Blamed and Broken


A few fleeting seconds, captured on video, led to a frustrating search for justice tainted by ego, bias, and a desire for vengeance.

Images of Robert Dziekanski convulsing after being shocked by a Mountie’s Taser went viral in 2007. International outrage and domestic shame followed the release of that painful video. It had taken just twenty-six seconds for four Mounties to surround and stun the Polish would-be immigrant at Vancouver International Airport.

A decade later, after millions of dollars spent on an inquiry, and bungled prosecutions laden with bias and interference, the tragic impact of those fleeting seconds on the people involved — Dziekanski's mother and the four Mounties — is at last revealed.


Dewey Divas and the Dudes Winter 2019 Pick


Everybody thinks they know what happened when Robert Dziekanski died while being arrested by RCMP officers at the Vancouver airport in a Taser incident caught on video that went viral. But Curt Petrovich does the courageous thing that all good journalists do: He doesn't accept the official story, he digs for the uncomfortable truths and he forces us to question our assumptions and our faith in the justice system. You don't have to agree with all his conclusions to marvel at his detective work, his gripping storytelling and his compassion for all those involved. You will come away from the book shaken and enraged.

Julian Sher, author of Until you are Dead: Steven Truscott’s Long Ride into History and The Road to Hell

Impeccable journalism; vivid narrative; Curt Petrovich takes us behind the scenes in a ten-year legal saga to reveal how the justice system can abandon basic principles of justice when political and bureaucratic interests are on the line.

Linden MacIntyre, journalist and author of The Bishop’s Man

With the trained eye of a veteran journalist, Curt Petrovich deconstructs the infamous Taser incident at Vancouver airport in 2007 and discovers surprising facts about how it affected everyone involved. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you will find it difficult to put this book down.

Cecil Rosner – Director, Investigative Journalism: Regions, CBC News

Petrovich’s many years as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are evident in this expertly-spun narrative that is never dull or overloaded with too much detail. He has taken an incredible amount of material and organized it into a highly readable book that is both insightful and at times incredulous (that two of the RCMP officers were found guilty of perjury while the other two were not).

Bonnie Reilly Schmidt, The Ormsby

About the Author

Curt Petrovich

Posted by Kendra on March 27, 2018
Curt Petrovich photo

Curt Petrovich

Curt Petrovich is an award-winning investigative journalist with over three decades experience reporting on national and international stories for the CBC. He has covered the case of Robert Dziekanski since it began on October 14, 2007, when the Polish immigrant was declared dead. Curt lives in Vancouver.