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 a Mountie came to ask Johnson about allegations that he had interfered with a neighbor's trap. No questions were asked. Johnson shot Officer Millen dead through a hole in the wall 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. On Johnson's heels were a corps of Mounties and an irregular posse on dogsled, supplied by airplanes dropping food. 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.
There will never be another chase like it.
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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 and The Lost Patrol. He is currently the curator of the Jack London Exhibit and Interpretation Center in Dawson City, Yukon.
"A courageous and unrelenting posse on the trail of a furious and desperate wilderness outlaw more animal¿more a ghost¿than man: 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
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 those other 1930s outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde and 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
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Book Description The Lyons Press, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1592281176
Book Description The Lyons Press, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111592281176
Book Description The Lyons Press, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1592281176