website statistics 22 Murders: The RCMP, the Killer They Couldn't Catch and the Rampage that Shocked a Nation - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

22 Murders: The RCMP, the Killer They Couldn't Catch and the Rampage that Shocked a Nation

Availability: Ready to download


Compare

30 review for 22 Murders: The RCMP, the Killer They Couldn't Catch and the Rampage that Shocked a Nation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    Two years ago, a massacre occurred in the normally peaceful Nova Scotian countryside. The rampage by Gabriel Wortman terrified the people across a vast stretch of Nova Scotia and shocked and saddened the nation. To my knowledge, this is the first book to be published about those horrifying events, but it probably won't be the last. A public inquiry is now being held, with new revelations coming to light. The book was meticulously researched by a former editor of the Globe and Mail and investigat Two years ago, a massacre occurred in the normally peaceful Nova Scotian countryside. The rampage by Gabriel Wortman terrified the people across a vast stretch of Nova Scotia and shocked and saddened the nation. To my knowledge, this is the first book to be published about those horrifying events, but it probably won't be the last. A public inquiry is now being held, with new revelations coming to light. The book was meticulously researched by a former editor of the Globe and Mail and investigative reporter, Paul Palango. He retired to Nova Scotia in 1990 and wrote three books highly critical of the RCMP. As the Mounties have been regarded as an incorruptible Canadian symbol, his findings were not always popular. He has essential sources and did impeccable research, and his latest book is an official narrative of the events of the two days of terror. Palango addressed problems within the organization of the RCMP, the training, the leadership, the ineptitude, and the cronyism. At their press conferences, spokespersons for the RCMP were believed to be engaged in a coverup, made excuses, spread disinformation, and revealed not much new. Their excuses and coverup left more unsuspecting victims dead, with bodies spread over a couple of hundred kilometres. The COVID pandemic was in its early days, and Nova Scotia was in lockdown. The Premier had cautioned people to "Stay the Blazes Home." This phrase was made into a song. The Emergency Alert warning was used regarding restrictions. The man on the murderous rampage on the night of April 18th was Gabriel Wortman, a denturist working in the Halifax area. He grew up in Moncton, NB, and attended the University of NB. He was obsessed with the RCMP, motor vehicles and weapons and was considered 'weird.' He owned a lot of property in Portipique, NS, some he acquired through fraudulent means. Portipique is a small seaside community situated away from the main road. On the night of April 18th, people in the neighbourhood saw fires and heard shots fired. Members of the RCMP arrived around 10.20 pm and saw vehicles and buildings burning. By the end of the night, 13 people were dead in Portipique. Why was there no general warning by Emergency Alert? Instead, the Mounties used their Twitter account to warn people of the ongoing danger at 11.30 pm. Very few Nova Scotians follow Twitter and would be unlikely to be using it at that time of night. The RCMP overestimated its effectiveness. They never admitted to this mistake in judgement. Furthermore, phone records show three phone calls that evening informing the Mounties that Wortman was driving a police car replica and may have been dressed as an RCMP member. The police insisted that they only learned of this fact the following day. They had speculated that he may have died in one of the fires. The shooter headed towards Halifax by morning while taking detours, killing 9 more innocent victims. Most were hardly aware of the slaughter on the previous night and had no warning that he was in the area or that he was driving a car that was made to resemble an RCMP vehicle. He was finally shot to death by two members of the RCMP while stopped at a gas station in Enfield, near the Halifax airport. This was shortly after killing a female Mountie and wounding another RCMP officer. It has just been revealed at the public inquiry that he shot himself in the head using the dead officer's gun while the RCMP officers were opening fire on him. This was a difficult book to rate fairly. It was evident that a tremendous amount of work and careful research went into the writing. I liked his description of the 22 victims and their lives. I would have preferred a more linear approach and better organization of the material. The book was an exhaustive report, and at almost 600 pages, I found it exhausting to read. The narrative went back and forth in time, containing unnecessary filler and minutiae. I thought the photos would have been more relevant when inserted into the appropriate pages rather than gathered together at the end of the book. I would rate it 5 stars for the extensive facts he gathered and 2.5 stars for the organization and structure of the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ALI

    For full transparency, I'll start this off by saying that, going into '22 Murders,' I was sure its publication was a money-grab. 600+ pages from a journalist who'd been retired for the previous twelve years? Who replies to his wife's "something terrible had occurred and was still occurring in […] Portapique […] he might be driving an RCMP vehicle" with "that would be a huge story"? Who opens '22 Murders' with an entirely unnecessary six-paged description of Wortman's sexual escapades one winter For full transparency, I'll start this off by saying that, going into '22 Murders,' I was sure its publication was a money-grab. 600+ pages from a journalist who'd been retired for the previous twelve years? Who replies to his wife's "something terrible had occurred and was still occurring in […] Portapique […] he might be driving an RCMP vehicle" with "that would be a huge story"? Who opens '22 Murders' with an entirely unnecessary six-paged description of Wortman's sexual escapades one winter night, only months before his rampage? The further I got into the opening chapters of '22 Murders,' the more sure I was of this opinion. Yes, I found some of what Palango was saying to be important, or fair. The rest, however, was completely tasteless. What do I think Palango does well in '22 Murders'? I'll break it down. RCMP: Palango is known for criticizing the RCMP, which he acknowledges in '22 Murders.' He presents his information on the organization clearly and concisely, and, as someone who knows nothing about the RCMP itself or how it operates, the chapters Palango dedicates to explaining this (4 and 5, specifically) are enlightening. When Palango admitted to his dislike of the RCMP, I was afraid this bias of his would influence his description of it and its members—and it did (nothing can ever truly be devoid of bias), but not to the extent that I felt the information Palango was sharing was untrustworthy or incorrect. In Part 1 of '22 Murders'—aptly titled "An Epic Failure In Policing"—particularly, the chapters dedicated to a critique of the RCMP and the response to the shootings were well-written/-organized, and Palango's criticism was fair. Later in the book, though, this does change. In Part 2 ("The Search For The Truth"), Palango uses up way too many words describing old encounters/scandals concerning the RCMP, something I feel does take away from the text as a whole. In my eyes, '22 Murders' has merit as a genuine call to action. NOW (Toronto)'s tagline on the cover reads: "Why isn't the Nova Scotia mass shooting a national scandal? It may well turn out to be if Paul Palango has anything to say about it." And I agree with that. Especially after reading '22 Murders,' I do think the failures of the RCMP—as an organization, not as individual members—should be investigated on a national scale, because I do think there is a lot of merit to what Palango is saying. But I do think the scope of '22 Murders' got away from Palango a few times, where the RCMP were concerned. Timeline: When I say "timeline," I'm talking about chapters 10–15, which make up the better chunk of Part 1. They are titled: 10. The First Massacre 11. The Commissionaire's Error & A Mountie's Twitch 12. The Interlude Between The Massacres 13. The Second Massacre, Part 1: Hunter Road 14. The Second Massacre, Part 2: No Roadblocks 15. The Second Massacre, Part 3: A Failure To Communicate These are, in my opinion, the only chapters Palango needed on the timeline of the massacre itself. Later, in Part 2, he'll return to this timeline to insert new evidence, which is—objectively—good. Subjectively, however, the amount of pages taken up in Part 2 by Palango taking the reader through the timeline he's already constructed so well again is ridiculous. But I'll bring that up again in more detail in just a moment. These chapters, paired with the labelled maps at the beginning of '22 Murders,' provide a clear, concise, and fairly complete summary of Wortman's path/actions during the massacres. What could have improved them would be, in my opinion, much of what Palango ends up including (and going on at great lengths about) in Part 2; things like the photos in between pages 326/327, or the 911 transcripts from chapter 32. Which leads me to my final "pro" of '22 Murders.' The 911 Transcripts: I don't have much to say about these, other than that I think Palango made the right choice including them—the transcripts, and not the recordings themselves (though I know one could find them easily, now), proceeded by a content warning. Unfortunately, the list of what I didn't like about '22 Murders' is much longer. Genre & Glorification: True Crime as a genre has always been a bit of a grey-area for me. One of the main reasons is one Palango even acknowledges in '22 Murders': the notoriety it gives to those who've committed these horrible crimes. Contrastingly, after Palango mentions this (the context being that many news outlets weren't using Wortman's name when reporting about the massacres to avoid this), he goes on to spend a good 80% of Part 2 delving deep into Wortman's childhood, "sexual escapades," and possible connections to both the Hells Angels (or organized crime in general) and the RCMP itself. It just seemed like a backhanded observation … which does become a theme. Do I think Palango was genuinely glorifying what Wortman had done? No. But too much of Part 2 was unnecessary (most of the parts surrounding Wortman's sex life … in particular, Palango's whole section on Wortman's "homosexual tendencies," which had absolutely no connection to the subject of this book—the mass shootings), and chapter 1 (detailing Wortman's night with three women and beginning with one of the woman's striptease on top of Wortman's replica RCMP cruiser, which he would use in the shootings months later) itself was an awful way to begin this book. Length: This is the big one. It ties back into just about every other piece of criticism I have for this book. Why 600 pages? It's not just long—it's dense. It's repetitive. Palango doesn't even include a big chunk of notes or citations at the end (which we'll go back to) that most non-fiction would, so what you see is really what you get. So much of '22 Murders' could—and should—have been edited out. Less so in Part 1, but while reading Part 2 I could find myself thinking that entire chapters were completely unnecessary, or could have been condensed into half the amount of words conveying the same information. (Ex. chapters 1, 26, 27 … among others.) Much of Part 2 is, as well, copy-and-pasted clippings of articles that Palango himself has written for other publications, and every single one of them either contains comments Palango has already made in previous sections of '22 Murders,' or could have been summarized in a single paragraph instead of the three/four pages it actually spans. Like I mentioned in the earlier section on the RCMP, Palango goes off on tangents, too—it's like he forgets that the scope of this book is specifically the massacres, and not the faults of the RCMP across Canada in general. Do I think a lot of what Palango says about the RCMP is fair and deserves to be said? Yes. Do I think it should've been said in this book? No. Honestly, I think Palango could have split '22 Murders' into two publications: one focused on the shootings (including the RCMP, in that instance), and the other focused on the RCMP as a whole. And it's not just the RCMP—most of the facts included in Palango's chapters on Wortman are unnecessary. And don't even get me started on the chapters dedicated to the Hells Angels, Peter Alan Griffon, and Wortman's possible illegal operations in Maine … all of which could've so easily been condensed into a single chapter rather than the four or five it actually is. In short—you can tell Palango likes the sound of his own voice. Editing: Length aside—though I think that, too, could've been rectified with a better editor—the amount of typos/grammatical errors I found while reading—without even looking for them—is way too high. Page 413: I could also call this section "crossing boundaries," but since page 413 was such a shocking and obvious example of it, we're going with that for now. Here's an excerpt from page 413. For context, Palango is talking about an article he plans on releasing that includes the fact that Wortman was allegedly having an affair with Lisa McCully, one of his later victims. >>Maher was a little like my mother. When I told him I was planning to report on McCully's relationship with Wortman, he asked, with a note of concern in his voice, 'Are you going to clear it with the family first?' 'The family?' I asked incredulously. 'Her young children? Her sister? What do you think they are going to say? I have enough proof to publish.' 'I would ask them first,' Maher said. 'And they're going to say no,' I said. 'That's how stories don't get published.' My job was to get justice for McCully, not to worry about making her blush in her grave. It was unfortunate that she'd slept with Wortman, but that was her decision—her personal responsibility. Embarrassing as it might well be to her family, it was their civic responsibility to keep nothing secret.<< There is a lot to unpack from this. I'd like to first say that my criticism isn't really directed at Palango's decision to leak details of Wortman and McCully's sex lives. Do I disagree with it? Yes, but I disagree with a lot of little things Palango does in '22 Murders.' What I find so tone-deaf and tasteless about this page is how Palango is so flippantly callous about how this information might affect McCully's family, and how he laughs at the thought of clearing it with them first. In particular, the line "it was their civic responsibility to keep nothing secret" makes my skin crawl. Who the fuck is Palango to decide these kids' "civic responsibility"? Who the fuck is Palango to decide that no one involved in the massacres has the right to privacy? Above anything else in this book, these few lines are what really, really cemented my dislike of it. Throughout the rest of '22 Murders,' there are many other instances of Palango crossing boundaries like this. I won't quote them all, but I've already mentioned a few. Do I think that some of the more embarrassing, private details of those involved were necessary to include? Sure, far and few between as they were. But, as with most of '22 Murders,' a good 60% of the information on Wortman and his victims that Palango throws in is completely unnecessary. It's like he wants to say: "Look, look at how much research I did! Here's this person's entire life story, all their dirty secrets … for absolutely no reason at all." Sources: I mentioned this briefly earlier, and I'll just touch on it briefly now, too. But you know when you read a non-fiction book, and at the end there's a section of sources? Maybe it's titled "Notes," or "Bibliography," or just a simple "Sources," but they all look pretty much the same—a list of all the sources used to compile the book you just read. Publications, pictures, footage, etc., all arranged in a big list to support the points the author has just made. It's a staple of non-fiction, right? Obviously, you've got to cite your sources. In '22 Murders,' this section is a mere three pages long, titled "A Note On Sources." Here's what Palango writes in the first paragraph: >>[…] in my approach to researching, gathering evidence and writing this book I deliberately did not adopt a traditional format for sourcing non-fiction. In part because printing lengthy books in the era of COVID-19 is an unreliable enterprise, I've avoided dozens of pages of largely redundant endnotes […]<< Dude. "Printing lengthy books in the time of COVID-19 is an unreliable enterprise" … '22 Murders' is already a good 300 pages longer than it needs to be—maybe those pages upon pages of personal anecdotes and redundant details of victims' private lives could have been dedicated to citing your sources properly, if you're worried about printing costs. Palango goes on to say that he has incorporated enough identifying details in the bulk of his work that anyone could find the "underlying documents online by using a search engine." Very vague. Very unhelpful. Why not just … cite your sources? Very easy. Very clear. Very helpful. I guess I just found it a bit unprofessional. But what can I say? In the end, you're going to see that I've rated this a flat two stars. Do I think '22 Murders' has merit and is worth reading? As a call to action against corruption/incompetence in the RCMP—as I said earlier—yes. As a source of information on the timeline behind/during the shootings, yes. Those two things, I think Palango did well. But those two things only take up a good 300 pages of '22 Murders,' and you have to dredge through a lot of unnecessary filler, tone-deaf comments, personal vendettas/anecdotes, and tangents to get there.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shealan McStea

    Never too soon to be writing books about this

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Mackintosh

    After reading this book I guess I am mostly feeling overwhelmed…..by information (587 pages),by possibilities of what is true, and by my own inability to decide what is fact and what is fiction. Not being a part of the lifestyle of smugglers, motorcycle gangs, politicians, police or the press/media, I don’t have a basis to feel able to judge the accuracy of the book. I would have thought I would be comfortable that the Mass Casualty Commission would get to the truth of events but based on what t After reading this book I guess I am mostly feeling overwhelmed…..by information (587 pages),by possibilities of what is true, and by my own inability to decide what is fact and what is fiction. Not being a part of the lifestyle of smugglers, motorcycle gangs, politicians, police or the press/media, I don’t have a basis to feel able to judge the accuracy of the book. I would have thought I would be comfortable that the Mass Casualty Commission would get to the truth of events but based on what this author has to say I am now not confident in that.#indigoemployee

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea MacDonald

    Perfect timing for this book, IMO

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I'll probably have more to say on this after I've had some time to sit with it for a bit. There's certainly a lot to unpack. To be brief: I cruised through the first half of this book. The first half was quite interesting, as we really got to read about the events that unfolded with details that probably the average Canadian didn't know from just watching the news. The second half is where it bogged down a bit, where the author begins to dive into the investigative portion of the book more. It's I'll probably have more to say on this after I've had some time to sit with it for a bit. There's certainly a lot to unpack. To be brief: I cruised through the first half of this book. The first half was quite interesting, as we really got to read about the events that unfolded with details that probably the average Canadian didn't know from just watching the news. The second half is where it bogged down a bit, where the author begins to dive into the investigative portion of the book more. It's quite clear that the author, Paul Palango, has been a vocal critic of the RCMP, so large portions of the book will feel a bit preachy if you aren't prepared to read the book through that lens. That's my word of caution going in if you're expecting a rosy tale of RCMP heroics: you won't find that here. Overall, don't regret it. Learned a lot - and I'd agree that perhaps more attention should be focused on the handling of the massacre. It seems objectively obvious that something went terribly wrong. But, I don't want to get overly political on here. Onward!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Derrick Good

    Very interesting read. Could things have been different, absolutely. I remember as this was going down in Nova Scotia I had to question how could it take so long to capture the guy, or at least get him penned in somewhere. The 2nd day should never have happened? Could it have been stopped? Only those involved know.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erica B

    This took me a while to finish due to the number of names and details, and length. But I wanted to understand so went back over parts and used the maps frequently and used google maps to get a better idea, and wow! Canadians should read this. And should read this with a critical eye- as they should everything. It's perhaps salient to review this today after another mass murder and separately the death of David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted largely due to police malpractice. In April 2020 This took me a while to finish due to the number of names and details, and length. But I wanted to understand so went back over parts and used the maps frequently and used google maps to get a better idea, and wow! Canadians should read this. And should read this with a critical eye- as they should everything. It's perhaps salient to review this today after another mass murder and separately the death of David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted largely due to police malpractice. In April 2020 at the height of the initial pandemic craze and lockdown 22 people were murdered in Nova Scotia. I, as likely most Canadians, heard of this and thought it was a terrible tragedy tied to a guy with a few screws loose who after a party gone wrong and fight with his wife went on a rampage. The book relates how that's the story the RCMP sold and want the public to believe, but not really the whole truth. The author fully notes he has been called a conspiracy theorist. But no matter the truth, the book brings up questions that we should get answers to and continously pokes holes in public reports and storylines that the RCMP have provided from that 18 hours. Just to confirm, I generally don't read conspiracies, but I do like to read anything to explore various opinions and understand where people are coming from. I also am privileged and assume the cops are mostly in the right and truth will be found and have family in policing. But throughout the book it seems perhaps the RCMP either knew too much, or too little. Either way, why have they refused to show the evidence? And somebody should look into this. Some of the lingering questions- why did the RCMP not do a thorough search of the area as soon as they were called? Where was the wife all night- not in the woods. What does she know? Why didn't they use drones if too risky for officers to start searching? RCMP are big users and have saved a life with them. Have they ever done a radar search of the property? Where was the money from? Where are all these people's phone and internet records to confirm or dispute timing and what happened? The Mass Casualty Commission is underway and I intend to read more into what is going on now that I've read this take. I hope this commission brings truth and change to practices that through their ineffectiveness contributed to many of the deaths. I did however dislike that the author from the start of the book is very cynical and in his writing is obviously bias. I would have preferred if he kept the snarky remarks or analysis until the end after presenting all the facts. That it was done so early on reduced a bit of the impact and credibility. By the end however I do think he is credible and did a fair take, and I came to understand why he would make the remarks he did. I hope the RCMP has some good answers, but the personal touch did affect the reading. Also I can understand how there are so many details and they all were uncovered at various points, so it is difficult to present in the book, but it was a bit jumpy, which made reading difficult at points. Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for the ARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Niki Mclaren

    3.5 stars. This case is fascinating and I appreciate all the time and effort Palango put into bringing this scandal to light. My main complaint was that the book was waaaayy too long-winded and honestly a little messy and bogged down with unnecessary information. That being said, I hope this book shines some light on the sketchy shit going on behind closed doors of organizations we are supposed to trust and believe in.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Canada's cowboys This is just one of a long line of disturbing actions of the RCMP they becoming more of a para military force than a police force meant to protect the public but I doubt that they can be stopped and as an aside I bet that the author of this book has to be very careful of what he does Canada's cowboys This is just one of a long line of disturbing actions of the RCMP they becoming more of a para military force than a police force meant to protect the public but I doubt that they can be stopped and as an aside I bet that the author of this book has to be very careful of what he does

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    How dare you? Have you no respect or soul? Do really believe it’s your right to publish a single word of this tragedy? You’re a sick disgusting individual. Take it out if circulation and hang your head. Perhaps they may forgive you but not likely .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    This was an interesting read. I’m not sure I buy into everything the author speculated on…but it’s very clear that the RCMP completely mishandled the unfolding massacre.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christie Robart

    Didn't finish this book. From what I read, he used this very tragic event in Nova Scotia's history to bash the RCMP. He should be ashamed to profit from these families. Didn't finish this book. From what I read, he used this very tragic event in Nova Scotia's history to bash the RCMP. He should be ashamed to profit from these families.

  14. 5 out of 5

    KG

    Page 115. Second complete paragraph on this page. How does someone born in 1950 serve in the Second World war?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonas Hadfield

    to soon to be writing books about this

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Szu

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trudy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Boone

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trudy Pick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Moreira

  22. 5 out of 5

    Care Quinn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karine Chiasson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cody Cudmore

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cai Doherty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeremie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly MacRitchie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Oconnell

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...