Saturday, December 04, 2010
The Crossbow - murder weapon of choice in Canada
In Louise Penny's terrific first novel, Still Life, a murder mystery set in the small of Three Pines in Quebec's Eastern Townships, the murder weapon is a crossbow.
I thought of that this week when a man was killed at a branch of the Toronto Public Library with a crossbow (well, with the "bolt" which is apparently what the thing that gets fired from a crossbow is called).
The crossbow seemed oddly at home in a murder mystery, but it seemed weird in a real murder.
And then newspapers in Canada started running stories with headlines like "Crossbow Incidents in Canada," and it turns out it's a fairly long list:
•In July, a Mission, B.C., father was charged with attacking his son who was shot in the forearm with a crossbow.
•In November 2007, a 26-year-old man was charged with murder and attempted murder after his mother was killed and father was injured by a crossbow in St-Cesaire, Que.
•In October 2002, a dairy farmer was shot in the back and injured with a crossbow in St.-Bonaventure.
•In August 1998, a man asleep in his Hamilton home was shot in the head and injured by a man who fired a crossbow.
•In 1998, Edward Stuart Walker shot a pregnant Stephanie Celestine Thomas with a crossbow, then stabbed her 46 times in Central Saanich on Vancouver Island.
•In September 1994, Yvon Gosselin was driven to a gravel pit near Terrace, B.C., where he was killed with two bolts from a crossbow.
•In May 1995, a man armed with a crossbow entered the Winnipeg Convention Centre shortly before then prime minister Jean Chretien arrived to deliver a speech. The suspect was arrested.
•In January 1993, B.C. Institute of Technology student Silvia Leung, 22, bled to death in the campus parking lot in Burnaby after being hit in the shoulder by a crossbow.
•In November 1991, Ottawa lawyer Patricia Allen was killed with a crossbow by her estranged husband Colin McGregor.
So here's my question, does anyone know of any other novels in which a crossbow is used?