One Foot over the Edge: A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of The Rwandan Genocide

Shane Mutlow, author and retired soldier.

Shane Mutlow, author and retired soldier.

Patricia Leboeuf
Petawawa Post Newspaper

It has taken over 25 years for retired Canadian soldier Shane Mutlow to summon the courage to share his story with the world.

The trauma and suffering he experienced while in Rwanda in 1994 left him with mental health injuries that haunt him to this day. For six months, he bore witness to unimaginable
horror – the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide that claimed thousands of lives and saw an estimated two million refugees flee the country.

“One Foot over the Edge: A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of The Rwandan Genocide” recounts Mutlow’s story, his traumatic experiences in Rwanda including his own kidnapping, and witnessing a friend’s suicide.The story follows him as he tries to regain his mental health and find his footing again.

Writing the book was simultaneously a catharsis and a trauma as Mutlow had to recount those dark terrors.

“The reason why I wrote this is because I wanted to help others,” he says. “So, if that works, then I feel like I’m just doing my job.”

Because he was unable to finish his career in the military, this is his way to help his comrades and show there is a light in the darkness.

Response to the book, released in August, has been overwhelmingly positive, and some proceeds from each sale goes to Fortitude Farms in Braeside, ON, to provide funds for veterans who wish to try equine therapy.

Ginger, a therapy horse at Fortitude Farms, became Mutlow’s lifeline, helping him slowly regain a sense of emotional balance.

“The only thing that worked for him was equine therapy,” says his wife, Justine Mutlow. “Nothing worked except for horses.”


His book has made the top 100 on Amazon and there is talk of turning his story into a movie.

While the book is a success now, he was initially terrified to release it.

“My worst fear was the response I was going to get from people I served with overseas,” says Mutlow. “All those people have become my greatest supporters.”

He was also contacted by strangers who opened their hearts and shared their feelings, many admitting a new awareness of what their loved ones had experienced and are still going through.

On his website, there are resources for veterans and military members.

“There is a huge network of veterans out there that you can just reach out to and contact them and they will help you.”

Check out his website:


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