Wrong Place At The Wrong Time?
“12-year-old Lynne Harper came from a Canadian Air Force family and was used to frequently relocating all across the map in Canada. In the summer of 1957, the family settled into the Permanent Married Quarters, the PMQ, as many called them, in RCAF Station Clinton, which was once an air force base south of Clinton, Ontario, roughly 20 kilometers away from Lake Huron. All of the kids living on base attended the same school, swam in the same RCAF pool, and frolicked at the same playground.
On June 9th, 1957, Lynne came home for dinner and asked her parents if either one of them could take her to the local RCAF pool. All children were required to be accompanied by an adult when attending the pool for a swim. However, both of them objected, causing much of a fuss on Lynne’s end. Lynne left to go to the pool by herself but was turned away by the pool’s supervisor. She then returned home and begrudgingly helped with some chores before leaving the house again without telling anyone where she was going.
Lynne found herself at the local playground, where she approached 14-year-old Steven Truscott. The two were classmates but never really interacted. Steven was your average 8th grader who was physically active and never got himself into trouble. Lynne asked if he could give her a lift on his bike to Highway 8, and he agreed to do so. On the way there, Lynne mentioned her intention to visit Mr. Lawson’s barn on Highway 8 to see the ponies.
As per her request, he dropped Lynne off at the intersection of a country road and Highway 8. On the way back to Clinton, Steven would later claim he looked over his shoulder to see Lynne getting into a mysterious vehicle.
Lynne never came home that night. The next morning, she was still missing. Lynne’s parents notified the police and an investigation ensued. On June 11, two days after Lynne’s disappearance, her body was found close to a bush on Lawson’s property. She had been assaulted and strangled with her own blouse.
The following day, Steven was arrested for her murder, as he was the last person to be seen with her. During the trial, the defense and Crown brought on many witnesses, plenty of which were children. One female classmate claimed that Steven had repeatedly invited her to meet him at Lawson’s barn. When she finally went there, he never showed up. The following day at school, she confronted him about it, and he responded by shrugging his shoulders.
The defense and Crown argued endlessly about the timeline of the murder. But ultimately, Steven was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, making him the youngest person in Canada to face execution.
Steven has maintained his innocence for years and believed he was given an unfair trial. Many people advocated on his behalf and fought for his conviction to be overturned. In 1960, Steven’s death sentence was commuted to a life sentence. In 2007, his conviction was overturned and he was exonerated as it was argued that the forensic evidence presented at his trial was weak and circumstantial.
To this day, Lynne Harper’s death remains unsolved, with Canadians divided on their beliefs about whether Steven was truly the culprit.”