An Historical True Crime Exposé

A Shooting. Poison. Prostitution. Schizophrenia. Starvation. Mysterious fires. Corpses buried in the snow. A blind man hanged. Multiple investigations, inquests, and trials.

The Leppard and Wonch families were plagued by misfortune, tragedy, and scandal, mostly of their own making. Living in abject poverty and destitution, the two families found themselves connected through love, sorrow, and blood.

‘Bullets, Brothels, & Blood’ is a true crime exposé covering over five decades in the lives of these two intertwined families living in Ontario during the 19th and early 20th century.



Based On A True Story

On the night of August 13th, 1925, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Clayton McMullin, a young father and husband, was shot to death in the street while visiting a friend. His wife and daughter were inside the house, only feet away, when he yelled out, “I’ve been shot!”, staggered up onto the front porch, and took his final breath.

The car from which the shots had been fired sped away from the scene, carrying his killer inside. Arthur Janisse was behind the wheel, and he was heading for the hospital, with his wife, Ruth, bleeding in the seat beside him from a gunshot wound to the leg.

What happened on that harrowing, humid summer night in Windsor? What lead up to that moment, out on the street, when gunfire rang out, piercing the stillness of the small, quiet neighbourhood, and a life was taken? What could have compelled Ruth to pull the trigger?

“I shot him because I loved him,” she’d replied, when questioned by the police.

That was only a tiny piece of the story, yet it was the entire thing at the same time. Ruth was a complicated woman, and the story behind what happened between Clayton and Ruth was complicated as well, but also simple. She had loved him, and then she shot him.


Short Stories Inspired by Real Murders

While most people are taught to beware of strangers the reality is that most murders are committed by someone closer to the victim. In these five tales of family dysfunction at its finest, Antonia Monacelli uses traditional research mixed with real genealogy to uniquely portray these accounts of familicide from years past. By combining true crime with historical fiction, readers are given a chance to experience real murders from a different, and bone-chilling perspective.

Each story includes not only the fictional tales of murder and mayhem that transpired, but also details of the real cases that inspired them as well. Although the stories are fiction, the crimes that inspired them are both real and horrifying. So grab a cup of tea, lock the door, and prepare for your toes to curl and your blood to run cold.