Robert Raymond Cook
|Robert Raymond Cook|
|Born||Robert Raymond Cook
July 15, 1937
Hanna, Alberta, Canada
|Died||November 14, 1960
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
|Cause of death||Hanging|
|Criminal penalty||Death by Hanging|
Robert Raymond Cook (July 15, 1937 - November 14, 1960) was a Canadian mass murderer, convicted for the killing of his father Raymond Cook in Stettler, Alberta, in June 1959. Cook murdered his family, including his father, step-mother, and five half-siblings at their home in Stettler, but was only charged for his father's murder, for which he convicted and sentenced to death.
Murders and execution
On 28 June 1959, police discovered Raymond Cook, his wife Daisy Cook and their 5 children shot and bludgeoned to death in the grease pit of their garage in Stettler, Alberta. Raymond Cook's son by his first marriage, Robert Cook, had been arrested in Stettler the day before and charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses, after he had traded the family's 1958 Chevrolet station wagon for a '59 Impala convertible. Robert was arrested for the murders, and despite being implicated in the deaths of all of his family members, was only charged with the murder of his father in order to speed up the trial process.
At just after midnight on July 11, 1959, Cook escaped from the Ponoka Mental Institution he was detained in after he had been denied permission to attend the funerals of the family members he had killed, and was found several days later hiding at a pig farm near Bashaw, Alberta. It took two trials and just under 16 months for Cook to be convicted of murder, where he maintained his innocence up until his execution. Cook was sent to the gallows at Fort Saskatchewan Provincial Gaol at midnight, November 14, 1960, and pronounced dead at 12:19AM on November 15, 1960. Robert's Uncle confessed to the murders on his deathbed years later, Robert Cook was innocent. The case has been the subject of several books and two plays.
- Jack Pecover (1996). The Work of Justice: The Trials of Robert Raymond Cook : the Story of the Last Man Hanged in Alberta. Wolf Willow Press. ISBN 1-55056-423-4.
- Frank W. Anderson (2008) The Robert Cook Murder Case, Gopher Books, ISBN 9780921969204
- Betty Jane Hegerat (2011) The Boy, Oolichan Books, ISBN 9780889822757
- "R. vs. Robert Raymond Cook" The Legal Archives Society of Alberta 14 July 2010
- "The Last Hanging: Docudrama on Gruesome Stettler Murders" The Red Deer Advocate 5 December 2008 14 July 2010
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