A teen's suspicious death, a shocking police cover-up and a mother's search for truth: this landmark investigation into justice and Canada's Indigenous people is re-issued and updated here for the first time in over a decade.
In 1990, on a brutally cold night, 17-year-old Neil Stonechild disappeared from downtown Saskatoon, last seen in police custody. His frozen body was found three days later in a field outside town. Though his mother pressed for answers, a cursory investigation pinned the blame on the teen himself, dead by alcohol and misadventure. Only in 2000, when two more men were found frozen to death, and a third survived his "starlight tour" at the hands of police, did the truth about Stonechild's fate begin to emerge. Soon one of the country's most prominent Indigenous lawyers was on the case, and an open secret was secret no more.
With exclusive co-operation from the Stonechild family, lawyer Donald Worme, and others, Starlight Tour is an engrossing portrait of rogue cops, racism, obstruction of justice and justice denied, not only to a boy and his family but to an entire nation.
“Starlight Tour documents in clear, direct prose the death of Neil Stonechild. With compassion and grace, it exposes what has become all too ordinary, in language that refuses to victimize the family.” —Governor General’s Literary Award Jury Citation
“Starlight Tour is a vital chronicle of a tragedy that opened many eyes and yet still remains as painfully relevant as ever. A devastating portrait of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and a justice system that has offered us little real justice, it is as important for Canadians to read now as it was when first published and exposes just how long past due systemic reform is.” —Jesse Wente, CBC Radio
“Searing, unforgettable, important, haunting, thorough, infuriating, heartbreaking and sometimes inspiring, Starlight Tour is journalism at its best. This book will change you.” —Peter Edwards, author of The Bandido Massacre and One Dead Indian
“For justice junkies like myself, this is a deeply engrossing account. . . . Should be compulsory reading for Canadian police recruits from sea to shining sea.”
–William Deverell, The Globe and Mail
“The Stonechild story is ably captured by veteran CBC journalists Susanne Reber and Robert Renaud in a thoroughly researched, deftly written work. . . . A powerfully written, meticulously researched work with a cinematic feel, which should be on reading lists for students of Canadian history, journalism or law enforcement.”
“The suspenseful and meticulous account of a very real and dark chapter in Canada’s modern history.”
About the Authors:
SUSANNE REBER is an award-winning veteran investigative journalist and editor. She is the co-founder and former executive editor of Reveal, the investigative radio program and podcast. The show airs on more than 450 public radio stations in the U.S. Reber produced Reveal for The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she held various senior editorial roles, including Director of Digital Media, for which she was responsible for all content in film, audio and digital. Her investigative projects have garnered her three Peabody Awards, an Emmy award and a DuPont award, among many others, and were showcased in national and international film festivals. Prior to joining CIR in 2012, Reber formed and led NPR's first Investigations Unit, which went on to win many national and international awards. Prior to moving to the U.S., Reber spent 23 years at the CBC, where she was deputy managing editor of National Radio News and executive producer of CBC's Michener Award-winning Investigative Unit from 2003 to 2009.
ROBERT RENAUD is formerly a regional director of CBC Radio Ottawa. He and Reber worked together for over seven years, leading CBC National Radio News and winning a number of awards for investigative journalism.