A young Canadian man spends 17 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
Long-haired, 19-year-old Kyle Unger had a reputation as a troublemaker. On the night of June 23, 1990, Kyle and his best friend made a last-minute decision to attend the Woodstick Music Festival in Manitoba. The teens had fun at the festival playing games, listening to bands, drinking; they didn’t head home till morning. Later that morning, the body of 16-year-old Brigitte Grenier was found in a creek, having been savagely beaten and sexually assaulted before being strangled. By the next week, Kyle was charged with her murder. Releasing him due to insufficient evidence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were still convinced Kyle was the killer. The RCMP laid a trap for Kyle called the “Mr. Big” operation, tricking him into confessing to a murder he did not commit. Convicted and sentenced to prison in 1992, Kyle spent 17 years fighting to prove his innocence until his acquittal in 2009. Brignall chronicles Kyle’s ordeal in a fast-paced, detailed narrative that relies heavily on court transcripts and features copious dialogue (not specifically sourced). Admirably, the coverage of the trial and Unger’s post-conviction legal proceedings are as absorbing as the accounts of the murder and investigation.
A compelling true-crime story with a can’t-lose hook. (photos, timeline, glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 13 & up)