Jan Canty, PhD

Jan Canty PhD

My life is divided into"before and after" segments. Initially it unfolded conventionally. I had great parents, an urban, middle-class background with pets, a household with creative hobbies, terrific neighbors, and many friends. Our dinner table brimmed with guests. We spent a good deal of time in downtown Detroit with my grandparents and extended family. I played sports and music, enjoyed pizza, our Italian neighbors’ aromatic cooking, movies and summer vacations. I earned a Ph.D. in psychology and opened a practice in the Fisher Building. Then came the "after"segment. My spouse of nearly 11 years went missing. I was told he’d had a secret life for 18 months. He’d been murdered, his body dismembered. He’d spent our savings and now I was woefully behind on payments and taxes. The press hounded me for two years. I found no comfort in the trial or convictions – it couldn’t change anything. So, at age 38 my psychology practice was closed, my home sold and I left everyone I’d known to start over. I lived a "redacted life" for over 30 years. Three nearly-simultaneous events called me out of the silence.


When I made the tentative decision to set pen to paper, the book "A Life Divided" was intended to be a straightforward memoir - the personal story behind the murder of my spouse. But, like a kite on a string, the writing periodically pulled me where it wanted to go. Although the project was never free of its tether, I yielded to the flow from time to time. I was more than flattered when it was supported by author Lowell Cauffiel, screenwriter Jonathan Stanley, author Steve Miller, Detroit Police Officer Mark Bando and others.


Then someone suggested I host a podcast for and about other homicide survivors. I slowly mastered the technology and out came Domino Effect of Murder. I’d met "my tribe." I learned so much from my guests. They intensified my resolve to speak for the many grief-stricken people lost in the shadows of mayhem and court dockets and social estrangement and misunderstanding. While I hope you never have to join us, I do appreciate it when people express a sincere interest in learning more about the real repercussions to violent death. Welcome.