The true story of the Sydney River McDonald’s massacre, a botched robbery that would become the most sensational murder case in Canadian history.
It started with a broken conveyor belt. When the mechanical malfunction brought eighteen-year-old McDonald’s employee Derek Wood into the restaurant’s back room, he saw the safe and got a dangerous idea. It would be so easy to prop the back door open, allowing two friends to sneak inside and steal the money. Wood assumed there was at least $200,000 in the cashbox—an incredible haul for just a few minutes’ work—but things would not go according to plan.
The robbery went wrong from the start, and within minutes, a fast-food restaurant in the wilds of Nova Scotia was turned into a bloodbath. Wood and his accomplices attacked the employees, killing three instantly and leaving the fourth for dead. In the safe, where they had expected to find a fortune, there was barely $2,000. They fled the scene, instigating a manhunt that would captivate the nation.
In the tradition of In Cold Blood and The Onion Field, this stunning work of true crime tells the story of the small-town murder that shocked a nation. Phonse Jessome brings a trained journalist’s eye to the case, which remains one of the most horrifying incidents of suburban violence in recent history.
About the author
Phonse Jessome is a veteran Canadian reporter and television correspondent. Raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia, he has covered crime and politics in Canada since the early 1980s. His books include Murder at McDonald’s (1994), the definitive account of a grisly triple-homicide at a Sydney fast food restaurant, and Somebody’s Daughter (1996), an investigation of human trafficking in Canada.
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