A dozen years before the Black Donnellys were butchered at Lucan, Ontario, another murderous rampage took place a few miles away. On June 6, 1868, three men robbed and killed a rich farmer, his wife, and her unborn child. They concocted an alibi, stuck to it, and almost got off. In fact, two of them did.
The third, Nicholas Melady, went to prison and fell in love with a beautiful woman in a nearby cell. There to entrap him, she listened, learned, and led him to the gallows. When he was hanged in Goderich, hundreds watched, but thousands were late for the spectacle. They were bitterly disappointed because they had missed the last public hanging in Canada.