The unbelievable true story of Canada’s first known spree killer, told by a veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In June 1966, Matthew Charles Lamb took his uncle’s shotgun and wandered down Ford Blvd in Windsor, Ontario. At the end of the bloody night, two teenagers lay dead, with multiple others injured after an unprovoked shooting spree. In his investigation into Lamb’s story, Will Toffan pieces together the troubled childhood and history of violence that culminated in the young man’s dubious distinction as Canada’s first known spree killer—at which point the story becomes, the author writes “too strange for fiction.” Travelling from the border city streets, to the courtroom, to the Oak Ridge rehabilitation centre, and finally Rhodesia, Watching the Devil Dance is both a thrilling narrative about a shocking true crime and its bizarre aftermath and an insightful analysis of the 1960s criminal justice system.
Praise for Watching the Devil Dance
“A vital addition to the Canadian true crime canon. Packed with agonizing moment after agonizing moment, Watching the Devil Dance takes you from the bloodied sidewalks to the moan-filled hallways of Oak Ridge and places the Matthew Lamb case at the centre of a turning point in legal history, offering a peek into Canadian history rarely examined and highlighting the historic failings of the criminal justice system in our country. This is not just a regional crime story. It is a tragedy with national implications.” —Vanessa Brown, author of The Forest City Killer: A Serial Murderer, A Cold-Case Sleuth, and a Search for Justice
“An unusual tale marked by fascinating elements that are unique to the era in which his crimes occurred. [Toffan’s] book offers detailed insight into a type of criminal that would later become more prevalent: the mass murderer.” —Toronto Star
“Fascinating, measured, and compulsively readable, Watching the Devil Dance is essential true crime reading and a chilling indictment of the failings of the justice system.” —Open Book