Colin Thatcher says law on crime profits shouldn’t apply to his new book

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Convicted wife killer Colin Thatcher says he doesn’t think a new Saskatchewan law meant to stop criminals from keeping the money if they sell their crime stories applies to his new book.

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Convicted wife killer Colin Thatcher says he doesn’t think a new Saskatchewan law meant to stop criminals from keeping the money if they sell their crime stories applies to his new book.

The Saskatchewan government rushed through legislation in May that prohibits profiting from recounting crimes.

The law was prompted by the public debate that erupted after word that Thatcher’s book “Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame” would hit store shelves this fall.

Thatcher says his book is different because it doesn’t talk about the 1983 murder of his ex-wife, JoAnn Wilson.

“The legislation pertains to the recounting and recollections of a crime and this book does not contain any recollections or recounting of a crime either directly or indirectly,” Thatcher told The Canadian Press in an interview.

“This is not a Son of Sam book, there is no recounting, there is no story of recollections of a crime.”

It was 1984 when Thatcher, the son of a former Saskatchewan premier, was convicted of first-degree murder in Wilson’s brutal death. She was bludgeoned and shot in the garage of her Regina home, just steps away from the Saskatchewan legislature.

The former Saskatchewan cabinet minister spent 22 years behind bars.

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 doesn’t even start until after I’m arrested, which is 15 months after the murder,” he said.

“What the book is, is it’s a story of what amounts to a 20-year odyssey through the system, through the various aspects of the justice system.”

Critics say the 380-page book lacks credibility.

Regina lawyer Garrett Wilson, who wrote his own book on the Thatcher trial called “Deny, Deny, Deny,” has called Thatcher’s allegations “frivolous and non-sense and hardly new.”

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan says the process of seizing the profits from Thatcher’s book has already begun.

Both Thatcher and his publisher are aware of the province’s intentions, he said.

Morgan acknowledged this week that provincial officials have not yet read the book, but he believes the law will apply.

“We drafted the legislation with that in mind and we’ll look at the book to see whether it lands where we expect it will,” said Morgan.

“Justice officials will acquire a copy of it and no doubt look very carefully and as quickly as they can.”

This is the first time that Saskatchewan has taken action under the new proceeds of crime legislation. The law would allow the government to seize profits and forward them to victims of the crime in question or to a victims’ support fund.

Thatcher’s publisher, Toronto’s ECW Press, says it will wait to see what action the province takes before deciding if there will be a challenge to the legislation, either by the publishing company or by Thatcher.

If the province does collect the profits, Thatcher believes that under the legislation the money would go to his three children with Wilson. But he says that’s not why he put pen to paper.

“I didn’t write the book for that particular purpose (of profit),” he says.

“I think when they read the book, I think that they’ll agree that this book falls outside that legislation.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, in Montreal, Thursday, July 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

Lille's Burak Yilmaz, center, reacts with teammates after scoring during their French League One soccer match between Lille and Nice in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Saturday May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Jean Carlo Salas of Costa Rica vies for the ball with Canada's Ian Bennett (right) during a CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CONCACAF-Norvin Mendoza MANDATORY CREDIT
Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson leaves the ice after defeating China at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

Most Read