Entangled Roots
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 21 January 2015

Entangled Roots: The Mystery of Peterborough’s Headless Corpse by Bev Lundahl Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Keith Foster $17.95 ISBN 978-1-927756-31-7 In the early hours of a cold wintery morning in 1894, Hessie Gray was abruptly awakened to find smoke billowing in her Peterborough, ON bedroom. She opened the door to the kitchen. Seeing it was in flames, she broke a window and got her young children out. But her boarder, David Scollie, was still inside. With these few simple facts, Bev Lundahl’s Entangled Roots: The Mystery of Peterborough’s Headless Corpse sets the stage for her quest to determine what happened. An inquiry ruled that the fire was an accident and that Scollie had burned to death in his bed. But almost immediately, questions arose. Scollie’s head appeared to be missing. Had it simply burned away, or had he been decapitated? Rumours spread. Suspicions turned to Hessie. A preliminary hearing was convened. The strongest indictment against Hessie came from her sister, Mary McGregor, who happened to be none other than Lundahl’s great-grandmother. Mary testified that Hessie had threatened Scollie. Suspicion also turned to William McGregor, Lundahl’s great-grandfather. Adding to the mystery is the presence of several Aboriginal…