It was the trial of the century. Colin Thatcher, millionaire rancher, son of a premier, cabinet minister in his own right, charged with the brutal slaying of his ex-wife JoAnn. A fifteen-month police investigation, capped by a wire-tapped recording of the accused in conversation with his accomplice. A courtroom battle with the outcome uncertain to the very end. But the jury finally discarded Thatcher’s credo – “Deny, Deny, Deny” – and convicted the politician. The sentence – life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for twenty-five years.
Colin Thatcher refused to accept the verdict of the jury. He Appealed. And appealed. And Appealed. First, to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. Then to the Supreme Court of Canada. Then to the minister of Justice, claiming “new evidence” entitled him to a new trial. He demanded “exoneration.” The Colin Thatcher case continued for fifteen years after the guilty verdict, and continues today.
Deny, Deny, Deny tells the entire story of Colin Thatcher, his background, his family’s wealth, his story-book marriage that somehow went sour, his stormy political career. The overpowering personality that made him above the law – almost. And the inside story of the police investigation that at last brought Colin Thatcher to justice.
This new and expanded edition carries Colin Thatcher another fifteen years. Through his many appeals, his career in prison, and his skillful manipulation of the media while he campaigned from behind bars to be accepted as another of the wrongfully convicted, another David Milgaard.
A senior lawyer, Garrett Wilson, QC, was a key Liberal official during the administration of Premier Ross Thatcher, Colin’s father. His background made him familiar with principal players in the Thatcher case long before it came to national attention. his long association with the Regina police gives him inside to the long and difficult – and continuing – investigation. Garrett has continued to follow the Thatcher case during the more than fifteen years since the original trial ended.