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Author and forensic anthropologist Debra Komar at Picton Library April 20

Debra Komar

Enjoying a distinguished career as a forensic anthropologist, Debra Komar has worked all over the world employing her skills to solve old mysteries.

She’ll be at the Picton Branch Library Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. as part of the inaugural County Reads More event.

Debra Komar is the author of The Ballad of Jacob Peck, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler, The Bastard of Fort Stikine, and her latest, Black River Road.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a practicing forensic anthropologist for more than 20 years, she investigated human-rights violations for the UN and Physicians for Human Rights. She has testified as an expert witness at The Hague and throughout North America and is the author of many scholarly articles and a forensic anthropology textbook.

ABOUT THE BALLAD OF JACOB PECK
Shortlisted, Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
Believing he was being instructed by God, Amos Babcock stabbed and disembowelled his own sister, before dumping her lifeless body in a rural New Brunswick snowbank in February 1805. Babcock was hanged for the crime, but Debra Komar shows that itinerant preacher Jacob Peck should have swung right beside him.

ABOUT THE LYNCHING OF PETER WHEELER
On September 8, 1896, authorities in Nova Scotia killed an innocent man. Peter Wheeler — a “coloured” man accused of murdering a white girl — was strung up with a slipknot noose. A re-examination of his case using modern forensic science reveals one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Canadian history.

ABOUT THE BASTARD OF FORT STIKINE
Winner, Canadian Authors Award for Canadian History, Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History Award, and Prince Edward Island Book Award for Non-Fiction
Just after midnight on April 21, 1842, the chief trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Stikine was shot to death by his own men, who claimed it was an act of self-defence. More than 170 years later, exhaustive archival research and modern forensic science unlock the mystery of what really happened.

ABOUT BLACK RIVER ROAD
Shortlisted, Arthur Ellis Best Non-Fiction Crime Book Award
In 1869, just outside of Saint John, a group of teenaged berry pickers found several badly decomposed bodies, and an unlikely suspect emerged to stand trial for murder: John Munroe, a renowned architect, family man, and pillar of the community. Debra Komar addresses questions that echo through the halls of justice more than a century later: is everyone capable of murder, and should character be treated as evidence in homicide trials?

Ticket sales $10 per person will contribute to the building fund for the library’s expansion.

The County Reads … More! reading series is new this year. Other authors who will be at the library on Friday and Saturday include Roch Carrier, Tim Falconer, Catherine Graham, Rosemary Sullivan, and Brad Smith.

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