For years now, there’s been a book that I wanted to own a physical copy of. I read a borrowed copy a long time ago but it’s not enough for me just to have read it, I need to have it in my personal collection. It’s my bookish holy grail. I read a lot more ebooks these days, but that won’t do for this particular book. It’s special. I could own it in digital form, but that just won’t do.
If you’ve read the post all about me you already know that all things true crime is an obsession of mine. I love the gritty details, intriguing people, and horrifying discoveries. Lightly put, I’m a fan of the macabre. Weird? Maybe. Cool? Most definitely!
Almost everyone has that local crime story and Bodies In The Backyard describes mine. It’s one of those spooky stories told around the campfire late at night only this one is true. The book itself, written by Brian O’Neill and published in 1993 only ever had a single print run and was not considered successful at the time. My mother, who is friends with 2 of the author’s sisters, believes she had bought a copy back then for $10. Fast forward to today and you’ll be lucky to get your grubby paws on a copy.
Over the past few years as the interest in true crime has risen, copies are extremely hard to come by. Last year a copy went at an auction for $250 and I’ve come across copies in local buy and sell groups and on eBay for over $100. I’ve had my eyes open and feelers out there with local antique stores and booksellers for a while and last weekend, finally struck bookish gold! I got a message from someone who knew I was on the hunt for my bookish holy grail. He said that there was a copy at an antique store near me for $50. Fifty!!!! You’d better believe I jumped right into the car before they changed their mind!!
While not in pristine condition, it’s one of the best I’ve seen. There is currently a filthy, tapped up copy on a buy and sell site for $150 so I know I scored big! Slight creases in pages and small coffee stains add to the story of this sought after bit of local murder lore.
If you like true crime, check out my review of Pathological!
I didn’t intend for this post to be a review of the book although I can certainly write one if there is interest. It’s an account of the crimes of Noel Winters of Saint John, NB which just happens to be where I was born, raised, and currently reside. The murders (that we know of) were carried out in the sleepy town of Brown’s Flat where I worked during the summers of my teenage years at a campground. If you want to get really specific, near Crystal Beach where I spent many childhood summers swimming and eating ice cream! Those were the days!
If you’re really into true crime, you may want to go down the rabbit hole with this one. The story is mentioned in another true crime book called Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder and was also the inspiration for the 2014 movie Black Fly. You can also check out the Goodreads page for the book or if owning a copy isn’t important but you do want to read it, it’s available in ebook format! If you love true crime, it might be up your alley.
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