Debra Komar Appearances in Moncton Area this Week

The Ballad of Jacob Peck, published by Goose Lane Editions.
The Ballad of Jacob Peck, published by Goose Lane Editions.

Writer and forensic anthropologist Debra Komar is in the Moncton area this week talking about her new book The Ballad of Jacob Peck, a tale of historic true crime about an infamous murder that took place in the Shediac area in 1805, recently published by Goose Lane Editions.

Debra will appear at:

Shediac Public Library, Thursday April 4, 6:30 pm
Riverview Public Library Lunch and Learn, Friday April 5 at 12:15 pm
Chapter’s in Dieppe for a signing, Saturday April 6 1-3 pm
Swisscot Restaurant, Dorchester, Saturday April 6 at 7 pm.

When a man kills in the name of God, who is to blame?

On a frigid February evening in 1805, Amos Babcock brutally murdered Mercy Hall. Believing that he was being instructed by God, Babcock stabbed and disembowelled his own sister, before dumping her lifeless body in a rural New Brunswick snowbank.

Debra Komar (Photo by Brian Larter)
Debra Komar (Photo by Brian Larter)

The Ballad of Jacob Peck is the tragic and fascinating story of how isolation, duplicity, and religious mania turned one man violent, leading to a murder and an execution. Babcock was hanged for the murder of his sister, but in her meticulously researched book, Debra Komar shows that itinerant preacher Jacob Peck should have swung right beside him. The mystery lies not in the whodunit, but rather in a lingering question: should Jacob Peck, whose incendiary sermons directly contributed to the killing, have been charged with the murder of Mercy Hall?

An investigation of a crime from the Canadian frontier, the tale of Jacob Peck, Amos Babcock, and Mercy Hall remains as controversial and riveting today as it was more than two hundred years ago.