The Man with the Black Valise Tracking the Killer of Jessie Keith

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One glorious autumn day in 1894, a drifter attacked thirteen-year-old Jessie Keith so violently that people thought Jack the Ripper must be loose in rural Ontario. To solve the crime, the government called in Detective John Wilson Murray, the true-life model for Detective William Murdoch of the popular TV series Murdoch Mysteries. His prime clue was a black valise.

The Man with the Black Valise traces the killer’s trajectory through three counties—a route that today connects travelers to poignant reminders of nineteenth-century life. Chief among them stands the statue of the Roman goddess Flora, gesturing as though to cast roses onto Jessie’s grave.


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