Colin Thatcher pens new book, asserting his innocence and suggests he was framed

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Colin Thatcher says he’s resigned to the fact that he will always be labelled a convicted killer even though he’s made a new effort to proclaim his innocence in the murder of his ex-wife, JoAnn Wilson.

Convicted murder Colin Thatcher sits down with The Canadian Press for an one on one interview in Wakamow Park in Moose Jaw

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Colin Thatcher says he’s resigned to the fact that he will always be labelled a convicted killer even though he’s made a new effort to proclaim his innocence in the murder of his ex-wife, JoAnn Wilson.

The former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, who spent 22 years behind bars, alleges in his new book, “Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame,” that police and prosecutors concealed evidence from his attorney during his trial and subsequent appeals.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Thatcher says the book reveals what the jury didn’t hear.

“What I’ve done is put in material that’s never appeared before, that the jury never saw, that the jury never heard from nor did any of the subsequent courts of appeal hear from either,” Thatcher says.

“What impact would it have had on a jury? Well, what I’m saying is a jury should have heard it and I’d love to go back and let a jury hear the whole picture this time.”

It was January 1983 when JoAnn Wilson was bludgeoned and shot to death in the garage of her Regina home, just steps away from the Saskatchewan legislature.

Thatcher, the son of a former Saskatchewan premier, was convicted of first-degree murder the following year.

He alleges that police and prosecutors “cherry-picked” evidence to present to the jury and “the rest of it they simply kept hidden.”

“Most of that evidence stayed hidden for a good 10 years, maybe even longer, some of it is still hidden. We don’t know the extent of what they’ve concealed. They’ve always refused any requests for disclosure,” Thatcher said in the interview Wednesday.

“They’ve still got evidence that no one outside police circles has ever seen and that evidence is largely favourable to me.”

Among other things, Thatcher writes in the book that he believes “the answers to JoAnn’s murder lay in the Wilson home.” He would not elaborate.

The book re-examines witness testimony, talks about Thatcher’s whereabouts when the murder took place and delves into the authenticity of a credit-card receipt that was found near the murder scene with Thatcher’s signature on it. The book also includes a copy of the entire transcript of a police-taped conversation between Thatcher and a man who claimed Thatcher offered him $50,000 to kill Wilson.

Regina lawyer Garrett Wilson, who wrote his own book on the Thatcher trial called “Deny, Deny, Deny,” dismisses Thatcher’s allegations.

“They’re frivolous and non-sense and hardly new, he’s been making them for 20 years,” Wilson says. “He made them all in an application to the federal Department of Justice … and they investigated them thoroughly to the nth degree and found them totally frivolous and without merit and he’s still on it.”

Thatcher, now 71, was granted early parole in 2006 and lives on the family ranch near Moose Jaw, Sask. He says he lives a “laid-back quiet life.”

His three children, Greg, Regan and Stephanie, have stood by him throughout the years. Thatcher says he wrote the book partly because his four grandchildren were asking questions.

“One of my granddaughters will often ask me, ’What happened to your wife? Tell me everything that happened.’ And I’ve never really sat down and told them the story … I didn’t think they were really old enough to handle the police business and the court business and the prison, etcetera,” Thatcher says.

“That’s one of the people that I wanted to leave this behind for.”

The 380-page book published by Toronto’s ECW Press is expected to hit store shelves Sept. 1.

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Judge lifts publication ban, revealing details about Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Newly released documents reveal how last week’s deadly attack unfolded… Continue reading

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

OTTAWA — A recent union-sponsored survey suggests an overwhelming majority of federal… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month