A violent marriage ends in a bloody murder. Police solve the case — but it’s the victim who ends up on trial in a case that thrust the issue of domestic violence into the public conversation and made it impossible for law enforcement to ignore.
For our friends in the Deaf and Signing community, you can view an ASL version of this episode HERE.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources to help.
In Canada, you can visit sheltersafe.ca for domestic violence resources and information or for more information on the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia please visit avaloncentre.ca.
In the United States, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or text the word START to 88788.
For more information on the Coburn Place please visit coburnplace.org.
Episode Source Material
- Life with Billy, by Brian Vallee. Kindle edition.
- Life and Death After Billy, by Vernon L. Oickle.
- R v. Whynot, 1983 CanLII 3495 (NS CA).
- R v. Lavallee, 1990 CanLII 95 (SCC).
- Edmonton Journal: Abused woman found not guilty of murder, by The Canadian Press.
- Edmonton Journal: Few avenging wives, by Lois Sweet.
- Star-Phoenix: Woman’s wounds ‘consistent with suicide’, by The Canadian Press.
- The Ottawa Citizen: Shoplifting charge could have led to suicide, by The Canadian Press.
- UBC Press: Defending battered women on trial, by Elizabeth A Sheehy.
- Trauma Awareness and Treatment Centre: Battered Woman Syndrome, by Larry D. Beall.
- The Windsor Star: Monster stalks pages in tale of woman’s ordeal, by Eric Mayne.
- The Vancouver Sun: Woman who killed abusive mate found dead, by Dean Beeby.
- The Leader-Post: Shooting justified, MP claims, by The Canadian Press.
- March of Dimes: Abuse during pregnancy.
- Manitoba Law Review (Vol 25, No 3): Educating juries: the battered woman defence in Canada, by Daniel J. Brodsky.
- New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence: Understanding Domestic Abusers.
- Ending Violence Association of British Columbia: Freedom from violence: Tools for working with trauma, mental health and substance use, section 5, history and contribution of the sector, by Historical Perspectives on Violence Against Women in BC, by Sarah Leavitt.
- No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us (book), by Rachel Louise Snyder.