By Patrick Brode

A unmarried gunshot on Saturday evening, October 6, 1894, shattered Toronto's winning experience of peace and defense. That gunshot took the lifetime of Frank Westwood, a good younger guy from one of many city's such a lot favorite households. This unparalleled assault produced a sense of tension all through Toronto and baffled the municipal police forces. The secret used to be even observed Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes. besides the fact that, even the nice Detective couldn't resolve the Westwood homicide. ultimately, an opportunity hearsay resulted in the main not likely of suspects -- a tender Black girl named Clara Ford. She used to be a most unique personality, a tricky, revolver-toting woman who frequently wore men’s garments and defied the norms of overdue Victorian Toronto. whereas the police more and more targeted their research on her, the reasons for the killing remained a puzzle. used to be Clara looking revenge for a prior attack, or was once she the pissed off lover of a tender white guy? The trial of Clara Ford captured Toronto's realization like no different case ahead of it. The facts printed a strange tale of romance and racism. as well as the wildly unconventional Clara, the forged of characters featured dogged detectives, and wily legal professionals who every now and then appeared to make this reason celebre extra of a theatrical than a judicial reveal.

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Reburn decided to move the interrogation to Inspector Stark's office and confronted her that she had "YOU KNOW MY COLOR" / 29 never gone to the theatre that night. Flora was brought in and asked where she was on the night of October 6. The girl confirmed that she was supposed to meet up with Clara but that she had never come and that later Clara had told her to lie and say that they had gone to the show. At this, Clara turned angrily towards Flora, but Reburn stopped her and warned Clara that anything she said could be used against her.

They had barely begun to talk with her when she had become defensive. Before anyone had even accused her of anything, or even so much as mentioned the Westwood case, she denied any involvement. Murdoch began to lay the groundwork for the defence when he raised objections as to Slemin's recollections of Clara's comments. " he asked. Slemin could not give a precise answer. The officers would not have released her, but neither had she been arrested nor cautioned. Still, they had been careful not to ask her about the Westwood case.

There was no guarantee that Clara Ford could rely on her sex to save her from the same fate. However, she had already raised two powerful pleas, that of the wronged woman defending her honour and that of the poor victim of racial intolerance. It remained to be seen how effective these would be. What was apparent was that the Toronto police had resolved a mystery that only a few days before had seemed beyond solution. Chief Constable Grasett's yearly report cited the Ford case for "One crime of this nature (murder) was committed under circumstances of mysterious perplexity, baffling for a time the strenuous efforts put forth by the detective staff to discover the perpetrators...

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