By Patrick Brode

A unmarried gunshot on Saturday evening, October 6, 1894, shattered Toronto's triumphing experience of peace and defense. That gunshot took the lifetime of Frank Westwood, a good younger guy from one of many city's so much renowned households. This unparalleled assault produced a sense of tension all through Toronto and baffled the municipal police forces. The secret used to be even stated Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of Sherlock Holmes. notwithstanding, even the nice Detective couldn't clear up the Westwood homicide. ultimately, an opportunity hearsay resulted in the main not likely of suspects -- a tender Black lady named Clara Ford. She was once a most unique personality, a difficult, revolver-toting girl who frequently wore men’s garments and defied the norms of overdue Victorian Toronto. whereas the police more and more concentrated their research on her, the causes for the killing remained a puzzle. was once Clara looking revenge for a prior attack, or used to be she the annoyed lover of a tender white guy? The trial of Clara Ford captured Toronto's cognizance like no different case sooner than it. The facts printed a strange tale of romance and racism. as well as the wildly unconventional Clara, the forged of characters featured dogged detectives, and wily attorneys who now and then appeared to make this reason celebre extra of a theatrical than a judicial show.

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Extra resources for Death in the Queen City: Clara Ford on Trial, 1895

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38 calibre pistol. There were also four cartridges. According to Clara, she had expended two others shooting at ducks. As the party prepared to leave for the police station, Clara blurted out an unsolicited declaration that was guaranteed to arouse the suspicions of the dullest investigator, "Oh, it's the Westwood case you mean. I can prove where I was that night. " Nothing further was said, neither was Clara given any warning that she faced a criminal charge. 5 The sergeant began by warning her that anything she might say would be used against her and that she was a suspect in the murder 28 / DEATH IN THE QUEEN CITY Inspector William Stark.

Crozier be brought in as well. It was now about 6:30 and Reburn suggested that Clara have dinner in the matron's room. In the meantime, Flora had arrived and Reburn satisfied himself that her story was irreconcilable with Claras. At 7:15 they started again. Reburn decided to move the interrogation to Inspector Stark's office and confronted her that she had "YOU KNOW MY COLOR" / 29 never gone to the theatre that night. Flora was brought in and asked where she was on the night of October 6. The girl confirmed that she was supposed to meet up with Clara but that she had never come and that later Clara had told her to lie and say that they had gone to the show.

Did She Kill Him? - Inspector Stark Confident That He Has An Unbreakable Chain Of Evidence" was the lead headline in the days edition of the Toronto StarJ There were detailed, if frequently inaccurate, accounts of the investigation. The Globe noted that the public had almost lost interest in the Westwood case until "the fresh sensation consequent on the arrest of the mulatto man-woman" sparked an even more intense curiosity. "YOU KNOW MY COLOR" / 33 Most of the dailies suggested that Clara Ford had confessed to the crime, but for the time being the police remained tight-lipped.

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