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Book about SooToday cartoonist shortlisted for national crime-writing award

At age 14, Ron Moffatt was wrongfully convicted of murdering a seven-year-old boy at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition
11-24-18 Ron Moffatt Nate Hendley
Ron Moffatt with true-crime author Nate Hendley at James L. McIntyre Public Library on Nov. 24, 2018. David Helwig/SooToday

A book about the wrongful conviction of SooToday cartoonist Ron Moffatt in 1956 has been shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis award from Crime Writers of Canada.

The Boy on the Bicycle by Nate Hendley is one of five works nominated as best nonfiction crime book.

The Arthur Ellis Awards recognize crime-writing across a variety of genres.

Winners will be announced on Thursday, May 23 at Toronto's Arts & Letters Club.

Hendley's book tells how Moffatt was found guilty of murdering a seven-year-old boy at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition.

The 14-year-old spent just under eight months in custody before he was granted a new trial and acquitted.

Moffatt moved to Sault Ste. Marie, where he worked as a caretaker at William Merrifield V.C. Public School as well as Korah Collegiate, Sir James Dunn and Alexander Henry High School.

Because he was a juvenile at the time of the offence, his name never appeared in newspaper accounts of the Toronto crime.

It was decades before Moffatt told his wife and children.

Also nominated as Canada's best nonfiction crime book are:

  • Patrick Brode, Dying for a Drink: How a Prohibition Preacher Got Away With Murder, Biblioasis
  • Thomas Giacomaro and Natasha Stoynoff, The King of Con: How a Smooth-Talking Jersey Boy Made and Lost Billions, Baffled the FBI, Eluded the Mob, and Lived to Tell the Crooked Tale, BenBella Books, Inc
  • Eve Lazarus, Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer, Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Sarah Weinman, The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World, Alfred A. Knopf Canada

The Boy on the Bicycle is a 230-page trade paperback available from Five Rivers Publishing Co., Amazon and iBooks and at the Coles book stores in Station Mall and Cambrian Mall..


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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