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Lorna Poplak, a Toronto-based writer, editor, and researcher, has always been surrounded by books. Lorna's journey from studying law and pursuing an Honours degree in French in her native South Africa eventually led her to a diverse career in information technology and writing in Canada. Then active in the Society for Technical Communication and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers, Lorna's writing evolved into an unexpected foray into adult nonfiction with "Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada," published by Dundurn Press in 2017. The success of her debut true crime book opened doors to explore deeper topics, leading to her second work, "The Don: The Story of Toronto’s Infamous Jail," published in 2021. This book unveils the history of Toronto's notorious jail and has been shortlisted for prestigious awards, including the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s 2021 Speaker’s Book Award and Crime Writers of Canada’s Brass nuckles Award. Lorna is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime. For more information, please visit



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