The Massacre of a Family

[ Overhead View of Murder Scene at the Donnelly Homestead, Based upon models and plans by Ray Fazakas with 
additional research by Jennifer Pettit, Kori Street and Léon Robichaud. Copyright Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Project

, Léon Robichaud and Mathieu Bilodeau,   ]

Despite being well acquainted with crimes of many sorts, the town of Lucan was shocked when they heard about the murders of the Donnellys when they awoke on February 4, 1880. Local newspapers referred to the event as the “Lucan Horror” and a “Horrible Affair at Lucan.” They called it “the blackest crime every committed in the Dominion” of Canada. Some lamented the loss of the family, while others celebrated and boldly wrote that the family “paid the penalty of their crimes by their lives” and that the township of Biddulph would “breathe the freer” now that many of the Donnellys were dead.


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