Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Stephen Dion the leader of Canada's Liberal Party great-great uncle, Robert Dion, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Quebec in 1889. The only known photograph of Dion shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription:
"Robert Dion; horse thief, sent to Quebec Provincial Prison 1883, escaped 1887, robbed the Canadian Pacific Railway six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted, and hanged in 1889.”
Judy e-mailed Stephen Dion for comments. Dion's staff sent back the following biographical sketch:
"Robert Dion was a famous horseman in Quebec. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave in 1887 to resume his dealings with the railroad. Subsequently, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Dion passed away during an important civic function held in his honour, when the platform on which he was standing collapsed."
Now that is some reply.