Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story Of Canada’s Biggest Manhunt
By (author) Dick North
The epic story of the most incredible chase of the twentieth century.They called it “The Arctic Circle War.” It was a manhunt 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 door of his log cabin. A vicious firefight ensued. When the Mounties returned with reinforcements, Johnson was gone, and The Arctic Circle War had begun. It was a forty-eight-day odyssey across the harshest terrain in the world. 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.Chances are the world will never see another chase like this one.
Dick North has worked as a seaman, a fisheries officer, and a newspaper editor in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon. He is also the author of Trackdown, Arctic Exodus, and The Lost Patrol. He is currently the curator of the Jack London Exhibit and Interpretation Center in Dawson City, Yukon.