January 11, 2022: Geoff Mynett, Lawyer and author. Topic: Geoff’s new books: Murders on the Skeena and Pinkerton’s Hunt for Simon Gunanoot


Vancouver Probus Club member Geoff Mynett is returning to speak about
the two best-selling books he has published since he last spoke to Probus.
Both books are about murders on the Skeena River in northern British Columbia
between 1884 and 1914. The first is Pinkerton’s and the Hunt for
Simon Gunanoot, Double Murder, Secret Agents and an Elusive Outlaw and the
second is Murders on the Skeena, True Crime in the Old Canadian West, 1884–1914, both
published by Caitlin Press. The murders took place in or around Hazelton, a frontier
town that, although small, was for fifty years the most important town in the northern
interior of BC.
The murders are all different and reflect the frontier character of the north. Charley
Yeomans dithered and paid the price. William Gordon went prospecting in the Omineca Mountains with his partner
Isaac Jones, but only Gordon came out. Simon Gunanoot, one of British Columbia’s most famous outlaws, was accused of
a double murder in 1906. Rev. Dan MacLean, a Presbyterian minister, played a leading part in the famous shoot-out
during a robbery in New Hazelton in 1914. And when Joseph May said the bloody shirt was his brother’s, did the verdict
of guilty become inevitable?

Geoff qualified as a Barrister in England, immigrated to British Columbia in 1973, requalified as a Barrister and Solicitor,
and worked as house counsel and corporate secretary or MacMillan Bloedel for his whole legal career. He also is an artist.
His first book was the best-selling biography of the pioneering doctor Horace Wrinch— Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch,
Frontier Physician, published by Ronsdale Press in 2020. It won the orge Ryga Award For Social Awareness in Literature for 2021

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