Moyie Murder: 0050.0309

A COLD-BLOODED MURDER – Circumstantial Evidence Warrants the Assertion. – The Victim Was an Italian Grader. – And the Alleged Assassin Proves To Be a Comrade and Countryman.

            In the last issue The Herald published a brief note regarding a murder that had been committed on the grade near Moyie.

            At the time no particulars regarding the killing could be procured – only the simple fact that an Italian had been murdered by someone and that the coroner had been sent for.

            On Monday last Sergeant Clopp, of the mounted police, with an escort of four men, arrived in Cranbrook with the alleged murderer, a boyish-looking Italian, enroute to Fort Steele.  The prisoner’s name is Antonio Bruno, and that of the murdered man Guiseppe Puerio.

            The murder was committed Sunday, August 7th, and the body dragged into the brush a distance of about 20 yards from the tote road, three miles southwest of Moyie, where it was discovered the Tuesday following by David Newlan.

            The identity of the murdered man was established by means of a peculiar fur-lined cap worn by him, his face and head being beaten into an unrecognizable pulp; also by a new pair of shoes sold him by the bookkeeper in Armstrong’s  camp, after which Sergeant Clopp soon had a clue to the probable murderer.  The two men left the camp where they had been working, on Sunday.  A few hours afterward Bruno returned in an excited condition, secured a time check and some personal effects and left, saying he was tired of the country.  He had nearly three days’ start but Sergeant Clopp and a companion started in pursuit and never left their saddles for rest until reaching Goat River landing.  They had some difficulty in tracing the prisoner, as that section of the country is full of Italians travelling in one direction or another.

            Arriving at Goat River landing they had the rather questionable satisfaction of learning that their man had but a few moments previously got away on a steamer bound for Nelson.  The steamer Nelson, however, departed but a half hour later than the first boat, and to the purser was given by Sergeant Clopp a description of the fugitive to be left with the officers at ports where the boat would stop.

            At Kuskonook the prisoner was either left by the boat, or stopped off, possibly to cover his trail.  His description was given by the purser to Constable Wilson at that point, who soon had the fleeing man in custody, and he was afterward turned over to his pursuers who returned with him to Moyie.

            A search of the prisoner revealed documents belonging to the murdered man, as well as a roll of money, which was bound about his leg below the knee.

            Returning to Moyie with the prisoner, Coroner Watt being unavailable, an inquest was held with Dr. Brodie acting as coroner, and the accused was remanded to custody and held for further examination at Fort Steele by Gold Commissioner Armstrong, who at the time was absent north on government business.

            The murder was a most brutal one, the head of the deceased being beaten into a shapeless mass, and a trail of blood distinguishable 100 yards from where the remains were found.

            Sergeant Clopp and his companions were tireless on the trail of the alleged murderer, and are entitled to a great deal of credit for the successful work performed by them.  In order to prevent possible attempt at rescue by friends of the accused the latter was brought in under strong guard.

            Since the above was written, the prisoner was taken back to Moyie by order of Commissioner Armstrong, as the witnesses all live near there.

0050.0309: Moyie Murder

Italian Moyie man murdered now identified and friend and fellow countryman to stand trial for his murder, after leading mounted police on merry chase.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  August 18, 1898
Pages:  1
Publisher:  Cranbrook Herald
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0050)


murder italian coroner prisoner steamer fugitive custody guard


People arrow Brodiearrow
People arrow Brunoarrow
People arrow Armstrongarrow
People arrow Wattarrow
People arrow Wilsonarrow
Social arrow Ethnic Groups arrow Italiansarrow
Social arrow Criminal Activity arrow Murderarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Services arrow Policing arrow Jailsarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Services arrow Policing arrow RCMParrow
Cities arrow Kuskanook arrow Services arrow Policing arrow Jailsarrow
Cities arrow Kuskanook arrow Services arrow Policing arrow Municipalarrow
Cities arrow Moyie arrow Services arrow Policing arrow Jailsarrow
Cities arrow Goat Riverarrow
Transportation arrow Boats arrow SS Nelsonarrow
Government arrow Officials arrow Gold Commissionersarrow
Health arrow Doctors arrow Brodiearrow
Health arrow Doctors arrow Wattarrow
People arrow Clopparrow
People arrow Puerioarrow
People arrow Newlanarrow


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