“You have taken our civil rights—we want our human rights.”
On April 14, 1971, a handful of prisoners attacked the guards at Kingston Penitentiary and seized control, making headlines around the world. For four intense days, the prisoners held the guards hostage while their leaders negotiated with a citizens’ committee of journalists and lawyers, drawing attention to the dehumanizing realities of their incarceration, including overcrowding, harsh punishment and extreme isolation. But when another group of convicts turned their pent-up rage towards some of the weakest prisoners, tensions inside the old stone walls erupted, with tragic consequences. As heavily armed soldiers prepared to regain control of the prison through a full military assault, the inmates were finally forced to surrender.
Murder on the Inside tells the harrowing story of a prison in crisis against the backdrop of a pivotal moment in the history of human rights. Occurring just months before the uprising at Attica Prison, the Kingston riot has remained largely undocumented, and few have known the details—yet the tense drama chronicled here is more relevant today than ever. A gripping account of the standoff and the efforts for justice and reform it inspired, Murder on the Inside is essential reading for our times.
Includes 24 pages of photographs.
Praise for Murder on the Inside
“Catherine Fogarty’s page-turner is a story of social and political failure. She’s worked very hard to flesh out the complex men on both sides of the 1971 Kingston Pen riot and make them into compelling characters. She’s found fascinating heroes and moral cowards in places you won’t expect. And, when you think you’ve reached the end of the story, Fogarty will show you injustice upon injustice. Almost no one comes out of this story looking good, including Canadians who think human beings should be locked in cages and left without hope.”—Mark Bourrie, lawyer and author of Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson
“Catherine Fogarty’s moment-by-moment recreation of the bloody 1971 riot at the notorious Kingston Penitentiary is a compelling must-read. The depth of research is remarkable. The narrative crackles with tension and foreboding. Those caught up in the standoff—inmates, guards, prison officials and journalists alike—come alive. This searing portrait of the still-too-secret world of Canada’s prisons truly is impossible to put down.”—Dean Jobb, author of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream and Empire of Deception