"I was a good girl when he married me" : issues of respectability and gender in a Northern Ontario murder trial / by Cheryl Elizabeth Shaw.
Shaw, Cheryl Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
At the heart of this thesis is a trial, R. v. Clara Irene St. Cyr. In 1948 Clara was a thirty-two year old mother of six. Bom in St. Lucie, Quebec but raised in Gogama, Ontario, she was eighteen when she met Jerome “Jerry” St. Cyr, an outdoorsman who knew the area well. They married shortly after and moved to Timmins. Their fourteen-year marriage would later be characterized in the press as tumultuous, frequently violent and marred by deprivation and emotional abuse. On March 4th, 1948, Clara killed her husband with an axe following a domestic dispute. Her trial was held in Cochrane at the Spring Assizes of the Supreme Court and lasted approximately two weeks until March 25th, culminating in a verdict of ‘not guilty’. Therefore, the case provides ample commentary on the complex and unique ways in which race, gender and class were constructed as signifiers of values and social mores in Timmins ... The trial’s position in legal history is also of interest. R. v. Clara Irene St. Cyr [is] one of the earliest cases to plead successfully a defense of what is now recognized as ‘battered wife syndrome’. (Introduction)