The Law and the Lawless

Frontier Justice on the Canadian Prairies 1896-1935

Edited by: Art Downs
ISBN 9781772030266
Softcover | Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
144 Pages
$9.95 CAD

About the Book

At the end of the nineteenth century, Canada’s prairies were still sparsely populated. Crimes such as horse theft, random murders, and prison escapes were the order of the day, and the North West Mounted Police continued to rely on their horses, their contacts, and their wits to apprehend the culprits. By the mid-1930s, a sea change in technology and police science had changed the game. Major advances in transportation, communications, and sleuthing techniques made crime-solving a new art—but the criminals also had access to the new ways.

The US had Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger, but Canada had its fair share of bad apples committing equally vicious crimes: a serial rapist and strangler who most often chose female proprietors of rooming houses as his victims; a father-and-son murder team, tracked by an enterprising detective all the way to Kentucky; and a group of murderous youths who sparked a manhunt across two provinces and a bloody shootout resulting in the deaths of four policemen. These stories offer an intriguing look at the skill, determination, and bravery of Prairie law enforcers as they risked their all to bring ruthless outlaws to justice.

About the Author(s)

Art Downs(1924–1996) was a writer, editor, historian, and pioneer of BC book and magazine publishing. Born in England, he moved to Saskatchewan as a young child and later settled in Quesnel, BC. He became owner of the Cariboo Digest, which evolved into BC Outdoors, a successful magazine about BC history, wildlife, and conservation. In 1979, Art and his wife, Doris, established Heritage House Publishing.