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Murders on the Skeena : true crime in the old Canadian west, 1884-1914  Cover Image Book Book

Murders on the Skeena : true crime in the old Canadian west, 1884-1914 / Geoff Mynett.


Part history, part true crime, Murders on the Skeena: True Crime in the Old Canadian West, 1884-1914 contains the true accounts of murders, crimes, and scandals--some of which remain unsolved to this day--in small-town northern British Columbia. With a focus on the victims as much as the cases themselves, award-winning author Geoff Mynett relates untold stories of BC's deadly history while providing both the natural and social history of the region. Hazelton, situated where the Bulkley River joins the Skeena River, was one of the most important sites in the interior of northern BC from 1870-1913. The gold rush, the arrival of the telegraph, and the ability for steam boats to journey upriver increased outside interest in the region. As new modes of transport were built, more non-Indigenous people arrived, and as colonial law and governance increased, so did tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. One such case was that of the murder of Amos "Charley" Youmans in 1884--the escalation of a clash between the laws and customs of the Gitxsan and those of the encroaching traders and settlers. Mynett also recounts the stories of the so-called Skeena River Uprising of 1888, a bank robbery shoot-out, and a deadly dispute between two prospectors. Peeling back historical, social, political, and geographical layers, Murders on the Skeena draws almost exclusively from documents from the time to reveal the fascinating secrets and surprising consequences of these captivating true crime tales.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781773860671
  • Physical Description: 255 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 23 cm
  • Publisher: Qualicum Beach, British Columbia : Caitlin Press, 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Formatted Contents Note:
Charley Youmans and his fatal procrastination, June 6, 1884 -- Kamalmuk and the Skeena River Crisis, February-August 1888 -- William Adam Gordon and the missing corpse, early June 1897 -- William Grider and the credulous prospectors, March 28-30, 1898 -- James Kirby, Simon Gunanoot and six days in June, June 18-24, 1906 -- The Soderberg and Kennett mysteries, 1913 -- Frank Hill and the wounded bank clerk, November 23, 1913 -- The gun-toting preacher and the Union Bank robbery, April 7, 1914 -- John May and the blood stained shirt, September 18, 1914.
Subject: Murder > British Columbia > Hazelton Region > History.
Crime > British Columbia > Hazelton Region > History.
Genre: True crime stories.

Available copies

  • 19 of 21 copies available at BC Interlibrary Connect. (Show)
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Prince Rupert Library.


  • 0 current holds with 21 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Holdable? Status Due Date
Prince Rupert Library 364.1523 Myne (Text) 33294002121606 Adult Non-Fiction Volume hold Available -
Prince Rupert Library NWHC 364.1523 Myne (Text) 33294002121614 Northwest History Collection - Non-Circulating Not holdable Available -

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