This article investigates the usage of a diary as a transparent truth device in legal proceedings. I argue that this usage assays a very naı¨ve notion, perpetrated by the prosecution, that truth is self-evident when written by the hand of the defendant. Moreover, and more importantly, this approach demands that words have only one meaning, that semantics and context don’t matter, and that broader, overarching themes are unimportant, even when only very brief quotations, selected out of eight years’ worth of entries are used. The diary, itself, is effectively prosecuted here; it becomes the ‘monstrous’ criminal, yet at all times, a mere synecdoche for the ‘real’ monster herself.
On Saturday, February 7 2009, Brendan Sokaluk took a short drive down a gravel road and, according to his testimony, flicked a lit ciga rette wrapped in a paper serviette out the window, thus igniting one of the most devastating of the many fires already burning on that dreadful day.