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Patch image: Saskatchewan Provincial Police, Saskatchewan

Deputy Sheriff James McKay
Saskatchewan Provincial Police

End of Watch: Friday, November 15, 1918

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Not available
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Deputy Sheriff James McKay had been dispatched by car to a farm 30 Miles east of Prince Albert to serve a writ for $50.00. Unbeknownst to Sheriff McKay, a pair of men were staying on the property who were draft dodgers. The two draft dodgers one 19 year old and one 16 year old were evading the conscription in Quebec. It is believed they ambushed Sheriff McKay believing he was there to investigate their presence. When Sheriff McKay failed to return an investigation was initiated.

Sergeant Stanley Kistruck traced McKays vehicle to the farm and during his investigation became convinced of foul play. Sergeant Kistruck returned the following day with a warrant and a possee. The possee came under fire and a soldier in the possee was fatally shot. The farm owner was arrested during the investigation. It was at that point the authorities learned of the details of the death of Sheriff McKay. The draft dodgers believed Sheriff McKay was after them and they shot him, placed his body on a plank on the river and set him adrift. They then dug a hole to conceal the vehicle.

After a few days searching the pair were eventually found hiding inside a haystack on another property. During the course of the investigation several offenses had come to light concerning the actions of the farm owner and the two draft dodgers. Those offenses included killing cattle, theft , bootlegging and the murder of a man who was originally thought to have died in a fire.

The farm owner and the two draft dodgers were charged and convicted of murder. All three were hanged at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on October 17, 1919.

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