A murder, a missing body, and a sensational trial that shocked the community. Will Sandeson seemed like a model son. A member of the Dalhousie University track and field team, he was about to start classes at Dalhousie’s medical school. He had attended a medical school in the Caribbean; he worked at a group home for adults with disabilities. “There’s times for whatever reason that things don’t go quite as planned,” a Halifax police officer told Sandeson shortly after he was arrested for the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, who also, on the surface, seemed like a model son.
Samson lived in a fraternity house near Dalhousie, and when the six-foot-five physics student disappeared without a trace, the focus eventually turned to Sandeson. Sandeson’s trial, blown open by a private investigator accused of switching sides, exposed a world of drugs, ambition, and misplaced loyalties. Through interviews with friends and relatives, as well as transcripts of the trial and Sandeson’s police interrogation, award-winning journalist Kayla Hounsell paints a complex portrait of both the victim and killer, two young men who seemed destined for bright futures. First Degree includes previously unpublished photos and details never made public until now.
Kayla Hounsell is an award-winning journalist who covered the murder trial of William Sandeson. She is now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s National Reporter for the Maritime provinces. Based in Halifax, and originally from Newfoundland, she has also worked in Ottawa, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Liberia and the United Kingdom. First Degree: From Med School to Murder is her first book.
Karen Furneaux is a 3-Time Olympian and 2-Time World Champion and winner of 9 medals at the World Championships over her 20-year professional sprint kayaking career. Karen is the founder of I Promise Performance, Inc. a corporate wellness company. Through her business, she speaks with global audiences about the connection between health, mindset and performance. Karen is a published author, her book, “Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within” encourages young women to set goals and gives tools and best practices to achieve their dreams. Her formal training includes a Masters of Science Degree from Dalhousie University in Kinesiology, with specialization in Sport Psychology. She holds multiple certifications, and has undergone Team and Leadership training through Cornell University and is a licensed HeartMath provider to help her clients build resilience and stress management skills in her consulting practice. Karen has most recently been inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and has been named as one of the top 15 most successful athletes in Nova Scotia sport history. Karen is most passionate about engaging and empowering youth, donating her time with the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame – Education Program