Mad Trapper of Rat River

The Mad Trapper of Rat River eluded the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for forty-eight-days in the winter of 1931-32. It was called the “The Arctic Circle War”. It was the largest manhunt in Canadian history and when “they got their man” they didn’t know who he was. In fact, even today, no one knows his identity. Recently his body was exhumed for DNA, there is a Discovery Channel special about it. It’s a very interesting story. An examination of Johnson’s body yielded over $2,000 in both American and Canadian currency as well as some gold, a pocket compass, a razor, a knife, fish hooks, nails, a dead squirrel, a dead bird, a large quantity of Beecham’s Pills and teeth with gold fillings that were believed to be his. During the entire chase, the Mounties had never heard Johnson utter a single word.

It happened right here where this photo was shot. Imagine this landscape covered in ice and snow, up to 10 feet in some places. After Johnson’s death, RCMP officials realized that he had traveled over 85 miles away from his cabin in less than 3 days, burning approximately 10,000 kcal a day.



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