On September 6, I did a presentation at the Manitouwadge Public Library on the book, Thunder Bay District’s True Murder Investigations. This was my first time in the community. It was also my first encounter with a circular street system. It’s a good thing my partner Jon was driving, because if I were behind the wheel, I probably would have created a traffic jam. I wasn’t blessed with a good sense of direction, something I must have inherited from my grandfather. When he was Regina on a holiday, he drove down a one-way street. At first he couldn’t understand why people were honking at him and shaking their fists. Once he realized what he’d done, he had to continue driving to the end of the long street, because there was no way he could turn his truck and house trailer around.
The Manitouwadge library staff were very supportive and put a lot of effort into advertising and overseeing the presentation. Many people came and I learned about two murder cases that were completely new to me. One took place in the Manitouwadge area, involving two loggers and a beheading. The other was in Longlac, where a good-hearted man by the name of Mr. Finlayson, lost his life. Everyone that came to the presentation was very kind, especially a young woman that sat in the front row. I asked her if she was in high school, and without showing any offence, she politely told me she’d completed her masters in university. That’s another thing I’m not good at, being able to tell people ages.
The following week on the 13, I did a similar presentation at the Geraldton Public Library. And this too was a first for me, as I’d never been in the Greenstone area. I really loved travelling along the Nipigon River. Jon sighted a cow moose on the way up. On the way back we seen a wolf right on the highway. Just another reason why living in the Northwest is such a gift. Everywhere you go there is something new and wondrous to experience.
The Geraldton librarians, Maria and Jill, put a lot of effort into the planning of the evening event. There were some very creative exhibits throughout the library. I included a picture, that was taken I believe by Jill, of them. Her creativity was inspiring, in addition to the book displays, footprints and body outline on the floor, she designed an area where people could get their mugshots taken. I’m normally a bit shy about having my picture taken, but I couldn’t resist. Even the refreshments had a murder theme, and one of the cakes had a knife and plenty of realistic looking blood over it’s chocolatey surface.
A lot of people came and the insights and comments that they shared throughout the presentation, offered me some unique perspectives not only on murder but human nature in general. Or as one gentleman skillfully summarized, “the human condition.” We at one point, even got into a humorous discussion about prohibition. I’ve always tried to approached my research on murders in a respectful and thorough manner. And these presentations have further validated my belief that I’m not alone in my quest in trying to understand why we humans do what do.
Next week I go to the Oliver-Paipoonge library.