Cover image for The mad trapper of Rat River : a true story of Canada's biggest manhunt / Dick North.
Title:
The mad trapper of Rat River : a true story of Canada's biggest manhunt / Dick North.
Author:
ISBN:
9781493035823
Edition:
1st Lyons Press pbk. ed.
Publication Information:
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, 2015.

©2003
Physical Description:
xi, 338 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Sections of parts one and two of this book were originally published in 1972 under the title The mad trapper of Rat River. Sections of parts three and four were originally published in 1989 under the title Trackdown"--P. x.
Abstract:
They called it The Arctic Circle War. It was a manhunt the likes of which we will never see again. The quarry, Albert Johnson, was a loner working a string of traps in the far reaches of Canada's Northwest Territories, where winter temperatures average forty degrees below zero. The chase began when a Mountie came to ask Johnson about allegations that he had interfered with a neighbor's trap. No questions were asked. Johnson shot Officer Millen dead through a hole in the wall of his log cabin. A vicious firefight ensued. When the Mounties returned with reinforcements, Johnson was gone, and The Arctic Circle War had begun. It was a forty-eight-day odyssey across the harshest terrain in the world. On Johnson's heels were a corps of Mounties and an irregular posse on dogsled, supplied by airplanes dropping food. Johnson, on snowshoes, seemed superhuman in his ability to evade capture. The chase stretched for hundreds of miles, and during a blizzard crossed the Richardson Mountains, the northernmost extension of the Rockies. It culminated in the historic shootout at Eagle River.
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Summary

Summary

"The Arctic trails do indeed have their secret tales, and one of the best is that of The Mad Trapper of Rat River, equal to the legends of Bonnie and Clyde or John Dillinger. Now author Dick North (of course) may have solved the mystery of the Mad Trapper's true identity, thereby enhancing the saga."--Thomas McIntyre, author of Seasons & Days: A Hunting Life "A courageous and unrelenting posse on the trail of a furious and desperate wilderness outlaw . . . Lean and bloody, meticulously researched, The Mad Trapper of Rat River is a dark and haunting story of human endurance, adventure, and will that speeds along like the best fiction."--Bob Butz, author of Beast of Never, Cat of God They called it "The Arctic Circle War." It was a forty-eight-day manhunt across the harshest terrain in the world, the likes of which we will never see again. The quarry, Albert Johnson, was a loner working a string of traps in the far reaches of Canada's Northwest Territories, where winter temperatures average forty degrees below zero. The chase began when two Mounties came to ask Johnson about allegations that he had interfered with a neighbor's trap. No questions were asked. Johnson discharged the first shot through a hole in the wall of his log cabin. When the Mounties returned with reinforcements, Johnson was gone, and The Arctic Circle War had begun. On Johnson's heels were a corps of Mounties and an irregular posse on dogsled. Johnson, on snowshoes, seemed superhuman in his ability to evade capture. The chase stretched for hundreds of miles and, during a blizzard, crossed the Richardson Mountains, the northernmost extension of the Rockies. It culminated in the historic shootout at Eagle River.


Author Notes

Dick North (1929-2013) worked as a seaman, a fisheries officer, and a newspaper editor in Alaska and Canada's Yukon. He was the author of Trackdown, Arctic Exodus, and The Lost Patrol, as well as curator of the Jack London Exhibit and Interpretation Center in Dawson City, Yukon.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Mapsp. xii
Prologuep. 1
Part 1 Albert Johnsonp. 5
1 The Strangerp. 7
2 Rat Riverp. 15
3 Across the Mountainsp. 39
4 Final Shootoutp. 49
Part 2 Arthur Nelsonp. 61
5 Dease Lakep. 63
6 Teslin, Ross River, and the Lost McHenry Gold Minep. 73
7 Mayo, Lansing, and Russell Creekp. 81
8 The Lost Porcupine Minep. 93
9 Bad Guy?p. 99
10 Or Victim?p. 109
Part 3 Fifty Years of False Leadsp. 115
11 The Early Clues: A Shortcut to Nowherep. 117
12 He Walked with a Stoopp. 133
13 In the Wake of an Elusive Scandinavianp. 141
14 Bill Johnson and the Black Lake Mysteryp. 155
15 The Ex-Cop Hypothesis and Another Cold Trailp. 165
16 The Mysterious Disappearance of Zane Grey's Guidep. 175
17 The Eccentric Carpenter from Anyoxp. 181
18 The "Wrong Man" Themep. 189
Part 4 A Northern Legacy of The Wild Westp. 195
19 The Badlands Immigrantsp. 197
20 On the Trail of a Wyoming Horse Thiefp. 211
21 The Road to Folsom Prisonp. 225
22 Fingerprints - Let the Sleeping Dog Liep. 233
23 The Net Tightensp. 259
24 Another Run at Exhumationp. 271
25 The Missing Lankp. 287
Bibliographyp. 291
Appendix A Savage Arms Companyp. 297
Appendix B Dental Chart of Johnsonp. 299
Appendix C Personal Effectsp. 301
Appendix D Vital Statistics and Modus Operandip. 305
Appendix E Personal Interviewsp. 315
Appendix F Portion of the Sills Reportp. 319
Indexp. 327