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Those were the headlines reported in the nightly news, but as Yellowknife journalists Lee Selleck and Francis Thompson note, the real story of the Giant Mine tragedy was, up until now, untold. In a meticulously researched expose that unfolds like a compelling murder mystery, the two journalists peet back the complex layers of the events leading up to the unraveling of a close-knit community.
They reveal a large and fascinating cast of players: Peggy Witte, the mine owner, whose belligerent strikebreaking tactics were unprecedented in the Canadian mining industry; an inexperienced and stubborn union whose members sometimes resorted to criminal acts; a paramilitary corporate security force; police who often seemed to act as agents of Giant Mine management; and an absentee federal government with close ties to the mining industry. They take you into the lives of miners and their families struggling to come to grips with issues that pitted relatives and friends against each other and saw homes, businesses, dignity and eventually, lives, tumble into the black abyss. And, in a mesmerizing recreation of the mine blast and subsequent trial of Roger Warren, theyraise serious and far-reaching doubts about the guilt of the man convicted of killing his co-workers.
Utterly compelling and controversial, Dying for Gold is a masterful work of investigative journalism.
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