Murder & mayhem

Notorious legal cases that made headlines

Wolfers on trial: The trial took place in Winnipeg, but people here held their breath when three American “wolfers” were tried for murdering thirty natives in the Cypress Hills Massacre of June 1873. Opinion was split in the U.S. and Canada. The judge acquitted the wolfers, but Canadians weren’t pleased. Within weeks Parliament voted to create the North West Mounted Police — its mission to maintain law and order in the west.

The trial of Louis Riel deliberated the Metis leader’s role in the 1885 North-West Resistance, a five-month military clash between the feds and the Metis and some indigenous supporters. It was sparked by tension over land rights, and sweeping social and political changes caused by European settlement. Hundreds were killed, but the government finally triumphed. After a sensational trial, Louis Riel was hanged. The debate continues whether he was a hero, a deranged mystic, or a traitor, but the “rebellion” has affected race relations here ever since.

Race in restaurants: A Chinese café owner in Moose Jaw got into trouble for employing two white women, which the 1912 Female Labour Act forbade. Quong Wing took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, but lost. Not until 1969 was the law erased from the books.

R. v. Thatcher was probably the most high-profile “whodunit” case in recent decades. Rancher and MP Colin Thatcher was charged with causing the death on January 21, 1983 of his ex-wife JoAnn McKay Wilson and thus first-degree murder. Key issues were his alibi, whether he “done it” himself or hired someone else, and whether it was planned. In 1984 he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In 2006 he was released on parole, returned home, remarried, and wrote a rebuttal: Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame.

R. v. Latimer: Wilkie farmer Robert Latimer put his severely handicapped daughter Tracy out of her misery by carbon monoxide poisoning. He considered it a compassionate act because Tracy suffered from cerebral palsy and frequent seizures, had only a baby’s mental capacity, and endured constant pain. His trial and ten-year prison sentence for murder led to a public debate over euthanasia, and polarized opinion about its legal and moral implications.

Rathwell v. Rathwell: Two watershed cases in matrimonial property — as to whether a divorced woman could claim part of her ex’s property — were the Irene Murdoch case in Alberta (1973, which she lost) and the Helen Rathwell case in Saskatchewan (1978, which she won because she had helped buy the ranch). Feminists jumped into the fray and insisted that a wife’s work entitled her to share the fruits of a family business. The upshot: changes made to family property laws across Canada. 

R. v. Threinen: When four young children disappeared in Saskatoon in June 1975, many parents kept their kids at home, waiting for the serial killer to be found. When police finally tracked down David Threinen, he led them to the bodies of the children he had strangled and dumped out of town. He was convicted of murder. In 2000, he told a parole board he did not want to be released from prison.

R. v. Hoffman: Mass murderer Victor Hoffman was a schizophrenic just released from psychiatric hospital in August 1967 when he entered a farmhouse near Shell Lake with a rifle. Spurred by “voices in his head” he shot James and Evelyn Peterson and seven of their children, some of them sleeping. Only four-year-old Phyllis and a married sister Kathy survived the massacre. He was acquitted by reason of insanity and sent to a mental institution. 

R. v. McCallum. Frederick Moses McCallum was arrested in 1969 for the ax murder of seven members of the Pederson family at Buffalo Narrows but McCallum was found “not guilty by reason of insanity.” One Pederson son survived an axe blow, but was severely traumatized, and got into trouble later. He died after walking in front of a car.

Fraud scheme: Party scandals in the 1990s involved Grant Devine’s Progressive Conservative government implicating sixteen MLAs. “Twelve members of Devine’s government — defeated in 1991 after nine years in power — were charged for a scheme that defrauded taxpayers of more than $837,000.” At least “six were convicted and three others acquitted.”

Stranger than fiction: The birth of a baby in a toilet at a Walmart in Prince Albert in May 2007 sparked headlines. The young mom was charged with abandoning the baby, but she testified she didn’t know she was pregnant. She left the store thinking the baby was dead, but a store manager scooped up the infant, and it survived. The mom was judged not guilty, and this decision was upheld by the Supreme Court. 

R v. Stanley. Racial tensions erupted over a Battleford trial verdict that acquitted Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder in the death of Cree youth Colten Boushie on Stanley’s farm in 2016. Stanley apparently believed the four young people from the nearby Red Pheasant Reserve were trying to steal a vehicle on his farm, and said his gun had gone off accidentally. Boushie’s witnesses claimed they were seeking help to fix their disabled vehicle. The case became a hot-button issue because the jury was all-white.

[Wolfers: McCourt, Saskatchewan, 76-7. Louis Riel: Canadian Encyclopedia; Race in restaurants: Dederick & Waiser, Looking Back; 39-41. Latimer: Canadian Encyclopedia. Fraud: Hurtig’s Canadian Encyclopedia. Others: website CanLII, news reports]

Crimes of passion and shame

Love and murder in Saskatchewan

A number of violent crimes ca. 1920 were committed by eastern European immigrants, perhaps acting on impulses tolerated in their home countries. (Others were committed by Brits.) It seems some immigrant juries based their decisions on unwritten laws of their homelands, and not on Canadian laws. One study contends that the Saskatchewan Provincial Police believed that, given language problems, they could only teach immigrants Canadian law by enforcing our laws.

Sam Kowalski from Claytonville was found dead in a sleigh December 16, 1920 near Prince Albert, and was assumed to have frozen to death. An alert SPP officer, R.R Scotney, suspected foul play. Further sleuthing revealed that Kowalski had died from a blow to the head. It turned out his buddy Steve Zurakowski had been dallying with Kowalski’s wife, and Kowalski objected. Zurakowski was convicted and sentenced to eighteen years in the P.A. pen.

A serial killer crazed by hatred of women provoked an international manhunt that spread to southern Saskatchewan in the 1920s. Earle Leonard Nelson of San Francisco, aka The Gorilla Man and The Strangler, had gone on a massive killing spree that included two Canadian women. After eluding the SPP, he was finally caught in Manitoba and executed.

A complicated case involving arson and the death of five members of the Manchur family and their hired man at Wakaw in 1916 was one of the province’s “ugliest.” It involved an alleged liaison between the hired man John Mychaluk and Paulina Manchur, estranged from her husband Mike Syroshka. Although most of the victims had been shot, Syroshka was found guilty only of arson.

Axe murderer John Morrison, a “Barnardo boy” from England. was a hired hand on Alex McArthur’s homestead fourteen miles from Welwyn, near Moosomin, where he fell in love with the farmer’s daughter. When McArthur nixed the liaison, in June 1900 Morrison went on a nocturnal rampage, attacking the family and killing five of them. Three children survived, including the object of his desire. The tragedy made headlines for days.

Arnold Gart was killed in 1919 when John Bronch from Radisson severed an artery in his victim’s neck with a knife, incensed by Gart’s “undue familiarity” with Bronch’s wife. Bronch was tried at King’s Bench court in Battleford in 1921. Much to the astonishment of the Radisson community, the jury acquitted Bronch.

A married farmer in the Lucky Lake area knocked up his neighbour’s teen-aged daughter in 1920. After they attempted an abortion with linseed oil, the baby was stillborn. The married farmer got four years of hard labour for his sins, interesting because he had already served twelve months for a similar misdemeanor.

Infamous Mountie Sgt. John Wilson came to Canada, leaving behind a wife and children in Britain. His love affair with Jessie Patterson of Blaine Lake led him in 1918 to kill his wife, when she arrived in Canada, so he could wed Jessie. He was hung for his crime.  Lois Simmie’s book The Secret Lives of Sergeant Wilson was, and still is, a bestseller.

After the wife of Isaiah Mitchell of Shell Lake took up residence with a man named Armstrong, the enraged Mitchell shot his wife’s paramour. He confessed to Armstrong’s murder near Fort Pitt, was tried at Battleford in 1921 and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.

[Most references are in Stewart & Hudson, Mahony’s Minute Men: 34-35, 68-70, 72-73, 75-76, 81-82, 87-94, 97-94. Other references: Bronch: Lin, Policing the Wild North-West: A Sociological Study, 100; Sask. Archives, SPP returns, October 1919; King’s Bench Court, Docket 11, 1921.  Mitchell: Sask. Archives: SPP returns June 1921; KB court docket 28, 1921. Morrison: Dederich, 68-70; Winnipeg Tribune, June 9 and 11, 1900; Moosomin World 14 June 1900. Immigrants: Lin, 100. Syroshka: Downs, (ed.), The Law and the Lawless. Zurakowski: SPP records Februrary 1921, SAB]

Cold cases

Candles in memory of family passed away (stock photo)

Murdered and missing victims whose killers were never identified

The oldest such case in Canada involves an unidentified woman (discovered during excavation in 2006) whose body had been stuffed in a wooden barrel and down a well in Sutherland (now part of Saskatoon).  Forensic study indicated she was Caucasian and between twenty-five to thirty-five years old. Her clothes were 1910 to 1920 vintage. 

Charles H. Baxter, Hawarden district, aged thirty-one, left to seek work in July, 1939 and was not seen again.

Alvin C. Berg, thirty-five, of Pierceland, was last seen in October, 1940, when he left the farm near Maymont where he had been employed.

Margaret Blackbird, a twenty-one-year-old mother, left her husband and two young children on their family farm near Loon Lake in the summer of 1951 and has not been seen since.

Tersilla Bonthoux, a seventy-nine-year-old woman, left Duck Lake on October 25, 1954 to walk about eight miles to the farm where she lived, and was never seen again.

The girl in Saskatoon - Book cover
The Girl in Saskatoon, book abut the Wiwcharuk murder

The battered body of Alexandra Wiwcharuk, a twenty-three-year-old nurse, was found in a shallow grave on the west bank of the river in Saskatoon on May 31, 1962. The case was the subject of a nonfiction book by Sharon Butala.

René Bruneau, aged twenty-four, of Leoville was last seen June 27, 1965, at the Saskatchewan Hospital at Battleford.

Caroline Burns, a fifty-two-year-old woman of Aboriginal descent, was last seen leaving her residence in the small settlement of Molanasa Molanosa (south of Lac La Ronge) on Jan. 2, 1973.

The badly-beaten body of Cindy Blazik, a twenty-three-year-old school teacher, was found in a burning teacherage on the Onion Lake First Nation on December 7, 1986.

Emerson Dobroskay of Saskatoon, aged twenty-one, was last seen on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia on Oct. 28,1988.

Ernestine Kasyon, a tenty-six-year-old aboriginal woman, was last seen in Prince Albert on Dec. 6, 1989. An unconfirmed report says her skull was found six years later on the Black Lake First Nation.

Tamra Keepness, a five-year old girl, originally from the Whitewood First Nation, was last seen in her Regina home on the evening of July 5, 2004.

Melanie Dawn Geddes, a twenty-four-year-old mother of three children, was last seen in Regina on Aug. 13, 2005. Her remains were found Dec. 20, 2005 in a field near Southey 

[Canada’s Missing Persons, and Unsolved Canada.ca]

Shady business

Scoundrels and scallywags

The Midland Provisional Battalion (Midlanders) during the North-West Resistance made themselves highly unpopular by pilfering packages meant for other units. They compounded their sins by stealing fresh pies. 

The infamous James Gaddy and Moise Racette teamed up in Stony Mountain Penitentiary. When they got out, for a lark, they had their photos snapped at an itinerant tent studio in Qu’Appelle. To augment their finances, they stole some horses to sell them. The owner of one of the horses, a neighbour and a NWMP sergeant formed a posse to catch the ne’er-do-wells. At Racette’s home a melέe ensued. Gaddy grabbed a fallen revolver and shot McLeish, the horse’s owner, and shot him three times; McLeish died soon afterwards. Now the law was really after the errant pair. Eventually the NWMP recognized them from their photos and arrested them. They were convicted and died by hanging on June 13, 1888.

James and Melissa Sharpe, members of the Adamite religious sect, originally from Missouri, already had a shady past when they came to Saskatchewan on a strange utopian mission, but after the Doukhobors rebuffed them, they left. They came to a violent end in a Kansas shootout.  

Babe Belanger was charged with bribery when she offered a Saskatoon cop a monthly bribe if allowed to open her bawdy house in the city. But she was acquitted when she claimed she was only joking.

“Diamond” Jim Brady, henchman of Al Capone, was a known gambler, rum-runner and the number one bootlegger in Moose Jaw just after World War I. He died of gunshot wounds soon after returning to Chicago in 1920. 

Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen, once a rascally habitué of Saskatoon’s early gambling dens, and a bit of a pickpocket, ended up in China as bodyguard to the revered Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

In pre-World-War-I Moose Jaw, Rosie Dale ran a brothel frequented by some five hundred railroad workers. When forced out by city authorities, she simply skedaddled outside city limits.

Charlie Parmer
Charlie Parmer, Dundurn farmer – a questionable past..

Charlie Parmer, a disreputable Dundurn farmer, claimed to have taken part in bank robberies with the Jesse Games gang before escaping to Canada from the American draft. (His claims are scoffed at.) But there was something dodgy about him, for in Dundurn he used his formidable collection of firearms to ward off intruders.

Former hockey coach Graham James created a tempest in the 1980s when he was charged and convicted for molesting a junior hockey player. After multiple accusations of sexual abuse, he was in and out of jail for years, and was finally released on full parole in 2016.

Rosie Dale: Gray, Red Lights on the Prairie. Gaddy and Racette: Anderson, Hanging in Canada, reprinted in The Law and the Lawless, 100-105. Jim Brady: www. virtualsask.com. Midlanders: Lt. C.S. Cassels’ diary, cited in Tolton, Prairie Warships, 172. Parmer: Millar, Saskatchewan Heroes & Rogues. Sharpe: www.virtualsask.com; Macdonald, Cloud-capped Towers. Belanger: Gray, Red Lights on the Prairies; ]

“Low-down varmints”

Bandits & rustlers & downright villains

James Gaddy and Moise Racette, notorious horse thieves in the Saskatchewan district, were convicted of killing a NWMP constable during a shootout and were hung in Regina in 1888.

Americans Sam Kelly, alias Charles “Red” Nelson, and his partner Frank Jones led the infamous Nelson-Jones gang.  They hid out in caves in the Big Muddy badlands down south, and were considered two of the most nefarious, treacherous outlaws ever to afflict the province. In 1904 Kelly gave himself up to a Montana sheriff but was not convicted, for lack of evidence. in pre-World-War-I Moose Jaw.

“Dutch” Henry (Henry Borne) was an American rustler who retreated to Canada to work for rancher Pascal Bonneau in the Wood Mountain area. Reverting to his old ways, he absconded with his boss’s horse to Montana, and was murdered by “a friend” in 1906.

In Webb, a would-be armed robber got away unharmed on the night of June 20, 1920 despite a local “vigilante group” of three (including a cop) who, warned in advance of the planned heist, were waiting for him in the targeted store. He climbed in a back window but a burst of warning shots spooked him, and he quickly scrambled out the window and took off in a getaway Ford.

Moosomin’s “Great Bank Robbery” of 1922 was daring and well planned. The Norman Gang from the U.S. cut telephone wires, and used dynamite to shatter the Union Bank’s glass windows and break into the safe. They got away with $8,000, but were caught, tried and convicted.

Saskatchewan’s only train robber, D.L. Purvis, tied and gagged a CNR express car attendant on February 1, 1923, and cleaned out the safe. He then slipped off the passenger train as it slowed to enter Regina, and disappeared. But a local laundry had placed his initials on the kerchief he used as a gag, and the provincial police tracked him to his address and arrested him two days later.

News accountsof the Robbers Roost operation featured mug shots of some of the rustlers.

The much-married lady rustler of Robbers Roost was said to be the brains behind the gang that stole up to six thousand livestock, Belle Willard (aka Mrs. B.J. Dale aka Mrs. William Kinnick). She ran the ranch near Ravenscrag where the animals were taken to alter their brands. In a sensational Maple Creek trial in November 1924, six trusted locals including Belle were convicted of stealing horses and/or cattle, and all went to jail. 

Saskatoon banks had their exciting moments too. For example, in October 1930 a robber absconded with $3,000 in cash from the west side branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia. On September 7, 1951, armed bandits led police on a merry chase through the Nutana area, after robbing the Royal Bank on Broadway. This time the police caught ‘em.

In early June 16, 1931, three men boldly robbed two Royal Bank employees on a streetcar carrying a satchel of cash from Saskatoon’s main office to the Sutherland branch, then raced south in a blue Nash. The RCMP identified the owner of the Nash, Joe Bowers (a Dundurn farmer), arrested his gang four days later in Calgary and brought them back to the city. The gang pled guilty to armed robberies in Battleford, Rosetown and Saskatoon.

The Ku Klux Klan belong to a different order of n’er-do-wells altogether. This arch-conservative, movement originated in the U.S. and spread like a pestilence across Canada in the 1920s. Their racist ideas took root for a while on Saskatchewan soil, as they marched about in menacing KKK robes carrying burning crosses.

[Henry Borne: Anderson, Outlaws of Saskatchewan. Armed robber: Prairie Memories (Webb, Sask.), 927. Norman gang: Moosomin: Century One: Town and Country, 47. Purvis: Anderson. Robbers Roost: Regina Morning Leader 4 December 1924. Bowers: Anderson, Outlaws of Saskatchewan. Others are from Stewart & Hudson: Mahony’s Minute Men]

The high and the mighty

Chief justices of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal since 1905

This is the highest court in the province

Edward L. Wetmore, 1907-1912. In 1887, he became puisne {lesser] judge of the first Supreme Court of the then NWT, in 1907 was appointed the first chief justice of Saskatchewan and in 1909, first chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. 

Sir Frederick W.A.G. Haultain, 1912-1938: A British-born lawyer, he was elected to the NWT assembly in 1888, and led demands for responsible government. He was the first premier of the territories 1887-1905, then led the opposition until 1912, when he was named chief justice of the high court, and chancellor of the U of S. He was knighted in 1916.

Justice William F.A. Turgeon, 1938-1941: He also chaired a dozen federal and provincial royal commissions, including one on transportation in 1951, which, despite calls by several provinces for controls on spiralling post-war freight rates, did not call for intervention.

William M. Martin, 1941-1961: He was MP for Regina 1908 to 1916 and premier of this province from 1916 to 1922, when he was appointed to the Court of Appeal. As a premier he was noted for running a scandal-free government.

Emmett M. Hall, 1961-1962: Known as a “father of medicine,” he also chaired the 1964 Royal Commission on National Health Service, which recommended that Canada adopt a universal Medicare system like Saskatchewan’s, and the 1977 Royal Commission on Grain Handling and Transportation, 

Edward M. Culliton, 1962-1981: He was known as a “compassionate” judge who encouraged appeals for criminal convictions. He wrote the 1983 Culliton Report for the Saskatchewan Justice Department, on the need for access-to-information and right-to-privacy laws.

Justice Edward D. Bayda, 1981-2006: He was a commissioner on the 1974 Vancouver Port Grain Handling Inquiry, which pushed for more efficiency and fewer labor disputes that caused shipping delays. He also chaired the 1978 Cluff Lake Board of Inquiry, which predicted effects of stepped-up uranium production.

John Klebuc, 2006-2013: An expert in bankruptcy lawsuits, Chief Justice Klebuc called for speedier procedures to lower civil court costs, and pushed for more accessible courts.

Robert G. Richards, 2013. He served variously as law clerk at the Supreme Court, a parliamentary intern, and as Senator Ray Hnatyshyn’s chief of staff 

[https://sasklawcourts.ca, Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, Canadian Encyclopedia, Wikipedia]

Policing milestones

Maintaining peace and order in this province

In 1873 the Canadian government created its spectacular force of Mounties, the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) to enforce its laws throughout the vast interior of the country. 

In 1904 the red-coated force was officially renamed the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP), becoming an enduring symbol of Canada’s northwest.

In 1905 our newly formed provincial government contracted with the feds for the RNWMP to enforce both provincial and federal laws.

In 1911 Premier Walter Scott set up a Saskatchewan secret service, the “whisky sniffers” consisting of some seventy plainclothes officers to help the RNWMP enforce his government’s maze of liquor laws. 

In 1916 our government formed its own distinctively uniformed Saskatchewan Provincial Police (SPP) rather than having the RNWMP continue to enforce provincial statues within its jurisdiction. 

In 1927 our government disbanded the SPP, due mostly to rising costs, and contracted the Mounties – renamed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1920 — to again serve as the primary policing agency in this province.

In 1930 our government began hiring mining inspectors, fish and wildlife officers and so on to oversee the natural resources that came under its constitutional control that year. These  evolved into the corps of Conservation Officers who now enforce its related environmental regulations. 

In 1980, the expanded force of traffic officers and vehicle inspectors – operating an increasing number of weigh scales in this province – became the Saskatchewan Highway Transport Patrol.

Since 2000 the RCMP and police forces in this province’s larger centres have been forming “combined forces special enforcement units” and “integrated drug enforcement teams” to coordinate policing of organized crime and illegal drug trafficking.

In 2018, the RCMP, the Highway Transport Patrol and Conservation Officers began forming “protection response teams” to coordinate their surveillance and enforcement work. These teams are expected to improve response times and thus public safety in the rural and northern reaches.  

[Terry Risko; Doug Madill, Highway Transport Patrol, Annual Review, 1980-1981;  StarPhoenix 15 June and 25 August, 2018]

Memorable Mounties

The legendary Sam Steele of Yukon fame first served with the NWMP at Fort Qu’Appelle.  He led a troop of Mounties to accept the surrender of Big Bear’s band in spring 1885.

James Walsh of the NWMP, after whom Fort Walsh was named. Though he befriended Sioux chief Sitting Bull, political factors finally led to their being ousted back to the U.S.   

Leif Crozier, superintendent at Fort Carleton at 1885, one of the NWMP officials involved in treaty negotiations with the Cree. He and his force of Prince Albert Volunteers were defeated at the Battle of Duck Lake.

John Clisby was the lone NWMP constable in Saskatoon in 1896 when he received a wire that a prisoner had escaped from a train at Dundurn. To cross the river, he convinced his horse to stand on a railway handcar while he rolled it and himself across the railway bridge. He got his man. 

Francis Dickens, son of the famous author, was commander at Fort Pitt during the Northwest Rsistance. He was convinced to retreat from the fort and has been villified for it ever since, for the retreat was considered ignoble.

General Sir George Arthur French, a British army officer, was the first commissioner of the North West Mounted Police, from October 1873 to July 1876. Writer Frank Anderson apparently didn’t think much of him.

Henry Morren, RNWMP officer 1911-1919, was said to have dealt with more murders, robbers, gunfights, tornadoes (Regina 1912) and fires during his years in southern Saskatchewan than most twenty-year veterans.

John Leopold, RCMP undercover officer, worked as a Regina housepainter, while infiltrating the Communist Party in the 1920s.

Marcel Chappuis of the RCMP detachment at Cumberland from 1930 to 1945, is said to have covered up to three thousand miles by dogsled on his annual winter patrols. 

Brenda Butterworth-Carr, was the first indigenous woman appointed commanding officer of the RCMP F-Division (Saskatchewan). She was posted here from 2013 to 2018, and then transferred to British Columbia.  

Brenda Lucki, former CO of the Regina RCMP training academy, became the big cheese – appointed permanent woman commissioner of the force, March 2018.


Top cops

Some remarkable police officers in our history

Merle Beck became the first female officer of the Regina police service in 1957.

Martin Bruton, Regina chief of police during the riot of the On-to-Ottawa trekkers in that city July 1, 1935.

Troy Cooperwas the first Metis police officer to serve as chief of the Prince Albert police 2012-2018, then chief of the Saskatoon police on January 17, 2018.

Alex Decoteau, born on the Red Pheasant Reserve, became an Edmonton policeman. But he is best known as an Olympic runner in the 1912 Games. In World War I he joined the 49th Edmonton Regiment, and was killed by a sniper at Paaschendaele in October 1917.  

Constable George Hillock of Yorkton and Sergeant D. Williams of Swift Current, the Saskatchewan Provincial Police (SPP) officers who set the snare in the 1920s that convicted at least six rustlers including Belle Dale/Willard/Kinnick, mastermind of the shady operation centred at her ranch near Ravenscrag.

Ernie Louttit, third indigenous man on the Saskatoon police force, who specialized in working with street people. He wrote two books about his experiences.

Charles Augustus Mahony, chief of Mahoney’s Minute Men. Illustration by Ruth Millar based on photograph.

Charles Augustus Mahoney ( spelled Mahony in the book cited), the controversial chief constable of the Saskatchewan secret service known as the “whiskey sniffers”, 1911 to 1916. Then he became commissioner of the Saskatchewan Provincial Police, the men in the rakish hats who from 1917 to 1928 policed the liquor trade and nabbed criminals, until the RNWMP resumed those roles.

Charles Miller, Regina City Police detective who died after falling from his horse during the Regina Riot, 1935.

Kim Rossmo, first “street cop” in Canada to get a PhD (in criminology). He crafted software for catching criminals using “predictable spatial patterns.” He was with the Vancouver police force for twenty-three years, and later directed the Center for Geospatial Intelligence at Texas State University.

Ex-Mountie Jim Williams was Regina’s first police constable, appointed in 1892. Despite the NWMP presence there, Regina needed a cop for non-Mountie jobs. In addition to normal police duties, he was in charge of licensing and/or inspecting a raft of things, including dog tags, bread, blocked streets, pool rooms, markets and “refreshment houses.” He caught stray animals, and rang the town bell. Most onerous, he was public health inspector without extra pay.

[Hillock: Regina Morning Leader, 4 Dec 1924, Between and Beyond the Benches: 276-77. Riddell, Regina … 32. Drake, Regina: The Queen City, 74-75. Rossmo: Arts & Science Magazine spring 2018: 14-17]