The true story of Canada’s first official executioner

Author: Julie Burtinshaw

Is delivering a swift death really a higher calling? Or is it just government-sanctioned murder?

John Radclive hates being called Hangman. He is no murderous thug; he is a highly trained executioner who relies on science to bring God’s mercy to condemned criminals. As Canada’s first official executioner, he revels in the salary, status and perks that come with the job. In his off hours, he enjoys masquerading as Thomas Ratley, steward at Toronto’s prestigious Sunnyside Rowing Club where he secretly sneers at the hypocrisy of the Canadian elite. 

But dispensing mercy presumes that the condemned are guilty. The more convicted felons he meets, the more Radclive begins to question the Canadian justice system and his role within it—perhaps he is a hangman after all. 

  • Non-fiction, 256pp
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-14-1 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-15-8 (e-book)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • To be published October 2022
  • Paperback: CA $22.95 (print) / US $18.95
  • Ebook: CA $15.95 / US $13.95


At its best, Hangman explores a nation with wildly contradictory attitudes about capital punishment and a man fraying by the minute.

Brett Josef Grubisic, Vancouver Sun