Inside look at Colin Thatcher

Convicted killer and former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Colin Thatcher has written a new book that makes for compelling reading, indeed.

Convicted killer and former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Colin Thatcher has written a new book that makes for compelling reading, indeed.

Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame isn’t likely to convince many readers that the Moose Jaw-area rancher is innocent of his ex-wife’s murder, but it does shed some light on one of Canada’s most interesting criminal cases.

If nothing else, the 380-page volume makes one wonder why someone as intelligent as the son of a former premier would become a party to murder.

Final Appeal doesn’t fully answer that question, but it does provide enough insight into Thatcher’s character to suggest that a person who thinks rather highly enough of himself just might be capable of some unusually evil thoughts and deeds.

Of course, Thatcher is hardly unique in that regard, and he’s quick in his book to point the finger of blame for the 22 years he spent incarcerated after being handed a 25-year prison sentence.

Not surprisingly, the media, police, judges, Crown prosecutors and prison guards are subject to much criticism in Final Appeal.

And if the allegations he makes about police conveniently losing crucial pieces of evidence and law-enforcement officials illegally listening to his phone calls with his lawyer are true, then one has to wonder if he got a fair trial.

As one writer observed recently in The Globe and Mail, when you add up all the shenanigans that Thatcher claims that police and prosecutors got up to in his case, maybe that should have led a jury to a reasonable doubt verdict.

That said, there appears to be more evidence that Thatcher was involved in the death of his former wife JoAnn than there is that he is innocent.

No one seems to believe Thatcher personally killed her — only that he arranged for her murder. In any case, it appears likely that the mystery man who bludgeoned and shot her to death in the garage of her Regina home will never be identified and held responsible.

In his book, Thatcher takes little responsibility for any of his actions — other than admitting to a few unspecified “indiscretions” during his marriage.

He may have been a bad husband, but he must have been something of a success as a father if, as he claims, his three children continue to support his claims of innocence in the death of their mother.

Among the more interesting revelations in Thatcher’s book are details about his treatment by police and prison guards.

He praises those who treated him fairly while spelling out in detail instances in which prison officials abused their authority.

Interestingly for Central Albertans, of all the various prisons he was housed in during his two decades on the inside, he appears most bitter about the time he spent at Bowden Institution.

“The staff, easily the most unpleasant I would encounter, were nasty, rude, confrontational, picky . . . generally non-professional and your prototypical Central Alberta rednecks,” he notes.

Today there is much controversy about whether the former Saskatchewan energy minister should be allowed to profit from his book.

That’s a tough call, but his book is definitely worth reading.

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read