I received this book for free from Read for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 14 years of age due to its use of language, mental illness, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{Guilty of Being Weird: the Story of Guy Paul Morin: Cynthia Faryon}Guilty of Being Weird: The Story of Guy Paul Morin by Cynthia Faryon
Series: Lorimer Real Justice
Published by James Lorimer on March 1, 2013
Genres: Historical Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, True Crime, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: Read for Review
Buy on Amazon

{Synopsis} –At twenty-four, Guy Paul Morin was considered a bit strange. He still lived at home, drove his parents' car, kept bees in the backyard and grew flowers to encourage the hives. He played the saxophone and clarinet in three bands and loved the swing music of the 1940s.

In the small town where he lived, this meant Guy Paul stood out. So when the nine-year-old girl next door went missing, the police were convinced that Morin was responsible for the little girl's murder. Over the course of eight years, police manipulated witnesses and tampered with evidence to target and convict an innocent man. It took ten years and the just-developed science of DNA testing to finally clear his name.

This book tells his story, showing how the justice system not only failed to help an innocent young man but also conspired to convict him. It also shows how a determined group of people dug up the evidence and forced the judicial system to give him the justice he deserved.

{My Thoughts} – “For reasons that now seem naive, it was assumed that the justice system always reached a correct result; that the wisdom of twelve jurors always resulted in the people being sent to prison. In fact, verdicts were so unquestioned that the phrase “wrongful conviction” had yet to be coined.”

Guy Paul Morin had his life and that of his families turned upside down when he was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder for 9 year-old Christine Jessop. The little girl was his neighbor and although their family wasn’t close the two families were always friendly. Guy Paul maintained his plea of being innocent from day one and never changed his story throughout his entire ordeal. He had lost years of his life, he had been called names, frowned upon and spent countless nights in a jail cell where he didn’t belong. He went through two court hears and an appeal. Finally, it was the appeal that proved through DNA testing that it was not him that had murdered the little girl. The DNA evidence proved he had been wrongfully convicted and his verdict was overturned and he was set free.

October 03, 1984, Christine Jessop went missing. After reading this entire story I can understand how things turned out how they did. I cannot understand how the police, the Forensics Unit, and the neighbors were so negligent in their actions, that such a tragedy of mis-justice had taken place. When the investigation began the case was ruined. The police and detectives on scene did nothing correctly. They didn’t treat the Jessop house as a part of the crime scene. They didn’t yellow tape of the girls room. They didn’t keep a list of the names of people that were in and out of the Jessop house, they didn’t preserve finger prints. They did nothing, why, because they assumed the girl was out playing and she would come home or someone would find her. They didn’t do a proper search, they didn’t write down tips that were brought to their attention they just didn’t seem to have the investigation under control.

So many neighbors, and other people had described Guy Paul as strange, weird, uncommon for an individual. Since so many people were pointing fingers hat him in a sense the police decided they would too. When they located the girls decomposing body on December 31, 1984, they didn’t take notes of evidence, they took pictures, but nothing was properly cataloged. They didn’t preserve the scene, they instead didn’t keep track of what was going on since they were rushing due to an incoming storm. Because of this the whole scene had more or less been contaminated.

When the police came across a tip or evidence that didn’t fall in line with their belief that Guy Paul was the killer they tossed it. They didn’t bother to keep anything that could have ruined the air tight case they were building against an innocent man. The first trial he was found not guilty at and it concluded on February 07, 1986. The second trial ended on July 30, 1992 and resulted in a guilty verdict. On August 22, 1992 an appeal was launched in favor of Guy Paul. On February 09, 1993 he was released from prison on a $40,000 bail. On January 23, 1995 due to DNA evidence that wasn’t available during the first two trials he was acquitted of all charges and set free.

This whole story makes me sad and knowing that it is real makes it even worse. I couldn’t imagine going through what Guy Paul and his parents went through all the years he was being tortured by a verdict that was wrong. I can’t imagine being the Jessop family believing that the killer was behind bars, that the police had the right guy and then finding out that he wasn’t the right guy and now the likelihood of finding the killer is slim to none. I couldn’t imagine not being able to get justice for my murdered child. It all is so sad and heartbreaking.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about Criminal Justice. I am sure those that like to read about past Criminal Justice events that have helped to shape the Criminal Justice System to what it is today in Canada can learn from this book, well this series in general. They are short reads that are written in novel form. They are as real as real can be and well worth the time spent reading.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.