In December 1931, following the unprovoked shooting of RCMP Constable A.W. King, an unknown criminal who identified himself by the pseudonym Albert Johnson led the RCMP on seven-week manhunt across the desolate Arctic landscape. During the pursuit, the Mad Trapper shot and killed Constable E. Millen. With the help of indigenous guides the Mad Trapper was located and killed during a gun battle on the Eagle River on February 17, 1932. Despite the RCMP releasing photos of the Mad Trapper and receiving hundreds of tips from around the world his true identity was never established.
In 2007, Myth Merchant Films of Alberta Canada secured permission for a team of forensic experts to exhume the body of the Mad Trapper in order to conduct a thorough examination of the remains and retrieve DNA samples to finally determine his true identity. The team of world class experts included Dr. David Sweet, Dr. Owen Beattie, Dr. Lynne Bell, Dr. Sam Andrews and John Evans of the Canadian Police Research Centre.
Examination of the Mad Trapper’s remains revealed several important insights: (1) he was approximately 30-40 years of age, (2) he suffered from scoliosis, (3) the shot that killed him entered the lower back, (4) he had undergone sophisticated and expensive dental work for the period, and (5) results of oxygen isotope tests conducted suggested he spent his youth in the American Midwest.
If you share a similar ancestry to the Mad Trapper or think you might be related to him, you can contribute your DNA data to help us identify him or find his family. If you have tested with a consumer DNA testing company, you can upload your data and opt-in to a database that allows law enforcement search. If you have not taken a DNA test, we can help you get tested through the DNASolves® Connect program. Finally, if you have explored your own family line through genealogy and think you might have clues that would help us with this puzzle, we encourage you to reach out and let us know.