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ECW Press

The Forest City Killer
A Serial Murderer, a Cold-Case Sleuth, and a Search for Justice
By (author): Vanessa Brown
9781770415034 Paperback, Flaps English General Trade TRUE CRIME / Murder / Serial Killers Ontario Oct 04, 2019
$24.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.81 in 360 pages 20 20 photographs, black and white, 2 2Maps ECW Press

Dig deep into the unsolved murder of Jackie English and join the hunt for a serial killer

Fifty years ago, a serial killer prowled the quiet city of London, Ontario, marking it as his hunting grounds. As young women and boys were abducted, raped, and murdered, residents of the area held their loved ones closer and closer, terrified of the monster — or monsters — stalking the streets. Homicide detective Dennis Alsop began hunting the killer in the 1960s, and he didn’t stop searching until his death 40 years later. For decades, detectives, actual and armchair, and the victims’ families and friends continued to ask questions: Who was the Forest City Killer? Was there more than one person, or did a depraved individual commit all of these crimes on his own?

Combing through the files Detective Alsop left behind, researcher Vanessa Brown reopens the cases, revealing previously unpublished witness statements, details of evidence, and astonishing revelations. And through her investigation, Vanessa posits the unthinkable: is it possible that the Forest City Killer is still alive and, like the notorious Golden State Killer, a simple DNA test could bring him to justice?

Short Description

Amateur sleuth and longtime London, Ontario, resident Vanessa Brown starts investigating the fifty-year-old disappearance of Jackie English and discovers there may have been a serial killer prowling the Forest City all those years ago.

Sales and Market Bullets

  • Publication is timed to the 50th anniversary of Jackie English’s disappearance.

  • Vanessa Brown reveals previously unpublished statements and details of crime scenes, and theorizes that the serial killer on the prowl in London Ontario in the 1970s remains yet uncaught.

  • True Crime has exploded in recent years and hit across genres with smash successes such as Serial (podcast), Making a Murderer (mini-series), The Innocent Man (Netflix series), and Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered (spinoff book based on the wildly successful My Favorite Murder podcast).


  • Readers of Ann Rule and other true crime books.

  • My Favorite Murder

  • Fans of true crime documentary (Making a Murderer, The Jinx, The Keepers, The Killing Season).

  • True crime podcast listeners (Serial, Teacher’s Pet, Someone Knows Something, Death, Casefile, Criminal).

Vanessa Brown has lived her entire life in London, Ontario. Her previous books include The Grand Old Lady: A History of Hotel London and London: 150 Cultural Moments, which was honored by the Ontario Heritage Trust. She is married to Canadian poet Jason Dickson, and together they own Brown & Dickson Booksellers.

“Brown’s smooth prose is a plus. True crime fans who don’t need conclusive answers will be well satisfied.” — Publishers Weekly

“Author Vanessa Brown has taken the story of murder most foul and crafted a true tale of intrigue with so many twists and turns that it is almost unbelievable . . . Untangling the web of murders as well as entertaining multiple theories, the writing of this book must have been a monumental task and yet Vanessa Brown proves herself as adept in not only untangling the many strands of the web, but also in providing readers with a cohesive and coherent timeline and a theory that comes across as convincing.” — Amie’s Book Reviews blog


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