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