Florence Kinrade: Lizzie Borden of the North
By Frank Jones
A Great and Little-Known Canadian Murder Mystery!
In 1909, Florence Kinrade is, by all appearances, the dutiful daughter of a wealthy Hamilton, Ontario land-owner, engaged to the parson’s son. Intriguingly, she also leads a double life as a vaudeville showgirl in Richmond, Virginia. Holding many parallels with Lizzie Borden, another famous mystery involving a family murder and an inscrutable young woman, Florence becomes the central figure in a gruesome crime—the murder of her sister, Ethel. By digging deeply into contemporary accounts and the testimony from Florence’s high-profile court inquest, Frank Jones’ masterful narrative details the challenges of an upper-class woman seeking a showbiz career, reveals the racism and the little-known “tramp menace” feared by people of the era, and exposes Florence’s mental diagnosis by a famous psychiatrist. Florence’s adventures span the Canadian cities of Hamilton, Toronto, Calgary, and Lethbridge, Alberta, as well as the American locales of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Richmond, Virginia. In the book, we discover, for the first time, the secrets of Florence’s inner life, suppressed emotions, and romantic escapades.
Keywords: Murder, True Crime, Canada, Vaudeville