Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Thatcher pens memoirs

Convicted murderer questions case against him

- By Anne Kyle

REGINA — Colin Thatcher is making one last pitch to the court of public opinion in his memoirs, to be published and released this fall.

Thatcher has maintained his innocence despite his conviction by a jury in the killing of his estranged ex-wife JoAnn Wilson, who was discovered on Jan. 21, 1983, lying in a pool of blood in the garage of her Regina home. She had been bludgeoned and shot to death.

Simon Ware, a publicist for ECW Press in Toronto, confirmed Wednesday that Thatch- er’s much-awaited tome — 440 pages, including photograph­s — will be coming off the presses and hitting the store shelves nationwide this September.

Entitled Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame, the book chronicles Thatcher’s account of Wilson’s murder and his 22 years in prison.

“I can confirm the author of record was Colin Thatcher. It’s by him. It’s in the first person,” Ware said, noting the memoirs were penned by the one-time Saskatchew­an cabinet minister without the help of a ghost writer.

His memoirs are said to reveal undisclose­d evidence he uses to question his conviction and the administra­tion of justice.

“There will be lots of interest (in the book),” Ware said.

However, one person who won’t be buying it is retired Regina deputy police chief Ed Swayze, who was involved in the police investigat­ion into Wilson’s murder.

“I don’t really care what he has to say,” Swayze said, when asked whether he was curious if his name appears in Thatcher’s book.

“I like to read true stories all right, but I like them to be true.”

The 15-month police investigat­ion into Wilson’s murder and Thatcher’s subsequent arrest and jury trial captured national headlines.

In November 1984, Thatcher was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without eligibilit­y for parole for 25 years.

Thatcher was unsuccessf­ul in his attempts to overturn his first-degree murder conviction. After two attempts to secure early release from prison under the “faint hope” provisions of the Criminal Code, Thatcher was granted full parole on Nov. 30, 2006, 22 years after he was convicted.

It will be Thatcher’s second book. His first, titled Backrooms, a behindthe-scenes look at politics, was penned while the former MLA was in prison. It was published in 1985.

When Thatcher was granted full parole in November 2006, he told the parole board he simply wanted to fade from public view and live a “low-key life” on the family’s ranch in the Caron area. It is believed Thatcher now lives on his family ranch near Moose Jaw.

When asked whether Thatcher will go on tour promotingh­isbook,Waresaid “those plans haven’t been finalized. But I don’t believe that will be the case.”

 ?? —L-P File Photo ?? ColinThatc­her
—L-P File Photo ColinThatc­her

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