A teen's suspicious death, a shocking police cover-up and a
mother's search for the truth.
In 1990, on a November night that hit -28 degrees Celsius,
seventeen-year-old Neil Stonechild disappeared only blocks from his
mother's home. His frozen body was found three days later, eight
kilometres from where he was last seen in downtown Saskatoon. The
police investigation was cursory -- no one seemed to wonder about
the abrasions on his wrists or the scrapes on his face, or the fact
that he was missing a shoe. Neil was drunk and out walking, the
police believed, and had died by misadventure. His mother, Stella
Bignell, tried her best to push for answers, but no one in
authority wanted to listen to a native woman whose sons had often
been in trouble with the law.
But Stella did not give up, and neither did the only witness,
sixteen-year-old Jason Roy, who had seen Neil, beaten and bleeding,
in the back of a Saskatoon police cruiser the night he disappeared.
Starlight Tour recounts their struggle for justice in the face of
indifferent officials, destroyed police files and institutionalized
racism. In the decade following Neil's death, rumours persisted
that police sometimes drove natives beyond the edge of town and
abandoned them. But it was only in January 2000, when two more men
were found frozen to death, that the truth about Neil Stonechild's
fate began to emerge. A third man, Darrell Night, survived his
"starlight tour, " and lived to tell the tale. And soon one of the
country's most prominent aboriginal lawyers, Donald Worme, was on
With exclusive co-operation from the Stonechild family, Worme, and
other key players, and information not yet revealed in the press
coverage, The Starlight Tour is an engrossing and damning portrait
of rogue cops, racism, obstruction of justice and justice denied,
not only to a boy and his mother but to the entire country's native
Random House of Canada
|Country of origin:
• Robert Renaud
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