Man Commits Suicide After Newspaper Wrongly Says He Was Charged With Molestation of Boys — Then Issues a Remarkably Callous Account of Suicide

200px-Toronto_Star_frontpageWhatever David Dewees did or did not do, he was not accused of what The Toronto Star printed before he committed suicide by laying across railroad tracks: molestation of young boys. Yet, the newspaper (the largest in Canada) published a story on his death that can only be described as remarkably cold and callous.

In its publication today, the Star recounts how Dewees, a popular teacher at the Christian-based Ontario Pioneer Camp in Port Sydney, Ontario had “died an innocent man.” It then, however, writes the entire article with a mocking presumption of guilt. This is precisely why I have written and spoken against the rule that you “cannot defame the dead,” here.

The newspaper quickly asks “was it guilt of another kind, shame and self-loathing, that made the 32-year-old lie down on the tracks at High Park subway station Saturday morning rather than face trial?” Well, then there is the fact (buried deep in the article) that the newspaper earlier reported that he had actually molested little boys:

The Star, it must be acknowledged, got the charges wrong in a Friday digest item that said Dewees had been charged with sexually assaulting two 13-year-olds. There was no assault alleged by police. The distinction is important though it’s doubtful – this too can never be ascertained – such an error (corrected) had much impact on Dewees’ state of mind.

“The distinction is important though it’s doubtful”? The difference is between alleged Internet solicitation and actual molestation of boys. The newspaper goes on to say that the Dewees’ family with have to deal with ” the taint of cowardliness.” Most such solicitations, while potentially criminal in their own right, do not result in actual acts of molestation and are given far lower sentences, including probation without jail.

The newspaper admits that the police have withheld the details of any alleged crime but still speculates in purple prose where “Dewees really did lie prone on the rails and wait for an oncoming train to mangle his body, condemning himself to those moments of terrifying anticipation, then he embraced a worse comeuppance than any retribution the courts could impose. This was a ritualistic punishment, a self-mutilation.” Wow.

Not done, the newspaper accuses him of shunting blame on to others and acting guilty.

What is most striking is that the newspaper expressly states “our law affords no protection from libel to the dead. So we will assume by his actions, and for the purpose of exploring this awful event, that Dewees was guilty as charged.” Unbelievable.

For the Star article, click here.

22 thoughts on “Man Commits Suicide After Newspaper Wrongly Says He Was Charged With Molestation of Boys — Then Issues a Remarkably Callous Account of Suicide”

  1. This is all b.s, because the only thing that really matters is that theres a story to read every morning and you get a pay check cuz you hit your dead line. Get a real job instead of spreading gossip. If you want to point the finger, then point it at the one who is writing this article.

  2. I am sorry for not replying. I wish I had seen this earlier. Anyone who would like to read my case can google my name. Most are good articles but there are some that are very biased.

    The boy has now recanted so the accusations against me and all the people still assumed I was guilty even after the verdict, well, you can now think twice about being so judgemental.

    Let me note a word I used earlier, recanted. I think that might be the wrong word in this circumstance, but generally speaking this is the word most people will recognize as the boy had lied and has now told the truth. I do want to make one thing clear however. THe boy in the this case is also a victim. A victim of inexperienced police interviewing children in sexual assault cases. THis boy was put through several leading and suggestive interviews, threatened that he if he didn’t “tell the truth” that he would be in big trouble.

    The judge even repremanded the police officers that interviewed the boy and now the boy has made the truth known, now that he is not under the influence and pressure of the police and several other influences in his life.

    If you are interested in knowing more I would love to tell my story. You can email me at


Comments are closed.