Uncovering the Mystery of Murderers’ Row
HANGMAN’S GRAVEYARD follows a team of archaeologists and forensic investigators as they unearth an old graveyard behind an abandoned Victorian prison in one of North America’s largest cities.
Buried beneath what is now a parking lot are the skeletal remains of 15 men who went to the gallows between 1880 and 1932. Who were these men? What were their crimes? How did they spend their last days? And why were they buried and forgotten for so many years?
The only clues the archaeologists have to work on are a yellowed-map that marks ‘Murderer’s Row’, newspaper accounts of the executions and a list of 34 men who met their end on Canada’s “death row.” The period in which they died was an era of mass migration, so the condemned men come from countries like Poland, Russia, Greece, Syria, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
They say that dead men tell no tales, yet as each grave is opened the team discovers rich forensic evidence that offers clues to the identity of these men. The bodies are taken into a lab at the University of Toronto for advanced forensic testing including radio-isotope analysis and facial reconstruction.
Using CSI style science blended with field archaeology, documentary and historical recreations, Hangman’s Graveyard brings these men back to life and offers a fascinating glimpse into the grim world of crime and punishment from a past era.